- Published: 12 December 2010
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Colossians 1:18 assures us that Christ is the firstborn from the dead. If that be true, then those that are His must follow the same pattern, be born again from the dead (resurrection).
The problem that has plagued so many is the time of this great event. When are they raised?
The fact that members are quickened, raised, and seated with Him in the heavenlies now is a spiritual experience and condition. It does not answer the questions concerning resurrection.
The gathering in John 11:25,26; 1Co 15:51,52; 1Th 4:15-17, and Re 11:15-17 is a fulfillment of prophecy concerning Israel and has nothing to do with the mystery and its church. This event was never hid in God from ages and generations.
So the hope of the church of the dispensation of the mystery is not the same as that of Israel. We have to look a bit farther along in our Book for the answer to this vexing question.
The citizenship of this church is in heaven (Ph'p 3:20). It is blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. These expressions give us a key to what we seek. Israel has her hope here on the earth. She awaits the coming of her Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of lords to come to earth and set up His kingdom, seated on the throne of His father, David. And their future part in the purpose of God is to evangelize the nations of the earth during the millennium. This is the great commission.
So Israel will see the coming of the Lord to earth. They will see Him unveiled here on earth. And they will see Him reign on earth.
But the church, having a heavenly hope and sphere of activity, has no part in these events. It has an even greater one to look for. That is His manifestation in glory. He is not now seen on the earth. Neither is He seen in heaven. The time of His manifestation is not yet come. When He is manifested there, it will not be only to the church, but to the principalities and powers there as well.
But somebody may ask if that means those evil beings mentioned in Eph 6. Hardly. Satan and his angels will be cast out of heaven about 3 1/2 years before the gathering. And as soon as the enemy of the church is taken away, then can it take its place in its inheritance, heavenly places. As soon as Satan is cast out of the heavens, then Christ will be manifested there. This is logical and parallel with the experience of Israel entering their land.
Now as to the manner of getting there, the transportation; none is needed. If we, as Israel, are to have bodies made without hands in the heavens, then it follows that our resurrection will be there, not here on the earth.