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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
QUES. Is it true that the Greek word anastasis always means a resurrection to spiritual life?
ANS. Our English word resurrection signifies to raise up again and it does not indicate whether the body or thing raised has any life. The Greek word anastasis translated resurrection seems to have a similar meaning—to raise up again. In scriptural use it is understood to imply that the ones raised up have life since it is so stated sometimes, but that it always means a resurrection to spiritual life, is not true. There shall be a resurrection (anastasis) both of the just and unjust—All shall live again, but to rise spiritual beings, immortal &c., is promised only to those who have part in the first resurrection. “Blessed and holy are all they that have part in the first [anastasis] resurrection; On such the second death hath no power.” The natural inference is that those who arise in subsequent resurrections, are not blessed and holy and that over these the second death has power. In other words the teaching is, that the first class are raised with such a life as cannot die, (immortal) while all others are raised to a life which can be forfeited.
In the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles the difference between these resurrections is clearly discernable as expressed in the Greek. (Our regular English version fails to show it properly.) Thus, Jesus says that in THE resurrection (i.e. the special resurrection) they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like unto the angels &c. Paul knew that all would rise, but says, “If by any means I might attain unto THE resurrection”—the first—the prize. He knew that because Jesus had ransomed all, all must be released from death, but he knew also that to the realization of the “exceeding great and precious promises” of “being like Him,” and “like unto the angels”—possessing “immortality” i.e. such a condition of life that he could not die any more, nor be hurt of the second death; all these, as well as the sitting in the throne depended upon his attaining the “first”—”THE resurrection.”
The following texts show that the word anastasis does not always mean raising to spiritual life. Matt. 22:23. “Scribes say that there is no (anastasis) resurrection.” Luke 20:27. “Deny that there is any (anastasis) resurrection.” Luke 2:34. “This child is set for the fall and (anastasis) rising again of many in
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Israel.” Israel stumbled and fell as a nation as well as individually and is to rise again. They did not fall from being spiritual bodies nor are they to rise in that way. Again, Heb. 11:35, “Women received their dead (anastasis) raised to life again.” Were they raised to spiritual life or to natural? The latter, certainly, Christ Jesus being the first born to the higher plane. We read further—”Others were tortured … that they might obtain a better (anastasis) resurrection.” Better than what, if anastasis means a giving of spiritual life?
QUES. In the text—”Woe unto them that desire the day of the Lord”—how are we to understand the Prophet? Why is there a woe on them?
ANS. It cannot refer to those who are “accounted worthy to escape;” they are to “lift up their heads and rejoice.” I suppose it has reference to the great mass of the human family which Paul says is waiting and expecting—”The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the Sons of God.” Yet mankind will be subjected to a great time of trouble before their expectations are realized. Before the morning of joy, comes the night of weeping.
Woe [trouble] to the great mass of the human family desiring and expecting that day.
“Yet by their woes they’ll be,
Brought nearer, my God, to thee.”
— April, 1880 —