THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
Question: I read the question and answer column of the eleventh issue of your paper and saw the question from Mr. Chien from Changchou concerning the resurrection of the saints of old. Will you explain to me whether there is a contradiction between the word in Matthew 27:52 and that in 1 Corinthians 15:20? In your reply, you said that the Lord Jesus was not the first one to resurrect, and that Elisha and the Lord both had called someone back to life. Although you explained at the end that "the Lord is the only one who resurrected in such a way," this kind of answer is bound to create misunderstanding. I am afraid people would think the resurrection of the Lord and the resurrection of those whom the Lord and Elisha raised up are all the same. In my opinion, the people raised up by Elijah, by Elisha, and by the Lord Jesus were not a resurrection of the spiritual body such as will be in the future; they were merely a return of the soul to the body after the person had died. These people lived a few more years on earth, but in the end they still died like other people. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is indeed the first one, in that He was the first one who had resurrected with a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:20). The saints mentioned in Matthew 27:52, in my opinion, also resurrected with a spiritual body. This can be proved from verse 53 which says that these ones came out only after the Lord’s rising from the tomb, which means that no one was able to resurrect before the Lord Jesus did. The words "appeared to many" prove that their resurrection was not of the physical body, but of the spiritual body. From this, we can see the power of death. Without the Lord’s crushing of this power, even when others were able to rise up from their graves, they were still not able to come out of the tombs. Perhaps some think that such an interpretation of Matthew 27:52 would contradict the word that says the saints will resurrect only at the last trumpet. I think this is a special case in the Bible. God’s purpose for doing this is to testify to the resurrection of the Lord. Normally, believers will not resurrect until the sounding of the last trumpet. Is this explanation correct? I humbly await your judgment. (Lee, Anhwei)
Answer: Even the most learned servants of God cannot agree on whether the people who were raised from the dead by the Old Testament prophets and by the Lord Jesus on earth, as well as the saints in Matthew 27, were all resurrected with a spiritual body. Hence, it is difficult to say anything definitely. Since this point does not have much to do with our spiritual life in our present experience, we can only let it go. If you think that the Lord Jesus was the first one to resurrect with a spiritual body, what you have said goes all the more to prove my word, "the Lord is the only one who resurrected in such a way"! Such an answer shows that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus was different from the resurrection of those whom Elisha and the Lord raised up. The phrase, "in such a way," suggests that it was special. Praise the Lord, because He is the first in all things.
Question: The Azazel mentioned in Leviticus 16:8 refers to whom? Someone said that it refers to Satan. I hope you can tell me; I would be very grateful. (Chang, Ningpo)
Answer: Some people, like Scofield, think that it refers to Christ, like the two birds in chapter fourteen. But I myself believe that Azazel is Satan. Some biblical scholars think that Azazel was the name of an idol. In verse 8, Azazel was put in opposition to Jehovah.
THE ONE ON THE WHITE HORSE
Question:What does Revelation 6:2 refer to? (Wu, Kiangsi)
Answer:God’s children have very divergent opinions concerning this point. The three most common viewpoints are: (1) This is Christ. He is commencing to judge, just as is mentioned in Revelation 19:19. (2) This is Antichrist. This is based on the order of Matthew 24. The white horse, the red horse, and the black horse stand in contrast to Antichrist, war, and famine. (3) This is the gospel; the vision depicts the long-term victory of the gospel in this age. We cannot make an absolute judgment concerning the interpretation of these Scriptures. We can choose to believe what we have seen, but we must never presume that others are all wrong. Unless for special spiritual reasons, we should always maintain the attitude that what we know is very limited.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 07: The Christian (5), Chapter 19, by Watchman Nee)