The power of the resurrection is in the hands of God

Fred R. Coulter—July 1, 2017

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Sabbath services!

With everything that's going on in the world, the Protestants are looking more and more to the rapture to save them from the things that are going to take place. Yes, it does say that you will be spared from these things, but it doesn't tell you how. It doesn't tell you who. Everyone speculates on it.

Sunday-keepers think that if you attend a Sunday-keeping church, and you're faithful to that church, and you believe in Jesus, and you celebrate Christmas, Easter, Sunday, and all of those sort of things, you're going to be raptured away.

We've got a whole series on it. We'll cover a little bit about it today: secret rapture is a hoax. {Note: Sermon Series: The Rapture Hoax}. What does that prove? What Scripture does this prove? That ancient serpent, Satan the devil, is deceiving—present tense participle—the whole world! That's with many different deceptions.

The so-called Christian world is deceived concerning a rapture. Yes, you can read a Scripture here, so we'll read it. Yes, the Scripture is true, but does that mean it is applied the way the Protestants interpret it?

This is the end-time generation. I think for the past three generations, a lot of us have thought that we that last generation. We don't know. Why don't we know? Because we don't know the magnitude and the maximum fulfillment of the prophecies that God is going to do! Nor do we understand the power that Satan is going to be given.

So, we still don't know when the end will be. I've preached in my time as being a minister that we'll live to see the return of Christ. That's 52 years later. So, you see how things work out if we don't stick to the Word of God. Or, if we speculate without saying it's speculation.

Remember the final answer in all of this is: 'no man knows the day or the hour, only My Father in heaven.' One of the last things that Jesus told the disciples, when they wanted to know if Israel was going to receive the Kingdom immediately, He says, 'It's not for you to know the times and seasons, which the Father has put in His own hands. You go and you preach and you witness to the ends of the earth.'

We can get a close proximity when we see certain things happening. The main one here in Luke 21 is when you see Jerusalem surrounded with armies. They're getting more and more armies in the Middle East, but have they surrounded Jerusalem, yet? No!

Luke 21:31: "In the same way also, when you see these things coming to pass, know that the Kingdom of God is near."

  • How near is near?
  • How far away is near, before near becomes near?

Verse 32: "Truly I say to you, there is no way that this generation…" This generation did not mean the generation with the destruction of the temple. That was a type of fulfillment of it, but the Kingdom of God was not established after the destruction of Jerusalem.

This generation has to be the final end-time generation. "…this generation shall pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away. Watch yourselves…" (vs 32-34).

We're to watch events. True, events are interesting to watch. We can watch them worldwide just sitting in our living room, our bedroom or our den, watching the television. Or you can hear about it as you're driving in your car, or you can read about it in your handheld smart phone.

Verse 34: "Watch yourselves, lest your hearts be preoccupied with high living and drinking and the cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly."

  • Do we have that today? Yes, indeed!
  • How long will that condition last?
  • Will there be true Christians who will die before this period of time is over? Yes, there will be!

Verse 35: "For as a snare it shall come upon all those who dwell on the face of the earth." This is worldwide thing, so it's going to have to fit in with 1-Thes. 5 when they say peace and security then sudden destruction comes. We're nowhere near any kind of peace at all whatsoever. So, here's what we are to do:

  • have faith in God
  • do what is right

Verse 36: "Watch therefore…"—yourself first. What good does it do to know if a prophecy is going to take place and you miss out on going to a place of safety? What is called the place of safety in the Bible is not the rapture, as the Protestants declare. It looks like it, but we will see their interpretation of it is completely wrong. We'll get to that in time.

Verse 36: "Watch therefore, and pray at all times that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass…" How can you escape it?

  • You die and are put in the grave. You've escaped it. Your place of safety is the grave.
  • You are alive and God counts you worthy.

Let's understand this. One of the deceptions within the Churches of God is 'if you stay in this corporate Church of God, you'll be safe and you will go to a place of safety.'

Even one minister of a Church of God wanted to go over and buy some property in Petra to make sure that his church would go there. Listen, who is going to make the decision that anyone escapes? God! No man!

"…to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (v 36). That's the important thing, to stand before the Son of man on the Sea of Glass at the resurrection.

The goal is the resurrection. The goal is not just escaping these things. Listen, everyone who has been a Christian from the time of Acts 2 clear to today, regardless of what happened during their lifetimes, have escaped the things at the end, because they are already dead and buried.

When we read the Scriptures, we need to think! Don't read them and have a conclusion already in our mind and be satisfied that we're right.

Luke 17 is very interesting because the resurrection will be very similar to those who are taken to a place of safety. We need to read very carefully:

Luke 17:20: "Now, when the Pharisees demanded of Him when the Kingdom of God would come… ['after all we want to be part of it'] …He answered them and said, 'The Kingdom of God does not come with observation." You're not going to observe and you figure out all the steps and it's coming.

Verse 21: "Neither shall they say, 'Behold, it is here!' Or, 'Behold, it is there!' For behold, the Kingdom of God is standing in the midst of you."

Just like Jesus has done many times when He's asked a question: He never answers that question, but gives them a spiritual fulfillment at sometime way down the road. This ties in with Matt.24:

Verse 24: "For as the light of day, whose light shines from one end under heaven to the other end under heaven, so also shall the Son of man be in His day." We covered that on Pentecost and Day 49. When that occurs, that's going to be startling.

Verse 25: "But first it is necessary for Him to suffer many things and to be rejected by this generation." Two phrases: this generation:

  • one applied to those who were living there
  • other applied to the ones who live at the end-time

Then He explains; let's look at the first one here and examine it carefully:

Verse 26: "Now, as it was in the days of Noah, so also shall it be in the days of the Son of man. They were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah went into the ark, and the Flood came and destroyed them all" (vs 26-27)—a worldwide event!

That's one event, came upon the whole world. Going to a place of safety does not come upon the whole world. It only comes upon those who are accounted worthy by Christ, that they may be taken by the angels to a place of safety! That is done to fulfill the words of Jesus that His Church would never die out. That will be accomplished just before, or right as, the Tribulation begins, as we will see by the description of the events.

Do we know when the Tribulation will begin? No, we don't! Remember, I wrote that when you see them building the temple in Jerusalem, know that the end is very, very near. But the world is going to think, no, 'this is wonderful, there's lots of time left.'

Here's a different event. First event with Noah, everyone was affected, everyone died, universal destruction. This one is different:

Verse 28: "And it was the same way in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom…" (vs 28-29).

This event did not come upon the whole world. The Flood covered everything. If there's going to be a place of safety, is that still on the earth? Yes, it is! Will it be protected? Yes, it will! Then Jesus tells us who is going to go and that He is going to make the decision. It destroyed them all, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other two towns.

Verse 31: "In that day, let not the one who is on the housetop, and his goods in the house, come down to take them away; and likewise, let not the one who is in the field return to the things behind. Remember Lot's wife" (vs 31-32). They escaped!

It says there they escape into the mountains (Matt. 24). So, there's a group of people of the physical Jews that will come to a place of safety and escape as well as those who are members of the Church of God, true Christians.

Verse 33: "Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night…" (vs 33-34).

Notice carefully, because here is this description: night, morning, and day. This shows us that this is God's perspective from heaven looking on the earth. You're not going to wake up at night and say, 'All of a sudden it's time to go.' No! It's just going to be just like Peter when he was in prison. The angel came and led him away. So likewise, God is going to send the angels to select those who are worthy to escape!

Verse 34: "I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed; one shall be taken, and the other shall be left…. [God makes that decision] …Two women shall be grinding together… [on a different part of the earth it's morning] …one shall be taken, and other shall be left" (vs 34-35).

This does sound like what they say about a rapture, but it's only the few. Were Lot and his wife and his two daughters few? His wife didn't believe and turned and looked back and became a pillar of salt.

After Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, was the rest of the earth still here? Was the whole world consumed in the events at the end-time? No, they weren't! This describes going to a place of safety, or a place of protection. Many people will say, 'God is able to protect us wherever we are.' That would be true, but it's His choice not to do so.

Verse 36: "'Two men shall be in the field; one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.'.… [taken by the angels] …And they answered, saying to Him, 'Where, Lord?'…" (vs 36-37). 'Don't you know, dummies, up in heaven; that's where everybody's going to go at the rapture.' Not true!

"…And He said to them… [He didn't answer the question] … 'where the body is…'" (v 37). The body of those who are protected. Can't be all of the Church members, because we'll see there's also going to be a martyrdom. So, the few that go will be protected. Whatever that body of people is, that is the body.

 "…there will the eagles shall be gathered together" (v 37).

That has to apply this way (speculation): Could this be that angels will pick them up, as if it's eagles' wings, carrying them away, and there will be many angels gathering those who are going to a place of safety. Where the eagles gather, that's where the body, the assembly, of those who escape will be!

Let's see something very important concerning the place of safety. Remember this, if you have a Petra-box in the trunk of your car, because you think it's going to happen on the Sabbath—and 'oh, I'm so particular, I have my little Petra-box here'—Jesus said, 'Pray that your flight be not on the Sabbath. Do you think that God would send His angels on the Sabbath to do that? Probably not!

Rev. 12:8 shows there's going to war in heaven. That will come down to the earth. Satan will be cast down.

Revelation 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him"—the demons.

Then we read in Rev. 9[corrected] how more demons are let out of the abyss, out of the prison. When that happens, it's going to get horrendously worse.

Verse 10: "And I heard a great voice in heaven say, 'Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God. But they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death'" (vs 10-11).

There will be martyrdom, which means all Christians can't go to a place of safety. Every Church of God can't go to a place of safety.  

Verse 12: "Therefore, rejoice you heavens and those who dwell in Them. Woe to those who inhabit the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, having great wrath because he knows that he has only a short time." Short time, is that 3-1/2 years? Very possibly!

Verse 13: "And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had brought forth the man-Child." Here comes the persecution against the whole Church. Not all are going to escape.

Verse 14: "And two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman, so that she might fly to her place in the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent…. [three and a half years] …And the serpent cast water out of his mouth as a river, so that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed up the river that the dragon had cast out of his mouth. Then the dragon was furious with the woman and went to make war with the rest… [remnant] …of her seed…" (vs 14-17).

Remnant is what the King James Version says. Remnant means the small amount left over on a bolt of cloth. But the Greek is rest, so it could be more. It's very probable that the majority are not going to escape, only the few. That's why it says, selective there in Luke 17.

"…and went to make war with the rest of her seed… [not the whole Church] …who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (v 17). Why are they martyred? 'Because they love not their lives unto death!'

The fifth seal (Rev. 6): There will be those in a place of safety, whoever they are. We don't know exactly where it is. A lot of people think it's Petra. Could be, who knows. I can tell you this, certain evangelists who have already appointed themselves to be in charge of Petra aren't going to be there. We're all going to follow the instructions of God.

Sidebar on Petra: There's a lot of water underground in Petra. So how many ever people are there, they will have water. In a hot climate like Petra, what's the most essential thing you need? Water! That's one of the secrets, very few people know about.

Revelation 6:9: "And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony that they held."

This doesn't mean that souls go to heaven, but this is a vision to depict all of those who have been martyred down through the centuries and the ones who are scheduled to be martyred at this particular time beginning with the 5th seal. That's right at the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

Verse 10: "And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, Holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?' And white robes were given to each of them; and they were told that they should rest a short time, yet… [sleeping in the grave] …until it be fulfilled that both their fellow servants and their brethren also would be killed, just as they had been" (vs 10-11).

That's the war against those who do not make it. That's the truth concerning the rapture. There will be a carrying away of the few by the angels that God selects to go. All the rest of us, if we're still alive at that time, we have the promise that Jesus said, 'Don't meditate on what you shall speak or what you shall say. Don't worry about those who can kill the body, but can't do anything to you after that.' There will be martyrdom. Rev. 20 shows it's going to a head-lopping. So, we need to understand.

If we end up in that situation, whoever we are, God will give us the strength. We are, each one, to be a dynamic and powerful witness against the forces of Satan the devil. If they kill us, what difference does it make? God is the One Who will resurrect us!

We'll talk about the resurrection, because I want to bring out to you the slick way that one of the Protestant ministers interprets 1-Cor. 15.

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Let's look at the resurrection. As I mentioned last Sabbath, I watched this Protestant minister, David Jeremiah. That's interesting, named after King David, but also after the prophet Jeremiah. He was preaching about the resurrection. He was actually reading Scripture. I watched him for a while, see what he really says. The bottom line was that when 'you die and your soul goes to heaven, that's the resurrection.'

He also pointed out very nicely that we will look just like Jesus. But then he failed to show them the Scriptures of what Jesus looks like in His glorified form. It's a perfect example.

We know that Paul also wrote that we are to 'prove all things, hold fast to that which is Truth.' The only thing we want, and the only thing that God wants us to do on this basis is: the Truth, the Truth, the Truth, nothing but the Truth.

  • compare Truth with Truth
  • compare Scripture with Scripture
  • compare parts of what are told in this Scripture, with other parts of the same thing in other Scriptures and put it together

A little here, a little there, line upon line, precept upon precept.

2-Timothy 2:11: "This is a faithful saying: If we have died together with Him… [that is in the watery death of baptism and in the grave] …we shall also live together with Him"—because He was resurrected from the dead.

Verse 12: "If we endure, we shall also reign together with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us."

I think there are going to be a lot of Protestant ministers that Jesus is going to say to them in the day of judgment: 'I never knew you.' 'Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord,

  • Didn't we prophesy in Your name?
  • Didn't we do many wonderful works in Your name?
  • Didn't we cast out demons in Your name?
  • Didn't we do all kinds of great things in Your name?
  • we kept Sunday
  • we kept Christmas
  • we kept New Years
  • we kept all of these things and showed the people how Jesus was in all of it'

Jesus will say, 'Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness. I never knew you.' That will be the majority of them.

Verse 13: "If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful… [in other words, it doesn't matter what anybody things if it isn't according to the Truth] …He cannot deny Himself. See that they remain mindful of these things, earnestly charging them in the sight of the Lord not to argue over words that are not profitable in any way, but which lead to the subverting of those who hear" (vs 13-14).

Sidebar to this: I watched a little bit of Charles Stanley. He gave a really good message on the consequences of sin using Gen. 2 & 3. Then he doesn't realize the consequences of the sin that he lives every week with Sunday-keeping, Christmas, Easter, and people going to heaven. You are blinded by the deception that you believe to be true. Whoever that is, wherever you are.

  • the Word of God is true
  • God has to reveal it to us
  • God has to open our minds to it
  • God has to show us the Truth
  • we have to believe it
  • we have to constantly work at it

Everything here in the Bible is spiritual, even the offerings and sacrifices. There are a lot of spiritual lessons we can learn out of it. Because it's layered:

  • precept upon precept in the same verse
  • line upon line in the same chapter
  • here a little from this part of the Bible
  • there a little from that part of the Bible

and put together for the whole picture!

Here is what every minister is to do. here is how it's to be done, v 15: "Diligently study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of the Truth."

If you do that, you'll always have the Truth. If you put Truth together with Truth, the right way—you have Truth. But if you take some Truth and put your own ideas in it, then you have created a lie, which appears true because you quoted some Scripture. That's what all the Protestant ministers do.

An admonition, v 16: "But avoid profane and vain babblings because they will only give rise to more ungodliness, and their words will eat away at the body like gangrene; of whom are Hymeneus and Philetus, who have gone astray from the Truth, claiming that the resurrection has already taken place…" (vs 16-18).

In other words, Christ was the only One Who was raised from the dead bodily. 'All the rest of us will go to heaven, our immortal souls will go there.'
How did that happen? Because this was part of the Greek religion!

"…and are destroying the faith of some…" (v 18).

  • everyone who is a minister

including those like Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, any minister anywhere

  • whether a Protestant
  • whether a Catholic

of course, the Catholics are just pure pagan

  • whether you're a minister in the Church of God

There have been those in the Church of God who have been ministers who have been:

  • preaching heresies
  • preaching themselves
  • preaching part of the Truth

That's why I started out: the Truth, the Truth, the Truth!

Verse 19: "Nevertheless, the foundation of God stands firm, having this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Let everyone who calls upon the name of Christ … [each and every person, man and woman] …depart from unrighteousness.'"

In other words, quit sinning and obey the Truth. That's what we are to do. The Bible teaches the resurrection.

Let's see what Paul said when he was questioned about this. Here he was being questioned about what he believed. They were making accusations against him.

Acts 24:13: "Neither can they prove the things of which they now accuse me. But I confess to you that according to the way, which they call heresy… [the risen Christ, Who is the Firstborn from the dead] …so I serve the God of my fathers, believing all things that are written in the Law and the Prophets" (vs 13-14).

Every Protestant minister who teaches Christ better look at this verse,' believing all things that are written there.'

Verse 15: "Having hope in God, which they themselves also acknowledge, that there will be a resurrection of the dead—both the just and the unjust."

The Bible shows that very clearly. There is the first resurrection, which takes place when Christ returns. If your soul goes to heaven, which it doesn't, but if it did, how can that be a resurrection? A resurrection is a resurrecting of the body and changing it from flesh to spirit. The Bible shows there will be a second resurrection in two parts:

  • those who were never called
  • those who committed the unpardonable sin

1-Cor. 15 is the resurrection chapter. Paul is defending himself, because we will see, there were those there in Corinth saying there is no resurrection from the dead. If you say that when your soul goes to heaven, that's a resurrection, that's not true! Jesus was resurrected from the dead and we will take a look at that a little later.

1-Corinthians 15:11: "Now then, whetherI or they, so we preach, and so you have believed. But if Christ is being preached, that He rose from the dead, how is it that some among you are saying that there is no resurrection of the dead?" (vs 11-12)—or any version thereof that is not according to Scripture.

Verse 13: "For if there is no resurrection from the dead, neither has Christ been raised." That's a fundamental Truth and they've never found the body. Don't you think they looked and looked? No body!

Verse 14: "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain. And we are also found to be false witnesses of God…" (vs 14-15). How can you witness for God and preach a lie? Think on that one.

"…because we have testified of God that He raised Christ, Whom He did not raise, if indeed the dead are not raised" (v 15).

What was one of the proofs of the resurrection of the dead? Jesus raised three people from the dead! The most dramatic one was the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11). Jesus said, 'I am the Way, and the resurrection.'

Mary answered back, 'I know he'll be raised at the last day, Lord.' But Jesus meant then. That was a powerful witness because there were a lot of Jews there mourning the death of Lazarus. Jesus deliberately did not come, so He could resurrect him from the dead.

That shows you what the resurrection is going to be. How it is going to be from the dead to spirit beings, that's still a mystery of God that we don't completely understand.

Verse 16: "For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised. But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have then perished" (vs 16-18). They have no hope.

  • death is likened to falling asleep
  • perished means you no longer exist

Verse 19: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most miserable. But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep" (vs 19-20).

The Protestants know nothing of what this verse means, other than He was raised first. They know nothing about the Wave Sheaf Offering. They know nothing about the harvest of the grain, beginning on that day of the Wave Sheaf Offering, and ending on Pentecost with the Feast of Firstfruits. They know nothing of that.

Verse 21: "For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (vs 21-22)—whether to the first resurrection or the second resurrection for an opportunity for salvation, or a casting into the Lake of Fire.

Verse 23: "But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruit…" Notice this because this becomes fair amount important for those who say that if your soul goes to heaven, that's like a resurrection.

When does it go to heaven? 'It goes to heaven just as soon as you die.' That's why they say they're looking down on us now during this funeral service, and their dead body is right there in the coffin. They're watching what goes on. I even heard one say, 'Uncle Joseph enjoyed golf and I imagine that he is playing golf with Jesus right now.' Fairy tales!

Verse 23: "…then those who are Christ's at His coming." How many have been raised from the dead to become spirit beings, from the time of Christ until the time He returns? Zero, none, nada, zip, no one! Why? Because Jesus hasn't returned! Isn't that a simple answer?

Just because you receive the Spirit of God doesn't mean that Jesus has returned in bodily form. Besides, don't the Scriptures say, 'Every eye shall see Him.' No one has seen that, yet. 'At His coming.'

Verse 24: "Afterwards the end comes… [other Scriptures show a thousand year period] …when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to Him Who is God and Father, when He shall have put an end to all rule and all authority and power… [except God's] …For it is ordained that He reign until He has put all enemies under His feet" (vs 24-25).

When will that happen? After all of the wicked are cast into the Lake of Fire! Then we have the new heavens and the new Earth.

All of these have to do with the fulfillment of the Holy Days. So, this is why the Protestants cannot understand, though they have part of the Truth here, and part of the Truth there, and some over here, because it's automatic. If you do not obey, you're blinded. If we do obey and God opens our eyes so that we can see, we will understand.

Verse 26: "The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when it is said that all things have been put in subjection, it is clearly evident that it does not include Him… [God the Father] …Who put all things in subjection under Him" (vs 26-27).

You take a verse like this and you can go through many Scriptures in the Bible showing when all of that is going to happen.

Verse 28: "But when He has put all things in subjection to Him, then shall the Son Himself also be subject to Him Who put all things in subjection to Him, so that God may be all in all."

Read John 17, the prayer of Jesus Christ, 'that they all may be perfected; that they all may be one, as You Father are in Me and I in You, and We in them and them in Us.'

Verse 29: "Otherwise, what shall they do who have been baptized for the resurrection of the dead…" That's why you were baptized, for the resurrection of the dead.

Not that you were baptized as the Mormons believe: you can be baptized as a surrogate baptism for all of your relatives and all of your genealogy going down in past history for as long as you can find your relatives in the genealogical chain. Never did find out what would happen if you missed some, or never knew about them.

"…if the dead are not raised at all? Why then are they baptized for the resurrection of the dead? Why are we also in danger every hour? I die daily by our boasting, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord" (vs 29-31).

  • put to dead the sin within
  • overcome the thoughts
  • overcome the law of sin and death
  • fight against Satan the devil
  • expel the wrong thoughts
  • bring every thought into captivity to Christ

That's what he is saying here. If we're dead to God, we're dead to God to live unto Christ. So, we die daily to get rid of the old self.

Verse 32: "If I fought as a man with beasts in Ephesus, what did it profit me, if the dead are not raised? Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."

  • Who does Satan want to deceive? Us!
  • How can he do that? A little at a time!
  • What little thing can set a person off?

We know from the Feast of Unleavened Bread that 'a little leaven leavens the whole lump.' Isn't that how the Christianity of this world was subverted? Yes, indeed! It started right at the time of the apostles. The first thing to get rid of is the resurrection. Isn't that what they were trying to do? Isn't that what we read at the first? Yes, indeed!

Can you look at a Scripture here or there which if you misinterpret it you could say it looks like you go to heaven when you die? But a Scripture or two misinterpreted cannot undo the overwhelming evidence of the resurrection, as we find here preached by the Apostle Paul, written so that we may know. It was written so that we understand.

1-Cor. 15 is the definitive chapter on the resurrection from the dead, brought about by the Apostle Paul's writing and in a very particular and doctrinal way. This answers the majority of questions concerning the resurrection:

  • What is it?
  • How does it take place?

Also it tells us when the Christians will be raised at Christ's coming. If Christ hasn't returned, which He hasn't, then no one has been raised from the dead, yet. We will see some other qualifiers before the resurrection can take place.

Verse 35: "Nevertheless, someone will say, 'How are the dead raised? And with what body do they come?'" We know it's by the power of God, that's how they're raised. With what body do they come? Paul answers that question:

Verse 36: "Fool!.… [how's that for nice courtesy, smooth words] …What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that shall be; rather, it is bare grain—it may be of wheat, or one of the other grains; and God gives it a body according to His will, and to each of the seeds its own body" (vs 36-38).

Think about the greatness of God's creation with that. Think about that the Bible is also containing many of the seeds of God, which are necessary for us to produce fruit unto life.

When we read Matt. 13 we find it's likened to grain. When we understand about Pentecost, it is grain, the firstfruits from the wheat and barley harvest. It also tells us that each one produces differently than the other: some 30, some 60, some 100-fold.

So, even though someone like David Jeremiah can read these Scriptures, if you come to a different conclusion, and that conclusion is not the Truth, then everything you have read up to that point, though it is truth, does not make the conclusion true. The conclusion must agree with the Word of God. We will look at what that conclusion will be here as we go along.

Verse 39: "Likewise, not all flesh is the same flesh. Rather, there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another of fish, and another of birds. And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly is different, and the glory of the earthly is different. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory" (vs 39-41). Perfect analogy for what he's going to say next.

Verse 42: "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption… [unto dust you shall return. 'Dust you are and unto dust you shall return'] …it is raised in incorruption."

God doesn't tell us how He's going to do it. That's His secret; that's His mystery. But we can take it on faith, because His Word is true.

Verse 43: "It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (vs 43-44).

David Jeremiah dwelt on that and said we'll have a spirit body just like Jesus. Then he went back to Luke 24 and showed them what Christ looked like. He ate food and told them to feel Him, and so forth, touch Him to see that it was He. They had to know that it was Christ.

However, even though saying we'll be like Him because we'll see what He is like, He didn't show Rev. 1, showing Christ in His glorified form. Neither did he show that the saints will shine as the sun, as Jesus said.

  • you need all of the Scriptures
  • you need all of the Truth
  • you must rightly divide it or put it together

Verse 44: "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body…." The natural body is the one that we have. The spiritual body is the one that we will receive, be totally different. We'll be able to appear as a human appears. We will be able to shine as the sun shines. That will be the glory that will be given to the saints in the first resurrection.

Verse 45: "Accordingly, it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an ever-living Spirit.'" Yet, He can appear as a human being and He can eat food. That's what He did. That's what we will do.

Do we not have the marriage supper of the Lamb? We're going to eat. What's it going to be like to eat spirit food? I wonder what spirit-wine tastes like. We will be spirit beings, dressed and clothed with our garments made from spirit. That's going to be something.

Verse 48: "As is the one made of dust, so also are all those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly One, so also are all those who are heavenly." Interesting, not a soul, but a spirit being.

Verse 49: "And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly One. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God…" (vs 49-50).

Another little heresy, and this one is Catholic. Matthew talks about the Kingdom of Heaven and that is heaven. The rest of them talk about the Kingdom of God and that is what the pope rules over. The Kingdom of God is on earth in the Roman Catholic Church and the hierarchical rule that they have. Again another error!

Here's a guarantee, v 49: "And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly One." That is Christ. We'll see what He looks like.

Verse 50: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed" (vs 50-51).

They were expecting, when he wrote this in 57A.D or 54A,D, that the Kingdom of God was coming while they would still be alive. It is still true, but it has not yet happened. Here's another thing that has not yet happened, so no one has been resurrected, the false resurrection of when you go to heaven. No, because:

  • Christ hasn't returned
  • the last trumpet hasn't sounded

Verse 52: "In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet… [7th trump of Rev. 11] …for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." Not just a soul going to heaven.

Verse 53: "For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility…" How can you put on incorruptibility if your soul is already immortal? That's incorruptible, isn't it? What does the Bible say about the soul? 'The soul that sins it shall die' (Ezek. 18).

All animals in the ocean are called souls. It says in Rev. 16 that when all the ocean is turned to blood, all the souls die. The soul is a physical energizing of the body, but that is under the control of the spirit, because without the spirit the body is dead.

"…and this mortal must put on immortality" (v 53). If you have an immortal soul, how are you going to put on immortality?

Verse 54: "Now, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.' O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" (vs 54-55).

Stop and think about the power of God that He is able to do this. Amazing! 1-Thes. 4 talks about this, too. This was the very first epistle that Paul wrote in 52A.D. that also shows that they were expecting Christ to return in their lifetime. It gives the parameters and the limitations about when it will happen according to an event. In this case, two events:

  • return of Christ
  • last trump being sounded

He tells us this in 1-Thes. 4:14, a very interesting verse, because this is one that looks like that when people die they go to heaven, but they don't. You need to understand this first.

1-Thesalonians 4:14: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in exactly the same way also, those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him."

Someone could say, 'See, they're returning with Jesus, because they've been in heaven all this time.' No! You have to have all the rest of the Scriptures, rightly dividing the Word of God.

  • there will be a Sea of Glass
  • the resurrection will take place
  • those who died will be raised first
  • then we who are alive will be changed
  • and we come to the Sea of Glass

It is true, we all come with Him when the whole body of the resurrected saints and Christ returns to the Earth. But this verse does not prove that the souls in heaven return with Jesus. This is a statement written as a preview of what is going to follow. The Bible does a lot of that. You have to pay attention to it as you're studying the Bible.

Verse 15: "For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord… [qualifier: till the coming of the Lord] …shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep, because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God…" (vs 15-16)—the last trumpet (1-Cor. 15) and the 7th trumpet (Rev. 11) all come together in one

"…and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds…" (vs 16-17)—because the Sea of Glass comes down into the clouds. Every eye shall see Him!

"…for the meeting with the Lord in the air… [Rev. 15 on the Sea of Glass] …and so shall we always be with the Lord" (v 17). That is, wherever He is. We follow Him on our white horses back to the earth on the Day of Trumpets when Christ returns.

Verse 18: "Therefore, encourage one another with these words."

Let's see something very interesting concerning the resurrection. The whole focal point of why we are here and where we are going, and what we are doing is focused in on that final thing of the resurrection.

Paul writes the longest sentences in the world. An English teacher would fail you for run-on sentences. In Greek it makes all sense, but sometimes it gets confusing when you follow in the English.

Philippians 3:8: "But then truly, I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…"

  • to have the Word of God is more than anything else in this world
  • to understand it is greater than all the riches in the world

"…for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things…" ( v 8). Don't worry what happens in this physical life. What does it count? God says even all the nations of the earth are like a drop in the bucket.

If we give up something, or lose something, because of serving and loving God and keeping His commandments, and being faithful, so what? It doesn't make any difference.

Here's the reason, v 8: "…and count them as dung… ['skubalon'] …that I may gain Christ and may be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is derived from law, but that righteousness, which is by the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God that is based on faith" (vs 8-9).

True righteousness, not the exterior things that you do. That's fine, but the interior things of:

  • what you think
  • what your mind is
  • what your heart is
  • what your attitude is
  • how much you love God

that's the righteousness of God that we need.

Verse 10: "That I may know Him… [know Him as He is] …and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; if by any means…" (vs 10-11).

  • how important is the resurrection?
  • the truth of the resurrection?
  • the understanding of the resurrection?
  • the hope of the resurrection?

Verse 11: "If by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead; not as though I have already received, or have already been perfected; but I am striving…" (vs 11-12).

That's what we need to do—strive. Every day will not be pleasant. Some days will be downright disasters. Other days will be glorious, but strive. That's what he says.

"…so that I may also lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not count myself as having attained; but this one thing I do…" (vs 12-13). This is what we have to do, brethren:

  • look to the resurrection
  • look to the future
  • look to the Word of God

The things that happen to us, even though they're difficult, put them behind you. Don't let yesterday destroy and today's destruction destroy tomorrow.

  • put it away
  • walk away from it
  • ask God to help you forgive it

"…forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth to the things that are ahead, I press… [I strive] …toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. So then, let as many as be perfect be of this mind.…" (vs 13-15).

That's the perfection of the mind which will lead to the ultimate perfection that comes at the resurrection.

"…And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, in regard to that which we have attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, be imitators together of me, and bear in mind those who walk in this way, as you have us for an example" (vs 15-17).

Then he says there are those who have left and gone, because their god is their belly, whose end is destruction.

Verse 20: "But for us, the commonwealth of God exists in the heavens… [which He's going to bring here] …from where also we are waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our vile bodies, that they may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the inner working of His own power, whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself" (vs 20-21).

Don't worry about the resurrection. God alone can take care of him. Worry about growing and overcoming, but instead of worrying have faith and go forward in it.

We know in 1-John 3 it says that, 'Beloved, we will see Him as He is, because we will be like Him.' We are going to have a glorious body. It's going to shine like the sun.

We will see what Christ looks like in His glorified form as described by John in Revelation.

Revelation 1:10: "I was in the Spirit on the Day of the Lord… [some people translate that as Sunday] …and I heard a loud voice like a trumpet behind me, saying, 'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, and what you see, write in a book, and send it to the churches that are in Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea'" (vs 10-11).

He wants it written. This is the written Word of God. That way we don't have to guess. The things we know and understand, we are to do. The things we do understand, we can be thankful for. The things we don't know, maybe God will reveal it to us or maybe He won't reveal it to us. It's all up to Him.

Verse 12: "And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me; and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands… [the Churches; this is a circle] …and in the midst… [only way you can be in the middle] …of the seven lampstands One like the Son of man… [listen to how He is clothed:] …clothed in a garment reaching to the feet, and girded about the chest with a golden breastplate. And His head and hair were like white wool, white as snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire" (vs 12-14). So clear and so sparkling and so powerful and penetrating.

Verse 15: "And His feet were like fine brass, as if they glowed in a furnace… [red hot brass] …and His voice was like the sound of many waters." I wonder what that's going to sound like. That's an awesome voice.

Verse 16: "And in His right hand He had seven stars, and a sharp two-edged sword went out of His mouth… [the Word of God] …and His countenance… [His whole visage] …was as the sun shining in its full power…. [notice John's reaction]: …And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead; but He laid His right hand upon me, saying to me, 'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last'" (vs 16-17).

The glorious power of the resurrection is in the hands of God the Father and Jesus Christ, as well as the timing.

But because we live in days when there are many false prophets arise, and they will try and sound as close to the Scriptures as they can, yet, have their own way, we need to understand the Truth and look to the Word of God.

What we need is: the Truth, the Truth, the Truth, nothing but the Truth!

Scriptural References:

  • Luke 21:31-36
  • Luke 17:20-21, 24-29, 31-37
  • Revelation 12:9-17
  • Revelation 6:9-11
  • 2-Timothy 2:11-19
  • Acts 24:13-15
  • 1-Corinthians 15:11-32, 35-55
  • 1-Thessalonians 4:14-18
  • Philippians 3:8-17, 20-21
  • Revelation 1:10-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1-Thessalonians 5
  • Matthew 24
  • Revelation 12:8; 9; 20
  • Genesis 2; 3
  • John 11; 17
  • Matthew 13
  • Luke 24
  • Revelation 11
  • Ezekiel 18
  • Revelation 16
  • 1-John 3

Also referenced: Sermon Series: The Rapture Hoax

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 7-9-17
Formatted: 7-12-17

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