When Will God Raise The Dead?
The essential, fundamental belief of every organized system of religion is its doctrine regarding the answer to death. These professed answers are numerous, varied and can be quite sophisticated and complicated with intricate, fascinating details. Nevertheless, since there is only one true God there can also only be one true answer. How and when does God say He will make the dead alive?
From the very beginning of man’s need for an answer to death, God has clearly and specifically made known His way of victory over death. Because of Adam’s disobedience to God’s warning (we are instructed in Romans 5 that) the sin-nature entered and, by that sin-nature, death entered also.
God promised an answer to the fatal consequence of the sin-nature. His answer to death is life, and that life is in the incorruptible and eternal nature of holy spirit. Unlike Adam, who had the spirit upon a condition, God promised to give holy spirit freely and unconditionally. No good work can earn it and no evil deed can forfeit it. God’s gift, holy spirit, is received simply by believing.
Of course, to acquire any valuable item which is to be given as a gift, there is a cost to be paid. Legal justice required that the grave and unjust act of disobedience by Adam had to be overcome by the perfectly just act of obedience to the will of God. God asked that the full, uncompromised price be paid in order to completely secure man’s redemption from death. That required price was the free-will offering of one’s self. The man who made the perfect sacrifice was Jesus Christ.
And being found in fashion [presence] as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. PHILIPPIANS 2:8
He has appeared once, at the end of the ages, for the nullification of sin [the text reads: ‘the sin’ = the sin-nature] by the sacrifice of himself. HEBREWS 9:26B From the Working Translation
Knowing that Christ being [having been] raised from the dead dies no more, death has no more dominion over him.
For in that he died, he died unto sin [the text reads: ‘the sin’ = the sin-nature] once, but in that he lives, he lives unto God. ROMANS 6:9-10
According to the working [energizing] of His [God’s] mighty power, which He wrought [energized] in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and set him at His own right hand in the heavenlies. EPHESIANS 1:19B-20
God’s mighty power energized and made alive the lifeless body of Christ. In the text, the word used for ‘made alive’ is the word ‘quickened’. That which ‘quickened’ the dead body of Jesus Christ was holy spirit. The mighty power of holy spirit energized the body of Jesus Christ, and he was raised from death to life.
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 [made alive] by spirit. I PETER 3:18
God, Who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. ROMANS 4:17B
God quickens, He makes alive, the dead. How are the dead made alive? By the energizing power of holy spirit. When are the dead made alive? At that time when Almighty God does the energizing and raises the dead.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead occurred at the moment in time of the Father’s determination. Just as it was with His son, so will it be for all men. The dead will be raised at the moment (or moments) in time that will be determined by the Father.
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power [authority]. ACTS 1:7
God raises the dead. This is the one, true answer of victory over death. All throughout the Scriptures God has clearly declared that He will rescue man from the grave by raising him from the dead. Paul taught this in the first century. (Note here that Christ is the first to rise from the dead.)
Having therefore obtained help of God, I [Paul] continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
That Christ [the Christ] should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the [covenant] people, and to [all] the nations. ACTS 26:22-23
One of the prophets who spoke to the old covenant nation of Israel was Ezekiel. He was given by God a tremendous and vivid revelation describing the raising of the dead.
Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live. And you shall know that I am the Lord.
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. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves,
And shall put My spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land. Then shall you know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord. EZEKIEL 37:5-6,12-14
In Psalm 16 David spoke of his hope to be raised from the dead.
I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory [my entire being] rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For Thou will not leave my soul in hell [hell is the grave, the state of death]; neither will Thou suffer [allow] Thine holy one [the Christ] to see corruption. PSALM 16:8-10
Although we do not know exactly when the dead will be made alive, we do know that it shall absolutely come to pass, just as God has promised. There are numerous records in the Scriptures which make known many truths of events and other things pertinent to that time when the dead are made alive.
God’s Word tells us that there will be two resurrections of the dead. The first is the ‘resurrection of life’ of the just. The second is the ‘resurrection of judgment’ of the unjust. There is no one alive on earth at the time of these two resurrections.
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his [the son of God’s] voice, and shall come forth. They that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment. JOHN 5:28-29
And [I, Paul] have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. ACTS 24:15
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. REVELATION 20:5-6A
There is one other separate and distinct event of the dead being made alive. It is different from the two resurrections in many ways. Most notably is that both dead and alive individuals are involved.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [be dead], but we shall all [both alive and dead] be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [alive at that time] shall be changed. For this corruptible [dead ones] must put on incorruption, and this mortal [alive ones] must put on immortality. I CORINTHIANS 15:51-53
At this point you probably have many other good questions that deserve to be answered. I assure you, I have asked the same questions over the years which prompted my personal study of these things. I teach all of these things very thoroughly in my 7-hour class:The Day of The Lord. Look for it! GOD BLESS YOU!