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RESURRECTION--All Not Sleeping.
QUESTION (1909)--1--(2 Cor. 15:51,52), "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." Some think this includes the world.
ANSWER--It does not; it has nothing to do with the world at all. It is merely speaking about the resurrection of the Church. In the 22nd verse the Apostle speaks of all having lost life through Adam and getting it back through Christ, and then he proceeds to discuss the resurrection of the Church, and this is the part specially interesting to us. The world are to be dealt with in due time.
RESURRECTION--Meaning of Dry Bones.
QUESTION (1910)--2--Does the vision of dry bones of Ezekiel 37 refer to the resurrection of the dead, or what?
ANSWER--We answer that, to our understanding, this vision of dry bones does not refer to the resurrection of the dead in the ordinary sense of the word, but that it does refer to the resurrection of the dead Jewish nation, who say, mark you, "Our hopes are dried." Their hopes are all dead, and this awakening, this coming together of bone to bone, represents the gradual way in which the Jewish hopes will come together and gradually reanimate them as a people.
RESURRECTION--Order of Re Great Company and Ancient Worthies.
QUESTION (1910)--3--Will you give us some proof that the Great Company will be awakened before the Ancient Worthies?
ANSWER--Well, what would be considered proof would depend upon the mind. Now my thought is this: that the Great Company is identified with the Church in the work of this present Gospel Age, and is pictured in so many ways as associated with the Church--as, for instance, the priests connected with the Levites in the work of this Atonement Day and the sacrificing, etc. Then, secondly, as pictured by the Bride, representing the Little Flock, and the others her companions, which follow her and seem to be included with the Church. Then I remind you again of the picture of Rebekah. I was noticing the other day that when Abraham sent to call Rebekah to be the bride of Isaac, he did not call for any bridesmaids to come along, but some did come along with her. That would represent, you see, the Great Company class who come along and are the servants of the Bride class. Now it would seem to me proper to consider that when Isaac received the bride he also received the bridesmaids; that they went in with the bride, accompanying her, and associated with her. And so, with Christ and the Little Flock and the Great Company--I would understand that they would probably all go in together. Besides, remember there is a certain portion of the merit of Christ that is imputed to each one who offers himself as a sacrifice. We saw that last night, you remember, in considering the matter of baptism; that when you present your offering, our Lord Jesus, as our Advocate, our High Priest, appears and accepts the offering as his own, and imputes to the offering some of his own merit to make it sufficient for divine acceptance, and then counts it all. So then the Great Company class, you see, make their consecration, and receive [Q585] this imputation of Christ's merit, just the same as the Little flock--all of them receive this before they are begotten of the holy Spirit. Now my thought is, that all of this will be finished in the fullest sense of the word,--all of this imputation of the merit of Christ's sacrifice to all of the household of faith during this Gospel Age will be at an end, and all the merit of Christ will be back again in the full sense of the word in the hands of justice, before any one of the world will receive any of the blessings of the New Covenant arrangement, and that the Ancient Worthies will belong to the earthly class that get these restitution blessings, but they will not get their share of the restitution blessings until both the Little Flock and the Great Company are entirely through with the imputation of Jesus's merit for their covering. You see the one who stands as an advocate for every member of the Little Flock, stands as advocate also for every member of the Great Company. He undertook to be the guarantor for every one of us when we came to the Father. He made our sacrifices acceptable, every one, and every one needs him as our advocate down to the very close. As the Apostle says, "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father." So the Great Company class will need to have an interest in Jesus as their advocate down to the time when they shall have passed beyond the vail. To my understanding, he will have to cease to be the Advocate of the Church entirely before he becomes the Mediator between God and the world.
RESURRECTION--Re Thread of Existence Broken During Change.
QUESTION (1910)--1--When we pass our trials successfully and experience our change to the divine nature, will the thread of existence be broken, or will it be the same as the natural birth?
ANSWER--That is too much for me. I do not see anything in a natural birth that is at all pictorial of the change of the Church. The only picture in connection with the matter I think of is this: That in the case of a natural birth, there is first a begetting, then a development and finally a birth of a new creature; and so with a spiritual: First, a begetting, then a development and quickening, and finally the birth of the New Creature. I do not see anything respecting the method by which a child is born to in any sense give any suggestion as to the change of the saints. The Scriptures give none that I know of. I see no parallelism at all. Our change will be in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and that is not according to any natural birth I have any knowledge of.
RESURRECTION--Some Types of the
QUESTION (1910-Z)--2--Since the Lord arranged very many types during the Jewish Age respecting the Gospel Age and the future, what would you consider the most important type of the resurrection?
ANSWER--If we consider this question as relating especially to our Lord we see a number of types that very forcefully illustrate his resurrection. The one our Lord mentioned should be classed as amongst the most important, for two reasons: First, because he mentioned it and thus gave it prominence, and second, because it and it alone of all the [Q586] types gives the exact length of time of his entombment. Our Lord's words were, "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so shall the Son of man be three days and nights in the heart of the earth," thus indicating that his resurrection would be on the third day and that he would be brought forth from the grave as Jonah was brought forth from the belly of the fish, which he styled "the belly of hell," the grave, sheol, the hades condition.
It would appear, too from the Apostle's words, that we should give prominence to the picture of our Lord's resurrection as shown by Abraham's receiving Isaac as from the dead, when he had already consecrated him to death and was about to slay him, the Lord staying his hand and giving him instead another sacrifice.
We are justified also in supposing that the "wavesheaf" offering was a very prominent illustration or type of the resurrection of our Lord, particularly because it occurred just at the time which marked the day of his resurrection, the morrow after the Sabbath, the fiftieth day before Pentecost. This was apparently given to illustrate the raising up of our Lord Jesus as "the first-fruits unto God," "the first-fruits of them that slept," "the first that should rise from the dead." It, therefore, is a very beautiful picture. See Lev. 23:10,11,15,16.
If we think of the types of the world's resurrection we see a variety. As has been suggested, the crossing of Jordan might be considered a type of the passing out of death condition into Canaan beyond. The Jubilee, the restoration of every man to his former estate, is certainly a wonderful picture of the "times of restitution of all things," of the lifting of humanity up out of sin, degradation and death, out of their lost condition, and bringing them back to the former estate, full perfection of the human nature.
We would be fully justified, we think, in considering as types the miracles of our Lord in awakening some of the sleepers--Lazarus, Jairus' daughter and the son of the widow of Nain. These were given to us as foreshadowing, and therefore in a sense as typifying or illustrating the resurrection.
Another picture of the resurrection, not only the awakening, but also the raising up of mankind, is shown in the end of the Day of Atonement. When Moses had received the blessing for the people as a result of the second sprinkling of the blood, he came forth, and, lifting up his hands, blessed the people. The people were waiting in dust and sackcloth and sorrow because of sin, and now the blessing of Moses and Aaron, the Lord's blessing through them, signified the removal of that curse and the uplifting of the people--their raising up from sorrow to rejoicing in the Lord.
RESURRECTION--"Thy Dead Men--My Dead Body."
QUESTION (1910-Z)--l--What is meant by "Thy dead men shall live; together with my dead body shall they arise."--Isa. 26:19.
ANSWER--Seemingly the addition of a few words by the translators has caused difficulty in connection with this text. They inserted the words to make the passage clear, as they thought, but instead they obscured it, through failure to [Q587] see that God's dead men are those who are members of the Body of Christ.
Omitting the words together with and "men," the passage reads properly enough. "Thy dead shall live; my dead Body, they shall arise," thus referring, we believe, to the resurrection of the Church, the Body of Christ, the Lord's peculiar people. And this is a general signal, as it were, for the blessing of all mankind. In due time all the dead shall be awakened. Moreover, they awaken not to suffering and to torment, but to sing. They shall come forth to learn of the goodness of God, his merciful provisions, and shall avail themselves of these provisions, in the "Times of Restitution of all things." "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust" of the earth.
QUESTION (1910-Z)--l--Will the Ancient Worthies or Great Company class be resurrected first?
ANSWER--In the light of what we have been discussing of late in the Watch Tower, it is evident that the merit of Christ is imputed, on behalf of the Church during this Gospel Age--on behalf of all who essay to be of the Church; it is used to impute to those who desire to become sacrificers and who consecrate themselves to God that they may present an acceptable sacrifice and thus become members of the spiritual class and joint-heirs with Christ. This applies to the "great company" as well as to the "little flock." It applies to all who are begotten of the holy Spirit because they could not be begotten of the Spirit except by the imputation of Christ's merit to their earthly sacrifice.
It follows, then, as a matter of necessity that before the merit of Christ's death could be applied on behalf of the Ancient Worthies or Israel, under the New Covenant arrangement for Israel and the world, it must be released as respects all those to whom it is now imputed for the purpose of giving them the opportunity of attaining the spiritual station. This would prove conclusively, we think, that the "great company" class will be resurrected before the Ancient Worthies will be brought forth.
RESURRECTION--Does Character Determine the Kind of Resurrection?
QUESTION (1910-Z)--2--From the Scriptural standpoint, does the character of the individual's death indicate the kind of his resurrection?
ANSWER--The Apostle's argument (1 Cor. 15) respecting the resurrection is that God will give to every seed its own kind of body. "There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body." Mankind in general, therefore, in the resurrection, will come forth with natural bodies--"that which is born of the flesh is flesh" and that which is born of the flesh dies or "sleeps" for a time, and will be awakened "flesh." That which is born of the flesh and subsequently begotten of the holy Spirit is reckoned as a New Creature, and when the New Creature falls asleep it is asleep as a spirit being--is asleep waiting for the resurrection change. In this case the resurrection change is thus expressed by the Apostle: "Sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown an animal body, raised a spirit body"; but anyone not begotten of the holy Spirit will, of course, not [Q588] change his nature in the grave. There is no change in the grave either for good or evil. "As the tree falleth so shall it lie"; the awakening will be according to the character of the individual. If he has become a New Creature in Christ he will be raised or perfected as a New Creature, in the resurrection. If he is a good natural man he will be awakened a good natural man; if he is a bad natural man he will be awakened a bad natural man; if he is one of the Ancient Worthies, we understand he will be awakened a perfect man.
RESURRECTION--Trying to Trap Jesus.
QUESTION (1910-Z)--1--Whose wife shall she be?
ANSWER--The Sadducees, the agnostics, tried to entrap the Great Teacher by asking one of their stock questions. Seven different brothers in turn married the same woman and all died before she did. To which of them will she be wife in the resurrection? They did not ask, To which will she be wife in heaven or purgatory or eternal torture, for neither Jesus nor the Jews held any such teaching. The Pharisees and Jesus taught the resurrection of the dead, and it was against this teaching that the Sadducees aimed their sarcastic question.
Note the majesty of the Master's answer: "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, neither the power of God!" You do not understand the Scripture teaching respecting such questions, and you are ignoring in your question the great Divine power which, at that resurrection time, will be exercised and will straighten out all the difficulties of the situation. Then the Great Teacher proceeded to inform them that such as would (gradually) attain to the resurrection, such as would get a complete raising up out of sin and death conditions, would "neither marry nor be given in marriage," but would be sexless, as are the angels. Thus the supposed great and unanswerable question of the Sadducees fell flat and their ignorance was exposed.
RESURRECTION--Is Our Reckoned a Gradual One?
QUESTION (1911)--2--Is our reckoned resurrection from consecration until death a gradual or an instantaneous one?
ANSWER--It is both. The apostle says, "Ye are risen with him," "If then ye be risen with him," etc. We are counted as new creatures the moment of our consecration and the new creature arises from the old dead creature, so that the resurrection or raising up of that new creature begins; and it progresses in proportion as the new creature grows. There are different figures used. One would be a gradual raising up --an attainment of the stature--and the other would be represented by the begetting of the spirit, the embryonic condition, getting ready for the birth. These are figures of speech, and we must try and not confuse the different figures, but get the benefit of each one. So we are risen with him. That is instantaneous. The new creature began the moment of your consecration and begetting of the Holy Spirit. There it began to rise out of the old nature and it will continue as you get more and more victory over the old nature; the old nature is dying, and the new nature is being renewed, revived, strengthened, or upbuilt, whatever word you use--it is rising up more and more, obtaining more and more character-likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus you are risen with him, and risen in him, and rising as a member of his body. And if you reach a sufficient [Q589] development in this resurrection process, you will be one of the little flock.
RESURRECTION--Re Perfect Body Coming Forth.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Do the Scriptures teach that in the resurrection, a lost eye, or the hearing will be restored at the awakening?
ANSWER--There is nothing in the Scriptures to indicate on this particular point, but we think it reasonable to suppose that those who come forth from the tomb during the reign of Messiah would not come forth maimed in any particular sense; as, for instance, lacking an eye, or lacking a hand; but they would come forth with their hands, though their hands might not be in the same condition they were originally; as, for instance, when our Lord healed the man who had the withered hand. If there was a wart on that hand before it was withered, it might be there afterwards; it was merely recovered to its normal condition. So, I understand it is not the teaching of the Scriptures that man will come forth in the resurrection perfect, because then all traces of their imperfection would be gone; none would be able to recognize them either by their faces or by their minds. Every trace, and every line upon your face, and upon my face, and upon your hands and upon my hands, indicate certain qualities of mind, and if you make all of these qualities of hand and face perfect, you would of necessity also be making the mind perfect, and by the time you did that no man would know himself, because all are imperfect now, and we know ourselves and each other by our imperfections. My thought, then, would be that when the world is awakened, they will come forth with practically perfect bodies but not actually perfect bodies--with bodies such, for instance, as yours and mine would be in their normal condition, in average health and under average conditions; not in the condition they would be if they had met with an accident and lost their limbs, and then come back without those limbs, but rather that they would come back with a reasonable degree of human perfection. But this also is conjectured, because the Scriptures do not enter into the matter and give us the particulars.
RESURRECTION--Re Jews and Gentiles.
QUESTION (1911)--2--Do the Scriptures teach that in the world's resurrection, the Jews will come forth first, before the Gentiles?
ANSWER--They do teach that some Jews will come forth first. Those Jews will be Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets. We do not understand that any other Jews would have any preference or precedence, but that the whole work of resurrection would probably be a gradual one, beginning with the last even to the first; but here again it is largely a matter of conjecture. Where the Scriptures do not clearly state the matter, we do well to hold it very tentatively.
RESURRECTION--How Long After Gentile Times?
QUESTION (1911)--3--How long after the end of the time of the Gentiles will it be before the first of the dead are awakened from the tomb.?
ANSWER--I don't know. I might do a little guessing. Guessing would not be very satisfactory, but our guess would be that after the times of the Gentiles come to a conclusion there will be a great time of trouble as the Scriptures [Q590] clearly point out--trouble as never was since there was a nation. Then, following that trouble would come the reign of righteousness, blessings, increase of knowledge, God's favor among men, and the living nations would all be more or less brought to a knowledge of the Lord. How long that would require I do not know. I should think that taking in all of the hundreds of millions of the heathen, there would be a good deal of work to do for fifty or a hundred years, at least. As soon as the living nations are all brought to a degree of development and uplifting, I would expect then to come a time when the earth would yield her increase, would be able to sustain the larger population, and that awakening of every man in his own order would proceed until all mankind would be recovered from the tomb.
RESURRECTION--Vs. Second Chance.
QUESTION (1911)--l--Are the dead to be raised to judgment, or are they to be given another chance?
ANSWER--As we showed last evening, the whole race got one chance in Adam, and when Adam sinned he was condemned, and all the race, who were in his loins, shared his condemnation and death. And God provides through Jesus one redemption for all--for Adam and his children. To what end? That they may all have a second chance; every one of them. They had one chance in Adam and lost it through Adam's disobedience, and God provides another chance for every man to obtain eternal life through his Son Jesus. Some of us are having our chance now. To those who have received the message of God, those who have heard the voice, Jesus says, "Blessed are your ears for they hear, blessed are your eyes for they see." The intimation is that many of those that surrounded him did not have a hearing ear, and did not have the seeing eye, but those who did see and those who did hear were blessed. God has promised that you and I have an opportunity now, because we hear, and if we respond we are on trial, and the word trial has the thought in it of judgment; you are on judgment, or on trial, the two words having the same thought.
There will be a decision rendered at the end of this age. Some of those who have the pounds and the talents Jesus describes, saying that at his second coming he will reckon with his own servants--not with the world, but with his own servants to whom be gave the pounds and talents, and he will inquire of them how they used the pounds and the talents, and the one who will come forward and say that he had a pound or a talent and had not used it but had buried it in the earth--in business or in some other way--will be counted an unfaithful servant, and will not get the blessings that will come at that time, and the other servants, whoever they may be, who have received the pounds and talents of opportunity and privileges in connection with the high calling of this age, if they have used these faithfully will be granted a blessing as the Lord there represents. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. All the church are to be rulers over the world of mankind. When? When mankind will be on trial, when mankind's judgment day will have come. Has the world a different judgment day from the church? Oh, yes, entirely different. This is now the judgment day of the church; it has lasted ever since the day of Pentecost, and will end when [Q591] the last member of the church, the elect shall be completed. Then the world's judgment day will begin and the world's judgment day is to last for a thousand years. All through the thousand years of Messiah's reign the world will be on trial, judgment, to see whether or not they shall be worthy of everlasting life as human beings, or whether they shall not be worthy. This judgment day of the world is spoken of you remember by the apostle. He says, "God hath appointed a day (future) in the which he will (future) judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained. Who is that man? The same great man he also speaks of--the Messiah, Jesus the head and the church his body.
RESURRECTION--Is First Spiritual
QUESTION (1911)--1--Is not the first resurrection spiritual? Gal. 3:1, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above." Eph. 2:8, "And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins." Eph. 5:4, "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Rom. 6:4, "But like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, we also should walk in newness of life."
ANSWER--We described last night how the world of mankind would have a resurrection by judgment, and that the resurrection for the world would be a gradual one all through the thousand years--not merely the moment in which they are awakened and come from the tomb--that would only be the start. They will come forth unto a resurrection, in order that they may have a resurrection, is the thought. Now, as the world will be rising gradually out of sin and death conditions for a thousand years, and gradually attain to full human perfection, and attain that in the end as a result, so to some extent God gives the same picture in respect to the church. That is to say, from the time of your full consecration to the Lord, from the time of your begetting of the Holy Spirit, you are represented as a new creature, as rising from the old dead nature, as becoming alive unto God as a new creature, and the new creature is said to grow, first a babe, afterwards a young man, and then a fully developed man. And this thought of character development is otherwise represented as part of our resurrection--"Ye are risen with Christ, walk in him." And so these various texts quoted all apply to this part of the resurrection which we are now to experience in the present life. And let me suggest that unless a man has this part of the resurrection, in the sense of rising up out of his weaknesses, and attaining more and more to a character development, he will not be fit for the glorious instantaneous resurrection, which God has for the church at the end of this age at the second coming of our Lord.
RESURRECTION--Belief of Dead.
QUESTION (1911)--2--Please explain John 11:25, "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."
ANSWER--All mankind, through Jesus, will be made alive. No one will come up to full perfection of life without faith and obedience. But this provision has been made broad enough in our heavenly Father's plan that every member of Adam's race may return to everlasting life by faith and [Q592] obedience. Now then, when they have once come back to perfection of life, if they continue to be obedient they will never die. For instance, the world all through the thousand years will, by belief and obedience, be returning to full perfection, full harmony with the Lord, and if by the end of the thousand years they are in full obedience in heart and mind there is no reason why they should ever die. God wills that all the obedient have life eternal through Christ.
RESURRECTION--Knowing Each Other.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Shall we know each other at the day of resurrection? In what form will we appear?
ANSWER--The apostle, speaking of the church, said, "Now we know in part, then we shall know as we are known." He was speaking of the church only, which will be perfected on the spiritual plane, and of course all spirit beings will see each other. We do not see the Lord now, and we do not see the angels now, because we are on the human plane, and they are on the spirit plane; but the apostle says that all of those who will constitute the church will experience a change in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at or during the last trumpet--symbolic trumpet. When that change shall come, we shall be like him. Our Lord is a spirit being; he is not a man. Those who think of Jesus as being a man in heaven, entirely out of harmony with all the surroundings of heaven, have a very wrong conception of the matter. Jesus was quickened in the spirit, says the apostle, "Now the Lord is that spirit." "Him hath God highly exalted, far above angels, principalities, and powers, and every name that is named." As a man he was not higher than the angels, but a little lower, because man is a being on a lower plane than an angel; at his resurrection he was raised to a higher plane. So we, in the resurrection, shall see him as he is, and know as we are known-- thoroughly. As for the world, they will know each other because they will come back practically in the condition in which they will go down. Let me ask, "How would anyone know another when they come back?" We answer, that to our understanding the Bible teaches the resurrection will take place in the reverse order to that in which men died. That is to say, the first to be awakened from the tomb will not be Adam and his children, but those who have died most recently, so that the resurrection work will proceed backward, and possibly Adam, and those of his day, will be the very last to be awakened; and each generation, as it will be awakened, will be acquainted with all the others all the way back, and the identity will be fully established when they get back to Adam. Seth will know Adam; Adam will know Seth.
RESURRECTION--Benefits to All.
QUESTION (1911)--2--Are the resurrection class to be resurrected as Abraham's seed, or shall blessings come to the then mortal nations?
ANSWER--Both. The blessing is for those redeemed. How many did Jesus redeem? "Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man." It does not leave out any, not one. "As by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead." "As all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive." But, "Every man his own order." This blessing is to come through Messiah. [Q593] Now take another Scripture which differentiates, and shows the church separate from the world. We read of Christ that he is the propitiation--that is, satisfaction--for our sins --for the church's sins--and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. He is the Redeemer of both the church and the world. God grants one blessing to those who now have the hearing ear and respond to this high invitation, and who walk in the narrow way, but to the world of mankind who will be brought to know then, he has another blessing, if they have good and honest hearts and make use of the opportunity.
RESURRECTION--Is it Universal.
QUESTION (1911)--1--If the resurrection is to be universal, what do the Scriptures mean when they say, "He that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead?"
ANSWER--I would understand it means that those who wandered out of the way of understanding had the understanding first. How could he wander out of the way of understanding if he had been a heathen man? Can you tell me how a heathen can wander out of the way of understanding? The one that can wander out of understanding is the one that has been in the way of understanding, and they are comparatively few. Only the church at the present time has the right understanding. This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God. That is the real understanding. How few people there are today who know the living and true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent! There are very few in Winnipeg, and very few in my own city of Brooklyn, and in London, and the heathen have no knowledge of him at all. The only ones who have any understanding are those like you and myself, who have made a consecration to the Lord, and whose eyes of understanding have been opened, and who have started to walk in the narrow way, to walk in his footsteps. Now, God says, "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." What will happen to him? The second death. That is exactly what is meant here. He that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. His will be the second death from which there will be no recovery of any kind. God does not want people that wilfully reject him; he does not want them to have any everlasting life on any plane, either spiritual or human.
RESURRECTION--Power Now at Work.
QUESTION (1912-Z)--2--Does the resurrection power now work in the lives of the saints?
ANSWER--The resurrection power is now working in the lives of the saints. In Rom. 8:11 the Apostle says, "If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit indwelling." This does not refer to future resurrections. It refers to the energizing of your mortal body. The Apostle argues that we were alive unto sin once, but that when we made our full surrender to the Lord we became dead to sin that when we were begotten of the Holy Spirit we became New Creatures, in this earthen vessel; and that the body is reckoned dead to sin and the New Creature alive to God. Now, the Apostle says, the Spirit of God is able to so quicken [Q594] our mortal body that instead of being a servant of sin as, it once was, it will be a servant of righteousness.
There is a great difference between the immortal body which we shall have by and by, and the quickening of the mortal body. The new body will not be a flesh body at all. "It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; 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 spirit body." (1 Cor. 15:42-44.) This animal body is to be quickened by the Spirit of God that dwells in us; and by degrees this resurrection process in which the New Creature is engaged becomes stronger and stronger. If this continues, our resurrection progresses; and the time will come, at the end of our course, when the Lord will count us worthy of the glorious change, to be like Him and share His glory on the high, spirit plane.
RESURRECTION--The Great Teacher Exposed Sadducees' Ignorance.
QUESTION (1912-Z)--1--"Whose wife shall she be in the resurrection," who had several husbands?
ANSWER--The Sadducees, the agnostics who did not believe in the resurrection, tried to entrap the great Teacher by asking one of their stock questions. Seven different brothers in turn married the same woman and all died before she did. "To which of them shall she be wife in the resurrection?" They did not ask, "To which of these will she be wife in heaven or purgatory or eternal torture?" for neither Jesus nor the Jews held any such teachings. The Pharisees and Jesus taught the resurrection of the dead; and it was against this teaching that the Sadducees aimed their sarcastic question.
Note the majesty of the Master's answer: "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, neither the power of God!" (Matt. 22:23-33.) You do not understand the Scripture teaching respecting such suggestions, and you ignore in your question the great Divine power which, at the resurrection time, will be exercised to straighten out all the difficulties of the situation. Then the great Teacher proceeds to inform them that such as would (gradually) attain to the resurrection--such as would get a complete raising up out of sin and death, would "neither marry nor be given in marriage," but would be sexless, as are the angels. Thus the supposedly unanswerable question of the Sadducees fell flat, and their ignorance was exposed.
RESURRECTION--An Interpolated Text.
QUESTION (1912-Z)--2--Kindly explain Rev. 20:5: "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished."
ANSWER--Scholars are agreed that this text is an interpolation. We must remember, however, that it is one thing to be legally, or officially dead, and another thing to be actually dead. But as Jesus said to some, He recognized as alive only those who accepted Him. Those who had not the Son had not life in any sense or degree; those who have the Son, have the beginning of life reckoned to them. The world, however, during the thousand years will have the opportunity, not only of being awakened, but of having fulness of life. If, therefore, after they are awakened, they will go on and render obedience to the laws of the Kingdom, they will be lifted up, up, up out of death to perfection and life.