70AD-ONGOING Resurrection of the Blessed

70AD-ONGOING Inheritance: Resurrection of the Blessed+Holy Ones: Crossing the Jordan

 

Following the Old Testament history as a pattern (roadmap) for New Testament (Christian) history, LINK, we look at the 70AD-ONGOING period as follows:

Possessing & Enjoying the Inheritance

Unstoppable Reign of Saints with Christ & God

Answers to the Old Testament periods from:

  1. Joshua 6-24 -- taking possession of the inheritance
  2. Judges, 1&2 Samuel -- simple, theocratic rule by prophets, priests, & judges
  3. 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Isaiah -- reigning with kingly glory over the inheritance
  4. Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther -- the Exile in Babylon
  5. Ezra and Nehemiah -- return from Exile to rebuild & restore to greater, albeit humbler, glory; return to the simple, theocratic rule of the Word of God

70-1070 The start of the Resurrection of Life & the Resurrection of Damnation

Both resurrections occur in the unseen realm.
These are the sentences of judgment of souls following each one's death.
A person will only receive one of two resurrections depending upon the judgment he receives from the Lord.
Both resurrections are inaugurated in the Last Day-Millennium,
one at the beginning of the Day the other at the end thereof.
The Resurrection of Life is an ongoing event beginning at the time of Christ's Return-Rapture.
The Resurrection of Damnation is an ongoing event beginning 1000 years later.

The Resurrection of Life, beginning around 70AD The Resurrection of Damnation, beginning 1000 years later around 1070AD
Matthew 25:31-46
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (v. 41-46a) the righteous into life eternal.
Matthew 25:31-46
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (v. 34-40) 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Revelation 20:4-6
I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:5a
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 5:1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that THE DAY OF THE LORD will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that THE DAY should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of DAY. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of THE DAY, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
NASB
1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 5:1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that THE DAY OF THE LORD will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that THE DAY should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of DAY. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of THE DAY, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
NASB
1 John 3:1-3
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
2 Timothy 2:11-19
It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Philippians 3:7-14
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 15
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Romans 8:10-25
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
2 Corinthians 4:7-5:5
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
Mark 9:42-48
And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. 43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Mark 9:42-48
And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. 43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Matthew 10:28
Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 7:19
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
John 6:32-64
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. 59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not.
Acts 24:13-16
Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. 14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
Acts 24:13-16
Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. 14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
John 5:19-30
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 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. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 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. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
John 5:19-30
(v.19-27) 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 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. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Daniel 12:1-3
There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 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. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Daniel 12:2
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.
Revelation 20:11-15
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:2-7
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Revelation 21:8
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

70AD-ONGOING Under Christ's feet: Satan, Eph 6:12-principalities, and Death

70AD-ONGOING: Christ's enemies are subjugated under His feet: Satan, Principalities-Powers of Eph 6:12, and Death

Someone has written,
a) The serpent has been crushed (Rom. 16:20)
b) and God's enemies defeated (1 Cor. 15:25; Lk. 19:27).
c) The last enemy (death 1 Cor. 15:26; Rev. 20:14) has been conquered.

And I would have to agree with those words. Let's break it down and deal with these individual points.

a) The serpent has been crushed (Rom. 16:20)

Romans 16:20 ~ penned around 56AD by the persecuted Apostle Paul
And the God of peace shall [future to 56AD] bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

  1. This promise was not fulfilled the day or year after it was penned around 56AD.
  2. “Shortly” is the same word used to describe when the events foreseen in Revelation were to come to pass, Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1. It is related to the frequent encouragements of Christ's soon Return, (Philippians 4:5, James 5:9, Rev 1:3, Rev 22:7, Rev 22:12, Rev 22:20).
  3. Satan was not bruised under the feet of that first generation of Christians until the Lord’s Return around 70AD, (Jerusalem's Fall).
  4. Satan was very much walking about freely as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour throughout the 30-70AD Tribulation (2nd exodus) period, LINK.
  5. The crushing of Satan: Christ’s Return marks the moment foreseen in Rev 20:1-3 when Satan was bound, cast & sealed into the Abyss ("the deep", "the bottomless pit"). This marked the beginning of the 1000 years foreseen in Rev 20:1-3 and long anticipated in 2 Peter 3:8. The same event, Christ’s Return, also marks the moment the martyrs from the Nero-Beast-Tribulation, the Dead in Christ, were raised first, (1 Thess 4:16 & Rev 20:4-6), the first of the two groups of souls resurrected in Rev 20:4-6. This First Resurrection of the two resurrections mentioned in Rev 20:4-6 is the anticipated "Resurrection of the Just", (Luke 14:14 & Acts 24:15 & Phil 3:11-14 & LINK), and marks the beginning of that same 1000 years in which the martyrs from the Nero-Beast-Tribulation began to rule with Christ from the unseen realm over the affairs of men in the place of the just-dethroned Eph 6:12 principalities and the just-subjugated god of that old world, 2 Cor 4:4. Preterism calculates this epoch event of Christ's Return/Rapture to have occurred around the time of the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD, LINK1 & LINK2.

b) and God's enemies defeated (1 Cor. 15:25; Lk. 19:27).

Luke 19:27 is also better understood in the full context. Here it is:
Luke 19:11-27
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us [TO SUBJUGATE, PUT UNDER HIS FEET].
15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
[JUDGEMENT & REIGNING WITH CHRIST BEGIN AT CHRIST'S RETURN]
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been [prior to return] faithful in a very little, have thou authority [REIGN] over ten cities.
18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also [REIGNING] over five cities.
20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over [subjugate, put under foot] them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
v14 & v27 the enemies are identified: they are the people who did not want Christ to reign over them upon His Return with His Kingdom & Power. It is specifically mentioning those who were already Christ’s enemies – NOT those who might one day eventually get around to not liking Him. Notably, “Death” is not specifically mentioned here: the storyline does not even bring it to mind. Hard to imagine that carpenters & fishermen could be expected to see Death’s destruction in this parable, but they should have plainly seen the destruction of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Preists, Herodians, et al., that is, those openly identified as opponents of Jesus before His going away to receive the Kingdom.
v15 makes clear that it is AFTER Jesus Returns with His Kingdom & Power that:
  1. His servants are judged/brought to account, then
  2. those found faithful during His absence are rewarded with delegated power to rule over cities.
1 Cor 15:23-28 ~ penned around 53AD by the persecuted Apostle Paul
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall [future to 53AD] have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall [future to 53AD] be destroyed is death.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall [future to 53AD] be subdued unto him, then [future to 53AD] shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

We would do well to let go of our modern ideas of smart-bomb “destroy”, (vaporize, annihilate, blow to smithereens), and just let the Word’s use of synonyms and message repetition define what is meant here. Clearly “put under foot” = “destroyed” = “subdued unto” = “be subject unto.” This passage gets across the message that Death is eventually brought under Christ’s complete control. This accords with the Rev 1:18 visionary-poetic description of Christ coming to hold the keys of Death & Hell. Keys represent control, access control, who goes in or out; just like the way a prison guard holds all the keys. Jesus now controls who goes to death & hell and who does not. Death & Hell are subject to Christ, they are put under Christ's feet, “destroyed.” Whether Christ chooses to have Satan bound/cast/sealed into the Deep, or briefly set free from that bondage, or ultimately cast into the Lake of Fire/Second Death, he is still under Christ's subjugation, "put under foot" of Christ: Satan is still "destroyed," as Scripture defines the term by usage with "put under foot" in 1 Cor 15:24-28. The thought is of one having his foot firmly upon the neck of another, rendering him surrendered, completely at the mercy of the subjugator. The subjugator may then do with his captive whatever He wishes - whether to imprison, release, or annihilate. The captive is broken, crushed, subdued, subjugated, his independent will destroyed.

Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His foot."

Romans 16:20
20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
NKJV

c) The last enemy (death 1 Cor. 15:26; Rev. 20:14) has been conquered.

Again,
1 Cor 15:23-28 ~ penned around 53AD by the persecuted Apostle Paul
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall [future to 53AD] have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall [future to 53AD] be destroyed is death.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall [future to 53AD] be subdued unto him, then [future to 53AD] shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
We would do well to let go of our modern ideas of smart-bomb “destroy”, (vaporize, annihilate, blow to smithereens), and just let the Word’s use of synonyms message repetition define what is meant here. Clearly “put under foot” = “destroyed” = “subdued unto” = “be subject unto.” This passage gets across the message that Death is eventually brought under Christ’s complete control. This accords with the Rev 1:18 visionary-poetic description of Christ coming to hold the keys of Death & Hell. Keys represent control, access control, who goes in or out; just like the way a prison guard holds all the keys. Jesus now controls who goes to death&hell and who does not. Death & Hell are subject to Him, they are put under His feet, “destroyed.” If I enslaved my worst opponent from the web and made him wax my car everyday and do my shopping and cook my food and mow my lawn and bath my dog; and I could lock him up & shut him up at will without internet, in short order we would all agree I had pretty well destroyed him, crushed his spirit.

.

Revelation 20:10-15 ~foreseen around 63AD by the exiled Apostle John

….10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
KJV
From Rev 18:2’s triumphant declaration of Babylon’s Fall, I am persuaded that each time John writes something like “And I saw” he is recounting another mini-vision that describes with visual-poetry the direct consequences of Babylon’s Fall: he is listing reasons for Heavens’ rejoicing over Babylon.

v11-15 describes the eternal-perpetual-ongoing Judgment Seat of God at this time of Babylon’s Fall around 70AD. It is a glimpse into the ordinarily Unseen realm outside the visible spectrum of natural men, and it is described in terms men can visualize so they can understand & be blessed. Just because this snapshot was “shortly to come to pass” as of Revelation’s ~63AD writing does not mean that this was a one-time, one-shot-goodbye thing. Just as Eternal Life has been made available ever since Christ first preached & paid for it and will continually be offered forever, the Judgment Seat of God continues perpetually forever.

[This is just a portion from: http://prophecyhistory.com/?q=node/174 ]

70AD-ONGOING The Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead

Revelation 20:11-15

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
NKJV

70AD-ONGOING REIGNING was to begin AFTER the Lord's Return

Jesus Christ personally gave the Revelation to John. Here’s some things Jesus said in Revelation, written around 63AD:
RED = PRESENT tense, at the time of writing of that verse of Scripture.
BLUE = FUTURE tense, future to the time of writing of that verse, i.e., when the Lord comes in 70AD.
The dead in Christ.
Rev 2:26-27 ~written around 63AD
26 And he who OVERCOMES (PRESENT), and KEEPS (PRESENT) My works until the end, to him I WILL (FUTURE) GIVE POWER (REIGN) OVER THE NATIONS —
27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'*
as I also HAVE RECEIVED (PAST PERFECT tense) from My Father;
NKJV
Remember, Revelation was a predictive vision given around 63AD foreseeing "things that were shortly to come to pass," i.e. coming to pass AFTER the writing of Revelation, (Rev 1:1 and Rev 4:1). Below here is the visionary vignette foreseeing the death, resurrection & rapture of “The Two Witnesses” followed by Heaven’s announcement that “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ ! ” All of this was foreseen by John in the vision given him by Jesus Christ around 63AD. The announcement comes after the Beast that ascends our of the Bottomless Pit, after the Two Witnesses minister, die, are resurrected & raptured, which all come after the writing of Revelation which comes decades after the earthly ministry of Jesus. It is interesting how the Word of God, Jesus Christ, is so careful to detail via John how one event was to occur, THEN another, AFTER WHICH still another future event: Jesus definitely wants to communicate a sequence of predicted events that He enables John to foresee. And He wants us to understand.
Rev 11:7-17 ~written around 63AD
7 WHEN THEY FINISH THEIR TESTIMONY, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit WILL (FUTURE) make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies WILL (FUTURE) lie in the street of the great city which spiritually IS (PRESENT) called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord WAS (PAST) crucified. 9 Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations WILL (FUTURE) see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth WILL (FUTURE) rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
11 Now AFTER the three-and-a-half days [just described above] the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe IS COMING (FUTURE) quickly.
15 THEN the seventh angel sounded [the Last Trumpet]: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying,"The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and HE SHALL REIGN (FUTURE) forever and ever!" 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned. NKJV
1 Cor 15:51-53 ~written around 53AD
Behold, I TELL (PRESENT) you a mystery; we SHALL (FUTURE) not all sleep, but we SHALL (FUTURE) all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMPET; FOR THE TRUMPET WILL SOUND, and the dead WILL (FUTURE) be raised imperishable, and we SHALL (FUTURE) be changed.
NASB
RED = PRESENT or PAST tense, what they HAD ALREADY BEFORE the Lord’s 70AD Return.
BLUE = FUTURE tense, what they WILL HAVE AT the Lord’s 70AD Return.
The dead in Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ~ written around 51AD.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who ARE (PRESENT) ASLEEP, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we BELIEVE (PRESENT TO 51AD) that Jesus died and rose again, even so God WILL BRING WITH HIM (FUTURE TO 51AD) those who HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP (BEFORE 51AD) in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself WILL DESCEND (FUTURE TO 51AD) from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ WILL RISE FIRST (FUTURE TO 51AD). 17 THEN we who are alive and remain WILL BE (FUTURE TENSE) caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we WILL (FUTURE TO 51AD) always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. NASB
You do not get a kingdom without a king, and you do not reign with Christ before Christ Returns with His Kingdom to reign: 70AD.
Please note below how Paul wrote explicitly against the error that Christians were already "reigning" prior to Christ's Return with His Kingdom and power.
RED = PRESENT tense, at the time of writing of that verse of Scripture.
BLUE = FUTURE tense, future to the time of writing of that verse, i.e., when the Lord comes in 70AD.
1 Corinthians 4:1-21 ~ written around 53AD
4 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court.* In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge [reign as a king] nothing before the time, UNTIL THE LORD COMES, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8 You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us [sarcasm]and indeed I COULD WISH YOU DID REIGN (PRESENT SUBJUCTIVE TENSE), that WE ALSO MIGHT REIGN WITH YOU! (PRESENT SUBJUNCTIVE TENSE)9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
18 NOW some ARE puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of Godisnot in word but in power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness? NKJV
Here are some more things Jesus Christ, the Word of God, communicated through His Apostle Paul:
1 Corinthians 6:1-4 ~ written around 53AD
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Do you not know that THE SAINTS WILL JUDGE (REIGN OVER) THE WORLD? And if THE WORLD WILL BE JUDGED (REIGNED OVER) BY YOU, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
NKJV
RED = PRESENT tense, at the time of writing of that verse of Scripture.
BLUE = FUTURE tense, future to the time of writing of that verse, i.e., when the Lord comes in 70AD.
2 Timothy 2:8-20 ~ written around 62AD
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. 11 It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we DIED (PAST – before 62AD) with Him, we SHALL (FUTURE) also LIVE with Him;
12 If we ENDURE (PRESENT – at 62AD), we SHALL (FUTURE) also REIGN with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.
14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and thus they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness." 2 NASB
Romans 8:8-25 ~ written around 57AD
9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 And if Christ IS (PRESENT to 57AD) in you, though the body IS dead because of sin, yet the spirit IS alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead DWELLS (PRESENT to 57AD) in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead WILL (FUTURE) ALSO GIVE LIFE TO YOUR MORTAL BODIES through His Spirit who indwells you.
12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you ARE (PRESENT to 57AD) putting to death the deeds of the body, you WILL LIVE (FUTURE to 57AD).14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we SUFFER (PRESENT to 57AD) with Him in order that we MAY ALSO BE GLORIFIED (CONDITIONAL FUTURE SUBJUNCTIVE TENSE) with Him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings OF THIS PRESENT TIME ARE (PRESENT to 57AD) not worthy to be compared with the glory that IS TO BE (FUTURE TENSE) revealed to us.19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, WAITING EAGERLY FOR OUR ADOPTION AS SONS, HE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY.24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. NASB
RED = PRESENT tense, at the time of writing of that verse of Scripture.
BLUE = FUTURE tense, future to the time of writing of that verse, i.e., when the Lord comes in 70AD.
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 ~ written around 51AD
19 For who is our HOPE (LOOKING TO FUTURE) or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the PRESENCE of our Lord Jesus AT HIS COMING? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 ~ written around 51AD
9 For God has not DESTINED (POINTING TO FUTURE) us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,10 who DIED (PAST) for us, that whether we ARE (PRESENT) awake or asleep, we MAY LIVE (FUTURE CONDITIONAL TENSE) together with Him.11 Therefore ENCOURAGE (PRESENT IMPERATIVE) one another, and BUILD UP (PRESENT IMPERATIVE) one another, just as you also ARE (PRESENT) doing. NASB
2 Corinthians 13:4-5 ~ written around 54AD
4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also ARE WEAK (PRESENT to 54AD) in Him, yet we SHALL LIVE (FUTURE) with Him because of the power of God directed toward you. 5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! NASB
2 Kings 6:16-18
16 So he answered,"Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, "Strike this people, I pray, with blindness." And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. NKJV

70AD-ONGOING The Raising up of the Saints, the Dead in Christ

From the earliest times following the generation of Jesus & His Apostles, many, many Christians have regarded the dead in Christ as having become very much alive and exalted to positions of authority over the Church and the World, having supplanted the former principalities & powers of Ephesians 6:12. Such doctrines are a tacit witness to the position of global, historic Christianity that some form of the First Resurrection occurred around the time of the disappearrance of the Apostles. even though the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead yet remained future, at the end of the Millennium in which they saw themselves living. Around the time of the Council of Nicea in 325AD, such beliefs came into full bloom throughout global, historic Christianity and are strongly held throughout the bulk of Christianity even today: (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Anglican, etc.) It is partly what is meant in the Apostles' Creed,"I believe ... in the communion of the Saints." This accords well with the 56AD predictions of Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul and with what Christ's exiled Apostle John had foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision of the book of Revelation. It was all expected to shortly come to pass after the New Testament was written.

1 Corinthians 6:2-4 ~written around 56AD by Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
NKJV

Revelation 20:4-6 ~foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision to Christ's exiled Apostle John about "those things shortly to come to pass," Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1
4 And I foresaw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I foresaw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
NKJV

Intercession of saints

From the earliest times following the generation of Jesus & His Apostles, many, many Christians have regarded the dead in Christ as having become very much alive and exalted to positions of authority over the Church and the World, having supplanted the former principalities & powers of Ephesians 6:12. Such doctrines are a tacit witness to the position of global, historic Christianity that some form of the First Resurrection occurred around the time of the disappearrance of the Apostles. even though the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead yet remained future, at the end of the Millennium in which they saw themselves living. Around the time of the Council of Nicea in 325AD, such beliefs came into full bloom throughout global, historic Christianity and are strongly held throughout the bulk of Christianity even today: (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Anglican, etc.) It is partly what is meant by the Apostles' Creed, "I believe ... in the communion of the Saints." This accords well with the 56AD predictions of Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul and with what Christ's exiled Apostle John had foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision of the book of Revelation. It was all expected to shortly come to pass after the New Testament was written.

1 Corinthians 6:2-4 ~written around 56AD by Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
NKJV

Revelation 20:4-6 ~foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision to Christ's exiled Apostle John about "those things shortly to come to pass," Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1
4 And I foresaw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I foresaw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
NKJV

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercession_of_saints

Intercession of saints

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Intercession of the saints is a Christian doctrine common to the vast majority of the world's Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Latin Rite Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and a number of Reformed Christian communities. Intercessory prayer is a petition made to God on behalf of others. If a believer prays for his children or friends, his enemies or leaders, then the believer is interceding on behalf of another. The doctrine of saintly intercession goes back to the earliest church. The justification for calling upon a saint in prayer is that the saints are both close to God, because of their holiness, and accessible to humans.

Some Christians say that Jesus' parable of Dives and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 indicates the ability of the dead to pray for the living. Paul's repeated references to Jesus Christ as "advocate" for the believers also indicates that Jesus, living at the right hand of God, may intercede for the believer (Epistle to the Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). By extension, other holy persons who are living in Christ on earth or in heaven (having left their earthly existence) may be able to intercede-through Christ- on behalf of the petitioner. (John 11:25; Rom 8:38-39) This is a controversial doctrine, because in some faiths, only Jesus is holy enough to intercede for people. From the Catholic and Orthodox Churches perspective, as well as Anglican/Episcopalian and old line Lutheran perspective: if those living here on earth can intercede on behalf of each other, then those which have already been glorified in heaven, and are even closer "in Christ", are made holy as "one" unified through him (the mediator between God and men- on earth and heaven) by his sacrifice, can certainly intercede for those on earth as well. (Heb 2:11, 10:10; 1 Tim 2:1-5)

Catholic Church doctrine supports intercessory prayer to saints. Intercessory prayer to saints also plays an important role in the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches. Also some Anglo-Catholics believe in saintly intercession. They may point to such Scriptural passages as Tobit 12:12,15, Revelation 5:8, or Revelation 8:3-4, which depict heavenly beings offering the prayers of mortals before God. In addition, James 5:16 (where all those in heaven can be presumed to be living righteously), which states the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Both those for and against the intercession of saints quote Job 5:1.

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[edit] Protestant views

Many Protestant churches strongly reject all saintly intercession, in seeming accordance with verses like 1 Timothy 2:5, which says that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. The practice was attacked both by the Waldensians of the 12th century, and the various Gnostic Bogomil groups (including the Albigensians). The Calvinists and Zwinglians were particularly zealous in their rejection of saintly intercession. The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England condemned the invocation of saints as "a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God" (Article XXII). However, Oxford Movement led to a revival of the practice, which is now found among High Church Anglicans and especially Anglo-Catholics.

[edit] See also

Patron Saints

From the earliest times following the generation of Jesus & His Apostles, many, many Christians have regarded the dead in Christ as having become very much alive and exalted to positions of authority over the Church and the World, having supplanted the former principalities & powers of Ephesians 6:12. Such doctrines are a tacit witness to the position of global, historic Christianity that some form of the First Resurrection occurred around the time of the disappearrance of the Apostles. even though the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead yet remained future, at the end of the Millennium in which they saw themselves living. Around the time of the Council of Nicea in 325AD, such beliefs came into full bloom throughout global, historic Christianity and are strongly held throughout the bulk of Christianity even today: (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Anglican, etc.) It is partly what is meant by the Apostles' Creed, "I believe ... in the communion of the Saints." This accords well with the 56AD predictions of Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul and with what Christ's exiled Apostle John had foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision of the book of Revelation. It was all expected to shortly come to pass after the New Testament was written.

1 Corinthians 6:2-4 ~written around 56AD by Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
NKJV

Revelation 20:4-6 ~foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision to Christ's exiled Apostle John about "those things shortly to come to pass," Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1
4 And I foresaw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I foresaw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
NKJV

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patron_saints

Patron saint

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Saint Quentin is the patron saint of locksmiths and is also invoked against coughs and sneezes.
Saint Quentin is the patron saint of locksmiths and is also invoked against coughs and sneezes.

In those denominations of Christianity that believe in the intercession of saints, the patron saint of a particular group of people is a saint who has special affinity for that group and its members. Prayers by such people are considered more likely to be answered by their patron saint. Some consider it a special devotion to God by displaying humility in asking a saint for intercession rather than expecting to be answered themselves, calling to mind Job 42:8, which implies God's favour to the virtuous.

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[edit] Known saints

For example, Saint Christopher is generally thought of as the patron saint of travelers. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and the Irish, as well as of the profession of engineering, and Saint James the Great is the patron of rheumatics and of Spain. Eastern Orthodoxy generally similarly associates saints with places, occupations and activities, but to a much lesser degree, and usually that association takes place locally. The "Three Hierarchs", for instance (Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom), are the traditional patron saints of education in the Orthodox world, St. Nicholas the patron saint of Russia, St. Demetrius the patron saint of the city of Thessaloníki, etc. Association with a particular area or profession can be found with tutelary deities from other religions as well. St. Lawrence is the Patron Saint of cooks, so bestowed because he himself was roasted alive by the Romans who prosecuted him. He never lost his sense of humor, even making a quip shortly before his death by crying, "I think I am done on this side!"

The feast day associated with a saint is often marked by those who have the saint as patron; this is especially the case with a national patron, whose feast day may be a public holiday. In some cases the celestial patronage is not assigned to a canonised person, but to a liturgical feast and/or (often associated) aspect of God or the Virgin Mary which is held in similar reverence (though unlike a saint it cannot actually intercede with God), such as:

Certain patron saints have only a nominal relationship with the trade or group that they represent, as is the case with Saint George of England. Saint Fiacre is the patron saint of taxi drivers, supposedly because the first hansom cabs in Paris were hired outside the Hotel Saint-Fiacre and, indeed, were known as fiacres.

[edit] Patron god

A counterpart in some polytheistic religions is that of a patron god or a matron goddess. Athena, for example, was the matron goddess of Athens. The most striking difference between patron gods and the Christian concept of saints is that a) saints are/were still human, and if they displayed/ experienced anything supernatural, it was not through their own personal ability; b) sainthood is a title conferred upon an individual, sometimes centuries after their death, rather than assumed simply upon birth, as is usually the case for godhood.

[edit] Criticism

Main article: Intercession
Main article: Saints

Some Protestant Christian denominations regard the belief in patron saints as latent polytheism and heresy. The belief in a patron saint for certain things is a reminder of the pagan gods and goddesses, they say, and is in their view condemned by the Bible. In some cases, the practice of praying to these saints instead of directly to Jesus or God, the Father, is considered a serious act of blasphemy.

These denominations refer, among others, to 1 Timothy 2:5 states that "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus". The defenders of the intercession of saints refer at the same time to Paul who asks for prayer repeated in his epistles, showing that individuals can mediate for one another. Also, in Revelation, particularly chapter 8 verse 3 it can be seen that the prayers of saints are offered to God via an angel.

Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians and some Protestant denominations view saints as heroes of virtue and draw inspiration from their lives. Additionally, saints are sometimes considered as people who, while they have passed from this life, are already enjoying eternal life as promised by Jesus in the New Testament. As with all those who have entered heaven they are still members of the Church and thus are still capable of praying on petitioners' behalf.

[edit] Other uses

"Patron saint" can also be used in a jocular, non-religious sense as a person that serves as an emblem for a certain subject. For instance, the British actor Robert Newton is considered the "patron saint" of pirates by the founders of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, as Newton influenced many modern perceptions of pirates.

[edit] Lists of patron saints

The Saint Honoré Cake Shop, Hong Kong. Saint Honorius (Honoré) is the patron saint of bakers and confectioners.
The Saint Honoré Cake Shop, Hong Kong. Saint Honorius (Honoré) is the patron saint of bakers and confectioners.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Roman Catholic Patron Saints: a simple listing

Here is a simple listing of Saints, the dead in Christ who have been glorified to special positions of Christ-delegated authority according to traditional Roman Catholic doctrine, much of which is deeply rooted in global, historic Christianity.

From: http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/PATRONS.htm

ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRON SAINTS

Protector Of

Saint

Accountants

Actors

Air travelers

Altar boys

Architects

Art

Artists

Astronomers

Athletes

Authors

Bakers

Bankers

Barren women

Beggars

Blind

Bookbinders

Bookkeepers

Booksellers

Boy Scouts

Bricklayers

Brides

Broadcasters

Builders

Cab drivers

Cancer victims

Carpenters

Charity Orgs

Childbirth

Children

Church

Comedians

Cooks

Cripples

Dancers

Deaf

Dentists

Desperate matters

Domestic animals

Dying

Ecologists

Editors

Emigrants

Falsely accused

Farmers

Fathers

Fire fighters

Fire prevention

Fishermen

Foundlings

Funeral directors

Gardeners

Girls

Glassworkers

Gravediggers

Grocers

Hairdressers

Heart patients

Hospitals

Hotelkeepers

Invalids

Jewelers

Journalists

Laborers

Lawyers

Learning

Librarians

Lost articles

Lovers

Mariners

Married women

Mentally ill

Messengers

Midwives

Missions

Mothers

Musicians

Nurses

Orators

Orphans

Painters

Pawnbrokers

Philosophers

Physicians

Plasterers

Poets

Police officers

Poor

Postal workers

Preachers

Pregnant women

Priests

Printers

Prisoners

Radio workers

Rheumatism

Sailors

Scholars

Scientists

Sculptors

Secretaries

Servants

Sick

Skaters

Skiers

Social justice

Social workers

Soldiers

Students

Surgeons

Tax collectors

Teachers

Television

Theologians

Throat ailments

Travelers

Vintners

Vocations

Widows

Women in labor

Writers

Youth

Matthew

Genesius

Joseph of Cupertino

John Berchmans

Barbara

Catherine of Bologna

Luke

Dominic

Sebastian

Francis de Sales

Elizabeth of Hungary

Matthew

Antony of Padua

Alexius, Giles

Raphael

Peter Celestine

Matthew

John of God

George

Stephen

Nicholas of Myra

Archangel Gabriel

Vincent Ferrer

Fiacre

Peregrine Laziosi

Joseph

Vincent de Paul

Gerard Majella

Nicholas of Myra

Joseph

Vitus

Martha

Giles

Vitus

Francis de Sales

Apollonia

Jude

Antony

Joseph

Francis of Assisi

John Bosco

Frances Xavier Cabrini

Raymund Nonnatus

Isidore the Farmer

Joseph

Florian

Catherine of Siena

Andrew, Peter

Holy Innocents

Joseph of Arimathea

Adelard

Agnes

Luke

Antony the Abbot

Michael

Martin de Porres

John of God

Camillus de Lellis, John of God

Amand

Roch

Eligius

Francis de Sales

Isidore

Thomas More, Yves

Ambrose

Jerome

Antony of Padua

Valentine

Nicholas of Tolentine

Monica

Dympna

Gabriel

Raymund Nonnatus

Francis Xavier, Therese of Lisieux

Monica

Cecelia, Gregory

Agatha, Camillus de Lellis, John of God

John Chrysostom

Jerome Emiliani

Luke

Nicholas of Myra

Catherine of Alexandria, Justin

Cosmas and Damian, Luke

Bartholomew

David

Michael

Antony of Padua

Gabriel

Catherine of Alexandria, John Chrysostom

Gerard Majella

John Vianney

Augustine, Genesius, John of God

Dismas

Gabriel

James the Greater

Brendan, Erasmus

Brigid

Albert the Great

Claude

Genesius

Martha

John of God, Camillus de Lellis

Lidwina

Bernard

Joseph

Louise de Marillac

George, Martin of Tours

Catherine of Alexandria, Thomas Aquinas

Cosmas and Damian, Luke

Matthew

Gregory, John Baptist de la Salle

Clare of Assisi

Alphonsus Liguori, Augustine

Blaise

Christopher

Amand, Morand, Vincent

Alphonsus

Paula

Anne

Francis de Sales

Aloysius Gonzaga

Saints (portal)

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Saints

Portal:Saints

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Saints Portal

A saint is a particularly good or holy person. The term is used within Christianity, with definitions varying by denomination, but English-language publications will sometimes use saint to describe a revered person from another religion. The word itself means “holy” and is derived from the Latin sanctus. The concept originates in early Greek Christian literature with the use of the word hagios (Greek άγιος meaning “holy” or "holy one") and in the New Testament, where it is used to describe the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. (In the Old Testament, the cognate is the Hebrew word qodesh, קדש)

Other religions also recognize certain individuals as having particular holiness (or enlightenment.)

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Credit:

Painting of Nestorius, founder of the Assyrian Church of the East

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Saints Selected biography

Guido Reni's archangel Michael (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome) tramples Satan.
Michael is the archangel mentioned in the Book of Revelation 12:7; in the Old Testament Michael is mentioned by name in the Persian context of the post-Exilic Book of Daniel. He is generally presented as the field commander of the Army of God. There Michael appears as "one of the chief princes" (Daniel 10:13) who in Daniel's vision comes to the angel Gabriel's aid in his contest with the angel of Persia Dobiel, and is also described there as the advocate of Israel and "great prince who stands up for the children of your (Daniel's) people" (Daniel 10:21, 12:1). The Talmudic tradition rendered his name as meaning "who is like El ("God"—but literally "El's Likeness")" (compare the late prophet Micah), but according to Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish (AD 230270), all the specific names for the angels were brought back by the Jews from Babylon, and many modern commentators would agree.

Michael is one of the principal angels in Abrahamic tradition; his name was said to have been the war-cry of the angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers.[citation needed]

Much of the late Midrashic detail about Michael was transmitted to Christian mythology through the Book of Enoch, whence it was taken up and further elaborated. In late medieval Christianity, Michael, together with St George, became the patron saint of chivalry, and of the first chivalric order of France, the Order of Saint Michael of 1469. In the British honours system, a chivalric order founded in 1818 is also named for these two saints, the Order of St Michael and St George. St Michael is also considered in many Christian circles as the patron saint of the warrior. Police officers and soldiers, particularly paratroopers, regard him as their patron saint.

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Selected article

Icon of St. Cyprian of Carthage, who urged diligence in the process of canonization.
Icon of St. Cyprian of Carthage, who urged diligence in the process of canonization.

Canonization (also spelled Canonisation) is the act by which a Christian Church declares a deceased person to be a saint, inscribing that person in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process, as happened, for instance, in the case of Saint Peter and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In the Catholic Church (excepting the Eastern Catholic Churches), the act of canonization is now reserved to the Holy See and occurs at the conclusion of a long process requiring extensive proof that the person proposed for canonization lived, and died, in such an exemplary and holy way that he or she is worthy to be recognized as a saint. The Church's official recognition of sanctity implies that the persons are now in heavenly glory, that they may be publicly invoked and mentioned officially in the Liturgy of the Church, most especially in the Litany of the Saints in the Canon of the Mass. Other Christian Churches still follow the older practice (see, for instance, below on Eastern Orthodox practice).

Canonization, whether formal or informal, does not make someone a saint: it is only a declaration that the person is a saint and was a saint even before canonization. It is generally recognized that there are many more saints in heaven than have been canonized on earth.

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Did you know...

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Saints topics

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Related portals

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Saints Quotes

"The hutzpah of our love is pleasing to you, O Lord, just as it pleased you that we should steal from your bounty."

Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns on Faith 16:5
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Saints lists

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Categories

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WikiProjects

The Saints Wikiproject aims primarily at standardizing the articles about people venerated by some Christians as saints or the blessed and ensuring quality articles.

Non-Christian Saints If there is an interest in including saints from religions other than Christianity, please propose those changes on our talk page and we can integrate them into the wikiproject.

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To do

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Saints news

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Saints calendars

The Exaltation of the Martyrs and the Saints

From the earliest times following the generation of Jesus & His Apostles, many, many Christians have regarded the dead in Christ as having become very much alive and exalted to positions of authority over the Church and the World, having supplanted the former principalities & powers of Ephesians 6:12. Such doctrines are a tacit witness to the position of global, historic Christianity that some form of the First Resurrection occurred around the time of the disappearrance of the Apostles. even though the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead yet remained future, at the end of the Millennium in which they saw themselves living. Around the time of the Council of Nicea in 325AD, such beliefs came into full bloom throughout global, historic Christianity and are strongly held throughout the bulk of Christianity even today: (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Anglican, etc.) It is partly what is meant in the Apostles' Creed, "I believe ... in the communion of the Saints." This accords well with the 56AD predictions of Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul and with what Christ's exiled Apostle John had foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision of the book of Revelation. It was all expected to shortly come to pass after the New Testament was written.

1 Corinthians 6:2-4 ~written around 56AD by Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
NKJV

Revelation 20:4-6 ~foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision to Christ's exiled Apostle John about "those things shortly to come to pass," Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1
4 And I foresaw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I foresaw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
NKJV

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communion_of_Saints

The Communion of the Saints

"The Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church as well as the Anglican Church and the Assyrian Church of the East point to this doctrine in support of their practice of asking the intercession of the saints in heaven, whose prayers (cf. Revelation 5:8) are seen as helping their fellow Christians on earth. These same churches refer to this doctrine in support of the practice of praying for the dead."

From: http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/3_ch07.htm

HISTORY of the CHRISTIAN CHURCH by Philip Schaff

CHAPTER VII.

PUBLIC WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS CUSTOMS AND CEREMONIES.

§ 84. The Worship of Martyrs and Saints.

The worship of saints proceeded originally, without doubt, from a pure and truly Christian source, to wit: a very deep and lively sense of the communion of saints, which extends over death and the grave, and embraces even the blessed in heaven. It was closely connected with love to Christ, and with gratitude for everything great and good which he has done through his instruments for the welfare of posterity. The church fulfilled a simple and natural duty of gratitude, when, in the consciousness of unbroken fellowship with the church triumphant, she honored the memory of the martyrs and confessors, who had offered their life for their faith, and had achieved victory for it over all its enemies. She performed a duty of fidelity to her own children, when she held up for admiration and imitation the noble virtues and services of their fathers. She honored and glorified Christ Himself when she surrounded Him with an innumerable company of followers, contemplated the reflection of His glory in them, and sang to His praise in the Ambrosian Te Deum:

"The glorious company of the Apostles praise thee;
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise thee;
The noble army of Martyrs praise thee;
The holy church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee;
The Father, of an infinite majesty;
Thine adorable, true, and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.
Thou art the King of glory, O Christ;
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb;816
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers."
In the first three centuries the veneration of the martyrs in general restricted itself to the thankful remembrance of their virtues and the celebration of the day of their death as the day of their heavenly birth.817 This celebration usually took place at their graves. So the church of Smyrna annually commemorated its bishop Polycarp, and valued his bones more than gold and gems, though with the express distinction: "Christ we worship as the Son of God; the martyrs we love and honor as disciples and successors of the Lord, on account of their insurpassable love to their King and Master, as also, we wish to be their companions and fellow disciples."818 Here we find this veneration as yet in its innocent simplicity.
But in the Nicene age it advanced to a formal invocation of the saints as our patrons (patroni) and intercessors (intercessores, mediatores) before the throne of grace, and degenerated into a form of refined polytheism and idolatry. The saints came into the place of the demigods, Penates and Lares, the patrons of the domestic hearth and of the country. As once temples and altars to the heroes, so now churches and chapels819 came to be built over the graves of the martyrs, and consecrated to their names (or more precisely to God through them). People laid in them, as they used to do in the temple of Aesculapius, the sick that they might be healed, and hung in them, as in the temples of the gods, sacred gifts of silver and gold. Their graves were, as Chrysostom says, more splendidly adorned and more frequently visited than the palaces of kings. Banquets were held there in their honor, which recall the heathen sacrificial feasts for the welfare of the manes. Their relics were preserved with scrupulous care, and believed to possess miraculous virtue. Earlier, it was the custom to pray for the martyrs (as if they were not yet perfect) and to thank God for their fellowship and their pious example. Now such intercessions for them were considered unbecoming, and their intercession was invoked for the living.820
This invocation of the dead was accompanied with the presumption that they take the deepest interest in all the fortunes of the kingdom of God on earth, and express it in prayers and intercessions.821 This was supposed to be warranted by some passages of Scripture, like Luke xv. 10, which speaks of the angels (not the saints) rejoicing over the conversion of a sinner, and Rev. viii. 3, 4, which represents an angel as laying the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne of God. But the New Testament expressly rebukes the worship of the angels (Col. ii. 18; Rev. xix. 10; xxii. 8, 9), and furnishes not a single example of an actual invocation of dead men; and it nowhere directs us to address our prayers to any creature. Mere inferences from certain premises, however plausible, are, in such weighty matters, not enough. The intercession of the saints for us was drawn as a probable inference from the duty of all Christians to pray for others, and the invocation of the saints for their intercession was supported by the unquestioned right to apply to living saints for their prayers, of which even the apostles availed themselves in their epistles.
But here rises the insolvable question: How can departed saints hear at once the prayers of so many Christians on earth, unless they either partake of divine omnipresence or divine omniscience? And is it not idolatrous to clothe creatures with attributes which belong exclusively to Godhead? Or, if the departed saints first learn from the omniscient God our prayers, and then bring them again before God with their powerful intercessions, to what purpose this circuitous way? Why not at once address God immediately, who alone is able, and who is always ready, to hear His children for the sake of Christ?
Augustine felt this difficulty, and concedes his inability to solve it. He leaves it undecided, whether the saints (as Jerome and others actually supposed) are present in so many places at once, or their knowledge comes through the omniscience of God, or finally it comes through the ministry of angels.822 He already makes the distinction between latreiva, or adoration due to God alone, and the invocatio (douleiva) of the saints, and firmly repels the charge of idolatry, which the Manichaean Faustus brought against the catholic Christians when he said: "Ye have changed the idols into martyrs, whom ye worship with the like prayers, and ye appease the shades of the dead with wine and flesh." Augustine asserts that the church indeed celebrates the memory of the martyrs with religious solemnity, to be stirred up to imitate them, united with their merits, and supported by their prayers,823 but it offers sacrifice and dedicates altars to God alone. Our martyrs, says he, are not gods; we build no temples to our martyrs, as to gods; but we consecrate to them only memorial places, as to departed men, whose spirits live with God; we build altars not to sacrifice to the martyrs, but to sacrifice with them to the one God, who is both ours and theirs.824
But in spite of all these distinctions and cautions, which must be expected from a man like Augustine, and acknowledged to be a wholesome restraint against excesses, we cannot but see in the martyr-worship, as it was actually practised, a new form of the hero-worship of the pagans. Nor can we wonder in the least. For the great mass of the Christian people came, in fact, fresh from polytheism, without thorough conversion, and could not divest themselves of their old notions and customs at a stroke. The despotic form of government, the servile subjection of the people, the idolatrous homage which was paid to the Byzantine emperors and their statues, the predicates divina, sacra, coelestia, which were applied to the utterances of their will, favored the worship of saints. The heathen emperor Julian sarcastically reproached the Christians with reintroducing polytheism into monotheism, but, on account of the difference of the objects, revolted from the Christian worship of martyrs and relics, as from the "stench of graves and dead men’s bones." The Manichaean taunt we have already mentioned. The Spanish presbyter Vigilantius, in the fifth century, called the worshippers of martyrs and relics, ashes-worshippers and idolaters,825 and taught that, according to the Scriptures, the living only should pray with and for each other. Even some orthodox church teachers admitted the affinity of the saint-worship with heathenism, though with the view of showing that all that is good in the heathen worship reappears far better in the Christian. Eusebius cites a passage from Plato on the worship of heroes, demi-gods, and their graves, and then applies it to the veneration of friends of God and champions of true religion; so that the Christians did well to visit their graves, to honor their memory there, and to offer their prayers.826 The Greeks, Theodoret thinks, have the least reason to be offended at what takes place at the graves of the martyrs; for the libations and expiations, the demi-gods and deified men, originated with themselves. Hercules, Aesculapius, Bacchus, the Dioscuri, and the like, are deified men; consequently it cannot be a reproach to the Christians that they—not deify, but—honor their martyrs as witnesses and servants of God. The ancients saw nothing censurable in such worship of the dead. The saints, our helpers and patrons, are far more worthy of such honor. The temples of the gods are destroyed, the philosophers, orators, and emperors are forgotten, but the martyrs are universally known. The feasts of the gods are now replaced by the festivals of Peter, Paul, Marcellus, Leontius, Antonins, Mauricius, and other martyrs, not with pagan pomp and sensual pleasures, but with Christian soberness and decency.827
Yet even this last distinction which Theodoret asserts, sometimes disappeared. Augustine laments that in the African church banqueting and revelling were daily practised in honor of the martyrs,828 but thinks that this weakness must be for the time indulged from regard to the ancient customs of the pagans.
In connection with the new hero-worship a new mythology also arose, which filled up the gaps of the history of the saints, and sometimes even transformed the pagan myths of gods and heroes into Christian legends.829 The superstitious imagination, visions, and dreams, and pious fraud famished abundant contributions to the Christian legendary poesy.
The worship of the saints found eloquent vindication and encouragement not only, in poets like Prudentius (about 405) and Paulinus of Nola (died 431), to whom greater freedom is allowed, but even in all the prominent theologians and preachers of the Nicene and post-Nicene age. It was as popular as monkery, and was as enthusiastically commended by the leaders of the church in the East and West.
The two institutions, moreover, are closely connected and favor each other. The monks were most zealous friends of saint-worship in their own cause. The church of the fifth century already went almost as far in it as the Middle Age, at all events quite as far as the council of Trent; for this council does not prescribe the invocation of the saints, but confines itself to approving it as "good and useful" (not as necessary) on the ground of their reigning with Christ in heaven and their intercession for us, and expressly remarks that Christ is our only, Redeemer and Saviour.830 This moderate and prudent statement of the doctrine, however, has not yet removed the excesses which the Roman Catholic people still practise in the worship of the saints, their images, and their relics. The Greek church goes even further in theory than the Roman; for the confession of Peter Mogilas (which was subscribed by the four Greek patriarchs in 1643, and again sanctioned by the council of Jerusalem in 1672), declares it duty and propriety (crevo") to implore the intercession (mesiteiva) of Mary and the saints with God for us.
We now cite, for proof and further illustration, the most important passages from the church fathers of our period on this point. In the numerous memorial discourses of the church fathers, the martyrs are loaded with eulogies, addressed as present, and besought for their protection. The universal tone of those productions is offensive to the Protestant taste, and can hardly be reconciled with evangelical ideas of the exclusive and all-sufficient mediation of Christ and of justification by pure grace without the merit of works. But it must not be forgotten that in these discourses very much is to be put to the account of the degenerate, extravagant, and fulsome rhetoric of that time. The best church fathers, too, never separated the merits of the saints from the merits of Christ, but considered the former as flowing out of the latter.
We begin with the Greek fathers. Basil the Great calls the forty soldiers who are said to have suffered martyrdom under Licinius in Sebaste about 320, not only a "holy choir," an "invincible phalanx," but also "common patrons of the human family, helpers of our prayers and most mighty intercessors with God."831
Ephraim Syrus addresses the departed saints, in general, in such words as these: "Remember me, ye heirs of God, ye brethren of Christ, pray to the Saviour for me, that I through Christ may be delivered from him who assaults me from day to day;" and the mother of a martyr: "O holy, true, and blessed mother, plead for me with the saints, and pray: ’Ye triumphant martyrs of Christ, pray for Ephraim, the least, the miserable,’ that I may find grace, and through the grace of Christ may be saved."
Gregory of Nyssa asks of St. Theodore, whom he thinks invisibly present at his memorial feast, intercessions for his country, for peace, for the preservation of orthodoxy, and begs him to arouse the apostles Peter and Paul and John to prayer for the church planted by them (as if they needed such an admonition!). He relates with satisfaction that the people streamed to the burial place of this saint in such multitudes that the place looked like an ant hill. In his Life of St. Ephraim, he tells of a pilgrim who lost himself among the barbarian posterity of Ishmael, but by the prayer, "St. Ephraim, help me!"832 and the protection of the saint, happily found his way home. He himself thus addresses him at the close: "Thou who standest at the holy altar, and with angels servest the life-giving and most holy Trinity, remember us all, and implore for us the forgiveness of sins and the enjoyment of the eternal kingdom."833
Gregory Nazianzen is convinced that the departed Cyprian guides and protects his church in Carthage more powerfully by his intercessions than he formerly did by his teachings, because he now stands so much nearer the Deity; he addresses him as present, and implores his favor and protection.834 In his eulogy on Athanasius, who was but a little while dead, he prays: "Look graciously down upon us, and dispose this people to be perfect worshippers of the perfect Trinity; and when the times are quiet, preserve us—when they are troubled, remove us, and take us to thee in thy fellowship."
Even Chrysostom did not rise above the spirit of the time. He too is an eloquent and enthusiastic advocate of the worship of the saints and their relics. At the close of his memorial discourse on Sts. Bernice and Prosdoce—two saints who have not even a place in the Roman calendar—he exhorts his hearers not only on their memorial days but also on other days to implore these saints to be our protectors: "For they have great boldness not merely during their life but also after death, yea, much greater after death.835 For they now bear the stigmata of Christ [the marks of martyrdom], and when they show these, they can persuade the King to anything." He relates that once, when the harvest was endangered by excessive rain, the whole population of Constantinople flocked to the church of the Apostles, and there elected the apostles Peter and Andrew, Paul and Timothy, patrons and intercessors before the throne of grace.836 Christ, says he on Heb. i. 14, redeems us as Lord and Master, the angels redeem us as ministers.
Asterius of Amasia calls the martyr Phocas, the patron of mariners, "a pillar and foundation of the churches of God in the world, the most renowned of the martyrs, who draws men of all countries in hosts to his church in Sinope, and who now, since his death, distributes more abundant nourishment than Joseph in Egypt."
Among the Latin fathers, Ambrose of Milan is one of the first and most decided promoters of the worship of saints. We cite a passage or two. "May Peter, who so successfully weeps for himself, weep also for us, and turn upon us the friendly look of Christ.837 The angels, who are appointed to guard us, must be invoked for us; the martyrs, to whose intercession we have claim by the pledge of their bodies, must be invoked. They who have washed away their sins by their own blood, may pray for our sins. For they are martyrs of God, our high priests, spectators of our life and our acts. We need not blush to use them as intercessors for our weakness; for they also knew the infirmity of the body when they gained the victory over it."838
Jerome disputes the opinion of Vigilantius, that we should pray for one another in this life only, and that the dead do not hear our prayers, and ascribes to departed saints a sort of omnipresence, because, according to Rev. xiv. 4, they follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.839 He thinks that their prayers are much more effectual in heaven than they were upon earth. If Moses implored the forgiveness of God for six hundred thousand men, and Stephen, the first martyr, prayed for his murderers after the example of Christ, should they cease to pray, and to be heard, when they are with Christ?
Augustine infers from the interest which the rich man in hell still had in the fate of his five surviving brothers (Luke xvi. 27), that the pious dead in heaven must have even far more interest in the kindred and friends whom they have left behind.840 He also calls the saints our intercessors, yet under Christ, the proper and highest Intercessor, as Peter and the other apostles are shepherds under the great chief Shepherd.841 In a memorial discourse on Stephen, he imagines that martyr, and St. Paul who stoned him, to be present, and begs them for their intercessions with the Lord with whom they reign.842 He attributes miraculous effects, even the raising of the dead, to the intercessions of Stephen.843 But, on the other hand, he declares, as we have already observed, his inability to solve the difficult question of the way in which the dead can be made acquainted with our wishes and prayers. At all events, in Augustine’s practical religion the worship of the saints occupies a subordinate place. In his "Confessions" and "Soliloquies" he always addresses himself directly to God, not to Mary nor to martyrs.
The Spanish poet Prudentius flees with prayers and confessions of sin to St. Laurentius, and considers himself unworthy to be heard by Christ Himself.844
The poems of Paulinus of Nola are full of direct prayers for the intercessions of the saints, especially of St. Felix, in whose honor he erected a basilica, and annually composed an ode, and whom he calls his patron, his father, his lord. He relates that the people came in great crowds around the wonder-working relics of this saint on his memorial day, and could not look on them enough.
Leo the Great, in his sermons, lays great stress on the powerful intercession of the apostles Peter and Paul, and of the Roman martyr Laurentius.845
Pope Gregory the Great, [became pope in 1073AD], at the close of our period, went much farther.
According to this we cannot wonder that the Virgin Mary and the saints are interwoven also in the prayers of the liturgies,846 and that their merits and intercession stand by the side of the merits of Christ as a ground of the acceptance of our prayers.
§ 85. Festivals of the Saints.
The system of saint-worship, like that of the worship of Mary, became embodied in a series of religious festivals, of which many had only a local character, some a provincial, some a universal. To each saint a day of the year, the day of his death, or his heavenly birthday, was dedicated, and it was celebrated with a memorial oration and exercises of divine worship, but in many cases desecrated by unrestrained amusements of the people, like the feasts of the heathen gods and heroes.
The most important saints’ days which come down from the early church, and bear a universal character, are the following:
1. The feast of the two chief apostles Peter and Paul,847 on the twenty-ninth of June, the day of their martyrdom. It is with the Latins and the Greeks the most important of the feasts of the apostles, and, as the homilies for the day by Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Augustine, and Leo the Great show, was generally introduced as early as the fourth century
2. Besides this, the Roman church has observed since the fifth century a special feast in honor of the prince of the apostles and for the glorification of the papal office: the feast of the See of Peter848 on the twenty-second of February, the day on which, according to tradition, he took possession of the Roman bishopric. With this there was also an Antiochan St. Peter's day on the eighteenth of January, in memory of the supposed episcopal reign of this apostle in Antioch. The Catholic liturgists dispute which of these two feasts is the older. After Leo the Great, the bishops used to keep the Natales. Subsequently the feast of the ChainsofPeter849 was introduced in memory of the chains which Peter wore, according to Acts xii. 6, under Herod at Jerusalem, and, according to the Roman legend, in the prison at Rome under Nero.
3. The feast of John, the apostle and evangelist, on the twenty-seventh of December, has already been mentioned in connection with the Christmas cycle.850
4. Likewise the feast of the protomartyr Stephen, on the twenty-sixth of December, after the fourth century.851
5. The feast of JohntheBaptist, the last representative of the saints before Christ. This was, contrary to the general rule, a feast of his birth, not his martyrdom, and, with reference to the birth festival of the Lord on the twenty-fifth of December, was celebrated six months earlier, on the twenty-fourth of June, the summer solstice. This was intended to signify at once his relation to Christ and his well-known word: "He must increase, but I must decrease." He represented the decreasing sun of the ancient covenant; Christ, the rising sun of the new.852 In order to celebrate more especially the martyrdom of the Baptist, a feast of the BeheadingofJohn,853 on the twenty-ninth of August, was afterward introduced; but this never became so important and popular as the feast of his birth.
6. To be just to all the heroes of the faith, the Greek church, after the fourth century, celebrated a feast of All Saints on the Sunday after Pentecost (the Latin festival of the Trinity).854 The Latin church, after 610, kept a similar feast, the Festum Omnium Sanctorum, on the first of November; but this did not come into general use till after the ninth century.
7. The feast of the Archangel Michael,855 the leader of the hosts of angels, and the representative of the church triumphant,856 on the twenty-ninth of September. This owes its origin to some miraculous appearances of Michael in the Catholic legends.857 The worship of the angels developed itself simultaneously with the worship of Mary and the saints, and churches also were dedicated to angels, and called after their names. Thus Constantine the Great built a church to the archangel Michael on the right bank of the Black Sea, where the angel, according to the legend, appeared to some ship-wrecked persons and rescued them from death. Justinian I. built as many as six churches to him. Yet the feast of Michael, which some trace back to Pope Gelasius I., a.d. 493, seems not to have become general till after the ninth century.
§ 86. The Christian Calendar. The Legends of the Saints. The Acta Sanctorum.
This is the place for some observations on the origin and character of the Christian calendar with reference to its ecclesiastical elements, the catalogue of saints and their festivals.
The Christian calendar, as to its contents, dates from the fourth and later centuries; as to its form, it comes down from classical antiquity, chiefly from the Romans, whose numerous calendars contained, together with astronomical and astrological notes, tables also of civil and religious festivals and public sports. Two calendars of Christian Rome still extant, one of the year 354, the other of the year 448,858 show the transition. The former contains for the first time the Christian week beginning with Sunday, together with the week of heathen Rome; the other contains Christian feast days and holidays, though as yet very few, viz., four festivals of Christ and six martyr days. The oldest purely Christian calendar is a Gothic one, which originated probably in Thrace in the fourth century. The fragment still extant859 contains thirty-eight days for November and the close of October, among which seven days are called by the names of saints (two from the Bible, three from the church universal, and two from the Gothic church).
There are, however, still earlier lists of saints’ days, according to the date of the holiday; the oldest is a Roman one of the middle of the fourth century, which contains the memorial days of twelve bishops of Rome and twenty-four martyrs, together with the festival of the birth of Christ and the festival of Peter on the twenty-second of February.
Such tables are the groundwork of the calendar and the martyrologies. At first each community or province had its own catalogue of feasts, hence also its own calendar. Such local registers were sometimes called diptycha860 (divptuca), because they were recorded on tables with two leaves; yet they commonly contained, besides the names of the martyrs, the names also of the earlier bishops and still living benefactors or persons, of whom the priests were to make mention by name in the prayer before the consecration of the elements in the eucharist. The spread of the worship of a martyr, which usually started from the place of his martyrdom, promoted the interchange of names. The great influence of Rome gave to the Roman festival-list and calendar the chief currency in the West.
Gradually the whole calendar was filled up with the names of saints. As the number of the martyrs exceeded the number of days in the year, the commemoration of several must fall upon the same day, or the canonical hours of cloister devotion must be given up. The oriental calendar is richer in saints from the Old Testament than the occidental.861
With the calendars are connected the Martyrologia, or Acta Martyrum, Acta Sanctorum, called by the Greeks Menologia and Menaea.862 There were at first only "Diptycha" and "Calendaria martyrum," i.e., lists of the names of the martyrs commemorated by the particular church in the order of the days of their death on the successive days of the year, with or without statements of the place and manner of their passion. This simple skeleton became gradually animated with biographical sketches, coming down from different times and various authors, containing a confused mixture of history and fable, truth and fiction, piety and superstition, and needing to be used with great critical caution. As these biographies of the saints were read on their annual days in the church and in the cloisters for the edification of the people, they were called Legenda.
The first Acts of the Martyrs come down from the second and third centuries, in part from eye-witnesses, as, for example, the martyrdom of Polycarp (a.d. 167), and of the martyrs of Lyons and Vienne in South Gaul; but most of them originated, at least in their present form, in the post-Constantinian age. Eusebius wrote a general martyrology, which is lost. The earliest Latin martyrology is ascribed to Jerome, but at all events contains many later additions; this father, however, furnished valuable contributions to such works in his "Lives of eminent Monks" and his "Catalogue of celebrated Church Teachers." Pope Gelasius thought good to prohibit or to restrict the church reading of the Acts of the Saints, because the names of the authors were unknown, and superfluous and incongruous additions by heretics or uneducated persons (idiotis) might be introduced. Gregory the Great speaks of a martyrology in use in Rome and elsewhere, which is perhaps the same afterward ascribed to Jerome and widely spread. The presentMartyrologium Romanum, which embraces the saints of all countries, is an expansion of this, and was edited by Baronius with a learned commentary at the command of Gregory XIII. and Sixtus V. in 1586, and afterward enlarged by the Jesuit Heribert Rosweyd.
Rosweyd († 1629) also sketched, toward the close of the sixteenth century, the plan for the celebrated "Acta Sanctorum, quotquot toto orbe coluntur," which Dr. John van Bolland († 1665) and his companions and continuators, called Bollandists (Henschen, † 1681; Papenbroek, † 1714; Sollier, † 1740; Stiltinck, † 1762, and others of inferior merit), published at Antwerp in fifty-three folio volumes, between the years 1643 and 1794 (including the two volumes of the second series), under the direction of the Jesuits, and with the richest and rarest literary aids.863 This work contains, in the order of the days of the year, the biography of every saint in the Catholic calendar, as composed by the Bollandists, down to the fifteenth of October, together with all the acts of canonization, papal bulls, and other ancient documents belonging thereto, with learned treatises and notes; and that not in the style of popular legends, but in the tone of thorough historical investigation and free criticism, so far as a general accordance with the Roman Catholic system of faith would allow.864 It was interrupted in 1773 by the abolition of the order of the Jesuits, then again in 1794, after a brief resumption of labor and the publication of two more volumes (the fifty-second and fifty-third), by the French Revolution and invasion of the Netherlands and the partial destruction of the literary, material; but since 1845 (or properly since 1837) it has been resumed at Brussels under the auspices of the same order, though not with the same historical learning and critical acumen, and proceeds tediously toward completion.865 This colossal and amazing work of more than two centuries of pious industry and monkish learning will always remain a rich mine for the system of martyr and saint-worship and the history of Christian life.
§ 87. Worship of Relics. Dogma of the Resurrection. Miracles of Relics.
Comp. the Literature at § 84. Also J. Mabillon (R.C.): Observationes de sanctorum reliquiis (Praef. ad Acta s. Bened. Ordinis). Par. 1669. Barrington and Kirk (R.C.): The Faith of Catholics, &c. Lond. 1846. Vol. iii. pp. 250–307. On the Protestant side, J. H. Jung: Disquisitio antiquaria de reliqu. et profanis et sacris earumque cultu, ed. 4. Hannov. 1783.
The veneration of martyrs and saints had respect, in the first instance, to their immortal spirits in heaven, but came to be extended, also, in a lower degree, to their earthly remains or relics.866 By these are to be understood, first, their bodies, or rather parts of them, bones, blood, ashes; then all which was in any way closely connected with their persons, clothes, staff, furniture, and especially the instruments of their martyrdom. After the time of Ambrose the cross of Christ also, which, with the superscription and the nails, are said to have been miraculously discovered by the empress Helena in 326,867 was included, and subsequently His crown of thorns and His coat, which are preserved, the former, according to the legend, in Paris, and the latter in Treves.868 Relics of the body of Christ cannot be thought of, since He arose without seeing corruption, and ascended to heaven, where, above the reach of idolatry and superstition, He is enthroned at the right hand of the Father. His true relics are the Holy Supper and His living presence in the church to the end of the world.
The worship of relics, like the worship of Mary and the saints, began in a sound religious feeling of reverence, of love, and of gratitude, but has swollen to an avalanche, and rushed into all kinds of superstitious and idolatrous excess. "The most glorious thing that the mind conceives," says Goethe, "is always set upon by a throng of more and more foreign matter."
As Israel could not sustain the pure elevation of its divinely revealed religion, but lusted after the flesh pots of Egypt and coquetted with sensuous heathenism so it fared also with the ancient church.
The worship of relics cannot be derived from Judaism; for the Levitical law strictly prohibited the contact of bodies and bones of the dead as defiling.869 Yet the isolated instance of the bones of the prophet Elisha quickening by their contact a dead man who was cast into his tomb,870 was quoted in behalf of the miraculous power of relics; though it should be observed that even this miracle did not lead the Israelites to do homage to the bones of the prophet nor abolish the law of the uncleanness of a corpse.
The heathen abhorred corpses, and burnt them to ashes, except in Egypt, where embalming was the custom and was imitated by the Christians on the death of martyrs, though St. Anthony protested against it. There are examples, however, of the preservation of the bones of distinguished heroes like Theseus, and of the erection of temples over their graves.871
The Christian relic worship was primarily a natural consequence of the worship of the saints, and was closely connected with the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the body, which was an essential article of the apostolic tradition, and is incorporated in almost all the ancient creeds. For according to the gospel the body is not an evil substance, as the Platonists, Gnostics, Manichaeans held, but a creature of God; it is redeemed by Christ; it becomes by the regeneration an organ and temple of the Holy Ghost; and it rests as a living seed in the grave, to be raised again at the last day, and changed into the likeness of the glorious body of Christ. The bodies of the righteous "grow green" in their graves, to burst forth in glorious bloom on the morning of the resurrection. The first Christians from the beginning set great store by this comforting doctrine, at which the heathen, like Celsus and Julian, scoffed. Hence they abhorred also the heathen custom of burning, and adopted the Jewish custom of burial with solemn religious ceremonies, which, however, varied in different times and countries.
But in the closer definition of the dogma of the resurrection two different tendencies appeared: a spiritualistic, represented by the Alexandrians, particularly by Origen and still later by the two Gregories; the other more realistic, favored by the Apostles’ Creed,872 advocated by Tertullian, but pressed by some church teachers, like Epiphanius and Jerome, in a grossly materialistic manner, without regard to the sw'ma pveumatikovn of Paul and the declaration that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."873 The latter theory was far the more consonant with the prevailing spirit of our period, entirely supplanted the other, and gave the mortal remains of the saints a higher value, and the worship of them a firmer foundation.
Roman Catholic historians and apologists find a justification of the worship and the healing virtue of relics in three facts of the New Testament: the healing of the woman with the issue of blood by the touch of Jesus’ garment;874 the healing of the sick by the shadow of Peter;875and the same by handkerchiefs from Paul.876
These examples, as well as the miracle wrought by the bones of Elisha, were cited by Origen, Cyril of Jerusalem, Ambrose, Chrysostom, and other fathers, to vindicate similar and greater miracles in their time. They certainly mark the extreme limit of the miraculous, beyond which it passes into the magical. But in all these cases the living and present person was the vehicle of the healing power; in the second case Luke records merely the popular belief, not the actual healing; and finally neither Christ nor the apostles themselves chose that method, nor in any way sanctioned the superstitions on which it was based.877 At all events, the New Testament and the literature of the apostolic fathers know nothing of an idolatrous veneration of the cross of Christ or the bones and chattels of the apostles. The living words and acts of Christ and the apostles so completely absorbed attention that we have no authentic accounts of the bodily appearance, the incidental externals, and transient possessions of the founders of the church. Paul would know Christ after the spirit, not after the flesh. Even the burial places of most of the apostles and evangelists are unknown. The traditions of their martyrdom and their remains date from a much later time, and can claim no historical credibility.
The first clear traces of the worship of relics appear in the second century in the church of Antioch, where the bones of the bishop and martyr Ignatius († 107) were preserved as a priceless treasure;878 and in Smyrna, where the half-burnt bones of Polycarp († 167) were considered "more precious than the richest jewels and more tried than gold."879 We read similar things in the Acts of the martyrs Perpetua and Cyprian. The author of the Apostolic Constitutions880 exhorts that the relics of the saints, who are with the God of the living and not of the dead, be held in honor, and appeals to the miracle of the bones of Elisha, to the veneration which Joseph showed for the remains of Jacob, and to the bringing of the bones of Joseph by Moses and Joshua into the promised land.881 Eusebius states that the episcopal throne of James of Jerusalem was preserved to his time, and was held in great honor.882
Such pious fondness for relics, however, if it is confined within proper limits, is very natural and innocent, and appears even in the Puritans of New England, where the rock in Plymouth, the landing place of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620, has the attraction of a place of pilgrimage, and the chair of the first governor of Massachusetts is scrupulously preserved, and is used at the inauguration of every new president of Harvard University.
But toward the middle of the fourth century the veneration of relics simultaneously with the worship of the saints, assumed a decidedly superstitious and idolatrous character. The earthly remains of the martyrs were discovered commonly by visions and revelations, often not till centuries after their death, then borne in solemn processions to the churches and chapels erected to their memory, and deposited under the altar;883 and this event was annually celebrated by a festival.884 The legend of the discovery of the holy cross gave rise to two church festivals: The Feast of the Invention of the Cross885 on the third of May, which has been observed in the Latin church since the fifth or sixth century; and TheFeast of theElevation of the Cross,886 on the fourteenth of September, which has been observed in the East and the West, according to some since the consecration of the church of the Holy Sepulchre in 335, according to others only since the reconquest of the holy cross by the emperor Heraclius in 628. The relics were from time to time displayed to the veneration of the believing multitude, carried about in processions, preserved in golden and silver boxes, worn on the neck as amulets against disease and danger of every kind, and considered as possessing miraculous virtue, or more strictly, as instruments through which the saints in heaven, in virtue of their connection with Christ, wrought miracles of healing and even of raising the dead. Their number soon reached the incredible, even from one and the same original; there were, for example, countless splinters of the pretended cross of Christ from Jerusalem, while the cross itself is said to have remained, by a continued miracle, whole and undiminished! Veneration of the cross and crucifix knew no bounds, but can, by no means, be taken as a true measure of the worship of the Crucified; on the contrary, with the great mass the outward form came into the place of the spiritual intent, and the wooden and silver Christ was very often a poor substitute for the living Christ in the heart.887
Relics became a regular article of trade, but gave occasion, also, for very many frauds, which even such credulous and superstitious relic-worshippers as St. Martin of Tours888 and Gregory the Great889 lamented. Theodosius I., as early as 386, prohibited this trade; and so did many councils; but without success. On this account the bishops found themselves compelled to prove the genuineness of the relics by historical tradition, or visions, or miracles.
At first, an opposition arose to this worship of dead men’s bones. St. Anthony, the father of monasticism († 356), put in his dying protest against it, directing that his body should be buried in an unknown place. Athanasius relates this with approbation,890 and he caused several relics which had been given to him to be fastened up, that they might be out of the reach of idolatry.891 But the opposition soon ceased, or became confined to inferior or heretical authors, like Vigilantius and Eunomius, or to heathen opponents like Porphyry and Julian. Julian charges the Christians, on this point, with apostasy from their own Master, and sarcastically reminds them of His denunciation of the Pharisees, who were like whited sepulchres, beautiful without, but within full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.892 This opposition, of course, made no impression, and was attributed to sheer impiety. Even heretics and schismatics, with few exceptions, embraced this form of superstition, though the Catholic church denied the genuineness of their relics and the miraculous virtue of them
The most and the best of the church teachers of our period, Hilary, the two Gregories, Basil, Chrysostom, Isidore of Pelusium, Theodoret, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Leo, even those who combated the worship of images on this point, were carried along by the spirit of the time, and gave the weight of their countenance to the worship of relics, which thus became an essential constituent of the Greek and Roman Catholic religion. They went quite as far as the council of Trent,893 which expresses itself more cautiously, on the worship of relics as well as of saints, than the church fathers of the Nicene age. With the good intent to promote popular piety by sensible stimulants and tangible supports, they became promoters of dangerous errors and gross superstition.
To cite some of the most important testimonies:
Gregory Nazianzen thinks the bodies of the saints can as well perform miracles, as their spirits, and that the smallest parts of the body or of the symbols of their passion are as efficacious as the whole body.894
Chrysostom values the dust and ashes of the martyrs more highly than gold or jewels, and ascribes to them the power of healing diseases and putting death to flight.895 In his festal discourse on the translation of the relics of the Egyptian martyrs from Alexandria to Constantinople, he extols the bodies of the saints in eloquent strains as the best ramparts of the city against all visible enemies and invisible demons, mightier than walls, moats, weapons, and armies.896
"Let others," says Ambrose, "heap up silver and gold; we gather the nails wherewith the martyrs were pierced, and their victorious blood, and the wood of their cross."897 He himself relates at large, in a letter to his sister, the miraculous discovery of the bones of the twin brothers Gervasius and Protasius, two otherwise wholly unknown and long-forgotten martyrs of the persecution under Nero or Domitian.898 This is one of the most notorious relic miracles of the early church. It is attested by the most weighty authorities, by Ambrose and his younger contemporaries, his secretary and biographer Paulinus, the bishop Paulinus of Nola, and Augustine, who was then in Milan; it decided the victory of the Nicene orthodoxy over the Arian opposition of the empress Justina; yet is it very difficult to be believed, and seems at least in part to rest on pious frauds.899
The story is, that when Ambrose, in 386, wished to consecrate the basilica at Milan, he was led by a higher intimation in a vision to cause the ground before the doors of Sts. Felix and Nahor to be dug up, and there he found two corpses of uncommon size, the heads severed from the bodies (for they died by the sword), the bones perfectly preserved, together with a great quantity of fresh blood.900 These were the saints in question. They were exposed for two days to the wondering multitude, then borne in solemn procession to the basilica of Ambrose, performing on the way the healing of a blind man, Severus by name, a butcher by trade, and afterward sexton of this church. This, however, was not the only miracle which the bones performed. "The age of miracles returned," says Ambrose. "How many pieces of linen, how many portions of dress, were cast upon the holy relics and were recovered with the power of healing from that touch.901 It is a source of joy to all to touch but the extremest portion of the linen that covers them; and whoso touches is healed. We give thee thanks, O Lord Jesus, that thou hast stirred up the energies of the holy martyrs at this time, wherein thy church has need of stronger defence. Let all learn what combatants I seek, who are able to contend for us, but who do not assail us, who minister good to all, harm to none." In his homily De inventione SS. Gervasii et Protasii, he vindicates the miracle of the healing of the blind man against the doubts of the Arians, and speaks of it as a universally acknowledged and undeniable fact: The healed man, Severus, is well known, and publicly testifies that he received his sight by the contact of the covering of the holy relics.
Jerome calls Vigilantius, for his opposition to the idolatrous veneration of ashes and bones, a wretched man, whose condition cannot be sufficiently pitied, a Samaritan and Jew, who considered the dead unclean; but he protects himself against the charge of superstition. We honor the relics of the martyrs, says he, that we may adore the God of the martyrs; we honor the servants, in order thereby to honor the Master, who has said: "He that receiveth you, receiveth me."902 The saints are not dead; for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not a God of the dead, but of the living. Neither are they enclosed in Abraham’s bosom as in a prison till the day of Judgment, but they follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.903
Augustine believed in the above-mentioned miraculous discovery of the bodies of Gervasius and Protasius, and the healing of the blind man by contact with them, because he himself was then in Milan, in 386, at the time of his conversion,904 and was an eye-witness, not indeed of the discovery of the bones—for this he nowhere says—but of the miracles, and of the great stir among the people.905
He gave credit likewise to the many miraculous cures which the bones of the first martyr Stephen are said to have performed in various parts of Africa in his time.906 These relics were discovered in 415, nearly four centuries after the stoning of Stephen, in an obscure hamlet near Jerusalem, through a vision of Gamaliel, by a priest of Lucian; and some years afterward portions of them were transported to Uzali, not far from Utica, in North Africa, and to Spain and Gaul, and everywhere caused the greatest ado in the superstitious populace.
But Augustine laments, on the other hand, the trade in real and fictitious relics, which was driven in his day,907 and holds the miracles to be really superfluous, now that the world is converted to Christianity, so that he who still demands miracles, is himself a miracle.908 Though he adds, that to that day miracles were performed in the name of Jesus by the sacraments or by the saints, but not with the same lustre, nor with the same significance and authority for the whole Christian world.909 Thus he himself furnishes a warrant and an entering wedge for critical doubt in our estimate of those phenomena.910

What is a Patron Saint?

Here is the modern outworking of this very ancient and widely held doctrine of global, historic Christianity. It stands a tacit witness to global, historic Christianity's belief that, since the disappearance of the Apostles, the dead in Christ have somehow been raised up to positions of involved, Christ-delegated authority over the Church and the World. This is very much akin to what was foreseen in Rev 20:4-6 & Rev 21-22 of the glorified Saints ruling with God & Christ over the Creation.

From: http://www.catholic.org/saints/patron.php

Related Links: http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/patrons.asp

http://www.scborromeo.org/patron.htm

Patron Saints

What is a patron saint?
Patron saints are chosen as special protectors or guardians over areas of life. These areas can include occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes -- anything that is important to us. The earliest records show that people and churches were named after apostles and martyrs as early as the fourth century.

Recently, the popes have named patron saints but patrons can be chosen by other individuals or groups as well. Patron saints are often chosen today because an interest, talent, or event in their lives overlaps with the special area.

For example, Francis of Assisi loved nature and so he is patron of ecologists. Francis de Sales was a writer and so he is patron of journalists and writers. Clare of Assisi was named patron of television because one Christmas when she was too ill to leave her bed she saw and heard Christmas Mass -- even though it was taking place miles away.

Angels can also be named as patron saints.A patron saint can help us when we follow the example of that saint's life and when we ask for that saint's intercessory prayers to God.


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AIDS care-giversAloysius Gonzaga
AIDS patientsAloysius Gonzaga, Peregrine Laziosi, Therese of Lisieux
Abandoned childrenIvo of Kermartin, Jerome Emiliani
Abbeville, FranceWulfram of Sens
Abdominal painsErasmus (Elmo)
Abingdon, EnglandEdmund Rich of Abingdon
Abortion, protection againstCatherine of Sweden
Abruzzi region of ItalyGabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
Academies, Roman CatholicThomas Aquinas
Acadians, CajunsOur Lady of the Assumption
AccountantsMatthew
Accused (falsely)Raymond Nonnatus
AchaiaAndrew, Apostle
ActorsGenesius, Vitus
Advertisers, advertisingBernardine of Siena
AdvocatesIvo of Kermartin
Africa, CentralThe Most Pure Heart of Mary
Africa, NorthCyprian of Carthage
Africa, SouthernMary, on feast of her Assumption
African Catholic Youth ActionCharles Lwanga
Agirone, SicilyPhilip of Agirone
Air crewOur Lady of Loreto
Air crew, BelgianOur Lady of Loreto
Air crew, FrenchMary, on feast of her Assumption
Air crew, SpanishOur Lady of Loreto
Air force, ArgentinianOur Lady of Loreto
Air travelersJoseph of Cupertino
Airborne (Paratroopers)Michael the Archangel
Alabama USAOur Lady of the Gulf
Alaska USAOur Lady of the Kodiak and the Islands
AlbaniaMary, Mother of Good Counsel
Albi, FranceCecilia
Alcala, SpainJustus and Pastor
Alcira, Valencia, SpainBernard, Gracia, Mary
Alessandro, ItalyTrifone
Alexandria, EgyptCyril of Alexandria
AlexiansAlexius
Alezio, ItalyOur Lady of the Assumption
AlgeriaCyprian of Carthage
Alpine troopsMaurice
AlpinistsBernard of Montjoux (or Menthon)
Altar serversJohn Berchmans
Amalfi, ItalyAndrew, Apostle
Ambassadors, ArgentinianGabriel the Archangel
American Indians, Native AmericansAnthony of Padua
AmericasOur Lady of Guadalupe, Rose of Lima
Ammunition/Ordnance /explosive workersErasmus (Elmo)
Ancona, ItalyJudas Cyriacus
AndalusiaJohn of Avila
Anderlecht, BelgiumGuy of Anderlecht
Andorran security forcesOur Lady Help of Christians
AnesthetistsRene Goupil
AngolaThe Most Pure Heart of Mary
AnimalsFrancis of Assisi, Nicholas of Tolentino
Animals, danger fromVitus
Animals, domesticAntony the Abbot
AntiochBarnabas
Antwerp, BelgiumWalburga
Aosta, ItalyGratus of Aosta
ApologistsCatherine of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Thomas Aquinas
Apoplexy (Strokes)Andrew Avellino
Apostleship of PrayerFrancis Xavier
ApothecariesCosmas and Damian
ApprenticesJohn Bosco
Aquila, ItalyMaximus of Aquila
ArabiaOur Lady of Arabia
Aragon, SpainAgathoclia, Braulio, George
ArchaeologistsDamasus
Archdiocese of Saint Louis, Missouri, USALouis IX
Archdiocese of San Francisco, California, USAFrancis of Assisi
Archdiocese of Tuam, IrelandJarlath
ArchersSebastian
ArchitectsBarbara, Thomas, Apostle
Architects, ItalianBenedict, Abbot
Architects, SpanishOur Lady of Bethlehem
ArgentinaOur Lady of Lujan
Argentinian military chaplainsOur Lady of Lujan
ArizonaOur Lady of the Highways
ArkansasOur Lady of the Holy Souls
ArmeniaBartholomew, Gregory the Illuminator
ArmiesMaurice
Arms dealersAdrian of Nicomedia
Army of the AndesOur Lady of Mt. Carmel
Army, ArgentinianOur Lady of Mercy
Army, EcuadorianOur Lady of Mercy
ArtCatherine of Bologna
ArtilleryBarbara
ArtistsLuke, Catherine of Bologna, Bl (Fra) Angelico
Artois regionIsberga
Ascoli Piceno, ItalyEmidius
Asia MinorJohn the Apostle
Assisi, ItalyFrancis of Assisi
AstronautsJoseph of Cupertino
AstronomersDominic
Asylums (for the mentally ill)Dymphna
AthletesSebastian
AugsburgAfra, Ulric
AustraliaOur Lady Help of Christians
Australian military chaplainsOur Lady Help of Christians
AustriaJoseph, Maurice, Coloman, Leopold, Florian
Authority, persons inFerdinand III of Castile
AuthorsFrancis de Sales
Avenay, Champagne, FranceTressan of Mareuil
Aviators, aviationOur Lady of Loreto, Therese of Lisieux, Joseph of Cupertino
AvignonAgricola of Avignon, Benezet
Aynac, FranceGenistus



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70AD-ONGOING The New Jerusalem on the New Earth under the New Heavens

The New Jerusalem
(Answers to Ezekiel 48:30-35)

Revelation 21:1-22:1
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

5 Then He who sat on the throne said,"Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

6 And He said to me,"It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day(there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Revelation 22:1-17

1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

6 Then he said to me,"These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

8 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

9 Then he said to me,"See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God." 10 And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still."

12 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
NKJV


70AD-ONGOING The Heavenly Jerusalem = The glorified Christian Community both Seen & Unseen

Galatians 4:22-31
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.

24 These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:

"Be glad, O barren woman,
who bears no children;
break forth and cry aloud,
you who have no labor pains;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband."

28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
NIV

"You have come to Mount Zion, to the Heavenly Jerusalem, the City of the Living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the Church of the Firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word ..." ~Hebrews 12:22-25 NIV
Let's break this down and take a closer look at what this means. I see it describing the vast Christian Community at large, the assembly of all of Christ's People everywhere.
"You ..." - To whom is the author of Hebrews writing? It was to the same group of believers whom the author expected to personally visit along with brother Timothy per Hebrews 13:22-23 ("I have written to you in few words. Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly."
"... have come ... " - notice how, at the time of the recording of this verse of Scripture in Hebrews, coming to this place was already a past tense experience for these believers, a done deal! Those first readers of the book of Hebrews were standing at the base of Mount Zion and hearing the call from above, to "come up here," just as the ancient Hebrews had been invited to do an Mount Sinai. Paul expresses his response to the upward call in Philippians 3:12-14.
"... to Mount Zion, to the Heavenly Jerusalem, the City of the Living God." - Can you see how by listing the names this way, it tells us that these are synonymous terms, this is one and the same place with a variety of descriptive names. We do the same thing today, we say, "Shy-town, Chicago, the windy city." Or we say, "The Big Apple, New York, the city that never sleeps."
"... You have come..." - He emphasises again that their coming to this place was already a past tense experience!
"... to thousands upon thousands..." - Now, that can mean "1000's plus 1,000's," at minumum 4,000. Or it could mean "1,000's times 1,000's" which
would mean a minimum of 4,000,000. No matter what, in God's City we have a vast population.
"... of angels ..." - Truly, this is the real City of Angels, (no wise confused with Los Angeles, CA). This City has a large angelic population, heavenly messengers, the servants of those who would inherit Salvation (Hebrews 1:14 "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?").
"... in joyful assembly, ..." - This is a party! A blow-out! A festival, a jamboree, a state fair! "Joyful," that means there's laughing, cutting up, joking, playing around, congratulating, celebrating, singing, maybe dancing, food, leaving the cares behind and having a good old time!
"You have come ... to The Church ..." - Now we're talking! This special place we're describing is Church! Not just a church, but The Church, The Ecclesia (Greek), the vast community of Christians everywhere, wherever faith in Christ & love for one another is found. This passage of Scripture here in Hebrews 12:22-25 describes what it means to go to church!
More later ...

70AD-ONGOING Christendom = "The Stone that became a Great Mountain" (Daniel 2:31-45) = The Kingdom of the Heavens

Here are a few related Scriptures. Rather than commentary, I have used color-coding to draw attention to the relationships between these passages.
Grey = a stone (that became a great mountain)
Brown = the stone’s effect of crushing and scattering
Green = a mountain
Purple = a kingdom
Blue = a city, Christ’s followers
Yellow highlight = shining light
Daniel 2:31-45
31 "You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. 32 "The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 "You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. 35 "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. BUT THE STONE THAT STRUCK THE STATUE BECAME A GREAT MOUNTAIN AND FILLED THE WHOLE EARTH.
36 "This was the dream; now we shall tell its interpretation before the king. 37 "You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory; 38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold. 39 "And after you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth. 40 "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. 41 "And in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 42 "And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 43 "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. 44 "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 "Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy."
NASB
Matthew 21:42-46
Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures,
'The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone;
This came about from the Lord,
And it is marvelous in our eyes'?
43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. 44 "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." 45 And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.
NASB
Hebrews 12:18-29
18 For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned." 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I am full of fear and trembling."
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, " Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven." 27 And this expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
NASB
Matthew 5:13-16
13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 "Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
NASB
Revelation 21:9-12 and Rev 21:24
9 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. …
24 And the nations shall walk by its light
Rev 22:3-5
His bond-servants shall serve Him; 4 and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever. NASB

Roman IRON & CLAY Jews: working together without mixing together

Hey Fred,
I thought I would go ahead and review this portion again. I originally only had John 18:28 in mind, but when I studied out the context a little more, I realized so many parallels between the High Priest and Pilate, each with their own set of troops, each with their own court of judgement, working together to subjugate God’s People, yet keeping themselves separate, “lest they should be defiled,” just like the feet of iron mixed with clay of Daniel 2:32-35 and Daniel 2:41-43. It should also be noted how many of the Roman nobility and rulers were married to Jewesses, each fancying herself in the role of an Esther pulling the strings of her own little, heathen, king Artexerxes. Herod, an Idumean (Ishmaelite), was married to a Jewess, as was Claudius Ceasar, I believe, and others as Josephus noted. In cahoots yet separate, like the feet of iron mixed with clay. And I agree with you Fred, that Pilate seems to display mixed feelings about the whole thing. Irregardless, Pilate and Caiphas coordinated the shared agenda all the while remaining physically separate. Roman contempt for the Jews rubbed raw by the Jews' holier-than-thou aloofness from the Romans, "lest they be defiled."
Clay = Jews, (interesting that in Hebrew, “clay” is related to the word “mud” which is related to the word “Adam”).
Iron = Romans
Excerpts from John 18:3-40 to John 19:1-22
3 Then Judas, having received A DETACHMENT OF TROOPS, AND OFFICERS FROM THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND PHARISEES, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
12 Then, THE DETACHMENT OF TROOPS AND THE CAPTAIN AND THE OFFICERS OF THE JEWS arrested Jesus and bound Him. 13 And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. 14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.
22 And when He had answered these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, "Do You answer the high priest like that?"
24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, LEST THEY SHOULD BE DEFILED, but that they might eat the Passover.29 Pilate then went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?"
31 "You take Him and judge Him according to your law." [the Jews already did, demonstrating that both Jew & Roman factions of the government were of the same mind & agenda, albeit it, outwardly separate].
Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful, [according to Roman law], for us to put anyone to death," 32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.
33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
35 YOUR OWN NATION AND THE CHIEF PRIESTS HAVE DELIVERED YOU TO ME. What have You done?"
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" …
38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" [As if to say, in exasperation, “After all the wild accusations and unusual answers I’ve heard today, what is the truth here anyways? And what does it matter to anyone anymore?”] And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them," I find no fault in Him at all.
39 "But you have a custom that I should release someone to youat the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
40 Then they all cried again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.
John 19:1-6
1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck Him with their hands.
4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him."
5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold the Man!"
6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"
12 The Jews cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar."
13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!"
15 But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!"
Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?"
The chief priests answered,"We have no king but Caesar!"
16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away. [Matthew’s account reports that it was the Roman soldiers who led Jesus off to be crucified].
17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. 19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was:
JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. [Latin the official language of Rome but Greek the de facto common language of more than the eastern half of the Roman Empire, even that of Rome itself at times].

21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'He said, "I am the King of the Jews."'"

22 Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

NKJV

Luke 23:12
That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.
NKJV
Interesting how unbelievers, both Gentile & Jew alike, were united in one people by the common saying, “We have no king but Caesar!” even as believers are united as one people by the common saying, “Jesus Christ is Lord!” So great was the separation between Jew & Gentile that it took a miracle to truly unite them into one, the miracle of the Cross of Christ, Ephesians 2:11-22. And that Home for God mentioned in Ephesians 2:22 is described in poetic detail in the vision of Rev 21-22, that City set on a Hill of Matthew 5:14 and of Hebrews 12:22-24. That Home is the Church, the home of Saints both visible & invisible: the place where Heaven & Earth meet together.
*Feel FREE to claim as your own anything I write - while I retain the right to do the same the same with it*
(All Scriptures cited from the New International Version unless noted otherwise)

Some Funny Things Happened to the Statue of Daniel 2

From: http://planetpreterist.com/news-5316.html

by John Evans
When I took my first serious look at the Book of Daniel almost twenty years ago, I did so without the benefit of familiarity with scholarly opinion. In general terms, I knew that in mainstream academia, where liberals dominate biblical scholarship, the prevailing view is that Daniel is a pseudepigraphal product of the second century BC whose “prophecies” need to be understood in that light. I also knew that those scholars who have accepted it for what it claims to be have generally used it to reinforce a futurist and premillennial hermeneutic. Upon my first careful reading of Daniel, I immediately rejected the opinions of mainstream scholars. I then flirted for a while with the futurist approach but ultimately rejected it in favor of preterism.

In this article, I focus my skepticism about the scholarly treatment of Daniel upon how mainstream academics and conservative premillennialists have analyzed the great statue of Daniel 2. We learn in verses 32-33 of this chapter that the statue has a head of pure gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron and baked clay. Subsequent verses inform us that the head of gold symbolizes Nebuchadnezzar, that the other three metals symbolize a sequence of three kingdoms that will follow him, that the kingdom of iron will “crush and break all the others” (NIV, v.40), and that the clay in the feet and toes indicates that the fourth kingdom will become a divided kingdom “whose people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay” (NIV, v.43).

When I first read Daniel 2, my natural inclination was to assume that the metals that symbolize the four kingdoms should be expected to show particularly close historical associations with those kingdoms. After all, I reasoned, prophecies are supposed to relate to the future, and this means that we should expect that each of the four kingdoms symbolized by the metals should have had a particularly close association with the metal used to identify it. Moreover, I knew that as a matter of historical fact, the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar had placed great emphasis upon gold, that the Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great had enjoyed a particularly close association with silver, that Greece had maintained a particularly close association with bronze that extended into the post-Alexander Hellenic Age, and that Rome had improved the technology of iron usage and greatly expanded the use of that metal. I thought it especially significant that the Romans surpassed the Greeks in their reliance upon iron armor and weaponry. This evidence is discounted by mainstream scholars, however, who either ignore it or dismiss it as irrelevant. In their world, it is an article of “faith” that the kingdom of iron cannot be Rome, and all analysis of the four kingdoms must reflect that assumption.

Most mainstream scholars are liberals who regard the “prophecies” of Daniel with great skepticism and are confident that the book was authored in its final form in the second century BC toward the end of the reign of the Seleucid monarch Antiochus IV, who died late in 164 or perhaps in 163. There are some mainstream scholars who look to the time of Antiochus IV for the primary fulfillments of the “end-time” prophecies in the visions half of Daniel (chapters 8-12) and who deny that that the fourth kingdom can be Rome but who nevertheless incline toward the belief that the Book of Daniel is, in some sense, “inspired.” For them, even though the fourth kingdom of the statue symbolizes the “Greece” of the post-Alexander Hellenic Age, it may be that Daniel contains some genuine prophecy, particularly if you generously apply the theology of idealism and recycle prophecies through the use of typology.

When I began my study of Daniel, I initially had difficulty in understanding the historical association to be applied to the clay. I was temporarily thrown off course by reading commentaries by premillennial scholars, who insist on searching for future fulfillments of Daniel’s end-time prophecies and in believing that the fourth kingdom will somehow play a part in man’s apocalyptic windup. Perhaps, I thought, the clay belongs to our future. In due course, however, I came to realize that it is foolish to look to the future for the completion of the fourth kingdom’s time on Earth, and that realization brought me to the conclusion that the clay in the feet and toes corresponds historically to the Jews, whose homeland became integrated into the Roman Empire a considerable time after Rome became the dominant power in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Already present in some predominately Greek-speaking areas of the empire, Jews migrated northward and westward after the incorporation of Judea into the empire and grew in relative numbers through both natural increase and prosyletization. As I came to embrace the idea of first-century AD fulfillment for Daniel’s end-time prophecies, I had no difficulty in concluding that it was the Jewish people who gave the empire the divided character indicated by the mixture of iron and clay.

In my initial foray into the study of Daniel, I surmised that since prophecies relate to the future and the four kingdoms symbolized by the metals are sequential, it makes sense to assume that each of the five sections of the statue corresponds to a distinct time period whose duration is roughly proportional to the percentage of the statue’s total length allocated to it. In calculating that length, I assumed that the statue’s proportions would be those of a normal man, and I added to the length the portion of the feet extending beyond the ankles since I assume that the movement along the feet corresponds to a movement in time. Also, one can plausibly assume, in calculating the relative time to be allocated to the five sections of the statue, the silver portion should receive a substantial “bonus” at the expense of the other sections to reflect its inclusion of the arms, which would normally hang below the waist. In any event, I suggest that a very rough but reasonable allocation of the relative time corresponding to each of the five portions of the statue is as follows: head and neck, 15 percent; shoulders, chest, and arms, 26 percent; belly and thighs, 26 percent; legs (knee joints to ankle bones), 20 percent; feet and toes, 13 percent. As I indicate later in the article, these percentages roughly coincide with the dates that should be given to the historical counterparts of the five portions of the statue. Obviously, these percentages are affected by where you mark the precise boundaries between different sections. In assigning these percentages, I assume that the geographical theater for their application was the Holy Land and the immediately adjacent territories.

The idea that the proportions of the five different sections of the statue should roughly match the historical periods that correspond to their symbolism is noticeable in the work of mainstream scholars for its absence. The reason for this, I am confident, is that in any sequence of four kingdoms where Rome is not the fourth kingdom, the historical correlation between the sections of the statue and their supposed real-world counterparts is unacceptably poor. Some of these authorities do acknowledge that the fact that the clay shows up only in the feet and toes implies that its arrival occurs in the latter part of the time of dominance of the fourth kingdom, but that is about it as far their effort to correlate the statue’s proportions with history is concerned.

In response to the question of how the four metals of the statue came to be chosen, the answer given by mainstream scholars is that the sequence of gold, silver, bronze, and iron reflects a familiar mythical theme in which a succession of kingdoms symbolized by metals of declining value conformed to the widespread belief among ancient peoples in the existence of a kind of idyllic state in the distant past from which mankind had gradually slipped away. The Book of Daniel, it must be conceded, does not appear to be the original source of the four metals sequence. The idea of presenting this sequence in the form of a statue does, however, appear to be original with Daniel, as does the mixing of the iron with clay. Moreover, while Daniel informs Nebuchadnezzar in verse 39 that the kingdom that follows his will be “inferior” to his, there is no clear indication in Daniel 2 or elsewhere that the succeeding kingdoms are, in fact, inferior. It seems plausible to believe that in telling the prideful Nebuchadnezzar that the kingdom that would displace his would be inferior to his, Daniel was seeking to soften the blow received by learning that his kingdom was destined to soon disappear, and it may also be that “inferior” here simply means being located below the head of the statue. In any event, mainstream scholars seem perfectly content with the idea that the four metals sequence was chosen because of its familiarity and was not intended to be historically predictive.

Again I remind the reader that the Book of Daniel purports to be a book of prophecy, and genuine prophecy provides insights into the future. I think it is therefore appropriate to ask mainstream scholars the following questions: what insights into the future are provided by the choice of the four metals and the order of their appearance, and what insights into the future are provided by the relative proportions of the statue assigned to each of its five sections? In effect, the answer to the first of these questions that these scholars offer is that there is some sort of qualitative decline in the four kingdoms and the fourth kingdom—that of Antiochus IV—is particularly mean and nasty, which coincides with iron’s ability to crush and break other substances. As for the second question, mainstream scholars simply do not address it. To limit the historical significance of the statue’s features in this manner is equivalent to holding that “Daniel” was not much of a prophet, but this is no problem for liberals since they deny that a genuine prophet of that name existed. For those mainstream scholars who believe that the Book of Daniel may contain genuine prophecy, however, this resolution of the problem should be troubling.

Although both Isaiah (64:8) and Jeremiah (18:6) contain passages that refer to the Jews as potter’s clay, mainstream scholars, including those who entertain the idea that Daniel is, in some sense, “inspired,” strongly embrace the idea that the clay in the feet and toes of the statue refers to marriage(s) between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies. There are clear references to such marriages in Daniel 11:6 and 17, and it is commonly assumed that the author of Daniel intended them to be understood as referring to 2:43. It must be conceded that determining just what 2:43 means is a challenge and that to claim that it refers to some kind of intermarriage is defensible. That it requires both intermarriage and interdynastic marriage, however, is dubious.
In the interest of scholarly objectivity, I must note that although I believe that the NIV’s translation of 2:43, which I presented earlier, captures the intended meaning of this verse, it is arguable that it forces a meaning that the Aramaic of the text does not mandate. The NIV indicates that the people of the fourth kingdom will become a disunited mixture, but a word-for-word translation of this verse reads more like the NASB: “And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.” I submit that “they” does not necessarily point to royal families and that the mixing of the “seed of men” does not necessarily require intermarriage between either royal families or distinct social groups. The passage may simply imply the uneasy coexistence of disparate groups within the same territory. Joyce Baldwin, a conservative English scholar who wrote a valuable short commentary on Daniel, pointed out that the “seed of men” reference in 2:43a constitutes “an unusual expression, reminiscent of the prohibition to mix seed in the field” that is found in Leviticus 19:19.[1] I submit that it is not the mixing of seed in the field that produces hybrids.

A serious problem with identifying the clay with the Ptolemies, as mainstream scholars insist on doing, is that it is not specifically associated with a kingdom. Indeed, since the four metals are all identified with kingdoms, one is entitled to surmise that the clay does not symbolize a kingdom. Furthermore, by insisting on identifying the iron with Seleucid Syria, mainstream scholars effectively exclude Ptolemaic Egypt from the fourth kingdom, which contradicts the fact that when they identify the original composition of the fourth kingdom, Ptolemaic Egypt is a part of it. For mainstream scholars, however, this contradiction is no problem because it can be attributed to the deficiencies of the author of Daniel rather than to the shortcomings of their own hermeneutic.

Conservative scholars; i.e. those who accept Rome as the fourth kingdom, have sought to assign greater historical relevance to the statue’s composition than mainstream scholars have been willing to grant, but most of them have gone badly astray because of a misguided insistence on making Daniel conform to a futurist hermeneutic. Some of them, particularly among those who have taken large bites from the dispensationalist “apple,” have performed impressive feats of imagination that, unfortunately for them, lack solid support from the text of Daniel 2. These feats include trying to explain how “Rome” manages to extend from ancient times into our future. Although Rome fell to barbarians for the last time in 476, some conservatives have argued that it never really fell, at least in a cultural sense, and it is noteworthy that an argument along those lines persisted for a long time after the fall. The existence of the Catholic Church with its headquarters in Rome contributed greatly to this persistence, and the term “Holy Roman Empire” reflected the fiction that Rome had never really fallen.

Unlike liberals, however, conservatives have tended to assume that the five sections of the statue must have a correlation with historical reality; and with the passage of time, it has become increasingly obvious that if this correlation is to be shown, there is a problem in reconciling that reality with the limitations of human anatomy. To be specific, if Rome never really fell, then the idea that the statue is a kind of time line would seem to necessitate that it look like a man with incredibly long stilt-like legs and feet that would make those of a circus clown look normal by comparison.

Largely as a response to the stilt-like legs dilemma, some futurists have offered the solution that there must be a gap somewhere in the fourth kingdom’s portion of the statue that corresponds to the gap they find between verses 69 and 70 in the seventy “weeks” prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27. Gary DeMar suggests that in order to make the supposed gap in Daniel 2 equivalent to the supposed gap in Daniel 9, dispensationalists must insert it between the feet and the toes. As he also notes, however, nothing in the text of either chapter suggests that such a gap exists.[2] Undeterred by this “little” detail, however, many futurists have barged ahead with speculations based on various assumptions about the clay, the two legs, and the ten toes of the statue. The text of Daniel 2 offers nothing to suggest that the fact that the statue has two legs has eschatological significance, however; and while it refers to the toes without mentioning the feet in verse 42, it does not mention their number. For that matter, neither does it mention the numbers of the arms and fingers. I suggest that the special significance of the toes is that they connote the very end of the time allotted to the statue and lie in the zone of impact with the rock that is not cut out by human hands (v.34).

The futurist approach to Daniel 2 has, no doubt, influenced some readers of Daniel toward accepting dispensationalism and other hermeneutical systems that revive the Roman Empire, but it has certainly had the opposite effect on people who are not so affected by “last days madness.” The implausibility of the futurist hermeneutic has contributed to the fact that the systems that reject Rome as the fourth kingdom have not been subjected to close scrutiny on various points, one of the most obvious examples being their very limited effort to recognize the possible historical symbolism of the statue. Among the hermeneutical systems that reject Rome as the fourth kingdom, the most prevalent is the one that I like to call the “Greek sequence,” in which the four kingdoms symbolized by the metals are, sequentially, (1) the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar; (2) the Median Empire represented by the allegedly fictitious ruler Darius the Mede, who is a central character in Daniel 6 and is mentioned as the ruler of Babylon in chapters 5, 9, and 11; (3) the Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great; and (4) the “Greece” of Alexander and the Hellenic kingdoms that succeeded him. In this Greek sequence, the earliest feasible starting date is 626 BC, which is when Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, succeeded in driving the Assyrians from Babylonia. Because Daniel 2 gives the date for Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the great statue as the second year of his reign, however, it seems more appropriate to place a date of around 603 at the top of the statue’s head. Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylonia upon the death of Nabopolassar, which occurred in 605, shortly after the great battle of Carchemish, in which Nebuchadnezzar vanquished the Egyptians and the remnants of the Assyrians. The obvious terminal date for the Babylonian kingdom is 539, which is when Babylon fell to the army of Cyrus, though Daniel 5:31 credits Darius the Mede with being the man in charge when Babylon fell. Notice that if we subtract 539 from 603, we get 64 years as the time of the kingdom of gold, Babylonia. And since the proponents of the Greek sequence insist that it ends with the death of Antiochus IV, which occurred in 164/163, the statue’s “career” in the Greek sequence lasts for about 440 years. This means that the gold part of the statue accounts for about 14-15 percent of its total length, which is a very plausible result.

With the selection of Media as the second kingdom in the Greek sequence, however, the feasibility of trying to apply the time line concept to the statue in that sequence comes to a crashing halt. At most, the reign of Darius the Mede over Babylonia lasts no more than two years in the Book of Daniel, and this cold fact makes it pointless to continue with the time line analysis. Incidentally, I am one of those who believe that Darius the Mede is none other than Cyrus the Great, and my conviction that the time line concept should apply to the statue is one of a number of reasons for my holding this view. But this is not the time and place for explaining my position on this particular point.

The Greek sequence has many other problems, and even though it has enjoyed a sheltered existence that has allowed it to enjoy “immunity from prosecution” for a remarkably long time, there seems to be a growing recognition of these problems in mainstream academia. To date, however, this awareness does not seem to have led to many defections of mainstream scholars to the “Roman sequence” camp, whose appeal has been greatly strengthened by the growth of preterism. Instead, those mainstream scholars who have come to question the version of the Greek sequence favored by liberals have turned increasingly to idealism and typology, a shift of emphasis that I find somewhat analogous to the rise of postmodernism. And some mainstream scholars seem to be showing more interest in what I call the “modified Greek sequence” or (more facetiously) “liberal light sequence,” in which the four kingdoms consist of Babylonia, Medo-Persia, the “Greece” of Alexander, and the collection of kingdoms that emerged from the struggles among Alexander’s generals (the diadochi) after his death, which occurred in 323 BC. Thus, in the liberal light approach, the four Hellenic kingdoms that emerged soon after the death of Alexander are merged into one in Daniel 2.

There are numerous problems with the liberal light approach, but I shall confine myself here to its inability to be reconciled with the time line approach to the statue that I advocate. Because this approach identifies Medo-Persia as the second kingdom, it overcomes the problem of having the second kingdom be around for only a year or two. Unfortunately for it, it overcorrects. If we date the beginning of Medo-Persia’s time as the kingdom of silver in 539 and end it in 332, which is the year in which Alexander established firm control of the Mediterranean coastal area, we arrive at a figure of 207 years for the second kingdom. Since the total amount of time represented by the statue is the same in the liberal light approach as in the regular Greek sequence, and since I have estimated this quantity at 440 years, this means that in the liberal light approach, the second kingdom accounts for about 47 percent of the total time, a quantity that seems disproportionately large. The excessive allocation to Medo-Persia is then largely offset by the compression of the third kingdom, that of Alexander the Great, to a time span as short as nine years. One could add a few years to this by allowing for the time that it took for the diadochi to really get going at it with each other, but there is really no need to go to the trouble—it is obvious that the liberal light or modified Greek sequence is incompatible with the idea that the statue serves as a time line.

Now that I have indicated that neither futurist nor mainstream scholars can present a plausible demonstration that the statue of Daniel 2 serves as a time line, I have to confront the question of whether the version of the Roman sequence that I support does what they fail to do. In my view, it passes the test with flying colors. Admittedly, there are problems in setting the precise boundaries of the different portions of the statue and in determining the precise periods in history that correspond to them, but the admittedly rough correlation between the statue and history that can be shown with the preterist version of the Roman sequence is closer by huge margins than what can be claimed by the alternatives.

In my calculations, the Roman sequence runs from 603 BC to AD 30, the latter being the date that I assign to the Resurrection, which I regard as being equivalent to the striking of the statue by the rock in Daniel 2:34. Allowing for no year zero, this gives a total of 632 years. Babylonia’s time as the kingdom of gold runs from 603 to 539, a period of 64 years, or 10 percent of the total. For Medo-Persia, the kingdom of silver, the number of years is 207, or 33 percent of the total. By comparison, the “ideal” figures that I suggested earlier for the first two kingdoms are 15 percent and 26 percent, respectively.
When we come to Greece, the kingdom of bronze, we encounter the problem of determining just when it lost out to Rome. There are several plausible choices for the year in which Rome displaced Greece as the dominant power in the area around the Holy Land. The first is 190 BC, which is when the Romans under Scipio Asiaticus decisively defeated Antiochus III of Seleucid Syria at the Battle of Magnesia in western Asia Minor. To me, this date is too early because Antiochus III retained much of his power and Greece, Macedonia, and Egypt remained at least nominally independent. Then there is 168 BC, when the Romans forced Antiochus IV to abandon his effort to subdue Egypt. My preference, however, is for 146 BC, which is when Rome formally incorporated the Greek heartland into the empire. Admittedly, the choice of 146 also supports my correlation argument since it lengthens the time of Greece to 186 years; i.e. 332 BC to 146 BC. That amounts to 29 percent of the 632 years. Another possible date, incidentally, is 142 BC, which is when Hasmonean Judea finally firmly established its independence from Selucid Syria.

In calculating the time for “clay free” Rome, my preference is to date the appearance of the clay from 37 BC, the year in which Herod the Great ascended to the Judean throne. Admittedly, Judea was actually incorporated into the Roman Empire in 63 BC, when Pompey occupied Jerusalem, but Rome did not establish firm control over Judea until Herod was installed as king. If, then, we use 146 BC as the starting point for the pure iron section of the statue and 37 BC as the ending point, this gives us 109 years, or 17 percent of the total. Finally, if the iron mixed with clay portion of the statue corresponds to the period from 37 BC to AD 30, this gives 66 years, or 10 percent of the total.

Now compare the percentages I have calculated as admittedly rough estimates of the relevant time periods with those that I suggested earlier as rough approximations of the “ideal” percentages. The “ideal” percentages are, going from the gold to the clay, 15, 26, 26, 20, and 13. The corresponding historical percentages are 10, 33, 29, 17, and 10, which adds to only 99 percent because of rounding. I submit that the correlation is remarkably close, though it must be admitted that the percentages can be altered considerably through the rearrangement of dates. Even so, the preterist version of the Roman sequence offers the only approach that can incorporate the time line concept with arguably plausible results. This means, of course, that proponents of the alternative approaches will continue to deny the relevance of the historical correspondence criterion for the exegesis of Daniel 2.

I now return to the matter of the association between the metals of the four kingdoms of Daniel 2 and their historical counterparts. Recall that I asserted early in this article that Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon had a close association with gold, and that Persia, Greece, and Rome had close historical associations with silver, bronze, and iron, respectively. I shall now elaborate a little on these associations.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon is identified as the kingdom of gold in Daniel 2:38, and it is a fact that this kingdom did indeed stand out among its contemporaries for its splendor, which included the lavish display of pure gold in statuary, altars, furnishings, drinking utensils, and jewelry, as well as numerous gold-plated decorations on buildings. On the other hand, the New Babylonian kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar failed to develop the use of silver coinage, and it is doubtful that its use of bronze and iron noticeably surpassed that of other nations.

The Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great was, in reality, an extension of the Median Empire that had been assembled by Cyaxares, who was probably a maternal great-grandfather of Cyrus. Historically, therefore, it is correct to view the empire that Cyrus took over as a Medo-Persian empire. In fact, while the Book of Daniel indicates that Darius the Mede briefly ruled in Babylon, it otherwise consistently treats Media and Persia as forming a united kingdom. In 546, Cyrus conquered the kingdom of Lydia in Asia Minor, thereby gaining possession of that nation’s ores of precious metals and the technology that had allowed it to develop the world’s first high-quality gold and silver coins. Cyrus and the rulers who followed him used their ability to mine and coin silver to assemble a force of mercenary warriors of unprecedented size. Gold was also important to the these rulers (the Achaemenids), but with gold being used to designate Babylonia, it is silver that stands out has having a had a particularly strong association with the what is called the Persian Empire.

Although the Bronze Age of archeological fame had been superseded by the Iron Age by the time of the New Babylonian kingdom, the Greeks continued to make conspicuous use of bronze long after iron became the preferred metal for most weapons. Particularly noteworthy is that Greco-Macedonian soldiers characteristically wore protective armor of bronze, including helmets, shields, greaves (shin guards), and, climate permitting, breastplates. Their bronze armor stood in marked contrast to the tunics that were typically worn by the Medes and Persians. The Greeks also armored their famed triremes with bronze plates and provided them with a bronze-headed battering ram. They even used bronze hardware for these naval vessels. Also of note is the fact that Ezekiel 27 provides a valuable account of the trade between Tyre and various locations in which Greece (Javan) is identified as a source of slaves and bronze. Given all this evidence, Greece obviously qualifies as the bronze kingdom when historical association is allowed to be considered.

And just as Greece qualifies as the kingdom of bronze, Rome stands out as the kingdom of iron. Rome’s military technology surpassed that of even the Greco-Macedonian forces of Alexander’s day. While Roman soldiers sometimes wore bronze helmets, their armor, in contrast to that of the Greeks and Macedonians, was overwhelmingly of iron. Like the Greeks and Macedonians, the Romans had iron swords and iron-tipped pikes and javelins, but they also had a type of “artillery” consisting of iron-tipped bolts fired by catapults. Some Roman ships carried bronze battering rams like those used by the Greeks, but the Romans relied more heavily upon iron armor and hardware. Moreover, the Romans developed the use of the corvus, a gangplank with a large iron spike at its far end. When boarding an enemy ship, the corvus would be flipped over so that it stuck into the deck of the enemy vessel, and Roman soldiers would then scramble over it to attack their foe. Finally, we need to recall that Daniel 2:40 calls attention to iron’s ability to crush and break other things and specifically relates that ability to the fourth kingdom’s ability to crush other kingdoms. I submit that this description applies far more appropriately to Rome than to Seleucid Syria!

Given the evidence presented in this article, I think it is quite clear why biblical scholars who reject the preterist hermeneutic cannot afford to give much weight to the idea that we should look for historical associations that correspond to the four metals and the five sections of the statue of Daniel 2. To do so would be disastrous for them, and I suspect that they know this to be the case, at least intuitively. Again, however, I insist that prophecies give insights into the future, and I am confident that the statue was intended to be prophetic. In my judgment, you can believe that the Book of Daniel is a pseudepigraphal “pious fraud” or you can believe that it is a work of genuine prophecy. I opt for the latter.

Notes

[1]Joyce G. Baldwin, Daniel, vol. 21, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, ed. D. J. Wiseman (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1978), 93.
[2]Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the ModernChurch (Powder Springs, Ga.: American Vision, 1999), 326.


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John Evans is a columnist for PlanetPreterist.com. John is the author of The Four Kingdoms of Daniel and he is a retired professor of economics at the U. of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and a dedicated student of preterism, especially of the book of Daniel.

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70AD-ONGOING Return of Christ Brings the Kingdom of God WITH MIRACULOUS POWER, not without

Matthew 24:30 and Matthew 24:34 ~ Jesus answered the Disciples' questions about His Coming; just days before the Cross, around 30AD.
"The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky WITH POWER and great glory. ... 34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place." NASB

Mark 9:1
"Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come WITH POWER." NASB

It should be noted that Christ's Kingdom comes with POWER ('dunamis") not "without" POWER ("'dunamis"). There is no Scriptural evidence that that POWER ("dunamis") ever leaves Christ or His Kingdom. Much can be gained by contemplating these verses. The Scriptures listed below demonstrate the connection between the spiritual gift of the working of MIRACLES ("dunamis") and then showed an abundance of verses where "DUNAMIS" means the "WORKING OF MIRACLES," "MIGHTY WORKS," "POWER," "VIRTUE," etc. (Words translated into English from some form of "DUNAMIS" are rendered in CAPITAL LETTERS). It does not require an individual commentary on each verse for Christ's believers to get the message. (But a scoffer will never get it, no matter how clearly explained). If Russell's "The Parousia," is considered a noble work for exhaustively addressing the of verses pertaining to The Day of the Lord's Return, then we should find room for this brief treatment of the verses that pertain to the Lord's MIRACULOUS POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
NT:1411 dunamis (doo'-nam-is); from NT:1410; force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself):
Appearing in KJV as - ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.).
CHRIST'S RETURN BRINGS THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITH POWER, ("DUNAMIS" Strong's #1411), NOT WITHOUT
Matthew 6:13
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" Strong's #1411), and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer teaches us to recognise that the Kingdom, and the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and the glory are forever associated with our Father in Heaven.
Matthew 24:30
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and great glory.
Mark 9:1
1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411),
Jesus says that the Kingdom of God comes WITH POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), not WITHOUT. There is no Bible evidence that this POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), ever leaves the Kingdom of God.
Mark 13:26
26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and glory.
Luke 21:27
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and great glory.
Jesus' coming was WITH POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), not WITHOUT. Jesus' coming brought POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), along with Him, not driving it out.
REIGNING WITH POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411)
Revelation 11:17
17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and hast reigned.
"DUNAMIS" #1411 is the means by which God reigns.
Revelation 15:8
8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411); and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
Revelation 19:1
1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), unto the Lord our God:
Notice how "DUNAMIS" #1411 comes along with Salvation and the Kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ. Salvation, the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ do not come without "DUNAMIS" #1411.
GOD'S POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), PERTAINS TO THE AGE IN WHICH WE NOW LIVE
Hebrews 6:4-6
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
5 and have tasted the good word of God and the POWERS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of the age to come,
6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
NKJV
All that is listed here are from God and are SUPERNATURAL in nature. The POWERS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), that they tasted then rightly pertain to the age in which live now; right along with being enlightened, tasting of the Heavenly Gift, becoming partakers of the Holy Spirit and of the good Word of God. AMEN.
Revelation 12:10
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and STRENGTH, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
"DUNAMIS" #1411 = MIGHTY WORKS, MIGHTY DEEDS, MIRACLES, THE WORKING OF MIRACLES & HEALING = A SPIRITUAL GIFT
Matthew 13:54
54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411) ?
Matthew 13:54 "MIGHTY WORKS" ("DUNAMIS" #1411) = "DUNAMIS" #1411 = The spiritual gift called "The Working of MIRACLES ('DUNAMIS' #1411)" in 1 Cor 12:10.
Mark 5:27-30
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that VIRTUE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
This VIRTUE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), was stored in a human being and dispensed to others from therein. Jesus could sense this VIRTUE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), flowing from within Him. This VIRTUE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), healed that woman. This VIRTUE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), is the spiritual Gifts of Healing mentioned in 1 Cor 12:9.
Luke 4:14
14 And Jesus returned in the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
Again, the word used for Jesus' supernatural POWER is "DUNAMIS" #1411, the same word used in 1 Cor 12:10 for the spiritual gift called THE WORKING OF MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
Luke 4:36
36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
This same "DUNAMIS" #1411 is the POWER that drives out unclean spirits.
Luke 5:17
17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of the Lord was present to heal them.
"DUNAMIS" means supernatural healing.
Luke 6:19
19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went VIRTUE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), out of him, and healed them all.
This VIRTUE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), brings physical healing to physical human bodies. This effectively links "DUNAMIS" #1411 with Spiritual Gifts of Healing described in 1 Cor 12:9.
Luke 8:46
46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that VIRTUE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), is gone out of me.
This VIRTUE, "DUNAMIS" #1411 is something a person can perceive.
Luke 19:37
37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), that they had seen;
They praised Jesus for doing miracles & supernatural healings, not for performing feats of physical strength. "DUNAMIS" #1411 involves the supernatural.
Acts 10:38
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
"DUNAMIS" is the very POWER that raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus let it flow through Him to do good and heal. Paul prays for the Ephesians that they might know this POWER "DUNAMIS" (Ephesians 1:19). This is my prayer for you all, as well.
Acts 2:22
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Again "DUNAMIS" #1411 is equated with the spiritual gift of The Working of Miracles (1Cor 12:10).
1 Corinthians 12:7-11
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1 Corinthians 12:10
10 To another THE WORKING OF MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411); to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
The spiritual gift called THE WORKING OF MIRACLES is directly equated with "DUNAMIS" #1411.
1 Corinthians 12:28
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), is plainly distinguished from Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers, among others. Though Apostles, Prophets and Teachers cease upon attaining perfection/maturity, there is no indication that helps nor governments, nor MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), cease.
1 Corinthians 12:29
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411) ?
The anticipated response at that time was, "No, all of us are not workers of MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), but some are." Likewise, just because today we are not all workers of MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), does not mean that none of us are workers of MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411). And "Workers of MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), distinguished here from "Apostles," are not listed among those offices in Ephesians 4:11-16 that were later to cease.
LACK OF FAITH HINDERS DEMONSTRATIONS OF GOD'S POWER, "DUNAMIS" #1411
Matthew 13:58
58 And he did not many MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), there because of their unbelief.
Jesus did not do many MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS #1411), where people displayed a lack of faith. Why? Because He will not cast many pearls before pigs, He will not cast many holy things before scornful people who demonstrate as much appreciation for the SUPERNATURAL as a pig does for a pearl. Bible-inspired appreciation (faith) demonstrates a readiness to receive that which is holy, God's MIRACLE-WORKING POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
Mark 6:5
5 And he could there do no MIGHTY WORK, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
Here it says Jesus COULD NOT do there any MIGHTY WORK, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), because of their scornful treatment of Him. Laying hands on a few sick folk for healing is regarded here as a far lesser work. (There are a few people, non-churched, who have personally attested to receiving instant recovery from fever and headaches the few times I ever reached out my hands to heal in Jesus' Name).
Matthew 22:29
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God.
Jesus frowns upon those refusing to know the Scriptures & the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God.
Mark 12:24
24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God?
The same could still be said of many today. As Christ was merciful then, He is merciful to our unbelief today, as well.
Matthew 14:1-2
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), do shew forth themselves in him.
Mark 6:14
14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), do shew forth themselves in him.
Its ironically facinating to me that Herod the tetrarch, who beheaded John the Baptist, was more ready to believe in resurrection and contemporary reports of MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), than some present day Christians.
POWER, "DUNAMIS" #1411 AND GODLINESS
2 Timothy 3:5
Having a form of godliness, but denying the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), thereof: from such turn away.
This verse concludes passage listing behaviors of people that Christians should avoid. Avoid them are those who put on an outward show of godliness but deny the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of godliness. Scornful scoffers of God's MIRACULOUS POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and of discussion thereof, are such people.
1 Peter 1:5
5 Who are kept by the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
2 Peter 1:3
3 According as his divine POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
It is this divine POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), that we depend upon for all things we need for life and godly living. It comes through knowing the God that called us to both glory and virtue. This POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), works FOR producing the Fruit of the Spirit -love, joy, peace, etc. Why would anyone think that MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), somehow interfere with producing godliness, the fruit of the Spirit? Ridiculously ignorant!
"DUNAMIS" #1411 IS THE VERY POWER BY WHICH THE UNIVERSE WAS CREATED AND BY WHICH IT IS HELD TOGETHER
Romans 1:20
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
There is no excuse for denying the eternal, ever-enduring, everlasting, never-ceasing POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God.
Hebrews 1:1-3
1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds [NIV, "made the Universe"];
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his POWER, ("DUNAMIS"), when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
God's "DUNAMIS" #1411 is the very POWER by which all things are ultimately held together. Today's top theoretical nuclear physicists, as Manhattan Poject group leader and nobel laureate Richard P. Feynman related to me in a summer school classroom at CalTech back in 1982, are at a loss as to why everything doesn't just fly apart from its most sub-atomic particles into a blinding flash of light-energy. (Look him up in an encyclopedia). This is one reason why they are so keen to find out what happened during those first, few nano-seconds following the Big Bang, to come up with the Unified Theory that would explain why the material Universe, all matter itself demonstrates the power to continue existing as matter rather than as light-energy. God's Spirit communicated via Hebrews 1:3 that it is God's MIRACLE-WORKING POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), that holds all things together.
THE POWER, "DUNAMIS" #1411 AND SPIRIT OF ELIJAH & JOHN THE BAPTIST
Luke 1:17
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Elijah & John the Baptist have this in common: they both took on their faithless nation, calling them from the most heinous rebellion, singlehandedly. This required unusual faith. They both were granted the Spiritual Gift of Faith (1 Cor 12:9) which lasts for the moment when needed, but the man is left afterward with his own regular faith. This Gift of Faith enabled Elijah to single-handedly confront the 450 prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:22-45. But immediately following, his own faith was not enough to stand up to a lone woman named Jezebel: Elijah ran from her for his life (1 Kings 19:1-3). Likewise, John the Baptist was granted the Gift of Faith to single-handedly stand against the broods of vipers of Pharisees & Sadducees and single-handedly identifying boldly to the world that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ, the Lamb of God (Matt 3:1-16 John 2:15-32). But later, when this Gift of Faith had served its purpose, John the Baptist had to send messengers to find out if Jesus was, in fact, the One who was to come (Luke 7:20). John the Baptist did no miracles (John 10:41), but Elijah did (1 Kings 17:1, 13-15, 17-22, 1 Kings 18:1,41-45 1 Kings 19:7 2 Kings 1:10, 12, 16 2 Kings 2:7, 11). The spirit and POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of Elijah which John the Baptist shared was the spiritual Gift of Faith (1 Cor 12:9) which gave them temporary, supernatural Faith to withstand far more than they could have on their own faith.
1 Corinthians 12:7-9
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; ...
"To another," indicates here, as in the rest of the passage, that it is a special Gift that is not given to everyone all the time. It is the spiritual Gift of [Special] Faith temporarily, miraculously added to one's personal faith.
EVIL POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411)
1 Corinthians 15:56
56 The sting of death is sin; and the STRENGTH, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of sin is the law.
Luke 10:19
19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
2 Thessalonians 2:9
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and signs and lying wonders,
Christ's enemy had POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411) which was put down by Christ.
Revelation 13:2
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and his seat, and great authority.
Revelation 17:13
13 These have one mind, and shall give their POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and strength unto the beast.
Evil POWER, can be transferred from one to another.
Revelation 18:3
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the ABUNDANCE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of her delicacies.
1 John 3:8
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Luke 21:26
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the POWERS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of heaven shall be shaken.
Common men were to unmistakably perceive this shaking of the POWERS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of heaven at Christ's Return.
1 Corinthians 15:24
24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411). NIV
1 Peter 3:22
22 [Jesus] Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and POWERS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), being made subject unto him.
God does not destroy His own dominion, authority, and POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), because that would make God divided against Himself. But he subjects all POWERS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), to His Son Jesus Christ. This subjugation of Christ's enemies to Christ Himself is called their "destruction."
Matthew 24:29
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the POWERS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mark 13:25
25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the POWERS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), that are in heaven shall be shaken.
Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor POWERS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There are no evil POWERS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), that can separate us from the love of God.
POWER, "DUNAMIS" #1411 IN CHRIST'S DISCIPLES
Luke 24:49
49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), from on high.
Jesus said this to an unknown number of disciples gathered around the Eleven Apostles, (Luke 24:33), among them Cleopas and another anonymous disciple who had just returned from seeing Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-33-53). They were to be endued with POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), from on high. This is where "DUNAMIS" #1411 comes from.
Acts 1:8
8 But ye shall receive POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 4:33
33 And with great POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Romans 1:4
4 And declared to be the Son of God with POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Romans 9:17
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
The POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), comes via the Holy Ghost for the purpose of witnessing for Christ, His Name and His supernatural Resurrection from the dead.
Hebrews 2:4
4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), , and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.
Acts 3:12
12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), or holiness we had made this man to walk?
Peter affirms in Acts 3:16 that the "DUNAMIS" POWER does not belong to him, or to the other Apostles, but to God, Who distributes it as He wills, in response to the hearing of faith in Christ for it (Galatians 3:5).
Acts 4:7
7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), or by what name, have ye done this?
Acts 6:8
8 And Stephen, full of faith and POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), did great wonders and miracles among the people.
Once yet again, The Word of God equates "DUNAMIS" #1411 with the spiritual gift of The Working of Miracles (1 Cor 12:10).
Luke 9:1
1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
Christ Himself distributes this POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411) via the Holy Spirit. Wherever Christ is available, His POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), is available.
PAUL CALLED BY GOD'S POWER, "DUNAMIS" #1411
Ephesians 3:7
Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his POWER
Paul, also, was made a minister by Christ's POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411). Paul's calling is recounted in Acts 9:1-19. No Apostle layed hands on Paul for this calling. No one layed hands on Paul except an otherwise unknown disciple named Ananias (Acts 9:10-17).
Acts 19:11
11 And God wrought special MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), by the hands of Paul:
WHO wrought the MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411)? NOT the Apostle Paul but GOD WROUGHT SPECIAL MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), by the hands of Paul. God has not changed, He can still do special miracles as and through He pleases.
2 Corinthians 12:12
12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and MIGHTY DEEDS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
THE GOSPEL = THE POWER, "DUNAMIS" #1411 OF GOD FOR THE PURPOSE OF SALVATION
2 Timothy 1:8
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God;
Romans 1:16
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
The Gospel of Christ = the POWER of God, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), that leads to Salvation for everyone that believes.
1 Thessalonians 1:5
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
Galatians 3:5
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
He does it by the hearing of faith.
GOSPEL PREACHING ACCOMPANIED BY GOD'S POWER
Matthew 11:20-24
20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), were done, because they repented not:
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Luke 10:13
13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
John 15:22, 24
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin:
There is something about preaching the Gospel with accompanying demonstration of MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), that takes all excuse away from those who refuse to repent.
2 Peter 1:16
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
Romans 15:19
19 Through MIGHTY, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), signs and wonders, by the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
In a single sentence, Paul twice emphasizes how much he relied upon the MIGHTY, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), signs and wonders, by the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of the Spirit of God to preach the Gospel of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:18
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God.
Those of us which are saved by the preaching of the cross recognise the value of the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God. It is all foolishness to those that perish.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), :
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God.
God wants our faith established upon His "DUNAMIS" #1411 MIRACLE-WORKING POWER accompanying Gospel preaching with demonstrations of His "DUNAMIS" #1411 POWER.
1 Corinthians 4:19
19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
Speech alone did not impress Paul; he was looking to know POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411). Why?
1 Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
There you go, The Kingdom of God is all about POWER, "DUNAMIS" #1411, not powerless words alone.
GOD'S MINISTERS ARE IDENTIFIED BY MORE THAN JUST REPORTS OF WONDERFUL WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411)
Matthew 7:22
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many WONDERFUL WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411) ?
One of the first things Jesus taught was this: Just because someone does WONDERFUL WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), does not mean everything they say and do is right with God.
Acts 8:10
10 [Simon] To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God.
Here we see that just because one is regarded as exercising "DUNAMIS" POWER, we are not to accept them as authoritative based upon that alone.
Acts 8:13
13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and signs which were done.
Again, "DUNAMIS" #1411 = the spiritual gift of The Working of Miracles, ("DUNAMIS" #1411) ~ 1 Cor 12:10.
2 Corinthians 6:4-10
4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
7 By the word of truth, by the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
The Bible's preachers were proven to be the ministers of God by more than just demonstrations of POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411). Therefore, demonstrations of MIRACULOUS POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), alone are not enough to convince that one is indeed a minister of God. Arguments demanding that one immediately submit to an acclaimed worker of MIRACLES, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), are ludicrous.
OUR OWN POWER
2 Corinthians 1:8
8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above STRENGTH, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), insomuch that we despaired even of life:
2 Corinthians 8:3
3 For to their POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), I bear record, yea, and beyond their POWER they were willing of themselves;
There is our own POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and there is God's POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411) which is as God Himself is, SUPERNATURAL.
Revelation 3:8
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little STRENGTH, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
GOD'S POWER, "DUNAMIS" #1411 IN HIS PEOPLE
Matthew 25:15
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ABILITY, ("DUNAMIS" #1411); and straightway took his journey.
Mark 9:39
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a MIRACLE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
No man working a MIRACLE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), in Jesus' Name can easily speak evil of Him.
1 Corinthians 5:4
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of our Lord Jesus Christ,
The Bible's Christians were expected to gather together in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 11:11
11 Through faith also Sara herself received STRENGTH, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
Hebrews 11:34
34 Quenched the VIOLENCE, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
2 Timothy 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and of love, and of a sound mind.
God has given us Christians of that same Spirit of POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), along with love and a sound mind. These remain along with Faith, Hope, and Love mentioned in 1 Cor 13:13.
2 Corinthians 4:7
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), may be of God, and not of us.
This POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), is a treasure within us believers and works in such a way through our various difficulties to bring excellency attributed to God, not to ourselves.
2 Corinthians 12:9
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my STRENGTH, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of Christ may rest upon me.
There is a connection between human weakness and the manifestation of Christ's STRENGTH, ("DUNAMIS" #1411) through His servant. Christ's glories in his own human weaknesses since he knows that as a consequence of them Christ's POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), comes to rest upon him.
1 Corinthians 6:14
14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411)
"DUNAMIS" #1411 is the POWER by which God raised Jesus and raises us up. Anyone claiming to be raised up by God must concede that it is "DUNAMIS" #1411 POWER that does it.
1 Corinthians 15:43
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411):
Those of you who consider yourselves already raised from the dead, you must hold that you are raised in POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411). If this POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), ever ceases, you cease.
2 Corinthians 13:4
4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God toward you.
Again, for those of you who regard yourselves already raised, you live by this very POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God. If "DUNAMIS" #1411 ever ceases, all who are so raised cease along with it.
Philippians 3:10, 15
10 That I may know him, and the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect , be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Paul's stated goal in life included knowing the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of Christ's Resurrection. Paul instructs that as many as are perfect, ("mature" in the faith), should be so minded, as well.
Colossians 1:29
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me MIGHTILY, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
1 Corinthians 11:1
11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ .
NIV
MIGHTY, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), ANGELS
2 Thessalonians 1:7
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his MIGHTY, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), angels,
Angels are characterized by being MIGHTY, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
JESUS CHRIST IS KNOWN BY POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411)
Luke 1:35
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Jesus was conceived in Mary's womb by POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
Mark 6:2
2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), are wrought by his hands?
There is an acknoledged connection between wisdom and MIGHTY WORKS, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
1 Corinthians 1:24
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God, and the wisdom of God.
CHRIST HIMSELF = "DUNAMIS" POWER OF GOD. So far The Word of God has identified BOTH the Father and the Son Jesus Christ as "DUNAMIS." Its impossible to truthfully say that "DUNAMIS #1411" POWER will ever cease. And so, if Christ indeed dwells in your heart, so does "DUNAMIS" #1411.
Hebrews 7:16
16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of an endless life.
Jesus was made a High Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek by this POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of an endless life.
Revelation 1:16
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his STRENGTH, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
Revelation 5:12
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), , and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Luke 22:69
Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of God.
This is why Jesus said in John 14:12
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Jesus is still with the Father, having offered up His own broken body and shed blood and Jesus has Returned with POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).
GOD THE FATHER IS KNOWN BY POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411)
Matthew 26:64
64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Jesus refers to God the Father Himself as "DUNAMIS." You cannot separate the presence of God from the presence of "DUNAMIS" #1411. Additionally, Jesus says they would SEE the Son of Man sitting next to God.
Mark 14:62
62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Jesus again refers to God the Father Himself as "DUNAMIS." And they were to SEE the Son of Man sitting next to God Himself. Its ironic how those who believe HOW this was to happen cannot bring themselves to believe WHEN it was to happen, while those who believe WHEN this was to happen cannot bring themselves to believe HOW this was to happen. Either way, it is the same weakness - lack of faith.
Revelation 4:11
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), : for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Revelation 7:12
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
Glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, and honour, and POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), and might remain forever associated with our God. (So do Faith, Hope, and Love even thought they are not specifically mentioned here).
PAUL'S PRAYERS ARE MY PRAYERS FOR YOU ALL CONCERNING GOD'S POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411)
Ephesians 1:15-23
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 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:
18 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,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of His POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Ephesians 3:14-21
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with MIGHT, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Romans 15:13
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the POWER of the Holy Ghost.
2 Thessalonians 1:11
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with POWER, ("DUNAMIS" #1411):
1 Corinthians 14:11
11 Therefore if I know not the MEANING, ("DUNAMIS" #1411), of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
May God grant through our Lord Jesus Christ that this effort help the reader to know the MEANING, ("DUNAMIS" #1411).

70AD-ONGOING Inner-Man & Outer-Man: the 2 Parts of Resurrection

IF "resurrection" is the answer to "death,"
THEN we might gain some insight into the meaning of "resurrection" by reviewing some facts about "death."
FACT: God warned Adam that he would "die" the "day" he ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil. "Day" had already been defined in this context by saying "there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day," etc., (Gen 1:31), the period between "evening&mornings" in which Adam was made. Since God cannot lie, (Heb 6:18), Adam "died" that very day, (no poetic or prophetic or figurative license taken). And yet, Adam's biological body remained animated until he "died" (same exact word whether Hebrew or Greek Text), 930 years later, Gen 5:5, when Adam's biological, natural body ceased to be animated. Adam "died" 2 times: Adam "died" the very day he ate the fruit per Gen 2:17 AND Adam "died" 930 years later, as well per Gen 5:5 : "died" is the same exact word in both cases, (whether Hebrew MT or LXX Greek Old Testament texts). Add to this the entirety of the Biblical record of uses of the word "died." (There is a very powerful reason why God kept Adam from eating from the Tree of Life after Adam's inner-man died that day he ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil, Gen 3:22-24).
Evidently, Bible teaches that there are 2 distinct dimensions to "death," (Mat 10:28, Rev 2:11, Rev 20:6, Rev 20:14-15):
1) "Death" when the inner-man "dies" when separated from intimate fellowship with Life, ie, God Himself.
2) "Death" when the outer-man, his biological, mortal-natural body, "dies" when separated from its animating spirit, James 2:26.
THEREFORE,
God's answer to this "Death" with 2 distinct dimensions.
must be a godly "Resurrection" with 2 distinct dimensions.
2 Distinct Dimensions of godly Resurrection:
1) "Resurrection" of the inner-man, his spirit via being Born-Again, John 3:16, Col 2:12-13 & Col 3:1.
2) "Resurrection" of the outer-man, his body via the Resurrection of the Just that all the New Testament writers eagerly anticipated with Christ's Return per encouraging promises in passages such as 2 Tim 2:11-18, Philippians 3:10-13, Rev 20:4-5, Rom 8:11, Rom 8:23, 1 Thess 4:13-18 to 1 Thess 5:1-2, 1 Cor 15:21-23, 1 Cor 15:42-53, and 2 Cor 4:14. But woe to the soul who is resurrected while his spirit remains dead, separated from covenant-fellowship with God. Such is the fate of "the rest of the dead” who come to life after the 1000 years are completed in Rev 20:4-6, Rev 20:11-15. There is a very powerful reason why God kept Adam from eating from the Tree of Life after Adam's inner-man died that day he ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil (Gen 3:22-24) and it wasn't to keep Adam from being born again. It was to keep Adam's outer-man (body) from living forever while his inner-man remained dead. God wanted to bring about the redemption/resurrection of Adam's inner-man BEFORE granting him immortality of body, a spiritual body, a spiritual body that would be glorified at judgment rather than condemned.
But whosoever obtains "resurrection-rebirth of the inner-man via being Born Again in obedience to John 3:7 obtains one dimension of the "Everlasting Life" of John 3:16 immediately. His inner-man can no longer die, his soul is saved, redeemed from destruction, Matt 10:28. When such an individual's outer-man, his biological, mortal-natural body, goes on to physically die and decompose, the Christian is biblically described as being not "dead" but "asleep" (1 Cor 15:16, 1 The 4:13-15, 2 Pet 3:4). For the dead in Christ, his outer-man is dead, (ceases to be animated), but his inner-man remains very much alive. So sure is this promise within that remains alive, this promise that the outer-man will be resurrected, come to life per Philippians 3:11-12 & Rev 20:4, that the experience is rightly described as "being asleep." One whose inner-man has been resurrected-reborn via the Born-Again experience, (the birth of his spirit per John 3:3-8), has a much more certain confidence that he will awake again to animate a body than the confidence he had that he would wake up each morning throughout his biological experience. The Christian has within him the promise that the 2nd Death will not affect him (Rev 2:11). Though he "sleeps," (death of his biological, mortal-natural body), this time, when he awakes, he awakes to animate a glorified, immortal-spiritual body (1 Cor 15:44), his old, biological, mortal-natural body being "exchanged in a twinkling of an eye" for his new, glorified, immortal-spiritual body (1 Cor 15:50-55). THIS is the resurrection-transformation-glorification that Paul looked forward to, Phillippians 3:1-13, 2 Tim 2:11-18, Rev 20:4-5, Rom 8:11, Rom 8:23, 1 Thess 4:13-18 to 1 Thess 5:1-2, 1 Cor 15:21-23, 1 Cor 15:42-53, and 2 Cor 4:14. Hallelujah! Glory to God through Jesus Christ, the Firstborn from the Dead who is now the Judge of the Living and the Dead! Hallelujah!
In brief, in the context of John 6:54
1) "Eternal Life" = resurrection-rebirth of one’s Inner-Man, i.e., Salvation of the soul.
2) "Raised Up at the Last Day" = Resurrection-rebirth of one’s Outer-Man, his body, with a spiritual body, i.e., Resurrection from the dead.
"Whoso eatheth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, hath Eternal Life, and I will raise him up at the Last Day." ~ Jesus, around AD 28, (John 6:54)
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in Hell." (Matthew 10:28)
Job 19:25-27
25 I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes — I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
NIV
It really is unwise
to confuse the two dimensions of "death"
as well as
to confuse the two dimensions of "resurrection"
in the increasingly awkward effort to force all fulfillment of Scripture by 70AD.
The 30-70AD Millennial view, that the Resurrection that Paul and the Apostles looked forward to (Phillippians 3:10-13) was the covenant life they already had via faith in Christ, is fatally flawed, (2 Tim 2:11-18). It leads directly to Universalism, the kind of preterist Universal Salvation that rallys around Max King aka “Comprehensive Grace” that goes "Beyond Salvation" as presented by Jesus and His Apostles in the New Testament record.
Let us remember that it was Hymenaeus & Philetus who were saying things like, "Since the first Resurrection, which is already past, was all about souls "coming to covenant life" in Christ (Rev 20:4), the Resurrection of the rest of the dead when the 1000 years ends (Rev 20:5) will be about the rest of the dead "coming to covenant life" in Christ, too: nobody but the Devil is going to Hell!" (2 Tim 2:11-18 Phillippians 3:10-13). This is how 30-70AD Millennialism's Gnostic-style "figurative-covenant resurrection" leads directly to Universalism. They hallucinate the term "covenant" into the text of Rev 20:4 and read it, "they came to covenant life" when speaking of the First Resurrection. The thing is, Rev 20:5 employs the same grammar and vocabulary to describe how "the rest of the dead" "come to life" a 1000 years later. If we insert "covenant" before "life" in Rev 20:4, then we must accept that "covenant" belongs before "life" in Rev 20:5, as well. That is, both the souls of Christ's mark-of-the-beast-rejecting martyrs and the souls of "the rest of the dead" eventually BOTH "come to covenant life" in Christ. THAT, inescapably, is Universalism.
Revelation 20:4-5 ~foreseen around 63AD by exiled Apostle John in the predictive vision about "things shortly to come to pass", Rev 1:1, Rev 4:1
And I foresaw the SOULS of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to covenant life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the deaddid not come to covenant life until the thousand years were completed.
(NASB-with the term "covenant" hallucinated into the Text by 30-70AD Millennialism aka "Full" Preterism aka Covenant Eschatology)
The only way this passage can make sense without Universalism is to understand that the "Resurrection" process being described here by which both groups "come to life" CANNOT be talking about "coming to covenant life": it can only mean "Souls, whether of Christ's martyrs or the rest of the dead, came to animate bodies (to life)."
And this is love, that we walk after Christ's commandments ~2 John 6

Charles Spurgeon: Bodily Resurrection

I agree with Charles Spurgeon: the immortal-spiritual bodies of resurrected-transformed-glorified Christians are intimately identified with the mortal-natural bodies they left behind from this life even though the two bodies are not necessarily made of the same, exact particles.

Bodily Resurrection



The following excerpt is from "Resurgam" (Latin for "I Shall Rise Again"), a sermon preached Sunday morning, 1 April 1860, at Exeter Hall, London.





he doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is a doctrine peculiar to Christianity. The heathen, by the feeble light of nature, were able to spell out the truth of the immortality of the soul. Those professors of religion who deny that immortality, are not so far advanced in learning as the heathen themselves.

When you meet with any who think that the soul of man may possibly become annihilated, make them a present of that little catechism brought out by the Westminster Assembly, which bears the title, "Catechism for the Young and Ignorant." Let them read that through, and begin to understand that God hath not made man in vain.

The resurrection of the body was that which was new in the apostolic times. When Paul stood up on Mars hill, in the midst of the learned assembly of the Areopagites, had he spoken to them about the immortality of the soul, they would not have laughed; they would have respected him, for this was one of the sublime truths which their own wise men had taught, but when he went on to assert that the flesh and blood which was laid in the tomb should yet arise again, that bones which had become the dwelling place of worms, that flesh which had corrupted and decayed, should actually start afresh into life, that the body as well as the soul should live, some mocked, and others said, "We will hear thee again of this matter."

The fact is, reason teaches the immortality of the spirit, it is revelation alone which teaches the immortality of the body. It is Christ alone who hath brought life and immortality to light by the gospel. He was the clearest proclaimer of that grand truth. Albeit that it had lain in the secret faith of many of the ancient people of God before, yet he it was who first set forth in clear terms the grand truth that there should be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust.

As far as I know, the doctrine has not been disputed in the Christian church. There have been some few heretics who have denied it at divers times, but they have been so few, so utterly insignificant, that it is not worthwhile to take any notice of their scruples, or of the objections which they have urged.

In order to affirm this, the ancient Christian church was in the habit in their creed of adding a sentence to the Article which runs thus:—"I believe in the resurrection of the dead." They added, in Latin words to this effect:—"I believe in the resurrection of the dead, of this very flesh and blood." I do not know that the addition was ever authorized by the church, but it was continually used, especially at the time when there was a discussion as to the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body.

The very flesh and blood that is buried, the very eyes that are closed in death, the very hand which stiffens by my corpse, these very members shall live again—not the identical particles of the same matter any more than the self-same particles of the wheat spring up to make a blade, and to make full corn in the ear. Yet shall they be identical, in the true sense of the term, they shall spring up from this body—shall be the true result and development of this poor flesh and blood, which we now drag about with us here below.

Ten thousand objections have been raised against this, but they are all readily answerable. Some have said, "But when men's bodies are dead, and are committed to the grave, they are often digged up, and the careless sexton mixes them up with common mould; nay, it sometimes happens that they are carted away from the churchyard, and strewn over the fields, to become a rich manure for wheat, so that the particles of the body are absorbed into the corn that is growing, and they travel round in a circle until they become the food of man. So that the particle which may have been in the body of one man enters into the body of another. Now," say they, "how can all these particles be tracked?"

Our answer is if it were necessary, every atom could be traced. Omnipotence and Omniscience could do it. If it were needful that God should search and find out every individual atom that ever existed, he would be able to detect the present abode of every single particle.

But it is not the identity of the matter that will make positive identity. Are you not aware that our bodies are changing—that in about every ten years we have different bodies from what we had ten years ago? That is to say, by decay, and the continual wearing away of our flesh, there is not in this body I have here, a single particle that was in my body ten years ago, and yet I am the same man. I know I am precisely the same.

So you. You shall have been born in America, and lived there twenty years; you shall suddenly be transferred to India, and live there another twenty years; you come back to America to see your friends—you are the same man, they know you, recognize you, you are precisely the same individual; but yet philosophy teaches us a fact which cannot be denied—that your body would have changed twice in the time you have been absent from your friends; that every particle is gone, and has had its place supplied by another; and yet the body is the same.

So that it is not necessary there should be the same particles; it is not needful that you should track every atom and bring it back in order that the body should preserve its identity.

Have you never heard the story of the wife of Peter Martyr, a celebrated reformer, who died some years before the time of Queen Mary? Since his enemies could not reach his body, they took up the body of his wife after she was dead, and buried it in a dunghill. During the reign of Elizabeth, the body was removed from its contemptuous hiding-place; it was then reduced to ashes. In order that the Romanists, if they should ever prevail again, might never do dishonor to that body, they took the ashes of Peter Martyr's wife, and mixed them with the reputed ashes of a Romish saint. Mixing the two together, they said, "Now these Romanists will never defile this body, because they will be afraid of desecrating the relics of their own saint."

Perhaps some wiseacres may say, "How can these two be separated?" Why, they could be divided readily enough if God willed to do it; for granted that God is omniscient omnipotent, and you have never to ask how, for Omniscience and Omnipresence put the question out of court, and decide the thing at once. Besides, it is not necessary that it should be so. The life-germs of the two bodies may not have mixed together. God has set his angels to watch over them, as he set Michael to watch over the body of Moses, and he will bring out the two life-germs, and they shall be developed and the two bodies shall start up separately at the sound of the archangel's trump.

Remember, then, and doubt not that the very body in which you sinned shall be the very body in which you shall suffer in hell; and the body in which you believe in Christ, and in which you yield yourselves to God, shall be the very body in which you shall walk the golden streets, and in which you shall praise the name of God for ever and ever.

C. H. Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon: Bodily Resurrection: the rest of the sermon

From: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0306.htm

RESURGAM

A Sermon

Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 1st, 1860, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
At Exeter Hall, Strand.



"But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come; Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be but bare grain, it may chance of wheat or of some other grain but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body."—1 Corinthians 15:35-38.

We preach with words; God preacheth to us in acts and deeds. If we would but perceive it, creation and providence are two continual sermons, streaming from the mouth of God. The seasons are four evangelists, each of them having his testimony to utter to us. Doth not summer preach to us of God's bounty, of the richness of his goodness, of that lavish munificence with which he has been pleased to supply the earth, not simply with food for man, but with delights for both ear and eye in the beauteous landscape the melodious birds, and the flowers of various hue? Have you never heard the still small voice of autumn, who bears the wheatsheaf, and whispers to us in the rustling of the seer leaf? He bids us prepare to die. "All we," saith he, "do fade as a leaf, and all our righteousnesses are but as filthy rags." Then comes winter, crowned with snow, and he thunders out a most mighty sermon, which, if we would but listen to it, might well impress us with the terrors of God's vengeance, and let us see how soon he can strip the earth of all its pleasantries, and enrobe it in storm, when he shall come himself to judge the earth with righteousness, and the people with equity. But it seems to me that spring reads us a most excellent discourse upon the grand doctrine of revelation. This very month of April, which, if it be not the very entrance of spring, yet certainly introduces us to the fullness of it; this very month> bearing by its name the title of the opening month, speaks to us of the resurrection. As we have walked through our gardens, fields, and woods, we have seen the flower-buds ready to burst upon the trees, and the fruit-blossoms hastening to unfold themselves; we have seen the buried flowers upstarting from the sod, and they have spoken to us with sweet, sweet voice, the words, "Thou too shalt rise again, thou too shalt be buried in the earth like seeds that are lost in winter, but thou shalt rise again, and thou shalt live and blossom in eternal spring."

I propose this morning, as God shall enable, to listen to that voice of spring, proclaiming the doctrine of the resurrection, a meditation all the more appropriate from the fact, that the Sabbath before last we considered the subject of Death, and I hope that then very solemn impressions were made upon our minds. May the like impressions now return, accompanied with more joyous ones, when we shall look beyond the grave, through the valley of the shadow of death, to that bright light in the distance—the splendours and glory of life and immortality.

In speaking to you upon this text, I would remark in the outset, that the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is a doctrine peculiar to Christianity. The heathen, by the feeble light of nature, were able to spell out the truth of the immortality of the soul. Those professors of religion who deny that immortality, are not so far advanced in learning as the heathen themselves. When you meet with any who think that the soul of man may possibly become annihilated, make them a present of that little catechism brought out by the Westminster Assembly, which bears the title, "Catechism for the Young and Ignorant." Let them read that through, and begin to understand that God hath not made man in vain. The resurrection of the body was that which was new in the apostolic times. When Paul stood up on Mars hill, in the midst of the learned assembly of the Areopagites, had he spoken to them about the immortality of the soul, they would not have laughed; they would have respected him, for this was one of the sublime truths which their own wise men had taught, but when he went on to assert that the flesh and blood which was laid in the tomb should yet arise again, that bones which had become the dwelling place of worms, that flesh which had corrupted and decayed, should actually start afresh into life, that the body as well as the soul should live, some mocked' and others said, "We will hear thee again of this matter." The fact is, reason teaches the immortality of the spirit, it is revelation alone which teaches the immortality of the body. It is Christ alone who hath brought life and immortality to light by the gospel. He was the clearest proclaimer of that grand truth. Albeit that it had lain in the secret faith of many of the ancient people of God before, yet he it was who first set forth in clear terms the grand truth that there should be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust. As far as I know, the doctrine has not been disputed in the Christian church. There have been some few heretics who have denied it at divers times, but they have been so few, so utterly insignificant, that it is not worth while to take any notice of their scruples, or of the objections which they have urged. Instead thereof, we will turn to our text; we will assume that the doctrine is true, and so proceed to utter some words of explanation upon it.

First, then, our text suggests the real indentity of the resurrection body. The apostle uses the figure of a seed, a shrivelled grain of wheat. It is put into the ground, there it dies. All the farinaceous part of it decays and forms a peculiarly fine soil, into which the life-germ strikes itself, and upon which the lifegerm feeds. The seed itself dies, with the exception of a particle almost too small to be perceived, which is the real life contained within the wheat. By-and-bye we see a green blade upstarting: that grows, swells, and increases, until it comes to be corn in the ear, and afterwards the full corn in the ear. Now no one has any suspicion but that the same wheat arises from the soil into which it was cast. Put into the earth, we believe it springs up, and we are accustomed to talk of it in our ordinary language as being the very same seed which we sowed, although the difference is striking and marvellous. Here you have a plant some three feet high, bearing many grains of wheat, and there you had the other day a little shrivelled grain; yet no one doubts but that the two are the same. So shall it be in the resurrection of the dead. The body is here but as a shrivelled seed; there is no beauty in it that we should desire it. It is put into a grave, like wheat that is sown in the earth, there it rots and it decays, but God preserves within it a sort of life germ which is immortal, and when the trump of the archangel shall shake the heavens and the earth it shall expand to the full flower of manhood, which shall blossom from the earth a far more glorious form than the manhood which was buried. You are, my brethren, today, but as a heap of wheat, a heap of poor shrivelled corn. Despite that earthly beauty which makes glad our countenances, we are after all shrivelled and worthless, compared with what your bodies shall be when they shall awake from their beds of silent dust and cold damp clay. Yet while they shall be different, they shall be precisely the same, it shall be the same body; the identity shall be preserved. Though there shall seem to be but little similarity, yet shall no man doubt but that the very body which was sown in the earth hath sprung up to eternal life. I suppose that if I should bring here a certain grain of seed, and you had never seen the image of the plant into which it would ripen, and I should submit it to a thousand persons here present, and ask them this question—"What form will this seed assume when it shall grow into a plant and bear a flower?" none of you could possibly tell what it would be like; yet when you saw it spring up you would say, "Well, I have no doubt that the heart's-ease sprang from its own seed. I am sure that a violet springs from a violet seed. I cannot doubt that the lily hath its own appropriate root." And another time, when you come to see the seed, you perhaps imagine you see some little likeness, at least you never mistrust the identity. Though there are wide extremes of difference between the tiny mustard seed and the great tree beneath the branches of which the birds of the air build their nests, yet you never for a moment question but what they are precisely the same. The identity is preserved. So shall it be in the resurrection of the dead. The difference shall be extraordinary, yet shall the body be still the same.

In order to affirm this, the ancient Christian church was in the habit in their creed of adding a sentence to the Article which runs thus:—"I believe in the resurrection of the dead." They added, in Latin words to this effect:—"I believe in the resurrection of the dead, of this very flesh and blood." I do not know that the addition was ever authorized by the church, but it was continually used, especially at the time when there was a discussion as to the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. The very flesh and blood that is buried, the very eyes that are closed in death, the very hand which stiffens by my corpse, these very members shall live again—not the identical particles of the same matter any more than the self-same particles of the wheat spring up to make a blade, and to make full corn in the ear. Yet shall they be identical, in the true sense of the term, they shall spring up from this body—shall be the true result and development of this poor flesh and blood, which we now drag about with us here below.

Ten thousand objections have been raised against this, but they are all readily answerable. Some have said, "But when men's bodies are dead, and are committed to the grave, they are often digged up, and the careless sexton mixes them up with common mould; nay, it sometimes happens that they are carted away from the churchyard, and strewn over the fields, to become a rich manure for wheat, so that the particles of the body are absorbed into the corn that is growing, and they travel round in a circle until they become the food of man. So that the particle which may have been in the body of one man enters into the body of another. Now," say they, "how can all these particles be tracked?" Our answer is if it were necessary, every atom could be traced. Omnipotence and Omniscience could do it. If it were needful that God should search and find out every individual atom that ever existed, he would be able to detect the present abode of every single particle. The astronomer is able to tell the position of one star by the aberration of the motion of another, by his calculation, apart from observation, he can discover an unknown orb; its hugeness puts it within his reach. But to God there is nothing little or great; he can find out the orbit of one atom by the aberration in the orbit of another atom—he can pursue and overtake each separate particle. But recollect, this is not necessary at all, for, as I said before, the identity may be preserved without there being the same atoms. Just go back to the excellent illustration of our text. The wheat is just the same, but in the new wheat that has grown up there may not be one solitary particle of that matter which was in the seed cast into the ground. A little seed that shall not weigh the hundredth part of an ounce falls into the earth, and springs up and produces a forest tree that shall weigh two tons. Now, if there be any part of the original seed in the tree, it must be but in the proportional of a millionth part, or something less than that. And yet is the tree positively identical with the seed—it is the same thing. And so there may only be a millionth part of the particles of my body in the new body which I shall wear but yet it may still be the same. It is not the identity of the matter that will make positive identity. And I shall show you that again. Are you not aware that our bodies are changing—that in about every ten years we have different bodies from what we had ten years ago? That is to say, by decay, and the continual wearing away of our flesh, there is not in this body I have here, a single particle that was in my body ten years ago, and yet I am the same man. I know I am precisely the same. So you. You shall have been born in America, and lived there twenty years; you shall suddenly be transferred to India, and live there another twenty years; you come back to America to see your friends—you are the same man, they know you, recognize you, you are precisely the same individual; but yet philosophy teaches us a fact which cannot be denied—that your body would have changed twice in the time you have been absent from your friends; that every particle is gone, and has had its place supplied by another; and yet the body is the same. So that it is not necessary there should be the same particles; it is not needful that you should track every atom and bring it back in order that the body should preserve its identity.

Have you never heard the story of the wife of Peter Martyr, a celebrated reformer, who died some years before the time of Queen Mary? Since his enemies could not reach his body, they took up the body of his wife after she was dead, and buried it in a dunghill. During the reign of Elizabeth, the body was removed from its contemptuous hiding-place; it was then reduced to ashes. In order that the Romanists, if they should ever prevail again, might never do dishonor to that body, they took the ashes of Peter Martyr's wife, and mixed them with the reputed ashes of a Romish saint. Mixing the two together, they said, "Now these Romanists will never defile this body, because they will be afraid of desecrating the relics of their own saint." Perhaps some wiseacres may say, "How can these two be separated?" Why, they could be divided readily enough if God willed to do it; for granted that God is omniscient omnipotent, and you have never to ask how, for Omniscience and Omnipresence put the question out of court, and decide the thing at once. Besides, it is not necessary that it should be so. The life-germs of the two bodies may not have mixed together. God has set his angels to watch over them, as he set Michael to watch over the body of Moses, and he will bring out the two life-germs, and they shall be developed and the two bodies shall start up separately at the sound of the archangel's trump. Remember, then, and doubt not that the very body in which you sinned shall be the very body in which you shall suffer in hell; and the body in which you believe in Christ, and in which you yield yourselves to God, shall be the very body in which you shall walk the golden streets, and in which you shall praise the name of God for ever and ever.

So much upon this first point. But observe, while the identity is real, the transformation is glorious. The body here is mortal, always subject to decay. We dwell in a poor uncomfortable tent, continually is the canvas being rent, the cords are being loosed, and the tent pins are being pulled up. We are full of sufferings, and aches, and pains, which are but the premonitions of coming death. We all know, some by our decayed teeth, which are, as I said the other day, but the emblems of a decayed man; others by those grey hairs which are scattered here and there; we all know that our bodies are so constituted that they cannot remain here except for a limited period, and they must—so God has willed it—return to their native dust. Not so, however, the new body: "It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. "It will be a body upon which the tooth of time can have no power, and into which the dart of death can never be thrust. Age shall roll after age, but that body shall exist in everlasting youth. It shall sing, but never shall its song be stayed by weakness; it shall fly, but never shall its flight flag with weariness. There shall be no signs of mortality; the shroud, the mattock, and the spade are never seen in heaven. Such a thing as an open grave shall never appear in the celestial kingdom, there they live, live, live, but never, never, never shall they die. See then, how different the body must be; for as this body is constituted, every nerve and every blood vessel tells me I must die. It cannot be otherwise. I must endure this stern decree, "Dust to dust, earth to earth, ashes to ashes," but in heaven every nerve of the new body shall cry, "Immortality." Every part of that new frame shall speak for itself, and tell to the immortal spirit that they are everlasting companions, managed in eternal wedlock.

There shall be, moreover, a great change in the new body as to its beauty. "It is sown in dishonor; it shall be raised in glory." The old metaphor employed by all preachers upon this doctrine must be used again. You see here a crawling caterpillar, a picture of yourself, a creature that eats and drinks, and may readily be trodden on. Wait a few weeks, that caterpillar shall spin itself enshroud, lie down, become inactive, and sleep. A picture of what you shall do. You must spin your winding-sheet and then be laid in the tomb. But wait awhile; when the warmth of the sun shall come that apparently lifeless thing shall burst its sheath. The chrysalis shall fall off, and the insect fly forth equipped with glittering wings. Having arrived at its full state of perfection, the imago the very image of the creature shall be seen by us all dancing in the sunbeam. So shall we after passing through our wormhood here to our chrysalis state in the grave, burst our coffins and mount aloft glorious winged creatures made like unto the angels;—the same creatures, but oh! so changed, so different, that we should scarce know our former selves if we could be able to meet them again after we have been glorified in heaven.

There shall be a change, then, in our form and nature. Old master Spenser, who was a rare hand at making metaphors, says, "The body here is like an old rusty piece of iron, but Death shall be the blacksmith, he shall take it and he shall make it hot in his fire, until it shall sparkle and send forth burning heat and look bright and shining." And so surely is it. We are thrust into the earth as into the fire, and there shall we be made to sparkle and to shine and to be full of radiance, no more the rusty things that we once were, but fiery spirits, like the cherubim and the seraphim, we shall wear a power and a glory the like of which we have not even yet conceived.

Again, another transformation shall take place, namely, in power. "It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power." The same body that is weak, shall be raised in power. We are puny things here; there is a limit to our labors, and our usefulness is straightened by reason of our inability to perform what we would. And oh, bow weak we become when we die I A man must be carried by his own friends to his own grave; he cannot even lay himself down in his last resting-place. Passively he submits to be laid out, to be wrapped up in his winding sheet, and to be shut up in the darkness of the grave. Silently, passively he submits to be carried away with the pall covered over him, and to be put into the earth. The clods are shovelled over him, but he knows it not, neither could he resist his burial if he were conscious of it. But that powerless body shall be raised in power. That was a fine idea of Martin Luther, which he borrowed from St. Anselm, that the saints shall be so strong when they are risen from the dead, that if they chose they could shake the world; they could pull up islands by their roots, or hurl mountains into the air. Some modern writers, borrowing their ideas from Milton, where he speaks of the battles of the angels, where they plucked up the hills with all their shaggy loads, rivers and trees at once, and hurled them at the fallen spirits, have taught that we shall be clothed with gigantic forge. I think if we do not go the length of the poets, we have every reason to believe that the power of the risen body will be utterly inconceivable. These, however, are but guesses at the truth; this great mystery is yet beyond us. I believe that when I shall enter upon my new body, I shall be able to fly from one spot to another, like a thought, as swiftly as I will; I shall be here and there, swift as the rays of light. From strength to strength, my spirit shall be able to leap onward to obey the behests of God; upborne with wings of ether, it shall flash its way across that shoreless sea, and see the glory of God in all his works, and yet ever behold his face. For the eye shall then be strong enough to pierce through leagues of distance, and the memory shall never fail. The heart shall be able to love to a fiery degree, and the head to comprehend right thoroughly. It doth not yet appear what we shall be. But, brethren and sisters, to come back to reality, and leave fiction for a moment, though it doth not appear what we shad be, yet we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And do you know what we shall be like, if we shall be like him? Behold the picture of what Jesus Christ is like, and we shall be like him. "I saw," saith John, "one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle His head. and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire, and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance was as tee sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead." Such shall we be when we are like Christ; what tongue can tell, what soul can guess the glories that surround the saints when they' start from their beds of dust, and rise to immortality.

But now, to turn away from these, which I fear to very many of you are rather uninteresting particulars, let me give you one or two figures which may show to you the change which shall take place in us on the day of resurrection.

Do you see yonder a beggar? he is picking rags from a dunghill, he pulls out piece after piece from the heap of dust, as he uses his rake, you may see the like any day, if you will go to those great dustyards in Agar Town. There he pulls out piece after piece, and puts it in his basket. What can be the value of those miserable old rags? He takes them away, they are carried off, picked, sorted, rag to its own rag, like to like. By-and-bye they are washed, they are put into the mill, they are beaten hard, they are smashed, they are ground to pulp, and what is that I see just coming out of yonder mill? A clear white sheet, without a stain and whence came this? "I am the son of the old rag," saith he, "nay, I am the identical rag that was but a few hours ago picked from the dung-heap." Oh! strange! Doth purity come out of impurity, and doth this beauty, this utility come out of that which was neither comely nor useful, but which men loathed, and cast away as a worthless thing? See here, brethren, the picture of yourselves; your bodies are like rags, put away into this vast dunghill earth" and there buried, but the angel shall come and sort you, body to its body, the righteous to the righteous, the wicked to the wicked, they shall come together, bone to his bone and flesh to his flesh; and what do I see?—I behold a body like unto an angel, with eyes of fire, and a face like the brightness of the sun, and wings like lightnings for swiftness. Whence art thou, thou bright spirit? I am he that was buried, I am that thing that once was worms' meat, but now I am glorious through the name of Jesus' and through the power of God. You have there before you a picture of the resurrection, a homely picture, it is true, but one which may vividly convey the idea to homely minds.

Take another—one used of old by that mighty preacher, Chrysostom—there is an old house, a straight and narrow cottage, and the inhabitant of it often shivers with the cold winter, and is greatly oppressed by the heat of summer; it is ill adapted to his wants, the windows are too small and very dark, he cannot keep his treasure safely therein; he is often a prisoner; and when I have passed by his house I have heard him sighing at the window: "Oh, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death." The good master comes, the landlord of the house, he speaks to the tenant, and he bids him come away, "I am about to pull down thy old house," saith he, "and I would not have thee here while I am pulling it stone from stone, lest thou be hurt and injured. Come away with me and live in my palace, while I am pulling thy old house to pieces." He does so, and every stone of the old house is thrown down; it is levelled with the ground, and even the foundations are dug up. Another is built: it is of costly slabs of marble, the windows thereof are pure and clear, all its gates are of agate, and all its borders of precious stones, while all the foundations thereof are of chrysolite, and the roof thereof is of jasper. And now the master of the house speaks to the old inhabitant, "Come back, and I will show thee the house which I have built for thee." O what joy, when that inhabitant shall enter and find it so well adapted to his wants, where every power shall have full range, where he shall see God out of its windows, not as through a glass, darkly, but face to face, where he could invite even Christ himself to come and sup with him, and not feel that the house is beneath the dignity of the Son of Man. You know the parable, you know how your old house, this clay body, is to be pulled down, how your spirit is to dwell in heaven for a little while without a body, and how afterwards you are to enter into a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, a mansion which is holy, incorruptible, and undefiled, and which shall never decay.

To use yet a fresh figure, I see a beggar passing by a rich man's door, that poor wretch is covered with filth, his garments are hanging about him in pieces as if the wind would blow all away, and drive both man and garments amongst the rags upon the dunghill. How he shivers, how he seeks to pull about him that scant cloak which will not meet around his loins, and will not shield him from the blast. As for his shoes, they are indeed old and clouted, and all his garments are of such a sort that one never could know the original, for they have been mended and patched a thousand times, and now they need to be mended and patched again. He is freely invited to come into the rich man's hall, we will not tell you what is done in the meantime, but we will see him come out of that door again, and would you know him. Would you believe that he is the same man? He has been washed and cleansed; on his back there hangs the imperial purple, while on his head glitters a brilliant crown; his feet are shod with silver, and on his hands there are rings of gold. About the paps he wears a golden girdle; and as he comes abroad bright spirits wait on him and do him honor angels wait to be his servants, and think it to be their highest pleasure to fly to do his will. Is this the same man and is this the same dress? It is the same. By some marvellous might, rather by a divine energy, God has received this beggar, taken him into the inner chamber of the grave; has washed him from all imperfections; and now he comes out as one of the princes of the blood royal of heaven. And as is his nature, such is his apparel; as is his dignity, such is his estate) and such the company of servants who wait upon him.

Not to multiply illustrations, we will use but one more. I see before me an old and battered cup, which many a black lip hath touched, out of which many a villain's throat has received moisture. It is battered and covered over with filth. Who could tell what metal it is? It is brought in and given to the silversmith, he no sooner receives it, than he begins to break it into pieces, he dashes it into shivers again and again, he pounds it until he has broken it, and then puts it into his fining pot and melts it. Now you begin to see it sparkle again, and by and bye he beats it out and fashions it into a goodly chalice, out of which a king may drink. Is this the same? the very same thing, This glorious cup; is this the old battered silver we saw just now; silver did I say, it looked like battered filth. Yes it is the same, and we who are here below like vessels, alas! too unfit for the master's use; vessels which have even given comfort to the evil ones, and helped to do the work of Satan, we shall be put into the furnace of the grave, and be there melted down and friend and fashioned into a glorious wine cup that shall stand upon the banqueting table of the Son of God.

I have thus sought to illustrate the change, and now I will occupy your attention but one or two minutes on another thought which seems to lie within the range of my text. We have had the real identity under the glorious transformation. I bring you back to a thought kindred to the first. There will be in the bodies of the righteous an undoubted personality of character. If you sow barley, it will not produce wheat: if you sow tares, they will not spring up in the form of rye. Every grain hath its own peculiar form: God hath given to every seed his own body. So, my brothers and sisters, there are differences among us here; no two bodies are precisely alike: there are marks on our countenances, and in our bodily conformation, that show that we are different. We are of one blood, but not of one fashion. Well, when we are put into the grave we shall crumble back, and come to the same elements; but when we rise we shall every one of us rise diverse from the other. The body of Paul shall not produce a body precisely like that of Peter. Nor shall the flesh of Andrew bring forth a new body like that of the sons of Zebedee, but to every seed his own body. In the case of our blessed Lord and Master you win remember that when he rose himself from the dead he preserved his personality, there were still the wounds in his hands, and still there was the spear-mark in his side. I do not doubt that when he underwent his transfiguration, and at the time of his ascension up to heaven, he still retained the marks of his wounds. For do we not sing, and is not our song based upon Scripture?—

He looks like a Lamb that has been slain,
And wears his priesthood still.


So, brethren, though of course we shall retain no weaknesses, nothing which will cause sorrow, yet every Christian will retain his individuality; he will be like and yet unlike all his fellows. As we know Isaiah from Jeremy here, so shall we know them above. As I differ from you here, if we two shall together praise God, there shall be some difference between us above. Not the difference in failings, but the difference in the perfections of the form of the new body. I sometimes think martyrs will wear their scars. And why should they not? It were a loss to them if they should lose their honors. Perhaps they shall wear their ruby crown in Paradise, and we shall know them—

"Foremost 'mongst the sons of light
'Midst the bright ones doubly bright."


Perhaps the men who come from the catacombs of Rome will wear some sort of pallor on their brow that will show that they came from darkness, where they saw not the light of the sun. Perhaps the minister of Christ, though he shall not need to say to his fellows, "know the Lord," shall still be chief among the tellers out of the ways of God. Perhaps the sweet singer of Israel shall still be foremost in the choir of the golden harps, and loudest among them that shall lead the strain. And if these he fancies, yet am I sure that one star differeth from another star in glory. Orion shall not be confounded with Arcturus, nor shall Mazaroth for a moment be confounded with Orion. We shall an be separate and distinct. Perhaps we shall each one have our constellation there, as we shall cluster into our own societies, and gather around those whom we best have known on earth. Personality win be maintained. I do not doubt but what you will know Isaiah in heaven, and you will recognize the great preachers of the ancient Christian church; you will be able to speak with Chrysostom, and wilt talk with Whitfield. It may be you shall have for your companions those who were your companions here; those with whom you took sweet counsel, and walked to the house of God, shall be with you there, and you shall know them, and with transporting joy you shall there together tell your former trials and ancient triumphs, and the glories you are alike made to share.

Treasure up, then, these things, the identity of your body after its glorious transformation, and, at the same time, the personality which will prevail.

I want, now, your solemn attention for some five minutes, while I sketch a most fearful contrast here. The things I have already spoken should make the children of God happy. At Stratford-on-Bow, in the days of Queen Mary, there was once a stake erected for the burning of two martyrs, one of them a lame man, the other a blind man. Just when the fire was lit, the lame man hurled away his staff, and turning round said to the blind man, "Courage, brother, this fire will cure us both." So can the righteous say of the grave, "Courage, the grave will cure us all, we shall leave our infirmities behind us." What patience this should give us to endure all our trials, for they are not of long duration. They are but as the carvings of the graver's tool, shaping these rough blocks of clay, to bring them into the right form and shape, that they may bear the image of the heavenly. But the contrast is awful. Brethren, the wicked must rise again from the dead. The lip with which you have drunk the intoxicating drink till you have reeled again, that lip shall be used in drinking down the fiery wrath of God. Remember, too, ungodly woman, the eyes that are full of lust will one be full of horror, the ear with which you listen to lascivious conversation must listen to the sullen moans, the hollow groans, and shrieks of tortured ghosts. Be not deceived; you sinned in your body, you will be damned in your body. When you die your spirit must suffer alone, that will be the beginning of hell, but your body must rise again, then this very flesh in which you have transgressed the laws of God this very body must smart for it. It must he in the fire and burn, and crack, and writhe throughout eternity. Your body will be raised incorruptible, otherwise the fire would consume it. It will become like the asbestos stone, which lies in the flame and yet is never consumed. If it were this flesh and blood it would soon die under the pangs we must endure, but it will be a body all but omnipotent. As I spoke of the righteous having such great power, so shall you have; but it will be power to agonize, power to suffer, power to die, and yet to live, uncrushed by the stern foot of death. Think of this, ye sensualists, who care not for your souls, but who pamper your bodies; you shall have that fair complexion scorched away; those members that have become instruments of lust, shall become instruments of hell. Rotting as they will do in the grave, they shall nevertheless rise with a fiery immortality about them, and endure an eternity of agony and unutterable woe and punishment. Is not that enough to make a man tremble and cry, "God be merciful unto me a sinner?"

But further, remember that while your body shall be identically the same, yet it too will be transformed, and as the wheat brings forth the wheat, so the nettle seed brings forth the nettle. What your body will be like I cannot tell, but perhaps as the body of the righteous will come to be like Christ, yours may become like the body of the devil, whatever that may be—the same hideous conformation, the same demon gaze and hellish stare which characterize that proud archangel shall characterize you; you shall have the image and the lineaments of the first traitor stamped upon your fire-enduring face. Seeds of sin, are ye prepared to ripen into the fun blown flower of destruction? Ye seeds of evil, are ye ready to be scattered now from Death's hand, and then to spring up an awful harvest of tormented ones? Yet so it must be unless you turn to God. Except you repent, he has said, and he will do it, he is able to cast both body and soul into hell.

And let me remind you yet once again, that there will be in you an undoubted personality, you will be known in hell. The drunkard shall have the drunkard's punishment; the swearer shall have the swearer's corner to himself. "Bind them up in bundles to burn, and cast them into the fire." Thus saith the voice of inflexible justice. You shall not suffer in another man's body but in your own, and you shall be known to be the very man that sinned against God. You shall be looked at by one who sees you to-day, if you die impenitent, who will say to you, "We went up to that hall together; we heard a sermon on the resurrection which had a frightful ending; we laughed at it, but we have found out that it is true." And one will say to the other, "I should have known you though we had not met these many years till we met in hell. I should have known you, there is something about your new body which lets me know that it is the same body that you had on earth." And then you will mutually say to one another, "These pangs that we are now enduring, this horror of great darkness, these chains of fire that are reserved for us, are they not well deserved?" And you will curse God together again, and suffer together, and will be made to feel that you have only received the due reward of your deeds. "Did not the man warn us," you will say, "did he not warn us, did he not bid us fly to Christ for refuge?—did we not despise it, and make a jeer of what he said? We are rightly punished; we damned ourselves, we cut our own throats, we kindled hell for ourselves, and found the fuel of our own burning for ever and ever."

Oh! my dear hearers, I cannot bear to stay on this subject; let me finish with just this word. "Whoever believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved." That means you poor man, though perhaps you were drunk last night, and scarcely got up time enough to come here this morning. If thou believest, William, thou shalt be saved. This means thee, poor woman, harlot though thou be—if thou cast thyself on Christ thou art saved. This means thee, respectable man, thou who trustest in thine own works—if thou reliest on Christ thou shalt be saved, but not if thou trustest in thyself. Oh! be wise, be wise. May God give us grace now to learn that highest wisdom, and may we now look to the cross and to the quivering Lamb that bleeds upon it, and see him as he rises from the dead and ascends up on high, and believing in him; may we receive the hope and the assurance of a blissful resurrection in him.


NOTES:

  1. I shall rise again.

70AD-ONGOING Resurrection-transformation of the mortal-natural body at Judgment which follows death

Hebrews 9:27
It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment.

Romans 8:11-13 & Romans 8:22-23 ~penned around 56AD
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall [future to 56AD] also quicken your MORTAL BODIES (PLURAL, Greek="SOMA") by his Spirit that dwelleth in you [plural].
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the FLESH, to live after the FLESH.
13 For if ye live [present] after the FLESH, ye shall [future to 56AD] die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [present, 56AD] the deeds of the BODY (SOMA), ye shall [future to 56AD] live.
...
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth [present tense] in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan [present tense] within ourselves, waiting [looking future, after 57AD] for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our BODY (SOMA).

Romans 2:1-16 & Romans 14:12 ~penned around 56AD by Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul
2:5b ... the Day [2 Peter 3:8] of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
2:6 Who will [future to 56AD] render to every man according to his deeds:
2:16 ... the Day [2 Peter 3:8] when God shall [future to 56AD] judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
14:12 So then every one of us shall [future to 56AD] give account of himself to God.

Matthew 12:36-37 ~preached around 28AD by Jesus Christ, the Son of God
I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall [future to 28AD] give account thereof in the Day [2 Peter 3:8] of Judgment.
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

1 Peter 4:5-6 ~penned around 62AD by Christ's soon-to-be-martyred Apostle Peter
5 They will [future to 62AD] give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
NKJV

Matthew 25:31-46 ~preached by Jesus Christ around 30AD
31 When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him,
........then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory:
32 And before Him shall be gathered all nations:
And He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,
"Come,
ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me."
37 Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying,
"Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink?
38 When saw
we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee?
39 Or when saw
we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee?"
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them,
"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."
41 Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand,
"Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not."
44 Then shall they also answer Him, saying,
"Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?"

45 Then shall He answer them, saying,
"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but
the righteous into life eternal.

Revelation 20:11-15 ~foreseen in the predictive vision around 63AD, John foresaw the Day of Judgment, 2 Peter 3:7-8
And I foresaw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and Death and Hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And Death and Hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.
KJV

[See also http://prophecyhistory.com/?q=node/74]

With misguided zeal for the 30-70AD Millennium eschatological system, demanding that all Bible things be fulfilled by 70AD, Covenant Eschatology (aka “Full” Preterism) forces the important doctrine of the Resurrection in an unwholesome direction, to an unnecessary extreme, perhaps unaware or little concerned of the unwitting byproducts, namely, Universalism (and the accompanying Lawlessness).

Whenever Justification (covenant life) is confused with the First Resurrection of the two resurrections described in Rev 20:4-6, Universalism can then be forcefully preached from that same Rev 20:4-6 saying, "Both the Just martyrs (v4) and later on the Unjust “rest of the dead (v5)” eventually “come to covenant life.”

But the Text shows that both groups, (the souls of the martyred Saints and the Rest of the Dead), are:
Judged and resurrected to animate bodies again:
The Just are raised to the Resurrection of Life, (the first resurrection of the two resurrections foreseen in Rev 20:4-6).
The Unjust are sentenced to the Resurrection of Condemnation, (the resurrection of the rest of the dead in Rev 20:4-6).

Here are the Words of holy men of God as they were moved by His Spirit:

Hebrews 9:27
It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment.

Matthew 10:28 ~preached around 28AD by Jesus Christ, the Son of God
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Mark 9:43-48 ~preached around 28AD by Jesus Christ, the Son of God
43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to
be cast into hell fire:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

John 5:28-29 ~preached around 27AD by Jesus Christ, the Son of God
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice,
29 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.

Daniel 12:2
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.

Acts 24:15 ~ Paul, around 58AD, after being arrested in Jerusalem
there shall [future to 58AD] be a resurrection of the dead, both of the Just and Unjust.

Revelation 20:4-6 ~foreseen in the predictive vision around 63AD, John foresaw the Resurrection of the Dead
4 And I foresaw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I foresaw THE SOULS OF THEM that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and WHICH HAD NOT WORSHIPPED THE BEAST, NEITHER HIS IMAGE, NEITHER HAD RECEIVED HIS MARK UPON THEIR FOREHEADS, OR IN THEIR HANDS; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 (BUT THE REST OF THE DEAD lived not again until the thousand years were finished).
This is the first Resurrection [of the two resurrections foreseen here]. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first Resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall [future to 63AD] be priests of God and of Christ, and shall [future to 63AD] reign with Him a thousand years.

Revelation 20:4-6 ~ foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision by Christ's exiled Apostle John
And I foresaw THE SOULS OF those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
NASB

The Rev 20:4-6 passage is talking about:
Two groups of "SOULS."
A) The first group of souls are faithful martyrs of Jesus who rejected the Mark of the Beast (Nero).
B) The second group of souls are identified simply as, "the rest of the dead"
implying that both groups of SOULS are of people who are dead, (Christ's martyrs versus the rest).
It is their bodies that are dead since Christians (the first group) can never have dead souls.
Therefore, Rev 20:4-6 is talking about the coming to life of bodies after death, "resurrection."
Both groups of SOULS were each coming to animate bodies again after death, "resurrection."

2 Timothy 2:14-18 ~penned around 62AD by Christ's Apostle Paul while in prison
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the Resurrection is past already [prior to 62AD]; and overthrow the faith of some
.


Philippians 3:10-14 ~penned around 62AD by Christ's Apostle Paul while in prison
The fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the Resurrection from the Dead.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind [adherence to the Law of Moses] and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the UPward CALL of God in Christ Jesus.
NKJV

Press on Toward the Goal (1:28)

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 ~penned around 51AD by Christ's Apostle Paul
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will [future to 51AD] God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall [future to 51AD] descend from heaven with a SHOUT, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall [future tense] RISE FIRST 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.

Revelation 20:5-6 ~penned around 62AD by Christ's exiled Apostle John
This is the FIRST RESURRECTION. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the FIRST RESURRECTION: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall [future to 62AD] be priests of God and of Christ, and shall [future to 62AD] reign with him a thousand years.

Someone might say, “I do not believe that it is our ‘physical body’ which must be quickened, but our ‘inner man’...”

Can it not be BOTH? How does one reconcile the statement above with those of Christ & His Apostle Paul? Paul is addressing born-again Christians, that is, people who were already enjoying the quickening of their inner man, the soul, Eph 2:6, Col 2:12-13 & Col 3:1. (We all agree that they had not been "born-again" with their outer man, as stumbled Nicodemus, but rather, they had been born-again with their inner man: their souls were saved). But Paul explains how they were still awaiting the quickening of their outer man - the quickening of their mortal bodies (soma) at that anticipated First Resurrection at the Last Day, Christ's Return, John 6:54 & 1 Thess 4:13-18 & Rev 20:4-6 & Philippians 3:10-14 & 2 Tim 2:17-18. We study that First Generation of Christians as primary examples, the pattern set, for our own process of entering Christ's Kingdom. We seek to obtain the same promises and trust that their account was passed down to us to learn how. If they were promised the quickening of their natural, mortal bodies at Christ’s Return for them, so do we expect the same when Christ comes for us, and our outer man is changed/exchanged from a mortal, natural body of flesh&blood for a spiritual body immortal. I expect my outer man to be quickened in the future by that same Holy Spirit of Christ that quickens my inner man now. No waiting after death anymore, "Blessed is everyone who dies in the Lord from now on," Revelation 14:13. Everytime I go to sleep and later wake up again is practice for that great day. What can be gained from overthrowing this faith?
Romans 8:11-13 & Romans 8:22-23 ~penned around 56AD
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall [future to 56AD] also quicken your MORTAL BODIES (PLURAL, Greek="SOMA") by his Spirit that dwelleth in you [plural].
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live [present] after the FLESH, ye shall [future to 56AD] die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [present, 56AD] the deeds of the body (SOMA), ye shall [future to 56AD] live.
...
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth [present tense] in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan [present tense] within ourselves, waiting [looking future, after 57AD] for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our BODY (SOMA).
[They were waiting for the adoption/redemptioin of their mortal bodies (plural), (Greek, "soma," the same word frequently used in its singular form throughout the Bible to refer to the human, mortal body). They already had the adoption/redemption of their inner man, their souls, which occurred at baptism. Baptism was also a type and shadow of the Resurrection that Jesus experienced and was bringing to them. The adoption/redemption of the inner man, the soul, is the earnest/deposit/down payment/guarantee of the eventual adoption/redemption of the outer man, the mortal body. And that 1st generation of Christians set the example, the pattern, for all generations of Christians to follow afterward. That is why we analyse the process they went through to obtain the Kingdom of God, to learn how we may follow suit and obtain the same promises - because God is no respecter of persons and is the same yesterday, today, and forever].
1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:5 ~ penned around 51AD by Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
["others which have no hope" = those who had not received the quickening of their inner man, had not been born again, had not received eternal life in their souls, the unsaved].
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will [future to 51AD] God bring with him.
["sleep in Jesus" as opposed to dead as a dog. Though appearing dead on the outside one who sleeps is alive on the inside with the hope that his body will be quickened again, just like every morning when he wakes up].
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto [time indicator] the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall [future to 51AD] descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God [Rev 11:15] : and the dead in Christ shall [future to 51AD] rise first: [ = First Resurrection, Rev 20:4-6]
[See that, "the dead in Christ shall [future to 51AD] rise first." But Paul just got through describing them as "asleep." Their inner man had been quickened with eternal life but their outer man had died. They were promised that their outer man "shall rise," rise again after having gone down, just like what baptism plays out.]Every night we go to sleep and every morning we wake up is practice for this great, anticipated graduation moment for those who are Christ's, those who have Christ's Spirit quickening them from within].
17 Then [time indicator] we which are [present to 51AD] alive and remain shall [future to 51AD] be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall [future to 51AD] we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord [2 Peter 3:8] so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that Day [2 Peter 3:8] should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the Day [2 Peter 3:8]: we are not of the Night, nor of darkness.
Philippians 3:7-14 ~penned around 62AD by Christ's imprisoned Apostle Paul
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
[How did Christ die? How was Christ resurrected? How did Paul look forward to emulating Christ in death & Resurrection?]
11 If by any means I might attain unto the Resurrection of the Dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended [past perfect]: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
[Even Christ's Apostle Paul had not yet attained this Resurrection of the Dead as of the writing of this Letter to the Phillippians. But we would all agree that Paul's inner man, his soul, had already been quickened, remember? Eph 2:6, Col 2:12-13 & Col 3:1 But Paul was anticipating the quickening of his mortal body, as well. He wanted BOTH. He wanted to be in that number – the First Resurrection of the Just at Christ’s anticipated coming, Rev 20:4-6, 1 Thess 4:16, Rev 11:15].
1 Corinthians 15:21-23 ~penned around 53AD by Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul
21 For since by man came [past tense] death, by man came [past tense] also the Resurrection of the Dead.
22 For as in Adam all die [present tense continual], even so in Christ shall [future to 53AD] all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
[In which way did both Adam & Christ die? In which way was Christ made alive as the firstfruits example for the dead in Christ? Their Resurrection did not occur whenever they were each found worthy, but their Resurrection had to wait until Christ’s anticipated coming. Something more about Firstfruits can be found here http://prophecyhistory.com/?q=node/127]
1 Corinthians 15:42-54 ~penned around 53AD by Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body (soma); it is raised a spiritual body (soma). There is a natural body (soma), and there is a spiritual body (soma).
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
[After Jesus ascended, He was glorified, and is never again described in flesh&bone form. He was changed, just as John expected to be, 1 John 3:2-3)].
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
[“Natural” and “spiritual” what? Their inner man spirits? Not likely. No precedent for use of terms "natural spirit" and "spiritual spirit" in the Bible. But we do see references to the "natural body" and the "spiritual body." Paul is talking about the human body.]
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven [i.e., resurrected & glorified & returned].
[The second man is ”the Lord from heaven”, that is, AFTER Jesus completed the process of being born of a virgin, baptised, crucified, buried, resurrected, ascended, and glorified/changed into a life-giving spirit: THIS is the second man, the Lord Jesus they were anticipating to descend from heaven."]
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne [past perfect tense] the image of the earthy, we shall [future to 53AD] also bear the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
[Now Christ’s Apostle Paul adds detail, he is talking about something that was still in “flesh & blood” form that was awaiting this marvelous change to a spiritual form. A group of people may be referred to abstractly as a "body of individuals" but a group of individuals is not referred to as "flesh&blood." Paul has been talking about the human flesh&blood body all along, not an abstraction or figure of speech].
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall [future to 53AD] not all sleep, but we shall [future to 53AD] all be changed,
[Again, “sleep,” is used to describe someone whose inner man is alive but his outer man is dead, awaiting the awakening of Resurrection at Christ’s Return].
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (Rev 11:15): for the trumpet shall [future to 53AD] sound, and the dead shall [future to 53AD] be raised incorruptible, and we shall [future to 53AD] be changed.
[Again, 1 John 3:2-3].
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall [future to 53AD] have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall [future to 53AD] have put on immortality, then shall [future to 53AD] be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
["This mortal," what has he been talking about? We identified it as the believer's pre-resurrection flesh&blood human body, no? Yes, and it is the same term found in Romans 8:11-13, "mortal bodies [plural]" with which we began].

Romans 8:11-13 & Romans 8:22-23 ~penned around 56AD by Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall [future to 56AD] also quicken your MORTAL BODIES (PLURAL, Greek="SOMA") by his Spirit that dwelleth in you [plural].
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live [present] after the FLESH, ye shall [future to 56AD] die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [present, 56AD] the deeds of the body (SOMA), ye shall [future to 56AD] live.
...
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth [present tense] in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan [present tense] within ourselves, waiting [looking future, after 57AD] for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our BODY (SOMA).

2 Corinthians 4:14 ~penned around 53AD by Christ's persuecuted Apostle Paul
14 Knowing that He which raised [past to 53AD] up the Lord Jesus shall [future to 53AD] raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
2 Timothy 2:11-18 ~penned around 62AD by Christ's Apostle Paul while in prison
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be [present to 62AD] dead with him, we shall [future to 62AD] also live with him:
12 If we suffer [present to 62AD], we shall [future to 62AD] also reign with Him: if we deny [present to 62AD] Him, He also will [future to 62AD] deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the Resurrection is past already [occurred prior to 62AD]; and overthrow the faith of some.
John 6:39-40 & John 6:53-54 ~preached around 28AD by Jesus Christ, the Son of God
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have [conditional tense] everlasting life: and I will [future tense] raise him up at the last day.

<<WHEN does Preterism calculate the Last Day to have arrived? 70AD, right? WHEN were Christ's faithful raised up then? 70AD, right?>>

53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath [present tense now] eternal life; and I will [future tense] raise him up at the last day.
[Jesus employs different verb tenses (time statements) to differentiate between "eternal life" and "raised up/resurrected"]
IN SUMMARY
1) ALREADY: Paul & the churches already had the redemption/resurrection/raising up of their souls (aka "Eternal life"). All New Testament references to already “having been raised up”, Col 3:1, or already “having been made alive”, Col 2:12-13 and Eph 2:6, in past/present tense are referring to this redemption/resurrection of their souls that they had already. They had “eternal life” in their souls. They had eternity in their hearts, Eccl 3:11. They each entered into it individually at baptism, the washing & regeneration, redemption & resurrection of their souls: their souls were saved. This was the guarantee towards that which they each yearned to obtain, "Having Eternal Life" is not equal to "The Resurrection of the Just".
2) NOT YET: But Paul & the churches were earnestly looking forward to the redemption/resurrection/raising up of their mortal bodies at Christ's Return/Rapture, at the arrival of the Day of the Lord. All of the future tense references to "resurrection" and "will be raised up" are correctly placed here, Soul & Body: the 2 Parts of Resurrection. 2 Tim 2:11-18, 2 Cor 4:14, 1 Cor 15:42-53, 1 Cor 15:21-23, Phillippians 3:10-13, 1 Thess 5:1-2, 1 Thess 4:13-18, Rom 8:23, Rom 8:11.
3) This "will be raised up" was to occur upon arrival of the Last Day, John 6:54, and is quite distinct from the “having eternal life” they were already enjoying within. It is dishonest to assert that John 6:54's "hath eternal live" = "will be raised up/resurrected at the Last Day" of John 6:54. See The Last Day & Christ arrive as His servants are raised to reign http://prophecyhistory.com/?q=node/103

With misguided zeal for the 30-70AD Millennium eschatological system, demanding that all Bible things be fulfilled by 70AD, Covenant Eschatology (aka “Full” Preterism) forces the important doctrine of the Resurrection in an unwholesome direction, to an unnecessary extreme, perhaps unaware or little concerned of the unwitting byproducts, namely, Universalism (and the accompanying Lawlessness).

Whenever Justification (covenant life) is confused with the First Resurrection of the two resurrections described in Rev 20:4-6, Universalism can then be forcefully preached from that same Rev 20:4-6 saying, "Both the Saints (v4) and later on “the rest of the dead (v5)” eventually “come to covenant life.”

But the Text shows that both groups, (the souls of the martyred Saints and the Rest of the Dead), are:
Judged and resurrected to animate bodies again:
The Just are raised to the Resurrection of Life, (the first resurrection of the two foreseen by Rev 20:4-6).
The Unjust are sentenced to the Resurrection of Condemnation, (the resurrection of the rest of the dead in Rev 20:4-6).

These themes are further developed at:

70AD-ONGOING The Resurrection of the Just

"The Resurrection of the Just and the Unjust"
by Thomas K. Burk

PROPHECY'S PURPOSE

The chief function of prophecy is not to predict the future, but to bear testimony of the validity of Jesus as mankind's Messiah, and to call the redeemed in Christ into harmony with Jesus' New Covenant.

God promises judgment for those found rebellious to His Covenant, and He promises divine intervention to those obedient to its stipulations. Throughout the Bible this is referred to as "the curse" and "the blessing." (See Deuteronomy 28; Moses' Song in Deuteronomy 31; Leviticus 26; Matthew
7:24-27; Galatians 6:8)

THE RESURRECTION

Since the beginning of time, men have hoped for longevity of life both in this earthly existence as well as beyond the grave. The biblical question of resurrection and everlasting life must be answered first by looking at what the Scripture describes as death.

The first mention of death is that of Adam and Eve's. This death took place upon their eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Men have often taught that Adam and Eve would never have physically died if they had not eaten the fruit of this tree. But nowhere do we find this taught in the Bible. Instead what we do find is God telling Adam he would die upon eating this fruit, and when he did eat, he did not die a physical but spiritual death. Because so, the life Jesus came to revive in mankind was not a physical one, since this is not what was lost, but was instead one that was and is spiritual.

Jesus never promised our physical bodies would never die, nor did He ever say that our physical bodies would be resurrected from the grave, however, Jesus did promise that His believers would never die and that they would live forever. Jesus explained the sense of biblical resurrection to Martha while standing together outside the burial grave of His friend, Lazarus. Here is what the Bible records concerning this: "Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection AT THE LAST DAY. Jesus said unto her, I AM the RESURRECTION, and the LIFE: he that believeth in me, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE: And WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE. Believest thou this?" (John 11:24-26) Martha, through her Jewish understanding of the resurrection correctly indicated the timing of this occurrence was to be on the “LAST DAY.” This day is the same as found throughout the Bible, and refers the last day of the Old Covenant i.e. 70-73 AD. (See John 6:39-40,
6:47, 6:54, 12:48; 1 Corinthians 5:5) Jesus never corrected her, but said, not that He WOULD BE resurrected, but that He WAS that resurrection and life. Jesus then gave the key to understand when and what all this meant:

THE MESSIAH BRINGS LIFE ETERNAL

Jesus said, "He that believeth in me, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE." This refers to those who placed their faith in the redeemer who God said would someday come. This promise was given to the first men to die, Adam and Eve. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15) This was the first prophecy for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus. Because so, it set the precedent for what all the Old Testament saints expected when He came which includes He would come through a woman, He would be of the flesh like unto His brethren, and through His flesh (His sacrifice) He would destroy the spiritual hold satan had on mankind thereby bringing a spiritual reunion or reconciliation with their Creator, God. In reference to this, the writer of Hebrews said, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." (Hebrews 2:14-17)

ASLEEP IN THE GRAVE

As time passed, these Old Testament saints passed from this life to the grave. Their time there is described in the Bible as a time of "sleep." (See Deuteronomy 31:16; 1Kings
1:21; Acts 13:36; 1Corinthians 15:51; 1Thessalonians 4:14) The prophet Daniel stated, "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." (Daniel 12:2)

The time frame he placed for those asleep to rise is found in Daniel 12:7: "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 swore by him that liveth forever that IT SHALL BE FOR A TIME, TIMES, AND A HALF; and when he shall have accomplished TO SCATTER THE POWER OF THE HOLY PEOPLE, all these things shall be finished." "Times, times, and a half" equates to the same as saying 42 months or 1260 days or 3½ years. This timeframe refers to the 3½ year siege and destruction of both
Jerusalem and her Temple. This siege began in 66 AD when the Roman Emperor Nero gave two simple commands: destroy the city of Jerusalem and level her temple. To accomplish this fiat he picked a father and son to lead his Roman troops. The father was a fifty-seven year old commander named Vespasian, and his ambitious son’s name was Titus. After a series of political events in Rome, Titus began his assault around April, AD 70. This was forty years (one generation) to the week from the crucifixion of Christ. Titus’ soldiers breached the third Wall of Jerusalem on May 25, and captured the newer parts of the city. By June they proceeded to enter the second quarter as the Jews withdrew behind the first wall. The Antonia Fortress fell to Titus on July 22, which was followed by the Romans burning the gates of the Temple and entering its courtyards. The Temple was burnt August 10, AD 70, the same exact day and month on which it had years before been burnt by the king of Babylon. Romans burned the LowerCity, assaulted Herod’s Palace, and entered the UpperCity around September 2. This thereby ended the Jewish resistance on September 26, 70AD. This destruction is what Daniel referred to when he wrote "scatter the power of the holy people."

THE NEW COVENANT AND THE RESURRECTION

This same overthrow of governments also correlates to the time when Jesus' New Covenant fully replaced the Old Covenant, thereby establishing it alone as God's everlasting covenant with mankind. This meant that all that was promised in the Old Testament was then complete, and the faithful who had died prior to this fulfillment were resurrected from their graves to go and live forever in the presence of their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. This is what Daniel indicated would happen at the time of the "Great Tribulation": "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was [Compare with Matthew 24:21] since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life [resurrection and blessings], and some to shame and everlasting contempt [judgment and curses]. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever." (Daniel 12:1-3)

Paul spoke of this time in the following verses: "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel ["at that time shall Michael stand up" –Daniel 12:1], and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

The second part of Daniel 12:3 states, "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever." This also occurred in 70AD which was spoken of by Jesus when He said, "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. THEN SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN [The sun is the SON—Jesus! See Revelation
21:22-24] in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 13:41-43) These passages show that Jesus' words to Martha about "He that believeth in me, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE," came to pass exactly as He promised. Those who perished pre-70AD rose from their sleep in victorious everlasting life during the timeframe Jesus had said.

The latter part of Paul's words in 1 Thessalonians 4 says, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:17) Paul's words of comfort here are juxtapositional to the promise Jesus made to Martha: "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." (John 11:26) Those who were alive after 70AD were not received in the resurrection from sleep, but were given the same hope of eternal life only with a more powerful promise—no grave and no death!

One of the favorite scriptures of Christianity is John 3:16. Please look again at exactly what it says: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should NOT PERISH, but HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE." Notice again that it literally says Jesus was offered so that any who believed in Him would NOT PERISH, but would instead receive EVERLASTING LIFE. "Perish" means "death," and "everlasting life" means "continuing without end, immortal." This prominent scripture therefore is saying Jesus literally died so that His followers would never see death, but instead would pass from this world into life eternal.

No wonder earlier in John 3 the Pharisaical leader, Nicodemus, asked, "How can these things be?" His question derived from Jesus' statement that said before one could see or enter the
Kingdom of God, they must be born of the water and of the Spirit. Nicodemus was a learned man in the things of the Old Covenant scriptures. His questioning about this occurrence was not because he was unfamiliar with the term "born again of water," because this was a common term in Judaism, and is found in the rabbinical commentary known as the Talmud. "...a proselyte is like a newborn infant." (b. Yevamot 62a; see also b. Yevamot 48b). A "proselyte" was a Gentile that converted to Judaism. Upon this conversion the candidate would immerse himself in a ceremonial cleansing pool of water called a "mikvah." (See Number 15:15; Leviticus 22:6) The Children of Israel knew that these mikvahs were not the one true mikvah that was to come, which was to be a cleansing that could only come through their Messiah. Jeremiah prophetically called Messiah the “hope of Israel.” (See Jeremiah 17:13) The word "HOPE" in the Hebrew is the word "MIKVAH." This literally means that Jesus was to be the “BAPTISM” of Israel! This cleansing flow began when water and blood poured at Calvary from the wound in Jesus' side. (See Zechariah 13:1; John 19:34; 1 John 5:6) On this, the Jewish Encyclopedia.com, by Kaufmann Kohler and Samuel Krauss said: "To receive the spirit of God, or to be permitted to stand in the presence of God (His Shekinah), man must undergo Baptism (Tan., Meẓora', 6, ed. Buber, p. 46), wherefore in the Messianic time God will Himself pour water of purification upon Israel in accordance with Ezek. xxxvi. 25 (Tan., Meẓora', 9-17, 18, ed. Buber, pp. 43, 53)" But the thing that made Nicodemus take notice in John 3 was that he knew the birth of the "Spirit" to which Jesus referred was prophesied to take place at the time of the Messiah, which was to happen during the last days of the Jewish age. (See Isaiah 61:1-2; Ezekiel 11:17-21, 36:25-27; Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21)

Again what life did John 3:16 say Jesus came to bring mankind? Everlasting! So as a person is born again of the water and of the Spirit in Jesus' name, they are thereby translated from their former life of sin and death, and into the
Kingdom of Jesus in which they will never see death. This is the promise of the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. Concerning this state of life, Paul wrote: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, WE SHALL BE ALSO IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. NOW IF WE BE DEAD WITH CHRIST, WE BELIEVE THAT WE SHALL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; DEATH HATH NO MORE DOMINION OVER HIM. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. LIKEWISE RECKON YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD." (Romans 6:3-11) Timothy received a similar promise from Paul when he wrote, "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him [Jesus], we shall also live with him." (2 Timothy 2:11) And concerning this life being available to the Gentiles, the Apostle Peter wrote, "For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Peter 4:6) This promise of new spiritual life in this world and it translating us into everlasting life in the next is found throughout the Bible. (A few examples: John 3:15-18, 4:14, 5:24, 6:50, 6:54-58, 8:51-53, 10:28; Romans 8:13; 1 John 5:10-12)

This type of life is what Jesus was telling Martha those who believed in Him would receive. We hear of this mentioned many times at funerals when the minister says that the deceased is "NOW with Jesus, in a better place." He is not saying that the deceased's body is not there, but that the part of him, that which is biblically promised eternal life—the spiritual man/soul—is now alive in eternity with the Lord. This agrees with the witness of the Bible as shown in the next verse: "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be ABSENT FROM THE BODY, and to be PRESENT WITH THE LORD." (2 Corinthians 5:8) This is exactly what is meant when the Bible says, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, THEN shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:50-57) The last trump sounded at 70AD when the holy people's strength was scattered. This occurred when the armies of Titus made their house (The Jewish Temple) desolate and then scattered those who survived this siege throughout the known world of their day. (Daniel 12:7; Matthew 23:37-38, 24:1-2; Luke 21:6, 20; Zechariah 13:6-9) To teach this trump sounded anytime before this would not have allowed these important prophecies to have been fulfilled, and to place it anytime after is to ignore the detailed accuracy of how each of these situations already took place in detail within the exact generation (This Generation:Matthew 24:34; Mark 13:30-31; Luke 21:32-33) in which Jesus said they would see them come to pass. (See These Things:Matthew 24:6; Mark 13:29; Luke 21:31)

NO DEATH AND NO GRAVE

Now, those who have passed from their former Adamic life of death to a new life in Jesus will never see death. This means they will not pass by way of the grave for they will never—NEVER—die (sleep)! After all, how can the grave, which is something that Jesus has victory over and the keys to, have any hold on those who are in Him? (See 1 Corinthians 15:54-57; Revelation 1:18) A baby leaving the fleshy world of its mother's womb to be born into the life in this world is similar to a believer leaving the fleshly womb of their bodily life to be born into eternity. And just as a baby is already showing signs of life while in the womb, a Holy Ghost filled believer also show signs of his regenerated spiritual life while in his body. And when his body is shed, he enters into the fullness of that which he had lived and hoped—everlasting life with Jesus Christ!

This truth is not new or obscure, but is one that is even sung about in many churches: "Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! May I thy consolation share, Till, from
MountPisgah’s lofty height, I view my home and take my flight: This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise. To seize the everlasting prize; And shout, while passing through the air, 'Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!'" ("Sweet Hour," William B. Bradbury, Golden Chain, New York: 1861) "MountPisgah" was the lofty height from where Moses saw all the physical Promised Land. (Deuteronomy 34:1) Upon leaving our physical "robe of flesh" behind, we do spiritually enter that perfect land, not one that can be limited in value by moth or rust, but one that Moses and all the prophets longed for—Beulah Land—the eternal home of the righteous—the city whose builder and maker is God!

HYMENAEAN HERESY OR HEARSAY

In an effort to discredit Apostolic Preterism, some have said its teachings on the resurrection are closely aligned with the error commonly called the "Hymenaean heresy." Concerning this false teaching, Paul wrote: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some." (2 Timothy 2:15-18) A few things to consider when trying determining exactly what Hymenaeus and Philetus taught are:

Paul never corrected these men on their view of what the resurrection would be, just on the timing of its occurrence. Remember, nowhere does Paul's rebuke say these men said this was a "physical, bodily resurrection," and since we do not see Paul saying that they used physical bodies as their proof, we can deduce that they taught their resurrection was spiritual in nature. This type resurrection, as mentioned afore, agrees with that found in the biblical narratives of both the Old and New Testaments.

We know this writing was pre-70AD since Paul died at the hand of Nero somewhere around 65 AD. This means their error was based on bad exegesis of when this event was to occur. This was why Paul first said here that a believer should "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." If these men had heeded the Apostle's words, they would have seen that their Old Testament writings clearly told that this resurrection could not occur until after the stipulations of that "last day" had first been met. Had they done their homework, we never would have known about their miscalculated doctrine.

Some have wondered if Hymenaeus and Philetus wrongly thought that those who were resurrected at the time of Jesus' resurrection were all that would be raised to live eternally. (Matthew 27:50-54) This is possible, but since Paul does not mention this as being the case, no one should dogmatically teach it as such.

These men may have been in error because they thought the only transformed life one received was that which comes during this lifetime. This is similar to the error of the Sadducees, and was address as such by Jesus. (See Matthew 22:23-32) Paul also addressed this error in his famous 1 Corinthians chapter on the resurrection: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (1 Corinthians 15:19) Since this doctrine was already a New Testament issue, I feel this witness lends credence that this was probably the error made here by these men.

Regardless of what Hymenaeus and Philetus taught, or why they taught it, their doctrine is not comparable to the resurrection taught in Apostolic Preterism. Paul commanded believers to "rightly divide the Word of truth." Because so, for a person to use this scantly described error as reason enough to reject the abundance of resurrection scriptures used in the Apostolic Preterist position, is to fall into the same error these men found themselves. Their critical view was derived from ignoring scriptures, which would have corrected their error had they studied them to "show themselves approved." Those who use the "Hymenaean heresy" as evidence against the afore mentioned Apostolic Preterist view of the resurrection, have similarly fallen into the same trap of inept hermeneutics as did Hymenaeus and Philetus. Because so, instead of simply using the words from this lone obscure passage, they should first study the whole counsel of God's Word before deciding the conclusion of this important matter.

THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS

Last, but certainly not least, is the resurrection on which our Christian hope is based, the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus had told Martha that He WAS the resurrection and the life, and the witness of Scripture bares this out to be true. To see how this relates to a believer, let's study some of its truths:

THE "GOSPEL" OR "GOOD NEWS" OF JESUS CHRIST

This central truth of Jesus Christ is found in Paul's well-known chapter on the resurrection found in 1 Corinthian 15. Here is how Paul began this chapter:"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the Scriptures; And THAT HE WAS BURIED, and THAT HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY according to the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) Jesus' scriptural fulfillment of all three of these points is equally vital to our salvation. Jesus' work here makes up that which constitutes the "power of God unto our salvation," since through Jesus' salvic work in the Gospel, we are considered jointly dead, jointly buried, and jointly resurrected with Him, whereby we, like Jesus, pass from death into eternal life. (See Romans 1:16, 6:4, 9; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 2:20; Revelation 1:18) This is why Paul said the Gospel was the means "by which we are saved." Saved from what? Our old nature and death! Paul said as much in his second epistle to his son in the Gospel, Timothy: "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, WHO HATH ABOLISHED DEATH, and hath BROUGHT LIFE [in this life because the old man is dead and the new man is alive] AND IMMORTALITY [life in the next because the grave has no sting nor victory over a believer] TO LIGHT THROUGH THE GOSPEL." (2 Timothy 1:10) Look at how this same passage is translated in the Amplified Bible: "[It is that purpose and grace] which He now has made known and has fully disclosed and made real [to us] through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, WHO ANNULLED DEATH AND MADE IT OF NO EFFECT AND BROUGHT LIFE AND IMMORTALITY (IMMUNITY FROM ETERNAL DEATH) TO LIGHT THROUGH THE GOSPEL." (2 Timothy 1:10 AMP)

Paul's words show us that through Jesus' Gospel, life in this existence and everlasting immortality for the next is now made available to all who are born again of its message. Jesus' death and resurrection was a necessary part of His Messiahship and was spoken as such throughout the Old Testament writings. This is what Jesus said to the grieving disciples on the road to Emmaus. "O fools, and slow of heart to believe ALL THAT THE PROPHETS HAVE SPOKEN: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And BEGINNING AT MOSES AND ALL THE PROPHETS, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24:25-27) These Old Testament witnesses of the Gospel are not so much literally discerned as they are spiritually. One example of this is found Jesus' prediction about His own death, burial, and resurrection: "Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah: FOR AS JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE WHALE'S BELLY; SO SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH." (Matthew 12:38-40) Jesus used this to show that Jonah's story spoke past its Old Testament time to the time when the coming Messiah would bring salvation to both this prophet, Jonah, and the rest of the world. John 2:18-22 records another occasion where the Jews sought for a sign of Jesus' Messiahship: "Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and IN THREE DAYS I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. WHEN THEREFORE HE WAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and THEY BELIEVED THE SCRIPTURE, AND THE WORD WHICH JESUS HAD SAID." (“Three Days,” see also Matthew 12:40, 26:61, 27:40, 63; Mark 8:31, 14:58, 15:29; John 2:19-20) Jesus' resurrection caused His disciples to believe what He and the Old Testament writers had said about the biblical resurrection. This brings us to the next point….

RESURRECTION AND THE WAVE OFFERING

Jesus' victory over the grave was shared with others and is recorded in the pages of our New Testament: "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 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; And THE GRAVES WERE OPENED; AND MANY BODIES OF THE SAINTS WHICH SLEPT AROSE, AND CAME OUT OF THE GRAVES AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, AND WENT INTO THE HOLY CITY, AND APPEARED UNTO MANY. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God." (Matthew 27:50-54) The saints resurrected here must have recently died in Christ, because saints asleep from several to hundreds of years would not have easily been believed, since it would be very difficult if not completely impossible to find someone to vouch for their deaths. These who resurrected could have included believers like John the Baptist and other notable believers from that time.

This resurrection should not be confused with the resurrection for those who slept in their graves since it does not meet all the stipulations of when this was to take place. This coinciding resurrection with Jesus' was the fulfillment of the biblical wave offering. Here is its command: "And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, when ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf a he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD." (Leviticus 23:9-12) This wave offering was the physical representative part of the remainder of the coming harvest. It was the physical first thrust from the sickle that was waved as a witness of the harvest that was to follow. Although I do not agree with his Dispensational beliefs, the famous Dispensational teacher, Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, wrote in agreement on this in the study notes of his Scofield Reference Bible. Here is what he recorded there about what these resurrected saints represent: "That these bodies returned to their graves is not said and may not be inferred. THE WAVE-SHEAF (Leviticus 23:10-12) typifies the resurrection of Christ, but a sheaf implies plurality. It was a single "corn of wheat" that fell into the ground in the crucifixion and entombment of Christ (John 12:24); IT WAS A SHEAF WHICH CAME FORTH IN RESURRECTION. The inference is that these saints, with the spirits of 'just men made perfect' (Hebrews 12:23) from Paradise, went with Jesus (Ephesians 4:8-10) into heaven." (Scofield Reference Notes 1917 Edition) Scofield indicated that this resurrection was basically the showcase for what was to later come. Scofield was not the only one to teach this. A contemporary of his wrote: "The saints . . . were raised. Who is not stated, or whether their bodies returned to the grave again. Their rising was A TESTIMONY that the death of Christ is life to the saints." (The People's New Testament [1891] by B. W. Johnson) Jesus' resurrection, as well as those who were simultaneously released from their graves, were waved before the people as physical evidence of what the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ held for all who believed and obeyed its promise.

Jesus was resurrected in His glorified physical body, but His was the only body that the Bible ever promised would NOT see corruption in the grave. (See Psalms 16:10) He rose not as a phantom, but in a body that was of flesh and bone that was able to eat fish and honeycomb. (See Luke 24:39, 42) But this was also a body that could change its appearance, disappear or reappear at will, and even walk through walls. (See Luke 24:31, 36; John 19:19-20) And since the wave offering was a harvest of similar grain, these saints that arose with Jesus likewise must have resurrected in bodies similar to His. This does not dictate that those who later rose from their grave in 70AD rose in "physical bodies," because the only physical manifestation that was required for the wave offering was that which was first harvested, not that which was to follow.

An easy way to understand this is to see that Jesus and those who arose with Him was representative of the early grain. That harvest was biblically mandated to be shown as a witness of the promised harvest which was to come. But those who arose after the coming judgment of that generation were the later harvest. The body of this grain was for consumption, and therefore no bodily witness was required. This is why later around 70AD those who were asleep in the faith could awake and rise up in spiritual bodies, while leaving their decayed (consumed) physical bodies behind in the grave.

THE BODIES OF THOSE WHO ROSE WITH JESUS

The question is always asked, "What happened to the bodies of those who rose with Jesus?" Here is what one commentary that predated the popularization of Dispensationalism said concerning this: "What became of them after they had entered into the city whether they again died or ascended to heaven, is not revealed, and conjecture is vain." (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible –Albert Barnes 1798-1870) The bottom line is the Bible does NOT tell us where the bodies of these saints ended up, but it does say that our old earthy bodies will stay in the grave but our new spiritual bodies will rise to live forever. Look at what Paul said about this miraculous change: "But some man will say, HOW ARE THE DEAD RAISED UP? AND WITH WHAT BODY DO THEY COME? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 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: 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; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: IT IS SOWN A NATURAL BODY; IT IS RAISED A SPIRITUAL BODY. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 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, 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. And AS WE HAVE BORNE THE IMAGE OF THE EARTHY, WE SHALL ALSO BEAR THE IMAGE OF THE HEAVENLY. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." (1 Corinthians 15:35-50) In the earth a seed dies and deteriorates so that the life found within it can arise and bring forth fruit. A human also is buried and returns to the very humus from which he was made. And just like the plant, his former shell deteriorates in the ground, but the life within him rises to newness of life. This life originates from the quickening spirit of the last Adam—Jesus. He causes the Spirit found inside a human to rise beyond his earthly beginnings so that he can live eternally in the image of his Heavenly Creator! This dictates that the body which went into the earth cannot be the same as that which comes out, since the resurrected body is born from a different Adam who originated from a different sphere of existence. (See John 1:14, 3:13, 31; Philippians 3:19-21)

DO YOU BELIEVE IT?

The resurrection hope is an awesome truth, so much so that it caused Jesus to ask Martha, "Ye shall never die. Believe ye this?" The price Jesus paid made His Gospel—death, burial, and resurrection—available to all. This was not something we could earn, but it had to be given by a loving Savior. The Bible says, "For the wages of sin is death; but THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD." (Romans 6:23) And just as Jesus asked Martha, "Believe ye this?" if through faith and obedience any person does, they also will never die, but will receive the eternal life that is found only through Jesus Christ and His New Covenant message.

Thomas K. Burk is an elder at Soul’s Harbor Apostolic Church, Manitowoc, WI, and Editor in Chief of OnTime Journal Ministries (www.ontimejournal.com).
You can contact him for reprint or quote permission by mail at:
1137 N. 16th
St., Manitowoc, WI 54220-2606;
by phone at: 920.682.2524;
or by email at: tkburk@ontimejournal.com

70AD-ONGOING The Blessed Hope of Christ's Appearing continues

Prophecy, tongues, miraculous knowledge cease when one sees God

Please consider the following:

Red = what Paul and the Corinthians ALREADY presently had at ~53AD writing of Corinthians
Blue = what Paul & the Corinthians NOT YET had, but were looking forward to attaining

1 Corinthians 13:8-12
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

It is seen, then, that when the same Holy Spirit that gave those things later causes the same to cease, it was because something better was to come to replace. Imperfect (incomplete/immature) was to be replaced with perfect (perfected/completed/matured). Just as childhood was replaced with manhood upon growing up, maturing. Seeing in a glass darkly was to be replaced with seeing face-to-face. Partially knowing was to give way to knowing fully & being fully known.

What does it mean to see God face-to-face? It means having a relationship with God similar to what Moses enjoyed:

Exodus 33:11
And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face , as a man speaketh unto his friend.

Numbers 12:6-8
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold:

John 15:13-16 & John 16:29-30
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
... 16:29 Then Jesus' disciples said, "Now you are speaking clearly and without using figures of speech!"

When the Holy Spirit that gave tongues, prophesy, and (special) knowledge later causes them to cease it is because He brings something better - a "face-to-face" relationship with God that communicates even more clearly than tongues, prophesy, or (special) knowledge ever could. God does not cease to speak, rather, He speaks more clearly than ever. God speaks to His perfected-matured ones as a man speaks to his friends.

The question then becomes: "When does one experience this 'face-to-face' relationship with God?"

Revelation 22:4
They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
NKJV

There is a tranformation that takes place whenever one sees God as He is, 1 John 3:1-2. We who yet live in natural, mortal bodies of flesh & blood are not yet changed into a form like God, (for God is a Spirit, John 4:24), therefore, we conclude thet we have not yet seen His face, (1 John 3:2), therefore we have yet to fully enter the New Jerusalem City, Rev 22:4. So, where are we, then, in the Rev 21-22 picture? We who are still in natural, mortal bodies of flesh & blood are still at the gates "washing our robes" that we may enter into the City, 22:14, (or "keeping Christ's commandments," as some manuscripts read). Entrance to the New Jerusalem is granted via Resurrection, for angels guarding the ever open gates, Rev 21:12, make sure "no impure thing ever enters the City," Rev 21:27, for "flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God," 1 Cor 15:50. The determination to grant or deny entrance to the City is the Judgment that follows one's death, Heb 9:27, LINK.

So, it is concluded that the 'face-to-face' relationship with God is experienced upon being perfected, a term associated with the holy person's death & resurrection.

Meanwhile, as we prepare for the time of our own perfecting, we are to develop the mind of Christ while retaining ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. We can learn to think in line with the Word of God AND maintain an open mind towards supernatural communication with the Divine Being. This is how Christ, the Apostles and the Prophets all lived their lives this way and set the example for us.

70AD-ONGOING "Baptists & Their Doctines: The River of Life"

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN  (pages 183-196)

The River of Life

 

There is a river the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the most high.
 Psalm 46:4

Of man's first home it was said:

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden (Gen. 2:8-10).

Of the saints' final home it is said:

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

The Scripture lesson would not be complete without Ezekiel's vision of the holy waters and of their virtues. Though the passage is long, let us have it all before us:

Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, water issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. And he said unto me, "Son of man, hast thou seen this:" Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other side. Then said he unto me, "These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass that everything that liveth, which moveth, whitherso-ever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live 'whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi, even unto En-eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

The River of Paradise

This vision of Ezekiel is the intermediate picture between the Mosaic description of the typical paradise and John's vision of the ante typical paradise. The only difference between the river which Ezekiel saw and the river of John's Apocalypse is that the one represents grace on earth and the other, glory in heaven. The river is the same-a river of grace here, of glory yonder. Above Pittsburgh we call the tributaries the Monongahela and the Alleghany. Below Pittsburgh the confluent stream is called the Ohio. The waters are the same.

When the inspired psalmist declares: "There is a river the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High," his theme is one with those of Ezekiel and John.

Ezekiel's Vision of the River

Last night I read and expounded at family worship Ezekiel's vision of the river. And when I had described to my children the trickling drops under the sanctuary, that issued into a tiny stream which an infant might span, then speedily became ankle deep¬ knee deep-waist deep-unwadable; then how evergreens fringed its borders and fruit trees bloomed, and bore ripened harvests of every luscious kind perennially along its course; how it reached the desert and made it blossom as a rose; how it came to that awful Dead Sea and healed its bitter, briny waters and filled them with fish, though for ages it had swallowed the Jordan without losing its deadness; but how when these waters found no outlet in some hollow place they stagnated and formed a slimy, scum-covered, pestilential marsh; and what all these things signified-my little daughter said: "0 Papa, preach about that tomorrow, preach about the River of Life!" I promised that I would. And so a little child has led me to this sermon. And I desire to so preach it that a little child can understand.

I would have us not merely to delight ourselves in a beautiful picture, but learn and apply the more beautiful spiritual truth in the beautiful symbol. When apples of gold are offered in basket of silver, let us prefer the apples to the basket.

I would answer then the following questions in order: What is this river? What are its blessings? By what means of instruments are these blessings conveyed to the world? What the course ar.: destiny of this river? What invitations does it suggest?

What Is This River?

My answer is a monosyllable: God. I want to prove to you from the Bible that God Himself is this river. I introduce as the first evidence a passage in the second chapter of Jeremiah:

My people have committed two evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and have hewed out for themselves broken cisterns which can hold no water.

Here is the declaration that God the Father is the fountain of living waters.

I introduce as the second evidence Zechariah 13: 1 :

In that day there shall be opened in the city of David a fountain for sin and uncleanness.

This follows the description of the One who was pierced, and with the piercing of Him comes the unsealing of the fountain for cleansing. Therefore, God the Son is that river.
In John 7:38, I cite another evidence. It is there stated that on the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried:

If any man thirst let him came unto me and drink, and out of him shall flow rivers of living water.

This spake He of the Holy Ghost, who had not yet been given, because Christ had not yet been glorified. Therefore, this river is God the Holy Ghost. John's pure river in Revelation was seen "proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." Ezekiel's river ran by the altar of sacrifice. Truly we may all say with David: "All my springs are in thee" (Ps. 87:7).

What Are the Blessings of This River?

The first blessing is life. This appears in the conversation between Jesus and the sinful woman at the well of Samaria:

Jesus answered and said unto her, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." The woman saith unto him, "Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?" Jesus answered and said unto her, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

John, in Revelation, expressly calls it the river of life. And Ezekiel's vision particularly emphasizes this blessing:

And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth; whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.

I state, then, as the first blessing of this river, it is life, eternal life. It is life for the body. It is life for the soul. It is life forever.

The second blessing is cleansing from the defilement of sin.  "In that day a fountain shall be opened for sin and uncleanness." This is the beautiful Scripture upon which Cowper wrote his matchless hymn:

There is a fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Immanuel's veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood Lose all their guilty stains.

It is not only a fountain of life and a fountain of cleansing, but ... it is a river of refreshment and rest and peace. "Thou leadest me by the still waters." Here in the context is contrasted the roar of the stormy sea with the waters of Siloam that flow softly; peaceful waters, where the weary can recline upon its sloping banks and be at peace and be saved.

The next blessing is nourishment. On the banks of this river are trees. Never yet since God made the earth bring forth seed, that there might be bread for the eater, has there been found a fruit that does not grow on the bank of that river. With us we find in one section apples, but not oranges; in the tropics, oranges and bananas, but not apples. Each section has its own fruit, and you have to move about to get to the different fruits of the earth or have them brought from afar. Moreover, the fruit season with us is short. The fruit is soon gone. But, on the banks of this river, every tree that ever bore fruit grows, and no autumn winds shall loose their fadeless leaves, and no winter's icy breath shall nip their swelling buds. All are evergreens in foliage and perennial in bearing, and the people come and eat of this fruit and it nourishes them. It sustains their life.

In the old paradise, when God made the world, in the very center of the Garden was a Tree of Life, and if anybody would eat of that fruit he would live forever. After man had sinned, God cast him out, lest he should partake of that fruit and live forever, in sin and misery. I doubt not that God had provided that by that fruit Adam's body should renew itself continually. His body never would have died. Through the effect of that fruit, there would have been a continual renewal of the elements of life. He would never have died. And so the fruit on the banks of the stream in Revelation 22 is supplied by the Tree of Life. On either side of it was there the Tree of Life. It is not angel's food, the manna which came down for the people in the wilderness. It is the fruit that God gives His redeemed, and is their nourishment forevermore.

The next blessing is healing. The leaves of these trees are for the healing of the nations. How many sick people! People that are blind, or dim-eyed; people that are bowed with pain! It seems that diseases without number have seized hold upon the human race, and from the first wail of the newborn child until the gasping breath that tells that the spirit is gone, the body is a prey to disease, every kind of disease.

But here is health. The inhabitant shall never say, "I am sick." Never! It is the purpose of God that those who gather upon the bank of this river and partake of this fruit, and apply these healing leaves shall never know an ache or a pain. It is perfect health. Life, cleansing, refreshment, health, beauty.

Look at a desert, the glowing sand, the burning sky, the bleakness and the desolation, and, if this river comes, that desert shall blossom as a rose. It shall be as beautiful as the Paradise of God.

Means of Conveyance

What are the instruments by which the blessings shall go to the world? Or, to use an expression suggesting the methods of irrigation: What are the canals or conduits that conduct this water to the barren places? In a country where irrigation is relied on for moisture, you may see costly aqueducts or modest ditches conveying from off mountain springs or from huge reservoirs prepared by art, the water supply to every thirsty part of a field or garden.

Answering to this figure, what are the channels of God's grace? Unquestionably, God's church and His people. Out of the sanctuary the waters flow, the tabernacle of God. Out of Zion they go forth to the world. What a mission! The church of Jesus Christ, appointed to conduct the waters of life, the waters of healing, the waters of cleansing, the waters of beauty and refreshment and rest to the thirsty and parched world.

It is not only true with reference to the church, as an organization, but I can show you from the Scriptures that it refers to individual Christians. Shall I quote it? On that last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried:

If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink, and out of him shall flow rivers of living water.

Whoever is a convert, whoever has come to Christ for drink, whoever has cooled lips-burning, swollen and parched by the hot fires of sin-in the fountain of Christ, out of him in turn shall flow rivers of living water.

The outflow from him is not meant to express his own blessing. He gets his blessing in Christ; but the outflow from him is to be blessing for other people. This spake He of the Spirit, that through the influence of the Holy Spirit the Christian should be a conveyancer of the blessings of life and salvation to other people. No matter how poor, how lowly, how obscure, how little esteemed by the great ones of this world, if God shines into your heart, if you have tasted and found that the Lord is good, and have quenched your own thirst in the fountain of living waters, from you shall outflow rivers of living water.

Your influence among men shall be life-giving; it shall be health-renewing. Your influence shall be the influence of peace and refreshment. Your influence shall be cleansing as it comes in touch with the defilement of the world. What a glorious blessing!

And are there no desert places? Are there no places where people cannot live on account of the drought? Is it not getting to be so that some places are not worth living in because they have been made a moral desert? Oh! can these healing streams reach the midnight banqueting rooms where oaths fall from the lips of men that are drunk with wine? Can these healing streams flow to the places of the abandoned and lost?

Characteristics and Destiny of the River

The next question which I wish to answer is, what is the course and destiny of this river? It is expressed in three thoughts:

One, the river is outflowing. The law of motion is the law of life. Where there is a miry place, a stagnant place, there is salt. That shall never be healing. One who receives the blessings of the grace of God and profits not by them, to him they become a savor of death unto death, and not of life unto life. His condemnation will be enhanced by the degree of the light which he has not regarded, and the number and pathos and attractiveness of the pleadings which he has disregarded, and the number of admonitions to which he has turned a deaf ear.

Oh, that a man should die of thirst, when just across a stretch of desert there is a horizon of green telling of the perennial Tree of Life growing upon the banks of the stream that makes glad the city of God! To die, to die in anguish, to die of thirst, to be like Ishmael under the shrub, when the water bottle was empty, and crying in his agony. Oh, that God would again hear the lad Himself as He heard Ishmael that day and unseal the fountain for the abandoned boy!

I say the course of this river is outflowing. I mean this, that if there be in you any of the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, it will be a spirit of movement. It will not stop and stagnate. It will overflow and outflow. It will go to others. What genuinely converted heart would attempt to make a corner on salvation, to narrow, to hem it up and circumscribe it in home bounds, to say, "There is only room enough for me and mine in paradise"? Who of the redeemed would be willing to build a dam across a stream that God intended to flow out into yonder desert, where men are gasping for life, choking with the dust and with the sand that the storms are bringing in clouds upon them in their prostration? Tear down the dam. Let the water outflow. Let it go to the thirsty. Who will dare oppose the outward march and progress of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Shall it stop at Jews? Why, then, did God rebuke Peter on the housetop at Joppa, who held at his girdle the key that would unlock the door of the kingdom of heaven to the Gentile, and there on the borders of that Mediterranean Sea that washed the shores of the lost Gentile world, Peter kept idle the key of the kingdom of heaven that opened the Gentile door until God converted him by a sheet let down from heaven, showing by the animals in it of every kind, not only kids and lambs and bullocks; but lions and tigers and hyenas and jackals; not only doves, but eagles and hawks and owls and bats and snakes, every creeping thing was there, that salvation was for all nations?

God said, "Arise, Peter, kill and eat." "Not so, Lord; not so, Lord; I have never eaten anything common or unclean. Let salvation be for the Jews." Break down that wall of partition! The gospel is for the world! Salvation cannot be confined in narrow boundaries. Let it overflow until it strikes the outer shore of human habitations and brings all men, whom God has made of one blood, life and cleansing and health and refreshment and nourishment and beauty and glory.

It means that if you are not a missionary Christian, you are no Christian. Thou miry place! Thou pond, green scum coming over the top, slimy things spawned in it, miasma rising from it: thou dismal swamp; thou Christian who has no outflowing; the miry places shall be salt, they shall not be healed, and whoever withholds a blessing from God from others shall himself be a curse.

The second characteristic of its course is its increase. If you stop, it sinks. If you let it go on, it gets bigger. I saw waters trickling in drops from under the sanctuary; a thousand cubits, it is ankle deep; another thousand, it is knee deep; another thousand. it is to the loins; another thousand, behold a river that cannot be waded, a river to swim in, widening and deepening its channel. and increasing its volume and its momentum. The river of God flows on.

The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which is the least of all seeds, but it grows and grows until it makes a mighty tree, in which the birds of the air come and build their nests. The kingdom of heaven is like a little leaven, which a woman took and put in three measures of meal, and it leavened and leavened and leavened until it leavened the whole lump. The kingdom of heaven, what is it?

I saw a little stone, cut out of the mountain without hands. and it came rolling down the mountain and getting bigger and bigger, and rolling faster and faster until, as a mighty cannon ball, a huge avalanche, it smote the image of Nebuchadnezzar, and crushed it to dust, and rolled on, enlarging as it rolled, until it filled the whole earth.

There shall be a handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon. And they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. His name shall endure forever; His name shall be continued as long as the sun; and men shall be blessed in Him; and all nations shall call Him blessed. And blessed be His glorious name forever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and amen.

What is the next and last characteristic of its course? Its culmination. I will give you a picture:

There is in Palestine a sea way down yonder in the ground, far, far below the level of the Mediterranean and of the ocean; a sea that is a pit. A pit? Yes, a pit of brimstone. Under it are the bones of the Sodomites. The Dead Sea! No tree or flower grows on its borders. No fish, no creeping thing, is in it. It is dead, dead. And what shall heal it? Shall it be the Jordan? Far yonder in Lebanon, snowy Lebanon, the sun comes out and melts the white snow crest with which winter has crowned it, and these waters come down from Lebanon. Wonderful waters! The waters run through the Sea of Galilee, waters that had been pavement under the foot of the Son of God; waters also into which He had been baptized; waters that had been smitten by the mantle of Elijah and Elisha; waters where Gideon's troop triumphed over their foes; historic from spring to mouth. But Jordan flows into the Dead Sea and heals it not; Jordan is swallowed up and the sea is dead. It drinks up the Jordan, and if a fish should come down from the Sea of Galilee, carried by the swift waters of the Jordan, when it touches the waters of the Dead Sea it dies.

But let me show you something. Come here to Jerusalem, and behold waters trickling down from under the altar of God, and see it becoming a mighty river. It does not rise in Lebanon. It rises in the sanctuary of God. See it becoming a river! As it goes, fringing itself with evergreens and fruit-bearing trees. See it flow through the desert, and as its waters move, the desert blossoms, and becomes as the garden of God. And when that water strikes the Dead Sea it is dead no more. It is healed; healed over the very tomb of Sodom and Gomorrah, and fishermen come and spread their nets where desolation had reigned. Water that no man could drink or could sink in, water of salt and bitterness; it is healed at last. Says Revelation, "There shall be no more sea," certainly no more Dead Sea. It is as fresh as a fountain.

What Does It Mean?

What does it mean? It does express the healing power of the river that flows from the sanctuary of God. You can have no home of certain peace and rest on the water of any other stream. Go into ecstasies, if you will, about the cascades of the Hudson, its "Sleepy Hollows," its mountains, fortress-crowned. Talk of the Tiber or the Tay or the Thames. Where is there a stream not crimsoned in its tide with red-handed murder?

But this river that flows from the sanctuary of God shall redeem the world. It shall make the earth a paradise. It shall be as when God said, "It is good." New heavens bend over it. A new earth is the footstool wherein dwelleth righteousness, and from one boundary to another it is covered with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the great deep. Oh, thou glorious river of the gospel of God, giving life to the fainting, giving cleansing to the sinful, cleansing to the most defiled, for what can heal the Dead Sea, can save any man. Such is the river-God. Such are its blessings-life, healing, cleansing, nourishment, refreshment, beauty. Such are its conduits-the church, the Christian. Such is its course-outflowing, ever-deepening, culminating in the redemption of the Dead Sea itself.

What Invitations Are Voiced by Its Waters?

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters. And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

I stand by the banks of the river and send out a voice into the wilderness of the world. Who is thirsty? Who is sad? Who is sick? Who is dying? Come to the fountain, the fountain of cleansing and of life, and of health.

The earth will rot and putrefy in the sight of God if the channels of the gospel are dammed up. Its only hope is this word. You might as well attempt to stop a Texas norther with a barricade of straw as to stop the cold and chilling breath of death from seizing upon this world, if any other remedy is relied upon than this gospel.

A Benevolent Philosophy?

Try a benevolent philosophy. It lifts a lordly head. It shakes a kingly crest. It attitudinizes as a mighty one. And what is it? Agnosticism! What is agnosticism? It is a philosophy of not knowing.

Is there any final healing? It answers, "I don't know."
Is there any life beyond the grave? It says, "I don't know."
If my heart is burdened, is there any hope in kneeling down and praying, "God, help me"? It croaks, "I don't know."
Is there any God? It cries, "I don't know."

And a man prides himself on that, and goes around pushing common people aside, and says, "Here is a philosophy for you." What? "The philosophy of not knowing anything." How will that heal the world? How will that stay the hand of the assassin? How will that reform? How will it redeem the bondman? How will it strike the shackles from the slave? How will it shove off Satan, whose cloven foot presses down on the heart of the fallen? It can have no power. It is a negation, just a negation.

What will you put in place of the gospel? Here are the conduits that convey this water of life to the world. Shall we break them up? Here is the aqueduct. Shall we cut it down? Tear down the churches? Fold up the banner and close the book? Let men quit praying? The fool hath said in his heart, "No God! No God!"

The Voice of Invitation

O thou church of Jesus, yours should be a voice of invitation! Why are not your hands stretched out? Why is not your voice lifted? Surely there are thirsty people enough, and hungry people enough, spending their money for that which is not bread, and toiling for that which satisfieth not, drinking indeed each one what countless millions might drink, and yet dying of thirst. Oh, the sick world, the sinful world, the dying world, the sinking world! Church of Jesus Christ, let the waters flow to it, the waters of life. And do ye plead with men to become reconciled to God? Who would live always? Who would ask to stay where storm after storm rises dark o'er the way; who would bear the proud man's scorn, the world's contumely; who would endure forever life's burden, but for the hope of a place and a time and an estate where night shall not come, where the inhabitants shall not be sick, where God's name shall be in the foreheads of His people, and where they shall serve Him forevermore.

Heaven! Draw back its curtain. Let the world see it. Loom up into our sight, thou glory land. Stream down in radiance thy attractiveness. Draw us up to thee by the bonds of divine love, so that we may say, though lame and blind and deaf and suffering: "It makes no difference. It is just a little while. It endures but for a moment. It will work out for us glory, more glory, far more glory, exceeding more glory, far more and exceeding glory, weight of glory, in the bright world to come."

Church of Jesus Christ, talk to the people about heaven, that sun-bright clime. I repeat again, the old Methodist hymn:

Have you heard, have you heard, Of that sun-bright clime,
Undimmed by sorrow and unhurt by time,

Where age hath no power over the fadeless frame, Where the eye is fire and the heart is flame,
Have you heard, have you heard,
Of that sun-bright clime?