Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Job chapter 14:7-15 comments: The Resurrection of the Dead

7 ¶  For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. 8  Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; 9  Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. 10  But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 11  As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: 12  So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. 13  O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14  If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. 15  Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.

Job restates what he has said before, that death is final and that the dead return no more to this existence. See chapter 7:9,10. Job asks the question rhetorically in two places, one in verse 10 and one in verse 14, what happens to man when he dies? In verse 14 he asks the question, here in the first book of the Bible that was ever written, is there a resurrection? He pleads with God to hide him in the grave until God’s wrath is over and then that God remember him. Here, by mention of waiting for God’s wrath to pass, and a set time for being in the grave, is a reminder of not only resurrection but of the translation, or rapture in popular parlance, of the church.

Here, John the Baptist warns the Jews assembled to hear him preach.

Luke 3:7  Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

What is the expression of this wrath? It is the wrath poured out on the world at the end of history, called the Great Tribulation. This is not about Hell but about events that take place on the earth.

Matthew 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Revelation 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation 11:18  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Revelation 16:19  And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

But, the church, as early church leaders like Shepherd, Victorinus, Cyprian, and Ephraim the Syrian wrote, will not face this wrath and will be removed before it begins.

1Thessalonians 1:10  And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Churches are a primary subject of the first three chapters of the Book of the Revelation  but after John, the beloved apostle and a type of the church, is translated to Heaven in chapter 4, there is no more mention of the church named as such in that book. Before the horrible events of Revelation come on the world of men this happens;

1Thessalonians 4:13 ¶  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16  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: 17  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. 18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Job asks the question in chapter 14, will man live again? He will wait until he is changed. God will call and he will answer. One of the doctrines of the Bible is the Adoption, the redemption of the body.

Romans 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

1Corinthians 15:51 ¶  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52  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. 53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Although when we die our soul is united with God until our body is changed. This is the only time that our body, soul, and spirit function as separate and independent entities, death. God’s body, soul, and spirit can always act independently of each other although being one in purpose and will. When ours separate we physically die.

2Corinthians 5:1 ¶  For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Isaiah speaks of a resurrection.

Isaiah 26:19  Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Daniel speaks of a resurrection.

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.

Hosea speaks of a resurrection.

Hosea 13:14  I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

And Jesus makes it clear that the God’s dead have not ceased to exist and the following passage makes it plain that the Jews knew of the resurrection, although some did not believe, as it is today.

Matthew 22:23 ¶  The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 24  Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25  Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26  Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27  And last of all the woman died also. 28  Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29  Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30  For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31  But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32  I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33  And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

Job will speak more clearly about his resurrection in a later chapter which we will see so I have not referenced it here. In fact, belief in Christ’s resurrection, not repenting of his or her sins, their Bible reading, their prayer life, their church attendance, or how many doors they knock on, is fundamental to a Christian’s salvation.

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Mohammed is dead. Buddha is dead. Joseph Smith is dead. Christianity is the only religion that would fall completely apart if its founder did not get up from the dead. Without the resurrection there is no Christianity.

1Corinthians 15:12 ¶  Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13  But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

    20 ¶  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

And the same power that lifted Christ from death resides continually in every believer in Christ.

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