Gene Cunningham - September 29, 2022

Each in His Own Order

In 1st Corinthians 15:17-19, the apostle Paul picks up on a previous thread saying, "If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile. You are still in your sins. Also, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, where of all men the most to be pitied?" 1st Corinthians 15:20 starts with a conjunction of contrast -- "But." In contrast to being the most pitiable, in contrast to having hope only in this life. "But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." He says in verse 22 four, "As in Adam, all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." God only divides the human race into two people during this current age -- you're either in Christ or you're in Adam. 1st Corinthians 15:23 is critical. He's talking about resurrection -- the resurrection of Christ, first and foremost. But then he's also talking about the resurrection of the dead, including people all the way backin the Old Testament. God has a plan for the resurrection of every believer, from every age, from every dispensation, all the way through history. But His plan is orderly, so he says in 1Co 15:23, "But each in his own order." The word "order" in Greek is "tagma" which means to be in rank. Each in his own ranks. It pictures the formation of an army, according to battalions or according to platoons, or however you're going to break it down. Jesus Christ is first. Though there were people that were raised from the dead before His resurrection, that was resuscitation. 1Co 15:23 says, "Christ, the first fruits, afterwards, those who were Christ at His coming." His coming has two phases: 1) the rapture -- for us, 2) the 2nd advent -- for Old Testament and tribulation saints. 1st Corintians 15:23 continues, "then comes the end when He delivers the Kingdom to the Father." At the end of the kingdom age or Millennium, the thousand year reign of Christ on this earth, there has to be a resurrection. Because you have believers who are being born, people who are being born on the earth for a thousand years. The Bible tells us that an infant will die at the age of 100. People are going to enter into the kingdom from the tribulation, and live all the way through the kingdom. They're going to be people in the kingdom still in a flesh and blood body and there has to be a resurrection for them. The final resurrection comes at the end when Christ takes the kingdom and delivers the kingdom to His father. What Paul has given us in a couple of verses is an overview of resurrection. In order each in his ranks, and it fits perfectly with a dispensation approach to Scripture.

From Series: "Jesus' Roadmap for the Future"

The Olivet Discourse -- Jesus' Roadmap for the future, is one of the three major discourses (sermons) of Jesus. They include: 1. The Sermon on the Mount/Galilee Discourse (Matthew 5–7) 2. The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24–25; Mark 13; Luke 21 3. The Upper Room Discourse (John 13–17) Each of these messages is aimed at a specific period of history, which we call a dispensation. They lay out God’s dispensational plan, like a road map, from the time of the crucifixion to the end of time. The Sermon on the Mount was directed to the generation in which Jesus lived and was His platform as King—if Israel would receive Him. Obviously, they rejected Him as their King. However, this will be the basis of Jesus’ administration during the 1,000-year Kingdom Age (Millennium). Then, the Olivet Discourse was aimed at the consequences of Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah, and anticipated the destruction of the nation (70 A.D.) and the final Tribulation period. Remember that the Church Age is an intercalation—meaning an insertion, like a parenthesis, into the Age of Israel. This means that with the Rapture of the Church, the Tribulation picks up where 70 A.D. leaves off. This is why the Church Age is called a “mystery” (Rom. 11:25; 16:25; Eph. 3:1–13; Col. 1:26–27), which is a graduate course to “the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” (Eph. 3:10). Finally, the Upper Room Discourse was directed toward the Church Age, which began at Pentecost and would continue to the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13–18). The uniqueness of this Age is summarized by Paul’s phrase “in Christ,” and all of the elements involved in what we call “positional truth”—our total union with Christ and the indwelling of His Spirit in us, which occurs nowhere else in history. With the removal of the Body of Christ, the Church, Israel would again become the focus of God’s working on this Earth (Romans 9–11; Revelation 6–19).

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