56. The Resurrection of the saints.
There are two Greek words used in connection with resurrection from the dead and being raised from the dead.
ANASTASIS and EGEIRO
Greek 0450 ANISTEMI - histemi = to cause to stand + ana = up; to raise up.
Anistemi is rarely translated "resurrect," but its noun form, anastasis is almost always translated "resurrection." Yet both words simply mean "rise" or "raise." For example, both words are used together in Mk.12.23: "In the raising up (anastasis), when they rise up (anistemi), whose wife will she be?"
(In the Resurrection, when they rise up, whose wife will she be.)
Egeiro (see below) is virtually synonymous with anistemi. These two words are used together in the following fourteen passages: Mk.5.41-42, 9.27, 12.25-26, Lk.5.23, 24, 25, 6.8, 8.54-55, 9.7-8, 11.8, Act.9.40-41, 10.26, 12.7 and Eph.5.14.
In most of these passages egeiro is the instruction, "arise," or the action of "raising up;" and anistemi is the response, "to rise up" or "stand up." For example, Mk.5.41-42: "And taking hold of the child's hand he said to her, 'Maiden, I say to you, arise (egeiro).' And the maiden immediately arose (anistemi) and walked."
That egeiro and anistemi are usually synonyms can be seen in the accounts of Jesus telling the paralyzed man to "rise, take up your bed and go home." Matthew and Mark used egeiro to describe his rising; but Luke uses anistemi.
1453 EGEIRO : to rise or to raise, as determined by the context. For example, Mt.27.52-53: "...and the tombs were opened and many bodies of the purified ones who had fallen asleep were raised (egeiro); and coming out of the tombs after [his] rising (1454 egersis) entered into the pure city and appeared to many." Egeiro is used with anastasis in Lk.20.36-37: "...for they are equal to angels, they are sons of God, being sons of the raising up (anastasis). Now that the dead are raised (egeiro), even Moses pointed out at the bush, as he calls [the] Master the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."
With this in mind, how many resurrections are there in the Bible?
We know there are many incidents in scripture of someone being physically raised from the dead, only to die again.
For example in the Old Testament, 1 Kings 17:17-22 Elijah raised the son of the Zarephath widow from the dead.
2 Kings 4:32-35 Elisha raised the son of the Shunammite woman from the dead.
2 Kings 13:20, 21 A man was raised from the dead when his body touched Elisha’s bones.
In the New Testament, Dorcus, Lazarus, Eutychus and the widow of Nain’s son and others. They were all raised physically from the dead but all died a second time.
When our Lord was crucified on the Cross, we read: Matthew 27:51-52 “And, behold the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose” (Notice, “the bodies of the saints – other translations say, bodies of the purified ones)
These people were raised from the dead in the same way and were seen in Jerusalem. These also would die again.
This must be the case, because if it is not the case then Jesus would not be the first fruits of them that sleep.
Jesus was the first to rise, or be resurrected from the dead, never to die again. He was Glorified, given a glorified body, (The first fruits of them that sleep)
1 Cor 15: 23 But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then at His coming, those who belong to Him.
Whilst all of these were resurrections from the dead, the ones that I am referring to in this blog are the resurrections at the second coming of Jesus Christ and the resurrection at the end of the world.
There are those that say that there is only one resurrection at the end of the age. When Jesus comes again and gathers the harvest of sheep and goats, the wheat and tares.
This is said to be the general resurrection of all the living and the dead.
However according to scripture, the first resurrection is distinguished from the second resurrection.
Revelation 20:4-5 “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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
If there is a first resurrection it follows that there must be a second resurrection.
The very fact that the scripture talks about a first resurrection indicates that there must be a second resurrection.
Before we go on, I must mention the spiritual resurrection. When one is born again of the Spirit of God, one is translated from death unto life, (spiritual death to spiritual life) one is raised from death and raised to newness of life. This is a spiritual resurrection.
However, we are promised, bodily resurrection.
1Co 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:
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.
So which is the first resurrection?
It appears that scripture teaches three stages of the first resurrection. There is an order of resurrection.
1 Cor 15: 23 But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then at His coming, those who belong to Him.
We read in the Bible about harvest time. Harvest was in three stages.
1. The first fruits.
2. The main harvest.
3. The gleanings.
So it is with the resurrection.
1. Christ, the first fruits of them that sleep.
2. The harvest at His coming. Those dead in Christ and those that are alive at His coming.
3. The ones that believe through the witness of the 144,000 and the two witnesses.
The first stage of the first resurrection is seen happening at the Resurrection of Jesus from the grave.
The second stage of the first resurrection is at the coming of Jesus Christ with the clouds.
1 Thess 4: 13 – 17 “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
1Th 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.
All those that have died in Christ, all those captives that Christ preached to and set free in Abrahams bosom, will He bring with Him. These are all those that have died in faith believing.
1Th 4:15 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.
1Th 4:16 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:
1Th 4:17 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.
All will be changed, in the twinkling of an eye. Each one shall be transformed and given a glorified body and so we shall be like Him.
1 Corinthians 15:52 “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”
The scriptures speak about Jesus coming in the clouds and receiving the dead in Christ and those who are alive at His coming. Both the dead in Christ and we who are alive at His coming will be caught up to meet Him in the air.
The dead in Christ are raised (Anastasia, resurrection from the dead) We who are alive and remain at His coming are snatched away, (Greek, Harpazo) (Latin, Raptured) to be gathered together, (Episunagarge) and we shall be forever with the Lord.
The third stage of the first resurrection is at the end of the Great Tribulation, (the second half of Daniels 70th week), the Wrath of God is poured out on the earth and Jesus returns “in like manner as you see Him go” Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives and a cloud received Him. He shall descend to the Mount of Olives.
Behold He cometh with the clouds. Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Jesus Christ comes with the clouds, receives the dead in Christ and those who are alive at His coming, in the air. After this the believers from the Great Tribulation.
This is what we read in between the sixth and seventh seal of Revelation.
Rev 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
Rev 7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Then Jesus descends to stand on the Mount of Olives and sets up the Millennial Kingdom.
His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives and He will usher in the Millennial Kingdom of 1000 years.
Zach 14:4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
Surely language could be no clearer than this.
We must distinguish between Christ’s coming for His own before the Millennium and His coming again to raise the rest of the dead (unbelievers) who remain in their graves during the thousand years. Let there be no misunderstanding that it is a settled fact that there is at least a one thousand year interval between the First and the Second Resurrection. The Apostle John, by Divine inspiration, confirms this,
“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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:4-5).
At the consummation of the First Resurrection three stages have been fulfilled.
Let us say, for clarity, there are three stages of the resurrection:
(1) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, The First Fruits of those who sleep.
(2) There is the second stage of the First Resurrection to which we already have made mention
(1 Thessalonians 4:16), when all true believers (the dead in Christ and we who are alive) are raised at the first appearance of Christ. To this we add the Apostle Paul’s word in First Corinthians: “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” (1 Corinthians 15:52).
(3) The third and final stage of the First Resurrection occurs at the end of the seven years after the resurrection of saints at Christ’s coming at the rapture. “Those resurrected near the close of the seven years’ period of the tribulation are the multitude of believers who were led to the truth through the witness of the 144,000.” Because they would not receive the mark of the beast in their hands and foreheads, they were martyred. These are brought forth from the dead (raised) at the end of the Tribulation just before Christ comes to earth to reign for one thousand years, The antichrist (who is the beast) and the false prophet will be cast in the Lake of Fire. Revelation 19: 20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
The Devil will be bound for the thousand years, chained in the bottomless pit.
Rev 20: 20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
The Second Resurrection ( at the end of the Millennial reign of Christ).
After the final battle with the released Satan. Revelation 20:7 When the thousand years are complete, Satan will be released from his prison,
8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to assemble them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the seashore.
At this time, ALL the dead and all the living will stand before the Great White Throne and will be judged.
Those not found in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire along with the Devil and all his followers.
The great white throne judgment is described in Revelation 20:11-15 and is the final judgment prior to the lost being cast into the lake of fire. We know from Revelation 20:7-15 that this judgment will take place after the millennium and after Satan, the beast, and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10). The books that are opened (Revelation 20:12) contain records of everyone’s deeds, whether they are good or evil, because God knows everything that has ever been said, done, or even thought, and He will reward or punish each one accordingly (Psalm 28:4; 62:12; Romans 2:6; Revelation 2:23; 18:6; 22:12).
Also at this time, another book is opened, called the “book of life” (Revelation 20:12). It is this book that determines whether a person will inherit eternal life with God or receive everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. Although Christians are held accountable for their actions, they are forgiven in Christ and their names were written in the “book of life from the creation of the world” (Revelation 17:8). We also know from Scripture that it is at this judgment when the dead will be “judged according to what they had done” (Revelation 20:12)and that “anyone’s name” that is not “found written in the book of life” will be “thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
Revelation 21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.