Resurrection

RESURRECTION

Christ proved that the resurrection would take place by quoting words which God spoke to Moses: "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living" (Matthew 22:31-32; compare with Exodus 3:6).

The Greek for resurrection is anastasis, 'standing again'. In Daniel 10 the prophet experiences a figurative raising from the dead. First he gets up onto his hands and knees (:10). This is the awakening of consciousness. He is then commanded to "understand", and stands "trembling" (:11). This typifies the resurrected person's understanding returning as he stands. The standing again of a dead man is seen in 2 Kings 13:21: "he revived, and stood up on his feet".

THE JUDGEMENT SEAT

Christ will "judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom" (2 Timothy 4:1), for God "hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22). All those resurrected will stand before the judgement seat:

"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:25-26);

"[God] hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained" (Acts 17:31);

"we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ" (Roman 14:10);

"we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:10). Sinai is a possible location for the judgement, for Christ and the saints will march from this direction after the judgement (Psalm 68:17; Isaiah 63:1; Habukkak 3:3).

ACCOUNTABILITY

At the judgement seat people will give an account to Christ: "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36); "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:12).

This is typified by Daniel speaking (Daniel 10:16). Only those who can be held accountable, or responsible, will be resurrected. Accountability will be based on knowledge:

"And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomso-ever much is given, of him shall be much required" (Luke 12:47-48); "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin" (John 15:22); "sin is not imputed when there is no law" (Romans 5:13); "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment" (Hebrew 10:26-27); "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).

Some of those who are accountable will be the ecclesia or house of God. These will be led to the judgement seat first. Those who heard the gospel but disobeyed, for example, those of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15), will then be judged: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (1 Peter 4:17). Those who cannot be held accountable will not be resurrected: "Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish" (Psalm 49:20); "They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast Thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish" (Isaiah 26v14); ". . . sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 51v39).

TWO RESURRECTIONS

There will be two resurrections. The first will take place when Christ returns; this is the first resurrection. The second will take place at the end of the thousand years. This second resurrection will involve those who have died during the thousand years:

"the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished" (Revelation 20:5). For each of these two resurrections there will be two groups of people. One group will be found worthy, the other group will be condemned:

"For such as be blessed of Him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of Him shall be cut off" (Psalm 37:22); "The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth" (Proverbs 10:30); "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" (Daniel 12:2); "all that are in the graves . . . shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29); "there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust" (Acts 24:15).

It is written: "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" (Revelation 20:6). Those referred to here are the "just", who are found worthy by Christ when he comes. Those in the second resurrection at the end of the thousand years who are found worthy will be blessed with eternal life but will have missed out on the millennial blessings of reigning with Christ.

Those who are condemned will eventually die to live no more: "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:12); ". . . who shall be punished with everlasting destruction" (2 Thessalonians 1:9). They will die a "second death" (Revelation 21:8) and thus be "twice dead" (Jude :12).

Those who are found worthy will be given immortality: "this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:53). In Daniel 10 this is typified by being "strengthened" (:18). This is the end of a process involving several stages. Paul writes: "the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:52). Here, the whole process, including resurrection, judgement, and being given immortality and a place of honour in the Kingdom, is summarised in the phrase "raised incorruptible". This is spoken of by Paul in Romans 2:7 as follows: "to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality [will be given] eternal life".