ISAIAH’S END-TIME TIMELINE
Isaiah’s End-time Timeline Chapter 57
THE BODY AFTER DEATH
1 Corinthians 15:35-44, 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Phil 3:21
Isaiah 57:1-2 “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace they shall rest in their beds each one walking in his uprightness.”
Many of our distinguished forefathers; Eusebius, Jerome and Horsley, understood this word of prophecy was our Blessed Lord’s death, which the Jews took no note in, nor His sufferings, in the vicarious offering intended for their sakes.
The merciful men are considered His Disciples and Apostles.
The next two verses; 3 and 4 see a great deal of their fulfillment in Christ’s life, trial and crucifixion. He had previously addressed them as an evil and adulterous people. “And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” [Matthew 27:38-42]
The sense of the Chapter (as well as this section of the Book of Isaiah) seems to be the Faithful and unfaithful “lover” of God. The Faithful receiving “healing and peace”, and conversely, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” [Isaiah 57, Verses 19-21]
From a corporate view, the prophetic message being: The Messiah is the Faithful One (in substitution) and Israel is the unfaithful. Israel is the wife lying covered beside her husband; her mind wandering to those outside the covenant; she uncovers herself and goes out to others. When distress comes, she will be required to go to them for help. In the final days, it will be the greatest of offenses to God to take her comfort in the bed of the Anti-Christ, to whom she shall turn and be betrayed. Some, when God thus smites them, will turn and humbly repent. The wicked rise and rush forward like waves, crashing upon the boundary set for them. Yet those following, continue on in spite of seeing the punishment just before them. They will have no peace in death or resurrection. The prophetic theme throughout the remaining chapters culminate in the 66th.
LAYING THE PERISHING TO HEART [Isaiah 57:1] ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE
The greatest impact of the first verse, (pointing back to the 53rd chapter; the core of this discourse) being the Faithful Just One, Jesus Christ the Messiah, who perished, because of evil, and suffered at the hands of man. Yet none perceived the why, and that He was taken away from their midst. Meaning not only into the grave His body went, but also out of the grave His body was taken. [Matthew 27:62-28:6 with Acts 1:9] So also the righteous shall perish or be taken away; their bodies into the grave, but shall rest in “their beds” (Psalm 139:8) awaiting also the promise of resurrection.
The PEACE, PEACE (or lack thereof) to which this chapter speaks, is that the body goes into the grave. But the righteous soul passes into that initial peace which is promised to His faithful, when they pass into death, that is to say; the intermediate state and place, in paradise, located in the center of the earth, known as Sheol or Hades. [Psalms 55:15, 86:13, Proverbs 15:24, 9:18, Isaiah 14:9,15, Ezekiel 31:17, 32:27, Amos 9:2, Matthew 11:23, Luke 10:15, 2 Peter 2:4, Revelation 20:13] Luke 16:22 gives us the Lord’s clear word on that intermediate place of the dead. He follows up that word, with another confirming word of its actual existence; given to the Dying Thief in Luke 23:43. “Verily I say unto thee, to-day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.” That is the place where He descended into, after releasing His spirit back to the Father, (Luke 23:46), and laying His body down. [Acts 2:26] “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades….” [Psalm 16:10] There the worthies await the promise of the greater PEACE of “healing”, the restoration of spirit and body at resurrection.
One more confirmation of this place is by Paul who, “….was caught up to the Third Heaven…” But in a different experience, he went to a different paradise. He “…was caught away into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not possible for a man to utter.” [2 Corinthians 12:2-4] (Note: caught away in the Greek.) That is the paradise Philippians 1:21-23, speaks of: “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain … having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.” Hades’ paradise is a far better place, since it is freed from satanic influence and the natural laws of the fallen flesh. Therefore, it is a greater presence and better fellowship with Christ. And a better understanding of ‘the salvation of the soul’ (1 Peter 1:9, 10), the clearer view of both millennial and eternal glory into which we are called.
SO…… Christ’s resurrected body is the word of prophecy of our resurrected body.
The Kingdom, to which all Christians are to look, is not the state beyond the grave, FOR THAT STATE IS SURELY IN HADES, but the state beyond resurrection WITH our body. When the LIVING are taken away in the experience of death, then human souls are divided from one another by the angels. Angels take away some to that place in Hades of comfort and peace; (Scripturally described as ‘Paradise’) while other souls are taken to another place in Hades, called the place of torment. All now await the Lord’s call unto resurrection. Such is the teaching of Holy Scripture: That we must wait in Hades until our resurrection time comes, at which time we will receive again our bodies.
Jesus Christ gives us great instruction as to the nature of the resurrection body. “Handle Me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, AS YE SEE ME HAVE” [Luke 24:39, Ezekiel 37:4-6] Thomas seeing the actual BODY that was crucified, proclaimed, “My Lord and God…” This proves He was resurrected in that same body.
Jesus declares Himself not resurrected in the state “spirit”, but a resurrected “man” with flesh and bones, as spirit, in itself, does not have flesh and bones. “Press upon me and feel the bones below the flesh.” So it was, He was reunited with His very body, and as He walked upon the earth in spirit, soul and body, so He is resurrected and will be so forever. No mention of blood, as blood is that part of the corruptible body. And “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” And so likewise, believers are united, not to His flesh and blood, but to His flesh and bones. [Ephesians 5:30]
Paul proclaimed the promise, “For our conversation is in heaven: from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body…” [Philippians 3:21]
For the bodies (dead) are sown into the dust, for the corpse is a seed. “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is an natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” [1 Corinthians 15:42-44] We have a natural body, adapted to the material world. We will have a spiritual body, adapted to the heavens, as is the Lord’s.
If we are alive, and His, when He comes, our bodies will be changed immediately into that heavenly body. We won’t come up out of our earthly body, our bodies will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. The body we receive at resurrection will be a new body from the dissolved old body, not having been destroyed, but dissolved. [2 Corinthians 5:1-4] The picture is beautifully described by a seed sown. “But God giveth it (the sprouted seed) a body as it hath pleased him.…” [1 Corinthians 15:38] Now that earthly body formed in the womb of its mother, comes forth from the earth, but this heavenly body is formed by no human hand, but by the Hand of God. A new indestructible, eternal home or cover for the soul. So we moan not to get rid of the body, but “…earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” That is to say by the new body from God. As the butterfly from cocoon. As the diamond comes from the coal. So from the grave, breaks forth that heavenly body to clothe the overcomers; raised up, taken away, to rule with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm just above the earth.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly: and I pray God your whole spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” – Preserved, after we have overcome, regardless of the time period, right through that intermediate state; of “nakedness’. That is to say, without spirit and resurrected heavenly body in Hades, and unto that catching up out of Hades at the coming of our Lord.
God’s intent for the sanctified soul is one’s declared mastery in glorious blessed resurrection, then fit with that heavenly body, for the purposes of the spirit. [Luke 20:35, Philippians 3:11, Revelation 20:4-6] A few quotes from some ancients: (Not that these men are without controversy, but it serves to show that these perspectives were established and commonly understood in the past and we are not the first to say them.)
For as long as our Lord’s body lay in Joseph’s tomb He – as a disembodied soul, remained in the underworld of ‘Hades’ / ‘Sheol’ amongst the souls of the dead ‘in the heart of the earth’ (Acts 2: 27, 31. cf. John 20: 17): and from there, “He went and preached unto the spirits in prison:” (1 Pet. 4: 19, R.V.). See also, Rev. 6: 9-11; Luke 16: 19-31; 1 Sam. 28: 8-19, etc. For -“If his soul had ascended to heaven as his body descended to the grave, then one part of his human nature had been exalted, whilst the other had been debased. For his soul, that would have been shining in the highest heavens, whilst his body was lying under a piece of earth; and so this would have been in a state of humiliation, whilst the other was in its state of exaltation. By which means, at that time he would have been wholly in neither state, but partly in both. And so most of the systems of divinity that ever were made, teaching only a double state of Christ, the one of his humiliation, the other of his exaltation, must be changed, and a third added, partly of exaltation, partly of humiliation. But that needs not, for certainly Christ was never in more than one state at one time: when he was in a state of humiliation, he was in a state of humiliation, not of exaltation; when in a state of exaltation, he was in a state of exaltation, not humiliation … We cannot but maintain that the soul was in a state of humiliation, as well and as long as the body, and so not in heaven, while this was upon the earth, but under earth in hell, whilst his body was under earth in the grave. And when one rose, they both rose; the soul being fetched from hell to be united again to its body. But in few words, to put this question out of question, that the soul of Christ was not in heaven (but therefore in hell), in the third place the Saviour himself, who best knows when HE first descended into hell, tells us plainly the third day after his death, being the day of resurrection, that he was not then ascended up to heaven, saying to Mary, ‘Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father.’ John xx.” P. 172-175. –
“For not even the Apostles have yet received their joy, but themselves also wait for it, that I also may become partaker of their joy. For neither the saints, when they depart thence, receive immediately the full reward of their deserts, but wait for us. … You see therefore that Abraham yet waits for the attainment of that which is perfect. And Isaac waits, and Jacob, and all the prophets wait for us, that they may enjoy with us perfect happiness. On this account, therefore, even that mystery is kept to the last day of the deferred judgement,” Hom. 7 on Levit. § 2. And again, – “It is my opinion that all the saints that depart from this life shall remain in a certain place in the earth, which the divine Scripture calls paradise, as in a place of instruction.” – De Princip. lib. ii. c. xi.
Justin Martyr – (Dialogue with Trypho, c. 80)
“For if you have conversed with some that are called Christians, and do not maintain these opinions (the millennarian), but even dare to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and say that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that the souls, as they leave the body, are received up into heaven, take care that you do not look upon these as Christians: …”
In John 14:2, Jesus Christ says, “I go to prepare a place for you.” That is repeated in the next verse. That place is one of the “many mansions of my Father’s house.” The mansions, are then not in Hades, but are eternal abiding places in that future, now being prepared, unoccupied, New Jerusalem. [Revelation 21:1-3,7] And its mansions are for the overcoming, resurrected, human souls. And in that paradise, awaits the unfulfilled promise: “To him that overcometh I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” That which speaks to a heavenly sustenance for heavenly “body”.
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