338 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 2 - Book 29 - Order of the Resurrections - Part 2

338: Order of the Resurrections – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 2 Book 29

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 29

ORDER OF THE RESURRECTION – PART 2

Now let’s go right into where we left off in the last lesson and that will be I Corinthians Chapter 15 and verse 22. We’re going to take our time doing this because there is so much in this Chapter 15 that I don’t want to skim over it. Now verse 22:

I Corinthians 15:22

“For as in Adam all die, (We covered that in the last lesson, that when Adam sinned as the Federal head of the human race then every human being that has been born since has that fallen sin nature of Adam.) even so in Christ (remember the Creator of everything) shall (what’s the next word?) all be made alive.”

Now that throws a curve at people if they don’t read it carefully. They might say, “Now wait a minute. Are the lost going to be resurrected?” Yes! That’s surprises people. Let’s go back to John’s Gospel. The lost are going to be resurrected. They’re not in their eternal state as yet. They’re going to have to come out bodily to appear before the Great White Throne of Revelation 20. And then they’ll go to their eternal doom bodily, where they’ll have a body fit for the Lake of Fire, whereas we will have a body fit for Glory. Now Jesus explains it Himself so clearly in John’s Gospel Chapter 5, and drop in at verse 28.

John 5:28,29a

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. And shall come forth;…”

Now from that verse alone we have people who teach a general resurrection; everybody all at the same time. The saved and the lost. The saved go to their glory and the lost go to their doom. All that are in the graves are going to hear God’s call to come forth. But let’s be careful that we don’t read just that far and stop. Let’s read on.

John 5:29b

“…they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (or condemnation).”

Now you have two distinct groups of people who are going to be resurrected. Now if you just sit on John’s Gospel alone it would seem that it was all going to happen at the same time. But now come back to I Corinthians 15 again and, see that’s why Paul is the one that reveals so many things that the rest of Scripture doesn’t even touch on, and that’s why I can’t understand why so many people today totally ignore Paul’s epistles. Because it’s in Paul alone that we find the true nature of the old Adam. Now I know the Old Testament says that the heart is desperately wicked and who can know it. And we certainly know that Jesus taught that the heart was wicked. But it isn’t until you get to Paul’s writing that you get this understanding that this Adamic sin nature is inherited ever since Adam. It has just come down generation after generation. Now the same way with this resurrection deal. There is more talk about resurrection in I Corinthians 15 than in almost all the rest of the Bible put together. Now we know the Old Testament people believed in resurrection. Job for sure said:

Job 19:25,26

“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:” What was he talking about? Resurrection! David, after he’d lost his child with Bathsheba, after mourning for a whole week, what did he suddenly realize? He couldn’t bring that child back but what did he say?

II Samuel 12:22,23

“And he said, `While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 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.'”

What was he speaking of? Resurrection life. But now here Paul is going to just unload on us all the details of resurrection. Now look at verse 23. Even though all are going to be resurrected up in verse 22 and according to John 5, in verse 23 the first word is what? “But”. What am I always telling you? That’s one of the biggest words in Scripture. Because this one little three-letter-word now opens up a whole vista that otherwise we would have never understood. That, yes, there’s going to be a resurrection of the saved, and of the lost, but not all at once.

I Corinthians 15:23a

“But every man (lost or saved) in his own order:…” (or company.)

Those of you who have been in the service, we always understood the military chain of command. The smallest was the company of 100-120 men, and from that you went to the battalion, from the battalion to the regiment and on up to the division and 20 divisions make an army. Now Paul is saying the same thing. Of all the people who have lived and died and are one day going to be resurrected, there’s going to be an order in the resurrection so that every group will be in their specific company at resurrection. They’re not all going to just come out like one big group.

I Corinthians 15:23a

“… Christ the firstfruits …”

We’ve already looked at where that came from. It gave us an inkling now that we can look at the resurrection much like Israel practiced her grain harvest. Because after all what does God consider bringing human people unto Himself? What does He call it? A harvest! In His earthly ministry he says the “fields are white unto harvest but the laborers are few.”That was just an analogy and so it is the human race has been harvested through the efforts of God. But whether it’s the Old Testament or New, it doesn’t make any difference. So the implication now is that the whole harvest of mankind can be likened to the three sequences of Israel’s harvest. First the firstfruits, the sampling of the early ripening grain, then the major harvest and then the third part would be the corners and the gleanings. Now let’s just analyze a minute from a logical standpoint. Let’s look at the first group. Come back with me to Matthew 27, at the time of the crucifixion and we come down to verse 51 of Matthew 27. Christ, in verse 50, has just given up the ghost, or died. Now verse 51.

Matthew 27:51,52

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (all in response to what had just happened up there on Calvary at His death and all of nature responded convulsively, and then we come to the next verse) And the graves (in the area of Jerusalem) were opened (not all of them) and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,”

Now remember the saints of any age are the believers. In other words, your believing Israelites were saints. Those who were believers during Christ’s earthly ministry were saints. Those who believed during the Acts period are saints. Those who believe in the Church Age are saints. Those who will be saved during the Tribulation are going to be called saints. And so “saints” is just a general term regarding those who are believers. So here we have a group of Jewish believers, because there certainly weren’t enough Gentiles in that Old Testament economy to count. And so evidently these were Jewish believers who had been buried in the area of Jerusalem:

Matthew 27:53

“And came out of the graves after his resurrection,…”

Now that’s an important verse because if they would have come out of the graves before Christ was resurrected, that would throw a kink in the whole plan of God that Christ was the firstfruits of resurrection. He is the first Who has ever been resurrected from the dead. Never had it happened before. But after He had been resurrected, then these others could come forth and to comprise what I now call that sheaf that was indicated in Leviticus. And it completes then, the plural of the word “firstfruits“. Had Christ only come alone, then it would have had to have been He was the firstfruit of the resurrection. But it’s not. The feast day of firstfruits was to take, not just one stem of grain, but many who are all just sampling of the crop that was to come, and then they were brought together in a sheaf and they were taken to the priest as their offering of firstfruits. So now, I have to feel that these Jewish saints who were resurrected right after Christ was, comprised that which we call the firstfruits. Now let’s come back to I Corinthians 15 once again.

I Corinthians 15:23a

“But every man in his own order:..”

In other words, Church Age saints aren’t going to be resurrected with the Old Testament saints. We certainly aren’t going to be part of the first group because that’s already happened. So let’s look at the harvest process. First the firstfruits were taken out of the sampling. Then they went in and took the main harvest. Everything but the corners and the gleanings were harvested. And then that which was left was harvested last of all. Now just stop and think for a moment. We’re in Oklahoma and that’s wheat country, at least in the Western part of the state. When that wheat farmer has gone out and has harvested the main part of his fields, he can fill those bins with grain. Thousands and thousands of bushels. Now if per chance he did leave the corners, like they did then, how much would that be by comparison? Just a small fraction.

Now let’s bring it into the spiritual realm. Christ and the first fruits that already been accomplished, but where has been the largest number of people brought in God’s harvest? Old Testament or Church age? Well the Church age of course. Because now go back in the Old Testament economy. The little Nation of Israel probably never had more than 10 million people at the most, and only a few of the them were true believers. You go back before the flood and there were precious few believers, and by the time you get to Noah’s flood there were only 8 souls. So even before the flood there were very few that God could count on as His. Throughout the history of Israel there were very few Jews, percentage wise, who were believers.

Even in Christ’s earthly ministry, I like to point out that at least in the area of Jerusalem and Judea, “How many believers were in the upper room there in Acts Chapter 1?” 120 souls. After 3 years of The Lord’s own earthly ministry there were only 120 Jewish believers evidently. Now there may have been a few up in Galilee, but in the area of Jerusalem there must have been only that 120, compared to the millions that have come in during the past 1900 years + of the preaching of the Gospel of Grace (And that’s by believing in your heart for your salvation that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again.) So the order of the resurrection will be: 1. Christ and the firstfruits; 2. Then the harvest of the Church age, and we’re going to look at that next; 3. And then we still have the corners and the gleanings left, which I feel will be the Tribulation saints who will be saved during the Tribulation and the Old Testament believers.

Now come back with me to the Book of Daniel Chapter 12, and here I’m going to throw the Tribulation saints in with the Old Testament saints, as well as those who were believers during Christ’s earthly ministry. Because remember they were all connected to Judaism, and to Israel’s program, and they were not part of what I call the Body of Christ. Let’s look how Daniel covers it, and let’s just start with verse 1. Remember this is the Old Testament and Daniel is talking about resurrection just like Paul does.

Daniel 12:1

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: (Now Daniel was a Jew) and there shall be a time of trouble, (That’s foretelling of the Tribulation that is yet to come) such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time (That is at the time of the Tribulation) thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Yes there’s going to be a remnant of the Nation of Israel saved during the Tribulation, especially as we come to the end of that 7 years. Now verse 2:

Daniel 12:2

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Again Daniel, by inspiration, writes almost as if it’s going to be a general resurrection that the lost Jew is going to be resurrected at the same time that the saved Jew is. But you have to compare this with the Revelation and we know that this is not going to be the case. Only the believing Jews are going to be resurrected first, and then a thousand years later (after the Kingdom rule) all the lost Jews and Gentiles are going to be resurrected for the Great White Throne judgment, just like we saw the comparison in John Chapter 5. Now verse 3:

Daniel 12:3

“And they that be wise (they have believed what was instructed them to believe even in the Old Testament economy. It was still based on their faith.) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” God’s going to always reward righteousness in the believer. Verse 4.

Daniel 12:4

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, (God is telling Daniel to just close the book and forget about it) even to the time of the end: (Now from Daniel’s perspective, which was about 500 years before Christ, and that would make it about 2500 years ago, that the Book of Daniel is to be closed up and not considered all that much.) many shall run to and from, and knowledge shall be increased.” That is at the time of the end. Verse 5:

Daniel 12:5-7

“Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, `How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?'” (In other words these prophecies written by Daniel) And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be (Now here comes the Tribulation timeline) for a time, times, and an half: (three and one half years) and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”

Now you say, “Well I thought the Tribulation was 7 years.” Well it is, but the time of the mid-point is when the man Anti-christ will come into the Temple and defile it, and turn on the Jews. So it’s that last three and one half years that Daniel is foretelling. It’s that horrible, horrible period of time when the earth is going to come under not only the wrath of God, but also of Satan himself. So Daniel is only including the last three and one-half years. Now verse 8:

Daniel 12:8

“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, `O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?'”

Now isn’t it amazing that these Old Testament prophets got a glimpse of the things that were coming. Now they didn’t get the full picture, but Daniel got enough of the glimpse that I think just scared him down to his shoe laces. He probably thought, “What in the world is going to come upon the earth, and especially my people Israel?” So he says, “what shall be the end of these things?” Now verse 9:

Daniel 12:9

“And he said, `Go thy way, Daniel : for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.'”

What’s God saying? That no one was to know these prophetic utterances of Daniel until we get close to the end-time. Did you know there was nothing taught about end-time events until the 1800’s? At that time men of God all of a sudden began to put the prophetic Scriptures together and they began to write concerning the nations of the world that would be coming to the top, such as Russia. Who would have dreamed that Russia would become a world power? But they did by virtue of the Scriptures. Bible scholars began to talk about a returning Israel to the land of Palestine. The land of Israel once again becoming a viable nation after being in dispersion for nearly 2 thousand years. Who would have dreamed of such a thing with the Jews scattered all over the world? But these men of God did. Because the Scriptures were beginning to be opened up by the Holy Spirit. And by the time you get to the 1900’s there is a whole raft of God’s men who were beginning to put the end-time prophecies in a pretty good perspective. You’d be amazed at how close they were to what we’ve seen happen now in the last 20 years. So The Lord told Daniel that his Book would be closed up until the approach of the end-time. Verse 10:

Daniel 12:10

“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; (tested) but the wicked shall do wickedly: (Just exactly as we’ve seen, and remember sin will become more evident with each passing day) and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

Now isn’t it amazing? The unsaved world out there doesn’t have any concept of how accurately that this Book is being fulfilled. And of course this is my reason for believing it from cover to cover. Every prophecy that I see fulfilled proves that this is a supernatural Book. Can you think of a single book of religion, cults or anything that can tell the future 2500 years in advance? There’s not a one! This Book is the only one that can do that. Now I know there are some of these things that are hard to believe, I know that, and I take them by faith, but I still say, “Lord, that’s hard to believe.” But you know I came up with something the other night when I was teaching about the Rapture, and the sudden taking away of all the believers, and that’s hard for people to comprehend. How in the world is God going to do it? And I used this analogy, and said, “Now look. Go out on a real clear starry night, and just look at that mass of stars, and all we see is a little part of our own galaxy, the milky way. It’s just a small part with all of it’s billions and billions of stars in just the milky way galaxy alone. Now they tell us that there are billions of galaxies.”

My little 9-year-old grandson just amazes me sometimes. His dad had just been showing him all the stars in the heavens, and when they got into the house his dad said, “Now son, why don’t you just put on paper how may stars are out there. See if you can write out a number big enough to get close to how many stars are out there.” Well the little rascal is only 9 years old, but you know what he did? He put down a 1 and then put 0’s all the way down the length of typewriter paper and then on the bottom of the paper he says, “and to the same power.” And that’s way beyond me. I couldn’t believe it, but I think he’s close, there are billions and billions of galaxies in which there are billions of stars. But here’s my point. Has a single one of them ever been out of control? Not one. Who controls them? The same Lord Jesus that’s going to one day take us off the earth. Now if He can control trillions and trillions of stars, then He’s not going to have any trouble at all calling a few million people off the planet. You just think about that. Now verse 11:

Daniel 12:11-13

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. (That’s 30 days more than the Tribulation is going to run) Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred, and five and thirty days. (which is an extra 75 days after Christ’s second coming. And then verse 13 says it so plainly. Everybody in their own order. Remember it was 1. Christ and the firstfruits, 2. The Church the main harvest, and 3. The Old Testament and Tribulation saints, the gleanings and corners) But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot (or company) at the end of the days.”

337 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 1 - Book 29 - Order of the Resurrections

337: Order of the Resurrections – Lesson 1 Part 1 Book 29

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 29

ORDER OF THE RESURRECTION

Let’s begin where we left off in our last lesson in I Corinthians 15:20-23. In verse 20 Paul has been rehearsing the whole scheme of resurrection in this chapter in the first 18 or 19 verses, that if Christ was not raised from the dead, then we have no hope. Because at the very core, the very crux of our Gospel is the fact that Christ was raised from the dead.He was resurrected. I like to define the term “resurrected” because I think often our ministers use the word “resurrection” totally out of it’s true meaning. In other words, anyone who has been raised from the dead miraculously, back in Scripture, such as the widow’s son, under Elijah. And then there was Lazarus, who was raised from the dead. These were not resurrected, they were merely brought back to life and then they died again. Resurrection speaks of that which only Christ began, and that is that He arose from the dead into the eternal, never to die again. And so when we speak of resurrection scripturally, don’t think of someone who has merely died and has been called back to life, because they’re going to die again. But once Christ rose from the dead, never to die again, that was resurrection. When we experience resurrection it’s going to be final. We will not again have to die and be brought back to life. So resurrection is something that only began when Christ arose from the dead. He was the first to be resurrected. Just keep that straight in your mind. Just the other day I heard someone speaking of Lazarus being resurrected. No he wasn’t! He was brought back to life but he was not resurrected because he died again at some later date.

Now, we’ve been talking about the resurrection from the dead all the way through Chapter 15 on up to verse 19. In verse 20, Paul again, as I’ve used the expression off and on throughout the book of Corinthians, shifts gears. Now all of a sudden, instead of just talking about the resurrection of Christ at the time of His death, burial and resurrection, goes clear to the end of the age, you might say, and brings up resurrection as a part of the whole picture of God’s plan of the Ages. Now again, when we teach the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, that’s the way I like to depict it. This is God’s plan for the Ages. Now, when I say it’s God’s plan, I want to take you back to Acts. And let’s go to Chapter 2, but keep your hand on I Corinthians 15. When I speak of God’s plan for the Ages, what I’m trying to imply is that God, before anything was ever created, the Triune God put everything in motion. He already had it blueprinted.

You know one of the most amazing things, and one of the things that we find hard to comprehend is, that God from the beginning, gave men and nations their own free will. And they have been operating under that free will as nations make decisions to invade other nations supposedly under a free will, but yet from the beginning of time until the end of God’s plan for the Ages, everything falls in place exactly as God has predetermined it. Isn’t that amazing? How He can leave men and nations with a free will, they do pretty much what they want to do, and the end results in bringing everybody and everything to the end of God’s purpose. All right, how did it all begin? Well I like to use this verse in Acts Chapter 2, and verse 23 where Peter is preaching here on the day of Pentecost, and he’s preaching not to you and I, but rather to the Nation of Israel. Peter is rehearsing the fact that they had crucified their Messiah, but that’s not the point so much that I want to get out of this verse, but rather what I just said, and that is that God has had a plan for the Ages from eternity past.

Acts 2:23

“Him (speaking of Jesus of Nazareth Whom they had crucified), being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”

What’s he saying? Sometime back in eternity past, the Triune God in counsel (and they didn’t have to sit there for a whole afternoon and bandy this thing back and forth), determined a plan for the Ages. And in God’s foreknowledge He could see every detail of it coming on down through history. Now in that determinate plan that God laid out before anything was created the highlight of it all was the “Cross.” Was God caught by surprise? No. It was all in that eternal plan of the ages that Christ must suffer. And all the way through Scripture we know this was in God’s blueprint for the ages. Let’s return to I Corinthians for a moment. I want folks to understand that, according to this predetermined plan of the ages, Christ would suffer and die but He would also rise from the dead.

I Corinthians 15:20

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits (plural) of them that slept.” (died)

Now the only way you can understand this kind of language is to go back to the Old Testament and if you don’t understand the Old Testament then for sure you can’t understand the New Testament. So let’s go back to the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 23. Here we find the seven feasts of Jehovah, as we refer to them. They were feast days for the Nation of Israel in their Temple worship as they progressed through the year. First is Passover, then Unleavened Bread. But at barley harvest time which was the first crop that Israel harvested in Palestine, shortly after Passover, this feast was called Firstfruits. It is the third of these seven feasts. Then verse 9 and 10:

Leviticus 23:9,10

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, `Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf (bundle) of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest:'”

They were to go into that field of barley, maybe 15 acres square, and as the field was still green, and all headed out as we say, all of a sudden scattered throughout that field will be yellow heads of grain. And those yellow heads just sprinkle throughout the field. They have ripened before all the other masses of heads in that field. Now the Jews were to go into that green field and pluck those early ripened stems with the heads, enough to have a bundle, and then they were to take it to the priest and it was then a wave-offering. Now verse 10 is speaking of a harvest, and while you’re in Leviticus let’s look at another part of the harvest. After they had gone in and harvested the main part of the field then you see they had these instructions.

Leviticus 19:9,10b

“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly (completely) reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest …thou shalt leave them (the corners) for the poor and stranger:”

Now you have three aspects then of the Jewish harvest. First they would go in and take that sampling of the early ripening heads of grain. Then they would go and take the main harvest, but they had to leave the corners, and their gleanings for the poor. Keep that process in mind as we come back to I Corinthians Chapter 15 again. So when Paul gives us the clue, and that’s what I call this, he says:

I Corinthians 15:20

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” (died)

In other words I think the Apostle Paul is telling us, “Now go back and use the Israeli system of harvest as an illustration of the resurrections (plural) that are coming.” Now we have to always qualify this. Martin Luther once made a classic statement as he and his entourage were riding on horseback to meet the Church officials wherever they were to meet with him after he had nailed his 95 thesis on the Church door. He made this classic statement which I love because I find myself there constantly. He said, “Gentlemen, if only I could tell these men everything that I want to tell them in the first 30 minutes.” Now what did he mean? If he could unload it all on them before they would have time to reject it. Well this is how I feel so often as there is so much in these next few verses, so you’ll have to bear with me as it’s going to take some time. Now verse 21:

I Corinthians 15:21

“For since by man came death, (that was Adam when he rejected God’s discipline, and ate the fruit, and Adam died spiritually immediately. But he also died physically some 900 years later.) by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” Boy that throws a curve at you doesn’t it? Well I can understand how Adam plunged the human race into sin and death because he ate of the forbidden tree. But how in the world did man bring back life to the human race? Well you’ve got to be careful and compare Scripture with Scripture. So look at verse 45 and 46. Now this will explain what Paul is saying in verse 21.

I Corinthians 15:45-47

“And so it is written, `The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last (or second) Adam was made a quickening (or life-giving) spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.'” Now here we have these two Federal heads if you want to call them that. Adam as the head of the natural progeny of the human race, plunged us into sin, and sin precipitated death. Let’s look at that also in Romans Chapter 5 verse 12. It’s not what I say, but rather what The Book says.

Romans 5:12

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death (entered) by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Now that’s what Paul is referring to by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Return to I Corinthians and look at verses 46 and 47 again.

I Corinthians 15:46

“Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.”

Now I’ve made the point on this program ever since we left Genesis, and that is – the format of all of God’s dealing was first the natural, and then the spiritual. Now just stop for a moment and think about that. First we have Cain the natural, and Abel the spiritual. You can go a little further and you find Ishmael the natural and Isaac the spiritual. Then you have Esau the natural, and Jacob the spiritual. King Saul the natural, and King David the spiritual. And you can go all the way up through Scripture, and then bring yourselves into the picture. Here we are the sons of Adam, we are born natural, we are of the flesh, but after we have experienced salvation, and have been born from above, then we’re spiritual. During the Tribulation you’ll have the man Anti-christ, the natural, and then at the end of the Tribulation, and second coming of Christ you have the spiritual. And this is the law of Scripture, and this is what Paul is referring to. First the natural (Adam) and then the spiritual (Christ). Now verse 47 again.

I Corinthians 15:47,48

“The first man is of the earth, earthy; (he was created from the dust of the earth, but) the second man is the Lord from heaven.” Here’s where we have to have a solid understanding that Christ wasn’t just another created being. He was the Creator Himself. Here’s where I get adamant against some of the false teachings that are coming in on us like a flood. Jesus Christ is God, was God, He’s the Creator, He’s the sustainer of the whole universe, and we must never lose sight of that. Otherwise our Gospel (I Corinthians 15:1-4) is a farce. But He is Who He says He is, and that is The Lord from Heaven. Verse 48.

“As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.”

As I taught Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth.” Everything in Scripture is going to be connected to those two entities. It’s either that of the earth, and it’s earthly, or it’s going to be that of Heaven, and it’s heavenly. Israel, then, as you come up through Genesis, becomes the earthly, and then when we come to Paul we find the Church becomes the heavenly. And never can the two meet because there’s that great gulf fixed that you cannot mix the dealings of God with the earthly people of Israel, and the heavenly people which is the Body of Christ, the Church. They are so totally different. Israel is earthly. The Church is heavenly!

I Corinthians 15:49

“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, (that is being born into the human race by way of Adam, by our human parents we are earthly, but we’re not going to stay earthly) we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”

That’s our prospect. We are not for eternity going to be bound as earthly beings. We are going to one day be transformed into that which is heavenly. And we’re going to have bodies like Christ. I had that question come up, “What kind of bodies will we have in the next life?” Well, I turned her back to Philippines 3:20, which says:

Philippines 3:20,21a

“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,…”

Well, what are you going to use for an example? I tell everybody if you want to get just a glimpse of how we are going to function in eternity, then you go back into the Four Gospel accounts, and just study Christ’s 40 days after resurrection. And there you have the perfect picture. When Mary saw Him in that semi-darkness of that early dawn she thought He was the gardener. So did our Lord look weird? No. He looked very common and ordinary, but she defined His features enough to know Who He was. The disciples saw Him cooking fish on the shore, and he told them to put their net on the other side of the boat. So he looked very normal in all of His appearances, and when the net came full then Peter said what? “It’s The Lord.” Well, now if Jesus looked weird and different I think the disciples would not have understood, but they knew Him. And then in the Luke account when they sat down for breakfast what did Jesus also do? He ate with them, and so He had all the outward appearances of another human being, but He was now immortal. He didn’t have to go through the door, He could go through the wall or the ceiling. He could be transported from one place to a zillion miles away in a split second of time. I think even the speed of light is going to become nothing to us when we get into the immortal and eternal.

And so we have this glorious prospect that we’re no longer going to be tied to this old earth and be simple monuments of clay. We’re going to have new, resurrected, immortal, heavenly, eternal bodies. And we’re not going to look weird or something out of some Hollywood concoction. We are going to look just as normal, from all human outward appearances, as The Lord Jesus did in those forty days from His resurrection until His ascension. Now even at His ascension did He go up in some puff of a spirit or a cloud? No! What did the angels say? “This same Jesus as you have seen go, will come back and He’s going to stand on this same mountain.” You know how I’ve always put it – how did He leave? Head first! He went up from the Mount of Olives head first. How is He going to return? Feet first! Zechariah tells us as plain as day that when He returns His feet will stand at that day on the Mount of Olives.

Zechariah 14:4a

And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the east,…”

And the Mount of Olives is there yet today and it’s waiting for Him and one day soon He’s coming to it.