Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 30
THE RESURRECTION COMPLETE
I know you are probably getting tired of I Corinthians Chapter 15, but it’s such a loaded chapter. So we hope that you take your Bible, and follow along with us. It’s still the greatest Book ever written, and once you learn how to separate the Scriptures it becomes so enjoyable A lot of folks are finding out that when you separate what God said, and what He does with Israel, and what He does for us Gentiles, and completely separate the two; then this Book just becomes so understandable and not all that difficult.
Let’s go back where we left off in the last lesson in verse 35. Remember this whole chapter is dealing with resurrection, and also that there is no other religion on the planet which has resurrection as the very basis of their beliefs. This is so unique to Christianity, that the very core of everything that we believe, and everything that The Bible teaches, is based on this doctrine of resurrection. This life does not end at the grave, but rather there is also a life for eternity. The way we can enjoy that eternal existence is that every believer is to experience a Biblical resurrection. And again I have to stress over and over, the word `resurrection’ does not refer to someone who has died and been brought back to life, such as the widow’s son, and Lazarus in Christ’s earthly ministry. They were not resurrected; they were just simply called back from the dead, and they died again. But resurrection began with The Lord Jesus Himself as He was the first ever to be resurrected. And that means He died, and rose from the dead never again to die, and it was for all eternity. We will see then in these succeeding verses that this is the same eternal life that we experience the moment we have believed the Gospel. Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4.
I Corinthians 15:35
“But some man will say, `How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?'”
I had a call recently where a gentlemen asked that same question, “When resurrection happens what are we going to be like? Are we just going to be invisible spirit beings, or are we going to be like angels?” But you see he’s not alone, and I’m not faulting him at all. Remember even Paul was also constantly bombarded, “Well how, if we’re going to be resurrected, are we going to exist? What’s it going to be like?” Well we are going to be eternally existing in a body, but it’s not going to be the same flesh and blood body like we have now; it will be on the same order. I think the best illustration I can give of our resurrected body is The Lord Jesus in His 40 days after His resurrection. So basing that on Scripture let’s turn to the Book of Philippians where this same Apostle Paul (and he’s the only one that does) gives us a real detailed explanation of resurrection. Now the Old Testament saints believed in resurrection, we know that Job used that expression:
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”
When David lost the child from Bathsheba as a result of the adultery, he wept and fasted for seven days, but finally came to the realization:
II Samuel 12:23
“But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
So David also understood that there was resurrection. But now as Paul just enlarges on all of the questions that people have concerning resurrection, he lays it out so clearly. But here in the Book of Philippians, I just love these two verses in Chapter 3, they are so simple:
“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; (remember the Book of Colossians says, `we’ve already been translated into the kingdom of heaven.’) from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
Do you see how plain that is? So all we really have to take time to study is those 40 days after His resurrection, and before His ascension from the Mount of Olives, and we’re going to do that in just a moment. But before we leave Paul’s reference to all of this, let’s go to the Book of Ephesians Chapter 1, to another couple of verses that I just love to teach because so many hearts have been opened by my simple reading of the verses. I haven’t had to comment on these verses, but rather just as I read them it was if all of a sudden I saw something that I had never seen before, so I do like to read these two verses.
“In whom (Christ of verse 12) ye also trusted, (placed your faith) after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: (see the core of eternal life is believing the Gospel)in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest (or down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
If you analyze that verse, the first thing you should ask is, “Well I thought I was already redeemed.” We are, but what part of us is not yet redeemed? The body. It’s still prone to the same pain and accident, and sins as the unbeliever. So what is the down payment going to assure? That even this body, this physical body, of which the soul and spirit are a part of, will be redeemed. But at death of course we’ll be separated from the body. Just don’t forget about that old body, and say, “Well all God’s concerned about is soul and spirit. Remember for eternity we have to be a complete entity. I explained this to someone the other day again, and told them to search the Scriptures, “Does any human being have any function as a complete entity, and that’s the best word I can find for it, unless he is body, soul, and spirit?” No way, because all three of them are going to have to be brought back together before we can spend eternity in the presence of Christ.
So if we’re a believer tonight then the soul and spirit has already been redeemed, absolutely, but the body is still unredeemed, it’s still in the flesh, and under the curse. But the very presence of the Holy Spirit in our life as a believer is God’s down payment that He’s going to complete the whole transaction. He’s not going to just redeem the soul and spirit, but rather body, soul, and spirit together. Now in light of that let’s turn to Romans Chapter 8 for a moment. And these are another series of beautiful verses. I think that very few people really understand what these verses are talking about. Let’s begin at verse 18.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us, For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons (or children, or the born ones) of God. For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity, (curse) not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,” In other words the moment that the curse fell back in Genesis 3:15, God promised a Redeemer didn’t He? Now this is all in reference to that. Now verse 21:
“Because the creature (creation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (curse) into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (In other words all of creation is come under our rule and reign as we are joint-heirs with Christ.) For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, (the bird and animals, trees and so forth) but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, (in other words our soul and spirit are redeemed) even we ourselves groan within ourselves,(we have a lot, but we don’t have it all, now we’re) waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
When that happens it will complete it, and that’s exactly what he was referring to in Ephesians Chapter 1. That as a believer, our soul and spirit has already been redeemed, yet that in itself is just a down payment and that God will complete the transaction, and redeem and give us a new body.
The best way to get a glimpse of that new body is to take a look at Christ in His resurrection experience (those 40 days between His coming out of the tomb, and when He ascended there in Acts Chapter 1). So come back to Luke 24, verse 36 and read about that account. Now we’re going to take our time, we’re not going to rush through this, because this whole concept of resurrection is the very bulwark of our faith. Not only did Christ die for us, but He arose victoriously over sin, death, Hell, Satan, and all the rest. He is able to impart unto us then, this blessed hope of resurrection. Now verse 36. One of the disciples was missing, so the ten are meeting.
“And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, `Peace be unto you.'” Now why did He have to say “Peace”? Well all of a sudden when He appeared right in front of them without benefit of a door or window, then naturally they, being human, were all shook up, probably half scared to death, and He had to settle them down with the word that He alone could use – “Peace be unto you.” Now verse 37. But even with those words of comfort:
“But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. (or ghost) And he said unto them, `Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts?'”
Let’s stop there for a moment. Could The Lord Jesus look right through their thinking? Sure He could, and He was seeing all those thoughts of fear. Now you want to remember although they had been in His company for 3 years they still didn’t know He was going to be raised from the dead. Remember what Luke 18:33 and 34 says?
“And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things:…” Why? Because the Scripture says, it was hidden from them Sovereignly. Now it’s the same way here in Luke 24. They should have known, we think, but on the other hand let’s not blame them because God has providentially hidden a lot of these things from these men until a time that He has ordained that they understand.
“Behold my hands and my feet, (and He showed them to them. Now a ghost doesn’t have hands and feet. He’s not standing there fluttering in some mist. He is standing there visibly, physically.) that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, `Have ye here any meat?'” (or food)
Now this is going to be the proof positive. Up until now they still can’t believe it’s really the same Jesus that they had known a few days before. Now why was this so unbelievable to these people? I think that Isaiah tells us in Chapter 52 why.
“As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:”
So as He suffered that death on the Cross, He was more disfigured than any human being had ever been before. So take that into consideration when these people just can’t believe what they’re seeing. Because their last view of Christ on the Cross was something that didn’t even appear human. But now He stands before them apparently whole with the exception of the wounds.
“And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.” That’s what The Book says. And He ate in full view of these 10 disciples to prove to them now that he was a visible, resurrected Person. And that He had all of the physical attributes of even being able to eat.
“And he said unto them, `These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.’ (now verse 45. Here is the secret of Biblical understanding even today. What did He do?) Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.”
Then it all fell in place. That, yes, the Son of God must come in flesh, and must suffer, and die, shed His Blood as the supreme sacrifice for men’s sin, and then be raised from the dead. Now they understood it all and the whole picture came together. But now I would like for you to come back up to verse 39 where He says:
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit (or ghost) hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
Now for a moment we need to follow up on that verse by coming all the way back to Genesis Chapter 9 where Noah has just come off the ark, and now God gives some new instructions. Now humans are going to be permitted to kill of living things and eat the meat. But along with that, He’s going to put some stipulations. So let’s begin with verse 3. God is conversing with Noah:
“Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat (food) for you, even as the green herb (which was mandated back in Genesis 1) have I given you all things. But flesh (meat) with the life thereof, which is the blood (now don’t forget that fact) thereof, shall ye not eat.”
Now we just read the secret. Every thing living in this economy, “The life is in the blood!” Whether it’s in the animal kingdom, or the birds or humans the life is in the blood. So blood is the actual source of life that keeps that creature functioning. Now, with that in mind, let’s come back to I Corinthians Chapter 15, and hopefully we can tie this all together. Let’s begin with verse 50. Remember that Jesus said back in Luke 24, “Touch Me, handle Me, and see that I am flesh and bone.”
I Corinthians 15:50
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
Now put those two things in your mind. Over here in His resurrection appearance, Jesus said, “Handle me, look at me, see me physically in flesh and bone.” What did The Lord leave out? Blood! Now here in this chapter you can see why it had to be only flesh and bone. You see, flesh and blood, as we are now, cannot go into eternity. And even The Lord Himself could not go into eternity with Blood. And so His resurrected body is devoid of Blood. It is flesh and bone. Also remember what the Book of Philippians says:
“Who (Christ) shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body….”
So our new body will be a body of flesh and bone, and that’s going to make all the difference in the world. Now we may hit this a little bit in a later lesson, but jump up quickly if you will, in this same Chapter 15 to verse 45, and this will give us another thought. Now if we’re going to go into eternity with flesh and bone, and no blood, yet the Book of Genesis tells us that life is in the blood, well, what is going to be the source of life in that eternal body?
I Corinthians 15:45
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; (back there in Genesis when God breathed into him, and gave him the breath of life.) the last Adam (Christ) was made a (life-giving or) quickening spirit.”
Now there’s the secret. When we see that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom, but rather only flesh and bone then what has to be that life-giving substance that will keep the eternal body functioning? The Spirit. And it will be the Spirit of God Himself. Even now we are indwelt by the presence of the Holy Spirit, but not to the degree it will be in our eternal state. When we come into the eternal state of flesh and bone then the spirit will actually take over the role that the blood now has in our body. Life is in the blood in this physical existence. In the eternal existence life is going to be in the spirit. So this is the teaching that comes out of this great resurrection chapter. I’m amazed that Paul wrote in the beginning of this letter that these believers were carnal and that he couldn’t give them meat, but rather milk. But yet at the end of this letter he comes out with the deep doctrine of our whole Christian experience, and that is resurrection. I haven’t figured out how all this works yet, but I do know he suddenly shifts gears in this chapter and we get profound doctrines concerning our eternal state, and the resurrection of the dead. Always remember that the very core of our Christian belief is this power of resurrection. First in our salvation as Ephesians 2:1 puts it so plain.
“And you hath he quickened, (made us alive spiritually) who were dead in trespasses and sins:”
And Paul is talking about this life. In so many words we were raised from a dead spiritual existence to an existence that is filled with the Spirit of God, we have that new Divine Nature, we have all of these things that salvation brings working on our behalf, and all of this was unknown until we get to these writings of the Apostle Paul. So when you mull all these things over about our eternal state, the heart of it all is the resurrection.