Matt 22:31 Have Ye Not Read That Spoken by God? 12/02/2018 ßà
#1. The Resurrection of the Body (Matt 22:29,10:28, Job 19:25-26, Isa 26:19, Dan 12:2,Rev 20:12)
#2. The Second Resurrection (1Cor 15:51-53, John 6:44,54, 11:24, 5:28-29, 12:48)
#3. Do We Understand the Scriptures? (Matt 22:31-32, Isa 43:11,14, Acts 4:12, Heb 10:7)
Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 22:23 (2X). I promised to slow down as we approach the end of the Gospel of Matthew, and today you are hearing the third sermon out of Matt 22. This entire chapter is so close to the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ that we cannot help but see in this entire chapter its relevance to the atonement of Christ. Beginning with the parable of the wicked vinedressers in Matt 21 the Lord showed us that after the cross the kingdom of God on earth has shifted away from the nation of the Jews, toward the nation consisting of all the remnant chosen by grace out of all the nations of the world. The parable in the beginning of chapter 22 looked forward to the great wedding feast we are going to have with the Lord, because on the cross He paid our entrance ticket into the NH&NE. The man without a wedding garment was pointing to the nation of the Jews, who were disqualified, because they did not receive faith in Christ, and thus they do not have the robe of Christ’s righteousness. Then the question of the Pharisees about giving tribute to Caesar was actually a question whether Christ would subject Himself to Caesar’s authority or to the authority of the Law of Moses. They intended to get Him killed. But Jesus answered them that He had to be subject to God, and that is why He was obedient unto the death of the cross. Today we are dealing with a question regarding the resurrection, and how this relates to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This too is an essential part of His atonement. Let us now read in Matt 22:23-32 about the question of the Sadducees.
Mt 22:28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
This is an awesome interpretation of the OT Scriptures. At the same time it is pointing to the unbelief of the Sadducees who prefer to pick and choose from the Bible since they did not want to believe in the resurrection, which means they do not want to believe the entire Word of God. They have elevated their human logic higher than the wisdom of God. The Lord says to them in verse 31, “Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God in the Scriptures?” Therefore this is also the title of this sermon, “Have Ye Not Read That Spoken by God?” And is that not also what we see in many churches today? Many who call themselves Christians claim that they believe the Bible, but their focus is on this earth, rather than on life after death. They have elevated the free will of man higher than the statements of God that He is a sovereign God, who does in the kingdom of man according to the good pleasure of His will. They do not believe the whole Bible, which means that they are bearing the Name of the Lord in vain. Now, the Sadducees are placing before Jesus a question about the resurrection. They are speaking for Satan, for they are tempting the Lord Jesus to doubt His own resurrection from the dead. And certainly, from the vantage point of Satan, it was not at all certain that Jesus, who in His humanity bore our sins, and who in His humanity had to endure the payment for our sins to the satisfaction of the righteousness of God, that He would survive such an enormous payment. But Satan did not believe the power of God. And this belief of Satan was as well in the Sadducees, and it is as well also in those today who pick and choose from the Bible, for they too do not believe what the power of God can do. They have a form of godliness, but are denying the power thereof. Let us now take a good look at the resurrection.
#1. The Resurrection of the Body (Matt 22:29,10:28, Job 19:25-26, Isa 26:19, Dan 12:2,Rev 20:12)
God made man as a two component being. Man consists of a body and a soul. And the soul is just as concrete as the body, except we cannot see it. And do not let the liberal preachers of today deceive you when they say that your mind is your soul. The Bible says explicitly that John saw the souls under the altar in heaven. And the Lord Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”. When we read in the Bible about the resurrection, it almost always refers to the resurrection of the body. For example, 1Cor 15 is a chapter that is entirely devoted to the resurrection of the body. The resurrection of the soul is not in question. The resurrection of the soul has been dealt with adequately in John 3:1-10 and in other passages where Jesus speaks of “Ye must be born again”. Most of the disputes with the Sadducees in the NT are about the resurrection of the body. Here in Matt 22:29 the Lord Jesus is faulting them for not understanding the Scriptures. We read in Matt 22:29, “Jesus said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God”. The Sadducees should have known that the resurrection of the body has been documented extensively in the OT. For example, we read in the writings of Job, in Job 19:25,
Moreover, God speaks clearly about the resurrection of the body in Isa 26:19,
And again, God speaks about the resurrection of the body in Dan 12:2,
Da 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
In the NT the resurrection of the body is written even more extensively. For example we read in Rev
Re 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and
another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Clearly, “the dead” refers to those who are spiritually dead, for they were not lying on the ground, but were standing before God. These are not physically dead, but they are all the unsaved who have died and were raised again to stand before the judgment throne of Christ. Some think that it is convenient if we are not raised from the dead, for then we do not have to stand before the judgment throne. But keep in mind that the resurrection of the body is an essential ingredient of the glorious Gospel of salvation.
Please put a sticker here in Matt 22, for we will be returning there many times, and please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 15:12 (2X). This entire chapter deals with the resurrection of the body. That is why God spoke in the ears of the apostle Paul what we read in the beginning of this chapter, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you”. He then proceeds to talk about the resurrection of the body. We read in 1Cor 15:12-21,
1Co 15:12-20 NNow if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
Through Adam came death, and through Christ came the resurrection from the dead. In other words, if God would eliminate the resurrection of the body from His beautiful Gospel, then it would no longer be a Gospel, it would no longer be good news, for then there would be no salvation. If there would be no resurrection of the body, then Christ would not have risen, and then Christ would have died in vain. And why is that so? The Gospel states that we were crucified with Christ, and we died with Christ, and we were buried with Christ, and we rose from the grave with Christ. But if Christ did not rise from the grave we would still be dead with Christ, which implies that we would still be in our sins. Look at it another way. What was the purpose of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ? Well, one of the purposes was to show us that His payment on the cross was a complete and successful payment on behalf of our sins. When the Lord Jesus on the cross said, “It is finished”, we still would not know what was finished. Then when He said, “Father into Thy hands I commend My Spirit”, and then He died and His soul went to be with the Father in heaven, we still would not know what He accomplished on the cross. But on Sunday morning, when His soul entered His body again, and He arose from the grave, God proved by this fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was absolutely successful in His assignment of giving His life for a complete remission of our sins. That is why the cross must be taken together with the resurrection. The entire process of atoning for our sins was not complete, until on Sunday morning Christ arose from the grave. His bodily resurrection on Sunday morning proved that He was not consumed in the process of paying for our sins the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, and it also proved that His suffering for our sins was complete when on the cross He cried out with a loud voice: “It is finished”. Therefore, through Christ came the resurrection from the dead, which is to be understood spiritually as well as physically. It was a promise to make our souls “born again”, and it was a promise to give us new glorified bodies. O Yes:
Please turn again to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 22:30 (2X). What will be the nature of the glorious body we will receive? We can be sure of one thing: we will not receive a body like the one we have now. God said in 1Cor 15:50, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”. This does not only mean that our cuddly cats and dogs and all other cute animals of this earth are not going to share eternal life with us, but it also means that the glorious body we will receive shall not resemble in any way the body we presently have. The Lord Jesus addressed the Sadducees in Matt 22:30 with the words, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven”. Let us now turn to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 20:34 (2X). Let us understand what Jesus was saying. He did not say that we shall be exactly like the angels. Angels are spirits. Angels do not have bodies. But we shall receive glorified bodies, because we are of the family of Christ, and Christ presently has a glorified body in heaven. And since Christ is the Son of God, we shall also be called sons of God.
As you know, angels were never created in the image of God, but mankind was created in the image of God. Even though presently that image is badly damaged through sin, when we receive our glorified bodies we shall again have the image of God in our body and soul. And so we shall be distinctly different from the angels. In fact we shall be much higher than the angels, for angels are never called sons of God. But what was Jesus saying? He said that in our resurrected bodies we shall not marry nor given in marriage, like the angels are also not marrying nor given in marriage. Marriage belongs to this universe. When this body dies our marriage relationship ceases to exist. That is a fundamental part of the Gospel. Please turn again to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 15:35 (2X). So what will our glorious body be like? We will not look like our present earthly body, and we will not look like angels with wings. But we will receive totally new bodies that do not resemble our earthly bodies. Our bodies shall resemble the Lord Jesus Christ, and in our soul we shall resemble the Spirit of Christ. God says in 1Cor 15:35-38,
Our present body is like a brown seed that goes into the ground. But what comes out of the ground on the Last Day is not this brown body. It will be a body that we cannot exactly describe, for it will be of a different universe. Nor can we say that our new body will be green, for the colors of the rainbow are of this universe, and we are entering a new universe. You see when God created this universe He included the second law of thermodynamics, which dictates that this universe is dominated by entropy, which is another name for disorder. Every process, every movement, every energy transfer that takes place in this universe is accompanied by a loss of energy, which implies an increase in entropy, or an increase in disorder. We can see this law operating to the farthest corners of the universe. Everything is gravitating toward decay and increasing disorder. That is why the theory of evolution is absolutely nonsense. We can even see this in the languages of the people of this world for the languages of the past are much more complex than they are today. And it was only 4000 years ago that people lived to the ripe old age of 180 years, like Abraham did. But God said that in the new creation, in the NH&NE, there will be no death, and no decay, and no entropy, and we will be shining like the sun without losing energy, for we will be in a universe where only righteousness dwells. We cannot describe this new universe, for our thought processes can only describe things in terms of this present universe. And so, we shall accept by faith that we will receive a glorified body, but how God shall accomplish that remains a mystery. When shall God give us this new glorified body? It shall be on the Last Day, the day of the resurrection and the rapture of the saints, and it will also be the day of the resurrection of the unsaved who will be brought before the judgment throne of Christ, and will be judged for all their sins.
#2. The Second Resurrection (1Cor 15:51-53, John 6:44,54, 11:24, 5:28-29, 12:48)
Please drop down in this chapter of 1Cor 15 to verse 51, 1Cor 15:51 (2X).
1Co 15:51 ¶
What is God saying in this passage? First of all, “We shall not all sleep”, where the “WE” refers to all the saints. We shall not all go through the process of death. This does not apply to all the unsaved, for they will all go through the process of death. But with these words God indicates that when Christ returns on the clouds of glory to gather His saints from the four corners of the world and from the four corners of heaven, there will be a small number of saints alive, who have not died. Then, according to 1Thess 4:16-17, we shall get our glorified bodies simultaneously with those who have been resurrected from their graves, and so we shall meet the Lord in the air. This is the Second Resurrection. Secondly, the Bible states unambiguously that this bodily resurrection, this rapture, will be on the Last Day; not a thousand years before the Last Day, but on the Last Day. We read in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day”. Moreover, we read in John 6:54, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day”. Moreover, we read in John 11:24, “Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”. The Bible says unambiguously that the resurrection of the saints occurs on the same day as the resurrection of the unsaved. There is no space of 1000 years or 5 months in between, for we read in John 5:28-29,
All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and all shall come forth. The Bible also states without fail that the Last Day is the same as Judgment Day, for we read in John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day”. The people of the Premillennial persuasion do not like these references, but I have to bring this up again, for this is what God tells us in the Bible. Resurrection Day is on the same day as Judgment Day. But keep in mind that every human being consists of a body and a soul. The second resurrection deals with the resurrection of the body. What about the resurrection of the soul? The Bible calls this:
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 2:4 (2X). If anyone experiences the first resurrection then he experiences the resurrection of the soul, which takes place while we are still living on this earth. When God the Holy Spirit takes the action of making someone “born again”, He then regenerates the soul of that person because Christ has suffered and died for that person on Friday, April 3, in the year in AD 33. If Christ has paid for our sins 2000 years ago, then my ticket to heaven is paid. If then in this life I hear the Gospel call, because a faithful saint has brought to my attention the truth of Christ crucified, and even though I came into the world as an enemy of God and was under the wrath of God even as others, if this is the right timing according to God the Holy Spirit, He will mightily bend my will and He will revive my dead sinful soul and apply the washing of sins that Christ already paid for, and give me a regenerated soul that is as perfect and righteous in the sight of God as the righteousness of Christ, and give me faith. This is the first resurrection. This is what the Lord Jesus referred to when He said in John 3:7, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again”. If we die not “born again” we cannot even see the kingdom of God, and we shall be damned forever for all the sins we have done. But if we are “born again”, it means that the Lord Jesus Christ has paid for all of our sins. We read in Eph 2
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
And even though verse 5 tells us that we have been made alive together with Christ when Christ was raised from the dead, we must harmonize this statement with verse 3, which says that we all were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. We were children of the wrath of God, because we were still dead in trespasses and sins, and living as enemies of God. Only God is capable of loving us from everlasting past, and at the same time have us under His wrath because of our sins. But when God the Holy Spirit applies the payment of Christ on the cross to our souls, God no longer calls us sinners, but saints. And when we have become saints, we also have become sons of God, and the Bride of Christ. What then comes to pass when a person dies? The soul leaves the body, but where does he go? Please turn a few pages back to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2Cor 5:6 (2X). We have to distinguish between the death of a saint and the death of an unsaved person. A saint is not a person who does not sin any more, but a saint is a person with a soul that has been cleansed from all sin. When God looks at a saint He sees a perfect and righteous soul. All his past sins have been erased, and all his future sins are erased the moment they are committed. Such a soul is ready to come into heaven. God s
In other words, when our body dies, our soul leaves the body, is absent from the body, and it is immediately admitted into the presence of Christ in heaven. Please turn now to Psalm 115:17 (2X). What does God do with the soul of an unsaved person when that person dies? Will God immediately cast that soul in Hell? No! Our God is a righteous Judge, and He will not execute the sentence of Hell before this person has been arraigned. This is why God has arranged Christ to be the Judge on the Last Day, so that every unsaved person can hear all his sins, even the smallest sins like an idle word. It is only then that he will be cast into Hell. We read in Psalm 115:17-18,
“The dead” are those who are unsaved. They are those who are dead in their soul. They do not praise the Lord in this life; neither do they praise the Lord after their body dies, when they go down into silence. In other words, they remain unconscious until the resurrection of the Last Day. Now verse 18. But WE, the saints, will bless the Lord from this time forth. And even after our body dies we continue to bless the Lord forevermore in heaven, and in the NH&NE. And so, when we listen to the Lord Jesus speaking to the Sadducees about the resurrection, we need to remember that there is a first resurrection which is the resurrection of the soul, and a second resurrection, which is a resurrection of the body.
#3. Do WE Understand the Scriptures? (Matt 22:31-32, Isa 43:11,14, Acts 4:12, Heb 10:7)
Please turn again to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 22:31 (2X). The Lord Jesus Christ gave here an awesome interpretation of the Scriptures. No one of the Sadducees ever saw this in the Scriptures. He s
God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush. None of the Sadducees or the Pharisees ever saw in this verse that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. But what troubles me is that I would also have missed this interpretation, and I am sure that every one of you would also have missed this. Now, why is that? Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 43:11 (2X). Let us now learn from our mistakes, and let us learn from the Lord Jesus. Why was He able to come up with this solution? It is because He focused our attention on the words “I Am”. He used the present tense “I Am”, instead of the past tense “I was”. If Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were dead He would have said, “I was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. And so, if we do not pay attention to little details such as this, then we do not come to the Word of God with an open mind. If we want to learn what Christ is teaching us here, then we should ignore our critics who say that we are unraveling the Word of God in too much detail. Let them criticize us. But let us now pay attention to the words “I Am”. Did not Jesus say in the Gospel of John that He is the great “I Am”? He said, “I am the bread of life”, and, “I am the light of the world”, and, “I am the door”, and, “I am the good shepherd”, and “I am the resurrection and the life”, and “I am the way, the truth and the life”, and “I am the vine, ye are the branches”, and “Before Abraham was, I am”. Now we know that the OT speaks of Jehovah as a name derived from “I Am”. It implies that God is eternal. Did Jesus claim that He is Jehovah? Let us pay attention when we read in Isa 43:11,
And we know that the LORD, with all four letters capitalized actually reads “Jehovah”. And thus, this verse is saying that Jehovah is the only Savior. But the NT says in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved”. And thus, harmonizing these verses we come to the conclusion that the Lord Jesus Christ is Jehovah, much to the chagrin of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But let us now drop down to verse 14, Isa 43:14,
Isa 43:14 ¶
Who is this Redeemer? It is Jehovah; it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Redeemer, and He is also called “the Holy One of Israel”. You can see that if we substitute this interpretation in every place where we see “the Holy One of Israel”, we arrive at an enlightened interpretation of the OT Scriptures. This is exactly how we must understand the OT Scriptures, for the Lord Jesus said in Heb 10:7, “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,)to do thy will, O God”.
Let us now attend to the example the Lord Jesus used in His answer to the Sadducees, where the Lord Jesus referred to Moses at the burning bush. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel of Luke, Luke 20:37 (2X). There we find almost the identical words that the Lord Jesus used in Matt 22:32.
The Lord is speaking about the words He spoke to Moses at the burning bush. We read in Luke 20:37,
Lu 20:37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush <942>, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
The Greek word for “bush” in this verse has a Strong’s Concordance number 942. Remember this number 942. This is not any ordinary bush, but it is a “bramble-bush”. We can see that because this word has also been translated “bramble-bush” in Luke 6. Please turn to chapter 6 in this Gospel of Luke, Luke 6:43 (2X). There the Lord shows us a contrast: On the one hand He shows us a good tree, on the other hand He shows us a bramble-bush. Remember the contrasts. We read in Luke 6:43-44,
Lu 6:43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Lu 6:44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush <942> gather they grapes. (It is the same word <942> that we found in Luke 20:37.)
And thus, the opposite of a good tree is a bramble-bush. The bramble-bush is a bad bush. Christ is using the bramble-bush as a picture of something that is under the curse of God. Please turn now to the Prophecy of Exodus, Ex 3:2 (2X). Exodus is the 2nd prophecy in the Bible, right after Genesis. Moses kept the flock of sheep of his father in law, and he led the flock to Mount Horeb. What did Moses see?
Ex 3:2 And the Angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
Ex 3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
Ex 3:4-5 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
Ex 3:6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
When we read about an Angel of the LORD, it always refers to Christ. Verse 4 proves it, for we read that Jehovah saw that he turned aside to look at the bush, and God called him out of the midst of that bush. But the NT says that this was a bramble-bush, which was accursed, and Jehovah was speaking from out of that bush. God is giving us the picture of Hell itself, and Christ is speaking from the midst of it. Can you see the picture? God shows us the Redeemer of Israel, the Redeemer of the Israel of God, was going to endure the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. What an awesome sight that must have been. And what an awesome impression that must make on us when we realize that the Lord Jesus, in His humanity, must suffer the equivalent of Hell for our sins. AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.