The Apple Of God's Eye

June 9, 2011

The Correct Crucifixion And Resurrection Of Christ

bible-archaeology.info

Many believe they know the details surrounding the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but if they follow the teachings of mainstream Christianity, they are wrong! This is a crucial fact to get correct, because it is the only SIGN of His messiahship that He would give to this “evil and adulterous generation.”

“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly;so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”(Matthew 12:38-40).

Three Days and Three Nights

Matthew 12:38-40 clearly states that Christ would be buried for three days and three nights. Modern churchianity teaches the fable about a Friday crucifixion and Sunday morning resurrection. Yet reconcile yourself to a simple finger count  of nights and days, and you’ll quickly find that from Friday until Sunday morning, as commonly taught, is only two nights and one day, not three of each. This false teaching is NOT proof that Christ is the Son of God because His own words disprove it.

How has the Friday to Sunday myth come to be perpetuated so universally? Well, religious leaders point to the fact that Jesus was crucified the day before a sabbath day, concluding that this means He was killed on a Friday. But they couldn’t be more wrong!

Your Bible proves that the murder of Jesus occurred on Wednesday, April 25, in the year a.d. 31—not Friday. It also proves that the resurrection of Jesus occurred at sunset on Saturday evening, April 28, not at sunrise on Sunday. (more…)

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April 23, 2011

Catholics Have It Wrong On Jesus’ Time In The Grave

Editors Comment: This is a great article about the fallacy of the Catholic Church’s timing of how long Christ was really in the grave, to suit their doctrinal errors. It is from the Trumpet.com, and written by columnist Stephen Flurry. Check it out .

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newcreationperson.wordpress.com

It is commonly assumed that Jesus was crucified on a Friday afternoon and then rose from the dead a day and a half later around sunrise on Sunday morning. But if Jesus died on Friday and vacated His tomb at dawn on Sunday, how does that amount to three days and three nights, the time frame Christ established as proof of His Messiahship?

That’s the intriguing question posed by USA Today last week. Sadly, the article attempted to explain away the sure prophecy of Christ by holding up weak arguments presented by biblical scholars. One “expert” actually reasoned that Jesus didn’t intend for His words in Matthew 12:40 to be a “precise” measure of time!

Even Pope Benedict xvi, the article informs, wrestles with the three-day time frame in his book about Christ’s last days. According to the pope, “There is no direct scriptural testimony pointing to the ‘third day.’”

No scriptural testimony? When the Pharisees asked Christ for a sign as proof of His Messiahship, being in the grave three full days and three full nights was the one and only sign Jesus gave. He meant what He said. In another passage, He even referred to the daylight portion of a day as including 12 hours (John 11:9).

So when Jesus said three days and three nights, He meant 72 hours—no more, no less. That is the plain testimony of Scripture.

When it comes to the Easter sunrise service, however, there is no scriptural testimony to observe that man-made holiday. The word “Easter” appears once in the Bible—in Acts 12:4—and only in the King James Version. Hastings Bible Dictionary and other translations of the Bible correctly render this word, pascha—as it is translated in every other instance it appears in the Bible—as Passover. The Bible says that Jesus Christ was crucified on Passover (Matthew 26:2). (more…)

April 2, 2011

The Dilemma of Death!

Filed under: Death,Resurrection — melchia @ 2:18 pm
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flooded-heart.blogspot.com

Few among us have not been shaken to the very roots — wounded to the very depths of our being by the death of a loved one. Even the great of this world have experienced this traumatic trial. General Douglas MacArthur said of the death of his father: “My whole world changed that night. Never have I been able to heal the wound in my heart” (Reminiscences, page 44). His brother died suddenly in 1923. He later recorded, “I loved my brother dearly and his premature death left a gap in my life which has never been filled” (Reminiscences, page 23). Death claimed his mother in 1935. The General wrote, “Within two months after our arrival in Manila my mother died, and our devoted comradeship of so many years came to an end” (Reminiscences, page 113).

 

Sir Winston Churchill wrote, “My father died on January 24 [1895] in the early morning…. All my dreams of comradeship with him, of entering Parliament at his side were ended. There remained for me only to pursue his aims and vindicate his memory” (My Early Life, page 62).

David’s Example

And remember King David’s experience. He besought God for his stricken child’s life with seven days of fasting and prayer. When the child died, David discontinued his fast — resuming a normal life. His servants were amazed and asked why. David answered, “… 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” (II Sam. 12:22-23).

King David had the right approach and attitude about his son’s death. He exemplified the New Testament scripture which tells us to “… sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (I Thes. 4:13). Also, the very fact that General Douglas MacArthur and Sir Winston Churchill so amply fulfilled their respective roles in life proves they did not continually reflect back on the death of close relatives in a morbid manner. Of course, to sorrow for a little time is natural.

And yet — even when our perspective about death is properly in focus — there is still a gap, a certain void in our lives when a close member of the immediate family or a good friend is removed from us by the sobering occurrence of death. There are few better experiences in this physical life than having your family and friends about you — rejoicing with them — sharing the vicissitudes of life. And yet every family relationship has been broken by death.

When one member dies, he cannot be replaced. He is a unique being. There will never be another Jim or Joe or Helen or Mary. True, one may resume a normal life, get absorbed in activities, cultivate other close friendships, even remarry. But, there are those inevitable moments when we reflect back on previous relationships with deceased loved ones — their personalities — how they were — what good times we had together.

Is there any way this gap can be closed, the void created by death filled, and the sadness permanently healed? Let’s begin to understand.

Jacob’s Example

Notice the Patriarch Jacob’s experience. His other sons sold his favorite son Joseph into slavery. They deceived Jacob into thinking Joseph was dead. His reaction? “And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days” (Gen. 37:34).

The void continued in Jacob’s life for many years (Gen. 37:35; 42:36-38). Later Jacob learned that Joseph was yet alive (Gen. 45:26). He went down to Egypt to see him. Notice this remarkable reunion. “And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel [Jacob] his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive” (Gen. 46:29-30).

Jacob was so happy to see his son Joseph again that he felt his mission completed in life. (Actually, it was not. He had 17 more years to live and some crucial prophecies to pronounce that are still being fulfilled today — many centuries later.) He later told Joseph, “I had not thought to see thy face [again]: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed [your children]” (Gen. 48:11).

God’s Sure Promises

Does God have this same joyous reunion of families in mind for his sons and daughters who overcome and are born into His Kingdom? The answer is an unequivocal “YES!” It is as sure as the rising of tomorrow’s sun.

Remember the words of David: “…I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” What did David mean by “I shall go to him”? David was talking about a reunion with his son in a resurrection. Let Christ clarify. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25). Continue: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all [not part] that are in the graves shall hear his [Jesus’] voice, and shall come forth …” (verses 28 and 29). Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

This is a sure prophecy. The dead shall live. The gap will be closed. The void filled. The wounds healed. Families permanently reunited in the resurrection. Listen! “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4).

Source: Tomorrow’s World, January 1972

 

April 13, 2010

Eternal Life Versus The Fading Flower

my.opera.com

Here’s a biblical contrast if ever there was one – eternal life versus a fading flower! Say what? God compares the two against each other in the book of James :

“Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).

Here God makes an astounding promise of eternal life for those who love (read obey) Him. This is an eternal reward of glory – a promise from God.  A crown of life that lasts forever. Just think – no more worrying about getting old, aches, pains or worry about bills. All is taken care of from there on in – forever.

In contrast, James compares verse 12 with the fading flower of life in verses 9-11:

“Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower thereof fails, and the grace of the fashion thereof perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.”

Now is God against riches? Of course not! Men like Abraham and King David were very rich men who used their blessings to serve God more abundantly. But God is against those who put their riches before Him. In other words, this becomes their idol and this breaks the commandments.

Priorities in this life always have to be kept straight. If Christians allow the physical life to supersede spiritual things, they are in trouble. Life is ephemeral – nothing but a fading flower. We don’t even have a real life. We are simply heading towards death. That is all we have and nothing more, without God. The greatest things life has to offer mean nothing if our life is not lived in service to our Creator. Eternal life is at stake.

March 16, 2010

Why Did Jesus Have To Die?

The Problem: we all have done things that are wrong, and we have failed to obey God’s laws. Because of this we have been separated from God our Creator. Separation from God is death; but, by ourselves, we can do nothing to become united with God.

Why Jesus Could Help: Jesus was not only a man; He was God’s unique Son. Because He never disobeyed God and never sinned, only He can bridge the gap between the sinless God and sinful mankind.

The Solution: Jesus freely offered His life for us, dying on the cross in our place, taking all our wrongdoing upon Himself, and saving us from the consequences of sin – including God’s judgment and death.

The Results: Jesus took our present and future sins upon Himself so that we could have new life. Because all our wrongdoing is forgiven, we are reconciled to God. Furthermore, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the proof that His substitory sacrifice on the cross was acceptable to God, and His resurrection has become the source of new life for whoever believes that Jesus is the Son of God. All who believe in Him may have this new life in union with Him.

January 16, 2010

Why The Resurrection Instead Of Going To Heaven?

Most people believe that Christ completed God’s plan of redemption by dying on the cross. But if salvation was made full and complete by Jesus’ death, then why does the Bible still speak of a resurrection from the dead?

We often hear the saying, “Christ died to save sinners,” but this is not even a Biblical quotation. If you believe that Christ’s death imparts to us eternal life — that the blood of Christ — His death, actually saves or imparts everlasting life, then you are wrong in your assumption. Nowhere in the Bible does it say this is so!

So why did Christ Die for us ? First, realize that all have sinned and the penalty for sin is death (Rom. 3:23, 6:23)! The Bible definition of sin is the transgression of God’s law — summed up by the Ten Commandments (I John 3:4). It was established by God for the happiness of man, something that has eluded him in a world of strife and war, fear and worry, poverty and want, discontent and suffering.

This world believes God’s salvation merely imparts eternal life! Jesus said He came that we might have eternal life, yes. But He also said something more: “I am come,” He said, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Not merely continuous existence — but a life full of happiness for all eternity! (more…)

December 15, 2009

Human Reproduction Pictures Spiritual Birth

In the fifth chapter of Ephesians you find a husband-wife relationship pictured as corresponding to Christ and the Church. Scriptural teaching assures us that, at His coming, Christ is going to marry the Church. Also, the Scriptures teach that the Church will, at His coming, be born of God, by a resurrection of all who have died, and the instantaneous conversion from mortal to immortal of those then living (I Cor. 15:50-53).

Immediately the question arises: “If those in the Church are to be just then born of God, how can they marry Christ before they grow up?”

Let’s understand!

Why were we born in the first place? What is the real purpose of human life? God Almighty the Creator is reproducing Himself! As truly as we mortal humans have been given power to reproduce ourselves–to bring forth progeny in our own image, born with our very nature–even so the Great God is bringing forth sons in His image, born with His very divine nature! The very purpose of our existence is that we be begotten as God’s children, and become born of Him.

And human reproduction is the very type of spiritual reproduction. What God created at the time described in the first chapter of Genesis was a physical creation. You’ll find nothing spiritual there. In physical man, made of the dust of the ground, God created the material with which He may mold, shape, form, and create the spiritual being. He pictures us as the clay, Himself as the Potter–forming us into the spiritual image of His designing.

Now human reproduction pictures spiritual reproduction. Each human, since Adam and Eve, started from a tiny egg, called an ovum, the size of a pinpoint. It was produced in the body of the mother. The egg is incomplete, of itself. It has a life of only about 48 hours, according to some authorities. Unless fertilized by the life-giving sperm cell from the human father within that limited lifetime, it dies.

Each human, spiritually speaking, is like an egg. The average human lifetime is said to be 70-80 years. Adam was created incomplete, and each of us was born incomplete–that is, we were made to need the Holy Spirit of God. And unless, within our limited lifespan of some 70-80 years, we are begotten of God–by His Spirit which is His immortal divine LIFE, entering to impart eternal life to us–we shall die–and that shall be the end–except that God has appointed a resurrection of all who have lived, and, for those who reject His gift of eternal life, the final second death in the lake of fire.

But, in the case of the human ovum, once fertilized as a begotten human, the egg–now called an embryo–is kept within the body of the mother, and is nourished and fed material food through her and protected by her. And there it must grow, being fed physically through the mother, large enough to be born. After a number of weeks, the embryo is called a fetus, and at birth it is a human baby.

In like manner, the Bible calls the Church the “mother of us all.” That is, the mother of Christians–those begotten of God. It is the function of the Church to protect and feed, spiritually, on the spiritual food of God’s Word, those begotten children of God, so that we may grow spiritually, in the divine character, ready to be born.

Surely this is a wonderful comparison. Yet types and antitypes are not always alike in every detail.

When a physical baby is born, it is not ready for marriage. When the spiritual child of God is born he will be fully mature for the spiritual marriage. How can this be?

The unborn human fetus is only growing physically. At birth the human baby knows nothing. He is helpless. He must be taught. He must learn. He is born merely with a mind capable of learning, knowing, thinking. He is not yet of mature size physically or mentally. Many do marry who are still entirely immature spiritually and/or emotionally. But we do assume that one has reasonable maturity physically and mentally before marriage. In the human, this development takes place in the human state after the human birth.

Therefore, the human baby is not ready for marriage at birth.

But the spirit-born are different!

Just as the fertilized ovum–the embryo which becomes the fetus–must grow physically from material food, so the Spirit-begotten child of God must grow spiritually before he can be born. But there is a difference!

The fetus does not attain to complete physical maturity before birth, and has no mental maturity. But, in the spiritual rebirth, one must attain reasonable spiritual maturity before he is spirit-born.

Now what is spiritual growth? Just as the physical embryo-fetus must grow physically large enough to be born, so the Spirit-begotten Christian must grow spiritually or he will never be born of God. But spiritual growth is CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

The Spirit-begotten starts out with a MIND from the beginning. God is perfect character–divine, spiritual character. God is also love. And perfect spiritual character is the way of love! Such character is the attainment of the ability, in a separate independent entity of free moral agency, to be able to discern right from wrong–the true values from the false–truth from error–the right way from the wrong, and then to make the right choice or decision, even against self-desire, impulse or temptation; plus the will and self-discipline to resist the wrong and to do the right.

No human, with human nature, has the power–alone by himself–to do this. But God has made available the spiritual power and help man lacks. Man must desire to know–must hunger and thirst for truth; man must make his own decision, exercise his own will, even against the pulls of his nature. But without the help of God–without spiritual power from God–man is utterly unable.

That is why truly converted Christians sometimes actually do sin. They are like the apostle Paul, as he describes himself in Romans 7. With his mind he wanted to go the way of Gods law, yet he found himself unable. Another law warred within him against the good resolutions of his mind. But the sequel to Romans 7 is Romans 8–the Holy Spirit chapter. Who, Paul cried out, could save him from this body of death he struggled against in vain? The answer is, God, through His Holy Spirit.

A true Christian doesn’t want to sin–should not. But sometimes he finds himself caught in the vise of habit, or overwhelmed by temptation or by circumstances from which he is unable to free himself. Surely, had such a one been continually praying, keeping himself close to God, and detached from the world or its lures or the temptations of the flesh, he probably would have had sufficient divine help to have prevented the sinning. But only Jesus Christ ever did keep that close to God!

God looks on the heart. In such a case, the Christian does not sin maliciously, with malice aforethought. He is merely caught in the vortex of a temptation which sucks him helplessly down into the sin. Then he is terribly sorry. He is disgusted with himself. He repents. He goes to work to overcome. He may not succeed, due to human weakness, at once. But he remains determined and finally does, with God’s help, overcome completely. Many a true Christian has had such a struggle over a particular human weakness and temptation, and after even several setbacks, finally, through God’s power, won the victory and fought his way free.

God looks on the heart. God forgives in such cases. The living Christ, our High Priest, has compassion, is filled with mercy–as long as the attitude is right, the desire of the inner man is to conquer the flesh and overcome the temptation and be free from it entirely. In the end, it is God who gives the victory. But, in such a struggle, the Christian develops character.

Now character, I have said many times, is something God does not create automatically. It is developed through experience. The development of that character is the very purpose of our being alive. Also the development of that character, unlike the purely physical growth of the unborn baby, actually is growing toward spiritual maturity, right now in the begettal stage prior to spirit birth–in this present mortal human life.

Notice how the “mother of us all,” the Church, is to protect and feed those in it, until they reach spiritual maturity. In I Corinthians 12 you’ll read how God gives spiritual gifts for various administrations, or functions of service. In Ephesians 4:11-14, Christ has given special spiritual abilities or talents to certain ones in a chain of authority under Him in the Church–and notice for what purpose:

“And his [Christ’s] gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ [the Church], UNTIL we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (RSV).

In other words, to full spiritual maturity!

Now why should we count the troubles and problems and temptations that beset us as all joy?

Simply because we cannot hurdle these obstacles successfully in our own power. They drive us to seek help from God. To go to God for the wisdom to know what to do, and the power to be able to do it, requires faith. This is a living faith. It is alive. It is active.

When we meet such trials, we often do not know what to do. We lack the wisdom to make the right decision. So open your Bible to the first chapter of James. Notice verse 5.

If you lack wisdom, in such trials, go to God for it! But ask in faith–no wavering–no doubting. Be sure God will not fail, but will give you this wisdom. Depend upon Him for it. If you waver, you are like a wave in the ocean–tossed back and forth–going nowhere! So, instead of wavering, be steadfast. And if you don’t get the answer immediately from God, have patience. Don’t give up. Trust Him.

Now notice verses 2-3: “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (Revised Standard Version). These trials force you to your knees. You must have faith to meet them. They test your faith. They develop spiritual character!

In the King James Version, it says the trying of your faith produces patience. It produces that kind of patience that is steadfastness. That is character!

Sure, it may be unpleasant for a while. But, Paul assures us that if we suffer with Christ, we shall reign with Him–and the glory to be revealed in us is so incomparably greater than anything we now are, that this promised future for eternity is something to rejoice over!

Yes, count it all joy! Even if unpleasant. It is maturing you, now, for the marriage to Christ. The Church of God shall be born into the Kingdom of God! The Kingdom of God will not be composed of spiritual know-nothings and infants.

When we are born again–born of God–resurrected in spirit bodies, those bodies will not be small, like a human physical infant which must grow to full physical size. We shall look as we do now, so far as form and shape and features are concerned. But the resurrected body will be a different body–composed of spirit instead of flesh and blood (I Cor. 15:35-44).

The original twelve apostles were Christ’s witnesses. That is, they were actual eyewitnesses that Jesus rose from the dead–that the living resurrected Christ was the same Jesus who had been crucified. They were with Him forty days after His resurrection. But nobody will be foolish enough to suggest that when Christ was born very Son of God by the resurrection (Romans 1:4) that He was resurrected in a tiny infant’s body composed of spirit. He was resurrected full grown, as He had been when crucified. How did the apostles know He was the same Jesus? Because they knew what Jesus had looked like–and in His born-again, resurrected body He looked the same, except He now was composed of spirit instead of matter!

The resurrected Christ was perfect–He was very God! But He did not grow up into perfection after He was resurrected. It was during His human lifetime, setting us the example, that He was made perfect, as you read in Hebrews 2:10 and 5:8-9.

Thus it is plain that we must develop spiritual character, growing to spiritual adulthood, during this life–not after our resurrection in glory! This is the spiritual growth, of which the physical growth of the unborn child, from tiny embryo to a size and weight of some six to eight pounds at birth, is a type. The physical growth of the unborn human is a growth of physical size and weight. The spiritual growth of the begotten but yet unborn spiritual child of God is a growth in spiritual character, not of physical volume, size or weight. The human baby merely grows large enough to be born prior to birth–not to physical or mental maturity. But he does grow. And this physical growth is the type of the spiritual growth by feeding on the Word of God, and prayer, and Christian fellowship, and participation in the Work of God in the life of the begotten child of God.

The difference is merely the difference between matter and spirit. One is a material growth. Material growth is measured by volume, size, weight. The other is spiritual growth, measured by character development.

Jesus was born very Son of God by His resurrection (Romans 1:4). He was born fully mature. He was born in a spirit body, which was manifested to His apostles in the same apparent size and shape as when He died. When He appears on earth the second time, in His spirit glorified body, we shall be resurrected, or instantaneously changed, to a body that will be like Him (1 John 3:2)–full grown–adult!

Source: Plain Truth, 1978

August 9, 2009

The Three Resurrections Explained!

Resurrection - From Mortal To Immortal

The 1st Resurrection - From Mortal To Immortal

Throughout history, man has had a fascination with death and the afterlife. Will you and your loved ones live again? Do you have an immortal soul, as so many professing “Christians” believe?

The biblical teachings on life and death have been primary targets of Satan the devil from the beginning. The first recorded lie was that man would not die, (Gen. 3:4) and man has believed the “immortal soul” lie ever since.

Consider the domino effect of this one lie. If man has an immortal soul, he cannot die; if he cannot die, he cannot be resurrected! Furthermore, the Apostle Paul wrote that if we deny the resurrection of the dead, we deny the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, leaving us totally without hope (I Cor. 15:13-14, 19).

The Immortal Soul Lie

When Satan told Eve that she “would not surely die,” she was deceived. Both Eve and Adam subsequently chose to reject the revelation that God had given them. Mankind refuses to accept God’s revelation about death and resurrection to this day, relying instead on his own human reasoning. Modern “Christianity” commonly accepts the immortal soul lie without a shred of evidence and with plenty of proof to the contrary!

Gen. 2:7 says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” This word soul in no way implies immortal life. The word is nephesh in Hebrew and is translated “a breathing animal.” It is used throughout the Old Testament to describe creatures such as cattle, fowl, whales — and man. Ecclesiastes 3:19 shows that man dies just as the animals do.

The soul is physical, composed of matter and it can die. We see this point emphasized throughout the Bible. “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). Our temporary physical existences are also compared to withering grass that is blown away by a gust of wind (I Pet. 1:24; Ps. 103:13-16).

The Bible shows that all who die — which is everyone –, will eventually be resurrected. The question is not if a person will be resurrected, but when.  “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order” (I Cor. 15:22-23).

Jesus Christ was the first to be resurrected. He is the “firstborn among many brethren,” (Rom. 8:29) and has made the resurrection of everyone who ever lived possible. A careful study of God’s word reveals that there are three resurrections yet to come.

What follows is a brief overview of the biblical teachings concerning the resurrections.

The First Resurrection

The first resurrection is reserved specially for a) the dead in Christ and b) those that are Christ’s at His coming. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thess. 4:16-17). These are those that belong to Jesus Christ; those who have repented and received the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9). These people will live forever and reign with Christ throughout the Millennium, as shown in Revelation 20:5-6.

The Second Resurrection

Revelation 20:5 shows when the next resurrection will take place: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” As we can see, at the end of the 1000 years, two things will happen. Firstly, Satan, who will have been imprisoned throughout the Millennium, (v.3) will be released from his prison and, secondly, everyone else who has ever died will be resurrected. Most of humanity will be brought back to life in this resurrection, as described in Ezekiel 37:1-14. They will then finally have God’s truth revealed to them and be given their chance to become a part of God’s Kingdom. This period of time is called the Great White Throne Judgment.

Only one passage reveals the duration of the Great White Throne Judgment: Isaiah 65:17-25. In verse 20, we read, “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.” From this point on, no more infants will be born. There will then be two classes of people: “the child” and “the sinner.”

“The child,” in this instance, refers to a person who is righteous. We are to enter the Kingdom of God as a little child (Luke 18:17). Why, then, does the prophet Isaiah say that the child will die?

Because it is given to all men to die once. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27). The temporal, physical existence of the righteous will end. Those that fall into the category of “the child” will become the spirit-born sons of God, just as those that were Christ’s at His coming did in the First Resurrection. They also will be “changed in the twinkling of an eye” (I Cor. 15:51-52).

The Third Resurrection

The Third Resurrection is a resurrection to the second death. The prophet Daniel spoke of this resurrection: “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.” Jesus Christ calls it the resurrection of “condemnation” (John 5:29).

Everyone will be given the opportunity to repent and become a part of God’s family, but not everyone will accept it. Those that are not found in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire, ending their existence forever (Rev. 14:10). Malachi 4:3 adds that in the end the ashes of the wicked will be under the feet of the righteous. The incorrigibly wicked will have died the second death, from which there will never be a resurrection (Rev. 20:14-15). This is a merciful act on the part of their Creator. These people would be miserable eternally if they had immortal life, so God mercifully end their lives, leaving only the “smoke of their torment” to ascend forever (Rev.14:11).

Incredible Human Potential

When the resurrections have finally taken place, those left alive will have an immortal soul — one composed of God’s Holy Spirit rather than dust. The resurrections are, in fact, the fulfillment of our incredible human potential. In his book, The Incredible Human Potential, Mr. Armstrong wrote about that awesome future:

“When born of God, we shall be Spirit, no longer human flesh and blood. We shall be given power! As Daniel revealed, the saints then shall take the kingdoms of earth’s nations and rule them for the first thousand years — establishing world peace and Divine government under Christ.

“And after that? The passage in Hebrews 2 shows that then, again under Christ, we shall be given power to rule over the entire vast universe — literally all things. For that is the power that has been given to Christ and will be ours as joint inheritors with Him!

“Yes, there is a life after death for those obedient to God — a Spirit life of incredible potential beyond our wildest dreams! Can we humans grasp the awesome portent of these astounding truths? Attaining immortal life should be our all-encompassing goal. For that is the gift and desire of our merciful Father and His Son Jesus Christ.”

What a glorious vision of the future!

June 24, 2009

Could The Earth Contain All The Resurrected People Of History?

researchpark.arc.nasa.gov

researchpark.arc.nasa.gov

This world in its present state could hold few more people. Many areas are terribly overcrowded. Tillable land is becoming more scarce in many countries, and much of the world is covered with gigantic mountain ranges which are too high to be of use. Deserts or polar regions monopolize each continent at this time, and pollution, wars, and many other problems have lessened the earth’s capacity to support additional people.

It is unlikely, then, that the world could now contain all those who will ever have lived. What we need to keep in mind, however, is that they will not live in this world, this age, this society. They will be resurrected after a thousand years of renovation by God’s Government (Rev. 20:4-5). Here are some of the physical changes that will be made.

Mountains will be miraculously lowered to a tillable height, and valleys below sea level will be elevated (Isa. 40:4). The deserts will blossom abundantly (Isa. 35:1-2). God will restore a right climate to the earth and will provide rain when needed (Isa. 30:23; 35:7; Zech. 10:1). These changes will take time, but Christ and the saints will have a thousand years to prepare the entire earth for the multitudes that will be resurrected after the millennium.

Suppose that at the time the events of Revelation 20:11-12 occur, 40 billion people will have lived. Could the earth possibly support this number? Simple mathematics — fifty million square miles of land surface shared by forty billion people — tell us that there would be about five acres of land available for each four-to six-member household. This would be large enough to feed the household and leave plenty of space for other purposes. This fits perfectly with Micah 4:4: “They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid.”

The Bible clearly shows the logic of God’s plan for mankind.

June 21, 2009

Reincarnation: Myth Or Fact?

hubpages.com/hub

hubpages.com/hub

Reincarnation is a concept which is common to many religious beliefs and spiritual practices. Those who believe in this theory teach that after death a person’s “soul” is reborn in a new body, which is sometimes referred to as the “transmigration of the soul” or metempsychosis.

The abundance of reincarnation myths around the world finds appeal in the idea that a fundamental part of themselves will live on after death, even though their bodies may decay.

The immortality of the soul doctrine (especially prevalent in the West) is basic to the belief in reincarnation. But, that doctrine is false! The classic inquiry “Who am I?” is being replaced by the puzzling question “Who was I?”. The Bible plainly shows that one’s soul is NOT immortal. Notice Genesis 3:19:

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust [not another body] shalt thou return.”

Also notice Ecclesiastes 3:19-20:

“For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast …. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.”

Psalm 146:4 states that when a man dies “his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts
perish.”

We can further this concept for those who say the body is irrelevant to the concept of reincarnation by quoting Heb. 9:27, which states that  a man “is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. In other words, he is NOT reborn to die over and over again.

So if this belief is not biblical, how did it start?

What is reincarnation?

“Reincarnation, literally “to be made flesh again”, is a doctrine or metaphysical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body. This essential part is often referred to as the spirit or soul, the “higher” or “true” self, “divine spark”, or “I”. According to such beliefs, a new personality is developed during each life in the physical world, but some part of the self remains constant throughout the successive lives.” [wikipedia]

Answers.com terms reincarnation as rebirth of the soul in another body. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia terms it as the doctrine of the rebirth of the soul in one or more existences. Oxford University Press expresses it as existence of a soul that is periodically reincarnated in a body. And Columbia Encyclopedia references it as occupation by the soul of a new body after the death of the earlier body.

The teaching of reincarnation (a religion of the east) is making heavy inroads into Western society today. However, it is important to understand that it is in no way a scientific or religious truth.

Reincarnation in Hindu art

Reincarnation in Hindu art

The concept of this belief can be stated as follows: after death, the human soul leaves the body and passes into either 1) a plant body, an animal body, another human body, or even an extra-terrestrial body.

Belief in reincarnation has ancient roots. This doctrine is a central tenet within the majority of Indian religious traditions, such as Hinduism (including Yoga, Vaishnavism, and Shaivism).

It also appears in Jainism and Sikhism, two faiths that grew out of Hinduism and are still practiced in India. Jainism shares with Hinduism a belief in many gods. Sikhism, a monotheistic religion, combines some elements of Islam with Hinduism.

Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism all began in India, where the idea of rebirth first appears in texts dating from about 700 B.C. They share a belief in samsara—the wheel of birth and rebirth—and karma—the idea that an individual’s future incarnation depends on the way he or she lived. People who have done good deeds and led moral lives are reborn into higher social classes; those who have not are doomed to return as members of the lower classes or as animals. Only by achieving the highest state of spiritual development can a person escape samsara altogether. (Mythencyclopedia)

The idea was further entertained by some ancient Greek philosophers, the Egyptians and Greeks,  among the Celts and Druids, and in various “mystery religions” of the Near East. It spread somewhat among the Hebrews, before the time of Christ, and has survived among various Hasidic groups in the world today.

Many modern Neopagans also believe in it, as do some New Age movements, along with followers of Spiritism, practitioners of certain African traditions, and students of esoteric philosophies such as Kabbalah, and Gnostic and Esoteric Christianity. The Buddhist concept of Rebirth although often referred to as reincarnation differs significantly from the Hindu-based traditions and New Age movements in that there is no unchanging “soul” (or eternal self) to reincarnate.

People apart from ancient Israel had no concept of a personal God,  so  reincarnation took hold as a way of explaining many of the mysteries of this life. The perpetual state of karma (as a primitive form of retribution) supposedly helps to  “expiate’ the sins of previous incarnations.

Does the Bible mention reincarnation?

While the Bible does not mention the term reincarnation, it does condemn it in context in speaking of John the Baptist. In the Gospel of John, Christ is asked about a blind man: Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind? In other words, he must have done something wrong in a previous life, or he wouldn’t have been born with blindness. To which the Savior replied: Neither he nor his parents sinned…but that the works of God might be manifest in him (John 9:2-3r).Jesus Christ here clearly refuted the idea that the existence of evil can be explained by reincarnation. Why? Because reincarnation undercuts the gospel message in three ways.

  1. First, it assumes that God is impersonal and is therefore unknowable.
  2. Second, reincarnation denigrates the Atonement of Christ.
  3. Third, it denies the fact that Jesus physically resurrected from the dead.

You see, the law of karma is entirely incompatible with the teachings of the Bible. There is no mechanistic “wheel of re-birth” (as taught by Hindus, Buddhists, and their Western equivalents). Those who are now in the grave will NOT go to heaven, as “no one has gone up into Heaven, except He having come down out of Heaven, the Son of Man…., and neither will their consciousness leave the grave:

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29)

Esoteric foolishness

Still, many tell of crackpot esoteric experiences which seems real to them, but they conveniently throw out the Scriptures to go with their own impressions and subjective opinions. Such people are attracted by superficial and grandiose nonsense about hallucinatory “memories” of previous lifetimes-often gained through “regressive hypnosis.” That might make for some exciting storytelling, and if good enough, maybe even land them an appearance on Oprah and guaranteed a few book sales. But it doesn’t make for good reality.

...according to the idea of reincarnation, if one is “saved” at all it is only after many lifetimes of working out the consequences of one’s sins. This is the cold and dreary legalism of the pagan religions which was totally abolished by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. (Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose): The Soul After Death)

The term “Christian” has been rendered nearly meaningless now with people of every bizarre belief and teaching claiming that their views can comport with Christianity. Ignoring the word of God and therefore avoiding being moved by the Spirit of God, such people circumvent the entire process of Christian growth. There is no spiritual maturity, because there is no growing where there is no knowing (II Pet. 3:18).

Christ told us that the way was narrow that leads to eternal life. Anyone who denies the clear teachings of Scripture about the afterlife denies Christ by his rejection of the Word of God.

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The real nature of man is something few understand. The teaching of the immortality of the  soul is simply un-biblical and cannot be substantiated by scripture. Those who try do so with limited understanding or false pretenses.

June 4, 2009

Life after Death: It's Not What You Think!

yinvsyang.com

yinvsyang.com

Few things have intrigued mankind as much as the concept of an afterlife. After about 75-80 years, death is the surest thing in anyone’s life. Eventually, everyone has to face that fact, but what follows death? The popular belief is that an immortal soul continues to live on, either in heaven or hell. Yet is that what the Bible teaches?

Return from the afterlife?

Let’s review what happens when a man dies. First, some people claim that they have experienced “life” after they had supposedly died and returned to tell about their unusual experience.

Though many of these happenings are understandably astounding and seem to contradict what the Bible says about
death, the whole idea of this so-called “life after life” experience is based on the premise that these people died.

According to the medical profession, these individuals were clinically dead. However, medical science has not yet agreed on what constitutes actual death in a human being. Real death, according to the Bible, is total and complete unconsciousness — without memory, feeling, knowledge, or perception (Eccl. 9:5, 10; Ps. 6:5). Therefore, it is evident that those who were revived to relate their experiences were not actually dead, but simply in an unconscious state.

Furthermore, science has discovered that the human brain and nervous system are actuated by electrical signals and impulses. The brain is dependent on a steady supply of blood and oxygen to function properly. When circulation and respiration are impaired or interrupted for even a few minutes, the brain begins to malfunction, and will eventually cease functioning altogether.

It is thought by some researchers that the strange lights, sensations, perceptions, and the like, associated with “coming
back from death” may be attributable to the electrical malfunctions of the brain and nervous system associated with the
trauma of nearly dying.

The fact is: we don’t really know, but there is one undeniable truth – these people did not come back from the dead.

The truth about death

In Romans 6:23, we read that “the wages of sin is DEATH,” not everlasting life in either heaven or hell. Real death, as we have already seen from the Biblical account, is a total and complete unconsciousness — without memory, feeling, knowledge, or perception. Why does it say this? Because the Bible makes it abundantly clear that the doctrine of going to heaven after you die is complete and utter nonsense:

  1. “And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended out of heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven” (John 3:13).
  2. “For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand.” So we see that David also, a “man after God’s own heart” is still in the grave. Surely, he deserves a place in heaven if there was such a place to go after death?

The commentaries (as well as critics), get all convoluted about this verse. Because of the inherent belief of heaven for the saved, they cannot come up with a unified conclusion. They reason that this verse merely means t is the body that is in the grave, but not the soul. But they reason around the plain language of the Bible.

No immortal soul

Death is the effect, or “wages” earned, for living the way of sin. The reason man has to die is sin. Sin causes death. Every man is subject to death because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Thus every man is destined to die.

But when he is dead, God informs us: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Note that there is no work, no device, no knowledge and no wisdom in the grave. The dead know nothing — they are simply dead! Solomon was also inspired to write, “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing…” (verse 5, Revised Standard Version).

Those in the grave cannot do anything and their souls don’t praise God, as many believe. That is reserved for those living (Isaiah 38:18-19). The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, which simply means a living, breathing creature. When God created mankind, man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). He didn’t possess an immortal soul, but became a living, breathing creature. The same Hebrew word is used to describe the life of animals — “every living creature” — in Genesis 1:21, 24 and 2:19. Like the animals, man does not possess an immortal soul.

When an individual dies, his body simply returns to dust (Genesis 3:19) — just as an animal does when it dies (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20). When God created man, He created him in His own image and likeness. In the Creator’s great wisdom, He created man with a temporary physical existence — subject to decay and death — so that, should he reject God’s way of life, man would mercifully cease to exist for all eternity.

At the re-creation, recorded in Genesis, God created two physical trees — symbolic of two ways of life — two choices (Genesis 2:9). God then clearly instructed man regarding which choice he should make (verses 16-17). He told him that eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would lead to death! But man did not believe his Creator. Instead, Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan’s lie that they would not die — that man is an immortal soul — that they already had eternal life (Genesis 3:4-6). Disobeying God, they incurred the death penalty. Twice God records in the book of Ezekiel that “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, 20).

A change after death

But there is an actual life after death. No, I’m not contradicting myself. The patriarch Job posed the question: “If a man die, shall he live again?….” He then answers his own question by stating, “…all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14). Job was expecting a change — a change to what?

The Bible reveals that, ultimately, everyone dies physically. The Apostle Paul stated: “[l]t is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). All men die physically — all suffer the first death. As all die physically, all will, at some time, be judged. God will judge all humans according to a plan — a time order — at different periods of time. Each of God’s judgment periods is followed by a resurrection. The Bible shows that all mankind will be resurrected in one of three resurrections.

The first resurrection

God records in 1 Corinthians 15, also known as the resurrection chapter, that “as in Adam all DIE, even so in Christ shall ALL [the same “all”] BE MADE ALIVE. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (verses 22-23). At this time only God’s people are being judged (I Peter 4:17). Following this present period of judgment, all “they that are Christ’s at his coming” will be resurrected or changed (1 Corinthians 15:23, 52). These verses refer to the first resurrection, that of the saints, or firstfruits, called out of the world now, to be changed to spirit life at the return of Christ. This is the change Job awaited.

The second resurrection

But what about the rest of humanity — those not called and being judged now? I Corinthians 15:24 focuses on another resurrection — the second resurrection — that will occur at “the end” of Christ’s millennial rule on Earth. In contrast to the first resurrection, this is a resurrection to physical life and a 100-year period of judgment (Isaiah 65:20) for all those cut off from a relationship with God during Satan’s 6,000-year reign on Earth.

We find a more detailed description of the nature of this resurrection in Ezekiel 37. God is not a respecter of persons and will provide every human with the opportunity to get to know Him, choose to and learn to live by His laws, and — after a period of growth and overcoming — be born into the Family of God. This will be the greatest resurrection in terms of numbers. At this time, the billions who have lived cut off from God during Satan’s dominion will be given their opportunity to learn and become a part of God’s awesome plan for mankind.

The third resurrection

Following the second resurrection and judgment of those in it, is another resurrection — the third resurrection, also to physical life. This resurrection is reserved for the willfully disobedient who cling to the way of sin. They are resurrected to be condemned to death. Only a loving God would devise such a merciful plan that prevents man from living in eternal misery and causing misery to those around him.

All three resurrections are described in the 20th chapter of the book of Revelation.

Born again produces change

So the change spoken of in the bible can only be undergone if we are born again. What does it really mean to be born again? Christ made it very plain: “That which is born of the flesh IS flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit IS spirit” (John 3:6). And physical flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50). We must be born again, or changed to immortal spirit.

May 10, 2009

Will Aborted, Stillborn, or Miscarried Babies Be Resurrected?

angela-stevens.com

angela-stevens.com

In this past century, the world has changed from abortion being unacceptable (with minor exceptions) to abortion being an accepted form of birth control.

But the fetus is indeed human, as evidence proves. By seven weeks, the unborn child has its own measurable brain waves. Brain waves are among the legal criteria to determine whether a person is dead, so also, brain life, or the point at which brain waves are first detected, should determine the viability of a fetus.

Since brain waves can now be detected at seven weeks, doctors are in fact aborting living humans. And of course the fetus is already alive before the seven weeks!

If one has any doubt when a human life begins, one should give the baby the benefit of the doubt. As U.S. President Ronald Reagan once wrote, “If you don’t know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it.”

A matter of attitude

Consider this: A woman rushes to a hospital in labor. Within minutes she gives birth to a 22-week-old premature baby. Since the mother wants the child, the hospital will do everything within its power to save the life. Great sums of money in health care may be spent on the effort.

Now go down a corridor and into another room. There a woman has her 22-week-old fetus aborted. The mother didn’t want the baby. We are told that her 22-week aborted baby isn’t a viable human being! How can it be human in one room and a nonviable human in another?

The difference is the woman’s — and the doctor’s — attitude.

Proabortionists want to believe that the growing baby within the woman is nothing but “fetal tissue.” They either avoid or conceal the fact that the baby is actually a human and dies a painful death when aborted.

Science shows early life

Since 91 percent of abortions within the United States, for example, occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, let’s look at fetal development of the unborn:

  • Within 18 days after conception the beating heart already pumps blood through its own bloodstream.
  • By six weeks the nervous system begins to function. The kidneys and stomach begin working.
  • At around seven weeks, the unborn embryo has its own brain waves. (Brain waves are among the legal criteria that determine whether a person is alive or not.)
  • At nine and 10 weeks the thyroid and adrenal glands function. The embryo can squint, swallow and respond to noise.
  • By 10 weeks the unborn basically has everything a newborn baby has.

What happens when an attempt is made to end this life? To kill the unborn 10-week embryo may require the D&E (dilation and evacuation) technique. The abortionist basically draws and quarters the embryo.

When the abortionist’s instrument first touches the uterine wall, the embryo immediately recoils and the heart rate increases. The unborn responds by attempting to escape the instrument. The abortionist grabs an arm or leg and rips it from the body. Blood begins oozing from the baby. Then the abortionist finds another arm or leg and tears it off. He continues until everything is severed.

Finally the dead, dismembered embryo has its skull crushed. The parts are then sucked out. It’s all over in about 15 minutes. To say this embryo perceives no pain is, at the least, not telling the entire story. Today’s society doesn’t tolerate convicted murderers to die this kind of death!

Prenatal research also reveals the unborn responds to pain, touch, cold, sound and light. The unborn gets hiccups, sucks a thumb, passes through waking and sleeping stages and respond to hearing their mother’s voice.

It seems that the womb is not the quiet place some thought it was.

Source: Plain Truth, 1985

Are the unborn resurrected?

It is God’s great master plan to make salvation and eternal life available to every human being who has ever lived or will live in the future. He will resurrect those who die without having had this opportunity.

We have seen that unborn babies are fully human at the earliest stages, and so it is no small leap of faith to say that the spirit in man (Job 32:8), which goes up to God upon death (Ecc. 3:21), enters at conception. So if after conception, the zygote (a fertilized egg cell) has the potential to produce a human life, we can logically conclude that babies who die before they are born will be raised in the second resurrection. There is of course no way to know with 100 percent certainty, but we do know with certainty that God is merciful and, with His infinite wisdom, will maintain His master plan.

April 8, 2009

What Does It Mean To Be Born Of Water – And Of Spirit?

117Here is a verse which really confuses mainstream Christianity which believes in the false notion of going to heaven when one dies. In fact, there is not one verse in the Bible which backs up this assumption. John 3:5 states:

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” 

Jesus here spoke of a literal birth — the entrance into the Family of God as a spirit being, and the process by which one attains that goal. It DOES NOT speak about going to heaven. Hence, both water and God’s Spirit are involved. 

What does the Bible say about being “born of water”? The apostle Peter explained that upon repentance one should be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Baptism pictures the washing away of past sins and the burial of the old self (Rom. 6). In addition, Ephesians 5:26-27 and John 15:3 show that Jesus Christ is sanctifying and cleansing His Church with the “washing of water by the word [the Bible].” Why? So He might present it to Himself as a Church without any spiritual blemishes.  The crowning glory of each person’s life will be his resurrection. Then the saints will be changed from mortal to immortal to become children of God.

I Corinthians 15:51-54 gives an amazingly clear description of this process. Jesus here attempts to describe this spiritual process to a carnal thinking Nicodemus. He explains that “what is born of the spirit is spirit.” This does not merely mean that we are renewed “like the Spirit,” or that we are renewed by the Spirit of God, while still in our physical forms. That would be trivializing what is really said here. Jesus Christ said that we are to literally be born into the family of God – to be Spirit beings in the Father’s family. This is made plain by the emphasis on the fact that none yet reside with God in heaven:

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even  the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13)

Further proof is in Acts 2:34:

“For David is not ascended into the heavens…” This despite David being long dead, and surely worthy of being in heaven as he is a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

Could anything be plainer? We do not go to heaven or hell upon our death. Those doctrines are man made myths. But we do have the choice of eternal life in the family of God. If we understand, repent, are baptized (Acts 2:38) and then walk in the ways (commandments) of God, we will inherit eternal life as a Spirit member of the family of God. THIS is the concept Jesus tried to explain to Nicodemus.

If we do not accept the conditions God imposes on us – in complete love – will not be written in the book of life and will end up in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). This IS NOT HELL. This concept is of God, who destroys the wicked quickly and with the least amount of suffering possible, to lose out on eternal life and joy with God. There is no such thing as suffering eternally with God, as He is a God of love, not hatred. It’s time we banish the foolishness of denominational doctrines meant to enslave man in pagan fears and superstitions. They only destroy the beautiful message of the gospel, which Jesus Christ died for.

March 15, 2009

Could the Earth Contain All The Resurrected People Of History?

Filed under: Resurrection — melchia @ 2:15 am
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111

This world in its present state could hold few more people. Many areas are terribly overcrowded. Tillable land is becoming more scarce in many countries, and much of the world is covered with gigantic mountain ranges which are too high to be of use. Deserts or polar regions monopolize each continent at this time, and pollution, wars, and many other problems have lessened the earth’s capacity to support additional people.

It is unlikely, then, that the world could now contain all those who will ever have lived. What we need to keep in mind, however, is that they will not live in this world, this age, this society. They will be resurrected after a thousand years of renovation by God’s Government (Rev. 20:4-5). Here are some of the physical changes that will be made.

Mountains will be miraculously lowered to a tillable height, and valleys below sea level will be elevated (Isa. 40:4). The deserts will blossom abundantly (Isa. 35:1-2). God will restore a right climate to the earth and will provide rain when needed (Isa. 30:23; 35:7; Zech. 10:1). These changes will take time, but Christ and the saints will have a thousand years to prepare the entire earth for the multitudes that will be resurrected.

Suppose that at the time the events of Revelation 20:11-12 occur, 40 billion people will have lived. Could the earth possibly support this number? Simple mathematics — fifty million square miles of land surface shared by forty billion people — tell us that there would be about five acres of land available for each four-to six-member household. This would be large enough to feed the household and leave plenty of space for other purposes. This fits perfectly with Micah 4:4: “They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid.”

The Bible clearly shows the logic of God’s plan for mankind.

February 22, 2009

Are The Resurrected Saints Of Matthew 27:52 Immortal?

As of this time no man, except Jesus Christ, has been resurrected to immortality. However, the Bible does state that at the resurrection at His Second Coming (I Thes. 4:13-17; I Cor. 15:50-53), the saints of God will be given eternal life.

So let’s explain Matthew 27:52, where we actually find a recorded instance of a multiple resurrection:

“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.”

Notice, that the scripture specifically says their [physical] bodies arose. Further, in verse 53, we see that they appeared unto many. This was a physical resurrection, not a spiritual one. These saints lived out their lives, died again and now await their spiritual resurrection at Jesus Christ’s return, as do all of the saints who have died.

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