Sunday, 18 January 2009

The First Resurrection is here and now.

The ministry in WCG never understood the timing of the first resurrection. But that is not surprising, as they were blinded by the Laodicean disease of materialism.

However, Jesus first announced the doctrine of the first resurrection to Nicodemus thus: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God"(Jn.3:3). Of course, Nicodemus didn't understand what Jesus was saying, and the WCG ministry never understood either.

Later in Christ ministry, he expanded on this doctrine. The narrative runs: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live"(Jn. 5:25). The dead referred to here are not those that are in the grave, but those that are spiritually dead.  Of course, the Chosen Vessel, was also inspired to speak on the first resurrection thus: "And you has he quicken," that is, caused to live, "who were dead in trespasses and sins." They were spiritually dead because they were taken captive by the devil, who made them salves of sin. But now they were risen to spiritual life by repentance, baptism and the receipt of the Holy Spirit of Truth. And notice that Jesus says, "they that here shall live." But when speaking of the second resurrection, he does not say all will live.

Note what he actually says: "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming," note he doesn't say, "and now is," because he is referring to the resurrection at the end of the world, "in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation"(Jn.5:28-29).

In verse 25, the dead referred to are not in the grave, but spiritually dead, and all of those who hear Christ's voice, that is, hear the preaching of the gospel, will rise to spiritual life, and will not come into judgment or condemnation. But in verse 28-29, the dead are in the graves, and all who hear his voice will not live, for those that have done evil will be condemned. So verse 25 refers to the first resurrection, and verses 28-29 refer to the second resurrection, which comes at the end of the world.

Therefore, "if you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God"(Col.3:1).  The phrase, "if you then be risen with Christ," is not prepositional.  The correct Greek translation should read, "in view of the fact you are risen with Christ, seek those things, where Christ sits on the right hand of God."

Of course, those that are not risen with Christ, affections are naturally on the earth, for they have no idea of the joys of heaven.
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