WE SHALL BE CHANGED

! (Trumpet Ministries,Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

WE SHALL BE CHANGED! Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved From: Kingdom Concepts

The resurrection from the dead is one of the great pillars of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Apart from the resurrection of the dead our preaching is in vain and our faith unfounded.

The resurrection from the dead of which the Scripture speaks, the act of redemption that will take place at the return from Heaven of our Lord Jesus Christ, is not of the spirit or soul of the saint. The spirit and soul have been redeemed previously. The resurrection from the dead, the raising from the grave at the sounding of the trumpet of the Lord, has to do with the body of the saint.

The Divine redemption includes our spirit, our soul, and our body. Our spirit is redeemed by Christ. Our soul is redeemed by Christ. Our body will be redeemed by Christ at His coming provided we have sown to the Spirit of God, putting to death through the Spirit the deeds of our body (Romans 8:3). The Divine salvation extends to the body as well as to the spirit and soul.

WE SHALL 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. (I Corinthians 15:52)

First Corinthians, Chapter 15 is the "resurrection chapter" of the Scriptures.

The resurrection from the dead is one of the great pillars of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Apart from the resurrection of the dead our preaching is in vain and our faith unfounded.

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (I Corinthians 15:13,14)

But Christ has been raised from the dead and has led the way for the saints. We too shall not perish but through Christ shall receive eternal life in our bodies.

Let us look carefully at the resurrection, for we must be preparing for the resurrection today. Whether or not we will attain the first resurrection, the resurrection of God’s kings and priests, depends on our conduct today (Philippians 3:11; Revelation 20:4-6).

Perhaps the main point that should be emphasized concerning the resurrection from the dead in general, and First Corinthians, Chapter 15 in particular, is that the resurrection from the dead has to do with our body.

Man is different from every other creature of God. Man has a spirit, a soul, and a physical body. No other creature of God that we know of has a spirit, a soul, and a physical body. Christ has a Spirit, a Soul, and a physical body. We are being created in the image of Jesus Christ.

Divine redemption includes our spirit, our soul, and our body. Our spirit is redeemed by Christ. Our soul is redeemed by Christ. Our body will be redeemed by Christ at His coming provided we have sown to the Spirit of God, putting to death through the Spirit the deeds of our body (Romans 8:13). The Divine salvation extends to the body as well as to the spirit and soul.

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Thessalonians 5:23)

To be redeemed means to be rescued from the darkness and death of Satan and to be filled with the light and life of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our spirit must be redeemed. Our soul must be redeemed. Our body must be redeemed. Man has not been completely redeemed until his entire personality—spirit, soul and body—has been brought out from the power of death into the light and life of Christ.

When is our spirit redeemed?

Our spirit is delivered from death and brought into the glorious life and light of Christ the moment we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)

As we receive Jesus and follow Him each day our spirit is filled with the eternal resurrection life that is in Him. We have passed from death to life. His Life is the light by which we walk. He who is joined to the Lord Jesus is one Spirit with Him (I Corinthians 6:17).

In the Holy Spirit we have been raised with Christ to reign triumphantly with Him at the right hand of the Father (Colossians 3:1-4). Our eternal life will be revealed to the earth at His appearing.

When is our soul redeemed?

Our soul is saved, or redeemed, as we step along in faith through the wilderness of trials and testings of the world. We must learn to possess our soul in great patience. We will save our soul if we endure to the end of our testings.

In your patience possess ye your souls. (Luke 21:19)

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39)

"Of them that believe to the saving of the soul."

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (I Peter 1:22)

The Christian ascends in the Spirit to God at the moment of receiving Christ, having been made one with Him in His resurrection. Then, if he continues to press forward in faith each day of his Christian journey, his soul will go to a place of rest in Jesus at the moment of his physical death.

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: (Revelation 6:9)

There is not one moment of spiritual death, of separation from God, for the saint. He who lives and believes in Christ shall never die.

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (II Corinthians 5:8). Because we live and believe in Christ we never shall be separated from God. If we should leave the earth this moment because of an accident, heart attack, or stroke we know that our soul will ascend to Jesus immediately.

Christ is our resurrection and our life.

To this point we have mentioned the redemption of our spirit and our soul. But neither of these is the resurrection from the dead of which Paul is speaking in the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians.

If the redemption of our spirit and our soul were the resurrection from the dead of which the Scripture speaks, and for which all of creation is waiting, then the resurrection would be past for all the saints who have died and gone to be with the Lord.

Make sure you understand thoroughly the preceding paragraph. If you do not you will understand neither the remainder of our brief discussion nor the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians.

A multitude of saints already have been raised in the Holy Spirit to the right hand of God with Christ (Colossians 3:3), and then they have died physically and their souls have gone to be with the Lord. But they have not been resurrected as yet. The resurrection from the dead is not past but future.

Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. (II Timothy 2:18)

The resurrection from the dead is a "better thing" than the saints have known thus far and it has not been experienced as yet by the heroes of faith who spent their lives searching for the "city that hath foundations."

God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:40)

Man has not been completely redeemed until he has been made whole again—spirit soul, and body. A creature who is spirit and soul but who does not possess a body is not a member of the human race. A man, as God has created him, is spirit, soul, and body. His God-given personality has been fragmented by physical death, which is the enemy of Christ and man. Therefore he is in need of redemption.

The resurrection from the dead of which the Scripture speaks, the act of redemption that will take place at the return from Heaven of our Lord Jesus Christ, is not of the spirit or soul of the saint. The spirit and soul have been redeemed previously.

The resurrection from the dead, the raising from the grave at the sounding of the trumpet of the Lord, has to do with the body of the saint.

In several instances when the Scripture is speaking of redemption or of not perishing or of eternal life, it is referring primarily to the body of the saint. This especially is true of the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians, which may be the main exposition in the entire Scriptures of the resurrection from the dead.

Notice carefully the following passage:

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (I Corinthians 15:22,23)

"Shall all be made alive . . . at his coming." Do we wait until Jesus comes in order to receive eternal life?

Our spirit is made alive when we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. At that point we pass from death to life.

At the moment of physical death our soul is saved into the Presence of God and the Lamb. Our soul does not sleep in our body in the grave. We go to be with the saints and the angels in Heaven and join the great cloud of witnesses.

Well then, what is the meaning of the following: ". . . will all be made alive . . . at His coming"? If our spirit already is alive and is in Christ at the right hand of the Father, and our soul already is alive and in the Presence of God at our physical death, then it is only our body that will be made alive at the coming of the Lord.

Therefore the expression "even so in Christ shall all be made alive" is referring to bringing back to life our mortal body. For if it is not the mortal body that will come forth from the graves of the saints, what is going to come forth? Why should the spirits and souls of the saints return from Heaven with the Lord Jesus if their bodies that were buried (or otherwise disposed of) are not going to come forth?

The New Testament writings speak of the salvation that we are enjoying now as being a firstfruits, a guarantee of a greater fullness that yet is to come.

Which is the earnest [guarantee] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:14)

Many saints are confused concerning the resurrection of their body believing that God is not going to raise their body but instead will give them another body from Heaven. The confusion surrounding the resurrection appears to come from at least three sources:

The current overemphasis on the ascension, which some Christians term the "rapture."

Uncertainty concerning the meaning of the "house from heaven," of the fifth chapter of Second Corinthians.

First Corinthians 15:37. Since we have discussed the first and second sources of confusion in other writings we will restrict our present comments to the third source of confusion concerning the resurrection of our body from the grave—I Corinthians 15:37. Indeed it is true that we will receive a body from Heaven. But first let us, as the Spirit helps us, explain I Corinthians 15:37. The concept that God does not intend to raise our present body proceeds from a misunderstanding of Paul’s statement:

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: (I Corinthians 15:37)

The above verse in isolation from the context of its chapter, and of the remainder of Paul’s writings, appears to mean that our present body will not be raised. But if that were what Paul meant the rest of the chapter would be meaningless.

Look again at the verse. Paul is teaching that a farmer does not sow a mature plant, but seed. The farmer does not sow "that body that shall be." He does not sow stalks of wheat.

The body we have now will be resurrected, transformed, and glorified just as a sheaf of wheat is a resurrection, transformation, and glorification of the seed that was planted.

The point is, the sheaf of wheat comes from that seed, not from somewhere else. In like manner our resurrection body will come from our present body, not from somewhere else.

If our present body is not to be raised from the dead, then Christ’s body was not raised from the dead. If Christ’s body was not raised from the dead we yet are in our sins. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept" (I Corinthians 15:20).

The expression "the firstfruits of them that slept" implies that our resurrection will be patterned after Christ’s resurrection. If Christ’s body was raised from the dead then our body will be raised from the dead.

John 3:16 is speaking of our whole personality, including our body, being given everlasting life. It was eternal life in the body that was lost through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. The great hope of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not that we will go to Heaven to live forever but that our body finally will be redeemed, permitting us to resume our life on the earth. Our adoption as sons of God, the powerful declaration and release for which the creation is waiting, is the saving of our body.

And not only they [the peoples of the earth], 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)

"Redemption of our body."

The last tremendous trumpet blast will reverberate throughout the heavens and the earth. The Lord Jesus Christ will descend from Heaven in the fullness of the power of almighty God. God will bring with Christ every saint who has died in Him.

The Lord’s warriors will shout for the battle. Michael, at the head of the legions of angels that Christ could have summoned during His hour of suffering, will announce the coming of the Kingdom of God and of Christ as King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

Christ Himself will reach personally into each place of decay of the mortal body and bring back into eternal wholeness and vitality the flesh and bones of each of His saints who have come with Him from Heaven, and then will transform the saints who still are living on the earth at the time of His coming (Philippians 3:21).

The reason that Jesus personally will conduct the resurrection of each of His elect is that the resurrection from the dead is a demonstration of the love of Christ for that person—a love so powerful, so intense, that death itself cannot hold apart Jesus and the individual whom God has joined to Him.

The army of the Lord, the most terrifying host ever assembled, now will be standing on the earth. The nations of the world and their Satan-filled leaders and teachers will behold with utter horror and agony of mind and spirit the sons of God. God has spread the banquet of incorruptible life for His beloved in the presence of their enemies.

The Lord’s eagles will gather around the slain Lamb who is their Life. Each will receive his reward for the things he has practiced in his body.

A major part of that reward consists of a "house" of indestructible, incorruptible, eternal resurrection life that will clothe flesh and bone that has been raised from the dead by the power of the Lord’s resurrection (II Corinthians 5:2). The power of the resurrection is dwelling now in the saints who are living in the Spirit of God.

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 [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)

"By his spirit that dwelleth in you."

The Spirit of the resurrection already is present in us. We must be sure to keep the "oil" in our vessel. The resurrection of our body depends on it.

We know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord.