A MESSAGE ON THE RESURRECTION SEEMS TO BE RIGHT IN ORDER FOR THE DAY WE ARE LIVING IN, FOR I BELIEVE IT IS CLOSE AT HAND. WORLD GOVERNMENTS AS WELL AS ALL THE OTHER SIGNS WE ARE WATCHING, SEEM TO BE MOVING RIGHT INTO THEIR LAST DAY ROLE. YOU WILL NOT NEED THE CONTENDER NOR ANY OTHER SUCH PAPER TO TEACH YOU HOW TO GET OFF THE GROUND IN THE RAPTURE IF YOU ARE READY TO GO, BUT I BELIEVE THIS ARTICLE WILL ANSWER SOME OF THE QUESTIONS THAT FOLKS HAVE ON THEIR MINDS IN THESE DAYS. WE WILL SHOW THE THREE PHASES OF THE FIRST RESURRECTION, THE KIND OF BODY THAT WE WILL BE RAISED IN, WHERE THOSE BODIES WILL COME UP AT, AND MANY OTHER THINGS THAT FOLKS ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT. WE WILL ALSO SHOW WHAT KIND OF A PLACE JESUS WENT AWAY TO PREPARE FOR US, AND WHAT HE IS DOING TO PREPARE IT. WE WILL ALSO TALK ABOUT THE MANIFESTED SONS OF GOD, SHOWING WHEN THEY WILL BE MANIFESTED.
READ THE ARTICLE WITH AN OPEN MIND, TRUSTING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO OPEN UP THE REVELATION OF IT TO YOU.
TEXT – 1 Corinthians 15:35-38
We have just conducted the funeral of a precious sister of this assembly, and her body is now lying in a place where every one of us would go sooner or later if the Lord should tarry His coming. Many of you have visited our sister in the recent months of her illness, and you could give personal testimony to the fact that she had actually reached the place where she looked forward to this first phase of her release from the bondage of sin, death, and corruption. In one sense we are all still prisoners for as long as we dwell in this old body of flesh, even though our soul has been set free from the condemnation of sin. She realized this more than some who have never been sick, and therefore, with the hope of the resurrection in her bosom, she welcomed what we call death, because it released her from the bondage of her sick body. To some, the grave seems so final, but to those who believe the word of God, it is just a waiting place where our body of clay rests from its labors until that glorious day when it is raised in immortality. What a day that will be! Hallelujah! None of this life’s toil, heartache, and sorrow will ever be remembered again. Oh what a blessed hope we have before us, saints of God. Do you actually realize that when we talk about the resurrection, we are talking about something that surely will take place in our generation? Why do I say that, you may ask? Because all prophesied signs and world conditions loudly proclaim it. Can you even imagine what this world order would be like in another generation, if God would allow it to continue on in its present trend of moral corruption and debasement? Many humans are already living beneath the level of animals, and there is no chance for conditions to get better, for God is lifting His Spirit from the Gentiles and allowing them to return to the pagan practices of their ancestors, just before He closes grace completely. Bro. Jackson, does that mean no one else can be saved? No, It doesn’t mean that at all. As long as Jesus is on the mercy seat, salvation is still offered, but the Spirit of conviction is leaving Gentiles. It has to be like that as we approach the end. Now I know some of you are thinking, If we are so close to the end, why did God let a precious saint die? He could have let her live to see the resurrection and the translation. Yes. He could have. But that is God’s business; we are not to question His wisdom on what He does, and allows it to be done. Too many people have tried to run God’s business already, and that is more than evident if we will just stop to consider the mess that this old world is in spiritually, not to mention the moral corruption and overall decay of our society as a whole. There are just some things that God will not allow us to play with, and our appointment with destiny is one of them.
Now, let me say this, I have preached on the resurrection many times, and we have already printed an article on the resurrection in the early years of our printing, but as I began to ask the Lord to give me something to say at our sister’s funeral, this subject just began to open up to me in the form of a complete message. This causes me to feel that we should print it again, for our mailing list has more than doubled, and this seems to be one of the main subjects that questions arise from. It is one of those mysteries that God has revealed to His true people, and therefore every true child of God has an inherited right to understand it. Let us just trust God to give me words that will be easy to understand as we deal with this message, realizing that just ahead of us, all that we say here will be a fulfilled reality. Keep in mind, these scriptures that we are going to use were written two thousand years ago. In those days the world at large had not heard of a resurrection of the dead. Just imagine, when the apostle Paul preached to those Gentiles the resurrection of the dead, he was crossing everything that they had ever believed about life and death. Take the Corinthian people for instance. They were Greeks. They had their poets, and their philosophers, and they had their philosophies about life and death. Almost every one of them either believed in reincarnation, or transmigration, but none of them had ever even heard of a resurrection of the dead, before the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ was made known to them. Among all the religions of the world in the days of Paul. Christianity was the only one that taught a resurrection of the dead. You say, But the Moslems believed in a resurrection. Not until the sixth century. For the sake of this message let me clarify something right here. Moslems that we see in the Arab world, in other words the Arab people, being natural descendants of Abraham, will try to counterfeit the very plan and objective that God placed in Abraham’s bosom and channeled down to mankind through Isaac, his faith seed. Jesus Christ the Savior of mankind who rose from the dead, opening up the way for all believers of every age, did not come through the Ishmaelite line which was the natural seed of Abraham. He came through the Isaac line, the spiritual line, the revelated line. The Ishmaelites boast of Muhammad. and claim that he was the last prophet. They believe that Jesus was a prophet, but they do not believe that He was any more than just a prophet. We know their prophet is dead, and that his death was not for the sins of the world, and that he is still dead. They claim he arose from the dead and rode his white horse off into heaven from the rock in Jerusalem. It doesn’t matter to me what they claim, I know he is still dead, and buried down there at Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. It is true, we have no way to prove to the world that Jesus Christ arose from the dead either, but to those who are sensitive to the Spirit of God, He bears witness with their spirit that what we teach about the resurrection of this same body that we live on earth in, is truth. God caused Job to prophesy about it, also Isaiah and Daniel, but that natural seed line of Abraham was never meant to carry the revelation of redemption. The Bible is a Jewish book, and redemption for all mankind was wrought through the Jews. They carried the revelation that some day Jehovah would send them a deliverer who would be known to them as Messiah. What they did not know about Him was that He would also redeem lost Gentiles who were foreknown of God from before the foundation of the world. It is no wonder the devil has schemed to turn every possible nation against Israel. He knows they are still God’s chosen people, and that God will return to them one day soon to finish fulfilling prophecies made to them through their prophets.
Brothers and sisters; I do not know how some of you feel about certain things we hear on the news, but when I see those Israeli tanks ripping and roaring up through Lebanon, cleaning out those anti Israel guerilla bases, it just thrills me from the top of my head to the very tip of my toes. Then we hear certain of our politicians talk about over aggression on the part of Israel. They haven’t seen anything yet. Some of them will live to see the day when they will look back upon what Israel has done so far and it will seem like child’s play compared to what they will be doing then. I have said it before, and I am going to say it again. Israel is back in that land to stay this time, regardless of what Carter, Russia and the Palestine Liberation Organization may do to pressure them. They are basing all of their operation on the example set by Gideon and his three hundred men. They know the armies of the world powers have them outnumbered 1,000 to 1, (just a figure to make a point) but they also know that God is fighting for them, for it is time for His word to be fulfilled. What God does through that little nation of people is going to have all these great world leaders pulling their hair out and wondering what happened.
HOW ARE THE DEAD RAISED?
Saints, I know I have not yet read my text, but I get excited when I think about what God is getting ready to do very shortly. Alright, Let us turn to 1 Cor. 15:35-38, and we will try to read our text. Remember, these Corinthian people were in no way to be considered a bunch of illiterates. Paul referred to them in this way, (1:22) “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23, but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24, but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” The Greeks have always been known for their quest for wisdom, but Paul had a revelation burning in his soul to the point where none of that phased him. Paul was a Jew, and I believe God surely must have given him a vision in order for him to write in such detail, the things that are written hero. Let us read. Notice how he approaches the subject. Verse 35, “But some men will say, How are the dead raised up? (There, the wisdom of the world speaking.) And with what body do they come?” That is a natural type of question, the kind you would expect from people who had failed to get a revelation on the subject when Paul was there in person, and taught it. Paul has heard of their questions, along with some other things that have come up in that Corinthian church; therefore he just writes them a letter and takes those things one by one, and deals with them. Their philosophers had spoken of reincarnation many times, but Paul was the only one that had ever spoken of the resurrection of the dead, and some of them just didn’t quite get it, so in his letter he says, “Some men will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? THOU FOOL, That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: (Now he is not calling any Christian a fool, but this terminology applies to those who would repudiate Paul’s teaching both then and now.) And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body.” Paul used an illustration here to make a point. In other words, when you plant a grain of wheat, or a grain of corn, you do not wonder what kind of body the new crop will have. You know it will look just like the grain that was planted. Now you may say, Is that a good example to use for the resurrection of human bodies? Yes, it is, if you can see what Paul is getting at in the example. First, he is showing you that there has to be a germ of life in every seed that is to be raised again, and then that seed must die in order to be raised.
Here is the comparison. Every child of God is just like a good seed that has a germ of life in the heart of it. What did Paul write to the Romans along that line? See Romans 8:11, “But If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, talking about the Holy Ghost) He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” That is why all the ungodly must lie in the ground until God calls them forth to be burned, after the millennium. If they had that Spirit of life in them when they went down, they would come up with a new body in the first resurrection of the saints of God, just like a grain of wheat does when it’s time arrives. Even though that old grain of wheat swells, and then starts decomposing, it has something within it that will live on and show itself again in like manner, but only after the old body dies. When we look to the human side of this illustration the Spirit of life that we have within us is also referred to by Paul as a seal over in Ephesians 4:30. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are SEALED unto the day of REDEMPTION.” We have Him who is our SEAL dwelling in this old mortal body now, and we know if time goes on long enough our present body will die and rot, and return unto that which it is made up of, the elements of the earth. But that Spirit of life within it will never die; therefore it will raise it up again right where it went down.
TO EVERY SEED ITS OWN BODY
I am a farmer; therefore I know a little something about the seed grain that Paul used in this illustration. When I plant corn in the ground I do not expect to look later, and see those same grains of corn that I planted, growing on those stalks. The grains which I plant in the ground are not in their glorified state when they go into the ground, but by faith I believe that the law of life in those grains will come up in a new body in its season. It will be a new body, but it will be of the exact substance as the one that I went down into the ground and rotted. We do not sow corn and expect to get a crop of wheat from it either, and neither do we have to run all over the country to find out where it came up. We know that the new crop will come up exactly where the old bare grain went down. So will the resurrection of the dead be; they will come up exactly where they go down. When you bury a loved one you need not wonder where they will be raised up in the resurrection, for they will come up right where they were buried.
Furthermore, there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that they will come up in the resurrection in a different form. Actually this is what Paul was dealing with here when he wrote to the Corinthian saints. These people had been raised to believe in reincarnation, or in transmigration of the soul, so a question like, What body will they come back in, was natural for them to ask. They had never before heard anything about a resurrection. This was something completely new to them. Until now their hopes had been built around the idea that if they lived a good life their soul would come back in a body of a little higher form. That is why in certain parts of the world many cows never have to face the butcher shops. The people fear that they might kill grandma, or grandpa. Paul knew the background of these Corin-thians, and he knew what was no doubt running through their minds about how the dead would be raised, and with what body they would have. That is why he got right to the point with what he had to say. If we could just paraphrase these verses for the sake of clarity, maybe it would be easier for some to catch what the apostle is getting at. Just suppose you had been standing where you could have heard Paul speaking to a group such as these. When they asked about the resurrection you might have heard something like this: The resurrection of the dead can be compared to the seed you farmers plant in your fields. Every one of you know that you do not just plant a sack of seed in the ground, then sit around and wonder what will come up from those seeds. No. You plant corn in one field and you know exactly what the crop will look like when it comes up. You sow another field with seed wheat, and you know exactly what the new crop will look like, and regardless of what you plant, you still know what to expect from those seed which you put into the ground. The reason you can be so sure is because God has assigned to every seed its particular kind of body and that never changes, and the reason you can expect a new crop to spring up from those seed is because of the germ of life in them. That life never dies. It keeps coming up every time it is put in the ground, and always with a new body. But even though it is a new body, it is still identical with the old one, and it will always come back up exactly where it was planted. In other words it will not look like something else, and it will not come up in another place. There is no chance involved in that area. The only chance, or question involved is whether the seed had the necessary germ of life in them, and that also applies to the resurrection of the dead saints. Every true Christian has that resurrecting Spirit of life in them, and it is that Spirit, which will raise them on that great resurrection day. They will be just like the seed you plant; they will come up where they go down, and they will look the same. The only difference is, those resurrected saints will have an immortal body that will never die again.
YE ARE TOO SUPERSTITIOUS
I believe Paul went into much detail in his personal ministry, for you know he went into regions that had never heard anything like what he taught; therefore he could not just touch on a subject lightly and then go on to something else like we are prone to do in our day. I believe he showed them from the scriptures why their ancestors could not have been a cow, nor anything different from what they them-selves were. Brothers and sisters: I am glad the Bible gives me a better hope than what these poor pagans had about life after death, aren’t you? I am thankful to God for allowing me to know that when we die it is not necessary to have a lot of things buried with us to use in the next life, as the ancient Egyptians and different others believed in. Praise God! These old bodies can be lowered six feet below the surface of the ground, they can completely rot and leave nothing in the place where they were but a handful of dust, but if the Spirit that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead is dwelling in them when they die, they will not need anything that we could provide for their new life; He will take care of everything from then on. Whatever we need in the eternal age, God will provide. I say that only to make the point that we do not need to have pumpkin seed, squash seed, and watermelon, or anything else from this life buried with us. He (Jesus Christ) is all we need. Hallelujah! We can see from the 17th chapter of Acts. that wherever Paul went he reasoned with the Jews, there, out of the scriptures, showing them that it was necessary for Christ to suffer for the people, and rise again from the dead, and that Jesus is the Christ. From verse 16, on down we read an account of his ministry at Athens, Greece, and how the philosophers responded. Let us read a few verses, “Now while Paul waited for them (Silas and Timothy) at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. (These people had a god for everything and even left room for the unknown God which we will see gave Paul an opportunity to preach Jesus Christ to them.) 17: Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. (Notice this next verse now, who it is that desires to hear this strange new doctrine.) Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say?
Others, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods; because he preached unto them Jesus, and the RESURRECTION. And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ Hill, and said, (I can just imagine how Paul must have felt inside. He had a revelation shut up in his soul and here stood a great crowd desiring to hear what it was all about. Notice how he begins.) Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom there-fore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you. (In other words, He said, I am going to tell you how to worship this God whom to you is yet unknown, in spirit and in truth.) God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands. Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said. For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. (This next verse ought to clear up some of your questions about the spiritual state of grandma and grandpa who did not have a true revelation of the oneness of God. This verse helps us see that God only holds people accountable for what they know. Notice how Paul worded his next statement to these men of wisdom as we read verse 30.) And the times of this ignorance God winked at: BUT NOW COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT: Because He had appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” When God anointed Paul to speak to those idol worshippers about the true and living God, they became accountable for what they heard. It was the same then as it is now, as you will see if you read on through the chapter; some believed and followed Paul and some of the others mocked and made fun, but every last one of them will have to give an account before God for what they heard that day. So also will it be for anyone who hears truth in this age.
GENTILES RETURNING TO PAGANISM
Coming home from Israel next to the last time, we stopped in Athens for a day and a half. While there a guide took us out to see old Corinth, and from there, on over to another large hillside to view the tomb of an ancient Greek king. This is one of the largest tombs in all of that area of the world, and it was shaped like a huge ice cream cone. We walked up through a cut in the hillside which had a rock wall on each side, right into the doorway of this tomb. Once we were inside it was like standing in a huge ice cream cone turned upside down, completely covered with dirt. The guide took this opportunity to tell us a little of what these ancient Greek people believed, and how much gold was discovered in tombs of this type. She spoke of how ancient Greek history reveals certain political relations between the Greek kings of this period and the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
She said that was why their tombs were fashioned in this coned shape, because they were copied off of the pyramids The greatest difference was that the pyramids were visibly cone shaped from outside, while one must go inside to discover that about these Greek tombs. I could not help but think as we stood there and listened to what those people believed about God, how close that was to the days of Abraham, and how much closer they were to the days of the flood, (looking back) than we are to the days of Christ, and how far people can stray from the revelation of God in just a few generations. When people are void of a true revelation, they begin fashioning gods with their own hands, and building their hopes on nothing more than pure supposition. Then I was found thinking about this group of philosophers that Paul faced at Mars Hill, and how much they were like the scientists and wisdom seekers of our day. There are people in this world even today who feel that just because they can quote beautiful poetry, they have the most wonderful thing in life. Let me tell you, brothers and sisters, no matter how beautiful your poetry may sound, if it does not glorify God, it is vain. The Psalms, written in poetic form, reveal to us that God is also a poet, and that He desires to be glorified in our poetry, but just being able to quote poetry has no benefit as far as soul’s salvation. Then the scientists claim that they will not believe anything that they cannot prove through their great knowledge, and that is completely opposite of faith which one must have in order to be a child of God. Oh what a pathetic entanglement we discover as we look about us. The great mass of human population has completely forsaken the moral and spiritual principles of the word of God, and are seeking satisfaction for their restless souls in every form of debasement that the human mind is capable of dreaming up. It just simply adds up to the fad that as the Spirit of God lifts from the Gentiles they are returning to the ways of their ancestors. It is just like the scripture says; a dog returns to its vomit, and a hog to its wallowing in the mud. This same spirit that has tried to bypass the fact of there being a God who created all things, and a devil who is chief of all fallen angels, has led the multitudes right back to idolatry and witchcraft, and it will be even more so as time goes on.
MANY WILL BE KILLED
In thinking about scientific discoveries, and worldly wisdom, and how that men have been able to orbit the earth, go to the moon, and actually leave those ships and walk in space, it causes us to realize more fully what the Bible speaks of, about the tower of Babel. When men are left alone to pursue their ambitions, there is hardly anything that seems impossible to them in the realm of the natural. They have built enough nuclear weapons to overkill the world population ever so many times, and every one of us is aware of the fact that some of them will no doubt be used in the very near future. I do not mean to be pessimistic, nor do I take any great delight in being a kill-joy, but there are some very dark times ahead for many of us. We speak much of the rapture, and naturally as we realize how close to the end we surely must be, we are more prone to think along those lines, but if I read my Bible correctly, many who are looking for the rapture to translate them, will be coming up in the resurrection when that time does come. Why do I say that? Simply because there is a prophecy in Ezekiel 38 and 39. that must be Ezekiel 38 and 30, that must be fulfilled before any of us leave the ground in the rapture. It would be very unrealistic on our part to believe that Russia would invade Israel without the United States being involved, and to be involved in that conflict will be more than a series of talks at Camp David. It is reasonable to expect great destruction in our country, and the loss of many lives. Do not be deceived by all the negotiations between the U. S. and Russia. It should be very clear that Russia is just waiting for an opportunity to wipe us from the face of the earth. Of course they will never be able to do that, but they will surely cripple us before it is all over. Saints; it behooves us to live close to God in these days of uncertainty, believe His word, and trust in His grace. Our destiny is in His all sufficient hands. Praise His name!
WHY WAS DEATH IMPUTED?
At this time, let us go into the Old Testament and pick up the hope that began to stir within the bosom of certain mortal beings down through time. From the very day Adam and Eve sinned, there in the garden, the whole human race came under a penalty of death. For God had said to Adam, “Of EVERY TREE of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof THOU SHALT SURELY DIE.” Keep in mind, this was a two fold death sentence. It applied spiritually first of all, for God cut them off from His presence, from His life. That brought death to their souls. Then the secondary fulfillment of that death sentence brought death to the body of flesh. You say, What is death anyhow? That is the separation of the breath of life, (the natural spirit of life) from the body. As long as the spirit of natural life remains in the body, the heart keeps on beating, but the very instant that spirit, which is the inner man. leaves the body, the heart stops, and the person is pronounced dead. The body goes cold, and stiff and in a few days it begins to decay and rot away. That much we can understand, even though the whole function of the body while it has the spirit of life within it is not so easy for most of us to understand. Now if the natural body is dead because of the absence of the spirit of natural life, then what is death to the soul but the absence of God’s presence from it? God withdrew His presence from Adam and Eve when they sinned, and that death sentence has hung over the human race ever since. That is why every human born into this world since then has stood in need of having his soul united with the great Spirit of eternal life; it is an accepted fact that every human body will die, and be laid someplace to return to dust, with the exception of those who live to be translated at the coming of the Lord, but the soul does not disintegrate just because the body does. When the soul leaves the body it goes to one of two places. It either goes into hell to await the judgment day or it goes into the presence of God to wait for its immortal body. Our relationship with God in this life is what determines the destiny of our soul at death. Even the soul of a lost sinner, or maybe I should say of the ungodly, will not be completely destroyed until after the great white throne judgment which takes place after the one thousand year reign of Christ on earth, and then it will not be destroyed immediately for it must be cast into the lake of fire to be punished for an allotted time, and after that God will cause its very existence as a separate identity to be destroyed. There is really no benefit in lingering on the eternal state of ungodly people, for once benefit in lingering on the eternal state of ungodly people, for once the breath of natural life leaves them, they are without any hope of eternal life that would allow them to dwell in the presence of the Lord throughout all eternity. The living ones may spend every dollar they can get hold of on prayers, but the prayers of your priest nor anyone else will never deliver the soul of an ungodly person who meets death in his ungodly state. As for the person who dies, having the Spirit of God, (the Holy Ghost) abiding in him, that man just passes through a transition period. He remains in unity with God, but he is without a human body which one must have in order to function as God created humans to do. When God created Adam in His own image and likeness, (Gen. 1:27) Adam was still without a body. He was a spirit being, for that is the only way he could have been in the image and likeness of God, since God had no physical form. Then in Genesis 2:7, we read where God formed a body of the dust of the ground for Adam to live in. Then we read in Gen. 2:21-23, how God took a rib from Adam and fashioned a body for the woman, Eve, but remember, there was life before there ever was a body of flesh for that life to dwell in. God placed them in the garden of Eden where they had everything they needed to keep both the inner man, and also the outer man (the body of flesh) alive forever. They had all the trees that were growing in the garden to eat from to satisfy their natural bodies, for the fruit from those trees was from the same place their bodies were from (the earth) therefore to eat from those trees was just to feed their human bodies more of what they were made from. Those natural trees growing in the garden did not benefit the inner man one bit whatsoever though, for he is spirit, just like God is Spirit; therefore the inner man must be fed from the same substance which he is. That is why the tree of life was in the midst of the garden, not a natural tree growing in the middle of the garden as some picture it, but a spiritual law, or presence of God in the midst of the garden. The tree of knowledge of good and evil was also in the MIDST of the garden was just the opposite of the tree of life; it was a tree of death. We will not say much more about these two trees, but for the benefit of you who may not have read our article on these two trees in the midst of the garden let me just say, The tree of life was God’s perfect way for Adam and his wife to reproduce themselves and replenish the earth. That is the command God gave them before He ever placed them in bodies of flesh. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the tree of death was God’s forbidden way for them to fill the earth with offspring. In other words to have sex relations just for pleasure. If they had partaken of sex relations just for the purpose of bearing offspring into the world, as the animals do, then they would have been living from the tree of life even yet. But the serpent introduced Eve to sex just strictly for pleasure, and that broke God’s original command to them. God had told them not to partake of that tree, and pronounced death upon them as a result of their disobedience, for He said, In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. We all know the story from there on. That two fold death sentence went into effect the very day they disobeyed God, and you can observe from the scriptural record of the days of men’s lives that as time progressed men’s lives became shorter and shorter from generation to generation until it is rare to find folks now who have lived past one hundred years.
TO KNOW — REMOVES ALL DOUBT
God covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve, and made a way for man’s spirit, or the inner man to be reunited with Him, but the death sentence on the human body remains even though we have eternal life abiding within. So when the body dies and the inner man is left without a tabernacle, if that inner man has been reconciled to God he just waits in God’s presence for the day when he will be reunited with his body that will then be immortal. In this life our old body is troubled with dimness of eyes, rotten teeth, wrinkles, baldness, grey hair, and all kinds of things, but when we are reunited with our bodies in the resurrection all those things will be forgotten. We will have a redeemed body that will never again decay. Job was one of the first old Patriarchs, outside of Abraham, to begin to have the hope of the resurrection. His true genealogy is not known for sure, but I believe that Job was a descendant of Abraham somewhere down the line. Let us turn to the 19th chapter of Job and read some of what he had to say on the subject. He was sitting there in a pile of ashes, clothed with sackcloth, and sores all over his body, just as poor as he could be, feeling like all his friends had forsaken him, and wondering why God had let him get in such a shape, but there was something in him that made him hold on. Listen, as we begin reading verse 23, “Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! (God saw to it that his words were printed in a book. He wanted us to read them.) That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever! For I KNOW (Praise God! When we know something, there is no more guessing about it.) that my redeemer liveth, and that He i shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, (He had seen other bodies become bloated, and the flesh fall away from the bones after so long a time. He had seen maggots by the millions devour that rotten flesh, and he knew that his flesh would be no exception, but he had a hope in his bosom.) Yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” In other words every muscle, every nerve, every sinew, and everything that helps hold these old bodies together will be destroyed, but, praise God, there will come a day when every child of God will be reunited with his body of flesh and bones, and in that body of flesh we will abide throughout the eternal age. It is no wonder people who just have a mental belief about Christ, have such trouble believing that God would ever be able to put all those elements back together again. It takes a revelation in our inner man in order to believe a thing like that. You can easily understand why many people would rather believe in reincarnation than in the resurrection of the same body. If a person just had a little feeling that there was something within which would live forever, it would be much easier for them to believe that they would just step out of one body, and go pick up another one somewhere. That wasn’t what Job was talking about though; he said, In my flesh shall I see God. He would not have been able to tell anyone exactly how God was going to do it, but I am absolutely sure he believed in a resurrection.
SALVATION FOR WALLS
I think of all the countless millions that have lived and died on this planet since Cain killed Abel almost six thousand years ago, and of all those of that number which had no hope in God whatsoever. Certainly there will be more in the resurrection of the wicked than there will be in the resurrection of the just, but none of this is a surprise to God for He foreknew every one of His children from before He even began to create. He caused His prophets to speak many things down through the ages, things which they themselves did not understand, but we can read those prophecies here at the end time and understand the meaning of them. Turn to Isaiah 26:1, and let us look at something there. “In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.” That is the song which will be sung by the redeemed remnant of Israel when they are brought back into the land of Israel. Why will they sing such a song? Simply because modern warfare is such that they cannot put their trust in stone walls around their city as their forefathers did. You cannot hide from a hydrogen bomb behind a stone wall. That is when God will set up spiritual bulwarks, and those Jews will know that God is protecting them, when the nations try to destroy them. God has purposed to redeem Israel; therefore the world does not have a military force that can thwart His plan and purpose. You will notice that Isaiah said, In that day they would sing this song, and you may ask, What day? We will get the answer to that question from some later verses in this chapter. Verses 17 thru 19 speak of some perilous times Israel must go through first. Let us read those verses; “Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.”
This is the cry of a people who are being persecuted and ridiculed. Of course that is Israel in the final days of this age. Isaiah went a little further and said, (verse 20) “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: (Notice this now) hide thyself as it were for a little moment, (How long?) until the indignation be overpast. (That is the great tribulation.) 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.” Looking at verses 20 and 21 together helps us to place these scriptures, for we know verse 21 is speaking of His wrath which will be poured out upon ungodly mankind, and we know that takes place at the end of the great tribulation; therefore verse 20 is speaking of a translation that enables believers of this age to be caught away from this old planet until the time of trouble has passed. During that time a large element of redeemed Jews will hide out from the wrath of the beast also, that is, during the time when the grace age bride is at the marriage supper. Time wise, we would have to say, Israel has finally reached the time when the whole world has her under pressure, and physically she is being pushed down, yet she has a promise from God that He will save her. That does not mean that every Jew will be saved, but all Israel will be saved, the prevail-ing ones, those who have the faith of Abraham. Then will they sing the song Isaiah spoke of, in the land of Judah. Then will salvation be their walls and bulwarks. They will never again have to hide behind stone walls from their enemies, for they will be hid in God. They will be hid by a rock, but it will be the Rock of Ages. He will save them physically which will be salvation, and He will also save them spiritually making it a twofold salvation.
FIRST RESURRECTION —THREE PHASES
We can look at the 12th chapter of Daniel and learn much about the time of trouble that is yet ahead of Israel. Also, about the resurrection that is to take place, and who will be delivered by the power of God in that day. When we say, “that day,” we are not speaking of a day of twenty-four hours, but of a time when certain events are taking place. Turn to Daniel 12:1, and let us read a few verses. Daniel was a prophet, and while in Babylonian exile he became very much disturbed about the future of his people, Israel. What the angel of the Lord revealed to, and through Daniel about God’s dealing with that nation is right at hand to be fulfilled in our generation. The twelfth chapter of Daniel goes with the twelfth chapter of Revelation. They are both speak-ing of events that will transpire in the last week of Daniel’s seventy prophetic weeks of God’s dealing with Israel. Now notice. (Dan. 12:1) “And at that time shall Michael stand up, (In the week of Daniel) the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: (ISRAEL) 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.” Of course that is speaking of the book of redemption, and those natural minded political Jews who have sold out to the Antichrist are not going to have their names written in the book. That is why the apostle Paul could say, (Romans 11:26) “And so all Israel shall be saved.” That is why he also said, (Romans 9:6) “For they are not all Israel which are of Israel.” In the next verse Paul went on to say something that would clarify this seed of Abraham issue between Arabs and Jews, if people would allow the Bible to speak to them. “Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” So you see, there is no contradiction in the word of God when we get things lined out in their proper setting. Yes. All Israel shall be saved, all whose names are found written in the book. When we come to verse 2, in Daniel, chapter 12, we see a resurrection, but please notice that even though it is written like one big resurrection of the righteous along with the wicked, we know from other scriptures that the fulfillment of this verse is in phases. Those who are resurrected to everlasting life will be raised before the millennial reign of Christ, and those who are resurrected to everlasting contempt will be raised for the great white throne judgment at the end of the millennium, after Satan has been loosed for a little season to deceive as many as he can. You have no doubt, read in other messages where we have shown from the scriptures that the FIRST RESURRECTION is in THREE PHASES. Naturally we do not have to prove to you who believe the scriptures, that many of the dead saints have been raised already. The gospel writers tell us that when Jesus arose from the grave many of the graves were opened, and saints which were dead prior to that were seen by many in the streets of Jerusalem. You can read that in the 27th chapter of Matthew’s gospel. That was the first phase of the first resurrection. The second phase comes at the end of God’s dealing with Gentiles. In other words, somewhere between the time God cuts off the Gentiles, and the middle of the week of Daniel. This is what Paul spoke of in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. This A will be a time when all the righteous dead will be resurrected, and the bride of Christ, the living element of the bride of Christ will be translated, changed, given an immortal body without ever seeing death, and together with the resurrected saints, be caught up to be with the Lord while the great tribulation takes its toll upon those who are left. These shall be caught away to the marriage supper of the Lamb, spoken of in Rev. 19:9. At that time the only dead bodies left in the ground will be the bodies of the wicked dead of all ages. But by the time the great tribulation period comes to a climax there will be another great multitude of saints to be resurrected. You say, Bro. Jackson, where do you get that from? The two main scriptures, but not the only ones, are Revelation 7:9-17 and Revela-tion 20:4-5. John saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, (That takes in the whole world) standing before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, giving glory to God, and to the Lamb. When the question was I asked, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and from where did they come? John did not know, but the angel told him; He said, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and 1 made them white in the blood of the Lamb. But, Who are they? They are the foolish virgins of Matthew 25:1-13, (They were foolish because they did not have their vessels filled with oil sufficiently to go with the bridegroom when He came, but they became very wise during that great tribulation time when they had to give their lives in martyrdom rather than renounce their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.) and also Jews who would not bow to the beast nor his image, but held to their faith in God. Now comes the question, How do we know they will be resurrected before the millennium? For the answer to that we will go to Revelation 20, where John saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. This angel binds the devil for a thousand years, and casts him into the bottomless pit where he could not have any opportunity to deceive the nations during that one thousand years. Then in verse 4, we read, “And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: (Now please notice that this verse breaks right here. Up to this point it is referring to bride saints, those who Paul said would even judge angels, but from here on down you will see that it is referring to the same group that John wrote about over in chapter 7:9-17.) and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Many of you know these things as well as I do by now, but let me ask the rest of you a question before I explain what is in that verse. Do you see any keys there that would unlock the revelation as to who they are, and why they would have to be resurrected between the great tribulation and the millennium? First let us take the part that says, I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the WITNESS OF JESUS. It is Gentile believers that have the witness of Jesus. Is that not right? Then it says, and for the WORD OF GOD. That speaks of a Jewish element which does not have the witness or testimony of Jesus as savior, but who hold to the word of God that they know. Up to this point that could apply to Christians and Jews who have died for their faith at any time. Even as we read the next part that still holds true. Notice, “and which had not worshipped the beast.” That Roman beast has been around for a long time, and has been the cause of many saints being put to death, but this next part narrows it down to the great tribulation time. This was a group, or multitude that had not worshipped the beast, NEITHER HIS IMAGE, NEITHER HAD RECEIVED HIS MARK UPON THEIR FOREHEADS, OR IN THEIR HANDS. There has never been another time in history when I anyone has been required to worship the IMAGE of the BEAST, but in the last half of that week of Daniel, people will be required to worship that Anti-christ beast which is the old Roman imperial spirit in a bunch of world politicians headed by the beast man himself. We have said it before, and we may as well say it again. Whoever the pope of Rome is when that time comes, will be the Antichrist. There is no doubt about it, and this World Council of Churches by that hour will be the very image of that beast, for it will be another system led by that same beast spirit.
So this great multitude that John saw giving glory to God were souls of them that will be martyred during the great tribulation, and they will be from every nation under heaven both Jews and Gentiles, and the last part of that verse says, “And THEY LIVED AND REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS.” There is the third phase of the first resurrection, for notice the next verse. “But the rest of the dead (That is all the wicked dead of all time) lived not again until the thousand years were finished. THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION.” Do you see it? If not, then go back and read those scriptures again. There is no reason for the true people of God to be confused about this question of the resurrection any longer. Verse 6, goes on to say, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Yes all the saints will be out of the ground by the time the millennial reign of Christ begins. Maybe we should say, the bodies of all the saints will be raised from wherever they are and made immortal by then.
GOD — ISRAEL’S ONLY ALLY
As we await the hour when God will withdraw His convicting Spirit from Gentiles altogether, let us be ever mindful of the fact that it cannot be very far ahead of where we are living right now. It is true that not all of us in Faith Assembly are likely to be left alive until that hour. Death will probably take some of our number before then, but you can rest assured this generation will not pass before then. Even common sense reasoning proclaims the nearness of that dark hour of time for Israel. Practically the whole world is against her already, so the stage is set for Ezekiel 38 & 39, which will no doubt be instrumental in ushering in the great peace covenant with the Antichrist. It makes us feel sad to see the whole world turning against that little nation, and especially the politicians of our own country, the first country to recognize the state of Israel in 1948. We have stood by her through all these years, furnished her with money and armaments for bur protection, but it looks like we are now ready to sell her down the drain for a cheap, haphazard world peace. How do you think Israel feels about our peace negotiations? I am sure those Israelis are saying, You sold Taiwan, and you will sell us too. The hour is coming when God will be their only ally. They know they do not have any sure friends left, but they have a determination to fight for their heritage, and regardless of what Carter and all the other world leaders may do, God will see to it that every prophetic word of this Bible is fulfilled. In other words, it is just about time for Michael to stand up for Daniel’s people. Saints! I have more confidence in what Michael will do for them than I do President Carter! Don’t you? Michael will not be negotiating with anyone; he will shake up some things, and when he gets finished this old world will know it has been shook. Just think, brothers and sisters, If the signs we are watching are true signs, and I believe with all my heart that they are, then many of us are going to live to see these oh mortal bodies take on immortality. On the other side of the picture, Do you realize what many of us would live to see if we are not as close to the end as it looks like we are? Science has already progressed to the point where they can actually make identical copies of a man. I believe they call it cloning. If legislation was ever changed to allow such a thing, there would be nothing to prevent a person from having a couple of copies made of themself, then later when the old heart goes bad, or a lung, just catch one of those copies and get whatever organs are needed. I heard a certain scientist on television say, they can make as many copies as they want, and they will be an exact image of the original. There will be no question about whether certain organs from the copy will adapt to the original or not; they will be exactly the same. Brothers and sisters, it is hard for science fiction writers to come up with an idea anymore that scientists cannot actually work out in their laboratories. They think they do not need God, and they look upon people like us as a sect of babbling idiots because we dare to believe what is written in this old Bible, but I believe God will force them to realize that He is the one in control of this old universe before it is all over. They consider the preaching of the gospel to be foolishness, but the Bible tells us that the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men. Worldly wisdom does not offer any hope of a resurrection, and neither does it leave any room for simple faith in God in any other area. Even though many of the so-called smart men of the world have read the Bible, and many of them can even quote much of it, a simple statement made by David, the Psalmist, goes right over their heads. In the Spirit, David uttered these words. (Psa. 16:9-10) “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. FOR THOU WILT NOT LEAVE MY SOUL IN HELL; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” He probably could not have explained it like the apostle Paul, but David, like Job had the hope of a resurrection burning in his soul. What a great joy that must have been. God caused those old prophets to utter those things, but even the disciples of Jesus, after walking with Him for three and one-half years, did not understand what He meant when He said, on the way to Jerusalem that day, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death: and the third day He shall rise again.” They listened to Him speak those words, but did not understand anything He said. Then on Sunday morning which was the third day after His crucifixion, some of the women went to the sepulchre with spices to anoint His body, and wondered among themselves who would roll the stone from the entrance to the tomb. They were going to finish preparing the corpse for burial, since they did not have time to get it done the day He was crucified, and His resurrection, no doubt, was the farthest thing from their minds. That is why they were so astonished to find the stone rolled away already, and the body of Jesus missing from the tomb. While they stood there trembling, the angel of the Lord spoke to them, on this wise, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” Then they remembered His words. They went back to tell the other disciples, and when Peter heard their report he ran to the tomb and saw the linen clothes lying there, but left wondering in himself what had really happened. Then from the two disciples which Jesus walked with on the road to Emmaus, we find out for sure that they still did not really believe He had risen from the dead. Jesus had to explain all the scriptures from Moses up to their present day, then break bread with them before they finally realized who He was. When they realized who it was that talked with them they beat a path back to Jerusalem where the other disciples were gathered together, to tell them, and while they were telling it, Jesus appeared in the midst of them, and showed His hands, and His feet, and asked them to Indie Him so they would know for sure that He was not just a vision of some kind. Since that time almost two, thousand years have passed, but the resurrection of the dead is still the main thrust of the gospel of grace. To state it very simply, If there be no resurrection, then there is no salvation. This is the message that God wanted preached to the world; that Jesus bore the penalty for the sin of all mankind in His merciless crucifixion, and that He rose from the dead the third day, offering life everlasting to all who believe. HALLELUJAH! HE’S ALIVE FOR EVERMORE! Remember, outside of the salvation of your soul, the changing and resurrection of your body is the most wonderful part of the gospel story. When death was added to the inner man because of Adam’s sin, death also was added to the flesh; or outer man; therefore redemption and restoration is not fully accomplished until all traces of man’s sin has been cleaned up, and that must include the resurrection and changing into immortality, our bodies. It is the purpose of God to have man restored back to a place where the eternal presence of God will be as it was to Adam before the fall.
IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE
I never realized there are so many places in the New Testament that speak of the resurrection until I began to search the scriptures on just that subject. Then as I studied those scriptures on this subject I could not help but think how so many preachers use that scripture in the 14th chapter of John in conducting funerals. They have read it so much it is like putting on a record. “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Brothers and sisters: It is unfortunate that the translators chose to use the term, MANSIONS, for it has created an illusion in the minds of so many as they imagine living in a great mansion in the sky. That word could have been translated, ABODES, and would have expressed what Jesus was talking about more effectively. After all, What is the Father’s house? Jesus was not talking about a house in the same sense that we think of a house. You must remember, He was speaking spiritually; therefore the house of God is His true children, and He dwells, or abides in each and every one of them. God’s abode is in His people, He does not need any other kind of house to dwell in. So tell me, where did Jesus go, and what did He do, to prepare a place for you? Is He off some place building mansions in the sky, or did He go to that old cross, pay your sin debt, go down into hell itself and take the keys of death from Satan, then rise again to make intercession for every one who believes? Which way harmonizes with the rest of the Bible? The answer should be very obvious. Then the final phase of this redemption is when He comes again to receive us unto Himself, that where He is we may be also, but please remember, after the marriage supper Jesus is going to be right back here on earth where He will set up an earthly kingdom and rule from the temple in Jerusalem, so if you are going to be where He is, do not expect to be staying in a great mansion in the sky. All who have died before Jesus comes for us, of the children of God, will be resurrected,and in our changed bodies we will dwell right here on earth throughout eternity, regardless of what the skeptics may say. That is what God created man for, to dwell on earth. Why would He change His mind just because Satan interfered and throwed sin into the picture? Oh, there are so many questions; When will God raise the dead? How will He raise them? Where will they come up? What kind of body will they have? Where will they live then, and one of the questions that skeptics like to throw at you is, How about those who have been buried at sea? How will they be resurrected from the grave? Revelated people do not need to ask these questions. They already know there is nothing impossible with God, and they know that God is well able to carry out His plan: that settles all the questions on How, and Why. Naturally it takes a revelation to understand the order of the resurrection, but any believer knows there is going to be one, without question. Then just plain common sense is enough to tell us that you do not plant something in one place then expect it to come up someplace else. Those dead bodies will come up exactly where they went down; it does not matter about the ocean nor anything else. God knows exactly where every little molecule of every body is at. He is just as much present in the bottom of the ocean as He is 50 million light years in space. You can rest assured that when the time comes, He will pull those atoms together, and up from that ocean they will come. It is time we become serious minded about these things; Jesus did not need anyone to open the door for Him when He appeared to His disciples after His resurrection; therefore we will not be bound by earth’s gravitation, nor any other of its hindrances, any more than He was. That is when God’s sons will be truly manifested. Just like Paul said in his Corinthian letter, It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. In verse 42 of that 15th chapter, he said, after talking about the glory of the sun, moon and stars, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in CORRUPTION; it is raised in INCORRUPTION.”
FROM CORRUPTION TO GLORY
When our old dead bodies are lowered into the ground the process of corruption is already at work. It starts as soon as life goes out of the body, but when it is raised from the grave it is raised in a state of immortality where corruption will never again have any effect on it. Our identity will not change; our facial features will be the same, but there will be no death present. Listen to me now, saints. Some of you may have a finger missing, or some other member. Please do not think I am saying that you will be resur-rected like that. Even if you were born into this world with some deformity; that deformity is not you. When you come up in the resurrection your body will be whole and complete. All these things are a result of sin; therefore when we come up in our resurrection bodies there can be no evidence of man’s sin present. Isaiah 25:8, we read, “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.” This is where Paul took his thought from when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:53-54, “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.” Brothers and sisters, that means all traces of death. When that resurrection trumpet sounds, up from the graves will come bodies that will glorify God forever. Think of what a glorious hope we have. I am so thankful we do not have to wait around for some silly scientific formula to show us how to accomplish this Praise God! We have the formula already! Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Hallelujah! Receiving the Holy Ghost does not immediately put wings on your back so you can begin to fly, but it absolutely does assure you that your fare is paid already. So when the time to fly does arrive you will hear your call to get aboard, whether you are six feet under the ground’s surface, or thousands of feet beneath the ocean’s surface, or even still among the living ones. Paul, in speaking about the body being sown in dishonor; then raised in glory, reminds me of how we often go to the hospital to see some little baby that has just been born. My how sweet they look, lying there. Their skin is so fresh and pure looking, so clean and fresh it looks like it could live forever. But you check that same person after a number of years and you will see a grey hair here and there; you will see where rotten teeth have been pulled and artificial ones put in place. The skin will have wrinkles, and the eyes may require glasses, and the old joints and muscles give evidence that they have been around a while. I am sure you all know what I mean. This is a result of one man’s sin. One man’s sin has brought about the decay of every human body since then. But thank God, one man’s obedience has paved the way for our old bodies to be loosed from decay and corruption and be made completely new. They will not be different bodies as some believe, they will be our same bodies, but they will be free from sin, death, and corruption. The same God, who, in the beginning said, Thou shalt surely die, also showed mercy to dying humanity which was twofold dead, and provided a way for everyone who would accept His provision to return to life. It is sad to say but true anyhow, that millions live their allotted years in this life and go to the grave without ever accepting God’s provision for eternal life. They have no hope beyond the grave. It is true they will be resurrected also, but only to shame and disgrace, to be judged and burned in the lake of fire. The first resurrection is a resurrection to honor and glory, but the last resurrection is to shame and disgrace; what a contrast between the two.
PHYSICAL FORCE —SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY
Television networks put on these silly little programs showing people flying through the air just by spreading their arms. This is man’s idea of how he would like to defy gravity, and all the forces of evil that sin has brought upon the world, but did you ever stop to think what it would have been like if Adam had not sinned? God invested in His son Adam the spiritual authority to speak the word for whatever he wanted to accomplish. Before his sin he had perfect control over the whole animal kingdom. All he had to do was speak. No force was necessary. Now man’s dominion over the animal kingdom is by physical force only, he has no voice of authority that will control them. Adam’s voice would have stopped every huge beast in their tracks, but now they must be trapped, tied up, or shot down. Do you see what Paul meant? It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power? We are weak because we have no voice of authority. In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said something that allows us to see the difference between physical force and spiritual authority. His disciples were wondering why they could not cast a certain spirit out of a boy that was brought to them. He said, “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” He spoke those words to mortal men, men who were destined to die, but nevertheless were invested with spiritual au-thority which was just a little preview of what authority the bride of Christ will possess when she sits on thrones ruling the nations. She will not be ruling with physical force, she will be ruling by the authority that has been invested in her. When you take that to the talents of Jesus, or the parable of the talents, He said, Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Brother! The word of God reaches out and pulls everything into its proper setting. Right now we are completely subject to earth’s environment, its climate, its activities all because of sin, We are cut off from what Adam knew in his first estate. If he had obeyed God we never would have needed a Savior, we would never have had any need for healing, nor for the resurrection of the dead. Are you following me?
Every child born would have been Immortal. Let me say this another way. Redemption does not make something more than what was in the beginning. Anything that we could ever hope for in redemption would still be nothing more than what Adam started out with, Evangelical people have always had a tendency to think of resurrected people more in the sense of angelic beings, rather than the man and woman we were designed to be. Brothers and sisters: Do not think like that. God created His angelic family to fulfill a specific purpose in His plan; likewise, also, He created man to fulfill a specific purpose in His plan and there will never be any intermingled relationships between the two families in any way whatsoever. I am aware of the fact that angels have appeared at times in the form of man, but that has nothing to do with the statement I just made. Angels were created to be angels, and humans were created to be humans, so redemption will not move us from one family to another one, if you will pardon my terminology. Paul said, It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body, but he did not mean that we would be angels. He simply meant that in our immortal state we will be subject to spiritual forces, rather than natural as we are now. That means we will have the eternal presence of God directing our every move. Natural conditions, nor circumstances can have no control over an immortal being. We will be like Jesus In 1 John 3:2, we read, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and in doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS.” We are already the sons of God, but we are not yet like Jesus for we are still in the process of redemption. In our fully redeemed state knowledge will be unlimited, wisdom will be unlimited, for the scriptures teach us that in that day when Jesus is ruling in the millennium, judgment will not be after the sight of His eyes, neither will it be by the hearing of His ears. In other words it will be by spiritual knowledge and understanding, and His little bride will be just like Him. There will be no need for tattlers, for judgment will be after the intentions of the heart. Paul said, Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face, Now we must make our judgments mostly from what we see and hear, but in that day everything will be an open book.
FIRST ADAM – LAST ADAM
As we come down through this 15th chapter of 1 Cor. we find another statement Paul made that perhaps has caused some of you to wonder. Let us read verses 45-46. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” That means a life giving spirit. “Howbeit (that means however) that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” In the beginning, after Adam fell, he was not spiritual. (Remember Paul is covering this from the standpoint of redemp-tion. Resurrection was neces-sitated because Adam fell.) We know he was not spiritual after he fell, but before he fell he was spiritual. He had as much access into the spirit world as he did in the natural. Do you realize that? He was created perfect, and until the day he disobeyed God, eternal life was there. He was a son of God, and there was nothing im-perfect about him. Some of you may be thinking, Bro. Jackson, if he had been perfect he could not have sinned. That may be your honest opinion, but you can not get the Bible to back it up. In Ezekiel 28:15, we find that Lucifer, called the devil, and Satan was perfect from the day he was created until iniquity was found in him. So Adam was perfect until he yielded to the test put before him. Then he fell, sin was imputed, death started to work, and Adam then became the natural man that Paul spoke of. He was driven from the garden and commanded to till the soil of the earth. This is where Paul picked up his thought, because Adam then stood in need of redemption just like all of us. This second Adam which was the Lord Jesus Christ, was not here for the same purpose that the first Adam was. His purpose was not to progenerate for the purpose of filling the earth with people; neither did He come to till the soil. He came to undo the mess that the first Adam’s disobedience had mankind wrapped up in. The first Adam was the beginning of God’s natural creation, and the second Adam was the beginning of His new creation, His redeemed creation. In 2 Cor. 5:17, Paul said, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” That is why Jesus could say, I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Redemption began in Him, and when redemption is completed He is the one who will deliver the kingdom up to God the Father, the great eternal Spirit. Therefore when Paul said, Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, he definitely was speaking of Adam, in the beginning, after he fell. Redemption was the whole theme of Paul’s discourse in this 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians. The second Adam, the Redeemer, had within Him everything that the first Adam lost when he was driven from the garden. The first Adam lost his contact with the omnipresent Spirit which had formed his body from the dust of the ground, and became limited in authority as well as ability, but the second Adam came on the scene with that omnipresent Spirit dwelling in Him, that Spirit which is also omnipotent, and omniscient, so His ability was unlimited. He came to perfect a redemption process that eventually place every child of God back in the garden.
CLOTHED WITH GOD’S GLORY
Brothers and sisters, by the time we finish this message I hope you are able to sec that when our redemption is completed and we are in our immortal bodies, invested with all the power and authority that Jehovah has pur-posed to bestow upon us, that is the only house we will ever need from then on. Let me say this as humbly as I know how; when the glory of God is veiled about us, as it will be then, we will not have any more need of these synthetic fabrics. He will be our clothing. Whatever we were buried in, in the way of earthly material, will remain right there in the ground when we come up. Furthermore, regardless of what our interests may have been in this mortal life, we will come up in immortality with only one interest. That will be to glorify God. In this scientific age of our generation we see exactly what Paul was referring to in verses 48-49, where he said, “As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly, As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” He had just said, “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” As time passed from the day of Adam’s fall, men continually became more carnal and natural minded. They have even come to the place where they do not even believe in their creator. They would rather believe that their ancestors were some little old pollywogs that crawled out of a stagnated pond someplace. “As Is the earthy, someplace. ”As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy.” No wonder men act the way they do. It is because they are earthy, All they are interested in is rocks, trees, grass, flowers, what they will eat, what they will wear, how they should comb their hair, a trip to outer space, and inventing material gadgets to boast about. Natural man does not even realize that the very reason he is able to do these seemingly impossible things, is because man, in the beginning was made to be a miniature creator. They are doing many outstanding things, but they sure are not glorifying God in any of them. That is why God is going to bring all of this nonsense to an end one of these days. Then this world will see what beauty, perfection and power really is when God’s super people begin to walk on the face of this old planet. They will not need rockets, nor any of these rocket launching pads; all they will need is the power of God, and they will have it. Isaiah said, (64:4) “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him.” Then Paul picks that up in his first letter to the Corinthians, (2:9-10) and says, But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” Yes, Saints, What we know is by revelation of the Spirit of God, and we ought to praise Him much for allowing us to have a little glimpse of this resurrection. Oh what a hope it gives us. Even though we now bear the image of the earthy, we have the sure hope of bearing the image of the heavenly, later. As I said at Sister Pearl’s funeral, When I see Sister Pearl again, I do not believe I will need anyone to tell me who she is, neither will I have to search through God’s record book to find out who she is. It is true of course that because I knew her in this life, and she will bear the same resemblance in Immortality. I would no doubt know her by that, but here is what I am getting at; We know that some of this generation is destined to remain alive to see the resurrection and translation of the saints of God. According to Paul’s revelation on the subject, the dead will rise first. They come up in their immortal bodies, then those who remain alive will be changed, and they too will be in immortal bodies, and all will go up together to meet the Lord in the air. But the point we are making here is that there is something about immortality that carries an investment of knowledge which will enable each one to know the others. Remember, when Jesus took Peter, James and John up on the mountain which they later named, the mount of transfiguration, and was transfigured before them, allowing them to see what immortality would be like, they recognized Moses and Elijah that appeared there with Him. Those old prophets were from many generations back in time, and there were no pictures of them lying around, but these disciples of Jesus knew who they were. That was a little preview of what we will all experience one day if we will just walk with God. and be ready. We will have to take on the image of the heavenly in order for that to be a reality, even though we have heard testimonies of people who had dreams about Elijah or some other of those Old Testament saints. Even in such a dream there is an identity, but while we bear the image of the earthy, those things are just temporal. But then, we will know each other.
FLESH AND BLOOD
In our generation, verse 50, has been the cause of much disputing among various groups. Let us read it first, then I want to show you something that too many people miss. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” Many times in the Methodist church, I have heard preachers say, This flesh cannot go to glory, for you know the Bible says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Those who say such things are just majoring on that one verse without even consider-ing other things that were also said in the Bible. In Luke 17:21, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you,” speaking to men who were flesh and blood. Then in Romans 14:17-19, Paul said, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” Men have traditionalized what Paul said instead of finding out what he meant. We should settle once and for all the fact that the apostle to that first age did not contradict himself; neither did he contradict anything that other scripture writers had written. Now, What did he mean when he said, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God? Simply this: No matter what your station in life may be, nor how good you may be, nor how much you may feel that you deserve special favor with God, there is nothing about this old frame of flesh and blood that merits the benefits of the kingdom of God. You have heard people say, I live a better life than most of the Christians I know, so why do I need to be saved? Such a person is under the impression that their good life, and their charitable attitude toward needy people will gain them entrance into the kingdom of God, but they are sadly mistaken. If that would do it: then we could say that flesh and blood does inherit the kingdom of God and Paul was wrong, but Saints: We all know better than that. In the first place, the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom and those who are born of the Spirit of God are in it already, while most of those who misinterpret what Paul said, so dogmatically, are thinking of a time when the bodies of the saints are changed to immortality, and they are caught up to be with the Lord. Even if the rapture was what Paul was talking about there, they would still be wrong in their belief about flesh and blood, and by the help of God, I believe I can show you why. When such people are asked why they believe like that, they say, because there is sin in our blood. To that I will agree, but there is sin in our flesh also, and we know that Jesus Christ rose from the dead with a flesh body. an immortal flesh body, and the scriptures teach us that we will be like Him. We have already read that. Now you all believe the flesh is going to be immortalized, Do you not? Then why not immortalize the blood also? Are you following me? Just because you believe in a resurrec-tion, and you believe in immortality, that does not give you any right to change the whole physical program of God. Redemption is what this is all about, so what some of you need to do, is find out what redemption really is. God put blood in Adam when He formed his body from the dust of the ground. He had blood in his veins before he ever sinned. Have you not read the many scriptures which declare that the life of all flesh is in the bloods! We will just read one verse, but you can find many others if you care to run references. Turn to Leviticus 17:14, “For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: Whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.” Now I know there are some who will say, Bro. Jackson: I always thought the spirit was the life of the flesh. The spirit works in conjunction with the blood. In the blood that flows through our veins is every nutrient that serves in the replenishing of our bodies daily. The blood is the transmitting agent of our physical bodies that not only carries nutrients for replenishing, but it also carries away the waste. Why do you suppose God added a kidney or kidneys to our physical make up? Kidneys serve to purify the blood stream, and please do not tell me that God added kidneys to Adam’s physical body after he sinned. If you do you are leaving the scriptures to do so. God rested on the seventh day from ALL HIS WORK. He did not have to come back later and create something else to make His creation complete. Adam had every organ in his body before the fall that he had after he fell. Every organ in his body was there for a specific purpose too: the only thing is, There just wasn’t any tuberculosis present, no heart trouble, no arthritis, nor any other disease. His blood flowed through his veins in perfection. Sin added all those diseases.
Saints: we can either take all the scriptures on a subject and get revelation from them, or we can pull a verse or two out to themselves and build a theory from them. Theories lead to traditions, and traditions lead to bondage. We are not called into bondage; we are called out of bondage to walk in the liberty that revelation truth opens up to us. Listen to me now! When the spirit of life goes out of these old bodies and the blood stops pump-ing, it isn’t long until every element of our human makeup begins to decompose. After a number of years the body is completely decomposed, but on that resurrection day when God raises that body back to life, (Go ahead and ask me, Will it have blood?) it absolutely will have blood, and that blood will be just as immortal as the flesh. Otherwise the body would be imperfect; redemption would not be complete. In other words, you have no scripture for a foundation to teach that resurrected bodies will not have blood in them. But, after saying all that we have said on the subject, let me come back once again and say, There is certainly nothing about our old flesh and blood that makes us deserve to enter the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom for the inner man, and only the new birth experience will get us in, but when we truly are born again, our old flesh, with its blood flowing through it, reaps many benefits as a tabernacle of God. It is the inner man which is spirit, that actually inherits the kingdom of God, and not the flesh, but the inner man remains in his flesh, in the kingdom of God, which is a present tense kingdom. Let us read two verses from the gospel of St. John. We will read verses 12 and 13, in chapter 1. “But as many as received Him (Jesus Christ) to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: (WATCH NOW) Which were BORN, (Born into the kingdom of God) not of BLOOD, nor of the will of the flesh, (That means our blood background, nor our flesh background, neither one, can in any way merit this new life) nor of the will of man, but of God.” Nothing about man in his genetic makeup could ever bring about this new life in the spirit. It is all in, and by the will of God. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, neither can he see it, for it is that spiritual kingdom that comes within the soul of man. The new birth is the beginning of our redemption and restoration process. The new birth is what puts our inner man back in proper relationship with God, but our old bodies, the purchased possession must be restored to make our redemption complete. We have heard so much talk about the manifested sons of God in the last few years, let me remind you once again, That is for the millennium. True we are sons of God already, not because of our flesh and blood, but because of the new birth that he gave to the inner man. He gave a new birth to that which was made in His image, and that is the son of God that will be manifested, but our bodies were not left out of the picture as some believe. They have a hope also, for they go with the inner man. When Jesus rose from the dead and showed Him-self to His disciples, What did He say to them: “Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see: for a spirit hath not FLESH AND BONES, as ye see me have.” Why did He not mention the blood? Why did He just say, flesh and bones? Simply because there was no way for them to see His blood flowing through His veins. They could see His flesh, and the very fact that they could see a profile of that flesh standing there caused them to know there had to be a bone structure inside. He did not mention any of the other organs of His body, but I assure you, they were all there. There-fore just as Jesus was resurrected with a complete, but immortal body, so will we be; that is our hope.
INWARD MAN —OUTWARD MAN
We will leave the other verses of this 15th chapter to climax our message with. Right now, I would like for us to look at a statement Paul made in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8. Actually, verse 1, is what we need to clarify more than the others. In order to catch Paul’s line of thought I believe we should start reading in verse 15, of chapter 4. That will help us catch Paul’s two lines of thought when we get to chapter 5. Unless you are able to get in his line of thought, it sounds 3 like he is looking for a different body, rather than the resurrection t of his original one. Verse 15, “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound I to the glory of God. For which s cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, (The out-2 ward man is the physical flesh) yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” The outer man gets older and older as the years roll by, and with every year that passes he becomes more feeble; he is perishing. This feeble, perishing situation, at times makes the inner man feel bad, in a depressed sort of way. He realizes that he just cannot do all things he used to be able to do, because the old house of clay (the flesh) is wearing out. But what did he say about the inward man, which is the life of that flesh? He is renewed day by day. In other words our spiritual vitality is retained, and should grow stronger day by day. Proper feeding on spiritual food determines that. One gets stronger, and the other gets weaker day by day. I need not remind you older folks that this old outward man is perishing day by day: your grey hair, rotten teeth, wrinkles and aching joints say it plainer than anyone else ever could. Verse 17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Our present life span, when measured against eternity, is but a moment. You have heard me say this before – There are degrees of glory that God will bestow upon His people, and that all depends upon the way we conduct ourselves in this life span, which is but a moment, when compared to eternity. The judgment seat of Christ is a judgment among saints for the purpose of bestowing rewards for faithfulness. In this verse Paul is using terminology that pertains to weights and measures, instead of dollars and cents. Then in verse 18, he goes into an explanation of the difference between temporal things and eternal things. “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: (Through eyes of faith we look at those things which have eternal values.) for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Anything that we can see with our natural eye is only temporal, and will pass away with time. That pertains to everything we use in this life, but those things which have real value are those things that presently, we can only see through eyes of faith; they are eternal. The revelation of God’s word cannot be seen with the natural eye; what God makes known to us concerning things beyond this sphere of life can only be seen with our spiritual eyes, which are eyes of faith.
I believe Paul got his mind on all the trouble, heartaches, distresses and persecutions of this present life, and it caused him to begin to weigh this present life against the life beyond the grave. No he is not being carnal; God anointed him to do that so you and I could reap the benefits of what he said, almost two thousand years later. When we come to chapter 5, we hear Paul say something that sounds strange when you look at it alongside of what he has already taught about the resurrection of our same bodies. Let us read it, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, (That would be our fleshly bodies in death) we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” That sounds like Paul is looking to be joined to a new body, dwelling in the heavens, doesn’t it? What actually is in heaven, that Paul is looking at? The promise, and the authority to resurrect our bodies, and change them into immortality. God Himself, is the eternal house that we are to dwell in, because we will be clothed with His glory. Paul is looking at this present life, considering all the things that the physical flesh must endure before it is dissolved in death and decay, and he knows that to depart this life is to be present with the Lord, and there were times when he desired that, but let us not forget that he is on the theme of the resurrection, or we may wind up believing like some of the denominational churches. They believe, and teach that when we depart this life we go to heaven where we take on a new body and dwell there throughout all eternity. It would not do one bit of good for you to preach a millennium message to them. They are set in their traditional beliefs. Paul goes on to say, “For in this (body of flesh) we groan, (A groan is an expression of misery, and there are many things in this life that give us an occasion to groan.) earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.” This physical body of flesh wears clothing in order not to be found naked. So also must the inner man wear some kind of a body in order not to be found naked. You say, what about the time between death and resurrection; what kind of body does the dead saints have? There is an intermediate step, in between, where saints definitely take on a theophany form while waiting for the resurrection of their bodies, but that is not their eternal estate. Paul spoke in his letter to the Thessalonians how those who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him when He comes to call their bodies forth from the graves, (1 Thes. 4:14) and we will not need two bodies, so there is your eternal body coming up from the grave. Our eternal body will be just exactly like the body that Jesus came out of the grave with; with one exception of course: we will not have the nail scars in our hands and feet, nor the spear wound in our side. Zechariah 13:6. Let us know that Jesus will bear those scars from the wounds received in the house of His friends, in the eternal body He arose from the grave in. We also have the instance where He appeared to His disciples after He arose, and showed those nail and spear marks to them. He retained those marks for a witness and testimony, but we will not bear any of the disfigurements of this life when we come up. I would hate to think that some of those old martyrs would be resurrected without a head, or without eyeballs in the eye sockets. That is what you get into if you teach that we will bear the marks of our sufferings and persecutions in this life, in the age to come. Brothers and sisters: we have a hope beyond all this, the resurrection of our same bodies, but in perfection. Like Paul, we groan in this old mortal flesh, and desire to be clothed with our house from heaven, but our revelated understanding of the scriptures lets us know that we are not going off into the heavens to dwell eternally in a body we will pick up somewhere else. Coming back to what Jesus said in John 14:2-3, “I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU. AND IF I GO AND PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU, I WILL COME AGAIN, AND RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF: THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YE MAY BE ALSO.” Where is Jesus going to be? After the marriage supper, He is going to be right here on earth, ruling an earthly kingdom. That is exactly where we will be also. When the resurrection trumpet sounds, the spirits of all dead, grace age saints, will be with Jesus in the air ready to be joined to their bodies when they are called from the ground.
OUR HOUSE FROM HEAVEN
In this 5th chapter of 2 Corinthians, notice verse 4. “For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, (We are all familiar with the groanings of this present body of clay.) being burdened: not that we would be unclothed, (no, we are not desiring to be naked; that is, a spirit without a body.) but clothed upon, (With our immortal body which will be without aches and pains, trials, and tests, heartaches, and sorrows.) that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” In other words, our present body is mortal, (death doomed) but if it is suddenly changed to immortality, then its mortal state will exist no longer. Verse 5, “Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, (It is God that is working His will in us, and His perfect will is that we be brought to this immortal state, where we will then be a spiritual being as Adam was before the fall.) who also bath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” The earnest of the Spirit is that portion of His Spirit that we received in the experience we know as the baptism of the Holy Ghost. That earnest portion of His Spirit seals us as children of God until our redemption is completed, then we will get the remaining portion which will release us from the bondage of this world system, and earth’s law of gravity, and we will be able to appear in a room without opening the door, just like Jesus did. This is just to emphasize what our immortal state will be like. We will no longer be subject to matter. “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body, (this present body) we are absent from the Lord: v-7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Our confidence is in the Lord, for we have faith to believe that He will do exactly what He said He would do. But while we are in this present body, waiting for our change, we are absent from the visible presence of the Lord. Verse 8, We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Because of our faith and confidence in God’s word, we stand ready at any time to accept our change which will carry us right into the very presence of our Lord. “Wherefore we labor, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ: that every one may receive the things done in his body. according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” We work at our obedience to God, knowing that when we appear before Him to receive our reward, our portion of His glory, it will be granted on the basis of our walk with God in this life.
TO LIVE IS CHRIST
Now I will ask you some questions. Where is Jesus now? In heaven, before the throne of God. What is He doing there? He is interceding for all believers. Why is He doing that? He is preparing a place in the family of God for us. like He said in John 14:2-3. When will He come again, to receive us unto Himself? After the gospel returns to the Jews, somewhere in the first half of the week of Daniel. Bro. Jackson, will we see the Antichrist before we are translated? Yes, the bride will know who he is, by what we know who he is, by what he is doing, before she is caught away, even though, to the world he will be a great hero, a world peace maker. While the world is putting all of their eggs in the pope’s basket, the little bride of Christ will be changed and lifted right out from among all the others. That is what Paul was looking for in his day. He had no idea the event he was writing about was more than 1900 years in the future. After all the times he had been stoned because of his faith in the word of God, and all the times he had been spat upon, and all the beatings, and shipwrecks he had suffered, he had a desire in his bosom just to depart this life and be with the Lord. But when we read what he wrote to the Phillipians some five years later, we know that he was completely subject to the will of the Lord, regardless of his personal feelings. In verse 20, of chapter 1, we find that his earnest expectation is that Christ be magnified in his body, and it did not matter to him whether it was by life or death. Then he said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not. For I am in a strait (a narrow place) between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith.” Can you see now, why I said Paul had two lines of thought running parallel? One was on the present body of flesh that was being subjected to all sorts of pressures and anxieties, and the other was on the state of immortality that God had revealed to him, a life beyond this one, that is far better. If I knew that Jesus would tarry His coming for another 50 or 60 years, and that I would be bedridden, or in a wheelchair waiting for someone to wait on me, don’t you think I would rather depart this life than to go through that? Science is forever searching for ways to lengthen man’s life span, but no matter what they come up with, they can never give man his youth again. If they live 200 years, they will look like they have lived that long. Saints, I am so thankful that we have a promise in the word of God that will not only raise our dear bodies into immortality, but our youth will be restored also. What a glorious day! Hallelujah! Yes Jesus went away to prepare a place for you and me, but He did not take a hammer and saw and a box of nails to build mansions in the sky. All He took was the blood of the everlasting covenant. He is interceding with the great eternal Spirit on our behalf. He is our mediator, one who stands between a righteous God and lost mankind, pleading, Father, forgive this one also. Father, give this one the Holy Ghost, Father, make a place for this one who has just repented. Are you listening to me, brothers and sisters? This is the only way Jesus is making a place for you.
HE WILL COME FROM HEAVEN
Let us go to Philippians 3:20 and 21. We are talking about our present bodies, as well as our resurrected, immortal bodies, in this message, and these two verses deal with both. “For our conversation (manner of life and behavior) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: (That is where He is, and our hope is in Him) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.” That means, in Him lays the authority to change Raymond Jackson’s body into immortality when the time comes. That is when I will see Him as He is, for I will be like Him. That is when I will see Him the way Job was talking about. In my flesh shall I see God, my immortal flesh. We held back the last verses of the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians to conclude the message with, so let us read them now. Paul has talked about how the body is like a seed which is sowed in the ground; it comes back up right where it is sowed, and it comes back up looking like what was sowed. You do not sow corn and then reap wheat from that sowing. Neither do you plant in one field, then go to another field to reap from that planting. Then Paul concludes this teaching lesson by saying, Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, (not everyone will die) but we shall all be changed, (when He comes back to receive us unto Himself as He promised in John 14, so that we can be where He is.) 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, (He will bring the spirits of those dead saints with Him to be rejoined to their bodies when they are raised, 1 Thes. 4:14) and we (Those who remain alive at His coming): shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Those who are dead, from all previous ages, from the first age until now are the corruptible who shall be raised incorruptible, then all who remain alive from this last age are the mortal (death doomed) who would die sooner or later if He tarried His coming, but at His coming they are changed to immortal, never to be subject to death again. To conclude all that he has said on the matter, Paul says, ”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, (Isa. 25:8) Death is swallowed up in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS THY STING? O GRAVE, WHERE IS THY VICTORY? (There is no victory if you must give up, on demand, all that you have captured, as the graves must.) THE STING OF DEATH IS SIN: (and sin was paid for at Calvary) AND THE STRENGTH OF SIN IS THE LAW. (Jesus was the end of the law for all who believed in Him. Paul shows that in his last remark.) BUT THANKS BE TO GOD, WHICH GIVETH US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.” God gave Paul a revelation of how this age of grace would climax, and it is to that end that we have our faith anchored. We cannot hasten the day, nor can we prolong it, but we can be ready and waiting for it with a little anxiety in our soul. In the meantime while we are waiting, let us remember what Paul wrote in another letter, Romans 8:18. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature (or the whole creation) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Do not look for the manifestation of the sons of God in this present life as some are doing. This scripture is pertaining to a time when ALL of God’s sons will be manifested, so it cannot be while so many of their bodies are still lying in the graves. This is strictly a millennium setting, a time when ALL of God’s sons are dwelling in immortality. At that time all of God’s creation will be enjoying their release from the bondage of corruption, and walk-ing in the glorious liberty of the children of God. One thing we are confident of though, is that the next phase of God’s great plan of redemption is just ahead of us.
Since this message was preached many things have transpired that confirm the fact that we are living in the days just before Jesus returns for His bride. I have just read in the Jerusalem Post, where the cabinet voted unanimously to lift the 12 year ban on Jews purchasing land in Judea, Samaria and Gaza areas, referred to in the news as West Bank territory. Until now, they were forbidden to purchase land in these areas purely and simply because they were Jewish and Israeli. They could buy land all over the world, but not here. Brothers and sisters: I can see the hand of God working in that situation, and what I see is pointing right to the end. Hallelujah! That same week I read an article in the U.S. News & World Report magazine stating that preachers are now entering politics in a big way. They are claiming to have the potential of one of the strongest political forces in the nation, in what they refer to as, conservative born again Christians. They claim to have enough votes in their ranks to take over the country when the time is right. Of course these are the preachers that are always prophesying a great revival in our nation, not even bothering to realize THAT would be contrary to what the Bible speaks of in these last days. Even if the Bible gave us any hope of a national revival, and I believe some of them even refer to a world wide revival, preachers still have no place in politics. Any preacher that is called of God to stand for truth in this evil age has his hands full just doing that, and certainly has no time to play an effective role in politics. This is all just another sign of the end. It is right in harmony with the age we are living in. The image of the beast is being molded, and only true Holy Ghost filled believers will know enough to stay clear of all that.
I will mention one other thing. and then try to leave room to print a short prophecy that I believe we are on the verge of seeing fulfilled. Pope John Paul II has just completed a very dramatic and impressive tour which has left great masses of people in Ireland and the United States, as well as in many other areas of the world, with high hopes for a great world peace. I say, by the very word of God that we live by, that their high hopes will be fulfilled in such a world peace pact, but much to their sorrow and disil-lusionment, for it will be a false peace that will only last for 3 1/2 years, and then all hell itself will be turned loose upon this old planet. That Roman beast will take complete control of world order, and its image (THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES) will be its enforcement arm around the world. Saints: If you ever intend to live close to God, let it be now. Your time is short. Amen.