We are going to spend our time this morning studying what the Bible teaches about the resurrection. Paul said in Philippians 3 that he had forsaken his own righteousness and trusted only and completely in Christ "in order that" he might attain the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:11 (NASB) in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
What exactly did Paul mean by this? What is the resurrection? We will attempt to answer these questions this morning.
Let’s begin by reviewing the context of this verse. The theme of Philippians 3:4-11 is justification by faith alone. The key verse in this section is:
Philippians 3:9 (NKJV) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
Paul sees only two kinds of righteousness: 1. Self-righteousness which leads to damnation. 2. God’s righteousness given through faith which equals salvation. This is the righteousness that Paul wanted to have, that which comes by faith in Christ. This is speaking of justification by faith alone.
In verse 8, Paul tells us he is no longer trusting in his own righteousness in order that he may gain Christ. Then in verses 9-11, he tells us what it means to gain Christ. In verse 9, he tells us that to gain Christ means to receive His righteousness. Then he goes on in verses 10-11 to explain further what it means to gain Christ.
I see all of the things he mentions in verse 10 to be results of justification. Paul "suffered the loss of all things, and counted them as dung" in order that he may "gain Christ." And gaining Christ means: "Receiving his righteousness, knowing him, knowing the power of his resurrection, knowing the fellowship of his suffering, and being make like him in our death to sin."
Philippians 3:11 (NASB) in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Paul "suffered the loss of all things and counted them as dung in order that he may attain to the resurrection from the dead. The Greek word that Paul uses here for "resurrection" is exanastasi. This Greek word is only used here in all the New Testament. It is the word anastasis, which means: "resurrection." with the preposition ek in front of it which is the equivalent of "out". This is literally, "the out resurrection out from the corpses."
This verse is speaking of the resurrection of the righteous. The resurrection of the righteous will take them out of the total number of those dead.
Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament says, "Apparently Paul is thinking here only of the resurrection of believers out from the dead, and so double ex (ten exanastasin ten ek nekron). Paul is not denying a general resurrection by this language, but emphasizing that of believers."
What exactly did Paul mean by "the resurrection"? The traditional view that is held by most of the church is this: When a believer dies, their body goes into the grave and their spirit goes to heaven to be with the Lord. They are in a disembodied state awaiting the resurrection at the end of time. Then at the end of time the Lord returns, resurrects all the decayed bodies of the dead saints, puts them back together, then changes the physically resurrected bodies into spiritual immortal bodies like Christ’s. Does that sound like what you have been taught?
Have you ever thought about how the Lord will put all those decayed bodies back together. Will He re-gather and reassemble all the scattered atoms and molecules which composed individual bodies at the time of death? This problem is addressed by M.C. Tenney in his book, The Reality of the Resurrection:
When the body of Roger Williams, founder of the Rhode Island colony, was exhumed for reburial, it was found that the root of an apple tree had penetrated the head of the coffin and had followed down Williams’ spine, dividing into a fork at the legs. The tree had absorbed the chemicals of the decaying body and had transmuted them into its wood and fruit. The apples, in turn, had been eaten by people, quite unconscious of the fact that they were indirectly taking into their systems part of the long-dead Williams. The objection may therefore be raised: How, out of the complex sequence of decay, absorption, and new formation, will it be possible to resurrect believers of past ages, and to reconstitute them as separate entities?
This problem of joint ownership of atoms and molecules is a big problem. After death, various body particles returned to dust, reentered the food chain, got assimilated into plants, eaten by animals, and digested into countless other human bodies. At the resurrection, who gets which atoms and molecules back? As you can see, it can get quite complicated. Another thing that bothered me was why does God raise our dead decayed bodies, put them all back together just to change them into immortal spiritual bodies?
That is basically what the church teaches abut the resurrection, but is it what the Bible teaches? Paul clearly taught that the resurrection was the hope of Israel.
Acts 23:6 (NKJV) But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!"
Acts 24:15 (NKJV) "I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
Acts 28:20 (NKJV) "For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain."
Acts 26:6-8 (NKJV) "And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. 7 "To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. 8 "Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?
It is clear from this last verse that Paul sees the resurrection of the dead as that which fulfills "the hope of the promise made by God unto our fathers."
The word "resurrection" does not appear in the Old Testament, but the concept does.
Daniel 12:2 (NASB) "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
Daniel 12:13 (NASB) "But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age."
Here we see a resurrection at the end of the age.
THE BIBLICAL VIEW OF RESURRECTION:
It is interesting to note that the Bible never uses the terms "resurrected body," "resurrection of the body," or "physical resurrection." Does that surprise you? The church uses those term quite often, but the Bible never does. The phrases that the Bible does use are "the resurrection of the dead" and "the resurrection from the dead."
So, in order to understand "resurrection" we must understand death. Resurrection is "resurrection from the dead." To understand death we need to go back to the book of beginnings, Genesis. In the book of Genesis we see God creating man:
Genesis 2:7-8 (NKJV) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the
ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
After creating man, God placed him in the garden of Eden and gave him a command.
Genesis 2:15-17 (NKJV) Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
God warned Adam, regarding the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, "the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Adam disobeyed God and ate of the tree:
Genesis 3:6 (NKJV) So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Did Adam die that day? Not physically! Adam lived at least 800 years beyond the day he ate the fruit. But, God said he would die the day he ate and we know that God cannot lie. Adam did not die physically that day, but he did die spiritually. He died spiritually the moment he disobeyed. Spiritual death is separation from God.
Isaiah 59:1-2 (NKJV) Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
Ephesians 2:1-5 (NKJV) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Because of his sin, man was separated from God. He was dead in trespasses and sins. The focus of God’s plan of redemption is to restore through Jesus Christ what man had lost in Adam.
Romans 5:18-19 (NKJV) Therefore, as through one man’s (Adam) offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s (Jesus) righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
1 Corinthians 15:21 (NKJV) For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
Because of Adam’s sin, we are all born dead, separated from God. But through Jesus Christ came the resurrection from the dead. Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil:
1 John 3:8 (NKJV) He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
What were the works of the devil? They were to separate man from God. Jesus Christ came to redeem man from death, to resurrect man back into the presence of God. The Bible is God’s book, about His plan to restore the spiritual union of His creation. Resurrection is not about bringing physical bodies out of the graves, it is about restoring man into the presence of God.
SHEOL AND HADES.
Prior to Jesus’ messianic work, no one went to Heaven:
John 3:13 (NKJV) "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
If prior to Jesus’ messianic work, no one went to Heaven– where did people go when they died? They went to a holding place of the dead and waited for the atoning work of Christ and the resurrection from the dead.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for where they were prior to the resurrection is Sheol. In the New Testament the Greek word is Hades. What this place amounted to was a waiting area for disembodied spirits.
The Old Testament uses the word "Sheol" to refer to a place in the depths of the earth. The expressions, "go down" or "brought down" are used twenty times in connection with Sheol. The "depths of Sheol" are mentioned six times (Deut. 32:22; Ps. 86:13; Prov. 9:18; 15:24; Isa. 7:11; 14:15). Four times Sheol is described as the farthest point from heaven (Job 11:8; Ps. 139:8; Isa. 7:11; Amos 9:2). Often Sheol is parallel with the "pit" (Job 17:13-14; 33:18; Ps. 30:3; 88:3-4; Prov. 1:12; Isa. 14:15; 38:18; Ezek. 31:14-17). Nine times it is parallel with death (2 Sam. 22:6; Ps. 18:4-5; 49:14; 89:48; 116:3; Prov. 5:5; Isa. 28:15,18; Hos. 13:14; Hab. 2:5). Sheol is described in terms of overwhelming floods, water, or waves (Jonah 2:2-6). Sometimes, Sheol is pictured as a hunter setting snares for its victim, binding them with cords, snatching them from the land of the living (2 Sam 22:6; Job 24:19; Ps. 116:3). Sheol is a prison with bars, a place of no return (Job 7:9; 10:21; 16:22; 21:13; Ps. 49:14; Isa. 38:10). People could go to Sheol alive (Num. 16:30,33; Ps. 55:15; Prov. 1:12).
In Jewish tradition, it was also known as "Abraham’s bosom" since at death, the faithful Israelite was said to be "gathered unto his fathers." Whatever it was called, it was not Heaven.
Acts 2:29 (NKJV) "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
Acts 2:34 (NKJV) "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand,
David was dead, but he did not go to Heaven. But he had a promise that he someday would. God had promised to redeem His people from the grave:
Hosea 13:14 (NKJV) "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.
Psalms 49:15 (NKJV) But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me. Selah
This verse expresses hope that God will provide salvation beyond the grave, one of the few Old Testament references to life after death. This verse anticipates the clear New Testament teaching of life after death, and eternal life, and salvation from God.
The earliest Christians saw this as a reference to Christ’s resurrection. What the psalmist saw as God’s providential care in present danger, Jesus knew was God’s ultimate caring and power to bring life from death.
All people were believed to go to Sheol when they die:
Psalms 89:48 (NASB) What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah.
To be taken out of Sheol and brought into the presence of the Lord is what the Bible calls resurrection. Daniel spoke of this in:
Daniel 12:2 (NASB) "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
:13 (NASB) "But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age."
THE TIME OF THE RESURRECTION
According to the Bible, when was the resurrection to take place? The Scriptures testify that the time of the resurrection was to be at the end of the Old Covenant age. We know this to have happened in AD 70 with the destruction of the Jewish Temple. The disciples knew that the fall of the temple and the destruction of the city meant the end of the Old Covenant age and the inauguration of a new age.
Daniel 12:1-2 (NKJV) "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Daniel says that this resurrection will come after a time of great trouble for the Jewish nation. That sounds just like:
Matthew 24:21 (NKJV) "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Here, Jesus is speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Notice also verse 3:
Daniel 12:3 (NKJV) Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.
Now compare that with:
Matthew 13:40-43 (NKJV) "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Both Daniel 12 and Matthew 13 are speaking about the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The resurrection is an event that was to happened in AD 70.
Verses 4 and 8 of Daniel 12 identify this time as "the time of the end."
Daniel 12:4 (NKJV) "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."
Daniel 12:8 (NKJV) Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?"
In response to Daniel’s question at the end of verse 6, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" the angel answers in:
Daniel 12:7 (NKJV) Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
This again speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. In verse 12, Daniel connects the resurrection to the abomination that makes desolate.
Daniel 12:11 (NKJV) "And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Jesus referred to this in Matthew 24:15, in discussing the fall of Jerusalem.
The last verse in Daniel 12, records a promise given to Daniel about his own personal resurrection.
Daniel 12:13 (NKJV) "But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days."
The statements of verses 1, 7, 11, and 12 tie the resurrection to the time immediately following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
What Daniel had written was well ingrained into the thinking of the Jews. We see from Jesus’ discussion with Martha that Martha had no doubt as to when the resurrection would be.
John 11:23-24 (NKJV) Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Jesus taught that the resurrection would happen on the last day:
John 6:39-40 (NKJV) "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 6:44 (NKJV) "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:54 (NKJV) "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
When is the last day? To the Jews, time was divided into two great periods, the Mosaic Age and the Messianic Age. The Messiah was viewed as one who would bring in a new world. The period of the Messiah was, therefore, correctly characterized by the Synagogue as "the world to come." All through the New Testament, we see two ages in contrast: "This age" and the "age to come."
1 Peter 1:20 (NKJV) He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
Jesus came during the last days of the age that was the Old Covenant age, the Jewish age. That age came to an end with the destruction of the temple in AD 70.
Hebrews 1:1-2 (NKJV) God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
Jesus was speaking in the last days. What last days? The last days of the Bible’s "this age" — the Old Covenant age.
Hebrews 9:26 (NKJV) He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
When was it that Jesus appeared? He was born, not at the beginning, but at the end of the ages. To suppose that he meant that Jesus’ incarnation came near the end of the world, would be to make his statement false. The world has already lasted longer since the incarnation than the whole duration of the Mosaic economy, from the exodus to the destruction of the temple. Jesus was manifest at the end of the Jewish age.
In Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees about the woman who had seven husbands, indicates that the resurrection was to occur at the changing of the ages:
Luke 20:34-35 (NKJV) And Jesus answered and said to them, "The sons of this age (the Old Covenant age) marry and are given in marriage. 35 "But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, (the New Covenant age) and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;
The resurrection was not something that was available to them in "this age" (the Old Covenant age) but would
be available to them in "that age" (the New Covenant age), implying that the resurrection would occur at the beginning of the New Covenant age.
So, the resurrection was to happen at the end of the Jewish age, the Old Covenant age. We know that this happened in AD 70.
Paul spoke of the nearness of the resurrection in his day:
Acts 24:15 (NKJV) "I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be (mello -about to be) a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
If the TIME of the resurrection is seen as AD 70, then we know that the NATURE of the resurrection was spiritual, rather than physical. It is a fundamental fact of eschatology that TIME DEFINES NATURE. Since we know that the resurrection is past, we know that it was spiritual and not physical. The resurrection of the dead that took place at the end of the Old Covenant in AD 70 and was not a biological resurrection of dead decayed bodies, but a release from Sheol of all who had been waiting through the centuries to be reunited with God in the heavenly kingdom.
We can see from the teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus several things about the resurrection beliefs of the early Christians.
2 Timothy 2:17-18 (NKJV) And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
They must have believed that the resurrection would be spiritual in nature, and, therefore, not subject to confirmation by any physical evidence. If the early Christians had believed that the resurrection would involve the physical bodies coming out of the graves, as is taught today, Hymenaius and Philitus could never have convinced anyone that the resurrection had already happened.
They also must have believed that life on earth would go on with no material change after the resurrection. They didn’t believe that they would be on a renovated planet earth as a consequence of the resurrection. Otherwise, the teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus would have been impossible. No one would have paid any attention to them.
The reason that their teaching that the resurrection has already happened was overthrowing the faith of some was that it postulated a consummation of the spiritual kingdom, while the earthly temple in Jerusalem still stood. This was a mixture of law and grace. This destroyed the faith of some by making the works of the law a part of the New Covenant.
WAS CHRIST PHYSICALLY RESURRECTED?
YES! Absolutely, without a doubt. Since Christ’s resurrection was physical, won’t ours be? NO! Christ’s actual resurrection was His going to Hades and coming back out. When he was resurrected from Hades, He was raised into his original body, which was transformed into His heavenly form. This was done as a SIGN to the apostles that he had done what He had promised. The resurrection of Jesus’ body verified for His disciples, the resurrection of His soul. David had prophesied:
Psalms 16:10 (NKJV) For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
Peter preached that David looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of Christ:
Acts 2:31 (NKJV) "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.
These verses speak of both spiritual death (the soul in hades) and physical death (decay of the flesh). Jesus was resurrected from both.
The reason there are differences in the way we are raised and the way in which Christ was raised is because of those Biblically defined differences between Christ’s body and ours. Differences such as:
Christ is the only one who is both fully God and fully Man — God incarnate. (John 1:1-18). Christ is the only one who was virgin born, and, therefore, born without original sin. (Rom. 3:21-26; 5:12-21; 7:4-11; etc.). Christ is the only one who ever lived a sinless life. (Heb. 4:15). Christ is the only one promised that his flesh would not suffer decay. (Acts 2:27,31).
His human body was not subject to original sin, nor corruptible (i.e. He was "impeccable"), nor did He ever commit sin and become corrupted. Because of this, He could keep His selfsame body, whereas, we cannot.
Unless Jesus’ body had been resurrected, His disciples would have had no assurance that His soul had been to Hades and had been resurrected. The physical resurrection of Christ was essential to verify the spiritual, to which it was tied. While the physical resurrection of our bodies would have no point, since we will not continue living on this planet, breathing earth’s oxygen, and eating earth’s food after we die physically.
WHAT HAPPENS TO US AT DEATH?
Since the resurrection is past, what happens to believers when they die? Their physical body goes back to dust from which it came:
Ecclesiastes 3:20 (NKJV) All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.
And their spirit is united to their spiritual body and goes to be with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:35-38 (NKJV) But someone will say, "How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?" 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, YOU DO NOT SOW THAT BODY THAT SHALL BE, but mere grain; perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But GOD GIVES IT A BODY as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.
We get the same kind of body Christ has, but we do not get it the same way He got His, nor do we get our same physical body back like Christ did. We get a new spiritual body which arises out of the inner man. God gives us a spiritual body!
1 Corinthians 15:44-46 (NKJV) 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 became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
This affirms two different kinds of bodies. Our natural body dies, and we receive a spiritual body. Paul says, "IT IS RAISED A SPIRITUAL BODY."
Those of us who have trusted Christ in the New Covenant age, have life and do not need to be resurrected.
John 11:25-26 (NKJV) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Jesus is saying, "He who believes in me shall live (spiritually), even if he dies (physically), and everyone who lives (physically), and believes in Me, shall never die (spiritually)."
Two categories of believers are discussed: those who would die before the resurrection and those who would not. For those who died under the Old Covenant, He was the Resurrection, but for those who lived into the days of the New Covenant, He is the Life.
Under the New Covenant, there is no death, spiritually speaking:
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (NKJV) So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has 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 your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 21:4 (NKJV) "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."
Where there is no death, there is no need of a resurrection. We have eternal life and can never die spiritually. Therefore, we don’t need a resurrection. At death, we go immediately to heaven in our spiritual body.
The resurrection was a one time event in which the Old Testament saints were brought out of Hades and finally overcame death to be with the Lord. We have put on immortality and will put on our immortal body when we die physically. As believers, we live in the presence of God, and in physical death, we simply drop the flesh and dwell only in the spiritual realm.
This message preached by David B. Curtis on May 9, 1999. Tape #103.