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FAQ - RESURRECTION
Since the Apostle clearly explains in `1
Cor. 15:35-38`, that the body will not be resurrected, what does he mean when he says:
"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in
incorruption," etc. (`1 Cor. 15:42-44`) What is meant by the expression,
"it"? What is resurrected?
<ANSWER>--We answer that "it" is the soul that is restored or resuscitated. What was it that died? The Scripture reply is: "The soul that shineth, it shall die." The living, intelligent, sentient being is to be raised up by Divine power in the time of resurrection--"when all who are in their graves shall come forth." A phonograph with recording cylinder, furnishes an excellent illustration of the resurrection. The cylinder placed in the machine will have impressions formed upon it by sounds produced by the voice or by some other means. After the cylinder has received its full impression, it is laid away and preserved for some years while the phonograph is destroyed. By and by the cylinder is taken from its place and put into a new phonograph where the original sounds are reproduced. Thus it is with the individual. His character is formed by the impressions received in the daily experiences of life. His body corresponds to the machine. In course of time he dies. The body is destroyed and the character or identity is preserved by the Lord--we know not how nor where. In the resurrection the character (wax cylinder) will be placed in a new body (machine) and the original thoughts, memory, etc., will be reproduced. A fine "record" will be placed in a high-class machine. A poor record (if not destroyed because of worthlessness) will be placed in a lower grade instrument.
Will faithful animals such as dogs and cats be resurrected?
<ANSWER>--The matter of exterminating dogs and cats is being agitated in some of the large cities as it is claimed that these animals transmit disease germs and more or less endanger the lives of the people in various other ways. Mr. A's dog may be highly thought of in the family circle and yet be a nuisance to Mr. B. And Mr. B's cat may be inclined to make night hideous for Mr. A. We cannot imagine a bull pup or a rat terrier trotting up and down the golden streets of the New Jerusalem; or some antiquated tom cat crawling around the glittering spires of the Holy City. Indeed, the Bible--after describing the City and mentioning those who will be privileged to enter it--says that "without are dogs." (`Rev. 22:15`) And St Peter tells of "the natural brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed." (`2 Peter 2:12`) There is nothing in the Bible indicating the resurrection of animals.
Can you show from the Scriptures that there is any such thing as a general
resurrection of the dead? (S.J.R.)
<ANSWER>--The Bible is the only book in all the earth that does teach a general resurrection of the dead. In the first place, it sets forth that the dead are dead and not alive; and that because they are dead a resurrection is necessary to make them alive. If alive already, there could be no resurrection. The Scriptures teach that the entire race was condemned to death because of Adam's transgression. (`1 Cor. 15:21,22`; `Rom. 5:12,18,19`) In the following Scriptures it is declared in unmistakable terms that Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world, died for "all," every man." (`1 Tim. 2:5, 6`; `Heb. 2:2,9`; `1 John 2:2`) This last citation shows, beyond all controversy, that Christ is the "propitiation" --satisfaction--not only for "our sins," the Church's sins, but also for the sins of the whole world. Because of the "ransom for all," the hour is coming in the which all who are in their graves shall come forth at the voice of the Son of man (`John 5:28,29`), the righteous to an immediate raising up to life, and the evil to a gradual raising up (resurrection) by judgment. The Apostle elsewhere affirms a general resurrection. (See `Acts 24:15`)
When the world of mankind are awakened from the tomb, to what conditions will
the members of the race be awakened? (Cherub)
<ANSWER>--There are two resurrections mentioned in the Scriptures: the resurrection of the just and the unjust. (`John 5:28,29`; `Acts 24:15`.) The just or righteous--the Church of Christ gathered out from among the nations during this Christian Era--are to experience a special resurrection. This is referred to in the Scriptures as the "first" or chief resurrection: "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection . . . these shall be kings and priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years." (`Rev. 20:6`.) These are to reign on the earth (`Rev. 5:10`) over the world of mankind, who will have been awakened from the tomb by the Lord at His second coming. The object of this reign is to resurrect, or raise up the fallen race of humanity by judgments to a condition of righteousness, perfection and life. When all the willing and obedient have attained to perfect life at the conclusion of the thousand years, they will continue to inhabit the earth throughout eternity, for the earth will have been restored to the Edenic conditions that prevailed when Adam was placed in the Garden. The earth will abide forever, as God formed it to be inhabited, and He assures us that the place of His feet shall be made glorious. The Church will experience a resurrection to spiritual, heavenly conditions; the world, aside from the Church, is to be resurrected to human perfection and life.
Since the Bible teaches a general awakening of all who have died and since in
all probability the majority of the race of mankind will be saved and inasmuch as they are
to live upon the earth--how will it be possible to provide the necessities of life, food,
etc., for the billions of humanity that will be on the earth when all are
resurrected--particularly in view of the fact that with the present population of the
earth-- 1,600,000,000--millions are on the verge of want and starvation? (Anxious)
<ANSWER>--A careful and liberal estimate of the number of all the people who have lived upon the earth from the time of the creation of the first man down to the present would be about 20,000,000,000. If three-fourths of these should attain eternal life (doubtless a liberal estimate), it would signify that 15,000,000,000 would have to be provided for. The area of the earth's surface included within the temperate zone is over 102,000,000 square miles. This would afford each individual more than four and one-half acres of surface in which to rove about. When it is reflected that the "desert is to bloom and blossom as the rose" and the "earth is to yield her increase," producing spontaneously the fruits and flowers instead of the thorns, briars and weeds and that in all probability the seas and oceans will be greatly diminished, thus increasing the land area, it can be readily seen that it would be a simple matter for the Creator to arrange for the bountiful provision of the necessities of life for all mankind. A great deal of the want and deprivation experienced by the race now is caused by selfishness as there is sufficient produced to supply the needs of all. In that time, selfishness will be eradicated from the human heart.
The Bible seems to infer that we will have celestial bodies. If so, are they
these human bodies cleaned and made whole, revamped and made over? (C.T.)
<ANSWER>--The `15th Chapter of 1 Corinthians` is an inspired treatise on the topic of the resurrection. In it the Apostle sets forth practically every phase and point relating to this momentous subject. He begins by giving a synopsis of the Gospel in a few brief words: "How that Christ died for our sins...and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day." He then names the witnesses to attest the fact of Christ's resurrection. In the `11-17 verses`, he affirms and emphasizes the fact of Christ's resurrection. The `18th verse` contains a statement that nearly all Christian people have overlooked or misunderstood. If Christ was not put to death and resurrected, "Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished!" "Perished" means destroyed or annihilated. Let no one advance the absurd idea that the Apostle was referring to the bodies of those who had "fallen asleep," for the bodies of all perish and disintegrate into dust. But he had reference to the individual, the being, the soul. "The soul that sinneth it shall die." (`Eze. 18:4`) Because Christ died for all, all are coming forth from the tomb. What comes forth--the body? Let the Apostle answer: "O senseless man! that which thou sowest is not made alive except it die; and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body which shall be . . . so also is the resurrection . . . it is sown a natural body, it (the soul) is raised a spiritual body (or being). Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (therefore) we shall be changed . . . at the last trump... the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed." (`1 Cor. 15:35-53`)