Class Notes: 3/21/2010

The doctrine of Resurrection part 1


Since we are approaching the observance of Resurrection Sunday aka Easter it is appropriate for us to take some time to review some of the doctrines related to his resurrection that is recorded in Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1-6; and John 20:1;

Since Jesus was the first ever to be resurrected we will now take up a study of the Doctrine of Resurrection.

Two kinds of return from the dead are recorded in scripture.

Resuscitation means a person returns from the dead in a body of corruption and eventually dies again as in the case of Lazarus, Paul, the two boys in the Old Testament, and Elijah and Moses during the Tribulation.

Resurrection means a person returns from the dead in a body of incorruption and never dies again.

Therefore resurrection is rising again from the dead in a glorified human body, and never again being subject to death. Resurrection is the beginning of eternity for the person.

Heb 6:1-2; states that the doctrine of resurrection is one of the basic doctrines all believers must understand for spiritual growth.

Anyone who dies during the Church Age has an interim body in heaven until the exit resurrection of the Church at the Rapture. 2Cor 5:1-8;

We will have a resurrection body like Christ's, but not all resurrection bodies will look alike. There are different types of resurrection bodies depending on the believer's attitude toward Bible Doctrine and their advance in the Christian life. 1Cor 15:41;

Resurrection is a New Testament doctrine. While it is mentioned in the Old Testament, it did not occur historically until the Christocentric dispensations of the Hypostatic Union and the Church Age.

The dispensation Hypostatic Union terminated with the resurrection, ascension, and session of the humanity of Christ. The Church Age will terminate in the exit resurrection or rapture of the Church.

While believers have control over their life in the execution of the protocol plan of God through consistent positive volition toward doctrine and through the use of their portfolio of invisible assets, they have no control over the time or manner of their physical death.

Except for suicide where the individual asserts their negative volition over the sovereignty of God, believers cannot prolong their life or cut it short. Believers also do not have any control over the manner of time of the resurrection.

The death of the believer is always a matter of the wisdom, integrity and sovereignty of God. Except for those who are physically alive at the time that the exit resurrection of the Church occurs, all believers will experience physical death.

The manner of our physical death is a matter of divine wisdom and omniscience. The death of the believer is always God's victory. Weather the believer has advanced in God's plan after their salvation or not makes no difference; all believers go to heaven. Distinction among believers is not made until the Judgment Seat of Christ.

This means that, the death of the believer is always God's victory. The believer's death means to be absent from the body, face to face with the Lord, in a place of "no more sorrow, no more tears, no more pain, no more death."

The Lord's timing is perfect, neither too soon nor too late. Death always comes at the exact right time. Both those who have advanced in God's plan as invisible heroes and those who have not can die painlessly and quickly or painfully and prolonged. In both cases God chooses both the time and manner of death.

Sometimes God will allow a mature believer to die in a painful and prolonged way to demonstrate the power and grace provision of God for the believer in spiritual adulthood during the dying stage of life. A believer who has failed to advance can die the sin unto death by dying quickly and relatively painlessly.

This means that we cannot judge other believers by the manner of their death, just as we are mandated not to judge other believers in living. We do not have the information necessary to understand or evaluate the death of anyone.

The manner of our physical death is determined by the wisdom of God. This is another reason why, in regarding loved ones who die, "we do not mourn as those who have no hope."

No matter how "accidental" or "tragic" a death may appear, or no matter who was negligent or at fault, the death of a loved one was all in God's timing and from His wisdom. Therefore, we have no right to be bitter or vindictive or have any subjective arrogance regarding the death of a loved one.

Every generation of believers in the Old Testament died a physical death. Moses had a dramatic death, climbing the mountain and the Lord taking him home from there. Elijah had a ride to heaven in a special conveyance. But there was no resurrection in the Old Testament.

There could not be a resurrection in the Old Testament, because the first resurrection in history was that of Jesus Christ at the end of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union.

Death is one of the greatest expressions of the grace of God. The time of our physical death is a wise decision from the sovereignty of God. He doesn't keep us here beyond His point of wisdom, and He does not take us home before His point of wisdom.

God is perfect; His wisdom is perfect. God is perfect; His decisions are perfect. God decides the time and manner of the death of each of us.

As Job said when he heard of the death of his children in a terrible storm: "The Lord gave; the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Paul conveyed this same idea when he wrote in Rom 8:38-39; "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus." Death does not separate us from God.

David stated in Psa 116:15; "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."

And Paul wrote regarding his own death in Phil 1:20-21; "On the basis of my confident expectation and hope that I shall not be put to shame in anything. But in all boldness, Christ shall even now as always be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For me living is Christ, and dying is profit."

Scripture reveals that there are two general resurrections. The first resurrection for believers only is a resurrection to eternal life. The resurrection body is eternal and permanent, superior to that of angelic creatures, Dan 12:2; John 5:24-29; 1Cor 15:20-22; Rev 20:6,13.

The second resurrection is for unbelievers only. At the end of the millennium, all unbelievers are resurrected, evaluated at the Great White Throne and cast into the lake of fire forever, Matt 25:41; 1Cor 15:24; Rev 20:5-15.

The Resurrection of Christ is the Pattern for the First Resurrection. The first resurrection is described in 1Cor 15:20-24 where it is described as occurring in four stages.

The resurrection of Christ at the end of the Hypostatic Union is the first stage because He is "the first fruits of them that slept." Acts 2:31-34.

The second stage is the resurrection of the church, royal family of God at the end of the Church Age, John 14:1-3; Phil 3:20-21; 1Cor 15:51-57; 1Thes 4:13-18; 1John 3:1-2;

The third stage of the first resurrection is the resurrection of the Old Testament believers and Tribulational martyrs at the end of the Tribulation at the Second Advent of TJC, Dan 12:13; Isa 26:19-20; Matt 24:31; Rev 20:4.

The fourth and final stage of the first resurrection is the resurrection of the millennial saints at the end of the Millennium.

The first resurrection in all of human history is that of our Lord at the end of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union.



The direction for the first resurrection is eternal life with God, the direction for the second resurrection is eternal condemnation and judgment.

The difference between the two is one's attitude toward Christ. John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; He that believeth not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abides on him."

As long as anyone is physically alive, there is the opportunity of entering into the first resurrection simply by believing in Christ. 2Cor 6:2; 2Cor 5:18-21;

Until Jesus Christ died on the cross, there could be no resurrection. The only resurrection that has occurred so far in history is that of Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union.

Physical death is the prerequisite for resurrection with the exceptions of the rapture generation of the Church Age and the millennial believers who are alive at the end of time and human history.

1Cor 15:50-52; "Now this I affirm, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption."

Paul uses the phrase "the kingdom of God" in the sense of the eternal state of the Church. He says here that we cannot live in eternity in the body we now possess. It is body of flesh and blood, not a resurrection body.

The physical body is not capable of living off of planet earth out in the universe, as angelic creatures can.

Corruption refers to the human body that is subject to physical death. Incorruption refers to the resurrection body, that is a durable, permanent body that can never die physically. It refers to the eternal state where there is no death.

1Cor 15:26; "The last enemy that will be abolished is death." Eternal life can only exist in the eternal resurrection body.

1Cor 15:51; "Behold, I teach you a mystery: we shall not all sleep but we shall be changed,"

This mystery doctrine applies to the Church Age only, the dispensation in which there is no prophecy and about which there was no prophecy, Rom 16:25-26; Eph 3:1-6; Col 1:25-27.

In this analogy, sleep applies only to the physical body (not to the soul). The body "sleeps" because the soul and spirit are absent from that body in an interim body waiting for the resurrection.

"Changed" means we receive a resurrection body in exchange for our former physical body. Paul is saying here that we will not all die physically. One generation will receive their resurrection body apart from physical death.

1Cor 15:52; "in a moment, in the winking of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we (Church Age believers alive at Rapture) shall be changed."

This resurrection occurs instantly. When God does something with regard to life, it is done instantly. Man was created instantly. The universe was created instantly. God imputes life to the soul at physical birth instantly. God provides resurrection bodies faster than a wink or blink the eye.

This reference to a trumpet is the trumpet of 1Thes 4:16; it not the same trumpet as that in Rev 11:15 ;The trumpet in Rev 11:15 is the herald's trumpet announcing Jesus Christ as the new ruler of the world.

The trumpet is used as an analogy to its military use in the ancient world for the assembly of troops. In this case, the troops consist of the Royal Family of God. The trumpet in this context refers to the exit resurrection or Rapture of the Church.

The trumpet is used only for those who are already dead, those who are already living under ideal conditions of great happiness in heaven. So those who have died will receive their resurrection bodies first. Then those alive at the Rapture will receive their resurrection bodies.

So there are two categories of resurrection mentioned here. The first category receives their resurrection bodies after going through physical death. The second category is alive at the Rapture and receives their resurrection bodies apart from physical death.

Resurrection is the Lord's Victory. In John 11:25, Jesus said to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me shall live even if He dies."

Just as the death of the believer is the Lord's victory, so the resurrection of the believer is the Lord's victory.

The resurrection of the believer is the wise and sovereign decision of God. This means that the believer's volition, cognition, and individual merit are not factors in the exit resurrection or the Rapture of the Church.

Just as we have no control over the manner or time of our death, so we have no control over the manner or time of our resurrection. This is completely a matter of the wisdom and sovereignty of God.

The believer's resurrection does not depend in any way on any merit. All believers weather they are winners or losers receive a resurrection body. No distinction is made between winners and losers at the point of receiving their resurrection bodies.

The exit resurrection or Rapture will never occur on the basis of what Christians do on the earth. It occurs when God the Father and TLJC determine is the right time.

In resurrection, God makes no distinction between those who completely fail to execute the Christian way of life and those who succeed in executing the Christian way of life.

The resurrection has nothing to do with our winning the tactical victory in the angelic conflict or failing to do so. It has everything to do with who and what the Lord is. The resurrection is completely divorced from any merit on the part of believers.

The victory of the resurrection illustrates the principle of grace because resurrection is totally the work of God provided for all believers, whether they are winners or losers. Resurrection is divorced from any form of human ability or human achievement. It is strictly a matter of grace.

Just as the grace policy of God has provided everything the believer needs for time, so the grace policy of God has provided everything the believer needs for dying, death, heaven, resurrection, and the eternal state.

Therefore, the resurrection of the Church is strictly God's grace and God's decision. Therefore, it is God's timing and God's victory.

The Rapture is not subject to man's timetable or man's speculation. Human speculation is never a part of Bible prophecy. The Rapture is imminent because there is no prophecy that must be fulfilled before it can occur. It can happen at any time.

The time of the Rapture is God's decision. This means that in the meantime, we as members of the royal family of God are to live every day as unto the Lord, not every day as unto the exit resurrection of the Church.

The believer's victory is the execution of the protocol plan of God in time. God's victory is the death and resurrection of the believer.

1Thes 4:13-18; "We do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as the rest who have no hope."

When the unbeliever approaches the grave, it is a time of no hope, a time of death and separation and the end of everything.

But when the believer approaches the grave, he recognizes that this is only the beginning, and that the short time spent on this earth is nothing compared to the eternal state.

This means that we don't grieve as those who have no hope because the death of the believer is the sovereign decision of God and is therefore His victory.

1Thes 4:14, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again (and we do), even so, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus." This is analogous to body sleep, and then awakening in resurrection.

This is not soul sleep. The soul of the believer never dies. You are alive when you fall asleep and alive when you wake up. The soul is still alive even if you die in your sleep. The soul simply leaves the body and goes into an interim body face-to-face with the Lord.

1Thes 4:15-16; "For this doctrine we communicate to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God; in fact, the dead in Christ shall rise first."

The voice command of Gabriel ,who leads the angelic college of heralds, assembles those who are alive on the earth. The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit provides resurrection bodies for them.

God the Holy Spirit provides the resurrection bodies. 1Pet 3:18, Rom 8:11.

This fulfills the phrase of 1Cor 15:54, where it says, "this mortal will have put on immortality."

The Holy Spirit, who indwells the believer's body, will change the believer's body from a mortal body to a resurrection body without that believer going through death.

1Thes 4:17-18, "Then we who are living and remain on the earth shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort each other with these doctrines."

Resurrection is a doctrine of comfort and blessing, but only to those who have personally believed in Jesus Christ. The comfort is grace, and the fact that resurrection is the Lord's victory.

1Cor 15:53, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

Putting on incorruption is a reference to the resurrection body given to those who have died, a body never that will never subject to death.

1Cor 15:54, "Now when this corruptible will have put on incorruption (resurrection body through death), and this mortal (resurrection body while alive) will have put on immortality, then the doctrine that stands written (Isa 28:5) will occur. `Death has been swallowed up because of the victory.'" God's ultimate victory for the royal family of God is the resurrection.

So the final phrase, "Death has been swallowed up because of victory," is very important. Man has absolutely nothing to do with receiving a resurrection body. The passive voice means that all believers receive resurrection bodies. No merit, no distinction is involved.

While believers through positive volition and post salvation renovation of the thinking have control over their life while living, believers have no control over the time or manner of their death, and no control over the manner or time of the resurrection.

Therefore, resurrection is a grace function from the sovereignty and wisdom of God. Our resurrection body is an eternal memorial to the grace of God.

Death has been swallowed up and destroyed because of the Lord's victory. There will be no death in the eternal state. Death is abolished with the possession of the resurrection body.

So this quote is reference to the strategic victory of our Lord Jesus Christ in the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union.

The sign of our Lord's strategic victory was His resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of the Father. 1Cor 15:55-56; Resurrection is the Lord's victory.


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