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In Acts 4:1-2: The Saddueees were grieved because Peter and John "preached, through Jesus, the resurrection which is from among (the) dead" (rip' avdo-rauiv ''P t«
And in Phil. 3:11, it is used in a manner remarkably significant. Our version renders it, "resurrection of the dead," which is especially wrong, for the Greek preposition ek occurs here in a duplicate form, in all the oldest manuscripts.* The phrase is 'P' i^avaa-rao-iv 'w oc vtxpwv f (teen exanastasin teen ek nekron), and the literal translation is the out resurrection from among the dead, which peculiar construction of language gives a special emphasis to the idea that this is a resurrection out from among the dead.
These passages clearly show, that there is yet to be a resurrection out of the dead; that is, that part of the dead will be raised, before all are raised. Olshausen declares that the "phrase would be inexplicable if it were not derived from the idea that out of the mass of the dead some would rise first."!
That no unrighteous have part in this "first resurrection" is evident from Luke 20:36: they "are the children of God" and "equal unto the angels."
It is the resurrection of a select class only, viz.: the righteous, and therefore Jesus calls it the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:14,—"And thou shalt be blessed; for they can not recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."
Paul calls it the better resurrection.25 It is the resurrection of those that are Christ's at his coming,26 "the dead in Christ," who shall "rise first."27
*See Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Alford, and Dr. Adam Clark.
tGreek text, Teschendorf and Alford. tVol. 2, p. 183 Am. Ed.
(25) Heb. 11:35. Women received their dead raised to life again; and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.
(26) 1 Cor. 15:23. But every
man in his own order: Christ the flrstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
(27) 1 Thes. 4:16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with The First Resurrection.
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection." Rev. 20:6.
Paul, as a Pharisee, believed in the general fact of the resurrection.28 But we see from the foregoing, why he counted all things but loss that he might win Christ, . . . and know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, . . . if by any means he might attain unto the out resurrection from among the dead. Phil. 3:8-ll.
And we see also, why the three favored disciples were "questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean."29 They understood perfectly, what the resurrection of the dead meant, for this was a commonly accepted doctrine of the Jews.30 But the resurrection from the dead was a new revelation to them.
And it is an important revelation to us, for it is "the resurrection of life."31
But there is also to be a resurrection of judgment (so the Greek). John 5:29. It is the resurrection of the unjust.32 It is the completion of the resurrection (vcuprnv or
the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
(28) Acts 23:6. But when Paul perceived that the 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: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
7. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the multitude was divided.
8. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
(29) Mark 9:10. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.
(30) Heb. 6:2. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
(31) 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 (judgment).
Dan. 12 :2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
(32) Acts 24:15. And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Rev. 20:12. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand bermv vacp&v) of the dead. Hence we see there is a difference in time as well as in character, in the order of the resurrection; the first being that of the just, and the second that of the unjust; and this difference in time is perfectly in accordance with the account in Rev. 20, where the interval is stated to be the 1000 years of the Millennial kingdom. And as Christ comes at the resurrection of the just, or those who sleep in Him (1 Thes. 4:13-16), His coming must be pre-millennial.*
No. VII. Watching.
We are commanded to watch for His coming.
Again and again did Jesus tell His disciples to watch! He said: "Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." Mat. 24:42. "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour." Mat. 25:13. Adding, "And, what I say unto you, I say unto all,— Watch." Mark 13:35-37. He places special emphasis on the word Watch, particularly in Rev. 16:15, "Blessed is he that Watcheth." (See Greek.)
Now it is absolutely inconsistent with the constitution of the human mind, thus to watch for an event which we believe to be one thousand years or more in the future.
And yet this is just the position which Post-millennialists are forced to take.
*We humbly invite a candid and prayerful consideration of the above argument, on the part of Greek students.
Dr. David Brown quite superficially disposes of it by the erroneous presumption that Pre-millenarians apply the resurrection (venpuv or rS>v ratpuv), of the dead, only to the ungodly. Whereas, we hold that it embraces all, even Christ Himself, but that (a vntfmv) from the dead applies only to the select class who have part in the first resurrection. Again is he wrong in his citation of the texts Mark 9:9-10; Acts 10:41; 13:34; 26:23, and Rom. 1:4, each of which, according to Griesbach have «>t vtufwv or if iMo-rdnw i-expo'*. Second Advent, p. 198.
fore God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Matthew Henry, commenting on Luke 12:45, says: "Our looking at Christ's second coming as a thing at a distance is the cause of all those irregularities which render the thought of it terrible to us." And on watching, he says: "To watch implies not only to believe that our Lord will come, but to desire that He would come, to be often thinking of His coming, and always looking for it as sure and near, and the time of it uncertain."
As followers of Christ we are compared to soldiers, fighting the fight of faith (1 Tim. 1:18; 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:3; 4:7), and perhaps no better illustration could be given us of watching, than that of picket duty in the army.
Old soldiers know that out on the skirmish line it is full of life and excitement, because they are watching for something immediately possible. But in camp it is a dull, soulless drudgery, because they are expecting nothing until the outer pickets, perhaps five or six miles away, are driven in.
How intensely do we increase this difference in watching, if we separate the pickets by a thousand years. And this is what post-millennialism does.
We believe this argument appeals to the common sense of every person, and we pray God that these seven arguments may be blessed to the perfecting of that which is lacking in your faith.33
He is faithful' that hath promised, an' He'll surely come again,
He'll keep his tryst wi' me, at what hour I dinna ken;
So I'm Watching aye, and singing o' my name as I wait,
When He brings me hame at last to my ain countrie.
(33) 1 Thes. 3:9. For what thanks can we render to God again tor you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10. Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
True watching is an attitude of mind and heart which would joyfully and quickly turn from any occupation to meet our Beloved, rapturously exclaiming "this is the Lord; we have waited for Him." Isa. 25S.
Continue to Watch.
But, perhaps, you say: "The Church has been watching Her eighteen hundred years and He has not come, and He may not come for eighteen hundred years more."
Well, possibly He may not; but do we know He will not? and shall we set a date for His coming? and cease to watch?
Post-millennialists say that He will not come for a thousand years or more, which is equivalent to setting a date, as it places His coming out of all possibility in our lifetime; and then, dear reader, how quickly do we lay down our watching..
The principal condemnation pronounced in the Scripture, in regard to the Lord's return, is to those who say "My Lord delayeth His coming."34
It is immeasurably better to be ready than to be Zate.35
Pre-millennialists believe that He may come any moment, and that we should ever be found watching and waiting, with our loins girded about, and our lights burning, and ourselves like men that wait for their Lord. Lu. 12:35.
The eighteen hundred years which have passed only make "our salvation" much "nearer than when we believed," and it is "high time to awake out of sleep." Rom. 13:11. A Little While.
There is no prophesied event which has to be fulfilled before His coming in the air to receive the Church. Therefore
(34) Mat. 24:48. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49. And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50. The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he Iooketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
See also Luke 12 :45.
(35) Mat. 25:10. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.