The following study is taken from “The City of the Living God” by Pastor Dave Barley, pp. 39-59.
...What are the entrance requirements of this City wherein God dwells, this City which promises a new government, a new existence, and a new way of life? We know from Scripture that to be among the saints comprising the New Jerusalem, we must be immortal. (Revelation 22:5) We also know from Scripture that to possess immortality we must be incapable of sinning (“the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23). I know of no one who is, or who has been, INCAPABLE of sinning. Jesus Christ, in His flesh, was CAPABLE of sin, yet He sinned not. He provided us with the example of submitting His will to the will of His Father. Immortality requires sinlessness; therefore, we cannot inherit the New Jerusalem as long as we are in these mortal bodies.
However, there are some who are teaching that we are in the kingdom now, that Christ has returned (or never left), that He is reigning as King in this kingdom, and that the resurrection occurred in 70 A.D. (By stating this belief, they are admitting they are not worthy of being in Christ’s Kingdom because they are here with the rest of us now, experiencing war, crime, and all manner of horrible things. So God did not think they were worthy and therefore they have nothing to look forward to, they will NEVER inherit the Kingdom of God, when they die they will remain dead forever, for if the resurrection has already come, then they missed the boat and are doomed to destruction and never having the wonderful knowledge of Almighty God and the Kingdom of Christ - WM) The disturbing thought that the resurrection has occurred are we who still sin have been left out brings to mind the following from “The Purpose of the Resurrection” by Stephen E. Jones: “The first resurrection had not occurred when Paul mentioned Hymenaeus and Philetus. There are some teachers today who say that the first resurrection occurred in 70 A.D., at the destruction of Jerusalem. The Jehovah’s Witnesses say the resurrection occurred in 1914 A.D. The problem is, no one can point to any resurrected saint and say, “See, that man died a hundred years ago and is now alive, immortal and incorruptible. Let’s elect him as our president so that he can rule and reign on the earth as the Scriptures say!” If the resurrection is already past, then where are they? Why are they not ruling? Why have they not “bound Satan?” (Revelation 20:2) Why are they not administering true justice and righteousness in the earth by the Law of God? Why do evil men yet flourish?
Once again, the only explanation we get is that they were “raised spiritually:” in such a manner that no one perceived it. We are asked to see it with “the eye of faith,” because it all happened in secret, and these saints are all in heaven and have little or no influence in the government on earth.
All these views redefine the resurrection in terms of the dead going to heaven in some spiritual state, rather than in the likeness of Jesus’ resurrected body. Whenever men say that the resurrection occurred in the past, but they cannot point to resurrected saints to support their view, they have redefined resurrection and adopted the pagan Greek view of resurrection. They are saying that when the dead are raised, they go into a spiritual state that is apart from matter. All these views destroy the doctrine of the resurrection.
So if any man comes teaching that the resurrection is already past, whether they say it occurred in Matthew 27 or in 70 A.D., or in 1914 A.D., it is simply an extension of the doctrine of Hymenaeus and Philetus. Do not be among those whose faith is overthrown.
Those who teach that the resurrection occurred in 70 A.D., tell us that Paul’s writings about resurrection were completed before 70 A.D., and therefore he could not have known that the resurrection would occur in so short a time. While on the surface this argument may sound plausible, we need to remember exactly what is meant by “resurrection.” The gospels are replete with evidence of the physical resurrection of Jesus the Christ in Chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians. He reminds those to whom he is writing that “...if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Paul is saying that if Christ is our hope ONLY in this mortal body, this ailing and sinful body, we are most miserable. In other words, if in this life ONLY we can worship and believe and have faith in Christ, we are most miserable because that would be the end of it. Stephen Jones is correct; those teaching that the resurrection has ALREADY occurred have redefined resurrection. DO NOT FALL FOR IT.
It appears that those who teach this doctrine fail to distinguish between being “reborn” (or having a “new birth”) and being “resurrected.” Our English term “born again” means a “regeneration,” not a “resurrection.” When we are “born again,” we have been drawn to Christ by the Father (John 6:44) and have become “born of God.” (1 John 3:9) We become “...born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” (1 Peter 1:23) This process is a spiritual regeneration that replaces our natural or carnal insight with the insight of the Holy Spirit. It is what is meant by “being led by the Spirit.”
There are separate and distinct words for “regeneration” and “resurrection” in Greek. The Greek word “anastasis” means “a rising or raising up” and is translated as “resurrection” in English, and the Greek word “anagegennemenoi” means “having been generated again” and is translated as “born again” in English. Thus we can see that there are two processes we must experience in our Christian walk.
To further document a PHYSICAL resurrection, let us turn to Paul’s letter to the Romans: “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.” (Romans 6:9)
Paul’s first letter to Timothy gives us added insight into our resurrected bodies: “I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:13-16)
Who was the only One Who had immortality? Jesus Christ. Why? Because He was resurrected. We have this same resurrection process to look forward to. It is our blessed hope whereby our corruptible will put on incorruption, and this mortality will put on immortality.
“Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any many defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the Temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
The process whereby Christ was raised from the dead, where death’s power no longer held dominion over Him, is called resurrection; it is the hope of you and me who are called according to His purposes. It is this transformation process that we look forward to.
What we have in this life is not that transformation, it is regeneration. Even in regeneration we still experience all the problems of the flesh: the sin, the sicknesses, the worries, and the confusion. Is this, as some are trying to tell us, what we have to look forward to? I tell you that it is not. In regeneration, we do not experience the blessings of the RESURRECTION, but rather we CONTINUE to experience the trials of this life, whether they be from government, sickness, lust, loss of income, or family problems.
Even as regenerated Christians, we do not have the power nor the righteousness required to keep a new type of government righteous even if we could put on in place. Perhaps we need to remember that the Scriptures tell us that we know in part and we do in part, but until that which is perfect is come, we are not going to have the full measure of victory that we desire in this life. (1 Corinthians 13:10) This doctrine is what differentiates this ministry from the other ministries which teach that we are in the kingdom now. Some ministries preach that in the days ahead, man will be able to usher in the Kingdom of God; a feat no previous generation has been able to accomplish in man’s present unregenerate form, state, and existence. These ministries believe that man will somehow get better, become more obedient to God, and that God Almighty will then use them through the leading of His Spirit to establish the kingdom of God upon this earth. Through the course of this study, we are seeing that these teachings are false.
Even though we are “HEIRS OF THE PROMISE,” we are still in mortal flesh and subject to the sins of mortal flesh. Just as Abraham lived by faith, we, too, mus live by faith and look for the promised “country” (kingdom) whose builder and maker is God. The promises made to our forefathers will be realized by THE OVERCOMERS. We are not BORN overcomers. We become overcomers by yielding to Christ and dying to self will. Please chew slowly the following passages from Scripture concerning the promises made to the overcomers:
Revelation 2:7: “He that hat an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that OVERCOMETH will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
Revelation 2:11: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that OVERCOMETH shall not be hurt of the second death.”
Revelation 2:17: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overecometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth (it).
Revelation 2:26: “And he that OVERCOMETH, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.”
Revelation 3:5: “He that OVERCOMETH, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”
Revelation 3:12: “Him that OVERCOMETH will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, (which is) new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and (I will write upon him) my new name.”
Revelation 3:21: “To him that OVERCOMETH will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”
Revelation 21:7: “He that OVERCOMETH shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
Each of these verses of promise to the overcomer carries with it a future reward, NOT A PRESENT REWARD. If we were in the Kingdom Age, ministering from His Holy City, we would be enjoying the fruits of being overcomers. However, in this Pentecostal Age (the church Age), in this life of mortal flesh, IT IS THE TIME OF OUR TRAINING, NOT OUR REIGNING. The only hope we have is the “blessed hope” in the resurrection of our mortal bodies.
Jesus’ own words to the Pharisees shed more light on “resurrection” versus “regeneration:”“Jesus answered and said unto him, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?” (John 2:19-20)
The Pharisees were astounded and wanted to know how He could have the audacity to make such a claim. They were thinking of this earthly temple, this earthy government, this earthly realm; they did not perceive that Jesus was referring to the temple of His Body - the flesh. They did not have the same faith, the same hop, nor the same vision that Abraham had set his heart upon.
“But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” (John 2:21-22)
Notice that His disciples believed, but the Pharisees did not. The Pharisees did not have eyes that could see nor ears that could hear the promise of the great hope of the resurrection that Jesus faithfully fulfilled. Jesus was the firstfruits of the resurrected. By His example, He led the way to show that in the appointed time, he will redeem our bodies of flesh that were sold into the bondage of sin in the Garden.
Remember, the Scriptures declare that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:50) You might want to read that again and again until you understand and accept this vital truth. Some people deny the truth of that verse by saying that it refers to our born-again experience. They say that when you are born again, you become a new creature in Jesus Christ, and you enter into the kingdom at that point. No, my friends, the Scriptures say that flesh and blood CANNOT inherit the kingdom of God. A transformation of our physical bodies must occur in our lives before we can inherit the kingdom and the eternal City of the Living God.
In Luke 24:39 Christ says, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself handle Me, and see; FOR A SPIRIT HATH NOT FLESH AND BONES, AS YE SEE ME HAVE.” This was the type of body that Jesus had after He was resurrected. He had flesh and bone, not flesh and blood. There was no blood in Him after He resurrected. Blood is the life of the flesh, and there is sin in this element. When we have a resurrected body, it will be a physical body much as we have now, but it will contain no blood.
Paul’s letter to the Colossians gives us this special understanding: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: What hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Colossians 1:12-13)
Yes brothers and sisters, our Heavenly Father, “hath made us meet (In the Greek, “meet” literally means “to enable, i.e., qualify: make, able.”) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” In other words, if you have been born-again, if you have become a new creature in Jesus Christ, then the righteousness of Christ has been “imputed” unto you, and you become qualified as an inheritor with the saints. Ask yourself, where are the saint? If we are in the Kingdom now, are those saints who have died in the faith alive and walking among us? Non-sense! They are yet in the grave; dead, or asleep awaiting the RESURRECTION. We are told throughout the Word of God, that the dead are yet in the grave, awaiting “the last trump.” The timing and conditions are clearly revealed in 1 Thessalonians 4:15, “...we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep.” If we are in the kingdom now, where are those saints who died expecting to inherit this great promise? Or, if the kingdom is off in the clouds or some upper exalted sphere, then why are we not there also?
There is a big difference between being in the kingdom NOW as opposed to being INHERITORS of the promise with the other saints. We groan and travail, as they did, for the “city whose builder and maker is God.” When the Apostle Paul says, “hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son,” (Colossians 13:10) he is making a declaration that our destiny is in Christ who is the “author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) In Christ, we have inherited the kingdom of God, and AT HIS APPOINTED TIME, we will take possession of our inheritance and rule and reign with Christ over all things. Being translated into the kingdom of God; past tense, is analogous to your father promising you his car upon your graduation. You are possessor of that car by right of inheritance, but you cannot begin driving it until you graduate (are resurrected) and he brings it to you. That transfer of ownership in God’s Kingdom Age means that you have inherited your new body and your new position; co-regent with Christ.
At the RESURRECTION we will see a great transformation: the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord. (Revelation 11:15) That will be THE TIME for “the great commission” to take on a new focus among His Chosen who are His servants (His sons of the kingdom). Israel has been sending out missionaries for decades and reaping a handful of converts. However, when the great commission is carried out beyond the resurrection, we will see the peoples of the earth eagerly coming to Christ. Those serving Him will have unique ministries to perform because the Kingdom Age will be filled with the saints (overcomers) performing miraculous events. We saw a limited form of this during Jesus’ earthly ministry. He became visible and invisible; He walked through walls; He walked on water; He raised the dead; and yet in all His ways, He remained humble and righteous. Someone who is impervious to physical danger or harm cannot be bribed, cannot be stopped. Today, if we try to throw Babylon out and set up the Kingdom of God on earth, we will be harassed, we will be thrown in jail, and we will be murdered. Even though we are in our Father’s Will, we have not taken possession of our new bodies and the kingdom.
There are many sad examples of Christian martyrs who have died in the faith throughout the centuries. You have read of the countless number of Christians who were fed to the lions at the time of Rome. Those early Christian martyrs had a powerful strength of faith. It was a strong, sustaining faith in Jesus Christ who, in His power of the resurrection, is our hope of glory. How could these men and women have endured such persecution, such tribulation, and such horrible means of death?
(Let me digress here and insert a couple of articles about how the Jews treat Christians and non-Jews when they get the chance; and clearly demonstrate the persecution, tribulation, and horrible deaths of Christians: "The Jews were now free to indulge in their most fervent fantasies of mass murder of helpless victims. Christians were dragged from their beds, tortured and killed. Some were actually sliced to pieces, bit by bit, while others were branded with hot irons, their eyes poked out to induce unbearable pain. Others were placed in boxes with only their heads, hands and legs sticking out. Then hungry rats were placed in the boxes to gnaw upon their bodies. Some were nailed to the ceiling by their fingers or by their feet, and left hanging until they died of exhaustion. Others were chained to the floor and left hanging until they died of exhaustion. Others were chained to the floor and hot lead poured into their mouths. Many were tied to horses and dragged through the streets of the city, while Jewish mobs attacked them with rocks and kicked them to death. Christian mothers were taken to the public square and their babies snatched from their arms. A red Jewish terrorist would take the baby, hold it by the feet, head downward and demand that the Christian mother deny Christ. If she would not, he would toss the baby into the air, and another member of the mob would rush forward and catch it on the tip of his bayonet.
Pregnant Christian women were chained to trees and their babies cut out of their bodies. There were many places of public execution in Russia during the days of the revolution, one of which was described by the American Rohrbach Commission: 'The whole cement floor of the execution hall of the Jewish Cheka of Kiev was flooded with blood; it formed a level of several inches. It was a horrible mixture of blood, brains and pieces of skull. All the walls were bespattered with blood. Pieces of brains and of scalps were sticking to them. A gutter of 25 centimeters wide by 25 centimeters deep and about 10 meters long was along its length full to the top with blood.
Some bodies were disemboweled, others had limbs chopped off, some were literally hacked to pieces. Some had their eyes put out, the head, face and neck and trunk were covered with deep wounds. Further on, we found a corpse with a wedge driven into its chest. Some had no tongues. In a corner we discovered a quantity of dismembered arms and legs belonging to no bodies that we could locate.'" (Defender Magazine, October 1933).
And again: "The Red Terror became so wide‑spread that it is impossible to give here all the details of the principal means employed by the [Jewish] Cheka(s) to master resistance; one of the most important is that of hostages, taken among all social classes. These are held responsible for any anti‑Bolshevist movements (revolts, the White Army, strikes, refusal of a village to give its harvest etc.) and are immediately executed. Thus, for the assassination of the Jew Ouritzky, member of the Extraordinary Commission of Petrograd, several thousands of them were put to death, and many of these unfortunate men and women suffered before death various tortures inflicted by cold‑blooded cruelty in the prisons of the Cheka.
I have in front of me photographs taken at Kharkoff, in the presence of the Allied Missions, immediately after the Reds had abandoned the town; they consist of a series of ghastly reproductions such as: Bodies of three workmen taken as hostages from a factory which went on strike. One had his eyes burnt, his lips and nose cut off; the other two had their hands cut off.
The bodies of hostages, S. Afaniasouk and P. Prokpovitch, small landed proprietors, who were scalped by their executioners; S. Afaniasouk shows numerous burns caused by a white hot sword blade. The body of M. Bobroff, a former officer, who had his tongue and one hand cut off and the skin torn off from his left leg.
Human skin torn from the hands of several victims by means of a metallic comb. This sinister find was the result of a careful inspection of the cellar of the Extraordinary Commission of Kharkoff. The retired general Pontiafa, a hostage who had the skin of his right hand torn off and the genital parts mutilated.
Mutilated bodies of women hostages: S. Ivanovna, owner of a drapery business, Mme. A.L. Carolshaja, wife of a colonel, Mmo. Khlopova, a property owner. They had their breasts slit and emptied and the genital parts burnt and having trace of coal.
Bodies of four peasant hostages, Bondarenko, Pookhikle, Sevenetry, and Sidorfehouk, with atrociously mutilated faces, the genital parts having been operated upon by Chinese torturers in a manner unknown to European doctors in whose opinion the agony caused to the victims must have been dreadful.
It is impossible to enumerate all the forms of savagery which the Red Terror took. A volume would not contain them. The Cheka of Kharkoff, for example, in which Saenko operated, had the specialty of scalping victims and taking off the skin of their hands as one takes off a glove...At Voronege the victims were shut up naked in a barrel studded with nails which was then rolled about. Their foreheads were branded with a red hot iron FIVE POINTED STAR. At Tsaritsin and at Kamishin their bones were sawed...At Keif the victim was shut up in a chest containing decomposing corpses; after firing shots above his head his torturers told him that he would be buried alive. The chest was buried and opened again half an hour later when the interrogation of the victim was proceeded with. The scene was repeated several times over. It is not surprising that many victims went mad." (S.P. Melgounov, p. 164‑166; The Secret Powers Behind Revolution, by Vicomte Leon De Poncins, p. 151‑153).
During the Bolshevik takeover of Russia American Troops were sent into Siberia and Voldvostak to help protect the railroads, and radio stations, from falling into the hands of the White Russians. After the Bolsheviks took over and had control of Russia, the blood letting began. The American troops were disarmed so they could not interfere and were witnesses to some of the brutality as described above. Of course if the troops had not been disarmed they would have fought to prevent such horrible things from happening. And never, for a moment, think this will not happen in America if the Jews get a chance to do it. Now back to Pastor Barley - WM).
It was because they knew that this flesh-and-blood body was only temporary. If there had been a general resurrection or transformation in 70 A.D., as some claim, these early martyrs COULD NOT have been persecuted and tortured to death BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN IMMORTAL.
...Every man exists upon this earth for a short time. Each of us will die at some moment, and our short appearance upon this earth in this physical body will have ended. However, we have the hope of the RESURRECTION to sustain us. Paul says it very graphically as he points to our expectation: “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven; if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.” (2 Corinthians 5:2-3)
Please notice the Apostle Paul says that we groan in this life. Why do we groan? We groan for a new house, a new body, a greater existence in HIS presence. Those who deny the resurrection are literally denying the very word, character, and restorative promises of Jesus Christ. In the following verse, Paul is referring again to our groaning while in this tabernacle of flesh and blood: “For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” (2 Corinthians 5:4)
How is our mortality swallowed up? With immortality. This corruptible body will be given a new, incorruptible body. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY IT HAPPENS, AND IT HAPPENS ONLY AT THE RESURRECTION!
We read of this groaning process again in Paul’s letter to the Christians at Rome: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:22-23)
Paul is talking about our resurrection; our transformation from this sinful body of flesh and blood to a new body of flesh and bone. He is speaking of the redemption of our bodies, the transformation process that is described throughout the Scriptures and which is the hope of every believer: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51)
If you search the Scriptures, you will find many examples of the seventh trumpet announcing a victory. For instance, at the time of Joshua, when the Israelites went in to take Jericho, they were to walk around the city six times, blowing the trumpets. But on the seventh encircling, at the sound of the seventh trumpet, the walls came down. That is when they entered and possessed the city. This example is but a shadow of the approaching time when we will hear the seventh trumpet, and we will take possession of a “new heaven and new earth,” a new kingdom of LIGHT, TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and TRUE JUSTICE.
We need to prepare for this kingdom and be ready for it. We need to be ready to enter, but not of our own righteousness, not of our own strength and power, and not by the POWER OF OUR MINDS. The right way is through the power of Jesus Christ and His righteousness and the work that He is doing within us and through us. (Remember the spies that went with Joshua and Caleb were never allowed to enter into the Promised Land because of their unbelief. And I am scared to death this is what is going to happen to the Preterists - WM)
The trumpet will sound, the dead will be changed, and the living will be transformed. We must be transformed because this mortal body must put on immortality. Otherwise, we would never have the power to maintain the kingdom. With our present corruptible bodies, comes a corruptible mind, a carnal mind which is at enmity with God. This state of man must pass. Corruption must put on incorruption, mortality must put on immortality, and we “must be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” (Romans 12:2) This is the glorious inheritance of those who are in Christ, and heirs according to His promise. “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, Which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-58)
Our labor is not in vain in this life because we have a hope in the glory of Christ Jesus in the resurrection: “Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, HOW SAY SOME AMONG YOU THAT THERE IS NO RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD (This is exactly what the Preterists teach, when they say that the resurrection has already occurred. And if has already happened then our faith is false and our hope is nothing but hot air. - WM)? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:11-14)
Paul had a problem with people teaching a doctrine similar to that which we hear today (Preterism), that there was no resurrection of the dead. Stop and think about it. Paul is absolutely correct. Our belief, our faith, and our hope are all in vain if there is no physical resurrection: “Yea, we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: Whom H raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. IF IN THIS LIFE ONLY WE HAVE HOPE IN CHRIST, WE ARE OF ALL MEN MOST MISERABLE.” (1 Corinthians 15:15-19)
Paul is saying that those who have died have no hope if there is no physical resurrection. If we have the faith and hope that ONLY Christ was raised from the dead and that OUR resurrection is only a state of mind, then we are most miserable. However, the Apostle Paul and other Scriptures make the promise quite clear that our hope IS in the resurrected Christ and that our resurrection and transformation WILL follow at the appointed time.
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” (Titus 2:13-15)
What is this hope that we have which is pictured in this passage? It is the resurrection: the blessed hope of the Christian (Israelite - WM). That is what we have to look forward to. Man and his system and his government cannot take that assurance away from us. If those who rise up and take a stand against the forces of iniquity die as soldiers of Christ, is it all over? Absolutely not, because there is a blessed kingdom that is coming upon this earth. There is a resurrection in which the tables will be turned upon the ungodly, the Babylonian lovers and promoters that we have over us today. At the moment, the evil doers in our government appear to be in control and have a certain amount of dominion. However, God Almighty has placed them there to accomplish His sovereign purposes, and He has promised that He will bring their whorish system to nought.
The walls of Red Babylon will collapse, and its power will crumble (and our enemies, the children of Satan will be utterly destroyed - WM), as is clearly described in Revelation 18. There will be a great shaking and tearing down of man’s systems, and the Kingdom of God will be ushered in upon this earth as we have never seen before. Israel of old only saw God’s Kingdom in measure, and I think you will agree that right now we still only know in part, we only see in part, and we only do in part until that which is perfect shall come.
Be assured that before we become citizens of that living city, our bodies will be made immortal and our minds must be renewed. If this building that God is assembling for His habitation has been completed, if the sign of the Son of man was seen in heaven and all of the tribes of the earth have mourned, if the Son of man was seen coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory preceded by His angels with a great sound of the trumpet, if the King was met upon His return by lightning that came out of the east and shone even unto the west, and if He has gathered together His elect from the four winds, from one of heaven to the other, then truly He must be here. Many must have been transformed, the dead must have been resurrected; and somehow, we must have missed it (along with the rest of the world - WM)