THE INNER RESURRECTION
From: Kingdom Concepts
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
God already has raised Christ from the dead. That resurrection is the foundation of the Christian redemption. But it is the resurrection of Christ in our heart that is to be the focus of our attention. Our resurrection is Christ. We are part of His resurrection. He is alive in us. His resurrection from the dead is magnified in us. This is the aspect of His resurrection that Christ desires. He is seeking to reveal His life in us. The world will behold the risen Christ in us.
THE INNER RESURRECTION
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection [Greek, out-resurrection] of the dead. (Philippians 3:11)
Our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, anointed by the Holy Spirit, went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, and then was slain because of the murderous hatred of envious religious leaders. His death on the cross was an offering to God, an atonement for our sins.
Then Christ was raised physically from the dead. His body walked away from the burial cave of Joseph of Arimathea. Christ is alive today at the right hand of God and through the Holy Spirit is able to be everywhere at once among all of His saints, both in Heaven and on the earth.
Christ is gloriously, imperishably alive.
But the fact that Christ is alive and at the right hand of the Father is not the issue of central importance in the mind of Christ and the Father. For unlike us, Christ possessed eternal life at the right hand of the Father from eternity. He was eternally alive before He was born of Mary.
Christ was in Heaven before He was born. Also, He appeared many times on the earth. Christ is the “Lord” who called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees. Christ is the Creator who convinced Job of his frailties. Christ is the “I Am” who appeared to Moses; who dwelled in Glory between the golden wings of the cherubim in the Holy of Holies.
Christ has always possessed eternal resurrection life. It is no new or surprising circumstance that He is alive. The eternal purpose of God has not been accomplished in the fact that Christ is eternally alive at His right hand. There has been one change, however. Christ now is resurrected Man. He is the Firstborn of man from the dead.
The issue of central importance in the mind of Christ and the Father is the resurrection of the saints, of the Body of Christ, of the Church, of the Bride of the Lamb. This is the eternal purpose of God in Christ.
Let us keep in mind that all that we say in this paper is based on the atoning death and triumphant, bodily resurrection of Christ.
The resurrection of the saints is of monumental importance in the eyes of Christ. That Christ Himself is alive forever is merely reestablishing what always has been true.
God already has raised Christ from the dead. That resurrection is the foundation of the Christian redemption. But it is the resurrection of Christ in our heart that is to be the focus of our attention.
Our resurrection is Christ. We are part of His resurrection. He is alive in us. His resurrection from the dead is magnified in us. This is the aspect of His own resurrection that Christ desires. He is seeking to show His Life in us. The world will behold the risen Christ in us.
There are two principal aspects of our resurrection: (1) the outer resurrection; and (2) the inner resurrection.
- The outer resurrection.
- The inner resurrection.
We will speak first of the outer resurrection.
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. (I Corinthians 15:52)
The “change” spoken of here is much more than the healing of our dead body, as in the case of Lazarus or the son of the widow of Nain.
The raising of the dead is the eternalizing and glorifying of our mortal body so we will possess the same powers and abilities that Jesus demonstrated during the month and ten days between His resurrection and His ascension.
How wonderful it will be to be able to live on the earth and yet not be subject to fear, dread, pain or any other physical, emotional, or mental limitation!
Paul groaned for the redemption of his mortal body. Paul desired to be set free from sin, from death. He wanted to be released so he could obey the laws of righteousness and also, no doubt, to continue his service to Christ apart from the chains of the physical body.
And not only they [the material creation], 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. (Romans 8:23)
How glorious will be the day when we have been set free from the shortcomings and bondages of the physical body, the body of sin and death!
This will be an instantaneous miracle. We will be changed into imperishable life in an incorruptible body. The change will take place in a moment, in the “twinkling of an eye.”
This is the outer resurrection. It will occur in the future when the Lord Jesus returns to gather us to Himself.
But what about the inner resurrection—that to which we are to be giving our attention today?
The inner resurrection has two dimensions: (1) the forming of Christ in us; and (2) the abiding of Christ in us. In all aspects of our resurrection from the dead, Christ is central.
- The forming of Christ in us.
- The abiding of Christ in us.
Apart from a successful inner resurrection there can be no successful outer resurrection. The Lord will not place an imperishable body on a sinful, rebellious, self-willed soul who is living and behaving far from the Lord in an ungodly, unchristian manner.
The Scriptures appear to teach that it is possible to be saved from wrath even though the individual has not been successful in overcoming sin and self-will. But no resurrection has taken place in this instance.
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (I Corinthians 3:15)
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (I Corinthians 5:5)
Christ has not risen in the believer mentioned above although he or she has been saved from the Divine wrath.
Adam and Eve were not permitted to partake of the tree of life after they had sinned. Why not? Not only because of their guilt but also because through their sin they had lost faith in God. If God had allowed them to eat of the tree of life they would have been doomed to eternal life in the flesh in a state of rebellion against God.
So it is that we have the guilt of our sin removed when we turn away from the world and receive Christ, believing in Him. But in order to eat of the tree of life, that is, to begin to gain inner resurrection life and the resulting outer resurrection life, we must commence overcoming the world, Satan, and our own lusts and self-will.
We can conquer the basis of death through the wisdom and power of Christ that come to us through the Holy Spirit. It is the conqueror who is given access to the tree of life.
… To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)
We are to be attaining the resurrection now.
The inner resurrection is the forming and abiding of Christ in us. This is the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles that follows the feast of Pentecost (Deuteronomy 16:16). If we are earnestly seeking Christ today we are finding that the Spirit of God is moving us toward a greater experience of Christ in us than we have known.
The inner resurrection, which was being sought by Paul (Philippians 3:8-12), does not take place when we go to Heaven. It does not take place when Christ returns in the clouds of the heavens.
It takes place today through the travail of the ministries of the Body of Christ.
The writer has read many accounts, some new and some old, that record the experiences of Christians who have had visions of Heaven. It is our opinion that these are true visions from God and that they portray the spirit realm as we will experience it when we die physically.
But one fact is true of every such account: Christ remains external to the believer just as He was external to His apostles when He was on the earth. The saint who is having the vision sees Jesus, talks to Jesus, walks with Jesus, but Jesus remains an external Person. This is not the fulfillment of the new covenant (Colossians 1:27).
The fact that Christ is external to the saints in Heaven leads us to believe that the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles has not been experienced to any great extent by the saints on earth nor by the saints in Heaven. They apart from us cannot be made perfect.
At the time chosen of the Father, Christ will enter the members of the Body of Christ in Heaven and on the earth. It is our point of view that this indwelling will take place before Christ returns to earth in the Day of the Lord.
We think that the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles is beginning to take place now. Are you experiencing the resurrection of Christ in yourself? Is He truly beginning to live in you?
We have stated that the inner resurrection consists of the forming of Christ in us and also the abiding of Christ in us.
The forming is the transformation of our personality as the Holy Spirit infuses Christ eternally into every atom of our being. The abiding is the actual coming of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit to dwell forever in the transformed personality.
The first is the building of the Temple of God. The second is the occupying of the Temple of God.
Paul speaks of both of these, showing that the abiding is dependent on the forming:
That he [the Father] would grant you [the saints and faithful in Christ], according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner man [the transformation]; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith [the abiding of Christ in the transformed personality];… (Ephesians 3:16,17)
The first aspect of the inner resurrection is the bringing forth of a new creation—the eternal union of Christ and the personality of the Christian.
The second aspect of the inner resurrection is the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, that is, the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell eternally in the new creation.
The first is the building of the “booth.” The second is the eternal abiding of the Lord and the saint in the “booth,” the eternally transformed inner man of the saint (Leviticus 23:40-43).
John portrays the resurrection of Christ in the members of the Body of Christ and the many “booths” (mansions) that Christ is preparing for His godly ones.
A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. (John 16:16)
“Ye shall not see me.” By this Jesus meant He would be crucified, descend into the interior of the earth, and then ascend to the Father. His followers no longer would be able to see Him.
“Again, a little while, and ye shall see me because I go to the Father.” Does this mean they would see Him after He rose from the dead, when He ate and spoke with them? No, it does not, because their seeing Him after He rose from the dead did not depend on His going to the Father.
Does this mean they would see Him when He comes again in the clouds of glory, and “every eye shall see him”? Probably not.
Christ means that after He ascended to the Father He would be able to come to them through the Holy Spirit and appear to them by abiding in them. They would know He is risen because He is risen in them.
Notice how John 14:19 explains John 16:16:
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (John 14:19)
This is the new covenant—the saint living by the Life of Christ. This is the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles. This is the resurrection of Christ in the saints.
… Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:22,23)
When will this coming of the Father and Christ into the Church take place? It is our point of view that it will take place in the period of time just prior to the return of Christ from Heaven.
We know that Antichrist is coming bringing great tribulation and desolation. Man seeking to make himself God always is an abomination that creates desolation.
What will Christ do for His Church in response to this “maturing of the tares”? Christ will enter His people to such an extent they will be more than conquerors. Christ who is dwelling in the saints always will be greater than Antichrist who is dwelling in the world.
The Old Testament prophets spoke of the Day when God enters into Zion, into His people, and destroys His ancient enemy.
The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. (Isaiah 42:13)
And the God of peace shall bruise [crush] Satan under your feet… (Romans 16:20)
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:16)
The above passage is God’s response to Antichrist through His Church. It is the power of Christ’s resurrection abiding in the saints that finally will destroy Satan and his works.
We must pass from an external fellowship with Jesus to an inner knowledge of Jesus if we would attain the resurrection from the dead.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. (John 16:20)
Today the world goes on its merry way rejoicing. Christ is not the focus of concern of earth’s peoples.
The saint who would know the eternal abiding of God and Christ in him must pass through a season (sometimes prolonged) of sorrow and weeping.
Why is that? It is because our personality, even though we have been saved through the blood of Christ, has not been totally reconciled to God.
In order for us to come to the fullness of the Tabernacles experience we must submit to the Lord’s judgment on us. There is no other way. Judgment always begins in the household of God, in those who are nearest to God. Much of the Christian Church of today remains unjudged.
There is an observance that comes before the feast of Tabernacles. It is the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27). The Day of Atonement is the Day of Reconciliation. Our total personality must be reconciled to God through Christ. This is the aspect of the marriage of the Lamb that is to take place now.
Christ must become central to our security, our pleasures, and our goals and achievements, plans and ambitions. There must be no part of us in which Christ is not central.
God deals strictly with each person with whom He would make His eternal dwelling. This fact is emphasized throughout the Scriptures. It is in sharing Christ’s sufferings that we are brought to the power of the resurrection.
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:8)
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: (II Thessalonians 1:4,5)
We are in travail. Christ is being formed in us. Our self-life is being brought down to death. We are decreasing, Christ is increasing. Pain, fear, sorrow, frustration, denial, are part of the process of Christ being formed in us.
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. (John 16:21)
After we have suffered for a season God will give us the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Our sorrow will be turned into joy because Christ is being formed in us and will abide in us to a greater extent than we have known.
In this day-by-day outworking of Christ in us we attain the resurrection from the dead, to use Paul’s expression in the third chapter of Philippians.
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection [out-resurrection] of the dead. (Philippians 3:11)
Notice Paul’s emphasis on the forming of Christ in the saints:
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)
Is Christ being resurrected in you today? If so, you are experiencing an inner travail as Christ overcomes and transforms each part of your personality.
The inner resurrection is taking place in us now. If we expect to participate in the first resurrection from the dead, at the coming of the Lord, we must experience the necessary inner resurrection beforehand. The current doctrine, that all who profess Christ will be resurrected and will ascend when the Lord returns, is incorrect according to the Scriptures. The first or out-resurrection must be attained.
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection [Greek, out-resurrection] of the dead. (Philippians 3:11)
We will experience the needed inner transformation if we allow Jesus to have His perfect, unhindered way in our life.
We must forsake all other interests in order to have Christ formed in us and abiding in us. We must make Christ the Center of all we think and practice.
Our first, adamic personality is required to submit to the death of the cross. Then the new man comes into view, who is our personality reborn and filled with the resurrection life of Christ. The new creation is alive forever. Now we are able to know and have fellowship with the Father.
The Kingdom of God is the resurrection of Christ in the believer.
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. (John 16:22,23)
(“The Inner Resurrection”, 3325-1)