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to see expositors who are among the first in reverence of antiquity, complacently casting aside the most cogent instance of unanimity which primitive antiquity presents. As regards the text itself, no legitimate treatment of it will extort what is known as the spiritual interpretation now in fashion. If, in a passage where two resurrections are mentioned, where certain souls lived at the first, and the rest of the dead lived only at the end of a specified period after that first, if in such a passage, the first resurrection may be understood to mean spiritual rising with Christ, while the second means literal rising from the grave; then there is an end of all significance in language, and Scripture is wiped out as a definite testimony to anything. If the first resurrection is spiritual, then so is the second, which I suppose no one will be hardy enough to maintain. But if the second is literal, then so is the first, which in common with the whole primitive church and many of the best modern expositors, I do maintain and receive as an article of faith and hope."*
Resurrection From the Dead.
Now if Christ is coming to raise the righteous a thousand years before the ungodly, it would be natural and imperative that the former should be called a resurrection from, or out of the dead, the rest of the dead being left until after the thousand years. We rejoice therefore that this is just what is most carefully done in the Word, and in this we believe we have another most comprehensive and definite proof of the pre-millennial coming of Christ. It consists in the use made, in the Greek text of the words ἐκ νεκρῶν (ek nekron).
These words signify "from the dead" or, out of the dead, implying that the other dead are left.
The resurrection νεκρῶν or τῶν νεκρῶν (nekron, or ton nekron-of the dead) is applied to both classes because all
*See also the quotations from distinguished authorities, both English and German given as critical testimonies in the appendix to Pre-millennial Essays, published by F. H. Revell, Chicago, Ill.
will be raised. But the resurrection K VEKρŵv (ek nekron out of the dead) is not once applied to the ungodly.* The latter phrase is used altogether 49 times, to-wit: 34 times, to express Christ's resurrection, whom we know was thus raised out of the dead.†
3 times, to express John's supposed resurrection, who, as Herod thought, had been thus raised out of the dead.‡ 3 times, to express the resurrection of Lazarus, who was also raised out of the dead.||
3 times, it is used figuratively, to express spiritual life out of the deadness of sin.
Rom. 6:13: "As those that are alive from the dead"; 11:15: "Life from the dead."
Eph. 5:14: "Arise from the dead."
It is used in Luke 16:31. Parable of the
"Though one rose from the dead.”
And in Heb. 11:19. Abraham's faith that God could raise Isaac from the dead.
And the remaining 4 times it is used to express a future resurrection out of the dead, namely, in Mark 12:25, where Jesus says: "When they shall rise from the dead (K VEKρŵv) they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven," and in Luke 20:3536. "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection which is from among (the) dead (rĥo åvaotáσews tŷσ èk vekpŵv), neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
*Mat. 22:31; Acts 17:32; 23:6; 24:15, 21; 1 Cor. 15:12, 13, 21, 42 and especially John 5:28-29 (R. V.): 28. Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, 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 judgment.
+Mat. 17:9; Mark 9:9-10; Luke 24:46; John 2:22; 20:9; 21:14; Acts 3:15; 4:10; 10:41; 13:30; 13:34; 17:3; 17:31; 26:23; Rom. 1:4; 4:24; 6:4-9; 7:4; 8:11; 10:7, 9; 1 Cor. 15:12, 20; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:20; Col. 1:18; 2:12; 1 Thes. 1:10; 2 Tim. 2:8; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 1:3, 21.
Mark 6:14, 16; Luke 9:7. ||John 12:1, 9, 17.
In Acts 4:1-2: The Sadducees were grieved because Peter and John "preached, through Jesus, the resurrection which is from among (the) dead” (Tǹv åváσraow TηV ÈK νεκρῶν).
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 manuseripts.* The phrase is τὴν ἐξανάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν † (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.
†Greek text, Tischendorf and Alford. Vol. 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 firstfruits; 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. 3:8-11.
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, fo 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.” 1931
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 (vexpv 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.
(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 be
TÔν VEKρŵv) 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 especial 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.
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.
Dr. David Brown quite superficially disposes of it by the erroneous presumption that Pre-millenarians apply the resurrection (νεκρῶν οἱ τῶν νεκρῶν), of the dead, only to the ungodly. Whereas, we hold that it embraces all, even Christ Himself, but that (ék veкpwv) 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 ἐκ νεκρῶν or ἐξ ἀναστάσεως VEKρOV. Second Advent, p. 198.
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 accord⚫ ing to their works.