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Most Recent Update
June 21, 2012
Is the Body Actually Raised From the Grave?
If one says that he does not deny the resurrection and yet, at the same time, believes in a different resurrection than the one Paul taught about in I Corinthians 15: 35, 40, 42 - 44, 51 - 54, the bodily resurrection, then he is still denying the resurrection, because he does not believe in the same "resurrection" that the Scriptures refer to. Though the Bible itself does not mention the word "bodily" resurrection, the Bible certainly teaches the bodily resurrection by mentioning the pronoun "it", which is referring to the body itself. See I Corinthians 15: 42 - 44 here. The bodies of those who have died in Christ, from the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1 - 8) to the Rapture, will be "bodily" raised from the grave, as the Rapture takes place. (See Rev. 4: 1. Read also I Thes. 4: 13 - 18, I Cor. 15: 51 - 54.). For example we read in the Bible that at the time of Jesus' death (Matt. 27: 51 - 53, NASB), "The tombs (graves) were opened, and many bodies of the saints (Old Testament saints) who had fallen asleep were raised (bodily from the grave); and coming out of their tombs after His resurrection...". However, do not confuse this resurrection of some Old Testament saints with the bodily resurrection of New Testament saints. This will happen as the Rapture takes place.
When an individual, having accepted Christ, dies, he or she goes to Heaven and is with the Lord in a conscious living state. This is not the same as "the resurrection" that the Bible refers to. The "resurrection" that the Scripture refers to is an event which will take place at the time of the Rapture (I Thes. 4: 16 - 17). This is to say: When an individual dies, his or her body will remain here on earth, in the grave, to await the resurrection. However, his/her soul and spirit go to be with the Lord immediately (II Cor. 5: 8). But on that day, when the trumpet sounds and the Rapture takes place, the bodies of those who have died in Christ will be raised (resurrected) from the dead. There will be a bodily resurrection! The Bible tells us that this mortal (body) will put on incorruption, and this mortal (body) will put on immortality. It (this mortal body), according to the Scripture, will be changed! Our mortal bodies, whether they're dead or alive, will be changed into a new, heavenly, glorified, body. It will be as Christ's body was after His resurrection (Phil. 3: 21). Do not try to explain away "the resurrection", or its true meaning, by saying that the body is absorbed into the trees, plants, and so forth, that it becomes organic material. It is true that the bodies of those who have died are returned temporarily to the dust of the earth. The Bible says so (Gen. 3: 19).
However, do not say that it (our earthly body) will not be raised from the dead, or that it will be left behind, when the Rapture takes place. It will not be left behind when the Rapture occurs, as some individuals say it will. To have a resurrection, that same body has to be changed into a new glorified body and also must be raised up (resurrected) from the dead. Otherwise, it is not resurrected, it is still here on earth.
If there is no resurrection, their bodies will remain in the grave and if our bodies are left behind, then there is no hope for eternal life in Heaven with the Lord. If there is no resurrection, there will be an eternal damnation for us all, because we will all be lost (I Cor. 15: 32).
But now Jesus Christ, the Messiah, has risen from the dead and has become the first fruits, the first born of every creature, the first begotten from the dead. He has ascended into the heavens to be our high Priest forever and has seated Himself at the right hand of His Father and He will come again, soon. (See I Cor. 15: 1 - 4, 5 - 23, Rev. 1: 5, Col. 1: 15, 18, Matt. 16: 14 - 17, 20, John 1: 41, 4: 25 - 26, Eph. 1: 20, Heb. 4: 15 - 16, 5: 9, 8: 1, 9: 11 - 12, 14, 10: 10 - 12, 18 - 21, 12: 2 - 3, 23 - 24.).
"All flesh is not the same flesh:..." (I Cor. 15: 39)
You can also read what Paul said here (I Corinthians 15: 40 - 42) concerning various types of flesh, and as to how the sun, moon, and stars differ one from another. Paul says, "So also is the resurrection of the dead....".
Note the phrases "...it is raised in incorruption:", "...it is raised in glory:..." "...it is raised in power:". (I Cor. 15: 42 - 43) (See here.).
"...it (this mortal body) is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." (I Cor. 15: 44)
"As is the earthy (earthly), such are they also that are earthy (earthly): and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly."
When the trumpet sounds, it will blow several times, and when it sounds the last time, the dead in Christ will rise (they will come out of the grave), their mortal bodies will be resurrected. There will be a bodily resurrection! It does not matter what men say. It is what God says in His Word that counts. The Scriptures tell us clearly that the bodies of those who died in Christ will be raised (resurrected) from the dead. (Read I Thes. 4: 16 - 17, I Cor. 15: 51 - 54.).
If I were to die today and the Rapture happened tomorrow, that same mortal body that I once occupied, which died the day before (and is now lying in the casket), would be changed, "immediately" (in a moment's time) into a new glorified, spiritual, body, and it will rise (be caught up) to be with the Lord. It will not be left behind when the Rapture takes place. If this mortal body remains here on earth then it is not resurrected. If that is the case, there is no resurrection. However, this mortal body will be changed into a spiritual body (I Cor. 15: 42 - 44, 51 - 54) as the Rapture and resurrection take place (I Thes. 4: 16 - 17, Rev. 4: 1).
Do not teach that the "Rapture" takes place when an individual dies. That he or she is taken up (caught up) when he/she dies. It is true that the soul and spirit of an individual go to Heaven when he or she dies. However, this is not the Rapture that the Bible mentions in I Thessalonians 4: 13 - 18. And do not tell people that the "resurrection" happens when one dies. That he or she goes to Heaven to be with the Lord upon death, and then call this "the resurrection." That is not the resurrection that the Scripture refers to in I Corinthians 15: 51 - 54. Nor is it the resurrection that I Thessalonians 4: 16 mentions. Note carefully that it is the dead in Christ, and the living in Christ, who are caught up (I Thes. 4: 16 - 17) when the trumpet sounds. This is far different then what happens when an individual dies in Christ (II Cor. 5: 8). Whereas here is what will happen when the Rapture takes place. "...the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised..." (I Cor. 15: 52). (See also I Thes. 4: 16 "...with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:".). Then we which are alive and remain shall be "caught up" (raptured) as well (I Thes. 4: 17). Both groups, the dead in Christ who are resurrected and the living in Christ, will be changed (I Cor. 15: 51 - 52) and taken up into Heaven (I Thes. 4: 16 - 17) when the Rapture takes place. That is not what takes place at the moment when one dies in Christ. That moment of death is when the soul and spirit of that individual goes to Heaven.
There are some individuals who deny the bodily resurrection. They do not believe that this same body will be changed into a new spiritual body. These individuals also deny or explain away the special nature of the Rapture. Going to Heaven immediately upon death is not a resurrection. The soul and spirit of those who die in Christ simply go to Heaven. This is not the same as the "bodily resurrection" that the Bible refers to in I Corinthians 15, and in I Thessalonians 4.
Do not say that "the resurrection" takes place at the time of one's death. And do not say as some teach that as believers go to be with the Lord upon death that the Rapture and the Resurrection happen at that time. By believing this they deny or explain away the bodily resurrection, and the special nature of the Rapture. Be careful who you watch and listen to on TV. There are false teachers presenting false doctrines on it. The Bible warns us against false teachings. So, the Rapture does not take place upon death. And the Resurrection does not happen at that point either. The souls and spirits of those who die in Christ simply go to Heaven to be with the Lord when they died.
Do not explain those things away by using earthly thoughts. Even if the body were dead for thousands of years, or if it were eaten by fish, and so forth, God can still change those molecules and atoms, which made up that earthly body once occupied, into a spiritual, heavenly, resurrection, body. See the second paragraph from the top and five paragraphs above.
You may not be denying the bodily resurrection directly, but you are denying it indirectly if you believe our bodies will remain here on earth after the Rapture. If you are one of those who have fallen into this error, then please, tell God (Jesus) you are sorry and ask Him to forgive you. And then turn from this doctrine that is being taught today.
Now Paul says,
Those two verses are in connection with Jesus' coming. This is referring to the "Rapture." We are "looking" for the Savior, Jesus Christ, now. When Jesus comes back in the event called the Rapture, He will change our mortal body (I Cor. 15: 52 - 54) into a spiritual body so that we can enter Heaven. The Bible says, "...it (this mortal body) is raised a spiritual body...." (I Cor. 15: 44).
See Luke 24: 39 - 43 for details concerning Jesus' "bodily" resurrection. Jesus' body was raised from the dead (John 20: 19 - 20, 24 - 31). It was a "bodily" resurrection. Our mortal body will be "bodily" raised from the grave also.
So, who are you going to believe? Paul, and the other Bible writers, and the words that they penned which are Scripture (II Pet. 2: 20 - 21) or, the teachings of man? I want my belief to be founded upon God's Word, the Bible. And I hope your thoughts are guided by them as well.
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||Glen A. Duitman
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