Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 29
ORDER OF THE RESURRECTION – PART 2
Now let’s go right into where we left off in the last lesson and that will be I Corinthians Chapter 15 and verse 22. We’re going to take our time doing this because there is so much in this Chapter 15 that I don’t want to skim over it. Now verse 22:
I Corinthians 15:22
“For as in Adam all die, (We covered that in the last lesson, that when Adam sinned as the Federal head of the human race then every human being that has been born since has that fallen sin nature of Adam.) even so in Christ (remember the Creator of everything) shall (what’s the next word?) all be made alive.”
Now that throws a curve at people if they don’t read it carefully. They might say, “Now wait a minute. Are the lost going to be resurrected?” Yes! That’s surprises people. Let’s go back to John’s Gospel. The lost are going to be resurrected. They’re not in their eternal state as yet. They’re going to have to come out bodily to appear before the Great White Throne of Revelation 20. And then they’ll go to their eternal doom bodily, where they’ll have a body fit for the Lake of Fire, whereas we will have a body fit for Glory. Now Jesus explains it Himself so clearly in John’s Gospel Chapter 5, and drop in at verse 28.
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. And shall come forth;…”
Now from that verse alone we have people who teach a general resurrection; everybody all at the same time. The saved and the lost. The saved go to their glory and the lost go to their doom. All that are in the graves are going to hear God’s call to come forth. But let’s be careful that we don’t read just that far and stop. Let’s read on.
“…they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (or condemnation).”
Now you have two distinct groups of people who are going to be resurrected. Now if you just sit on John’s Gospel alone it would seem that it was all going to happen at the same time. But now come back to I Corinthians 15 again and, see that’s why Paul is the one that reveals so many things that the rest of Scripture doesn’t even touch on, and that’s why I can’t understand why so many people today totally ignore Paul’s epistles. Because it’s in Paul alone that we find the true nature of the old Adam. Now I know the Old Testament says that the heart is desperately wicked and who can know it. And we certainly know that Jesus taught that the heart was wicked. But it isn’t until you get to Paul’s writing that you get this understanding that this Adamic sin nature is inherited ever since Adam. It has just come down generation after generation. Now the same way with this resurrection deal. There is more talk about resurrection in I Corinthians 15 than in almost all the rest of the Bible put together. Now we know the Old Testament people believed in resurrection. Job for sure said:
“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:” What was he talking about? Resurrection! David, after he’d lost his child with Bathsheba, after mourning for a whole week, what did he suddenly realize? He couldn’t bring that child back but what did he say?
II Samuel 12:22,23
“And he said, `While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.'”
What was he speaking of? Resurrection life. But now here Paul is going to just unload on us all the details of resurrection. Now look at verse 23. Even though all are going to be resurrected up in verse 22 and according to John 5, in verse 23 the first word is what? “But”. What am I always telling you? That’s one of the biggest words in Scripture. Because this one little three-letter-word now opens up a whole vista that otherwise we would have never understood. That, yes, there’s going to be a resurrection of the saved, and of the lost, but not all at once.
I Corinthians 15:23a
“But every man (lost or saved) in his own order:…” (or company.)
Those of you who have been in the service, we always understood the military chain of command. The smallest was the company of 100-120 men, and from that you went to the battalion, from the battalion to the regiment and on up to the division and 20 divisions make an army. Now Paul is saying the same thing. Of all the people who have lived and died and are one day going to be resurrected, there’s going to be an order in the resurrection so that every group will be in their specific company at resurrection. They’re not all going to just come out like one big group.
I Corinthians 15:23a
“… Christ the firstfruits …”
We’ve already looked at where that came from. It gave us an inkling now that we can look at the resurrection much like Israel practiced her grain harvest. Because after all what does God consider bringing human people unto Himself? What does He call it? A harvest! In His earthly ministry he says the “fields are white unto harvest but the laborers are few.”That was just an analogy and so it is the human race has been harvested through the efforts of God. But whether it’s the Old Testament or New, it doesn’t make any difference. So the implication now is that the whole harvest of mankind can be likened to the three sequences of Israel’s harvest. First the firstfruits, the sampling of the early ripening grain, then the major harvest and then the third part would be the corners and the gleanings. Now let’s just analyze a minute from a logical standpoint. Let’s look at the first group. Come back with me to Matthew 27, at the time of the crucifixion and we come down to verse 51 of Matthew 27. Christ, in verse 50, has just given up the ghost, or died. Now verse 51.
“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (all in response to what had just happened up there on Calvary at His death and all of nature responded convulsively, and then we come to the next verse) And the graves (in the area of Jerusalem) were opened (not all of them) and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,”
Now remember the saints of any age are the believers. In other words, your believing Israelites were saints. Those who were believers during Christ’s earthly ministry were saints. Those who believed during the Acts period are saints. Those who believe in the Church Age are saints. Those who will be saved during the Tribulation are going to be called saints. And so “saints” is just a general term regarding those who are believers. So here we have a group of Jewish believers, because there certainly weren’t enough Gentiles in that Old Testament economy to count. And so evidently these were Jewish believers who had been buried in the area of Jerusalem:
“And came out of the graves after his resurrection,…”
Now that’s an important verse because if they would have come out of the graves before Christ was resurrected, that would throw a kink in the whole plan of God that Christ was the firstfruits of resurrection. He is the first Who has ever been resurrected from the dead. Never had it happened before. But after He had been resurrected, then these others could come forth and to comprise what I now call that sheaf that was indicated in Leviticus. And it completes then, the plural of the word “firstfruits“. Had Christ only come alone, then it would have had to have been He was the firstfruit of the resurrection. But it’s not. The feast day of firstfruits was to take, not just one stem of grain, but many who are all just sampling of the crop that was to come, and then they were brought together in a sheaf and they were taken to the priest as their offering of firstfruits. So now, I have to feel that these Jewish saints who were resurrected right after Christ was, comprised that which we call the firstfruits. Now let’s come back to I Corinthians 15 once again.
I Corinthians 15:23a
“But every man in his own order:..”
In other words, Church Age saints aren’t going to be resurrected with the Old Testament saints. We certainly aren’t going to be part of the first group because that’s already happened. So let’s look at the harvest process. First the firstfruits were taken out of the sampling. Then they went in and took the main harvest. Everything but the corners and the gleanings were harvested. And then that which was left was harvested last of all. Now just stop and think for a moment. We’re in Oklahoma and that’s wheat country, at least in the Western part of the state. When that wheat farmer has gone out and has harvested the main part of his fields, he can fill those bins with grain. Thousands and thousands of bushels. Now if per chance he did leave the corners, like they did then, how much would that be by comparison? Just a small fraction.
Now let’s bring it into the spiritual realm. Christ and the first fruits that already been accomplished, but where has been the largest number of people brought in God’s harvest? Old Testament or Church age? Well the Church age of course. Because now go back in the Old Testament economy. The little Nation of Israel probably never had more than 10 million people at the most, and only a few of the them were true believers. You go back before the flood and there were precious few believers, and by the time you get to Noah’s flood there were only 8 souls. So even before the flood there were very few that God could count on as His. Throughout the history of Israel there were very few Jews, percentage wise, who were believers.
Even in Christ’s earthly ministry, I like to point out that at least in the area of Jerusalem and Judea, “How many believers were in the upper room there in Acts Chapter 1?” 120 souls. After 3 years of The Lord’s own earthly ministry there were only 120 Jewish believers evidently. Now there may have been a few up in Galilee, but in the area of Jerusalem there must have been only that 120, compared to the millions that have come in during the past 1900 years + of the preaching of the Gospel of Grace (And that’s by believing in your heart for your salvation that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again.) So the order of the resurrection will be: 1. Christ and the firstfruits; 2. Then the harvest of the Church age, and we’re going to look at that next; 3. And then we still have the corners and the gleanings left, which I feel will be the Tribulation saints who will be saved during the Tribulation and the Old Testament believers.
Now come back with me to the Book of Daniel Chapter 12, and here I’m going to throw the Tribulation saints in with the Old Testament saints, as well as those who were believers during Christ’s earthly ministry. Because remember they were all connected to Judaism, and to Israel’s program, and they were not part of what I call the Body of Christ. Let’s look how Daniel covers it, and let’s just start with verse 1. Remember this is the Old Testament and Daniel is talking about resurrection just like Paul does.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: (Now Daniel was a Jew) and there shall be a time of trouble, (That’s foretelling of the Tribulation that is yet to come) such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time (That is at the time of the Tribulation) thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Yes there’s going to be a remnant of the Nation of Israel saved during the Tribulation, especially as we come to the end of that 7 years. Now verse 2:
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Again Daniel, by inspiration, writes almost as if it’s going to be a general resurrection that the lost Jew is going to be resurrected at the same time that the saved Jew is. But you have to compare this with the Revelation and we know that this is not going to be the case. Only the believing Jews are going to be resurrected first, and then a thousand years later (after the Kingdom rule) all the lost Jews and Gentiles are going to be resurrected for the Great White Throne judgment, just like we saw the comparison in John Chapter 5. Now verse 3:
“And they that be wise (they have believed what was instructed them to believe even in the Old Testament economy. It was still based on their faith.) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” God’s going to always reward righteousness in the believer. Verse 4.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, (God is telling Daniel to just close the book and forget about it) even to the time of the end: (Now from Daniel’s perspective, which was about 500 years before Christ, and that would make it about 2500 years ago, that the Book of Daniel is to be closed up and not considered all that much.) many shall run to and from, and knowledge shall be increased.” That is at the time of the end. Verse 5:
“Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, `How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?'” (In other words these prophecies written by Daniel) And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be (Now here comes the Tribulation timeline) for a time, times, and an half: (three and one half years) and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”
Now you say, “Well I thought the Tribulation was 7 years.” Well it is, but the time of the mid-point is when the man Anti-christ will come into the Temple and defile it, and turn on the Jews. So it’s that last three and one half years that Daniel is foretelling. It’s that horrible, horrible period of time when the earth is going to come under not only the wrath of God, but also of Satan himself. So Daniel is only including the last three and one-half years. Now verse 8:
“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, `O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?'”
Now isn’t it amazing that these Old Testament prophets got a glimpse of the things that were coming. Now they didn’t get the full picture, but Daniel got enough of the glimpse that I think just scared him down to his shoe laces. He probably thought, “What in the world is going to come upon the earth, and especially my people Israel?” So he says, “what shall be the end of these things?” Now verse 9:
“And he said, `Go thy way, Daniel : for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.'”
What’s God saying? That no one was to know these prophetic utterances of Daniel until we get close to the end-time. Did you know there was nothing taught about end-time events until the 1800’s? At that time men of God all of a sudden began to put the prophetic Scriptures together and they began to write concerning the nations of the world that would be coming to the top, such as Russia. Who would have dreamed that Russia would become a world power? But they did by virtue of the Scriptures. Bible scholars began to talk about a returning Israel to the land of Palestine. The land of Israel once again becoming a viable nation after being in dispersion for nearly 2 thousand years. Who would have dreamed of such a thing with the Jews scattered all over the world? But these men of God did. Because the Scriptures were beginning to be opened up by the Holy Spirit. And by the time you get to the 1900’s there is a whole raft of God’s men who were beginning to put the end-time prophecies in a pretty good perspective. You’d be amazed at how close they were to what we’ve seen happen now in the last 20 years. So The Lord told Daniel that his Book would be closed up until the approach of the end-time. Verse 10:
“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; (tested) but the wicked shall do wickedly: (Just exactly as we’ve seen, and remember sin will become more evident with each passing day) and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
Now isn’t it amazing? The unsaved world out there doesn’t have any concept of how accurately that this Book is being fulfilled. And of course this is my reason for believing it from cover to cover. Every prophecy that I see fulfilled proves that this is a supernatural Book. Can you think of a single book of religion, cults or anything that can tell the future 2500 years in advance? There’s not a one! This Book is the only one that can do that. Now I know there are some of these things that are hard to believe, I know that, and I take them by faith, but I still say, “Lord, that’s hard to believe.” But you know I came up with something the other night when I was teaching about the Rapture, and the sudden taking away of all the believers, and that’s hard for people to comprehend. How in the world is God going to do it? And I used this analogy, and said, “Now look. Go out on a real clear starry night, and just look at that mass of stars, and all we see is a little part of our own galaxy, the milky way. It’s just a small part with all of it’s billions and billions of stars in just the milky way galaxy alone. Now they tell us that there are billions of galaxies.”
My little 9-year-old grandson just amazes me sometimes. His dad had just been showing him all the stars in the heavens, and when they got into the house his dad said, “Now son, why don’t you just put on paper how may stars are out there. See if you can write out a number big enough to get close to how many stars are out there.” Well the little rascal is only 9 years old, but you know what he did? He put down a 1 and then put 0’s all the way down the length of typewriter paper and then on the bottom of the paper he says, “and to the same power.” And that’s way beyond me. I couldn’t believe it, but I think he’s close, there are billions and billions of galaxies in which there are billions of stars. But here’s my point. Has a single one of them ever been out of control? Not one. Who controls them? The same Lord Jesus that’s going to one day take us off the earth. Now if He can control trillions and trillions of stars, then He’s not going to have any trouble at all calling a few million people off the planet. You just think about that. Now verse 11:
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. (That’s 30 days more than the Tribulation is going to run) Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred, and five and thirty days. (which is an extra 75 days after Christ’s second coming. And then verse 13 says it so plainly. Everybody in their own order. Remember it was 1. Christ and the firstfruits, 2. The Church the main harvest, and 3. The Old Testament and Tribulation saints, the gleanings and corners) But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot (or company) at the end of the days.”