Thursday, June 14, 2012

Seven Resurrections

Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

This will be a short article covering the seven resurrections found in the King James Bible.

1. The Physical Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ

Matthew 28:1 "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

After Jesus died on the cross and was buried, His literal body came up from the dead and went back up to Glory at the right hand of God the Father (Luke 24:39). The difference between Christianity and every other religion is that Jesus Christ came up from the dead. Buddha, Confucius, Muhammed and Joseph Smith are all still in the grave, but no one can find one single bone of Jesus Christ's body. The best news this world has ever heard came from a graveyard with an empty tomb (Matt. 28:6). The gospel today is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Our salvation depends on the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:17).

2. The Resurrection of Some of the Old Testament Saints

Matthew 27:52 "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."

When Jesus Christ arose, the Old Testament saints came up with him and were seen in the city. These saints were called the "firstfruits" (1 Cor. 15:23). The Bible tells us when the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to bottom that many of the saints arose from their graves and their bodies appeared to many in downtown Jerusalem at night (Matt. 27:45, 50-54).

3. The Spiritual Resurrection of the Christian Believer

Ephesians 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"

This is the spiritual resurrection of the Christian. When a person is saved, Jesus gives him spiritual life (Rom. 6:1-7). The Christian's flesh is still dead, but his soul is made alive. As Christians, to get victory over sin, we are to reckon our flesh to be dead, but alive to Christ (Rom. 6:11). So this resurrection is spiritual, not literal (Eph. 2:6).

4. The Physical Resurrection of the Christians at the Rapture

1 Corinthians 15:49 "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

This resurrection is the second part of the resurrection, which is called the harvest. The harvest will take place when Jesus returns to meet us in the clouds at the Rapture (1 Thes. 4:16-18). One day before the Tribulation starts, all the Christians are going to receive glorified bodies and meet Jesus in the air. The dead in Christ will rise first then the Christians that are still alive will go up next. The unsaved will be left behind to go through the Tribulation.

5. The Resurrection of the Old Testament Saints, Physically

Romans 11:25 "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:"

This resurrection will be a national resurrection of Israel. This is spoken of in Ezekiel 37 where God takes the nation of Israel, resurrects it nationally and puts it in the Promised Land. Israel is the only nation that God deals with in that fashion. No other nation is promised a second chance like Israel will get after rejecting Christ and helping to crucify Him. At this resurrection in the Millennium, Israel will also be restored spiritually and turn to Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.

6. The Resurrection of the Tribulation Saints

Matthew 24:31 "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

This resurrection takes place towards the end of the Tribulation. This is where the Tribulation saints that are saved by faith and works will be Raptured (Rev. 11:12, 7:9). Many people wrongly say that Matthew 24 is the Church Age Rapture, but the context is clearly the Tribulation (Matt. 24:21, 29). Also, during the Tribulation Moses and Elijah will come back as the two witnesses to preach and will be beheaded (Rev. 11:5-10). The bodies of Moses and Elijah will be caught up to heaven in the middle of the Tribulation (Rev. 11:12).

7. The Resurrection of the Unsaved Dead

Revelation 20:11 "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

The last resurrection is called the second death. This is where all the unsaved dead come up literally and are judged at the White Throne. The unsaved come out of Hell and after they are judged, they are dropped into the Lake of Fire to burn for eternity (Matt. 25:41). They will be judged according to their works and some will receive a greater damnation than others (Matt. 23:14).