Continued from Part 2
e continue today in our exposition on the topic "The Resurrection of the Saints" Today's exposition is the third in the series.
I have in the past defined who the Bible describes, a saint.
No one is fit to be described as saint. There is no good work anyone can do, which can meet God's standard of holiness. But Jesus has shed His blood to pay for the penalty of our sins. So a saint is someone who has pleaded for his sins with the shed blood of Jesus Christ. His sins are covered by the blood of Jesus and He has been made righteous.
I have shown from the Scripture that God is not an image that can be seen. He is Spirit. So when the Bible recorded that God proposed to make man in His image, the carving, which He made from the dust is not His image. But after God breathed into the nostrils of the carving, the carving became a living soul. This was now the image of God. His image is the spirit, which dwells in the carving and not the carving.
So when man closes his eyes in death, the one, which is made of dust returns to dust after a short time, but that, which is the image of God, i.e. the spirit, continues to live. The spirit has only transited. And the spirit is then brought into judgment (Heb. 9:27).
When the Jews wanted to stone Jesus because He referred to Himself as God (John 10:34) Jesus reminded them of a record in Psalms 82:6, which says "ye are gods-small 'g' anyway, referring to humans as gods themselves.
If God is Spirit, then we who are small gods are spirits too.
After the physical death, the spirits that meet the condition of the righteousness of God enter into everlasting life of joy and peace and starts to experience the full nature of God (Eph.4:13,Matt. 22:30).
Paul explains that when we were born, we have the body and nature of Adam, which sins, gets sick and dies. But after we shed the body inherited from Adam in physical death, for those who meet the righteousness of God, we shall be given a type of body, which Jesus has after He resurrected (1Cor.15:25-49).
And last time, we were studying the type of body, which Jesus has, after resurrection. It is a body that can disguise; it is a body, which can make Himself recognizable and unrecognizable. It is a body that can penetrate close walls. It is a body that can appear and disappear.
We saw in the Scripture that, that is the body which saints who had died, had put on and we made reference to the story of poor, diseased, beggar Lazarus who had no trace of his diseases again by the time he was seen in Paradise with Abraham (Luke 16).
I also made reference to the bandit crucified on the right side with Christ (Lk.23:43) and the saints who walked the streets of Jerusalem on the morning, which Jesus resurrected (Matt. 27:52).
I will give more examples today of saints whose bodies or tents had been dissolved, returned to dusts and others who had disappeared but are still alive.
Let us pray.
The Resurrection of the Saints.
The question I have been addressing is: "When a person closes his eyes in death, is that the end of him?"
I have shown that the part of any man, which we can see is the tent where the spirit lives; the body, which is made of dust and returns to dust after death but the spirit wakes up to a new life. The new life may be one of peace and joy for those who meet the condition of God's righteousness, who have pleaded for their sins with the blood of Christ. The new life may also be one of suffering, pain and shame for those who refuse to plead for their sins with the blood of Christ.
I started to give evidences of those who we know to have died but have been seen operating in life again.
On the very morning, which Jesus resurrected, many saints who have died physically long time ago were seen walk the streets of Jerusalem.
There was a day as Jesus was praying on the mountain, the disciples sighted Moses and Elijah who had departed the world hundreds of years earlier in the company of Jesus talking. The disciples saw the scene and were terrified (Matt.17).
All these confirm the statement of Jesus that God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Matt.22:31).
They also confirm the Bible in the book of Hebrews chapter 12 that we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, (Heb.12:1-2).
Some disciples asked Jesus that they read in the Scripture (Malachi 4:5) that the prophet Elijah will return before the coming of the Messiah. Jesus replied them that Elijah had returned but they did not recognize him. The Disciples understood that He was referring to John the Baptist (Matt 17:10-13). It was not Elijah actually that returned but the spirit of Elijah who has appeared as John the Baptist.
Let me relate some incidents I witnessed at one time or the other that indicates clearly that we are spirits who do not die.
I went with a friend for a deliverance work in a certain town in 1972. Shortly before we resorted to bed, about 10.00pm, several dogs were running back and forth, barking very loud. My friend who we all recognize as having the gift of prophecy in large measure, voiced that something was happening. By 5.00am, announcement was made that a very old man in the vicinity was dead. It was the departing spirit of the old man, which the dogs saw that caused them to be barking.
There was a similar occurrence about 2006 in my house in Ilorin. A young man by the name Femi lived in my house. He had a dog, which he named "Governor" Femi was away in Lagos and the dog laid quiet all the days. The four walls of the fence were sufficiently high, so no one inside could observe whatever was going on outside, neither could anyone outside observe whatever was going on inside. The following evening, at about 6.00pm, the dog, which had laid quietly inside, started to run back and forth, along a certain side of the fence, barking vigorously. Few minutes later, he mounted guard at the entrance gate, wiggling its tail very fast and Femi came in. The dog had seen what the ordinary eyes could not see; the spirit of Femi. The dog was trailing after his spirit outside the fence till he reached the gate.
Anyone of my age who lived in the village will remember one species of a bird called "Kowee" I guess it was named Kowee after the manner it sounds. This bird is not heard, except a death of a native is imminent. And when it does, it is usually in the dead of the night or sometimes between 1.30 and 3.00 in the afternoon. It does 3 times. Whenever it cried, old people started to make enquiry of who had been taken ill. Death was certain within days. It did not necessarily have to be someone living at home, it could be someone in Diaspora.
Kowee is not a carrier of only bad news. If it cries the usual three times followed by laughs, then some fortune is coming along someone in the community, at home or in Diaspora.
By the grace of God, I will continue with this exposition next time and you will be sure that physical death is not the end of man but in contrast, it is the beginning of a new life, which may be one of joy and peace, when our true nature of God will come to play; no more sickness, no poverty and no death. But physical death can equally be the beginning of suffering, sorrow and weeping. You can then decide which side you want to be.
Ler us pray
Continued from Part 2