“At the RESURRECTION, therefore, To which of them does she become a Wife; for the SEVEN had her for a Wife. And Jesus said to them, “The CHILDREN of this AGE; marry, and are given in marriage: but THOSE DEEMED WORTHY to obtain THAT [Millennial] AGE, and THAT RESURRECTION from the Dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; for they can die no more; because they are like angels; and are Sons of God, being sons of the RESURRECTION. But That the DEAD rise, even Moses has declared, at the BUSH, when he calls the Lord God, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now HE is not a God of the dead, but of the living; for to him all are alive.” (Luke 20:33-38 Diaglott)
the world gradually raising up
The Scriptures disclose that the world’s resurrection (Greek, anastasis = a rising up) will be a gradual work covering a period of a thousand years, and not a momentary work as the Sadducees and others supposed. Nothing about the word anastasis necessarily means rising up to a spiritual life. The resurrection (lifting to perfection) of the Gospel Church (the 144,000 Bride of Christ) was an instantaneous momentary work, but the world’s resurrection will keep pace with the obedience of each under trial. Notice, the Scribes and Pharisees did not ask whose wife she would be in heaven, purgatory or eternal torture. Neither Jesus nor the Jews held any such teaching. Instead, the questioners tried to prove that if a resurrection should take place, it would produce an endless tangle by reason of mixed and confused social arrangements.
Two of the three places mentioned above, purgatory and eternal torture did not enter into the Gospel Church until later under influence of the Prince of the Power of the Air. The church grew more and more politicized, got in bed with Caesar and other secular rulers and became Babylon the Great and the Mother of Harlots. (Rev. 17:5) Neither of the two places (purgatory, eternal torture) is mentioned in the Scriptures.
Jesus replied, but avoided a direct answer. Perhaps because it would have required a long discourse for which they were unready. Or perhaps, such information was not yet due to be understood. Marriage is a union of two; male and female who have recognized themselves and are recognized by others as one. This was long before marriage between two of the same gender were becoming legitimized by nations, as it is now.
Some future trial must be undergone by those, which would demonstrate their worthiness to attain the resurrection. In death, no progress can be made in attaining or being counted worthy. Thus, Jesus’ words teach the resurrection and a future trial for mankind in which the woman and seven husbands who were already dead, and who were not believers in Christ, may have a part.
It is an open question as yet, whether the woman and the seven husbands will be accounted worthy of that age, worthy of resurrection, of being raised up again to the perfection lost in Adam and entering the everlasting state. The worthiness or unworthiness of each will be demonstrated by their conduct under trial when awakened from death.
The trial of the Millennial Age will be so complete and the lessons of obedience so well impressed upon men that only the “WORTHY” will attain to the condition of perfection. Extremely few, a “Little Flock,” are counted worthy to attain that world and the “BETTER” resurrection in advance of the Millennium. The great mass of mankind will come forth unto a “resurrection by judgment.” It will remain for them to prove themselves worthy of perfect life.
the first resurrection
The resurrection to spiritual conditions is in Scripture designated as special, THE FIRST resurrection. It is also frequently designated as in this instant, by the article “THE” (very noticeable in the Greek text, but less so in our English translations). We at one time held the view that the resurrection here referred to was the First resurrection. But, if so, the Greek word translated resurrection should be emphatic. On critical examination, we find that anastasis, as here used, is not specially emphasized. This leaves the question of human conditions during the period of “resurrection by judgment” for amplification under other Scriptures. In this statement, our Lord omits any reference to the masses of the world and their opportunities for restitution to human perfection through a judgment-resurrection, a resurrection depending upon their cooperation. As we examine the context, it is evident that the resurrected condition of the Church is NOT discussed. This discussion concerns only the resurrected condition of the world.
We do not understand our Lord’s words to apply to the saints who share in the first resurrection, for the inquiry and conversations were regarding another class, and by another class. Only those willfully opposed to righteousness when clearly seen, will be condemned as unworthy of life; and such as these that die, will die the second death, of which there is no redemption. To attain the resurrection, seems to mean gradually progressing until they reach the full resurrection to that of Adam’s status; before Eve was separated from his body and before he disobeyed God. So, those who will walk on the highway of holiness must “go up thereon.” (Isa. 35:9)
Luke 20:35 states: “...they which are accounted worthy to obtain that world...” which means the thousand year Judgment Day, or the Age to come after this Present Evil World (Age) has ended. Our Lord did not explain here how it will be during the Millennial Age, while the human race is being awakened. But, points his words to “that age” of perfection which follows the Millennium of testing in which there will be no marriage or given in marriage. All who attain that age will be worthy, because all not counted worthy, the Great Judge will cut off, destroyed from amongst the people.
Our Lord then turned the subject away from the suppositionary case suggested by the Sadducees and took the occasion to drop a word of instruction respecting the FIRST or CHIEF resurrection, the resurrection of the blessed and holy (Rev. 20:6).
In Luke 20:33 and 36, anastasis (resurrection) has the Greek article, showing emphasis and indicating the first or special resurrection. The emphasis, when used with anastasis always marks the statement as relating to the first, chief or spiritual resurrection, “Out from the dead ones.” The emphasis on “dead” is intensified by the expression and leaves no room for doubt that the Lord referred to the first resurrection.
Marriage is an arrangement that God instituted for the very special purpose that a race might be produced, and with the human family only. When the Church shall be changed, all the peculiarities of male and female will be obliterated. Mankind will be sexless when perfection has been reached at the end of the Millennium. The human race shall have come to the place where Adam was originally and the male and female conditions for the propagation of the race will be no longer necessary. The great plan of God shall be complete and the human race will be like the Angels in that respect. Adam before Eve was taken from his body and he disobeyed God, he possessed all the qualities of character, masculine and feminine, so humanity, when fully restored to the image and likeness of God, will re-attain perfection of individuality. Sex divisions will then be no more.
Thus, man will receive again that which was taken from him originally, represented by the rib. God chose to make the man perfect in himself at “first,” and then to sex him into twain for an intimation and illustration of what the race shall be when God’s plans concerning it are fulfilled. In producing a race from one, who in trial would represent all, one also might redeem all. In this way, God prevented the creation of a companion and made proper the division of the one into two.
The figure of husband and wife is used frequently to represent the union between the Lord and the True Church, but in no case to represent anything akin to motherhood on the part of the Church. On the contrary, the figure generally used in reference to the period beyond the union represents the twain as one—Head and Body.
There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.” (Isa. 65:20,23)
Given in marriage
“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as (like) the angels of God in heaven.” (Matt. 22:30) “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as (like) the angels which are in heaven.” (Mark 12:25) “They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:27) “And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:” (Luke 20:34) and “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.” (Luke 20:35)
The indications are that child-bearing will continue for some time, at least into the Millennial Age, if not up to within one hundred years or thereabouts of its close. As to what will take place during the Millennium, we can only guess, because there is no Scripture on the subject.
A good guess would be that this matter [marrying] would gradually become less and less. When Christ died for Adam (and us in Adam), it was to give back the life Adam lost through disobedience to God’s law.
MALE AND FEMALE DISTINCTIONS TO CEASE
“...This is the law of the sin-offering [trespass-offering] ... The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it... All the males among the priests shall eat thereof...” (Lev. 6:25-29)
The Lord and all the holy angels are scripturally referred to as males, while all the saints are together represented as a female, a “virgin,” espoused to our Lord Jesus as husband. But the human female was originally a part of the man made in God’s image, and is still (although temporarily separate for the purposes of human propagation) a part of the man, neither being complete alone. The perfect man was named Adam, so, when he was made twain, “God called their name Adam.” (Gen. 5:2) “Adam called his wife’s name Eve...” (Gen. 3:20) The headship remained with the male, who was thus made the caretaker or preserver of the female as a part of his own body. (Eph. 5:23, 28) This sexual division did not make Adam imperfect: it merely divided his perfections between two bodies of which he was still the “head.”
The Scriptures indicate that by the close of the “times of restitution,” all male and female shall be restored to the perfect condition represented in Adam before Eve was separated from him. We do not understand that either males or females will lose their identity, but that each will take on the qualities now lacking. If this thought be the correct one, it would seem to imply that the extreme delicacy of some females and the extreme coarseness of some males are incident to the fall, and that restitution to a perfection in which the elements of the two sexes would be perfectly blended and harmonized would be the ideal humanity of God’s design.
Our Redeemer, when he was “the man Christ Jesus,” was probably neither coarse and brawny or effeminate. In him, the mental strength and a grandeur of manhood blended most delightfully with the noble purity, tenderness and grace of true womanhood. Was he not the perfect man who died for our race and redeemed both sexes? Let us not forget that as a man he had no help-mate: should he not therefore have been complete in himself to pay the full corresponding price for Adam (male and female)? Either thus was Eve represented in the great ransom or by her husband as her “head”—else mother Eve was not ransomed at all, a thought which would conflict with other scriptures.
The Gospel Church is indeed referred to in the Scriptures as a “Bride”; not, however, as the bride of “the man Christ Jesus,” but as the Bride of the risen and highly exalted Christ. As New Creatures, begotten of God’s spirit to spirit nature, they were betrothed to the Spirit Jesus, whose name, honor, and throne they are to share. The Church is not the Bride of the sacrificed man Christ Jesus, but of the glorified Lord Jesus, who at his Second Advent claims her as his own (Rom. 7:4).
As with man and woman in the next age so will it be with Christ and the Church. After the Church is glorified all femininity will be dropped; “We shall be like him,” members of his Body. “And this is the name wherewith she shall [then] be called [her Lord’s name], The Righteousness of Yahweh.” (Jer. 33:16; 23:6) [Note 2, Vol. V Studies in the Scriptures] As the Body of the great Prophet, Priest and King, the Church will be a part of the Everlasting Father or Life-giver to the world (Isa. 9:6).
This same thought is carried throughout the Scriptures; the males of the priestly tribe alone did the sacrificing, and as above, the eating of the trespass-offerings; and they alone entered the Tabernacle and passed beyond the Veil. Likewise, in the Holy Spirit’s arrangement for this Gospel Age; “He gave indeed (male) apostles, and (male) prophets, and (male) evangelists, and (male) pastors and teachers, for the qualification of the saints for the work of service, in order to the building up of the Anointed One.” (Eph. 4:11,12, Diaglott)
The word male, as above, should appear in the English as it does appear in the Greek text, and the Lord’s appointments and those of the apostles correspond to this. “I suffer not [in the Church] a woman to teach or to usurp authority over the man,” plainly declares the Apostle. (1 Tim. 2:12) This is illustrative of the present relationship of Christ and the Church, which will, we understand, terminate with the close of this age, when the overcomers will be glorified and made actually one with the Lord, as “brethren.”
This, however, does not signify that the sisters in the Church do not equally “present their bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God.” They perform an important “work of service” in the Church as members of the “royal priesthood.” They are equally pleasing to the Lord as the brethren. For, really, all distinctions of sex and color and condition are ignored, dropped from Divine notice, from the time they become “new creatures in Christ Jesus,” (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 3:28). However, the type, the figure, the lesson, must be continued, and hence the distinctions so rigidly maintained in the special and more important parts of the service of the Church of Christ.
On the contrary, the Adversary has always sought to control man religiously through the love and esteem men bear toward women. Hence is his exaltation of the Virgin Mary to the rank of a goddess to be worshiped amongst Catholics. Also with the ancient Egyptians, Isis was the goddess, and in the later times of the Apostle Paul, Diana was goddess of the Ephesians. And does not Satan still seek to deal with and through woman, as in the Garden of Eden? Are not women his chief mediums in Spiritism and his chief apostles and prophets in Theosophy and Christian Science?
Nor has Satan’s acceptance of women as his mouthpieces, been to their advantage. On the contrary, women are on a far higher social and intellectual plane, and they are most appreciated for their true womanhood. In those lands where the Bible regulations are recognized and respected; and by those who most carefully follow Scriptural regulations. (Garnered from Tabernacle Shadows, Page 100.)
“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the Excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the Excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
“Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, and fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with recompense; he will come and save you.
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
“No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35)
not a fantasy
This famous rhapsody of the prophet Isaiah, who in a vision saw the world as it will be in Christ’s Kingdom on earth, holds all truth-seekers in awe every time it comes to the attention and it is not a fantasy.
Though the prophet lived over 3000 years ago, he obviously knew this golden age would not come in his lifetime. But he was certain it would come. The Apostle Peter speaking a few days after Pentecost declared that God would “...send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:20-21)
The earth is to be brought to the perfection primarily designed for it and will become a happy home and worldwide paradise for mankind. The animal, mineral and vegetable kingdoms will all serve man’s pleasure and supply his needs. The Old Testament tells over and over about these Restitution Times. It will probably include the now desert regions of the frigid zones. Much of Israel’s Promised Land from the Nile to the Euphrates including Arabia, parts of Egypt and the Sudan is desert and shall blossom as a Rose. Messiah’s Kingdom will not only uplift humanity, but will also bring blessings of perfection to the earth. Eden eventually will be worldwide and the microbes of destruction and disease shall be restrained.
paradise lost becomes paradise regained
During Messiah’s reign Paradise Lost will become Paradise Regained, as illustrated in Adam’s Edenic home. God has foreseen all the necessities of his plan and will make ample provision for the needs of his creation in what will seem a very natural way. Not yet, however, though it is in process. By the end of the thousand years of Christ’s reign, the whole earth shall have been brought to perfection. It shall no more bring forth thorns and briers and require the sweat of man’s face for his daily needs. The signs of the time are now showing that we are near the beginning of the thousand year judgment day in which this will happen. In the past hundred years, these things have begun to be experienced. Human ingenuity and engineering feats are working miracles.
The New Day is ushering in blessings of increased fruitfulness, though it will require God’s power during the thousand years of Christ’s reign to bring the earth to perfection. Even now however, Major climatic changes are gradually preparing the world for the earth’s redeemed millions. Those whose faith does not falter at the promises of God are to encourage those of weaker faith to strengthen and make them firm.
Those who accept God’s strength are told to be strong and fear not because greater is HE that is with you and for you, than all those who are against you. Your God will come with vengeance to bind the Adversary, Satan, and destroy his works. The transition period following the Gospel Age and preceding the Millennial Age is often mentioned as a “Day of Vengeance” to punish evildoers and prepare the world for the reign of righteousness. The recompense will be that at the same time, destruction comes to one class, redemption and glory comes to another.
Although, not quite yet. After Satan is bound for the thousand years, he can no more deceive the nations (Rev. 20:1,2), while the Millennial Age prevails. “The (evil) god of this world hath blinded the minds.” (2 Cor. 4:4) The Eyes which cannot see the things of faith and ears which cannot hear the message of faith have been long Sin-blinded to the glorious light of the goodness of God. Israel shall be saved from their blindness (Rom. 11:25,26) and not only Israel, but also all the families of the earth. Eyes of understanding shall be opened in the glorious reign of Messiah. This is typified by the healing of the blind man at the Pool of Bethesda and the Pool of Siloam. It is a result of Satan being bound for a thousand years that he may deceive the nations no more.
God has promised to deliver mankind from Satan’s power and his blinding influence. The Gospel must ultimately open the eyes of the “blind,” ignorance and prejudice being removed. All shall come to an accurate knowledge of the truth to see the Divine character and attributes. As a consequence, the true knowledge of the LORD shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep (Isa. 11:9). Not only will the bodies of men be thus blessed, but also their minds and hearts will be similarly liberated from the fetters of ignorance, superstition and sin. This will be to the Jew first, and also to the Gentiles. Every eye shall see that the Kingdom is established. While still having room for the exercise of faith, men will, to a very considerable degree, begins then to walk by sight. Not seeing his presence with the natural sight, but clearly seeing with the eyes of understanding, all will appreciate his character and rejoice therein. The miracles and cures performed by Jesus were small illustrations of the great work of his Millennial Kingdom.
Ears of appreciation will come to those who have not had “ears to hear” during this present age. Prejudice will be stopped. Long deaf to the voice of truth, deafened by the babel and clamor which the god of this world induces and perpetuates for this purpose will be unstopped as it sweeps away the ignorance and superstitions which entangle humanity. So then, they may hear the truth, understand, and appreciate it. All will see, all will hear, all will know of the love of God. Thank God, our eyes are already opening and our ears are being unstopped.
The lame man will Leap as an hart and sing forth the praises of the Deliverer. The world’s greatest hospital will be in full operation for 1,000 years in the hands of the Great Physician and his helpers. The work will be done by the processes of testing, trial, judgments and disciplines. Waters will break out and have a literal, as well as a spiritual fulfillment. While especially applicable to Israel, the same blessings of restitution are also due for the whole earth. Irrigation streams of Truth with Great physical changes, so that the earth may go gradually to the fullest perfection. The desert revived, making ample provision for the needs of the millions brought forth from the tomb. The parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water and where Dragons of error and vice lay shall be grass, a rapid and healthy growth of virtue.
The established New Covenant will be a highway open to all. Designed to lead to the Edenic condition, from which the Broad Way of destruction had led them. It will lead from imperfection to perfection – restitution. And there is no place on the Highway of Holiness for willful transgressors. It will be opened up through Israel, through the Ancient Worthies and through the New Covenant made with them. There will be no such highway until the Great King takes control of affairs, overthrows the present order. No such way now exists and it will not open until the narrow way closes. The human family as a whole will be invited to return to harmony with God through the Great Mediator under the terms of the New Covenant. It will be a way of righteousness, but not a way of sacrifice, as is the present narrow way. The way of life and the way of death will be before them. Each must make his own choice. Whoever refuses to go up thereon will go down into the Second Death. It will be an upward way; exertion will be required. Gently sloping upward to life, for a grand reversal of public sentiment will make the way easy of ascent. It will be the way of holiness to a grand human perfection, God’s image and to everlasting life.
The way of life shall be made plain and easy. It will accomplish the straightening of every crooked path. Leading, not to the throne, but to the Edenic condition, from which the Broad Way had led men. The way to human perfection requires only the putting away of sin; not the sacrifice of human rights and privileges, but their proper enjoyment.
The unclean shall not pass and all who refuse to go up on the Highway shall “be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:23) The evildoers having been cut off long before those who refuse to make progress along the Highway shall die at one hundred years of age (Isa. 65:20).
all obstructions removed
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31:34)
All will know the plan of God and there will be no need to teach any more. Mankind will no longer be invited to accept Christ, but will be compelled to be obedient. The teaching of “churches” will be unnecessary and it will no longer be necessary to preach. The eyes of understanding shall be opened and all shall know the Lord and the glorious opportunity for salvation shall come to knowledge of the truth. “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.” (Isa. 11:9) The way will be so plain that “the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” (Isa. 35:8)
These statements are not true now, and cannot be true until the Lord’s Kingdom is established. This is restitution work, the work of the entire Millennial Age. The conditions will be such that doubt would be more difficult than belief is at present. As a kind and loving father, God provides for the education of all who ever came into the world. Forgiveness of sins and the blessing of being awakened from the dead would profit mankind little if future arrangements did not permit a thorough recovery from present mental, moral and physical weaknesses.
A personal acceptance of the conditions of the New Covenant will be required of each individual. Instead of misrepresentation of God’s character and loving plans, the reverse will be given to mankind. When they know, each will be responsible. All who have ever lived. “The wayfaring men, and those unacquainted therewith, shall not go astray.” (Isa. 35:8)
The taking away of their sins is a necessity before they can receive the New Covenant because God makes no covenant with sinners. Under the Law Covenant, this was not done and sins remained; for atonement was made fresh for them year by year. The Mediator will not hold against anyone the transgressions of this present life. Israel’s sins have not yet been taken away, even as the world’s sins have not yet been taken away. Past sins and iniquities shall no more rise up in judgment against them, demanding their just penalty, death. Christ will have appeared on their behalf and made satisfaction for their sins. This guarantees that none shall die the Second Death except the willfully, intelligently disobedient.