This study was compiled from notes I took while viewing the video series by Don K. Preston, D.Div. There were 25 short videos in this series and the link is posted below the title if you wish to view them.
The Resurrection was the Hope of Israel and that hope was precisely what Paul and the apostles preached…the Resurrection of Israel. As I’ve said elsewhere, there is NOTHING to be found in the New Testament writings that isn’t based on the fulfillment of Israel’s promises from YHWH. The church of the New Testament was the “one new man” made of twain from Ephesians 2:15 whereby YHWH brought both Hebrews and Gentiles together at the Resurrection to form one body, one faith, one baptism…all in Christ as Israel resurrected from the dead. The New Covenant hope of Christ and his apostles was ISRAEL’s Old Covenant Hope of the Resurrection and it is now OUR CURRENT SPIRITUAL REALITY in this post 70 A.D., fully-realized, eternal Messianic Kingdom of Christ. All glory to God!
The Resurrection From The Dead
By Don Preston
Is the Resurrection a physical, bodily, fleshly event? The raising of biologically decomposed bodies from the ground or is it a spiritual reality? Just because something is “spiritual” does not mean it isn’t REAL. In fact, the spiritual is eternal and is, in God’s terms, “more real” than the temporal/physical things which scripture says are merely the shadows of things to come.
The coming of Christ, the parousia would be to overcome the “death” introduced by Adam. As through one man, sin entered into the world, therefore death passed upon all men because all men sinned.
God said “in the day you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”
James 2:26 says “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” God said “in the day you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”
- God did not say you will die two deaths
- God did not say you will begin to die
- God did not say you will be sentenced to die
- God did not say you will become mortal…we already ARE mortal.
Therefore, the death that Adam and Eve suffered was spiritual death…separation of fellowship and alienation from the presence of God…it was NOT biological death.
Since the death that Adam introduced was spiritual death and not biological death and since the death which Christ’s resurrection and coming was meant to overcome was the death introduced by Adam, then the death that Christ overcame by his resurrection was spiritual death and alienation from God. He did not come to fix what wasn’t broken. Physical death was not and is not the problem. This doctrine falsifies ALL futurist views of eschatology.
We know that “in the day” refers specifically to THAT 24 HOUR DAY because the very same phrase applied to what the serpent told Eve:
Genesis 3:5 [KJV]
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Surely, Adam and Eve came to know good and evil THAT DAY because they were ashamed of their nakedness and hid themselves from God.
Genesis 3:7 [KJV]
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
There is NO argument for extrapolating the phrase “in the day” to mean a 1000 year day in order to justify a fleshly, biological meaning for “death.” Yes, it can be said that Adam and Eve certainly DID fulfill the requirement that God laid out in terms of “dying” physically within a 1000 year “day,” but that is only evidence of the Lord being proven righteous in ALL his sayings and is NOT a proof that biological death is being discussed by the text. CLEARLY, the type of death in question is spiritual death in the form of separation from God’s presence.
Don further explains the points from the previous videos.
LIFE is defined as being in the presence of God. This is why DEATH is defined as the opposite, NOT being in the presence of God. The death Adam and Eve suffered THAT DAY was separation from God when they were cast out of the Garden. The penalty was receive the same day as the transgression and the same day in which they received their knowledge of good and evil…the same day they ate the fruit.
We cannot use the “yeah, but” hermeneutic when speaking of the death Adam and Eve suffered. We cannot agree that the death was spiritual and covenantal on the one hand and then say “yeah, BUT” and try to make God’s threat of death apply to temporal, biological death.
If physical death was the curse of Adam, then who was the first to experience the death of Adam? ABEL was the first person to die physical death. Was Cain able to do that to Abel which God was NOT able to do to Adam and Eve? Cain died first, but Adam and Eve died later. Jesus did NOT come to redeem us from the death of Abel…he came to redeem us from the death of ADAM….spiritual death.
The death of Adam represents biological death according to most Christians. It is true that Jesus died the death of Adam in man’s place, so that those living in the power of Christ’s resurrection do not have to die the death of Adam. But if that “death” was physical, biological death, then do you see the FALLACY of this position? You cannot say that Christ died the death of Adam to save us FROM the death of Adam and then turn around and say “Oh yeah, we still die the death of ADAM!” It is true that AFTER Christ’s resurrection, WE still continue to die physical death. To hold that physical, biological death is the death which Adam died completely negates the power of Jesus’ substitutionary death on our behalf.
Jesus work in the atonement was to take on himself the penalty of sin to make the atonement for sin so that those IN HIM and in the power of his atonement would not have to pay the penalty. We are told that the penalty for sin is physical, biological death. Therefore, those in Christ should not have to pay the penalty. But if physical, biological death is the “death” that was in view when Adam fell, then why are we STILL DYING? Does this mean that NO ONE is living in the power of Jesus’ Resurrection? NO…the death of Adam was spiritual death and alienation from God….covenantal death.
Is physical death the enemy of the child of God? If when we die as a Christian, having been redeemed by the blood of Christ, go directly into heaven following biological death, then how is biological death considered an “enemy” when it is actually USHERING me into HEAVEN? Where is the THE CURSE OF ADAM? We have to conclude, if physical death IS the enemy of the child of God, then even the child of God remains under the curse and power of sin! Forgiveness and redemption are rendered null and void. This is completely false. Physical death is NOT the enemy of the Child of God.
Most Christians would agree that the child of God is forgiven of all sin currently. The bible says the wages of sin is death. Forgiveness brings the abolishment of sin. So then, why do we still die physical, biological death? Therefore, the death of Adam cannot be referring to physical, biological death. Jesus said “If a man keeps my commandments, he will NEVER die.” There is no question that Jesus was NOT talking about physical, biological death.
Paul says in Acts 26:23 speaking to King Agrippa, that Christ was the FIRST to be raised from the dead. Christ was the first born from the death of Adam. However, there were others who were raised from the dead much prior to Jesus. Lazarus, the daughter of Jairus, and the widow’s son raised by Elijah. It is clear that Jesus was NOT the FIRST to be raised from physical, biological death. This can ONLY mean that Jesus is the FIRST to be raised from spiritual or covenantal death, meaning the death of separation from God. This “death of separation from God” is further proven true by Christ’s mournful cry from the cross where he cried out “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Christ bore and experienced the punishment of separation from God for us and he was the FIRST to be raised from a death of alienation from God. It was not his physical, biological death that was concerned, although that happened simultaneously. Christ’s resurrection was ALSO a physical, biological resurrection in order to fulfill what Christ spoke to the Pharisees and scribes that they would receive the SIGN OF JONAH, with him being in the ground and raised from the dead after three days.
WHEN does the Bible say the resurrection would occur?
The time of the resurrection had arrived in the first century according to both old and new testament prophets. Biblically speaking, the resurrection is posited as taking place ON ZION. Isaiah Chapter 25:6-8
“In that day,” the day of the Messianic banquet, the Lord will destroy death and wipe away all tears “ON THIS MOUNTAIN,” on Zion. Zion is the locus of all eschatological blessings in all O.T. prophecies which include salvation, the Messianic kingdom, Messianic banquet, the Messianic temple, etc. Hebrews was written to a Hebrew audience thoroughly familiar with all the O.T. prophecies and they knew how central Zion was to the eschatological Hope of Israel. This Hope was not isolated from Abraham, Abel, Moses, or all of Israel…it was ALL the same eschatological hope, focused the Heavenly City (Hebrews 11:13-16) That city is ZION. The Resurrection and Zion go hand in hand. If Zion is there…the resurrection is there. Hebrew 12:18-24 says “YOU have come to Mount Zion.”
Hebrews 12:18-24 [KJV]
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
The Messianic Wedding Banquet and the Resurrection?
The Messianic Banquet and the Resurrection go hand in hand. The statement of “on that Day” found in Isaiah 24 and “in this mountain” found in Isaiah 25, puts these two events together in both time and place. Isaiah 24 speaks of the judgment of all Israel in verses 21-23:
Isaiah 24:21-23 [KJV]
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
The “host of the high ones” and the “kings of the earth” are speaking of the covenant people, Israel. This is not, as is automatically assumed by the layperson, speaking of GENTILE kings. The O.T. prophecies consistently and commonly speak of fierce judgment along with simultaneous rejoicing where the Day of the Lord is concerned. This is because the coming of the Kingdom would bring great loss for some, but eternal gain for others. In Matthew 8, Jesus commended the centurion for his great faith in the healing of his servant. He then said many will come from east and west [Believers made up of Gentiles, Disaspora believers, and the Remnant of believing Israel ] and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom, but the children of the Kingdom [unbelieving fleshly Israel] will be cast out into outer darkness. The presence of the ancient fathers of the Kingdom at the Messiah’s Wedding Banquet means they now have a change of status…they are resurrected! The Resurrection, which occurs at the END of the Millennium, and the Banquet are occurring at the same time. Isaiah 25:6-12 vividly speaks of the wedding banquet occurring at the same time of the Resurrection, the judgment of the Sons of the Kingdom [old covenant Israel] and the deliverance of God’s salvation.
Isaiah 25:6 [KJV]
And in this mountain [ZION!!] shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. [THIS is the wedding banquet of the LAMB!] And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. [THIS is speaking of eternal SALVATION!!] For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill. And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust. [THIS is the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple!!]
Isaiah, The Resurrection and the Banquet
As previously noted, Isaiah 25 says the Messianic Banquet or Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation) will be at the time of the Resurrection. Matthew 8:11 says that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would sit down in the kingdom at the banquet at the time when the Sons of the Kingdom (Old Covenant Israel) were cast out.
Paul quotes this passage from Isaiah 65 in Romans 10 to speak of the condition of Israel of his day:
Isaiah 65:1-3 [KJV]
I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;
Again in Isaiah 65, because of Israel’s rebellion, the Lord says he would call the Gentiles, a people who had never been called. Paul quotes Isaiah here and applies it to his ministry. So, we know that Isaiah 65 was being fulfilled in the 1st century. Further, as a result of Old Covenant Israel’s sin, speaking to them, the Lord says:
Isaiah 65:10 [KJV]
And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me. But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name: That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
In the Last Days, God says the majority of Israel will be slain, but he will preserve a righteous remnant unto himself. This is shown in Isaiah 65:8-10
Isaiah 65:8 [KJV]
Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all. And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.
Paul also speaks of the righteous elect remnant in Romans 11 in answering whether God has cast away his people Israel? He says in Romans 11:1f:
Romans 11:1-29 [KJV]
I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew…. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace…What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded….I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy…. For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
On Pentecost, the fountain for cleansing of sin and unrighteousness was opened spoken of in Zechariah 13:1 when the Spirit was given in fulfillment of Joel 2:32. From that day forward, the elect remnant of Israel began coming into the Kingdom as the firstfruits unto Christ. Later, the Gentiles would begin to come into the Kingdom beginning with the house of Cornelius and all those who would be converted under Paul’s ministry and the other disciples who went abroad into the nations beyond Israel. From these converts would also come the regathering of the Diaspora who were now blended into the Gentile nations. Thus, ALL ISRAEL would be saved in the Resurrection in the Last Days, all them who called upon the Lord and whose name was written in book, as spoken in Daniel 12:1-2
Daniel 12:1 [KJV]
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 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.
And the result of all these things coming to pass would be the New Heavens and New Earth…the Kingdom under the New Covenant of Christ with the body of Christ as the bride, the New Jerusalem . All these things would come when Old Covenant Israel was destroyed as Daniel 12:7-10:
Daniel 12:7-10 [KJV]
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 for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
Daniel 12 and the Resurrection
Daniel was given a prophecy of the “time of the end” in verse 4….a prophecy of the Great Tribulation in verse 1….and a prophecy of when all his people who were written in the book would be saved in verse 1. In verse 7, the angel in linen stood upon the waters and declared, swearing by him that liveth forever, that “when he [Messiah] shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” In Daniel’s day, the identify of the “holy people” could only be Old Covenant Israel. What was the source of their power? Their only source of Israel’s power was her covenant with Yahweh, the Law of Moses, and their access to that power was the Temple. The holy people CANNOT be the Church here being destroyed because the Church, the body of Christ and his Kingdom, will exist forever and will never be destroyed in the so-called “end of the church age.” Daniel 2:44, 7:13-14, Psalms 89, Isaiah 9:6-9 and others declare such a doctrine to be patently false:
Daniel 2:44 [KJV]
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Daniel 7:13-14 [KJV]
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Psalms 89:2-4 [KJV] For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
Isaiah 9:6-7 [KJV] For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Thus, the resurrection would be when Old Covenant Israel’s relationship with Yahweh was finally terminated. In Hebrews 8:13, Paul cites Jeremiah 31 and Yahweh’s promise of a New Covenant that was not like the law of Moses. That time for the New Covenant had come in the 1st century and Paul says that Israel’s Covenant was now decaying and waxing old and READY TO VANISH. The power of the holy people was completely shattered in 70 A.D.
Isaiah 26:19-21 [KJV] 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. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
This is the resurrection of the body out of the dust at the coming of the Lord at the destruction of the “earth” and the time of the resurrection when the martyrs of God will be vindicated. There is a direct correlation between the resurrection and coming of the Lord and the vindication of the martyrs which harmonizes with Revelation 20. Also notice the “coming out of the dust” which parallels with Daniel 12:2. The first six verses of Rev 20 is the beginning of the Resurrection with Christ as the first-fruits, and then you have the consummation of the Resurrection in 10-12 which is the time of the vindication of the martyrs. The resurrection of Isaiah 26, 25, 1 Cor 15, and Rev 20 are all correlated and the resurrection of Isaiah 26 is the end of the Millennium Resurrection. Jesus said all the righteous blood shed upon all the earth all the way back to ABEL would be vindicated in Matthew 23:29-37. Are the dead from Isaiah 26:19-21 included in that comprehensive body of martyrs of Matthew 23? If not, then where is the exegetical foundation and evidence to exclude them from this judgment and vindication? And where is the evidence to exclude them from the martyrs of Revelation 6, 12, 16, 20? There is none, they are ALL of the same group….Jesus said ALL the righteous blood shed upon the earth… ALL of these “resurrections” and “martyrs” to be vindicated happened at 70 A.D.
Isaiah 65 and the Resurrection
Everyone agrees that Revelation chapter 20:10-12 is the end of the Millennium. At the end of the Millennium, heaven and earth are destroyed and we have a new creation with new heaven and earth and new Jerusalem. John specifically cites Isaiah 65:17. The resurrection is at the time of the destruction of the old creation and the establishment of the New Jerusalem and the New Heavens/Earth. Isaiah 65 posits the time of the new creations at the same time when God tells Old Covenant Israel: “The Lord God will slay you and call his people with a new name.” What is our justification for saying that Revelation is about the destruction of the Christian age and the destruction of the literal, physical heaven and earth at a time unrelated to the fulfillment of Isaiah 65, having nothing to do with the destruction of Old Covenant Israel, but rather, somehow being the END of the Christian Age, which the Bible already says HAS NO END. Don’t forget that Paul said in Hebrews 8:13 that Irael’s covenant and the law was now decaying and waxing old and READY TO VANISH in the face of the establishment of the New Covenant.
The Great Tribulation and the Resurrection are posited TOGETHER in the O.T.
The old testament clearly expresses the framework for the Resurrection. Virtually every O.T. prophecy of the Resurrection posits that event in the immediate context of the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation belongs to the 1st century (Daniel 12:1-2). Isaiah 26:16f We have been in pain in the pains of childbirth, describes the birth pains of the Messiah and the Great Tribulation. Jesus said in predicting the fall of Jerusalem, the Great Tribulation would be in the 1st century in the context of the Lord’s coming against Jerusalem. Thus, the Great Tribulation and the Resurrection are inseparable linked temporally speaking. Jesus posited the Great Tribulation at the time of the fall of Jerusalem in AD70, therefore, the Resurrection, Isaiah 26 and Daniel 12, are inseparable connected to the judgment of Jerusalem. Revelation posits 144,000 out of each of the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev 14:2-14 Rev 7:14) and the angel tells John they are those who have come out of the Great Tribulation. Who are they? These are the firstfruit of those redeemed to God from man. THE FIRST GENERATION OF HEBREW CHRISTIANS. This is proof that the Great Tribulation belongs to the 1st century! When was the Great Tribulation to occur? At the end of the Millennium….Rev 20:8f. Satan is loosed at the end of the Millennium.
1 Corinthians 15
Nearly everyone was taught that the resurrection found in 1 Corinthians 15 is in some way related to the END of the Christian Age. The problem with this position is that the Christian Age HAS NO END. Isaiah 9 says:
Isaiah 9:7 [KJV] Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Luke 1 says:
Luke 1:32-33 [KJV]
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
So what is the “increase?” There is no increase without evangelism. Jesus, speaking of his gospel which is preached for the redemption of man said:
Matthew 24:35 [KJV]
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
If we posit the fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 15 at the END of the Christian age, the our basic assumption about this passage is WRONG. The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would come at “the end.”
The end of WHAT? There is irrefutable evidence in the text itself that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 could not be at the end of the Christian age. Proofs offered in the next video.
Israel and the Covenant Promises
Paul’s discourse in 1 Corinthians 15 is his greatest and lengthiest on the resurrection found in the N.T. Fundamentally, we must honor the fact that no matter what our concept of 1 Corinthians 15, no matter when we might think it is supposed to be fulfilled, the indisputable fact is that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be in fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises, made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh. The Amillennialists generally hold a fundamentally view that God was completely through and DONE with Old Covenant Israel at the cross. Some are now saying, and increasingly so, that God’s covenant relationship with Israel was terminated at 70 A.D. Still others hold that God will not terminate his covenant with Old Covenant Israel until the physical resurrection at the end of history. This view is astounding because, if true, then it means Old Covenant Israel remains as GOD’s COVENANT PEOPLE TODAY! This suggests that either God is maintaining TWO covenant people (Old Covenant Israel and the Church) and TWO covenants…OR WORSE….that the Church is NOT God’s covenant people at all TODAY! These views create a very difficult dilemma. But here is the indisputable FACT…Paul in preaching while he’s on trial about the resurrection says:
Acts 24:13-15 [KJV]
Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be [Grk “mello” = is ABOUT to be] a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Acts 26:22 [KJV]
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
Paul says clearly that he got HIS resurrection doctrine from MOSES and the O.T. prophets! If this is true, then when we come to 1 Corinthians 15, we had BETTER be able to go to the O.T. and find THAT SAME resurrection doctrine in the O.T. because Paul said:
1 Corinthians 15:53 [KJV]
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 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. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
Paul quotes directly from Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 and he is clearly looking for the SAME promises Yahweh made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh! He is NOT looking for the fulfillment of some NEW prophecy or promise made to the CHURCH that is divorced from Old Covenant ISRAEL! If your resurrection doctrine and interpretation of 1 Corinthians 15 is not taken from, drawn from, and based on the Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, you have the WRONG doctrine of the resurrection. Do not assume, though, that the fulfillment of these promises would be in terms of a fleshly, bodily resurrection “after the flesh”…it just means that Paul was to based his doctrine on promises made TO old covenant Israel after the flesh.
Paul’s Resurrection Hope
Paul says his doctrine of the Resurrection was NOTHING but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the Prophets, as referenced earlier. Paul also said that when the resurrection was fulfilled it would be the fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8, “Death is swallowed up in victory” and Isaiah said it would be “in this mountain” that death would be destroyed. The mountain is ZION according to Isaiah 24:23. This passage in Isaiah 25 also says “in that day,” the same day in which the Lord would destroy death, he would ALSO make a “great banquet of fine things.” This is the Messianic Banquet. The Messianic Banquet is posited at the end of the Millennium resurrection of Isaiah 25:8, which is also further posited as the time of Israel’s salvation in Romans 11:25-27 when the fullness of the Gentiles come in. Thus, the destruction of death would occur at the END of the Millennium, which is the time of the Resurrection, which is also the time of Israel’s salvation. In Matthew 8:11, Jesus says that many shall come from the east and the west to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob IN THE KINGDOM. This passage is definitely speaking of the Messianic Banquet and the Abrahamic Fathers have been resurrected. Jesus then says that this would also be the time when the Sons of The Kingdom would be cast into outer darkness. This obviously doesn’t mean the CHURCH, because the church will NEVER be cast out. According to Galatians 4:21-31, the only “Sons of God” that were to be “cast out” are identified as the Old Covenant seed of Israel, the sons of the covenant of Sinai, the sons of the Bondwoman. These were the inhabitants of 1st century Israel and Jerusalem who were cast out for persecuting the TRUE Seed of Abraham, Old Covenant Israel. So then, the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be established at the Messianic Banquet and that would be established when Old Covenant Israel was cast out.
Hosea and 1 Corinthians 15
It is vital that we keep in mind that Paul’s resurrection doctrine was nothing but the Hope of Israel. This is important because both Amillennialists and Post Millennialists say that God was through with Israel in the 1st century. But this position ignores the PROMISES that Yahweh made to her. It is illogical to say that God was through with through with Old Covenant Israel in the 1st century, but we’re still looking for the fulfillment of those SAME promises, made in the Old Testament, made to Old Covenant Israel, at the end of the CHRISTIAN age of the New Covenant. There is just no logical or Biblical support for such an idea. We’ve already looked at how Paul draws from Isaiah 24-25, but now let’s look at some other O.T. passages he appeals to in Hosea. The story of Hosea is the story of Divorce, Departure, and Death. Because of Israel’s sin, God divorced her. (Hosea 2:2) When God divorced her, he departed from her (Hosea 5:15) When God departed from Israel, he KILLED her. (Hosea 13:1, 9:16, 6:5, 4:5) But there is also a story of REDEMPTION in Hosea, one of Remarriage, Return, and Resurrection. God said, in the last days he would betroth Israel to himself again. (Hosea 2:19-20) He also said he would return to her again. (Hosea 6:1-3) Verse 6:2 is a specific picture of the Resurrection. This means the Resurrection will be at the time of the Remarriage of Israel which is the same time of the RETURN. And Matthew 25:1-13 is the return of Christ, the Bridegroom, for the Wedding. In Matthew 22, a king made a great wedding feast for his son. He sent out his servants to call those who had already been invited. Whose wedding promise was it? It was Old Covenant Israel’s wedding promise because God said he would remarry her in the Last Days. Isaiah 62, Hosea 6. In Matthew 22:1-14, the king sent his servants to bid the guests who had been invited to come to the wedding feast. The guests spurned the invitation, so the king sent still more servants telling them to come, for the feast was ready. The guests persecuted and killed the king’s servants. When the king had heard, he was very angry and sent out his army and destroyed those wicked murderers and burned up their city. He then sent out even more servants to call guests to fill up the tables at his banquet. It is impossible to read this passage in Matthew without seeing the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD70, unless one has never heard of that event in history. There is no postponement of the wedding, no delay, no gap in time. The important question is…where is the wedding posited? It is at the destruction of the city whose inhabitants killed God’s servants. Remember, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is the same resurrection of Hosea, but Hosea’s resurrection would come at the time of the Wedding Banquet. And Jesus Himself placed the time of the wedding at the destruction of Jerusalem. This is POWERFUL!!
New Covenant Resurrection
Again, Paul said that his doctrine of the Resurrection was NOTHING BUT the Hope of Israel after the flesh. The problem with this TRUTH is that the three futurist views of eschatology almost unanimously say the promise of the resurrection occurs at the end of the Christian Age in fulfillment of God’s promises to the CHURCH. Noted Amillenialist, Kim Riddlebarger, says God has already fulfilled all of the O.T. promises made to Israel and now, with the coming of Christ, we have a brand NEW set of promises to the church. Loraine Boettner, a noted Postmillennialist, says when we want to know about the 1st coming of Christ, we go to the O.T. and he came exactly as he was predicted to come there. However, Boettner said in his book on the Millennium, when we want to know about the 2nd coming of Christ and the end of the age, we go STRICTLY to the N.T. because the O.T. promises have either been transferred to the Church or forfeited by Israel. Wow! Paul knew NOTHING of such a doctrine!! God’s O.T. promises made to O.T. Israel after the flesh. This does NOT mean the PROMISES themselves are fleshly to be fulfilled in a fleshly way, but rather that the promises HAD to be fulfilled to Old Covenant Israel. They were NOT transferrable or irrevocable. Romans 11:28-29. When we approach 1 Corinthians 15, if we come to that passage that from the perspective that it is NOT about the fulfillment of God’s O.T promises made to O.T. Israel after the flesh, we come with a WRONG presupposition! The Psalmist said in 11:3 “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” We MUST have the right foundational understanding of the text. Most approach 1 Corinthians 15 and interpret it as if it speaks about the end of the Christian Age and the end of time when Paul says “and then comes the end.” For Paul, it was the end of ISRAEL’s covenant promises and her covenant age. Most approach the passage saying, “This is in fulfillment of 1 Thessalonians 4, Romans 8, or Revelation 20; therefore these are NEW Covenant promises!” WRONG! There are NO New Covenant promises which are DIVORCED FROM, SEPARATE FROM God’s Old Covenant Promises made to Old Covenant Israel. Remember, Paul said the Resurrection would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25, Hosea 13, and, of course, Daniel and Ezekiel. These are ALL O.T. promises made O.T. Israel after the flesh. It’s a fact that neither the Amillennialists nor Post Millennialists deal with this properly. The Premillennialists, ostensibly, have it right, but they completely overlook the context, framework, and the NATURE and TIME of the fulfillment of these O.T. promises. Bottom line, if we don’t honor the fact that the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is in fulfillment of God’s O.T. promises made to O.T. Israel after the flesh, then we are DOOMED to misunderstand and misinterpret the Resurrection doctrine of 1 Corinthians 15.
Resurrection and Torah
The most important thing about interpreting any piece of literature, the Bible or not, is setting the proper context and framework. Lamentably, most people approach 1 Corinthians 15 (and the Bible in general) from a Grecian worldview and/or they approach it as if it was written specifically to US in the 21st century. They read it as if it really wasn’t written to the Corinthians and that it really wasn’t written about the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. This is all patently FALSE. When we approach 1 Corinthians 15 with false presuppositions concerning to whom it was written, the proper life situation of the audience; and if we assume that it is about the end of time and the end of the Christian age, then we are likely doomed to misunderstand it. Paul says that the resurrection, passing from mortality to immortality, would be accomplished when THE LAW, which is the strength of THE SIN, would be overcome. What LAW is the strength of SIN? Paul uses the term THE LAW 117 times in his epistles. When he uses the term “THE LAW” without any contextual qualifier, (such as in Romans 8) it invariably refers to the Law of Moses…Torah!! There are NO contextual qualifiers in 1 Corinthians 15 to define THE LAW as anything other than THE LAW OF MOSES, TORAH, as used by Paul in all other contexts. Therefore, the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be when the Law of Moses would be removed. This agrees perfectly with Daniel 12 which foretold the Resurrection to Eternal Life, and that Resurrection was to be when the power of the holy people was completely shattered. (Daniel 12:7) What was Israel’s one and only power? Torah….their Covenant with Yahweh. So, we have Daniel 12 predicting the Resurrection to Eternal Life when Torah would end….and 1 Corinthians 15 speaking of the Resurrection to Eternal Life when THE LAW that was the strength of THE SIN, which is TORAH, would be removed. Irrefutable!
The Vindicated Martyrs
Paul said that the Resurrection he was anticipating, found in 1 Corinthians 15, which is also the end of the Millennium Resurrection of Revelation 20, the eschatological, end times, end of the age Resurrection, and would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8 “He shall swallow up Death in victory.” Gues what? Isaiah 25 and 26 both foretold the Resurrection. Isaiah 26:19 “the earth shall give up her dead” Isn’t this the same thing found in Isaiah 25:8? Sure is! All eschatological positions consider both of these to be the same resurrection. But interestingly, the Resurrection of 26:19 is ALSO at the Coming of the Lord (Isaiah 26:20) and in the very next verse we have the Vindication of the Martyrs!
Isaiah 26:19 [KJV]
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. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Jesus said all the blood of all the martyrs all the way back to creation would be judged in HIS GENERATION in the judgment of Jerusalem. But this means that Isaiah 26 would be fulfilled in AD70, which also demands that the end of the Millennium Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 (same Resurrection in Isaiah 25 and 26) was fulfilled in AD70. The connections are direct, undeniable, and emphatic. It doesn’t get any clearer than this.
Hosea and 1 Corinthians 15
Here are some key markers in 1 Corinthians 15 to help set the proper context for the chapter. Paul quotes from Hosea 13:14 “O’ Grave, where is thy victory.” Let’s break Hosea down into some broad headings:
- Divorce – The 10 Northern Tribes had committed spiritual adultery, as a result, God divorced her (Hosea 2:1-5).
- Departure – When God would divorce her, he departed. (Hosea 5:15)
- Death – When God divorced her and departed, God slayed her and Israel died. (Hosea 13:1, 9:16, 6:5, 4:5)
The story of Redemption and Resurrection also breaks down into three easy headings:
- Remarriage – The Lord said “I will betroth her to me again in righteousness.” (Hosea 2:19)
- Return – “He shall come unto us as the rain.” (Hosea 6:3)
- Resurrection – “After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” (Hosea 6:2)
The story of the Resurrection Paul was anticipating in 1 Corinthians 15 IS the story of the Remarriage! The Remarriage, God’s Return, and the Resurrection are inseparable. The Marriage was a favorite topic of Christ. Jesus’ parable in Matthew 22:1-14 gives the story of the Wedding and the Messianic Banquet which is also the story of the Judgment and Vindication of the Martyrs at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. Old Covenant Israel spurned the wedding invitation, persecuting and killing the servants sent to invite them, the apostles of Christ who were preaching “The Kingdom has drawn near!” As a result, the Lord sent out his armies and he destroyed them and burned their city. And then the Lord said, “Send out the servants, call everyone in so that my wedding banquet may be FULL. The wedding proceeded as planned with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. Paul tied the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 to the fulfillment of Hosea. And Hosea predicted the Resurrection would be at the time of the Wedding. Jesus said the Wedding would be when Old Covenant Jerusalem was destroyed. Therefore, the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. When we allow the Bible to interpret itself, when we see that 1 Corinthians 15 is about the fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant Promises made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh…THEN we see it is God’s faithfulness to Old Covenant Israel so that then all men might be called INTO the salvation that God created to be brought THROUGH Old Covenant Israel. The Bible makes a lot of sense, but when you divorce 1 Corinthians 15 from the promises God made to Old Covenant Israel, you doom yourself to a wrong interpretation of the doctrine of the Resurrection from the dead.