THE RESURRECTION AND THE PIT
The details of the resurrection are found in the words of God and Christ. First, resurrection was
promised to the whole house of Israel in Ezekiel's time. "Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones
are
the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off
for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O My people, I will
open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel."
(Ez. 37:11,12).

In His promise of resurrection, God gave a description of how He would accomplish the resurrection of
the whole house of Israel. "Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye
dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause
breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you,
and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord."
(Ez. 37:4-6). The first breath that God causes to enter the bones is spiritual, this breath is the soul. The
next breath that God puts into the reconstructed body is physical, this is the first breath of physical life.

Ezekiel also sees the resurrection, but he does not see the breath that is the soul. "So I prophesied as I
was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came
together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the
skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the
wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O
breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the
breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army." (Ez. 37:7-
10).

For centuries men have believed that this was a literal description of the resurrection. Even spirituals
have been written about it, "the knee bone connected to the thigh bone," etc. Christ contradicted this
prevailing thought in two very subtle ways.

"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by
night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these
miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say
unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him,
How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be
born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he
cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of
the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:1-7).

The truth that most Christians have obtained from this scripture is that we must be reborn in the Spirit to
be fit for God's Kingdom. But Christ talks of both flesh and spirit, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh;
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Nicodemus is confused when Christ says that men must be
born again, and he asks for details of the process with questions that Christ chooses not to answer
directly. But being "born of water" is a reference to physical birth, which is accomplished with the
release of embryonic fluid, as we say of the laboring woman, "her waters broke." Further, Christ tells
Nicodemus that He is speaking of physical birth, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh."

Christ also hints that the resurrected will come forth as children. "But they which shall be accounted
worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are
the children of God, being the
children of the resurrection
." (Luke 20:35,36).

The word children is used sometimes to refer to descendants, as the children of Israel. The children of
God are the peacemakers. "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
(Matt. 5:9). So we would expect these children of the resurrection to bring forth God's Kingdom of
righteousness and peace on the earth. But clearly these children of God are not His descendants.

The word children is also used to refer to actual children. "And they brought unto Him also infants, that
He would touch them: but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto Him,
and said,
Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.   
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise
enter therein." (Luke 18:15-17). Again there are two messages here. First, the resurrected
"peacemakers," the children of God, are born into the Kingdom of God as babies. Second, entry into
God's Kingdom is reserved for those as humble and teachable as little children.

As all Christians know, our resurrection is in Christ. "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the
life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live..." (John 11:25).  But Christ revealed
that there are two groups to be resurrected. "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the
resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:29).

These two groups include the whole house of Israel, all of them will be exposed to the message of Christ.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and
his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of
Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,
and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth
even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. The Lord sent a word (Christ, the Word, see
John 1:1,14) into Jacob (to the two tribes in Judah), and it (Christ, the Word) hath lighted upon Israel (the
ten tribes in the gentile lands). And
all the people shall know, even Ephraim (royal house of the ten
tribes) and the inhabitant of Samaria (homeland of the ten tribes)..." (Is. 9:6-9). So it is that although many
of the resurrected of the house of Israel lived before Christ, or were Jews taught from the cradle that
Christ was a false Messiah, all will be reborn into a world that accepts the truth of Christ's ministry.

The two resurrections that Christ speaks of are found in the closing chapters of the Revelation. First
comes the resurrection of life. "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto
them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God,
and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their
foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  But the rest of the
dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.
This is the first resurrection. Blessed and
holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power
, but they shall
be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:4-6).

In referring to this as the first resurrection, a number of resurrections are being ignored. Christ raised
Lazarus (John 11:1-44), a young man (Luke 7:12-15), and a young girl (Mark 5:35-42). Elijah and Elisha each
raised a young boy (1 Kings 17:17-23, 2 Kings 4:17-37), and Peter raised a woman (Acts 9:36-41).

Saints also came forth at Christ's death. "Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up
the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth
did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept
arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto
many." (Matt. 27:50-53).

Where we have full details of these resurrections, the people raised had been dead only a short time,
their bodies had not begun to decompose. Even those raised as Christ died were His contemporaries,
they were recognised by people who knew them. These resurrections are ignored by John the Revelator,
because they are not the dry bones of Ezekiel 37.

After the resurrection of life of those who are blessed and holy at the start of the Millennium comes the
resurrection of the wicked at the end of the Millennium. "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat
on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I
saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was
opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the
books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell
delivered up the dead which were in them
: and they were judged every man according to their works.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not
found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev. 20:11-15).

This is the resurrection of damnation for those that have done evil. Many of them predated Christ and
never heard His message. But they are resurrected in a Christian world, and now will hear of Christ's
words. All will have a second chance, some a good chance, some a very poor chance, because God
promised to breathe the breath of a soul into them. "The Lord sent a word (Christ, the Word, see John 1:
1,14) into Jacob (to the two tribes in Judah), and it (Christ, the Word) hath lighted upon Israel (the ten
tribes in the gentile lands). And
all the people shall know, even Ephraim (royal house of the ten tribes)
and the inhabitant of Samaria (homeland of the ten tribes)..." (Is. 9:8,9). (The lost ten tribes left the
northern kingdom of Israel before Christ was born.)

The dead are raised from three places, the sea, death and hell. Who is in each place? The sea is the
church, the great storehouse of Bible Truth (Living Water). The dead in the sea are the sinners who died
believing in Christ. "They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry
aloud from the sea." (Is. 24:14). These church going sinners don't deserve eternal life, because they did
not walk with God and Christ, but God raises them to give them another chance anyway. "Verily, verily, I
say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall
not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24). These sinners will be
reborn into church families. Note that "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire," but the sea, the
church and its holy observances, remains into the time of New Earth, even forever.

Death refers to spiritual death, the consequence of a stubborn blasphemous desire to thwart God's plans
for His people. People who pervert religion are "killed with death." "Notwithstanding I have a few things
against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach
and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. Behold, I will
cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of
their deeds. And
I will kill her children with death..." (Rev. 2:20,22,23). Those who taught fornication and
idolatry, as Jezebel did, in their first life, will not repent, even in their resurrection, but God will use them
to strengthen Satan. These sinners will be reborn into the homes of idolaters and fornicators.

And hell is where those who followed apostate leaders are laid. "Therefore My people are gone into
captivity (of Satan), because they have no knowledge (of the Bible): and their honourable men are
famished (have no message), and their multitude dried up with thirst (for living water).
Therefore hell
hath enlarged herself
, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and
their pomp, and he that rejoiceth (Satan rejoices at their damnation),
shall descend into it." (Is. 5:13,14).
These sinners will be born in homes that follow an apostate Christian message. Those among these
sinners who were true friends of God in their first life will rise above their rebirth into debased
messages (which have raised up the rites of the church and forgotten Christ), and become part of God's
Kingdom.

The book judgment at the great white throne, which takes place before these resurrections, determines
where and in what family each sinner should be reborn. Obviously, the more devout the home, the more
chance a sinner has to get right with God and escape death in the lake of fire.

Note that there is no record of anyone but Satan coming out of the bottomless pit in the second
resurrection. But we have the prophecy of the locusts in the fifth trumpet coming forth from the smoke of
the pit.

"And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star (Christ) fall from heaven unto the earth: and to Him was
given the key of the bottomless pit (the gospel message). And He opened the bottomless pit; and there
arose a smoke out of the pit (symbol of Christ's sacrifice as our Passover Lamb, a burnt offering for our
sins)...  And there came out of the smoke locusts (harmless, swarming creatures) upon the earth (called
forth by Christ's sacrifice): and unto them was given power.... And the shapes of the locusts were like
unto horses prepared unto battle (well trained for their work); and on their heads were as it were crowns
like gold (authority of Christ), and their faces were as the faces of men (Christian soldiers). And they had
hair as the hair of women (affiliated with the glorious church), and their teeth were as the teeth of lions
(like Peter, they could cause sinners to fall dead at their feet, see Acts 5). And they had breastplates, as it
were breastplates of iron (faith and love); and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of
many horses running to battle (they fearlessly swarmed into battle proclaiming Christ)." (Rev. 9:1-9). (For
full details see, No. 58, "The Fifth Trumpet.")

These super warriors for Christ are responsible for gathering the Kingdom of God. Note that their origin
is somewhat obscure, they come out of the smoke which comes out of the pit. If they come out of the pit
itself, they would be resurrected. Will that be the case? For the answer, let's look at who else in biblical
history came out of a pit.

Joseph, son of Jacob, father of two of the tribes of Israel, was cast into a pit and then delivered from it.
(See Genesis 37.) God's prophet, Jeremiah, was cast into a pit and delivered from it. (See Jeremiah 38:4-
13). The children of Korah were cast into a pit (with their father who led a rebellion against Moses), but
they came out of the pit. (See Numbers 16; 26:9-11). The sons of Korah became temple musicians. (See
the titles of Psalms 42,44-49, etc.) Others were cast into the pit and never came out. (See Jeremiah 41:1-
9).

The pattern is that only servants of God, and future servants of God can survive the bottomless pit. The
pit contains many uncircumcised wicked. (See Ezekiel 32:17-32). Some of their "graves are set in the
sides of the pit" (Ez. 32:23), an indication that God will resurrect them in the resurrection of the damned,
but most of the uncircumcised men of armies the opposed Israel disappear into the pit forever. The
promise of the resurrection of the dry bones was made to Israel only. Christ extended it to those who
believed in Him.

Based on the description of the locusts and the pattern of those who are raised out of the pit, I believe
that the first resurrection has already begun, with servants of God, past (like Jeremiah) and future (like
the children of Korah), being delivered (reborn into devout Christian homes) from the bottomless pit as
locusts, Christian soldiers, reapers, angels of the harvest. That they are seen coming from the smoke of
the pit rather than the pit itself is an indication that these Christian soldiers are a mix of first time
servants of God and resurrected servants of God sent by Christ to do the work of the harvest.

Amo Paul Bishop Roden