I think there is a spiritual resurrection. I think there is a spiritual resurrection for you and me as well as a spiritual resurrection for the house of Israel. Jesus said people would come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom. I think that's what I Corinthians 15 is talking about--the resurrection of Israel--in order to show the people that there is a resurrection. Notice that Paul uses to bolster his argument that if the dead don't rise, then those asleep in Christ have perished. He uses that as a reason for THEM to believe that the dead rise. So obviously they believed those asleep in Christ would be resurrected. He also says that even they are still in their sins, and they certainly didn't believe that. It seems to be the old Jews--Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--that they're concerned about.

But God had said that He had sown Israel and He would bring life to her again. There is something interesting in I Corinthians 15 that I am thinking you probably haven't noticed. Look at this:

1 Corinthians 15:36  Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

Had you ever paid attention to that? I hadn't until it was pointed out to me. But we all know it. We don't sow dead seeds. We sow live seeds. They decay in the soil and then the plant grows out of that death. Paul is saying that when it is sown, it is ALIVE, not dead! It dies AFTER it is sown!


Think about what that means. We don't bury live people in the ground. So this can't be what Paul is talking about. We can't deny this and we can't get around it. I am sure Paul used his words carefully and I am sure he knew exactly what he was talking about. And it doesn't matter because the Holy Spirit knew. What is being planted here is ALIVE. We just have to accept that without question. Then we have to deal with its ramifications.

And you know what else? Jesus uses this seed analogy about Himself. He said:

John 12:23  And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

So Jesus TOO was defending a spiritual resurrection and saying that He would defeat spiritual death, not physical death. And, really, ____, could God not take care of physical death? Does He CARE that much about physical death? Again, we are talking about spiritual things. It is SPIRITUAL life that God is concerned with. It is our relationship with HIM that He wants to protect and promote.

And lest we think the same is not true about our spiritual restoration:

Rom 6:3-5 ESV  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  (4)  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  (5)  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

We like to say that we die to sin, are buried, and rise to walk a new life. But that’s not what this says. We are BURIED into death. In the planting is when we die. And that’s what Paul is talking about in I Corinthians 15—the dead ones had been sown alive. But they were dying as the Old Law was passing away and they would be resurrected.

Paul said that the seed must die before it's raised. But then he said some of them wouldn't die. How can that be? If they don't die they can't be raised. This isn't about physical death or physical coming out of graves, as you so rightly said about Daniel 12. It is a covenental dying to the Old Covenant and coming into the New Covenant. Christ had started this process and indeed we see the "firstfruits" of this.

1 Corinthians 16:15  I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

James 1:18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

It was happening already. That's why they asked what body were the dead ones being raised with? The body was developing. It was a process that would culminate at the DOJ, when the first tabernacle would be destroyed so that the way into the holiest place would be opened up.

Hebrews 9:8  ¶The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

Paul said they had born the image of Adam--the natural man--and now they were bearing the image of the spiritual man.

1Co 15:49 ESV  Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Col 3:10 ESV  and have put on the new man, which is being renewed [present passive indicative, denoting an ongoing present action happening to them] in knowledge after the image of its creator.

I think we put too much emphasis on the physical body, ____. It is just flesh and blood and can’t inherit the kingdom. It is part of us while we are here. To want to take it into glory is wanting more than I believe God wants us to want. We will have a spiritual body. That is good enough. Better!

I think if you will read the book of Hosea very carefully, ____, you will be startled at what you see. I was given some passages last night by Jerrel Kratt. I am going to put those in along with his comments here. I think that will help you understand what I'm saying better than anything I could say myself.

Hos 1:2-11 NKJV  When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: "Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the LORD."  (3)  So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.  (4)  Then the LORD said to him: "Call his name Jezreel [“God Sows”], For in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, And bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel(5)  It shall come to pass in that day That I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel."  (6)  And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: "Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away.  (7)  Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, Will save them by the LORD their God, And will not save them by bow, Nor by sword or battle, By horses or horsemen."  (8)  Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son.  (9)  Then God said: "Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.  (10)  "Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There it shall be said to them, 'You are sons of the living God.'  (11)  Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel [“Harvest/God Sows”]!

Hos 2:23 NKJV  Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they shall say, 'You are my God!' "

Hos 3:4-5 NKJV  For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim.  (5)  Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days.

Hos 6:1-2 NKJV  Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.  (2)  After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. [Paul references this in 1 Cor 15:4 – there is no reference in the entire Old Testament to the Messiah's rising on the third day other than this passage. Go look for yourself. This spoke of the house of Israel, which ties in the resurrection of Christ as the first to rise from the dead [ones], Israel. He was the true Israel, in his body.]

Tina's comment (based on other stuff from Jerel): So when Paul said in I Corinthians 15:4 that Jesus would rise the third day according to the scriptures, Hosea is the ONLY scripture he could have been referencing! There can therefore be no mistake what he is talking about here. Israel, in a sense, rose from being sown when Christ arose--the process was started, Christ the firstfruits, etc. But Israel could not be raised until the culmination at the DOJ.

Hos 6:7 ESV  But like Adam they transgressed [sinned against] the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me. [covenant judgment – like Adam – sin death. Rom. 7:9]

Hos 8:1 NKJV  "Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD, Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law.

Hos 6:11 ESV  For you also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed, when I restore the fortunes of my people.

Hos 8:8 NKJV  Israel is swallowed up; Now they are among the Gentiles Like a vessel in which is no pleasure. [Hence, the importance of the gospel sent out to the Gentiles-- this was calling back the house of Israel to rejoin the house of Judah and receive a new covenant with one shepherd and king David. See Heb. 8:8. How could God make a covenant with the house of Israel if he “destroyed” them? Well, he “sowed” them and they would rise up in the last day. I’m not saying the unfaithful and idolaters, I’m saying “the house of Israel," this typifying all the dead ones of all Israel. None of them could enter heaven until the new covenant which annulled death was consummated.]

Hos 9:17 NKJV  My God will cast them away, Because they did not obey Him; And they shall be wanderers among the nations.

Hos 11:8-11 NKJV  "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred.  (9)  I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; And I will not come with terror.  (10)  "They shall walk after the LORD. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, Then His sons shall come trembling from the west(11)  They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt [west], Like a dove from the land of Assyria [east]. And I will let them dwell in their houses," Says the LORD. [Tina, this is powerful! “Many will come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 8:11)!]

Hos 13:1-2 NKJV  When Ephraim spoke, trembling, He exalted himself in Israel; But when he offended through Baal worship, he DIED(2)  Now they sin more and more, And have made for themselves molded images, Idols of their silver, according to their skill; All of it is the work of craftsmen. They say of them, "Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!" [Connect this with 6:7 and 8:1 – they “died," because of their sin and violation of the covenant with Jehovah]

Hos 13:4-12 NKJV  "Yet I am the LORD your God Ever since the land of Egypt, And you shall know no God but Me; For there is no savior besides Me.  (5)  I knew you in the wilderness, In the land of great drought.  (6)  When they had pasture, they were filled; They were filled and their heart was exalted; Therefore they forgot Me.  (7)  "So I will be to them like a lion; Like a leopard by the road I will lurk;  (8)  I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs; I will tear open their rib cage, And there I will devour them like a lion [end their kingdom and sow them in the earth]. The wild beast shall tear them.  (9)  "O Israel, you are destroyed, But your help is from Me(10)  I will be your King [see the hope for deliverance? Wait for the punch line, how he will deliver them]; Where is any other, That he may save you in all your cities? And your judges to whom you said, 'Give me a king and princes'?  (11)  I gave you a king in My anger, And took him away in My wrath.  (12)  "The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; His sin is stored up.

Hos 13:14 NKJV  "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes."

And we wonder why Paul quotes from Hosea 13:14 in 1 Corinthians 15? I think most futurists would rather Paul never had quoted from the OT since they just don’t understand it nor see its relevance, even though Paul said his resurrection doctrine was not one thing other than what the Law and Prophets said would happen (Acts 24:14-15, 21; 26:6-7, 22).

Tina again: This is irrefutable stuff, ____. And it supports my belief that I Corinthians 15 is talking about a restoration of the house of Israel and a spiritual resurrection all the way around. Remember, if Hosea says these things then they have to have happened or God is still dealing with Israel today and hasn't finished with doing what He said He would do with them AND the Law of Moses is still in effect. And if Paul is quoting FROM Hosea ABOUT the same thing, then it has to happen before the Law can pass. And IF it has happened then what Paul said about the grave and death has happened too.

I Co 15:55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

And what else did Paul say?

56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

The strength of sin is the Law. This can't be talking about the gospel "law." It gives no strength to sin at all. Paul is saying that when the Law is gone (DOJ), the tabernacle is no longer standing, the sacrifices have ended, the power of the holy people is shattered, death will be conquered and the grave will hold no one any longer. And that’s what Daniel 12 said too.

If we don't understand the Old Testament then we won't understand God's dealings with Israel in the New Testament and the fulfillment of the prophecies. And most of us in churches of Christ DON'T understand the OT because we spend all our time arguing about points of a new law we are trying to piece together out of the New Testament from details of narratives about a group getting together to break bread one Sunday. No offense to anybody but we really do get bogged down in little things and then miss the big picture. We can’t see the forest for the trees.

Tina Rae Dozier

June 1, 2009