The Resurrection of the Dead by Pastor Don
We are going over the elementary principles of faith mentioned in Hebrews 6:1-3, and have been learning more about the Resurrection of the Dead.
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Verse 20 shows us that Christ is the first fruit offering, established by the covenant immediately in the beginning of the Bible. By the time Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel the first fruit offerings were in effect. God set it in Scripture. We too are to bring our first fruit offerings to God. But the First fruit offering in the Old Testament was a picture of something greater. It happens in the natural, but has a spiritual purpose. In the natural the people brought the first fruits to the Temple. In the Spirit, we take what God has given us and bring others to the Kingdom, and offer souls back to God who created them.
God gives us free will and opportunity to act like God and participate in the process of further creation. Jesus brought his portion as a first fruit offering. We were not Jesus’ first fruit offering, that was the Disciples and the 120 in the upper room.
In John 20, Jesus spoke with the disciples, and mentioned, in reference to Thomas, that the disciples believed because they had seen Him, but blessed are those who believe and had not seen (that is us). He then breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit. They were an offering back to the Father. This was the infilling presence of the Holy Spirit, not the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We cannot become Born Again without the Holy Spirit. We receive the Holy Spirit by the breath of God. Jesus, being God, breathed on the disciples his Ruach, the breath of God.
The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and leads us to the Messiah. The Holy Spirit seals us once we are saved, but now the disciples were going to be endued with power in the upper room.
Pastor Don compared it to receiving a driver’s license when we come of age. We get the learner’s permit (being Born Again), and go through tests and trials until we earn our license (and then have the power and authority to drive).
The breathing returns to the spiritual life that Adam vacated. Spirit filled people still sin, and may have power because of the infilling of the Holy Ghost, but still can open themselves up as the devil’s playground. Adam could have stomped on the serpent, or told Eve she blew it and that God will deal with her. Adam did not have to go along with Eve’s disobedience.
Someone asked why satan could bruise Jesus’ heel. And Pastor Don said that satan did not have the authority to destroy Christ, but he could just impede Christ’s progress. Pastor Don reminded us blessed are the feet who bring the Gospel. You can’t stop the Gospel, but sometimes the Gospel is spread with a limp.
Spirit-filled people have the power to spread the Gospel, to serve, and combat evil for the sake of Christ. The Spirit gives us the hammer to pull out nails, but cannot always prevent us from hitting our thumbs. We are to preach, teach, and minister. But we will still have to resist temptation. Teaching, preaching and ministering can cause greater attacks of satan geared to cause us to fall, but it is up to us to resist the power of satan. Some of the mega ministers today teach powerful lessons to help set people free, but they have succumbed to failing marriages.
The Spirit-filled believer is sometimes embarrassed to say they have a battle. We have the inner witness to empower us to spread the Gospel, and suffer for His Name’s sake. But the personal sin issue rests on all of us. We make choices. Powerful ministries do not always ensure that the ministers will have a good bedside manner. David had the heart of God, but sinned and said he was sorry for hurting God.
Pentecostals feel superior, yet they have the same rate of divorce as Presbyterians and other Christians and non-Christians.
The Word of Faith and methods can be applied to our lives, but some that do this still fornicate and have the flesh to deal with. We need to use God’s power on our personal life.
If we have a financial problem that has to be solved we need to resolve that. We can’t have an elder in the church that has a desire for filthy lucre. While we can operate in the Power of God and the Gifts of the Spirit, the devil knows our weaknesses and works against us to prevent us from being effective. We need to build safeguards, habits, and hearts’ desires that cause us to turn to God. God will supernaturally help us deal with sin. We have to be examiners of fruit. What kind of fruit are we testing? Isaiah had unclean lips and asked God to purify his lips. Self awareness is of greater value to God than even self purity, for God can deal with our honesty and help us in our weakness.
Jesus said that the Scribes and Pharisees were in error for their criticism. The rich young ruler was told to sell all he had and give it to the poor. This was not because there is anything wrong with having money, but Jesus knew that this young ruler was bound to money – money had him. When we examine ourselves we need to ask ourselves if it is necessary and have we examined ourselves in light of Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Unless we conquer what we criticize in others, our opinion is worthless. More is required of us.
Verse 23 – the first fruit Christ, then Jesus the Christ offered the 120 in the Upper room as first fruits. Then Peter spoke to others in the Upper room and 3,000 were saved (the disciple’s first fruits). This was the same number of people as who died at the offering of the golden calf. God is a God of replacement and forgiveness.
Pastor Don reminded us that the resurrection of the dead does not happen all at once. That there is an order. Christ is the first fruit, then those who are Christ’s at His coming. Those who come with Jesus in the clouds are changed first, then the saints on the earth, then there is a 7 year tribulation period, and then the resurrection of all the dead.
There are many conflicting theological assumptions regarding the resurrection of the dead.
1. First those who are coming in the clouds with Jesus died and are in Heaven with the Lord as spirits but no bodies. They receive resurrection bodies.
2 Then we are changed after this on the earth. All the saints who died and those on the planet. Those who are evil and who rejected the Lord are still in hell awaiting judgment.
Revelation talks about the Great Tribulation and the millennium. Christ will reign on earth and after this 1000 year reign, the devil will be loosed from the pit of hell. Then satan will organize people for a final combat to overthrow the Lord, but that battle will not occur – all who try to participate will be destroyed.
Then they and the resurrected dead that rejected God will be judged, and ultimately end up in the fire.
We were already judged at the throne of Christ and now all will have that resurrection judgment.
Pastor Don gave many scriptures that talk about the rapture.
Here are two:
1 Thess. 4:16 – “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”
God will purify this earth. But those who remain on earth after the rapture will be given a choice. God will not punish satan and sinful man until He proves that He can rule earth in a way that God wanted, that earth can be ruled in a right manner. He wants perfect beings to fellowship with in eternity.
God will permit people to choose Godly rule, or satan’s rule. God is a God of love, and you cannot have love without free will. We need to freely choose that we love God more than the devil. We love God more than our own flesh.
Verse 25 and 26 (see above) death is a spiritual entity.
Verse 27. God gave Jesus all authority, but that doesn’t mean Jesus is not God. They coexist. The Father explains the actions of the Son, and Jesus only did what the Father told Him. The Spirit is also an equal member of the trinity. Remember, Jesus is the Word (John 1) and God places His Word above Himself. While we can’t understand the trinity with our natural mind, we do know it is the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We need to know Judgment is coming, and God will deliver on that promise. If God says it, He will do it. His Word is His bond. If He said it, He must perform it.
Verse 28. The father sends His Son (Jesus) who consults back with God. Jesus is God’s Ambassador on earth, with full authority and power and God’s full backing. All are subject to Him.
Pastor Don continued with more verses in 1 Corinthians 15, which I will share with you tomorrow.
Praying your day is blessed.
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