16. The Resurrection

By John Thiel, Audio: The Resurrection

The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost have all pledged themselves to provide every facility given for the benefit of sinful man. The Father provided the facility of being a Father to us; the Son became the facility of His son and the Holy Spirit became the facility of our comforter. As we studied an intimacy came into being through the wonderful atonement of Jesus Christ which was identified as a marriage and a marriage feast supper. Every quality and property of the Godhead was delivered to sinful man by the second person of the Godhead, Jesus Christ in that he became a man.

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

God could freely give us all things through Jesus Christ because in Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. One of the properties that was encased in the gift of Jesus Christ is found in 1 Timothy;

1 Timothy 6:15 Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

This is a particular property of the Godhead “which in his times he shall show”.  This tends to make us think that we will be bestowed with this particular property too. Did you pick up what the property was? It says “Who only hath immortality?” This is referring to Jesus – Jesus is the only one who has immortality – no one else. The scriptures reveal to us that through Jesus Christ we become heirs of God.

Roman 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

We are heirs of God! When you are an heir of something it means that when you inherit it, it will become yours. So if you are an heir of God it means that you are an heir of everything God has and is, and one of these properties is immortality. If we are joint heirs with Christ – what is written about Christ?

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Here is the record of “The Word”, Jesus Christ who himself is God. It says here that Jesus is the source of life so this life is a property of God.  Here Jesus qualifies the fact that he has life in himself.

John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Inside of Jesus Christ there lay a power, the power of immortality. And the commandment he received of his Father was – I want you to go down and give to these people everything that I can give to them – the power of life.  He says I command you to lay down that life and then take it up again because that is what you can do and I command you to do that. Jesus then obeys and says “this commandment I receive of my father.” In Jesus Christ was life eternal and this immortality had been made available to us through the gospel.

2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Immortality is in God, in Jesus Christ and that immortality is brought to our understanding through the gospel of Jesus Christ. To the believer in Jesus Christ immortality is made available.

1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Here is another text which says that immortality and eternal life can only be found in Jesus Christ because He is God. Eternal life is in him therefore he is the only one who hath immortality.

1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

This makes perfect sense. If Jesus is the only one who has immortality then unless we have Jesus inside of us we don’t have immortality.  In John chapter 11 we read the words of Jesus to Martha as he was talking to her about the resurrection of Lazarus.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Jesus was referring to the person who believes in him. He was saying that although a believer may die, he is not dead because he is asleep in Christ Jesus. To study the resurrection means to study Christ. Didn’t Jesus say I am the resurrection and the life? If we study the resurrection on its own without a focus on Jesus then we do not get a true sense of it. If we want to understand the resurrection we must understand Christ because he is the resurrection.  To merely understand the resurrection as to what happens is to miss its true impact. There is a difference between mere resurrection and Christ. Jesus is speaking about the resurrection subject;

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

There are two resurrections the first is “the resurrection of life” the other is “the resurrection of damnation.” Let us have a look at the resurrection of life with the understanding that Jesus is the resurrection because Jesus has eternal life and shall never die. When a person who has Jesus Christ inside of him dies – is he dead?  When a person dies in Christ – what actually happens?

1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This is the resurrection of life. These are the people who are dead in Christ which means that they are not dead because Christ is the resurrection and they are alive in him. It is repeated in Revelation;

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The people who are raised in the first resurrection do not take part in the second death after the 1000 years and as such the second death has no power over them. The first resurrection is the resurrection of life.  It is called for the people who are asleep in Jesus Christ. For those who have eternal life only the death of sleep has power over them.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell.

Hell means the grave.  Notice that this is a resurrection that Jesus calls the resurrection of damnation in which death and hell deliver up their dead.

Revelation 20:13 …delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 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.

Who is being judged here? It is the dead.

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell (the grave) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Those who are in Christ shall never die. They are not called the dead for they are asleep. The resurrection of damnation is where the dead are resurrected and death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire. This is a resurrection of damnation not of life. The difference between the first and second resurrection is very powerfully identified in 1 Thessalonians;

1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Can you see the difference between the resurrection of life and the resurrection of damnation?

The First Resurrection

The first resurrection is for those who have died in Jesus. At the second resurrection the condition of death is raised to be finally destroyed. We believe that God, the immortal was in Jesus Christ the man. We have studied that Jesus was both God and man and as we believe that we can come to understand that when he died on the cross, the immortal God could not remain in the grave.

The Ransom

Acts speaks of the ransom.  The Apostle Peter was preaching at Pentecost in reference to God raising Jesus.

Acts 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Jesus could not be “holden of death” because he had immortality. Death could not hold him because He was the immortal God entombed in the grave. Sr White says that if he were under a mountain he would burst the mountain open because he could not stay there. Humanity was the only part of Jesus that died because he had sinful flesh but the divinity inside him could not hold him to death.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

When Jesus came to this earth he was made to be sin for us. What is written? The wages of sin is death. We now recall Hebrews in relation to this;

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

By the fact that Jesus had both the divine and human nature, the sinful part of him had to die but the divine part couldn’t die.

Hebrews 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Jesus had the same flesh and blood that we have, the flesh and blood of sin. He was made to be sin for us and that sin had the consequence of death. Jesus took part of our nature that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death – the devil.

Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Integrated with Christ’s sinful flesh was God, the Son, and the Word and in him was life. That life eternal was integrated with his flesh but the body of his flesh still had to die. It was sin and sinful flesh which caused Christ to die but death and sin could not hold him in the grave. Both sin and death were destroyed in him when he died but the immortality inside him rose again. It is by this transaction that Christ is able to present us if we are in him, as completely unblameable and unreproveable  We can come forth into a completely different dimension of existence without sin. In Christ, death and sin were destroyed while immortality came forth. The divine immortality within Christ could not die and therefore the grave could not hold it. Christ arose because of the Word, eternal life and the Divinity that was in him and we too need to have the benefit of Christ’s resurrection within us because gaining the victory over sin is not enough.

The Victory Over Sin

We can have the victory over sin by stopping to sin but that doesn’t erase all the past sins we have committed. The resurrection of Christ needed to posses much more – an ingredient through which all sin would be utterly destroyed through Christ’s death. The Apostle Paul brings out very vividly that if Jesus died and his life ended there – then we of all people would be most miserable. This is because there had to be something else in the equation of Christ’s resurrection that would give us the complete victory over sin. Jesus arose from the dead so that we could gain more than just victory over sin. He arose so that all our sins would be blotted out and so that we would have the resurrection to look forward to.

1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

Notice how Paul interweaves us with Christ? Do you see the necessity for Christ to rise from the dead so that we too could be risen?

1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

Jesus died as Adam died but every human being who dies like Adam has been made alive again through Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

We are looking at that condition of the resurrection when Jesus died and rose again. It is a permanent reality as God is the “I am” past, present and future we understand that it is all one event. When Jesus died and rose again the resurrection of every believer in Christ took place in potential.  The resurrection of Christ is to be ours. Before we die we must ingest the divine nature or else we will not have the resurrection of life – we must have Christ in us.  We must ingest the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.  This is what Jesus meant.

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

In everything that we have studied so far Jesus says that in order to have everlasting life we must ingest him like bread as He is the bread of life. The manner of heaven could not give the people eternal life in itself – however the manna did sustain the people.  When we eat food it has a life value and it becomes a physiological part of us – but the food in itself is not eternal life.  Jesus says you must not only eat of me you must ingest me and take me in – this is how the eternal life ingredient can be in you.

John 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Jesus really makes the point here “except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man.” The flesh of Jesus was inseparably connected with the divine ingredient. Therefore when we ingest Christ’s flesh, the everlasting gospel, we will have the divine ingredient in us also because these two facets of his nature are inseparable.

John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. You shall not die if you have the living bread the Word of God inside of you.  The disciples had a problem understanding this so Jesus had to explain it to them even more.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Jesus the Word of God came to live on this earth and the Words that he speaks unto you are part and parcel of Him. It is the Word of truth that He came and is one with us. As you ingest the Words of truth you have the divine nature inside of you because The Word of God is Spirit filled. The Spirit of God is in the Word and that Word is the life giving eternal energy. God created by speaking. If you have the Word inside of you then you are born again. Peter was saying you must absorb the Spirit filled word.

Incorruptible Seed

1 Peter 1:23-25 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

This is the eternal word. This is what must be born into us. We must eat the Word of God and ingest it just like in procreation. In procreation the seed of a woman grows and produces a child – likewise the Word of God must be born into us so that it will grow and produce the germ of eternal life.

Jesus Flesh Died Too

1 Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The everlasting gospel of the first angel’s message liveth forever and if you have that Word instilled inside of you, you shall never die.

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

As the Word is ingested, Christ’s flesh and His blood by which sin died, the divine nature continues and enables us to escape the corruptions in the world through lust. Jesus Christ could have escaped the corruption of death if he wanted to. His divine nature encased the Word and he was obedient even unto death. As you embrace Jesus the divine nature in you at death is a seed of life or the germ of life. Jesus actually likens the seed of the Word to a grain of wheat. If a grain falls onto the surface of the ground and it doesn’t die, it is useless. The seed must actually fall into the soil and the external parts of the seed must die so that the germ inside of it can come up again. In this parable, the divine nature is likened to “the germ” which is inside the seed and springs up again. The germ lies dormant for a while but inside of the grain there is life. Although the external husk of the seed is absorbed, the germ itself is life. When we have the Word of God inside of us at our death, although our body withers away like the husk, there is a germ inside of us that cannot die. It is the divine nature that will rise again if Jesus is inside us.

The Ransom

Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Those who are in the grave will come forth. Together with Christ’s body shall they arise. Jesus’ body like their body went into the grave and together with him they shall rise. Christ the first fruits and we after at his coming – this is a reality.

Sleeping Saints Guarded as Precious Jewels

The Life-giver will call up His purchased possession in the first resurrection, and until that triumphant hour, when the last trump shall sound and the vast army shall come forth to eternal victory, every sleeping saint will be kept in safety and will be guarded as a precious jewel, who is known to God by name. By the power of the Saviour that dwelt in them while living and because they were partakers of the divine nature, they are brought forth from the dead (Letter 65a, 1894). {4BC 1143.5}

While we are alive the power of the saviour dwells in us – the germ of life, the Word. We see how imperative it is that we have the true Word of Jesus in our life. If we don’t have it, it is a natural consequence that we will not be part of the first resurrection. None of us have life in ourselves – the only immortality we have is of Jesus Christ the life giver.

1 Corinthians 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

He is reminding us of the seed and relating the seed to the body – if you don’t put the seed in the ground it will die.

1 Corinthians 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 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 show 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.

The body of the grain (the human flesh) is sown in corruption but it is raised again in incorruption. When you throw the grain into the ground and into the soil it is just a dead looking bit of grain. It is only your knowledge of the Word that will germinate one day. When the germ comes up it is a different material to the grain.  Likewise when the body dies and falls into the ground it will be raised up with a different material. Those who are still alive in Christ Jesus at the sound of the trump will also have their bodies changed into a different material.

The resurrection of Jesus was a sample of the final resurrection of all who sleep in Him. The risen body of the Saviour, His deportment, the accents of His speech, were all familiar to His followers. In like manner will those who sleep in Jesus rise again. We shall know our friends even as the disciples knew Jesus. Though they may have been deformed, diseased, or disfigured in this mortal life, yet in their resurrected and glorified body their individual identity will be perfectly preserved, and we shall recognize, in the face radiant with the light shining from the face of Jesus, the lineaments of those we love (3SP 219). {6BC 1092.6}

When Jesus rose up he had a different body but he was still the same person and it says that we will be the same. Our personal identity is preserved in the resurrection, though not the same particles of matter or material substance as went into the grave. The wondrous works of God are a mystery to man. The spirit, the character of man, is returned to God, there to be preserved. In the resurrection every man will have his own character. God in His own time will call forth the dead, giving again the breath of life, and bidding the dry bones live. The same form will come forth, but it will be free from disease and every defect. It lives again bearing the same individuality of features, so that friend will recognize friend. There is no law of God in nature which shows that God gives back the same identical particles of matter which composed the body before death. God shall give the righteous dead a body that will please Him. {6BC 1093.2}

When Jesus arose from the dead his body was made of a different material and this will be the same spiritual body that we have when we become changed. Once again we see the momentous value of the atonement of Jesus Christ that if we want to have the confidence of eternal life we must be sure to ingest that eternal life now. If I do not have it now in all reality then I will not have it then. May God grant us a deep appreciation of the first angel’s message, the everlasting gospel that we may be a people who live it and proclaim it.

Amen.

Posted on August 8, 2009, in 1st Angels Message and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Good sermon. I would love to receive more.

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