REVELATION AND RESURRECTION
Matthew 22:23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
What a sad existence to have the burden of strict religious practice, without its hope! 1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
But what a blessing to us that we have such unbelieving Sadducees, because of whom we have been provided the glorious teaching concerning the resurrection both of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the entirety of the human race. All shall be raised to the reward of the eternal life, whether to life or to damnation. John 5:29 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.
Everything that hath breath brings praise to the living God, even unbelieving religionists! Psalm 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. And spiritual observance of the wicked, is of benefit to the righteous! Proverbs 21:12 The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness. For the sovereign Lord does bring forth those ‘expendable’ men to finally become the chaff, which once was enjoined to the wheat, as it then grew with it and protected it! Isaiah 43:3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
The main cause of this blindness, of course was that these religionists, along with masses of others down through the years, fail to see the living God! For the law without the knowledge that it is but the expression of the character of a holy God, brings forth a hybrid creature, legalistic and eternally lost. They always hold the law as a series of disjointed commands, not seeing God, who is love! (1 John 4:8). And not seeing this, denied them of the fact that all of the law hangs on but the two laws which state that one should love God with all the heart and the neighbor as one’s self!
Just listen to what happened to a Pharisee who had this truth finally occur to him! Mark 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
But just what was it that kept these dedicated religionists from the revelation of this glorious awareness? The Lord gave them a two part answer to this question. They had gotten together and come up with a question which they thought to bring shame upon the Lord, upon his failure to answer. They hoped to diminish him in the eyes of all by ‘stumping’ him with their assumed, unanswerable scenario.
But his answer was that their entire ‘riddle,’ like all of their religious concepts, were completely in error! And then he gave them a two part reason why this was so.
First, in not knowing the scriptures. And this gang was dedicated to the study of the scriptures. They actually wore it as part of their clothing! Deuteronomy 11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. Then how could it be said that they knew not the scriptures? Just as it can be said about the majority of religion today. Religion always goes to the scriptures to prove their little dog and pony show, only selecting those passages that they need in order to prove them superior to other religious practices! One must rightly divide the word of truth!
But the scriptures without the Holy Spirit have a killing power! 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. It is the Person of the Word who alone is salvation and life!
But these would be like a woman who religiously reads her husbands letters every day which he has sent her from a far away land. He is now standing at the front door and knocking, but she won’t let him in because it is her daily time to retreat to her bedroom and read his letters again! The Christ was right before their eyes, but they sided with their interpretation of the scriptures against him!
Listen to that which the Person of the Word (John 1:1-2,14), states as the purpose of the scriptures. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
And less we think that he only had this ancient rebuke for these Sadducees, let us read the following, seeking the Holy Spirit to make application to our own hearts: Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. He just gave us a two part ‘outline’ to sum up the whole Bible! It is that which reveals his cross – suffered these things – and his crown – enter into his glory!
Consider the following passage which reveals that one can be a serious student of the scriptures and still commit crimes against the Lord Christ! Acts 13:27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
Even the chosen disciples didn’t yet know of the resurrection before the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, although the Lord had spoken of it to them. John 20:6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
Next he said to them that they also did not know the power of God. Consider this listing of the kind of religionists that are produced who do not know the power of God. 2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
And remember our Lord’s definition of the real kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. Luke 4:32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
These are the two accusations which he lists against them, but what of his answer to their error? Let us read it from Mark’s writings. Mark 12:26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
Amazing! How many of us, even with our super-duper computer Bible programs would have ever gone to Exodus chapter three, and the burning bush to prove the resurrection? Yet he actually ‘muzzles’ the mouths of these Sadducees with it! For that Greek word in Matthew 22:34, listed here as “put to silence,” is the same as “thous shalt muzzle” of 1 Timothy 5:18. This really drives home the knowledge that we do not have the anointed eyes to benefit from the spirituality of the scriptures! May God have mercy on his presently sleeping church!
But were not Abraham, Isaac and Jacob dead at the time of Moses? Well, yes, physically. But God – who is the Truth – said he was not the God of the dead, but that he was their God! So it was ‘appointed’ to these brothers to physically die, but they were very much spiritually alive in the presence of God at that very moment.
We have another account of this in Adam. For the Lord proclaimed to him, “In the day thou eatest thereof, thous shalt surely die!” Adam did eat, but he walked out of that garden to physically live and begin the entire human race. Then he must have walked out as a dead man! For God cannot lie! A careful study of John 5:25-29 will clearly reveal this. For in verse 25, our Lord speaks of the living humans who are dead in trespasses and sin. So regeneration makes them alive in him! But in verse 29 he speaks of those who are dead in the graves who shall be physically resurrected at the last day!
Dear Reader, spiritual death brings on physical death, and physical death brings on eternal death. The only power that can break this chain of death is Christ’s power of regeneration, or the new birth, which is but the first resurrection spoken of in Revelation 20:5. For by salvation alone, being raised from the soul’s spiritually dead state, is anyone rendered Blessed and holy! (Rev. 20:6). And those alone, who are quickened to life by sovereign grace, have no part in the second death of Revelation 2:11 and 20:6. Revelation 21:8 gives us the definition of the second death. 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.
This is the reason the scriptures inform us that the Lord shall bring all the believers “with him,” who have previously physically died, upon his return to earth. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
The title of this lesson presents us with two inseparable graces from the Lord. For the revelation of his Person always brings the resurrection of those to whom he is revealed. For eternal life is knowing God by an effectual revelation! John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 6:44 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.
We listed a portion of Mark 12 in column three of the previous page. But we should not fail to benefit from verse 29 of that same passage. Without the Spirit’s application it most assuredly would go unnoticed. It simply reads, And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: – It really doesn’t sound like much, does it? But with the Holy Spirit’s revelation, it is an introduction of the Person of Jehovah to the individual Israelite! Hear, O Israel; – Faith cometh by hearing! (Romans 10:17). Therefore, first the soul is introduced to the Eternal Being of God – and God is love! Then that love within will comply with the two great commandments, upon which the entirety of the law rest! – loving God and one’s neighbor!
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Pastor Gene Breed, December 13, 2014