Welcome to A Journey through the New Testament! In this series, we will systematically journey through every chapter in the New Testament, unveiling the marvelous insights that can be found in the scriptures.
Yesterday’s Sunrise focused on the fulfillment of the Old Covenant at Jesus Christ's resurrection. Those under the law didn't receive the Holy Ghost while they were alive; instead, they waited in the lower parts of the earth until Jesus rescued them. It's crucial to note that not all areas in the lower parts are hell; there are graves, places of darkness, prisons, and a place of comfort called Abraham's bosom (see references below). Upon their demise, those who adhered to the law found themselves in a realm known as death, yet devoid of torment. On the other hand, those that disobeyed God, entered into eternal punishment.
The prophet Job provides profound insights into the resurrection of these righteous individuals bound by death. Let's break down Job 14:12-15, however, bear in mind that the scripture is written from the perspective of those under the Old Covenant as opposed to the New.
So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
Death, a consequence of Adam's sin, involves the soul departing from the body, spiritual separation from God, and the soul being held in the lower parts of the earth. This was the judgment over Adam - all would eventually go down into the lower parts, trapped as a consequence of sin.
O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!
Back then, when a person died, their soul entered the lower parts, hidden from the living. Though they continued to exist, to the living, it's as if they are no more. Job acknowledges death as a curse upon humanity, labeling it as a manifestation of God’s wrath. From righteous Abel, all the way to John the Baptist, even the righteous were bound under God’s wrath, held in the lower parts and separated from Him. Nevertheless, this wrath was not destined to endure forever (Isaiah 57:16).
If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
Despite the curse, Job poses the question, “if a man dies, can he live again?” The answer is yes, if he died in obedience to God. Nevertheless, He would have to wait in the lower parts of the earth until the appointed time of their release. The appointed time for all the people of God was 3 days and nights after Jesus’ crucifixion.
...till my change come.
Here Job reveals not only the fact that he will escape death, but also how. He will be changed. When Jesus went for these men and women of God, having paid the price for their sins, He poured out the Holy Spirit upon them, changing them into beings of His kind (Ephesians 4:9-10). Having been made the Body of Christ, they were now legally able to escape the clutches of death.
Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
Though Job had been in the lower parts of the earth for 2000+ years, his appointed time had finally come. Having triumphed over death, Jesus rose with all power, securing the keys of hell and death, and gaining the authority to set the captives free.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Job was one of those who heard the Master’s voice. He called Job by name, and Job responded, emerging into the resurrection of life.
...thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
God's wrath had finally relented, finding satisfaction in their punishment. The aroma of Christ's sacrifice had brought Him contentment, reigniting His desire for them and a renewed yearning to walk in the sweetness of fellowship with them. Abraham, Isaac, Abel, Moses, Job, and many others had, at last, gained the right to enter into the presence of God. However, for this transformation to unfold, God had to perform a divine work. He needed to refashion them all in the Holy Ghost, creating them anew as divine creatures—the masterpieces of His hands. God's desire for the work of His hands simply means that He longed for fellowship with His people.
Now, having the Holy Ghost, they were liberated from the shackles of death. The place of comfort (in the lower parts) is now vacant; those who believed now reside with Christ in glory, eagerly anticipating us. Will you go up to meet them?
Written by Kareem Flowers, Sunrise with Jesus
John 5:28 (mentioned above)
Ezekiel 32:21-23 - 21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword. 22 Asshur is there and all her company: his graves are about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword: 23 Whose graves are set in the sides of the pit, and her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living.
Jude 1:6 - And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
2 Peter 2:17 - These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
1 Peter 3:18-20 - 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
Psalm 107:10-11 - 10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; 11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Place of Comfort
Luke 16:22-24 - 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Luke 23:43 - And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Death is a Place
Revelation 1:18 - I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Revelation 20:14 - And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Body of Christ Formed in the Lower Parts of the Earth
Psalm 139:15 - 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
Ephesians 4:9-10 - 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
The Rapture of the Old Patriarchs
Matthew 27:50-53 - 50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Ezekiel 37:12-14 - 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.
The Old Covenant Fulfilled: The Rapture of the Old Patriarchs