Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Resurrected bodies

I have questions about resurrection:  In the first resurrection for Old Testament saints as well as the kingdom gospel believers up to Acts 9 - will these saints have bodies that will allow them to go to heaven like the spiritual bodies that will be given to believers from the dispensation of grace at the rapture; or will their bodies only be suitable to live on the earth?  Is the second resurrection for those who will participate in the Great White Throne judgment?  Is the rapture technically a third resurrection?

Regarding your first question, the first resurrection of prophecy that is spoken of in Daniel and John…

Daniel 12:2

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.


John 5:29

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.

…is for the Old Testament saints, all the kingdom saints in the book of Acts before Acts 9, and all the believers in the Lord Jesus after the rapture and before the his Second Coming to earth, as well. 


Revelation 20:6

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.

Anyone who has died as a believer from the beginning of Creation (those who believed God’s word for their dispensation), except for the body of Christ, will return with the Lord at his Second Coming to earth and will receive resurrected bodies.

So your question is whether these resurrection bodies will allow them to go to heaven.  Yes they will have that ability even though there is no focus on them doing that in the non-Pauline books.  We do know from prophecy that the Lord Jesus Christ would be crucified, buried and rise again.  That was prophesied in the Old Testament.  He lived under the law:

Galatians 4:4

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

The dispensation of law, that prophetic program, didn't change until the Dispensation of Grace began when Paul was saved.

So the Lord’s resurrection body (a spiritual body) is the exact type of body that they will have.

The Lord describes their resurrection bodies as being like those of the angels:


Matthew 22:30

 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Angels have spiritual bodies; the Lord has a spiritual body.  The angels have the ability to go back and forth between heaven and earth.  So will everyone else who is given a spiritual body at the resurrection.

So the OT saints will have the capacity in their resurrection bodies to go into heaven.  We know that because the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven.


Acts 1:9

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

They too will have the ability to ascend to heaven.  But that isn't the focus in prophecy.  When we rightly divide the word we know that the focus of those saints will be in the earthly kingdom and they will live on the earth.


Matthew 6:10

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Are there verses that say they will be able to go to heaven?  No, because no one anticipated going to heaven until Paul.  But now looking back from Paul’s revelation of the mysteries, we can see that all resurrected bodies will have the same ability to do what the Lord did in his resurrection body.  He lived on earth after his resurrection.  He ate fish and honeycomb (John 20, 21).  And then he ascended into heaven in the clouds (Acts 1).

We won’t have better bodies because all resurrected bodies will be the same.  Unlike the saints of time past, our focus is on the heavenly places, so we will go up.  Evidently we will be able to come to the earth and they will be able to go up into the heavenlies. I don’t see God limiting them to this earth.  For example, if David wants to ascend and see someone in the heavenly places, he will have that ability.  But that is not his sphere of influence and service.  But none of the books outside of Paul’s epistles touch on that because they’re ‘prophecy’ (that is, that which has been made known since the world began).

Let’s take a look at what Paul tells the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 15:42-49

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It [the old human body, the old Adam] is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption [it won’t corrupt]:  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:   It is sown a natural body [the type that every human being has]; it is raised a spiritual body [the resurrected body].

There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. This is the truth for any resurrected body – whether they will live in the earthly kingdom or in the heavenly kingdom (the body of Christ).  It is a spiritual truth for every dispensation.

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul [our humanity]; the last Adam [the Lord Jesus] was made a quickening spirit  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual [the same type as the Lord’s].  The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy [natural human bodies]: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly [resurrected spiritual bodies of the saints of every dispensation].  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Regarding your question about the second resurrection and the rapture, ‘yes,’ in prophecy the second resurrection is the Great White Throne judgment for the lost of all the ages.


Revelation 20:5a

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.


Revelation 20:11-15

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. 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.  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.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Daniel and John both say that the first resurrection is for the Old Testament saints, that is, the believers of all ages, apart from our dispensation of grace.


Revelation 20:6

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.

So technically the rapture is the third resurrection, but it will obviously take place before the second resurrection at the great white throne judgment.

In order, the rapture will be first; next, the first resurrection of prophecy will take place at the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.  Lastly, the second resurrection of prophecy will take place 1,000 years later.  Prophecy can’t resume until our dispensation of grace is ended at the rapture.  So, the rapture will be the first official resurrection.

Hopefully this helps!  


Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

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