The Foundation Principles

8. Resurrection of the dead

Without this doctrine the sacrifice of the cross would be of no eternal value.

1 Cor 15:14 (NIV) And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

This teaching is part of the basics of the gospel. The gospel of life, resurrection and immortality through Jesus Christ is a mainspring of the Christian faith.

Acts 4:1-3 (NIV) 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
Acts 23:1-11 (NIV) . I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.” 7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
(The Sadducees said that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledged them all.)

In this doctrine we are concerned with the ‘ raising up, or rising up ‘ It means literally to stand up or rise as from sleep or from the dead.


It is common for many people to think that eternity is an immensely long period of time. It is conceived as being a going on in time for a period beyond our understanding. This is incorrect. Eternity is not endless time. It is an entirely different mode of existence. By eternity we are expressing the mode of being which is the realm of God himself.

Psa 90:2 (NIV) Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Isa 57:15 (KJV) For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

The name Jehovah has within it three tenses. Past, present and future is represented, hence some translate this word as ‘ the Eternal .’ (Particularly the Jewish faith.) This idea is supported by God’s reply to Moses when asked His name.

Exo 3:14 (KJV) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Today’s science of physics speaks of the time-space continuum since it is believed that space and time are relative and cannot be explained except in relation to one another.

The Eternal, the Almighty God brought this space-time into existence and in the same way He will bring it to an end.

Rev 10:6 (KJV) And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

Yet before, behind and beyond this whole universe the Eternal will continue unchanged in that state we call eternity. Death then is an entry into this other state of being.

There is a sense in which everyone faces this point, of time being no more, even before the announcement of the angel above is made. We all will come to this moment when time for us ceases. i.e. when we die.

Heb 9:27 (NIV) Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,


Understand that it is the body which is to be resurrected and the total nature of humankind is threefold.

1 Th 5:23 (NIV) May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are made in the likeness of God who is also triune. Just as God is revealed as one who is visible, that is, Jesus and two who are invisible, The Father and the Holy Spirit, so also are we shown as a visible body and an invisible soul and spirit.

The life of Jesus gives us a pattern of death and resurrection. The physical body ceases to function and the invisible part continues on until the resurrection. With Jesus His body did not decay because it was without sin but with us our bodies return to the dust material from which our bodies are made.

Eccl 12:7 (NIV) and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Scripture is not clear on what takes place when the spirit of man (which appears to include with it the soul.) comes before God in eternity. It is not for the final judgement as this is after the final resurrection and we can be certain that there is no permanent place for the wicked in the presence of God. It seems likely that this moment is for an allocation of each spirit to its place until the culmination of all things spoken of by the prophets.

In the Scriptures following there are a number of things mentioned about those who have passed through death which help us to understand dimly what awaits.

There is persistence of personality; there is recognition of one person by another; there is communication between one person and another; there is an awareness of present conditions in the place of departed spirits.

Isa 14:9-10 (NIV) The grave below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you— all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones— all those who were kings over the nations. 10 They will all respond, they will say to you, “You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us.”
Ezek 32:18-19 (NIV) “Son of man, wail for the hordes of Egypt and consign to the earth below both her and the daughters of mighty nations, with those who go down to the pit. 19 Say to them, ‘Are you more favored than others? Go down and be laid among the uncircumcised.’
Ezek 32:21 (NIV) From within the grave the mighty leaders will say of Egypt and her allies, ‘They have come down and they lie with the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.’

Similarly in the New Testament.

Luke 16:19-31 (NIV) “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'”

It is clear that there different states for the wicked and the righteous immediately following death. All will be conscious and able to communicate, but there is to be a clear separation.


1 Cor 15:21-22 (NIV) For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

Man will be through Christ quickened, revived, made alive, raised – this is the promise of resurrection, life and immortality brought by the gospel revelation.

2 Tim 1:9-10 (NIV) who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Christ died to redeem us from death. ( spiritually, physically and eternally.) This was a deliverance from Satan, the author and the power of death.

Heb 2:9-15 (NIV) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” 13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

i. Spiritual Resurrection:

The human spirit, quickened or made alive by the Holy Spirit is regenerated (born again.) From being dead in trespasses and sins humans may be by such means alive unto God. This is resurrection of the spirit.

Eph 2:1 (NIV) As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
Eph 2:6 (NIV) And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

Resurrection life is also to be in the mortal body of the believer.

Rom 8:11 (NIV) And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

See also: John5:21-25; 1 John 3:14;1Pet 4:6; Gal 2:20; Col 2:12-13, Rom 6:3-5; Rom8:1-11

ii. Physical Resurrection:

The hope and glory of the gospel. The making of the believer’s body like unto His glorious body. See 1Cor 15. Job 14:14; ps 16:8-11.

Phil 3:21 (NIV) who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

iii. The final resurrection:

Acts 17:30-31 (NIV) In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”
John 5:28-29 (NIV) “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.


Those who will be with Christ Jesus during His millennium rule are part of the first resurrection. This takes place in what might be called four areas. (what follows is not in order of happening!! )

a … Christ the First fruits and those of the Old Testament saints who were resurrected at the a time of His resurrection.

Mat 27:52-53 (NIV) The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

b. They that are Christ’s at His coming. The true saints of God who are still alive when He comes again together with those who have died in the faith.

c. The two witnesses who died during the tribulation period.

d. Those who died for their testimony during the tribulation. At the end of this great time of persecution of the church not one Christian will remain alive upon the earth.


Rev 20:11-15 (NIV) Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

The principle is that all will be judged in their bodies and for this reason all will be resurrected and stand before the judgement of the great white throne.