Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 30
THE RESURRECTION COMPLETE – PART 2
We’re going to jump right back in where we stopped in our last lesson, so we’ll be turning to I Corinthians 15:35, and go on from there.
I Corinthians 15:35
“But some man will say, `How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?'”
Now in verse 36 Paul is going to come into another concept of resurrection, and that is, before something can live it has to die. And this, again, is a Pauline concept. You just don’t find it that much any where else in Scripture. We’ll go back of course to The Lord’s earthly ministry but for the most part as a doctrinal teaching, you do not find it like we do here in the writings of Paul. So he says:
I Corinthians 15:36,37
“Thou fool, (in other words you foolish individual) that which thou sowest is not quickened, (or made alive) except it die. And that which thou sowest, (in agriculture, a grain crop)thou sowest not that body that shall be, but (what shall ye sow?) bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:”
Paul had to make it simple here so that people without a shadow of doubt can get things straight. In other words Paul is saying that when you plant something you don’t plant the whole stalk of wheat, but rather the seeds. Now it stands to reason if you’re going to plant the seed then you don’t expect the seed to suddenly come up above the ground. What’s going to come up first? The stalk. Paul is using that as a total illustration of our own resurrection experience.
I Corinthians 15:38
“But God giveth it (this grain) a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.”
Now of course that goes all the way back to Genesis where everything is confined to its own species. There is no such thing as crossing over from one totally different specie into another. Now we know we can hybridize but so far as sowing the seed of an apple and expecting to get an orange tree, that is just not going to happen. Now Paul say, “It’s the same way in the flesh,” as we see in verse 39.
I Corinthians 15:39-43
“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: (in other words that which is out in space, and things that are here on the earth.) but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead, It is sown in corruption; (death) it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:”
Now we’ll go back and see what The Lord Jesus said about in His own earthly ministry, and it’s a portion that we’ve used often. So let’s go back to John’s Gospel Chapter 12 and let’s begin with verse 20.. And of course this is just shortly before His crucifixion. In fact just a matter of hours. The crowds are already coming into Jerusalem from all over the Roman empire for the feast of Passover. And among that crowd were some Gentiles, some Greeks, and I always like to use the analogy that when we go to the wailing wall we just sort of stand back, and watch the Jews go through all of their rituals and their prayers. We’re just outsiders, we’re looking at all this. Well I think the same thing was taking place here. As all these Jews were getting ready for their sacrifices, and the feast of Passover there were some inquisitive Gentiles. So they are the Greeks in verse 20.
“And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, `Sir, we would see Jesus.’ Philip (remembering that Jesus sort rebuffed the Gentiles in earlier experiences) cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. (well what did they tell Him? That there’s some Greeks that want to talk with Him. Now look at Jesus’ answer.) And Jesus answered them, saying, `The hour is come, (it’s a matter of hours before He’s on that Cross) that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily I say unto you, Except a corn (kernel) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.'” (or grain)
Now He’s just simply saying that we, as gardeners or farmers, until we put that seed in the ground, nothing is going to happen. But the moment that seed is put into the ground and has moisture and sunlight – the first thing that seed has to do is die. It dies, it become corrupt, and out of that death comes the new stem out of which will come wheat, for example, hundreds of coronas. So this is the whole concept throughout all of God’s creation. If you’re aware of it, everything that you see in nature is constantly screaming the whole fact of resurrection. Every springtime when things began to shoot out of the ground and when you plant your crops and gardens, all of that is a reminder of the resurrection. Now when Jesus said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” What was Jesus referring to? His coming death, burial, and resurrection which was only a few days in the future.
And what Jesus is saying for these Gentiles was that He was not an object of their faith until He had experienced the work of the Cross. I try to stress to people that Christ in His earthly ministry was almost exclusive to the Nation of Israel.
“But he (Jesus) answered and said, `I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'”
Oh we know there were a couple of times, but His ministry was only to the Nation of Israel. But after experiencing the death, burial, and resurrection, now the Gospel of Grace can go to the whole human race as the finished work of the Cross is the object of our faith. Now coming back to I Corinthians 15 for just a moment we come down to the place in verse 42:
I Corinthians 15:42
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It (the body that has lived and died) is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:”(and power)
The reason that Paul has been led by the Holy Spirit to make so much of resurrection is that when Christ arose from the dead He exhibited more power than it took when He created the universe. And of course the reason being through His resurrection from the dead, He defeated, totally defeated, all the powers of Satan. He totally settled the sin debt for every human being that has ever lived. Remember the sins of every human being have already been atoned for. When people go to an eternal Hell it won’t be God’s fault. They just didn’t capitalize on the Atonement. They didn’t appropriate it. So that’s what’s going to make Hell so awful. They’re suddenly going to realize that they are there because they chose to be. Not because an unfair God sent them there. A fair God has already declared those sins paid for at the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. And so it took all the power that God had at His disposal to raise Christ from the dead. And that’s why it is the very bench mark of our salvation experience. So looking at the text again Paul tells us in verse 42 “that it is sown in corruption.” Let’s go back for a moment to Romans Chapter 6 and look at that. In this verse it’s almost enough to make you smile as it’s the same kind of language that is used. It’s a different word but it means the same thing.
“For if (here’s the condition) we have been planted (or sown) together in the likeness of his (Christ) death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”
Well what’s it saying? Just as certainly as you plant two kernels of wheat side by side they’re both going to come up the same. They’re both going to be wheat. If we have been planted in the likeness of Christ’s death, then we will be resurrected in Christ’s likeness. So as we’re planted together we come up in resurrection power together. Never that we become God. I always have to stress that. We will never become God, but we become the very manifestation of His resurrection power. Now come back again to I Corinthians. So we are sown in corruption. In other words, this old body, as soon as it dies, begins to go back to the earth, back to corruption. Now verse 43.
I Corinthians 15:43
“It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:”
Oh, as much as we love our loved ones as they lay there in that casket, and we mourn for their passing, yet death is our enemy. I think we all hate death. I hate even to lose an animal, it just tears me up to see an animal die. We hate the death of our loved ones. The unbelievers will never see their loved ones again. But we will. We’re going to see them, we’re going to know them. I’ve had a lot of questions from our television audience in that regard. My proof that we are going to know our love ones when we get to eternity is that experience that happened on the Mount of Transfiguration. When Peter, James, and John, and The Lord Jesus were there and suddenly with them was Moses and Elijah. Did the three disciples ask The Lord Jesus, “Who are these fellows?” Did they? No, because they knew, and here these two had lived a couple of thousands years earlier. So that tells me when we get to heaven we’re going to recognize our love ones. We’re going to know everybody. But nevertheless if we don’t live to see the Rapture and have to go the way of death, we have this blessed hope that this body is going to be raised to a new life if we’re a believer. And the whole concept of resurrection is just exactly that. That body of flesh has to die, and then be raised in resurrection power.
I Corinthians 15:44
“It is sown a natural body; (that which is born of the flesh) it is raised a spiritual body. (we can’t go into eternity with flesh and blood) There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”
Even though these two are eons apart, yet they are a lot alike. We are still going to have all the outward features that we have now, and we’re going to be spiritual in that we now have eternal life instead of the promise of three score and ten. Now verse 45:
I Corinthians 15:45
“And so it is written, `The first man Adams was made a living soul; the last Adam (Christ) was made a quickening (or life giving) spirit.'”
Christ never stops being God. I know there are cults that deny the Deity of Christ, but that flies in the face of this Book. This Book says that He was Divine, He was Deity, He was God, and He never gave that up. In fact there’s a verse in the Book of Hebrews that implies that even while He was in the womb, He was still God. And He never stopped being God. Now verse 46. It had to be that way because this is one of the rules of God in His manifestation with the human race. And that is all through Scripture; you have first the natural, and then the spiritual. Remember first Cain the natural and then Able the spiritual. Then there was Ishmael the natural, and then Isaac the spiritual. Esau the natural, and then Jacob the spiritual. First King Saul the natural, and then King David the spiritual. And it’s this way all the way through Scripture to the very end of the Book where we find the appearance of the Anti-christ, the man of sin, the natural, and then the Second Coming of the true Christ, the spiritual. So this is one of the laws of Scriptures.
I Corinthians 15:46-48
“Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual but that which is natural: and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, (The first man was Adam, he was made of the earth he went back to the earth.) earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.”
We are earthy in our make-up although once we become a believer we are heavenly connected and our citizenship is in heaven, but we’re still functioning, living, producing, and reproducing as physical earthly beings. Now verse 49:
I Corinthians 15:49
“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”
And this is where faith comes in. We believe it! Not because I can lay it out on a laboratory desk and pick it apart, but rather because this Book says so. We can believe it, we can trust it. It’s the eternal Word of God. Now I know there’s a lot in the news media about these Bible codes that these mathematicians in Israel are seemingly finding. But even that doesn’t tell me anything more than I already knew. This Book is supernaturally put together. Every letter of this Book is in exactly the right place. We were discussing in our Tulsa class, “What is God’s greatest controversy against mankind?” Well not man’s immorality as much as God hates it, not his drunkenness as much as He hates it, nor stealing, but what does God hate most of all? “UNBELIEF” It just irks God to the core that man refuses to believe what He has said. And that’s called FAITH!
In some of our Old Testament characters that was their problem. Esau for example – poor fellow, everybody feels sorry for him that he seemingly got conned out of the birthright and out of the blessing. No he didn’t get conned. What was his problem? No faith. He couldn’t believe a thing God said. Well for the most part the whole world is that way tonight. Now coming back to the test in I Corinthians 15:50:
I Corinthians 15:50
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
Well that’s easy enough to understand isn’t it? You do not put a spiritual Body such as Christ’s resurrected Body back in the tomb. That which goes into the grave is this old physical body which is already corrupt. It’s prone to disease, failures, and it’s that body of corruption that we bury and place in the ground. But when it comes out of the ground in resurrection power it’s going to be a new body fashioned after Christ’s glorious Body. Now let’s go to Ephesians Chapter 1, and if I don’t experience it in this life then I know I will in the next one. And this Paul’s prayer on behalf of the believers.
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,…”