ACTS 23:6 —HOPE & RESURRECTION. PART B. Will Mankind Resurrect With the Same Mind?

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Why is a Resurrection Necessary?

The Apostle Paul explains why a resurrection is necessary through stating a precious promise in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, (21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.”

The resurrection is necessitated by the fall, if God is to recover the fallen human race.

The Greek word in the Bible used for “resurrection” is “anastasis”—(noun).
The “ana” means again, the “stasis” means a standing.
It has the connotation to be lifted up back to full and perfect manhood…. Back to perfection.

The Old Testament does not state this word “resurrection”; it is only found in the New Testament.

So can we find this term expressed anywhere in the Old Testament? Let’s take a look at some Old Testament scriptures.

“You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals” (Psalm 90:3, NIV).

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10)

“Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11, NIV).

God doesn’t just want a blinded obedient creation
but one that will actually REJOICE after returning from death!

Men Sleeping in the Dust

Mankind isn’t just poor, but impoverished!

We read in Daniel 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.”

Job confirmed this expectation of a resurrection in Job 14:13-15, “(13) O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! (14) If a man die, shall he live again?… (15) Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.”

Job expected to be remembered and restored. Job believed he would be awoke so much, that he asked God to put him in the grave until all his trouble would pass!

So in the Old Testament there was the understanding of the concept of being re-awakened from the sleep of death.

Release from the Prison of Death

In Psalm 146:7 we read, “The Lord looseth the prisoners …”

When you are in prison you cannot get out. The whole purpose of the prison is to keep you in. Until the door of death is unlocked, there is no coming out.

“Looseth”—freed from death as until then, there is no coming out of this condition.

In Job 3:18 we read, “There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.”

Death is oblivion—there is no consciousness there… resting not in the same place of course but meaning in the same condition.

In Isaiah 49:8-9 we read, “ (8) I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; (9) That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves.”

We see a glimpse of how this will be accomplished—Christ and his ‘body’ (the Elect)—through them the New Covenant will begin once they are complete.

GOD will unlock the prison house of the grave then!

I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes” (Hosea 13:14).

“(54) …Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15: 54-57).

Will Mankind Resurrect With the Same Mind?

Yes. The mind you die with the mind you will come up with. If they were constantly thinking of evil or immoral… they will have to correct that!

Here are some verses to prove this:

“… if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be” (Ecclesiastes 11:3).

If they are earnestly seeking God they will have no problems in changing their characters.

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, … even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all” (Ecclesiastes 11:5).

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

In all the trials of life in the kingdom in perfect conditions wherein righteousness rules, mankind will have to make righteous choices to live forever.

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The principle in scripture is, described as the sowing and reaping one; that what we sow we will reap

It seems today in the world that the wicked prosper, right?
But there is no fooling God!

As the way they go down, so they will come up… it will catch up with them as they will have to unlearn the unrighteousness and to sanctify themselves.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

You can fool the government …
You can fool the courts …
You can fool the majority of people …
But! You cannot fool God!

“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, observing both the evil and the good”  (Proverbs 15:3).

For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

So, the character you go down with, will be the character that follows in the resurrection.

Wickedness and deceit will be their own punishment in the kingdom, so they will have much further to have to go, to change their characters.

But can God Restore a Mind? Yes!

“(29) Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, (30) to bring back his soul from the pit [“sheoul” = hell, pit, grave,] to be enlightened with the light of the living” (Job 33:29-30).

The light of the living concerns the mind, the intellect. Resurrected humanity on earth will “be enlightened” again with the light of life. Their resurrection from the dead will be clear and convincing evidence to them of God’s wonderful blessing on their behalf. This itself will provide an opportunity for them to begin anew on a better footing than before, with faith in God and appreciation for His kindness.

This favorable new beginning for mankind, each one individually, being raised again on earth during the Millennium, will come through the reign of Christ with his “Bride” (comprising 144,000 members, Revelation 7 and 14). Then evil will be restrained, rather than allowed to proceed, as at present. The Spirit of understanding from God will be poured out upon the hearts of humanity, starting with the nation of Israel (Zechariah 12:10).

The spirit of understanding will bring joy to mankind in doing what is pleasing to the Heavenly Father. They will seek after righteousness when they recognize the blessings that shall be gained in doing so. As Proverbs 21:21 says, “whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.”

In Jeremiah 31 we read about the Spirit of understanding coming to Israel when they finally recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

“(31) Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah … (33) This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (34) And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

After Israel has been inducted into this “new covenant,” at the beginning of Christ’s Millennial Reign, they will be used by God to extend the same blessings outward to the remainder of the world. Then all will be able to receive the spirit of understanding from God. “And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest” (Hebrews 8:11).

At the outset of the Millennial Age, the ransom will be applied for the world in order to remove the curse. The removal of the curse is the first necessary step in order to proceed with the resurrection. However, that does not mean the resurrected individuals are justified. They will be sinful people still (because they will return back with the same thoughts, as mentioned earlier in this post). Many of those raised will be without faith, and far short of good works. Teaching people about God and the standards of righteousness will take time. Individually, the blessed influences of the Kingdom will bring people to repentance, faith, and obedience. Ultimately they will be righteous and holy. As this process continues, they will be blessed also by physical blessings of health and vitality, returning to the perfection of being that Adam enjoyed in the garden before his sin.

The Basis of Our Hope

The basis of our hope IS the resurrection of the dead, and that ALL who die, shall come back alive.

“(20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (24) Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:20-24).

All will be made alive. There is a hope to the resurrection.

SOME EVEN TODAY SAY— THERE IS NO RESURRECTION!

But the Bible clearly teaches us that our HOPE is based on the resurrection—the key to our faith!

Here is a beautiful explanation that there IS a resurrection:

(12) Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? (13) But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: (14) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. (16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: (17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. (18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. (19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15: 12-19).

The Apostle Paul is saying if your assumption is there is NO RESURRECTION, then you have NO HOPE!

The Apostle Paul is teaching us that the ONLY HOPE IS the resurrection!

The Church class (those running in the race of the High Calling) understand this and they understand that since Jesus did resurrect—this is our seal of approval that there IS a resurrection. The resurrection is really key to our faith.

Is the resurrection illustrated in the Scriptures?

Yes. Some temporary re-standings from the dead are illustrated in the Bible and as listed below, which demonstrated the capability of there being a permanent resurrection of all those in the grave:-

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Remembering Those in the Grave

The hope of man is that they will be remembered by others. Yet are they?

In Psalm 6:5 we read, “in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?”

As generations pass, people are largely forgotten as explained in Psalm 102:11-12, “11My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. 12 But thou, O Lord, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.

Although mankind cannot remember people even 100 years ago, God can remember all generations and that too, means, that God CAN restore!

Can God Put a New Mind in an Old Body?

Of course God can!

In Acts 26:8 (NIV), the Apostle Paul explains to King Agrippa that it is because of this hope in the resurrection from the dead that the Jews are accusing him and states, “why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?”

If God has the ability to allow for the creation of 100 billion galaxies, then there is no doubt that God can restore all mankind in the soon to begin Kingdom!

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In Isaiah 40:28 (KJV) we read, “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.”

Why Restore the Old Mind?

In Mark 12:27 we are told that our Heavenly Father “is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living…

The Bible explains that God has appointed a day, in which “He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

This necessitates the remembrance of the consequences of sin.

All mankind who resurrect on earth will have the chance to gain eternal life so that there is PERFECT JOY FOREVERMORE as it is disobedience to God’s commands that led to PAIN, SORROW, TEARS, SUFFERING and UNHAPPINESS… while OBEDIENCE to RIGHTEOUSNESS is what pleases the Creator of our Universe and adhering to this, will lead to ETERNAL JOY!

The Bible assures us that God will “swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces… for the Lord hath spoken it” (Isaiah 25:8).

Acknowledgement

Br. Bob Goodman — for source material from his power-point presentation (a “BibleTruth411” – YouTube Video) “The Hope and Resurrection of the Dead”.

Br. David Rice — assistance with content and editing.

Suggested Further Reading

ACTS 23:6 —HOPE & RESURRECTION. PART A: What is Jesus All About?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/03/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-a-what-is-jesus-all-about/

ACTS 23:6 —HOPE & RESURRECTION. PART C. The Order of the Resurrection Process.https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/11/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-c-the-order-of-the-resurrection-process/

ACTS 3:19-21 – The Restitution of All Things
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/08/02/acts-319-21-the-restitution-of-all-things/

Epoch Periods In God’s Plan
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/08/16/epoch-periods-in-gods-plan/

The Resurrection of the Dead. Faithbuilders Fellowship, Nov. – Dec. 2008 (Journal Section). http://www.2043ad.com/journal/2008/06_nd_08.pdf

Life After Death. Dawn Bible Students Association.
http://www.dawnbible.com/booklets/life.htm

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2 Corinthians 5:20 – What Does Being “Ambassadors for Christ” Mean ?

2 COR. 5, 20

What is an ambassador ?

According to Wikipedia, an ambassador is :

“an official envoy, especially a highest ranking diplomat who represents a state and is usually accredited to another sovereign state, or to an international organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment… They are stationed in a foreign country and they as well as the embassy staff are granted diplomatic immunity and personal safety while living abroad.”

Apostle Paul made it clear to us that those who are accepted of God and begotten of the holy spirit are ambassadors of another country:

“For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20, ASV).

“For he has delivered us out of the dominion of the darkness, and transplanted us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 11:13).

The Apostle Paul

Apostle Paul referred to himself as an “ambassador in chains” (Ephesians 6:20). This is hardly the view we take of diplomatic ambassadors today. But Paul does not say this to elicit pity. Rather he tells the Church not to lose heart over what he is suffering because it is for the Church’s glory.

Truly Apostle Paul was a great ambassador!

Should we not also represent our head, Christ Jesus and SHINE like stars in the sky, being blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation”? (Philippians 2:15)

YES we MUST do so… not tomorrow… BUT NOWright NOW… the High Calling of the Gospel Age is soon to end and Christ’s Bride composed of 144,000 members, shall hath made herself ready!

Dear Brethren, we will not miss out for the chance of eternal eternities and forevermore to belong to the BODY of Christ… to be counted worthy of the prize of the High Calling… of bringing our Heavenly Father grandest JOY and who shall present the Bride as the most righteous gift to Christ!

Let us “trim our lamps” as the “wise virgins” (Matthew 25:7) and stay separate from this world (2 Corinthians 6:17); and be “peculiar people” renouncing the world and its evil desires!

“14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:14-15).

Prepare yourselves through strict training and discipline to belong to the ONE BRIDEGROOM ONLYlet JESUS BE YOUR HEAD–SEEK him; SEARCH for him; COPY him; make him proud; REPRESENT him in spite of ALL RIDICULE and SUFFERING in this world.

“24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.
27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, ESV).

The Apostle Paul encourages us: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20, KJV).

Qualifications of an Ambassador

As ambassadors of Christ, how should we conduct ourselves? What is our role?
Let’s consider the following characteristics of an ideal ambassador:

  1. PATIENCE

An ambassador listens carefully to the citizens of the countries he is involved in helping to understand their needs and situation so that any conflicts or disagreements can be resolved in peace. The Apostle Paul was so patient through his experiences as a prisoner and in his dealings with rulers he sought to bring about mutual understanding concerning the Truth.

  1. WISDOM

An ambassador uses his knowledge of people to (as far as possible) resolve conflicts between any parties involved. We have an example of this by the Apostle Paul–when question by rulers and confronted by hostile Jews and Greeks, he used Godly wisdom to answer.

“Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial” (Acts 23:6, ESV).

  1. GRACIOUS SPEECH

As a spokesperson for his country, an ambassador is one who encourages and entreats with his words rather than causing any offence or hostility, as well as seeking the good of all. We see this in Apostle Paul’s conduct here:

“32Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:32-33, KJV).

Apostle Peter explains: 11Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11-12, KJV).

  1. GENEROUSAn ambassador will use his time and talents to help others, especially as it promotes the interests of his home government, even at personal sacrifice and we note how Apostle Paul laid down his life for kingdom interests  in Philippians 2:4:-

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  1. REASONABLENESS

An ambassador will try to help those in his host country and persuade them to appreciate the benefit of his counsel. Paul continually appealed to others to accept his counsel concerning Christ’s kingdom and the blessing it will be to all.

  1. HONESTY

An ambassador tells the truth and uses facts to persuade others. He neither deceives nor exaggerates to achieve his way. Paul was forthright, even on occasion calling the attention of Peter and others to what appeared to be a misleading example.

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (Galatians 2:11-14, ESV).

  1. UNDER READINESS OF MIND

An ambassador is ever alert to represent and promote the interest of his government even at the risk of personal benefit or gain.

Apostle Paul did not let opportunities slip by him, to regret latter. He embraced his appointed service with diligence. As Jesus, “for the joy set before him” endured ALL manner of rebuff and persecution, so Apostle Paul followed the example of Jesus (1 Corinthians 4:11-13).

  1. HUMILITY

An ambassador recognizes that he has no personal authority apart from the country he represents. Further, as he provides instruction and direction, he explains the laws of his home country.

Though Apostle Paul was a leading light in the early church, he considered himself the “least of the apostles” (1 Corinthians 15:9, Ephesians 3:8).

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:9).

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8, ESV).

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If we as Christians could keep these thoughts always prominent before our minds, what a dignity it would add to our character! What a transforming power it would be!

What an assistance to the new nature in its battle with the low and grovelling tendencies of the old nature now disowned by us and reckoned dead!

Dear friends, let us remember that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20).

While still living in the world, we are not of it but have transferred our allegiance and citizenship to the Kingdom. And now, as appointees of our Kingdom, while still living in the world among aliens and strangers, we as representatives and ambassadors should feel both the dignity and the honor of the position and the weighty responsibilities and keep in memory the Apostle’s words,

Whatsoever ye do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus(Colossians 3:23).

(Refer to Reprints of the Original Watch Tower page 3329 for a lovely article titled “Do All in the Name of the Lord Jesus.“)

We can learn by Apostle Paul’s wonderful example of ambassadorship and demonstrate, as he did, a ministry of reconciliation now.

Our Christ-like behavior in this world brings a certain amount of help and healing to a world that needs deliverance.

“A wicked messenger falleth into unhappiness; but a faithful ambassador bringeth healing
(Proverbs 13:17, Leeser).

This will prepare us well for the greater reconciliation of all mankind in which we will participate, no longer as ambassadors, but rather as kings and priests with Jesus.

What a hope is ours!

May we do ALL in our power to glorify our Heavenly Father Jehovah through Jesus Christ, GOD’s Son–in our bodies and our spirit which belong to our Head—Jesus CHRIST.

Reference:

Special thanks to Br. David Stein for source material from the article Paul the Ambassador“, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, August/September 2011.

 

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