HOW MANY PERMANENT RESURRECTIONS
ARE MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE?
Maurice M Johnson
December 29, 1957
Radio announced public evening meeting
"How many permanent resurrections?"
I don't know that I can answer that exactly. The Lord Jesus' resurrection was first. If I understand the Scriptures correctly, all the members of the church which is Christ's body, when Christ comes before the tribulation period, because of course since the church ... well here, here's the tribulation period suggested on this chart when the devil's christ whose number ... name is the number of man, six hundred three score and six (six six six), when he is on the throne in the restored temple in Jerusalem saying he's [the] very God. We read about that in many passages, 2 Thessalonians 2, and many other passages, Revelation 13, and so forth.
I believe that the Lord Jesus might come tonight. If He were to come tonight, He would catch the church away. That's what is called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Now the word 'rapture' doesn't appear in the Bible. The name Maurice Johnson doesn't appear in the Bible, but provision for my salvation's here, and the description of my lost condition is here, and we don't need the words that we use sometime in describing a Bible doctrine, if a Bible doctrine is there.
Now just this briefly as to why I know that the church which is Christ's body will be caught away before the tribulation period spoken of in Jeremiah 30:7 as "the day of Jacob's trouble", the day of darkness and gloominess, winding up in the day of the Lord, before Israel is restored tentatively to the promised land with a false messiah, and the temple restored in Jerusalem, and everybody doesn't have the mark of this man on his right hand or forehead can't buy or sell or get gain.
Now watch. One reason I believe that the church which is Christ's body will be caught away before this prophesied period: over and over and over and over again in the Old Testament Scriptures we read of this horrible time, the day of Jacob's trouble. But we do read nowhere in the Scriptures from Genesis 1 to a ... well l. don't know for sure where's the first mention, unless it's maybe Matthew 16, just the word 'church', "Upon this rock I will build My church.
Paul said the church which is Christ's body is a mystery: hid in God, not known in other ages, not known in other ages. Absolutely hid in God and nobody, not even the apostle Peter, not even the apostle John and the apostle James, nobody knew of the church which is Christ's body until it was revealed to Paul seven or eight years or more after Pentecost. It was revealed to Paul, and it was given to him to reveal to Peter and the other apostles this "new man", Ephesian 2, the new man. The believing Jew and the believing Gentile baptized in one Spirit, making the one new man, the body of Christ. And since that church which is Christ's body is a mystery, was a mystery never known before, therefore it came in unprophesied, unpredicted, unpromised. Now watch. Since it came in, its existence and beginning was not a subject of prophecy at all, its existence and beginning was not a subject of prophecy at all, its existence was not a subject of prophecy at all, therefore its exit could not be a subject of prophecy.
Let me repeat that slowly. I'm sure that every Bible student that's at all humble, Christian, God-fearing, has come to see (will if they haven't already) that the church which is Christ's body is a new institution. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away." What old things? The things referred to in the 2 Corinthians 3rd and 4th chapters: Israel, and the Ten Commandments, and so forth. All that's done away with now, for the time being, and the believing Jew and the believing Gentile are baptized by one Spirit into a new institution called the new man, Ephesians 2, never know before, and the mystery now among the Gentiles is, "Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we show forth." And in Christ there's neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, bond nor free.
Imagine these Anglo-Israelites, like Armstrong and the others, pretending that God's dealing with Israel today, and turn right around and pretend He's got a church too. My friend, if you're a saved soul, no matter whether you're a member of the ten tribes or two tribes or no tribes, if you're a saved soul, your racial identity is obliterated. For in Christ there's neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, bond nor free. God's not dealing with people today on the basis of their nationality, because God's program today is a brand new program.
Now watch. Since the church which is Christ's body is an institution never prophesied in the Old Scriptures, never predicted, never typified or foreshadowed or promised, it came in secretly, therefore it's going out will have to be secret also. How could the very existence of the church have been a secret if its going out was a subject of prophecy?
Well now the second coming of Christ back to earth is by no means a new thing. The Old Testament Scriptures are replete with promises and prophecies of the coming of Christ to restore the earth to its Edenic condition. The glorious return. So ... I'm as sure as I am of anything, I think, in all the Bible, that the church which is Christ's body will (the last member), we'll all be caught up to meet the Lord in the clouds before the terrible day of tribulation could possibly come. So we must rightly divide between the second coming of Christ referred: to in Matthew 24, Matthew 25, Luke 21, even Acts 1. We must distinguish between that second coming of Christ, and the coming that Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 15:51, "Behold, I show you a mystery." Something that's never been know before. "We shall not all sleep."
The death of a Christian called sleep. Why? Because it isn't real death! He's passed out of death into life to faith in Christ. And it isn't death. "He that liveth and believeth in Me shall never die," Christ said. "Believest thou this?" He said. The death of a Christian isn't death because death belongs to me now, 1 Corinthians 3. Paul said, "Death is yours. Death is yours." As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ who has the keys of death and hell, what's death to me? It's good night down here, it's good morning up there. Absent from the body, present with the Lord. Death, "Shall death separate us?" Herbert Armstrong says, "Yes." He's got to say yes or lie again, to cover up a lie. The. Seventh Day Adventists say, "Yes." And they've got to say yes or cover up a lie with another lie, because death to them is cessation of being, it's annihilation, it's nonexistence. What did Paul mean then in Romans 8 when he said, "Shall ... Can death separate us?" Of course not. Death can't separate the Christian, because the Christian's body is already reckoned dead. We're told in Romans the 8th chapter, "If Christ be in you, the body is dead", "the body is dead", "the body is dead because of sin." "The body is dead", and in Colossians 3, "You are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then we'll appear with Him in glory."
Well, I must stop with this now with a word more about another resurrection. I believe that the next resurrection of the bodies of believers will be when Christ comes in the clouds, and it could be before we get home tonight. It could be in a second so far as anything I know in the Scriptures are concerned, any prophecies or events that must happen before that. Christ could come in the clouds any minute so far as I know. I'm not setting a date. I don't know when He will come, and you don't know when He won't come either. So, so far as I know, He could come tonight. If He were to come tonight, those that are asleep in Christ (He would bring the spirit and soul with Him), the body would be raised, reunited, "then we which are alive and remain would be caught up", "in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye" without dying. "The blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior."
Then the day of Jacob's trouble would soon begin: the Antichrist come in peaceably, glorying in crafts that already back in the book of Daniel doing and so forth, come in peaceably, tell people we're going to really have the American way in this country, and some other way over other places you know. Going to have the best jobs, and the best working conditions, and the best, best, best; more sputniks, and better barking dogs, and everything's going to be lovely. And people will fall for it, except the remnant of Israel and a few Gentiles that will refuse to take the mark of the beast. Then when it looks like the Antichrist is about to wipe all the Israelites off the face of the earth (in the battle of Armageddon, so forth), the Lord Jesus will rend the heavens and come down as a penitent, remnant Israel (restored men in Palestine) will tear their hearts and not their garments into repentance, fulfilling Joel 2, and they will cry out, "Oh God, save Thy people Israel." "Save Thy people", why? Because the Gentiles say, "Where is their God?" "Then I'll hear from heaven, I'll come down, and Iíll just... drive the northern army off, and so on, and I'll restore the ear that the caterpillar and the paimerworm and the cankerworm have destroyed, and I'll be in the midst of Israel, and they'll never be afraid. And it will come about after that, that I'll pour out My Spirit on a-l-l-l flesh." And that's the beginning of the Millennium.
And beginning at that time will be the resurrection of the just, and "the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." And that will be the resurrection of the unjust. All that are in the grave will come forth: death and hell will empty their graves. So far as I know, Mussolini, Hitler, Pharaoh, Judas, and so on, they will be raised from the dead, maybe bodily. Doubtless Bob Ingersoll, Tom Paine (I don't know how), all the unjust that rejected Jesus Christ up to their last breath, conscious moment, will be raised at the end on the Millennium. Raised what for? Raised to stand before the white throne judgment, and hear their doom, "Depart from Me ye accursed into everlasting darkness where there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth."
That'll be the last resurrection because ... the last question was ... that's right, "Will there be any resurrection out of the lake of fire?" No. There isn't the faintest hint in all the Word of God that the lake of fire will ever be put out. Because the last enemy, death, was destroyed right here. There isn't the faintest hint in all the Word of God that Christ must come back to reign in order to destroy the last enemy death. What's the significance of having the keys of hell and death, Revelation 1:18? What does that mean? He's already come out of the grave. He's already destroyed in His death. That's Hebrews 2:14, "Christ took upon Himself a form like unto His brethren," Hebrews 2:13,14. "Christ took upon Himself a form like unto His brethren that He through death," not another future reign, but "that He through death might destroy him that had the power of death, that's the devil." Did He die? Yes! Did He destroy the devil? Yes! That had the powers of death? Yes! Did He come out of the grave with the keys of hell and death? Yes! Did He go back to the heavens, and hand the kingdom back to the Father? Yes!
And He came back to earth, and was on earth for forty days unseen by any unbelieving eye, and talked to the apostles for forty days, speaking to them of things pertaining to the kingdom. And when He said, "John truly baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence," not many days hence, they said, "Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore the kingdom," (this green line), "restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said, "lt's not for you to know the times or seasons. But you'll get power... You just wait now. You'll be witnesses unto Me." So they went to Jerusalem and waited, not knowing what was Going to happen, except they was Going to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. They didn't know what was Going to happen. And they didn't know what did happen, as to what really was happening, until Paul was caught up later, saved, and caught up to the third heaven, and received revelations of things not lawful to utter. Went up secretly to Peter, and was with him (how many days?) fifteen days in Jerusalem, and later went up by revelation, communicated with those who were apostles before him the things that God had showed him. And they said, "Well we see that God's chosen you. You and Barnabas go to the Gentiles, and we'll go on to the Jews for awhile." And then Peter passes off the scene, and James and John and all the Jewish apostles, so far as any public ministry, and they pass off the scene, and the apostle Paul takes over as the great apostle to the Gentiles, to whom and through whom the revelation of this present program, the church of the mystery, is given, and the walk of the believer of this present dispensation. And now if we're humble and obedient, we will just "Give none offense neither to the Jew, nor the Gentile, neither to the church of God." You'll rightly divide the Word of Truth.
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