Resurrection, Part 2

So ,we left off in our last Blog post just touching on the importance of the concept of first-fruits when it comes to understanding the resurrection.

1st Corinthians 15:20-23 says it well:

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits (and those who immediately followed Him at that time); afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

Let’s go back a minute and talk about first-fruits relative to the nation of Israel.

The Jews kept certain national feasts annually among themselves.  One of them was called the Feast of First fruits which was a feast of consecration held around the beginning of harvest time.  Leviticus 23:9-10 speaks of it, saying,

“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 of the first-fruits of your harvest unto the priest.”

Interestingly enough, the harvest the Jews participated in annually was divided into three parts.  In other words, it was all one harvest presented on three different occasions. 

First, there was what they called “the sheaf of first-fruits.”  It typified a number of significant things to the Jews.  First, it was the best of the harvest, second, it was offered to God, and third, it was a pledge (an evidence, so to speak) of an even greater harvest that would follow. 

This was a beautiful picture of the Resurrection of Christ, which caused Paul to write in 1st Corinthians 15 

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.”

Again, as the first-fruit from the grave, Jesus was the best, His resurrection was God’s, and it typified (was evidence) of a greater harvest to come.  Then, with the Nation of Israel, after the first-fruits were taken and offered to God there followed the harvesting of the “larger part of the crops.”  When does this second group (of believers) begin to be resurrected (or harvested) from the dead?  In 1st Corinthians 15:23 we read: 

Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” 

So, we have our answer – “at His coming.”  This is how resurrection is directly tied to eschatological studies of end-times.  It would begin and continue at His coming.  

Back to the Children of Israel,  they would do one more “run through” in the harvest of their crops.  It was known as gleaning.   See, there were always loose crops or fruit that would fall by the way, and these must were required to be gathered up too.  We remember in the book of Ruth how she came, as it says in Ruth 2:3, and “gleaned in the field after the reapers.”  This is an Old Testament  picture of the final sweep of the harvest and the last sweep in the first resurrection.  Got all of that?  It is to the second stage of the First Resurrection which we are going to make our focus.

Scripture says this will commence when Jesus appears for the first time (at His return) and when all true believers (at that time of His return) would be resurrected.  Paul talks about this in 1st Corinthians 15:52, saying:

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

The best way, in my opinion, to understand the second phase of the first resurrection of the righteous unto life is by getting an answer the following question:

“When (or does) the Bible say when and if Jesus will return?”

And we have worked really hard to get our answer to this and it can be found in dozens of video recordings.  But before wrapping today’s talk about the resurrection, let’s talk about this second resurrection.   Again, the timing of this “resurrection of the damned” is largely dependent on an individual’s eschatology.  A Great White Throne will be or was in place and the Judge would be Yeshua as John 5:22) plainly admits, saying, 

The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.”

So, in that day, those, who as Ephesians 2:1 describe, remain “dead in trespasses and sins” would stand before God physically in their resurrection bodies.  Where did all of these non-believers come from?  Hell, which is why John the Beloved wrote in Revelation 20:12 and 14,

 “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God . . . the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” 

This last judgment described by John in Revelation will be that of the “unsaved dead” who would stand before the Great White Throne in “living, resurrected bodies” to receive their sentence.  Revelation 20:15 says: 

“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” 

So, there is the brief sketch.  And to reiterate – 

A first resurrection of believers arrives in three phases, all orbiting around the Old Testament celebration of the Harvest with the first phase being the first fruit of the grave – which was Christ, then those who followed in right after at the time of His resurrection. The second harvest was the great harvest of believers who will rise when Christ returned for the second time, and the third being a resurrection of gleanings – or those souls scattered and left.

The second resurrection will be all those who died as unbelievers in that day and this resurrection will occur in mass after hell gives up her dead and they all find themselves standing before the Great White Throne Judgment.  In conclusion, and as I said, our best chance of understanding the resurrection of believers is to first understand how the Bible answers this question, “When or will Jesus return again?”  Because we have readily proven that He came back when He said He would (in other video presentations and book), and that this launched us into the resurrection, we will continue forward with this information in hand and now address what Paul says about the resurrection in 1st Corinthians chapter 15.

Shawn McCraney
Shawn McCraney
Articles: 108

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