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Tuesday: The Resurrection — 17 Comments

  1. It is possible to read the Old Testament and not believe in the resurrection. The Sadducees of Jesus time are a testament to that. My understanding is that they applied those passages that we thing apply to the resurrection to the reinstatement of the Kindom of Israel. Both the major branches of Jewish thought describe the Messiah as the one who releases the Jewish nation from oppression and missed the notion that the Messiah was coming to save everyone and not just the Jewish nation.

    It is easy for us to criticise them from our viewpoint but it should be remembered that just because the Jews in ancient times had a blinkered vision, it is quite possible that we do not have the full picture either. It is interesting to read modern metaphysicists discussing the meaning of existence. While most of them accept a purely physical existence, a chemical reaction that at death simply stops functioning, they also think of the possibility of our existence beyond the chemistry. It is impossible to describe some of their thoughts here as it requires a fair bit of scientific understanding to explain it. Suffice it to say that some of their hypotheses are quite challenging and not outside the realm of the things we discuss when we talk about resurrection and eternal life.

    It is worth rereading the last chapter of Daniel from two perspectives. Our own current perspective of course; but also from the perspective of a Jewish reader in the intertestamental and New Testament periods. I know that the book was sealed until "the time of the end", but did any Jews, think they were living in "the time of the end".

    Just a little bit of encouragement to take the time to read Daniel 12 in its entirety and think about the picture that it presents.

    • Although I prefer the SDA interpretation of the “State of the Dead” , the “dead no not anything” and one awaits resurrection after death, the interpretation of many Jews is that the dead are “ gathered unto their people” (Gen 35:29 & 49:29), strikes me as a reasonable conclusion based on the many text in the Old Testament that use this phrase ( these are just two of many examples).

      Can anyone shed any light on the Old Testament verses that use this phrase?

      • Hello Mr. Williams,

        My wife, son and I went to the “Holy Land” over a decade ago and our Jewish guide explained the phrase "gathered to his people" this way. In ancient times, a family would make or buy a burial cave (see for example Genesis 23, when Abraham buried Sarah). In the cave, one or more “beds” would be hewn into the stone. Also in the cave would be a container place for bones.

        When a family member died, they would be placed on one of the beds. Over time, their body would decay, leaving only the bones. These bones would then be gathered and placed in the container in cave with the bones of those in the family who had died previously, the “bed” would be ready for the next person in the family who died. This is how a person was “gathered to his [or her] people”. Note Israel’s (Jacob’s) instructions to his sons:

        And he charged them and said to them, I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burying-place. They buried Abraham and his wife Sarah there, and they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah. And I buried Leah there; the purchase of the field and the cave in it, from the sons of Heth. [Genesis 49:29-32 MKJV, emphasis supplied.]

        Israel was literally gathered to his people in that cave at Mamre in the land of Canaan. "Bury me with my fathers in the cave" obviously does not mean he went to heaven to live with his fathers.

        Hope this helps to clarify this biblical expression. A person needs to be careful to keep his preconceptions from making the plain words of the Bible say something that was never intended by the those who wrote those words.

        Richard Ferguson

        • Thank you for that. It sounds reasonable and plausible.

          I finished reading the Second of two commentaries on Exodus and Genesis written by Dennis Praeger who you may know, is a radio talk show host and a very scholarly Jew. It is his opinion that there is an immediate after life. I do not share his opinion but I did find his exegesis of the text very thorough.

  2. John 11:25. The power of Jesus.

    While other parts of the Bible talk and explain about coming alive and resurrection, Jesus took the disciples and the others through the process of being sick, death, and dying then the resurrection.

    I love John 11:1-46. These passages/verses take us through the entire process of what happens to someone who believes in God and dies. Sometimes people see death as a bad thing, but to the Christians we cannot die unless it was sanctioned by God. Bible says Rev 14:13 and they rest from their labour and their works follows them. After decaying, then the resurrection. Encourage all to read it.

    • Thank You Lyn, I read that with new eyes today and it gave me a new perspective enabling me to apply it personally to my own life. God Bless your day. Tammy

  3. "What importance lies on this life when what really matters is eternity?"
    I'd say ALL importance! Because according to the Bible we will be judged by the choices we make in this life, right? To get to eternity, we need to have the least of opportunities to recognize Jesus as our Savior. This can be done everyday, for those with counciousness about it, or, maybe by luck, but not out of a context, in the last minute of life (if in fact that is possible, but then again, who are we to judge anyone?).
    Look where the world has gotten itself today! The human path disrupts the balance of natural things. Going crazy for money, mankind created a moto of 'always grow', no matter how! We are the ones to blame for our own state! May we recognize that Nature can fight back in ways that no government can be prepared for. But there is hope in the love of God for us. Once we understand this, economic exploitation of the "house" (Earth) that were given us freely gets out of focus, and the spreading of counciousness through real love may be more important. Counciousness is to do everything with real love.

    • Eternity begins here and now with Jesus. And then Jesus Himself said that He came to give us "life" and even "more abundant life," John 10:10. And yes, while this life is nothing compared to eternity; Jesus, His Promises, His word, His Holy Spirit, the Fruit of His Spirit, etc. and etc., gives us all we need, even better health than we had before we came to Him, to get along in this world before He returns and makes "All things new."

    • JC, you stated a very accurate phrase: "... we will be judged by the choices we make".

      Contrary to popular opinion, it is not God that will judge our choices (which if He did would be an arbitrary phenomenon). Rather, it is the choices themselves that will 'judge' us - cause and effect, non-arbitrary phenomenon.

      Put simply, make choices in harmony with the Kingdom of God and the 'judged'/inherent outcome will be abundant life. Make choices in harmony with the Kingdom of Darkness and the 'judged'/inherent outcome will be self-destruction/perishing.

      In our world, 'judgment' is an arbitrary phenomenon. In God's Kingdom reality, judgment is the natural/inherent outcome of cause and effect.

      • Phil, I don't I understand how you can say that God's judgment is arbitrary. The way I understand the Bible is that He looks at a persons heart and pronounces what He sees there i.e. either that the person has chosen the Kingdom of God or rejected it and then He gives them eternal life or disconnects them from His power of life according to their choices. This is God's judgment which is based on fact and thus is not arbitrary.

        • Thanks Shirley

          To clarify - as my brief response to JC appears to have left some ambiguity.

          I absolutely agree with you that God’s judgement is non-arbitrary and because of that, God’s judgement is not what it has traditionally/typically been portrayed as. That was the essence of my reply to JC.

          Are you sure God disconnects people from His power of life? Isn’t it the underlying heart orientation and the associated choices that people make the 'thing' that actually disconnects them from His power of life? If so, God is merely releasing the person to that disconnection via ceasing to restrain them from doing so as opposed to being the cause and source of the disconnection. I believe this is reflected in the 1SM 235.2 quote I have posted recently: “By choosing to sin, men separate themselves from God and the sure result is ruin and death”.

          Your thoughts?

      • Phil, I agree with what I think you mean - that God does is not an arbitrary judge - but I think your wording appears to contradict the biblical text. The Bible repeatedly refers to God judging the world. But, as you say, this judgment is not arbitrary, it is simply a matter of allowing people to experience the consequence of their choices. Those who choose the way of Christ, the Lifegiver, will experience everlasting life. Those who choose the way of Satan, the rebel against God's government, will experience eternal death, because separation from the Lifegiver naturally results in death.
        The judgment does not happen without God. He is sovereign now, and He remains sovereign in the judgment.

        • Thanks Inge

          With regard to whether my wording contradicts the biblical text, it depends on how the word/concept of judgment is interpreted. Is judgment being used in the sense of God making a determination that otherwise wouldn’t or doesn’t exist until that determination is made? Or is God merely revealing and announcing/declaring what already is - like the way a physician would diagnose and prognose? I now believe the biblical text consistently supports the latter view as per 1 Corinthians 4:5 and John 3:18-21 as example texts rather than proof texts.

          This issue illustrates the role of identification, examination and discussion of presuppositions as one of a range of vital components of biblical interpretation - which hopefully will be explored more in next quarter's lesson.

  4. I am wondering about the meaning of "time of the end." Does it always refers to the time preceding the return of Jesus?

    What about the "end of the indignation?" Could it be that sometimes it refers to times preceding God's great acts in the history of mankind? Times preceding God's miraculous intervention on behalf of his people?

    • The last book of the Bible, "Revelation," is more the book for God's end time people than the book of Daniel. And while the book of Daniel does have prophecies that apply to the "Time of the end," it is the book of Revelation that reveals the mysteries more clearly for the time of the end for God's end time people. And Jesus promised His Holy Spirit to help us understand this book and to get us through what is coming, Luke 11:13 and many other places in His Word.

  5. I'm not so clear about the general resurrection that will take place at the second coming of Jesus and the special resurrection of those who crucified Jesus (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 26:63, 64; Rev. 1:7)

  6. The "time of the end" marks the period that runs from 1844 to the second advent.

    The "end of time" must the time of the termination of the investigation period, just before the time of the beginning of the probationary period.

    Now, "the time of trouble" is the time upon which the probation begins. The period will last for a period of "three-and-a-half" prophetic years/period. Its end comes with the close of the door of mercy.

    The "time of Jacob's trouble" will be the next period of intensive trouble. It will also take another three-and-a-half prophetic years of a more intensive trouble than the earlier half.

    My take.


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