Knowing the Resurrection.
By Apostle Anthony Berry
Now as promised, “The Resurrection”. In the beginning God created heaven and Earth, and the Earth was without form and void (Gen. 1). And God put a tree in the midst of the garden and commanded the man (Adam for Eve had not been created yet) that he could eat from all the trees except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in that day he would surely die (Gen. 2). Now the serpent was more subtle (intelligent, cunning) than any other beast of the field. He asked the woman (Eve) if they could eat from all the trees in the Garden, to which she answered yes, except for the tree in the midst of the Garden they could not eat, for in the day that they ate from that tree, or even touch it they would surely die (Gen. 3). Adam and Eve were innocent and didn’t know what death was being that death was never experienced by man so the concept was alien to them even though they should have taken God at his word. Man is created differently than any other creature that God created. God was so pleased with man that instead of just animating him, the way that God had done with all the other animals, God breathed the breath of life into the man and he became a living soul (Gen. 2). It is for this reason that our soul never sleeps, neither slumbers, for it is the major part of us that is created in God’s own image and after his own likeness. The soul in eternal, and never dies; but on the other hand the flesh does die because of Adam eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. The flesh is a container for our soul and our spirit (I Cor. 6). Since the flesh was mortal, and subject to the death that God spoke of, when the flesh died the soul had to go somewhere because it is eternal!
To be continued.
Knowing the Resurrection Part II
Once death entered the world that allowed all of the other death related infirmities to enter the world. Infirmities such as mental illness, which can extend to every sickness of the mind that would make the sufferer want to commit suicide, to death from psychosomatic illness. Without death there would be no physical illness; physical illness is the next greatest agent of death to plague man. So even though sickness is a curse the reason for all of these occurrences is because Adam ate from the tree that he was commanded not to eat from.
The first “soul” to enter the grave is the soul of Abel (Gen. 4); in Genesis 4:1-11, even the blood of the first fratricide (murder of a brother or sister, by their sibling) cries out to the Lord God from the Ground; this gives us the first idea that the grave, or hell, is in the earth. Then the next souls to enter the grave are provided in Genesis chapter 6 with the great flood (This is a very important event for more than one reason, it is also spoken about in I Peter chapter 3, that we will speak of later in this study). Since the beginning of Death, all of the souls that perished went to the grave or Sheoul. The first mention of a personal Grave is in Genesis 35, one mention of the soul not being left in hell is in Psalm 16. Psalms 2- are also promises that hell would not be forever. Now from the first recorded death, the death of Abel, to those that perished in the flood (these are the souls spoken of in I Pet. 3 and not fallen angels. Fallen angels had no need to be ministered too by the Lord. They knew the pre-existent Christ as the Word of God. There was no need for the Lord to minister to them because they could never be redeemed; but the spirits of those that perished in the flood; those that were not always obedient could be ministered too.) there were a good number of souls to occupy hell. After the flood, there were a great number of the children of Israel, those that were called righteous, that would enter hell.
Since hell is the common grave it is safe to say that there were two compartments in hell; these two places were spoken of in Luke 16:19-26; where certain rich man opened his eyes in hell. This is the first proof that he had a body; for he lifted up eyes; he was in torment and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom (Luke 16:22-23). 24. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he many dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Notice; the rich man had a body. A body that was able to be in the flames of hell and not be consumed. He had lips because he asked if Abraham would send Lazarus to quench his thirst. Notice this also. The Rich man was in Hell and afar off he saw Abraham; but there was a gulf separating one portion of hell from the other. This is the most important part; this was not a parable. When Jesus spoke in parables he didn’t use proper names. Though he began with “a certain” like in the parables, he used proper names this time. Also the reason why it is not recorded that Abraham was in heaven is because he was not! At the time when Jesus gave this prophecy no one had been resurrected yet, because the resurrection of Jesus began the resurrection. These were the captives, the spirits that were in prison. Jesus referred to this portion of hell as Paradise (Luke 23:42-44). Jesus told the thief on his right hand that he would join him that day in paradise. Notice the thief on the right hand did not follow Judaic, nor Roman law because “he” was being crucified also. Jesus had mercy on him and he joined Jesus that day in paradise, the last miracle perfomed by Jesus. Now this thief becomes a prisoner in hell as well as Jesus. The bible also calls them captives. When Jesus broke out of hell, he led captivity captive. The thief that was on his right hand was also one of the captives that was in the captivity led by Jesus. So be careful how you put anyone in hell.
To be continued.