Light for the Last Days

The resurrection in Samuel and Isaiah

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This morning I was speaking about the Gospel from the resurrection from John’s point of view and one of the things we saw is that Jesus rose from the dead and that He was seen first of all by the women who were much more faithful and zealous to seek the Lord at this time in the morning.

And I suggested that the men, the disciples, had actually fled, most likely to Bethany, when Jesus was arrested, though Peter and John had gone into Jerusalem. And, during the day, Mary Magdalene and the women had gone to assemble the disciples and to bring them together in Jerusalem where they met with the risen Lord.

We’re going to read about the meeting with the Lord in Luke 24.33 and then I’m going to speak on the theme of the resurrection in Judaism and in Christianity remembering of course that Jesus and the disciples were all Jewish.

Let’s just have a word of prayer as we come to the Lord.

Lord, we thank you for your Word. We pray that you bless the reading and the speaking of your Word and help us to understand this subject. We pray in the name of Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah.

Let’s start at verse 33. This is actually the people on the Emmaus road as they go back to Jerusalem.

33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. 36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” 40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marvelled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.

Luke 24.33-49

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

Luke 24.44

45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Luke 24.45-49

Let’s look at another passage quite a controversial on this one in 1 Samuel chapter 28, the end of the Book of Samuel. Saul, the king, is in big trouble. He has lost his anointing, he’s lost his fellowship with God, and he’s about to face a battle with the Philistines. He is frightened and he doesn’t know what to do. So, he goes to a medium (known as the witch of Endor) to consult with a spirit. I’ll say a bit about that in a moment. Let’s just read what it says. 1 Samuel 28, verse 8:

So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Please conduct a séance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you.”

Then the woman said to him, “Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the spiritists from the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?”

10 And Saul swore to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.”

11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”

1 Samuel 28.8-19

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!”

13 And the king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What did you see?”

And the woman said to Saul, “I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth.”

14 So he said to her, “What is his form?”

And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a mantle.” And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down.

15 Now Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

1 Samuel 28.8-19

And Saul answered, “I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do.”

16 Then Samuel said: “So why do you ask me, seeing the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy? 17 And the Lord has done for Himself as He spoke by me. For the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbour, David. 18 Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord nor execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”

1 Samuel 28.8-19

A very curious story because, if you read through Deuteronomy, you’ll know that mediums and consulting with the dead is forbidden. So, please don’t think that I’m reading this so that you can go home and start talking to the dead or trying to consult the dead through a séance because you mustn’t, it’s forbidden and, if you do try and do that, you won’t consult with the dead, you will consult with an evil spirit who will be impersonating the dead and may actually have some information which will convince you that it really is your dead aunty or someone else, but it won’t be. It’ll be an evil spirit.

The Bible does not in any way endorse spiritism and consulting with the dead. This was a unique occasion and we can see that it was unique because the woman who was the medium was even more surprised than Saul when Samuel came up and she wasn’t used to someone actually appearing; she was really shocked by this.

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.

Deuteronomy 18.10-14

Notice what Samuel says. She saw a spirit ascending from the earth and in verse 15, Samuel said to Saul: ‘why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?

Clearly, it’s Samuel who’s come up and he says he’s been disturbed from where he was. He was in the place of the dead and now he has appeared to Saul and gives him a message. Samuel knows who Saul is and he knows who David is, and he gives him information which is relevant to what’s about to happen.

What this story tells you is that there is a continuation of life after death, that Samuel has died already and now he’s been summoned back to life and he’s still Samuel, he’s still someone who knows who Samuel is and who knows who Saul is, and he knows who David is.

This tells you that there is a life after death. Now, I say, please don’t take this story as a model for what you should do, I just quote it here because it is a clear example from the Old Testament that there is a belief within the Hebrew scriptures in life after death, in resurrection.

Okay, let’s look at some of the words from the prophets and I’ll go through this fairly quickly but these are scriptures from the prophetic writings which tell you that there will be a resurrection of the dead.

In Isaiah, there are two or three passages. We’ll read a couple of them. Isaiah 25.8 says,

He will swallow up death forever,

And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;

The rebuke of His people

He will take away from all the earth;

For the Lord has spoken.

And it will be said in that day:

“Behold, this is our God;

We have waited for Him, and He will save us.

This is the Lord;

We have waited for Him;

We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”

Isaiah 25.8-9

In His salvation” means “In His Yeshua / Jesus”.

Therefore, He’s going to swallow up death forever; there’s going to be a time when God is going to change death into life.

In the following chapter, in chapter 26 verse 19 it says,

19 Your dead shall live;

Together with my dead body they shall arise.

Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust;

For your dew is like the dew of herbs,

And the earth shall cast out the dead.

Isaiah 26.19

An interesting verse that says ‘your dead shall live together with my dead body.’ Now, other versions say, ‘with your dead body’. But if it says ‘my dead body‘, who is the ‘my‘? Who is going to rise, and who’s going to bring others with Him to rise from the dead?

We can’t say definitely this is a prophecy of the resurrection of Jesus but I think it comes pretty close. It says someone’s going to rise and, as a result of this, One who has died and risen, He is going to bring others to life; and it also says that ‘the earth is going to cast out her dead‘. Therefore, it is speaking about something to do with the resurrection of the dead through somebody who rises from death.

The next verse is also very interesting it says,

20 Come, my people, enter your chambers,

And shut your doors behind you;

Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,

Until the indignation is past.

21 For behold, the Lord comes out of His place

To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;

The earth will also disclose her blood,

And will no more cover her slain.

Isaiah 26.20-21

God is saying that there’s going to be a time when God is going to take people out of the earth and take them into a safe place while He brings judgment on the world. Does that remind you of anything which is going to happen according to the New Testament?

Go to 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and you have the Lord taking his people out of the world, I believe, before the Great Tribulation begins. You can’t say that’s a definite prophecy of the rapture of the church, but it is interesting, and the rapture of the church has also something to do with the resurrection of the dead, the resurrection of the believers.

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4.13-18

Again, all these scriptures are telling you that there will be a resurrection, and they’re implying also that it is a literal resurrection and a bodily resurrection.

Tony Pearce

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