Part 4 All Saints will(are) Literally Coming Back BEFORE the Millennium to FULLY Restore Order
Are you ready? The Bible tells us in dozens of places that all the old Saints of True Christian Israel (not the one tribe called Jews, but 13 Christian tribes of true Israel!) are going to ressurrect and come back before the Hebrew millennium. If you’re not ready they’re (or we are) going to kick your butt to get you ready for the coming of Christ who will rule on the earth from David’s throne for 1,000 years. He’s coming back for a church that is without spot or wrinkle and will step down when His enemies are made His footstool (and as in TCAWW’s study, all the Majesty/Elders/Marshals are feeding those that trust in YAHWEH).
I would like to send you the notes from Peters in his “The Theocratic Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ”.
These writings about the ressurection may later become part 2 on “His Ekklesia Will Be Stronger Than It Has Ever Been on christsassembly.com “
(You can download the full text of “Theocratic Kingdom” if you have e-sword (all freely downloadable). The best part is you can click on each verse if you have e-sword and it opens up the full reference Bible texts. Ignore most of these references to any Jews. None of the Bible text says “Jews”, I don’t know how he mixes that part up with the saints. However, it’s the part on the ressurection I want to share. There are several parts all below. )
Rev Stephen MK
Minister, The Christ’s Assembly
Grand Marshal, Priory of Salem
Grand Marshal, Priory of Salem
Prop. 128. The language of the Gospels and Epistles is in strict accord with the requirements of a Pre-Millennial resurrection.
A DOCTRINE TO BE CONSISTENT MUST PRESERVE ITS UNITY IN ALL THE INSPIRED WRITINGS. HAVING SEEN HOW THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE CONCLUSION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT COINCIDE, IT WILL BE IMPORTANT TO NOTICE HOW THE GOSPELS AND EPISTLES CORROBORATE THE JEWISH VIEWS OF THE RESURRECTION BASED ON COVENANT PROMISES.
Obs. 1. The resurrection of 1Co_15:52 declares that “at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound (1Th_4:16), and the dead (i.e. those deceased) shall be raised incorruptible,” etc. Now, the fair inference (for the Jews, as commentaries inform us, used this very language) is, that this denotes a resurrection identified with the bodies of dead saints. This is almost the universal opinion among critics. This same resurrection of the dead is mentioned in Apocalypse 11:18, also under a last trumpet, and immediately in connection with “the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.” Our opponents generally concede both of these to be literal, and the exact correspondence that they sustain to Jewish expectations has been noticed by able writers (and that these, with this language added, was perpetuated generally in the early Church). But attention is called to the fact that just as the Jews believed, when “the Kingdom (sovereignty) of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ” (so mss., S. and A. Tischendorf’s N.T., and comp. Titman, Hahn, etc.) at that very time a resurrection takes place. When the sovereignty of the world is seized, when a Kingdom commences which is never to end, when events occur which commentators connect only with the Second Advent, then at that very period, “at the last trump” (“for the trumpet shall sound,” Rev_11:15), the pious dead are raised to receive their reward. Surely this is amply sufficient to identify a Pre-Millennial resurrection, seeing that 1Co_15:52; Rev_11:18; Rev_20:3-6, are all under the same last Pre-Millennial trumpet. If one is literal, all then are literal, because taking place at the same time and for the same purpose.
According to Dr. Oswald (The Kingdom, ch. 9) it was a comparison of these three passages that influenced Rev. Dr. Schmucker to advocate a Pre-Millennial resurrection of the saints. The same is reported of Charlotte Elizabeth, and others.
Obs. 2. Attention is directed to 1Co_15:22-24. “For, as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every wan in His own order; Christ first, afterward they that are Christ’s, at His Coming. Then cometh the end,” etc. We are not concerned in adopting any particular rendering (as e.g. making “order” to mean “band,” and “the end” equivalent to “the last band,” etc.), for whatever version is adopted, two things are self-evident in the passage enforcing the general analogy on the subject. After the universality of death is announced, then follows the positive declaration that the recovery from death-being made alive-is not a simultaneous occurrence, “but every man in his own order.” We leave an opponent give the meaning of this phrase. Barnes (Com. loci) says: “but every man-every one, including Christ as well as others. In his own order-in his proper order, rank, place, time. The word tagma usually relates to military order or array; to the arrangement of a cohort or band of troops, to their being properly marshaled with the officers at the head, and every man in his proper place in the ranks. Here it means that there was a proper order to be observed in the resurrection of the dead.” This declaration of an eclectic resurrection is confirmatory of the Jewish view, and could not possibly have been thus used, if the design were not to corroborate its truthfulness. The dead are to be marshaled in separate, distinctive divisions, according to their character or works. Next follows a statement of such a division: “Christ the first-fruits,” the first in time, the beginning, the first in order, “who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence” (and with him ought, perhaps, to be associated the “many” that arose at His resurrection); then, “afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming,” which evidently describes another division portrayed e.g. in I Thessalonians 4 and I Corinthians 15, exclusively of the righteous; “then cometh the end.” Now, here we have (1) separate bands of resurrected ones asserted, and (2) these bands or orders separated by an extent of time (nearly two thousand years). This is all that our line of argument requires in order to support our position.
The student observes that we do not discuss the word translated “the end,” and the sequence indicated by “afterward” and “then.” (Comp. Gordon, Sirr, and others on the “First Resurrection,” as well as Brooks, Seiss, Ryle, and others, in their advocacy of a Pre-Millennial resurrection.) The commentaries of Alford, Meyer, Olshausen, Fausset, Lange, etc., may be consulted on these points. Although a strong argument favorable to our position can be adduced, it really is not needed, seeing that the two points clearly designated and conceded by our opponents are all-sufficient. We only refer to Hodge’s admission respecting tagma (the student keeping in view how to telos was used to denote the rear legion, troop, or band, and how, therefore, the whole must be rendered, if the idea of different bands or companies is to be retained), when he says: “The word tagma is properly a concrete term, meaning a band, as of soldiers. If this be insisted upon here, then Paul considers the hosts of those that rise as divided into different cohorts or companies: first Christ, then His people, then the rest of mankind. First, the resurrection of Christ, then that of His people, then that of the wicked.” But, warped by his judgment and resurrection theories, he forsakes the plain meaning. Especially do we commend attention to Prof, Stuart, who, although a bitter opponent of Millenarianism, concedes that our view of the different bands, making the wicked the last one, is the only “satisfactory exegesis.”
SOME WRITERS (AS DR. BERG, CHRIS. INTELLIGENCER, FEB. 27TH, 1868, COMP. C.S.B., PROPH. TIMES, VOL. 7, P. 87-8) LAY GREAT STRESS ON THE PHRASE “IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE,” SAYING THAT “IN CHRIST” IS A TECHNICAL TERM DENOTING “THE STATE OF A BELIEVER,” AND HENCE REFERS THE RESURRECTION EXCLUSIVELY TO THE MEMBERS OF HIS BODY, THE RIGHTEOUS, AND THAT NO REFERENCE TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE WICKED IS TO BE FOUND IN THE PASSAGE. ADMIT THE FULL FORCE OF IT, AND THAT THE RESURRECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS, OF THOSE IN CHRIST, IS ALONE SPECIFIED, THEN THE ORDER IS STILL PRESERVED OF AN ECLECTIC RESURRECTION, (1) IN PERTAINING EXCLUSIVELY TO THE SAINTS, AND (2) THAT AT CHRIST’S SECOND ADVENT WE HAVE THE FIRST-FRUITS OF SAINTS (144,000) RESURRECTED BEFORE THE HARVEST IN THE FIRST STAGE OF THE ADVENT AND THE MARTYRS (AS WE EXPLAINED UNDER THE PREVIOUS PROPOSITION) ARE RAISED UP JUST PREVIOUS TO THE OPEN PAROUSIA. IF SUCH AN INTERPRETATION IS ADOPTED-AND THERE IS FORCE IN IT-THEN SIMPLY THE ORDER OR COMPANIES OF THE SAINTS ARE DESIGNATED. THE READER MUST DETERMINE FOR HIMSELF WHICH VIEW TO ADOPT; EITHER ONE OR THE OTHER SUSTAINS OUR POSITION FULLY. THE EARLY CHURCH. (E.G. TERTULLIAN ADV. MARCIONEM) ADDUCED I CORINTHIANS 15 AS FAVORING A PRE MILLENNIAL RESURRECTION, AND THE APPLICATION IS A JUST ONE. AS A MATTER OF INTEREST TO THE READER, WE APPEND THE AUTHORIZED ENGLISH TRANSLATION, DUBLIN, OF THE LATIN VULGATE: “BUT EVERY ONE IN HIS OWN ORDER: THE FIRST-FRUITS CHRIST, THEN THEY THAT ARE OF CHRIST, WHO HAVE BELIEVED IN HIS COMING. AFTERWARD THE END, WHEN,” ETC. WE ONLY ADD THAT DR. BERG AND OTHERS MAKE “THE END” TO REFER TO “THE END OF THE WORLD,” INCLUDING THE “RESURRECTION OF THE WICKED, THE CLOSING OF THE DISPENSATIONS OF GRACE, THE BURNING OF THE WORLD,” ETC., BUT WE ASSERT (1) THAT THE ORDERING MUST BE INTERPRETED OF THE SUBJECT-MATTER DISCUSSED, AND (2) THE END MUST BE DETERMINED FROM THE SPECIFIC TEACHING OF SCRIPTURE ON ITS MEANING. HENCE DR. KLING (LANGE’S COM. 1 COR. LOCI) SAYS: “THOSE WHO ARE RAISED AT SUCCESSIVE PERIODS OF TIME ARE CONCEIVED OF AS COMING FORTH IN TROOPS OR BANDS, IN SOME ONE OF WHICH EVERY ONE WILL BE FOUND.” “THE END IN THIS CONNECTION MEANS THE TERMINATION OF THE PROCESS OF THE RESURRECTION, AND STANDS CORRELATIVELY TO ‘THE FIRST-FRUITS;’ IT MARKS THE PERIOD OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE REST OF MANKIND, WHO DO NOT BELONG TO CHRIST,” ETC. (SEE THE COMMENT.) THE AMER. ED. (DR. POOR) SAYS: “IF WE ADOPT THE MEANING OF BAND OR COHORT FOR TAGMA, THEN THE IMPLICATION IS THAT THOSE IN CHRIST WILL COME FORTH BY THEMSELVES AND THE WICKED BY THEMSELVES-THOSE OF A KIND KEEPING TOGETHER. AND THIS WILL BE THE NATURAL ORDER SINCE ‘THOSE WHO SLEEP IN JESUS, GOD WILL BRING WITH HIM.’” EVEN SUCH A WRITER AS MACKNIGHT (ON THE EPISTLES) GIVES THE FOLLOWING TRANSLATION AND PARAPHRASE: “BUT EVERY ONE IN HIS PROPER BAND: THE FIRST-FRUITS CHRIST; AFTERWARD THEY WHO ARE CHRIST’S AT HIS COMING. THEN THE END SHALL BE,” ETC. “NOT, HOWEVER, TOGETHER; BUT EVERY ONE IN HIS PROPER BAND; THE FIRST-FRUIT CHRIST IS RAISED ALREADY; AFTERWARD THEY WHO ARE CHRIST’S SHALL BE RAISED IMMEDIATELY AT HIS COMING; CONSEQUENTLY BEFORE THE OTHER DEAD ARE RAISED,” ETC, (THIS CONCESSION REFUTES MUCH OF HIS SPIRITUALIZING).
Obs. 3. In 1Th_4:13-17, we have distinctive marks that “the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Our opponents, to avoid the force of this expression, inform us that it is used relatively to those that are translated, meaning that the dead arise before the living are translated. Allowing such an interpretation, yet the eclectic nature of the resurrection and its time is clearly manifested (1) by its exclusive reference to the righteous, and (2) by its precedence of the translation. The resurrection of the wicked is not mentioned, and the reason must be found in other Scriptures. The simple fact that we have extended passages devoted only to the resurrection of the righteous is in perfect agreement with our doctrine and utterly opposed to the theory of a simultaneous resurrection of all the dead. The association of this resurrection of the righteous with the personal Second Advent of Jesus is an additional reason sustaining our view.
We are not prepared to concede that the application of “first” by our opponents is conclusive, since a large number of able critics and writers interpret it according to the analogy of a first resurrection from among the dead. It appears strange that Paul, knowing the Jewish idea of an eclectic resurrection, should employ such a phrase unless he endorsed it. Barnes (Com. loci) says: “A doctrine similar to this was held by the Jews. ‘Resch Lachish said, Those who die in the Land of Israel shall rise first in the days of the Messiah.’” We have shown, however, in other places, that the Jews held to a pre-eminent, distinguishing resurrection pertaining to their nation.
Obs. 4. Luk_20:34-36 (see its connection with covenant promise, Props. 49 and 137) is remarkable for its distinctness: “The children of this world (or age) marry, and are given in marriage; but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world (or age) and the resurrection from the dead (or the resurrection that out of dead ones-see the emphasis in the original) neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” Here we have the following particulars specified: (1) Some shall gain the future age by a resurrection from among the dead; (2) it is implied that others not worthy shall not gain it by such a resurrection; (3) this resurrection of the saints is distinctively referred to as the pre-eminent resurrection, and one out of dead ones; (4) such, as indicative of its eclectic nature, are designated as “the children of the resurrection;” (5) and being thus born from the dead, through God’s power, they “are the children of God.”
The reader is again reminded how this passage was employed (Prop. 49) in elucidating the Memorial, being the legitimate outgrowth of the covenant, which necessitates, in order to its realization, a Pre-Millennial resurrection of the Patriarchs. Hence Paul (e.g. Act_26:6-7) links “the hope” derived from covenant promises with “the resurrection of the dead.” The personal identity of the Fathers is preserved through the resurrection thus promised. Hence we find writers, who have no Chiliastic bias, affirm precisely the position assumed by us respecting the meaning of the passage. Thus e.g. Thompson (Theol. of Christ, p. 186) takes the ground that the Sadducees denied a literal resurrection; Jesus in His reply holds fast to the Jewish view of such a resurrection, and confirms the Jews in their faith, and adds: “He went on to assert the resurrection as set forth by Moses, in the fact that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would ever have a recognized identity in the Kingdom of God.” Horne (Introd., vol. 1, p. 423) says that the phrase “I am the God of Abraham,” etc., proves “the resurrection of the dead inferentially or by legitimate consequence.” But why is this inferential proof a legitimate consequence? The answer-the only Scriptural answer-is, that the Patriarchs may realize the promises made to them personally respecting the land, etc. On the passage itself compare the comments of Alford, Lange, Bengel, Olshausen, etc. The Mormons, as a resultant of their system of sealed marriages, flatly contradict the Savior’s declaration respecting the non-marriage of the resurrected and glorified saints, for they positively affirm that after the resurrection “men both marry and are given in marriage.” (See the proof adduced in Art. “Mormons,” M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclop.)
Obs. 5. Php_3:11, “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead,” certainly does not give the force of the original, and it places Paul in the attitude of striving for something which is inevitable. But taking the emendation demanded by the preposition ek, and given by numerous critics and commentators (and admitted by some of our opponents, as Prof. Stuart), we have a reading which vindicates Paul’s effort to obtain a prize, viz., a distinguishing eclectic resurrection. For many read it: “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection from among (or out of) the dead (or dead ones.”) The force of this rendering is sustained by the resurrection of Jesus which was (e.g. 1Pe_1:3) one from among the dead, and by the usage of the preposition.
Sirr on the First resurrection, in Let. 5, gives a lengthy vindication of its usage, presenting various examples, showing conclusively that it is, single or in composition, intensive and expressive of an extraordinary, eclectic resurrection. The editor of The Proph. Times, vol. 3, p. 142, etc., presents the same, and declares respecting the force of ek: “Greek writers, lexicons, critics, and the Greek Testament everywhere and continually assign to it the office of expressing out of, from, from among, and invariably use it before a genitive signifying a whole from which a part is taken” (adducing as examples Act_3:23; 1Co_5:13; Act_19:33; Heb_5:1, etc.). Brown (Ch. Second Com., p. 195), as against us, rejects “from among the dead” (substituting “from the dead”), and endeavors to escape the idea of time or priority by referring the resurrection to “its nature, its accompaniments, and its issues,” which make it “a resurrection peculiar to believers,” but adds: “Although, therefore, we cannot affirm that the translation ‘from amongst the dead’ is critically inadmissible, no more can it be shown that it is critically admissible.” We leave the student to judge for himself, heartily endorsing his declaration, that its meaning is dependent on the doctrine of the resurrection as taught in the Scriptures, i.e. these passages must follow the general analogy on the subject. Brookes (Maranatha, p. 464) renders it: “If by any means I might attain unto the out resurrection” (or, as we might say, the elect resurrection) “the one, or that one, from among the dead.” Many versions are given which affirm an eclectic resurrection. The Latin Vulgate, in the authorized Dublin Translation, reads; “If by any means I may attain to the resurrection, which is from the dead.” Fausset (Com. loci) comments: “The oldest mss. read ‘the resurrection from (out of) the dead,’ viz., the first resurrection; that of believers at Christ’s Coming (1Co_15:23; 1Th_4:15; Rev_20:5-6). The Greek word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. ‘The power of Christ’s resurrection’ (Rom_1:4) insures the believer’s attainment of the ‘resurrection from the (rest of the) dead’ (cf. Php_3:20-21). Cf. ‘Accounted worthy to obtain the resurrection from the dead’ (Luk_20:35). ‘The resurrection of the just’” (Luk_14:14). Similar statements are made by various expositors. Surely the simple fact that in the original this resurrection is made emphatic and eclectic by the variations attached, ought to arrest the attention of the reader. To convey to the English reader, unacquainted with Greek, this variation, we append the phrases with a literal rendering as given by critics. We have the simple phrase anastasis nekrōn or resurrection of dead ones (Act_17:32; Rom_1:4; 1Co_15:12; 1Co_15:21; Heb_6:2), and he anastasis tin nekrōn or the resurrection of the dead ones (Mat_22:31; 1Co_15:42). Then we have a more particular resurrection as follows: anastasis ek tōn nekrōn or resurrection out of or from among dead ones (1Pe_1:3), and he anastasis he ek nekrōn or the resurrection that out of dead ones, or the resurrection, that one out of or from among dead ones (Luk_20:35 -see Obs. 4- Act_4:2), he exanastasis tōn nekrōn, or the resurrection out of or from among dead ones, or the out-from-among resurrection of dead ones, or the rising again out of dead ones. Luk_20:35 especially is very emphatic, having he anastasis he, viz., the resurrection, that one,” thus implying necessarily some other resurrection distinctive from this one. Every student must see the propriety-keeping in view the covenanted, Prop. 49, Jewish resurrection, of which Paul, Act_26:6-7, to which the tribes hope to come-of Bh. Pearce’s assertion that Paul expected this very resurrection, and hence uses the same word here translated attain to.
Obs. 6. This discrimination of resurrection is delicately referred to, and implied in passages. Thus 1Co_6:14, “And God hath both raised up (ēgeire) the Lord, and will also raise up us (exegerei, out-raise or preeminently raise you).” The change of the verb by the addition of a word, significant of something peculiar and distinguishing, is worthy of notice (comp. Rom_9:27, Greek). So take Mar_9:9-10, and we have it asserted that the Son of Man should rise (ek nekrōn) out of or from among dead ones (as in fact transpired), and then the disciples (who had no difficulty with the already received-e.g. Joh_11:24 -doctrine of a resurrection of the dead) questioned, one with another, what this rising from among or out of dead ones should mean relating to Jesus. As His resurrection being an eclectic one is designated a resurrection ek nekrōn, so do we find that of his believers designated.
“Quickening” and “quickening of the dead” was used by the Rabbis (so Bush, etc.) to denote a corporeal resurrection, and “consolation” (Syriac, e.g. Joh_11:24-25, “I know that he shall rise again in the consolation at the last day. Jesus said to her, I am the consolation and the life”), “day of consolation” (so Talmud and Targum on Hos_6:2), as well as other terms which we have noticed under the Old Testament teaching, were also thus employed. Now thus used in the New Testament without a change of meaning, such as the Jews attached to them as to the time and relation, we can scarcely avoid the conclusion that they are thus to be understood as connected with a coming of the Messiah and a resurrection pertaining to Abraham’s children. “The gates of hell,” Mat_16:18, is connected with the continued perpetuity of the Church. It is customary to interpret it as relating to evil spirits, and we allow one of these to explain its meaning. Nast (Com. loci, comp. “Petros,” p. 34, footnote by Dr. Seiss), after making “hell” equivalent to “the abode of the dead,” and “gate” to stand for “power,” adds: “Thus the gates of hell mean strictly the dominion of death, and by implication the infernal powers held in the abode of death and darkness.” Whatever propriety there may be in his “implication” (which are always unnecessary and dangerous when the plain meaning will suffice), the history of the Church shows, and especially will manifest it under the last culminated Antichrist, that it shall terribly suffer by persecution, and here we have the assurance that death shall not triumph (comp. Lange, loci) over the Church and its multitude of slain saints, but they shall be raised up, and see her glory as she perpetuates herself in the age to come. Many writers find the first resurrection even in Mat_24:31 (others the Jewish nation, etc.), as e.g. Lange (Com., p. 429) on the phrase “And they shall gather together his elect,” says, “Here the resurrection of the elect (the first resurrection primarily) is declared.” Php_2:11 has “things under the earth,” which Barnes (Com. loci) explains as “beings under the earth,” “those that have departed this life,” and yet this very worship and honoring of Jesus-thus associated with the idea of a resurrection-is one identified with a Millennial prophecy (Isa_45:23), and is to be witnessed before the Millennium is ushered in (Rev_11:17; Rev_15:3-4; Rev_5:9-14). The resurrection is indirectly linked with the Kingdom, as in Luk_14:15. After Jesus had showed the Pharisee how to make a feast so that he might “be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (its separate mention showing a distinctive resurrection), one of those who sat at meat with Him, evidently associating (as the Jews were accustomed to do) the resurrection just mentioned, with the Kingdom, said: “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the Kingdom of God.” Jesus in His reply virtually endorses this association of ideas, for instead of intimating a misapprehension, He says all are invited to such blessedness, but that many reject it.
Obs. 7. Our argument is abundantly sustained by other Scriptures, which, to avoid repetition, we can but briefly refer to, as Act_3:19-21, for not only “the times of restitution” (described in Millennial predictions) necessitate an included resurrection (so understood by the Jews), but “the times of refreshing” are “the times of reanimation” (see the proof given in detail under Prop. 144, and the reader will notice that “the times of reanimation” confirm the order of the resurrection as advocated by us). Then Mat_19:28, “the regeneration” (see the details given under Prop. 145), with the Jewish views of the resurrection being a birth (which was adopted by the early Christians, and used even by Eusebius as expressive of a resurrection), corroborates the doctrine of an eclectic resurrection, both as to character and time. The views given in a previous Proposition respecting the resurrection being a birth, and allied to a birth preceding the Millennium, is strengthened by its usage in the New Testament, where believers are designated “the children of God being the children of the resurrection;” where “the adoption” is connected with “the redemption of the body;” when the begetting of Jesus (Act_13:33) is tendered as proof of the resurrection of Jesus, and He is represented as “the first-born” from the dead, etc.
In addition to what was said concerning the birth denoting a resurrection in Prop. 126, many writers take the view that Jesus in His conversation with Nicodemus by the expression “born of the Spirit” denotes the resurrection of the body, or at least includes it (the Spirit being the agency by which the resurrection is produced, as Christ’s, and “the born of water” being expressive of baptism and the spiritual moral work attached to it). Thus e.g. Dr. Brookes in the Truth, vol. 3, No. 6, who refers to one verse as being thus rendered by the Latin Vulgate, Augustine, Ambrose, and others: “The Spirit breatheth where He willeth; and thou hearest His voice, but thou knowest not whence He cometh, and whither He goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Brookes adds: “That it is consistent with the context will not be disputed, and that it is grammatically and logically correct will be admitted when it is remembered that the word rendered ‘wind’ in King James’ Version is translated Spirit in the same verse, and that out of three hundred and seventy-four times it is found in the New Testament, it is invariably rendered Spirit or Ghost, except in Joh_3:8, where it is translated wind, and Rev_13:15, where it is translated life.” A multitude of able writers, following the Biblical analogy and the Jewish faith (see e.g. Michaelis Com. Heb_1:5, Knapp’s Ch. Theol, p. 528) designate the resurrection “a birth;” and hymns (as e.g. the one commencing “The whole creation groaneth” in “Hymns and Songs of Praise,” by Hitchcock, Eddy, and Schaff, and Watts, “My flesh shall feel a sacred birth,” etc.) speak of it as a “second birth” or “sacred birth,” etc.
Obs. 8. The resurrection of the saints being a distinctive one, belonging exclusively to them and no others, this feature of separation as to character and time is always preserved. Thus (1) where a resurrection of the just and of the unjust is mentioned together, that of the just has precedence; (2) expressions such as “the Son quickeneth whom He will,” “they that hear shall live,” etc., imply that not all shall be made alive; (3) the promise of raising up His own at the last day specifically given to believers, implies that unbelievers shall not be raised at the same time; (4) the resurrection of the righteous described alone, without any reference whatever to the wicked (as Joh_6:39-40; Joh_6:44; Joh_6:54; I Corinthians 15, and I Thessalonians 4), implies a separate and distinctive one; (5) the titles given to the resurrection of the righteous imply the same, as “the better resurrection,” “the resurrection of the just,” “the resurrection unto life.”
The careful student, of course, will consider all such declarations in the light of the age when uttered That is, he will place himself in the position of the hearers addressed. Thus e.g. the Jews spoke of a resurrection both of the just and the unjust, but when particularizing the order of resurrection they discriminated both as to character and time. Again, a resurrection of righteous ones was always associated with the Messiah’s reign, and hence the promises of the Messiah of a special resurrection to believers in Him, was in the line of the Jewish views, derived from Messianic prophecy, on the subject. Again, “the last day” in Jewish theology was not the modern Romish idea of “the last day,” but was the last day of the dispensation, to be followed by another and glorious one under the Messiah, in which the promises were to be realized. Hence to raise one up at “the last day” was by them understood as equivalent to a Pre-Millennial resurrection, i.e. a resurrection to be followed by Messiahs reign on David’s throne. (Comp, e.g. Props. 138, 139 and 140.)
Attention simply is called to the various readings first presented by Jerome (Horne’s Introd., vol. 1, p. 211) of 1Co_15:51. If the reading of two of the most authoritative mss., viz., that of the Sinaitic and Alexandrine (comp. Tichendorf’s N.T.) is to be received, we have an additional argument in our favor. These mss. read: “We shall all sleep, but we shall not all be changed;” whilst the later reading of the Alexandrian is, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall not all be changed.” The critical student will be reminded that just as it is in the translation, some will be taken and others left, so also is it with the preceding resurrection, some will be taken and others will remain.
Obs. 9. Our opponents, as Dr. Brown (Ch. Second Coming), Barnes (Com. Apoc.), and others adduce the following proof texts to substantiate their view of a universal and simultaneous resurrection of all the dead, both just and unjust, viz., Dan_12:2; Joh_5:28-29; Rev_20:11-15; 1Co_15:20-23; Joh_6:39-40; Joh_17:9; Joh_17:24; 2Ti_4:1. The reader may compare these with our references to the same, and then observe that no interpretation and application of these passages can possibly be valid, which introduces an antagonism-most direct-between Scripture statements. Indeed, he will find more, viz., that several of the texts assigned as proof (e.g. Dan_12:2; 1Co_15:20-23; Rev_20:11-15) fully sustain our position, being sufficiently decisive of an eclectic resurrection The others are equally so, for observe that Joh_5:28 describes two resurrections, one “the resurrection of life,” and the other “the resurrection of damnation,” while the order must be decided by passages descriptive of the same. The word “hour,” upon which our opposers lay so much uncritical stress, simply means, as able critics inform us “a time,” so that a time is coming when all shall be raised, but as other Scriptures tell us, “every man in his own order” (even Augustine, Epis. *, 2; Ambrose, Epis. 199:17, and many others make “hour” simply equivalent to “time,” and thus used e.g. 1Jn_2:18; Mat_9:22; Joh_4:23; Mar_13:11; Luk_10:21, etc.). The remaining passages need no explanation, following, as they do, the general analogy.
The reader is reminded that many of our opponents do not make a simultaneous resurrection in their comments on I Thessalonians 4 and I Corinthians 15, and that they agree with us that events are contained in the same sentence (e.g. 1Co_15:22-23) which are separated by a long interval of time; and that general expressions indicative of totality (e.g. respecting all men dying and yet some are translated) are sometimes modified by more; particular mention of order or details. But sufficient has been said to enable the reader to form a just estimate of the two interpretations. Prof. Sanborn, in his Essay on Millenarianism, makes the utterly unauthorized statement that “the Church has believed in all ages that there would be a simultaneous resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust.” This can only deceive the ignorant, for every intelligent reader of Church history knows that the Jewish belief on the subject was carefully inculcated and held by the early Church (as shown in detail in our Propositions on the history of Chiliasm), and the opposite view arose and prevailed through the Alexandrian and Popish influences.
Obs. 10. In a subject so varied as that of the resurrection it becomes us to heed the caution given in the investigation of any doctrine, viz., to collate the passages referring to it, and explain the more concise by those which give the order, time, and manner of occurrence. In such a comparison it is impossible to find a specific account of the resurrection of the wicked taking place at the same time with that of the righteous. Their standing together, under the general affirmation of a resurrection of both, would be an argument against us if it were not that in other places the Spirit, when circumstantially describing the resurrection, separates them by an interval of time. It is wisdom to accept of the Spirit’s explanations. The intelligent reader will appreciate this rule of careful comparison before deciding.
If some one should object to indistinctness in any of our references, it may be observed that none of them are so obscure as the proof given Act_13:33-34. But if viewed in the light of the resurrection, necessitated by the Covenant, etc., this proof is clearly deducible, flowing naturally and legitimately out of a well-defined Divine Purpose. It is to be regretted that the Babylonian captivity and return has blinded the eyes of so many expositors, so that they cannot survey scarcely any of the predictions without bringing the same in as a kind of general explanatory support, suited to evaporate most precious promises that cannot be satisfactorily incorporated into a spiritual Millennial theory.
OBS. 11. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO COMPREHEND THE ORDER OF EVENTS BEARING ON THIS SUBJECT AS PRESENTED BY OUR OPPONENTS, OWING TO THE CONTRADICTIONS INVOLVED. TO ILLUSTRATE: TAKE THAT LARGE CLASS OF COMMENTATORS AND OTHERS WHO CORRECTLY UNITE THE RESURRECTION WITH THE PERSONAL ADVENT, AND CONSISTENTLY DECLARE THAT BEFORE THE MILLENNIAL AGO IS INTRODUCED ANTICHRIST WILL BE DESTROYED. NOW TURN TO II THESSALONIANS 2, AND (AS BARNES, ETC.) THEY ADVOCATE THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MAN OF SIN BY THE PERSONAL COMING OF CHRIST, AND, ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN ADMISSIONS, THIS, IN THE VERY NATURE OF THEIR CONCESSIONS, MUST BE A PRE-MILLENNIAL ADVENT; AND, OF COURSE, WITH THEIR IDENTIFYING THE LITERAL RESURRECTION WITH PRECISELY SUCH A COMING, THERE SHOULD BE NO DIFFICULTY IN RECEIVING A PRE-MILLENNIAL RESURRECTION. SIMPLE CONSISTENCY DEMANDS IT. AGAIN, HERE AND THERE IN VARIOUS AUTHORS, WE FIND UNEXPLAINED CONTRADICTIONS THAT, AT LEAST, SHOW THAT ORDER IN THESE EVENTS IS SADLY NEGLECTED. TAKE AN EXCELLENT AND HIGHLY ESTEEMED WRITER FOR AN EXAMPLE: VAN OOSTERZEE (THEOL. OF N.T., S. 42), SPEAKING OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS TRUTHFULLY SAYS: “THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION,” AND IN A FOOTNOTE APPENDS 1CO_15:23; 1TH_4:16; LUK_14:14; REV_20:25, DECLARING THAT THIS WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE END OF THE AGE. HE THUS ADOPTS THE MILLENARIAN VIEW, AND IF THIS WERE ALL IT WOULD BE EMINENTLY SATISFACTORY, BUT THE ADMISSION IS MARRED BY AFTERWARD PLACING AT THE SAME TIME, AS THE TEACHING OF PAUL, “THE GENERAL RESURRECTION OF THE JUST AND THE UNJUST.” WHETHER THE AUTHOR DESIGNED IT OR NOT, IT FLATLY CONTRADICTS HIS PREVIOUS STATEMENT. PASSING TO A LOWER GRADE OF WRITERS, IT WOULD ONLY BE A THANKLESS OFFICE AND A CARICATURE OF THE WORD OF GOD TO POINT OUT THE STRANGE UTTERANCES BASED ON “THE SECOND DEATH,” ETC.
In justice, however, to Oosterzee, he advocates (Ch. Dog., vol. 2, p. 786): “More than one resurrection; first a partial one, and then an absolutely universal one. Of the former not only does the Apocalypse seem to speak, Rev_20:4-6, but also the Lord, Luk_14:14, and Paul, 1Th_4:16, as also 1Co_15:23 as compared with 1Co_15:26, ” etc., and, referring to the connection of the latter, he tells us of a “poetic-prophetic grouping of that which in reality will be seen realized, not side by side, but in succession.” Compare Reinhard’s Dogmatics, s. 189, Semisch’s Art. Chiliasm in Herzog’s Encyclop., and authorities already presented.
Obs. 12. The notion advanced by Priest (View of Millennial, p. 254), placing the last trump after the thousand years, and the “remaining” of 2Th_4:16 to mean a remaining until the thousand years are ended, scarcely deserves refutation. It is alluded to here because some parties are trying to revive it, and because of its connection with the doctrine of the resurrection This view arises from a neglect to compare Scripture with Scripture, seeing that there are only seven trumpets (marking epochs of time), and the last is expressly asserted (Revelation 11) to be in immediate connection with the resurrection, rewarding of the righteous, and the Millennial Kingdom. Besides, as all critics write, “the remaining” refers simply to the precedence of the resurrection, and the very ones that “remain” are also changed and associated with those favored with the resurrection.
One writer (Butler, Lects. Apoc), contrary to the uniform teaching of Millenarians, suggests that the resurrection is separated from the Second Advent by a long interval of time, perhaps that of the Millennial age itself. But this is opposed by the general teaching of the Scriptures, which links (when declaring the manner of procedure or order) the resurrection with the personal Advent, as we repeatedly show. This Advent and associated resurrection are, as we prove step by step, Pre-Millennial, and was so held by the first Christian churches. Such a view, as well as that of others who place these resurrected saints in the third heaven (as Stuart, etc.), totally misapprehends the covenant promises, the nature of the Theocracy, etc.
Obs. 13. These first begotten of the dead sustain a peculiar and distinctive relationship to Christ, belonging, as the first-born anciently, in an especial manner to the Lord. This will be noticed hereafter (Props. 118 and 154). Now it may be said that as Christ comes to reign as David’s immortal Son, prepared to fulfil the covenant promises by virtue of the power of the resurrection and the Divine united with Him, so it is suitable, yea, necessary, that those who arc accounted worthy to be associated with Him in His reign (which is asserted to take place at the Millennial period) should also experience the power of the resurrection and become like unto their Head. Hence the propriety of representing the resurrection taking place at this very time. Without it, the saints would not be qualified; with it, the promises of God can be abundantly realized.
Figuier (The To-Morrow of Death, p.. 114) makes his “superhuman” being still mortal, passing at death from one stage to another, and finally landing into the Divine, the Absolute. The Word of God presents no such Oriental derived nonsense, but a destiny immeasurably superior. Indeed, the careful reader of the Scriptures and of history will see a deep reason underlying this eclectic resurrection. It is an outcome of the Plan of Redemption, being essential to it, and extending its efficiency and glory. God purposes to save the race (as a race) of man, but to save and exalt it in its associated capacity there must first be something introduced analogous to what takes place in the individual believer. Man is saved by receiving the truth, being under its guidance and influence, and thus becomes renewed and sanctified by it. The evil tendencies within him are thus arrested and rooted out. So with society, the race itself. The sad history of the world teaches us the fact that there is not sufficient moral and religious element in it to elevate it to a position in which it could safely receive and enjoy Millennial blessings and glory. Nations, most mighty and wise, in their rise, progress, and deterioration, evidence this; the Theocracy even, with its additional higher motives and influences, established for a while in the Jewish nation, but withdrawn on account of sin, is decisive proof of it. Society, national life, cannot, owing to depravity, elevate itself to that perfect state contemplated by the Word of God. It needs and must have an element conjoined and blended with it, to act as a corrector and influencer. This is found in this first resurrection and its results. The world is saved through the power of the resurrection as exhibited in Jesus and in those at His Coming. Humanity in those resurrected ones is at once lifted to a higher plane, which insures-through their reign-an elevation for the race that nothing else is so well adapted to produce. In the Kingdom established under the associated resurrected ones, is thus exhibited the marvellous wisdom, patience, love, and work of God in thus counteracting by one Godlike stroke the inherent evil in human organizations. It is indeed “a strange work,” but most admirably adapted to secure that glorious “regeneration” of the race as a race, and restore to it its forfeited blessings. It destroys the old and brings in the renewed; it subverts the selfish worldly polity and introduces the heavenly; it removes the depravity of the world by introducing and incorporating a newborn, most powerful, convincing, and authoritative life and rulership in the resurrected and glorified persons of the kings and priests. (Comp. such Props. as 152, 154, 156, 167, 196, etc.)
Obs. 14. How frequently our attention is directed to this Pre-Millennial resurrection, and owing to its peculiarity and rank this is reasonable. Christ appeals to this frequency when (Joh_6:45) He says: “No man can come to me except the Father draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Then it is added: “It is written in the Prophets,” etc, Christ knowing the Jewish opinions based on these prophets, confirms the resurrection as something well known and contained in the Prophets. Now, where do the Prophets teach this resurrection, if not in the passages adduced? How comes it that so many critics deny Christ’s assertion, and can find no such resurrection in them? The answer to the last may, perhaps, be found in the fact that if a literal resurrection is admitted, then it must also be acknowledged as Pre-Millennial, and rather than accept the detested Jewish, Chiliastic notions “of folly and ignorance,” these predictions of David, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc., must denote national deliverance or anything else but a literal resurrection, and this is “wisdom and true enlightenment.” So far too does this proceed that while no such resurrection, excepting perhaps the faintest of allusions, can be found in the Old Testament, acknowledgments freely come from all sides that the very language of the Prophets indicates that the doctrine of a resurrection must have been “a common belief,” or else the figures drawn from it could not exist. But why was it so much believed in that Prophets freely employed language derived from it? Let the Jews tell us, let the Prophets inform us themselves. Surely their testimony is worth far more than that of modern critics, who learnedly speak of outside influences. Now, the first Millenarian has yet to be produced who professes to receive his faith outside of the Divine Record, or from any other source than that derived from God. More than this: it does not require critical acumen or special learning to see that the very Covenant itself, the foundation of following revelation, necessitates such a belief, and that from this basis arises the numerous allusions and predictions bearing on the subject. The reader is referred to the Covenant, and, as we have shown (Prop. 49), its fulfillment is utterly impossible without a resurrection. This then forms the shaping of God’s promises, and the longings, faith, hope of believer?, if we allow language its usual, customary meaning.
The critical student will observe that Christ’s allusion to a resurrection “at the last day, as it is written in the prophets,” fully sustains our position (Prop. 140, etc.) concerning the Jewish usage of this phrase, seeing that the prophets do not link the resurrection with an ending of the world (as modern wisdom does), but with a continuation and renovation of the world in a new ordering or dispensation. Those who may think that the resurrection is not referred to, but only the teaching of God mentioned as predicted by the prophets, only receive part of the scope and intent of Christ’s words. This is easily shown, first by the subject-matter of the resurrection dependent upon and allied to previous fitness, and then quoting Isa_54:13, which we show at length (Prop. 118) is associated with a resurrection (hence the aptness and beauty of the quotation enforcing both points), and so also Mic_4:1-4 and Jer_31:34 (as we show in the Millennial descriptions and restoration of the Jews). In view of this resurrection introducing the Kingdom (as the Jews believed), it was eminently proper for Jesus both to state the fact of the resurrection and to indicate the power lodged in Him to raise the dead. This exhibition only increased the condemnation of the Jews, seeing that they thus found their own Scriptures fully corroborated. As a Pre-Millennial resurrection was believed in by those whom He addressed, His very language, embracing no denial, but making the condition of such resurrection dependent on the reception of Himself, is corroborative of the Jewish view. Such a Pre-Millennial resurrection is necessitated by the covenant, for in no other possible way can the inheriting of the land and the promised blessedness be realized. Hence there is deep significancy in Paul (Act_26:6-7) linking “the hope” derived from the covenant promises with the resurrection, as He does “of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.” This was an appeal to a well-known doctrinal position, so fundamental, without which the covenant itself must ever remain a dead letter.
Obs. 15. The reader may have noticed that this Pre-Millennial resurrection in several places is directly identified with a restoration (Props. 111-114) of the Jewish nation to Palestine. This, additionally, serves as proof of the correctness of our position. For, our argument drawn from the Davidic Covenant, makes such a restoration a necessity in order that the throne and Kingdom of David may be re-established. If Christ and His saints are to reign as predicted over this restored people, etc., then, as a matter of course, this resurrection must take precedence, just as the Prophets locate it. Hence, it is eminently proper that the resurrection of “the whole house of Israel,” including the Gentiles grafted in by faith, previous to their entrance into the promised inheritance, should be delineated as Ezekiel gives it in connection with a national restoration of the Jews under the reign of David’s Son. The resurrection and the throne and Kingdom of David are inseparable, and the former must, to meet the Divine Plan as revealed, precede the latter; and in this the Prophets agree (Prop. 126).
Obs. 16. The doctrine of such a first resurrection presents motives such as no other can, explanatory of Paul’s desire to attain unto it. The reign with Christ, and distinguishing honor and blessedness are connected with it. It gives us an explanation of the martyr spirit of the early Church, and the earnest desires expressed to experience its power. Besides, it indicates how untrue and uncharitable are the deductions of infidels, and even others, that they were sustained and strengthened by a false belief.
Notice Fletcher’s prayer, Baxter’s, and others, given in Taylor’s Voice of the Church. Tertullian tells us that in his day it was customary for Christians to pray “that they might have part in the first resurrection;” today, if the truth is to be stated, multitudes, including ministers, know nothing about it. How few e.g. now utter the pious wish of Fletcher, “O that the thought, the hope of Millennial blessedness, may animate me to perfect holiness in the fear of God, that I may be accounted worthy to escape the terrible judgments which will make way for that happy state of things; and that I may have part in the first resurrection, if I am numbered among the dead before that happy period begins.” In reference to the martyrs, see Gibbon and others. Let the reader e.g. comp. what the learned Dodwell, Dis. Cyprian, 12, s. 20, 21, says “The primitive Christians believed that the first resurrection of their bodies would take place in the Kingdom of the Millennial And as they considered that resurrection to be peculiar to the just, so they conceived the martyrs would enjoy the principal share of its glory. Since these opinions were entertained it is impossible to say how many were inflamed with the desire of martyrdom,” etc. (Comp. Props. 182 and 183.)
Obs. 17. This resurrection is so linked in with other subjects that additional proof is advanced confirmatory under various Propositions; and these, to do us ample justice, the reader must also take into consideration in forming a decisive opinion. Thus e.g. if we are correct in establishing a personal Pre-Millennial Advent, or the inheriting of the earth, or the Millenarian view of the judgment day, the judgeship of Christ and of the saints, or the period of regeneration, day of Christ, the morning of that day, etc., this adds materially to our argument in locating this resurrection.
Obs. 18. The believer can meet death without fear. “While death is an enemy, while feeling and acknowledging his penal power, yet with the assurance thus given of a speedy, complete victory over him, they can receive him as one over whom they are destined to triumph. He can well use the language of Mic_7:7-8, “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait (comp. Isa_25:9) for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy (death); when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause and execute judgment for me; He will bring me forth to the light (like David, Psa_17:15), and I shall behold His righteousness.” The believer has “hope in his death,” and “his flesh shall rest in hope.”
Our doctrine forbids the mystical view, so largely prevailing, of a resurrection immediately after death, which completely spiritualizes away the Second Advent itself. This makes the believer to gain at death a victory over death, while the Scriptural idea is that death gains the victory and will retain it until the Coming of the resurrecting Jesus, the victory being evidenced by the body consigned to the grave. The believer anticipates, in death, victory, and the sting of death being removed, can die in hope and triumphant faith of ultimate redemption. All such mystical theories make death, not penal, but a friend-a kind of Savior. (Comp. Prop. 125.) At this resurrection will be verified in the highest and most glorious manner such promises as those contained in Pro_3:2; Psa_91:16, etc.
OBS. 19. THIS FIRST RESURRECTION BEING AN ECLECTIC ONE, SEPARATE AND PERTAINING TO THOSE ACCOUNTED WORTHY OF ATTAINING TO THE PRIVILEGES OF “THE FIRST-BORN,” IT INDICATES A PREVIOUS JUDGMENT. TO INSURE A FIRST RESURRECTION (OR A TRANSLATION) THERE MUST BE A CORRESPONDING FITNESS, AND THEREFORE THIS RESURRECTION ITSELF IS EVIDENCE OF THE DIVINE ACCEPTANCE OF THE PERSON EXPERIENCING ITS POWER. AN ANTECEDENT ESTIMATE OF CHARACTER AND WORTHINESS MUST, OF NECESSITY, EXIST. THIS IS BASED ON JUSTIFYING FAITH WHICH RELEASES FROM CONDEMNATION AND INSURES ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS; WHILE THE POSITION AND HONOR OF THE SAINT AFTER RESURRECTION IS GRADUATED BY THE WORKS DONE IN HIS LIFE OF FAITH.
In view of this first resurrection being introductory to the Kingdom, it was requisite for the Messiah to indicate that the power to raise the dead was fully lodged in Him. This He did (e.g. John, chs. 5 and 6, etc.), and the result must have been to establish His hearers (the Jews) in their Jewish views respecting the resurrection, and which was continued unimpaired in the Primitive Church. We have the assurance that all who come unto Him and are His, He will raise at the last day, losing nothing, being a perfect Redeemer and imparting a perfect redemption. In reference to the previous judgment, see Prop. 135, where it is presented in detail.
Obs. 20. Out of the multitude of testimonies we select a few, illustrative of the men (most eminent for ability) who hold to our view. Rothe (Dogmatic, 2 P., p. 70) advocates a bodily resurrection, etc., as follows: “The Redeemer asserts distinctly the future resurrection of the body. And still His utterances so sound as to separate that of the righteous from that of the wicked, both as to fact and time. So in Luk_20:35, where the discourse is not of the resurrection in general, but distinctly of a resurrection to the earthly Kingdom of the Redeemer, the so-called First Resurrection. So it sounds (es klingt) when He calls Himself the ‘Resurrection and the Life,’ when He says, ‘All that the Father gives Him shall come to Him, and He will raise them up at the last day,’ ‘all who believe in Him,’ ‘all who eat His flesh and blood,’ where the clear implication is that the rest of the dead awake not at the same time. Such a distinction He makes in Luk_14:14, a resurrection for the pious, a resurrection for the wicked. So the Apostle Paul, 1Co_15:23, comp. with Rom_8:10, contemplates, not a general resurrection, but that of believers, ‘they who are Christ’s,’ ‘the sons of God.’ The Apocalypse distinguishes a first and second resurrection. The first resurrection, which ensues at the same time with the Advent, Rev_19:11-21, is expressly described as the ‘First,’ Rev_20:4-6. In it only the martyrs and they who have remained pure from the contamination of the world-power, have a share. These and only these reign with Christ 1000 years, while the ‘rest of the dead’ awake not to life. After the expiration of these years, and victory over Satan let loose, then the rest of the dead arise for judgment, Rev_20:11-15.” Such endorsements come from men who are fully persuaded that the Plan of Redemption, as covenanted and confirmed in Jesus the Christ, positively demands such a resurrection in order to insure a complete realization of promise. So Dorner (Person of Christ, vol. 1, p. 412) says: “Complete victor Christianity never can be until nature has become an organ in its service, a willing instrument of the perfect man, that is, of the righteous who are raised from the dead.”
Out of a multitude of similar testimonies, we select one, quoted by Dr. Craven (Lange’s Com. Rev., p. 354) from Creation and Redemption: “It is incumbent on us here to say a few words on the subject of the First Resurrection, for there is a general impression that the belief in it rests solely upon this passage (Rev_20:6). But this is a great mistake. The truth of a resurrection of some at a different time from that of the general resurrection, is evident from Scripture, independent of this passage in the Apocalypse. Omitting the passages from the Old Testament Scriptures, sustained by the promises of which the Old Testament worthies, as St. Paul says, suffered and served God in the hope of obtaining ‘a better resurrection’ (Heb_11:35), we will state as briefly as may be the conclusion to which we are led by the words of the Lord and His Apostles. Our Lord makes a distinction between the resurrection which some shall be counted worthy to attain to, and some not, Luk_20:3; Luk_20:5. St. Paul says there is a resurrection ‘out from among the dead’ (exanastasis), to attain which he strove with all his might as the prize to be gained, Php_3:11. He also expressly tells us, that while in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive; yet it shall not be all at once, but ‘every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His Coming.’ It is particularly to be remarked that wherever the resurrection of Christ or of His people is spoken of in Scripture, it is a ‘resurrection from the dead;’ and wherever the general resurrection is spoken of, it is the ‘resurrection of the dead.’ This distinction, though preserved in many instances in the English translation, is too frequently omitted; but in the Greek the one is always coupled with the preposition ek, out of, and the other is without it; and in the Vulgate it is rendered by a mortuis or ex mortuis, as distinct from resurretio mortuorum. In Rom_8:11, ‘The Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead,’ it is ek nekrōn, a mortuis. So in Rom_10:7; Eph_1:20; Heb_13:20; 1Pe_1:3; 1Pe_1:21. So Lazarus was raised ek nekrōn, Joh_12:1; Joh_12:9. Our Lord in His reply to the Sadducees, made the distinction between the general resurrection of the dead, and the resurrection which some should be accounted worthy to attain to. The children of this age (ainōs) marry, but they who shall be accounted worthy to attain that aion, and the resurrection from the dead (anastaseōs tēs ek nekrōn) shall not marry (Luk_20:34-35). St. Paul, when he spoke of a resurrection to which he strove to attain (Php_3:8; Php_3:11), and to which he was with all his might pressing forward, as the high prize to gain which he was agonizing, and for which he counted all else loss, as if one preposition was not enough to indicate his meaning, uses it doubled, eis tēn exanastasin tēn nekrōn. ‘Si quomodo occurram ad resurrectionem, qua est ex mortuis.’ If St. Paul had been looking only to the general resurrection, he need not have given himself any trouble, or made any sacrifice to attain to that; for to it all, even Judas and Nero, must come; but to attain to the First Resurrection he had need to press forward for the prize of that calling. And thus in his argument for the resurrection in I Corinthians 15 (vers. 12, 21), when he speaks of the resurrection generally, he speaks of the resurrection of the dead (anastasis nekrōn); but when he speaks of our Lord’s resurrection, it is ek nekron, from the dead. And he marks the time when Christ’s people shall be raised from the dead, namely, ‘at Christ’s Coming,’ ‘every man in his order;’ 1st, Christ; 2d, Christ’s people; 3d, all the remainder, at some other period, which he terms ‘the end,’ when the last enemy, death, is to be destroyed, put an end to (1Co_15:23-26). And it follows as a matter of course, that if those who are Christ’s are to be raised from the dead at His Coming, and if He comes previous to the destruction of the Antichrist, and to the Millennium, this first resurrection must be at least a thousand years before the general resurrection.”
Obs. 21. The reader is requested to observe that in our line of argument in behalf of a literal Pre-Millennial resurrection we are amply supported by the general analogy of Scripture on the subject. Whatever may be thought of the interpretation and application of particular passages, yet the following connected chain of divine teaching is apparent. First, we have the Covenant and its promises, which make such a resurrection a necessity in order to their verification. Second, the realization of such Covenant promises is based directly upon a resurrection from the dead, and such a distinguishing resurrection pertaining to the righteous is taught in numerous places in the Old Testament Third, this teaching of a peculiar, eclectic resurrection (so clearly taught that the Jews had received it) is repeated in varied expressions and declared hope in the Gospels and Epistles. Fourth, it is specially treated of in the Apocalypse, a work particularly devoted to eschatology. So decisive is this chain of evidence that the early Church, planted by the Apostles and the elders appointed by them, was universally under its influence and guidance. We gladly and hopefully remain under the same. But in addition to all this, we have a series of connected doctrines taught, which are essential to a Pre-Millennial resurrection, such e.g. as the Pre-Millennial Advent, the judgment day, the day of the Lord Jesus, the morning of the day, the reign of Christ and the saints, and various others. Nothing requisite to sustain our view of the resurrection is lacking, and, therefore, this union and harmony of doctrine greatly confirms our faith and hope.
In view of this Scriptural argument, the immense array of proof texts, the Jewish view, the early Church belief, the concessions of opponents, and the expressed faith of many able expositors and divines, is it not singular that in many works and articles, devoted to Eschatology, our doctrine is either barely hinted at or entirely ignored? This contemptuous treatment can scarcely be attributed to its being unworthy of notice (for its historical aspect and its honorable advocates would redeem it from such silence), and we are forced to the conviction that such an avoidance is caused by persons being afraid of its authority, both Scriptural and traditional, and feel their weakness to undertake its refutation.
Obs. 22. Freely admitting that no doctrine is to be simply received on human authority, yet we confess to a gratification that our faith is that of the Primitive Church on this point. It is a satisfaction to know that we understand God’s Word on this subject just as the immediate disciples and followers of the Apostles comprehended it. For, such a union of view does not make us liable to the suspicion which might justly arise if it was a doctrine that only originated in the fourth century, or in the tenth, or even later. Besides this, it is a doctrine which, if true, it would be reasonable to expect men to teach, who were so nearly related to the Apostles in time, and who had, more or less, the benefit of their previous instruction.
Compare, for early view, Props. 71 to 75, inclusive. The reader will not censure us when we also congratulate ourselves upon the important concessions, made even by our opponents (as e.g. Prof. Stuart, Brown, Barnes, etc.). So fixed was this precious doc. trine of the first resurrection in the faith of the early Church, that even Origen, the father of the present prevailing spiritualizing interpretation, could not entirely free himself from its teaching. Thus he expresses himself (quoted by Brookes, and taken from his Thirteenth Homily on Jeremiah) in accord with us and irreconcilable with his own system, as follows: “If any man shall preserve the washing of the Holy Spirit, etc., he shall have part in the first resurrection; but if any man be saved in the second resurrection only, it is the sinner that needeth the baptism by fire. Wherefore, seeing these things are so, let us lay the Scriptures to heart, and make them the rule of our lives; that so, being cleansed from the defilement of sin before we depart, we may be raised up with the saints, and have our lot with Christ Jesus.” Here the distinction of separate resurrections is preserved, and the first is acceded to be pre-eminent, and specially belonging to the saints.
Obs. 23. Lastly, we may be allowed to congratulate ourselves on the fact that our system of interpretation opens no door of entrance to the many conflicting and dangerous errors respecting the resurrection. Many, taking the weapons ready forged to hand, by a spiritualizing interpretation of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and John, turn them against a literal resurrection of the dead. Work after work could be mentioned which has done this, jubilantly quoting from the orthodox the arguments for a figurative, moral, or ecclesiastical resurrection. This is only the legitimate developing of the Origenistic system of interpretation, an almost impregnable refuge for all forms of error. Now, in all those systems, which reduce the resurrection to an incompleted redemption of the body, or which refine it away into a mystical conception, etc., not one of them can, or does, appeal to us for deductions or aid, since in no shape or form do we give them the slightest countenance. Hence probably arises the extreme hostility manifested toward our system by various authors, because it is a standing rebuke to their own efforts at spiritualizing.
It is unaccountable to us, why professed believers in the Word should, as some do, detest the doctrine of the First Resurrection as advocated by the Primitive Church. What can possibly influence the bitterness and hatred against it in some quarters, when we show forth its pre-eminency, its exceeding desirableness, and its leading to unspeakable honor and glory? We confess our inability-after the abundant Scriptural basis presented upon which it is founded-to assign a justifiable reason for the same. Let us ask such to reflect, that such conduct is not argumentation, and that, peradventure, the ridicule heaped upon it may eventually recoil upon themselves, inasmuch as they may be found speaking and writing slightingly and sneeringly of one of the most precious of God’s own appointments. Surely, aside from the Scripture, the host of able men who have held to it and derived comfort from it (even at the stake) should influence reflecting men to treat it-although opposed to it-with respect. Under several Propositions, we give specimens of the language used respecting-what we must consider-God’s own appointments and precious promises.