The Resurrection of the Dead by Pastor Don
We continued our study of the basic principles of faith as mentioned in Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.
We have been looking at various passages on the Resurrection of the Dead. The next one we studied was
1 Corinthians 15:13-17 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
If Christ is not risen, there is no way we have forgiveness, and our faith is empty.
1 Corinthians 15:18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
The Jehovah Witnesses use this verse to teach soul sleep. They think those who die are asleep inside their carnal bodies in a state of suspended animation. But we know that to be absent from the Body is to be present with the Lord. Our spirit is with God. When our bodies are in the earth, we are not in suspended animation, we are with God.
1 Corinthians 15:6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
The fact that Jesus rose from the dead is not based on the testimony of only his 12 disciples, but over 500 people at once. You cannot get 500 people to agree to a lie. And when this epistle was written there were many who were there to see Jesus still alive, not fallen asleep. If Paul had written a lie, would not those people have come forward to state so?
Jesus talks about different kinds of death. There is the death in the Lake of Fire, there is the death to the physical body. Our spirits are with the Lord at our death.
The only spirits on earth are those of the demonic and fallen angel spirits. We have read about the anak and the nephalim which are half human, have demonic spirits. Genesis 6 talks about the sons of God (fallen angels) and the daughters of men producing offspring. Those offspring are the nephalim. They are bound in eternal darkness. When flesh dies, they roam the earth seeking embodiment. That is why spirits want to possess or oppress a person, they are seeking a body to make into a home for them.
When Jesus cast out the demon at Gergesenes, the demons asked him: Matthew 8:28-29 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
The demons had the run of the earth, and God was not to intervene. But Jesus, fully human, had the authority to cast the demons out, and they begged to be cast into pigs because they wanted a body. If you command a demonic spirit to return to hell it is like a vacation for them and they come back to bother others. They seek another body to possess. Pastor Don has taught us that we command the demons to leave the building, the parking lot, and to not come back into another person or the original person. Meanwhile, the person who had been relieved of the demon needs to start filling up the vacated space with the Word of God, so that there is no room for the demon to return. As Jesus said after casting a demon out, that Luke 11:24-26 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Then the person is in a worst state than before.
When a person dies, it is a separation of the Spirit from the physical body. When the spirit leaves the physical body, the body shuts down. Pastor Don has told us when we go visit a person in a coma to speak with them, because their spirit is there and will understand what we are saying. Death is not total death, for the spirit still lives, there is just no life in the physical body.
When Jairus’ daughter was sick and died, Jesus said she was just sleeping. He did not consider death, just sleep, and commanded the spirit to reenter the body. Pastor Don talked about (and it was confirmed by nurses who were attending our Bible study), that. when a person dies, they breathe out and exhale. The spirit leaves the body. One of the nurses said in hospitals the nurses usually open a window to let the spirit out. Pastor Don said that when a person dies they lose 2 pounds 2 ounces when the spirit leaves the body.
We tend to want to hold onto life so dearly, because we are afraid. But we need to believe we will be with Him. Sometimes it is a quality of life issue, when we have suffered enough then we want to go home.
Psalm 90:10 The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
We are promised 70 or 80 years. We can live until we are satisfied.
Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.
1 Corinthians 15:19-20 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Christ is the first fruits of those fallen asleep.
When Moses died in the wilderness, he was given a resurrection body that was incorruptible and would not die. Moses and Elijah were seen on the Mount of Transfiguration. This was not Jesus talking to a Spirit, for the Bible cannot lie and the Bible tells us we cannot talk to the dead, and if you die once, you do not die again. So what the disciples saw on the Mount of Transfiguration was a vision of Heaven. Moses and Elijah were resurrected in the Spirit.
Someone asked about the graves being opened after the death of Jesus mentioned in Matthew 27:52-53 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Pastor Don mentioned about Reinhard Bonnke who raised a Nigerian pastor who had been dead for 3 days, and had even been embalmed. The wife brought the corpse to the place where Pastor Bonnke was preaching, and could not bring him into the congregation, so she and some fellow believers were in the basement beneath the assembly. They prayed and the dead pastor rose from the dead. He is alive today and testifies about his experience. He was very grateful to be given a second chance because he was destined for hell, even though he was a pastor. There is proof of his death, and now he is testifying. His wife had faith to believe that her husband could be raised from the dead.
The power it takes to raise Jesus from the dead can raise the dead, and this was a powerful demonstration to the people in the time of Jesus to see those walking around. One of the members of the group mentioned when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he had to mention Lazarus’ name or else all the dead would have come out of the grave. Those who were walking around after the crucifixion were the saints who had recently died and been raised from the dead. They had not gone up to heaven in resurrected, glorified bodies. Those saints walking around and Lazarus would die some day, they were not resurrected as Jesus was resurrected.
The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead.
Elisha also raised the young lad from the dead. The resurrection power of a righteous man is sufficient to raise the dead. And when Elisha died and was buried, 2 Kings 13:21 So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. A dead man was brought to life by touching is bones.
Christ is the 1st fruits of those fallen asleep, and then those resurrected in Christ will rise.
When the Holy Spirit came to the people assembled in the upper room there were 120 touched by the Spirit. Then Peter preached and over 3,000 were filled with the Spirit. Those 3,000 were Peter’s first fruits.
In Deuteronomy and Leviticus it states that it is an abomination to speak to the dead in seances. King Saul tried to summon through a witch the dead spirit of Samuel. Someone asked if he spoke with Samuel and Pastor Don explained that there are familiar spirits on the earth that can imitate dead relatives. They are lying spirits who imitate. They know what we want to hear for they know us, but they are not the spirits of our dead relatives. They are just being used by satan to pull people away from the truth of God. We know that they are demonic spirits because angelic spirits will not violate God’s commands. Evil spirits will violate the law. They will tell the truth to get a person to rely on their ‘spiritual’ guidance, and then when the right time comes tell a lie that will get believed because of the foundation of truth that has been previously laid down. Many lies and false religions are based on these lying spirits.
1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
King Saul lost his life by seeking the spirit of Samuel. Balaam kept trying to push the issue with God to get his fleshly desires, and ended up condemned by God for leading the Israelites astray.
IF GOD SAYS ‘NO’ TAKE IT AS ‘NO’ AND LEAVE IT.
If a spirit is in Heaven, caught up in the Glory of God, it is not going to hang around the earth. The man in verse 21 that death came by is Adam. But the Man who brought the resurrection of the dead is Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
In 1/11,000th of a second, in the blinking of the eye, we who are dead in Christ, will be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
But there is an order in this. First Christ, then those who are Christ’s at His coming.
Pastor Don then went on to explain passages about this in 1 Thessalonians 4. I will cover those tomorrow.
I am praying your night is blessed. We had a wonderful spring day here, and I pray that this weather keeps happening. I am sooooo ready for warm weather.
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