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Saturday, July 4, 2009

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The Plainer Truth about . . .
Who else came back to life after Jesus was resurrected?

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In Leviticus 23:6-8 God gave commands regarding the feast of unleavened bread. In verses 10-11 the Lord (YHVH) told Moses for Israel:

" . . . ye shall bring a sheaf (margin: handful or omer) of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest, and he shall wave the omer before the Lord (YHVH), to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath shall ye wave it." (Leviticus 23:10, 11, KJV throughout).

Jesus the Spiritual Wavesheaf

Just as the wavesheaf was firstfruits, Jesus was the "first of the firstfruits" (1Corinthians 15:20, 23). Through the type of the wavesheaf we see that the resurrected Jesus appeared to the Father on the morrow after the Sabbath (John 20:1, 17, 19) during the days of unleavened bread, ascending to heaven and becoming the true spiritual waving of the first resurrected from the dead.

". . . I ascend unto My Father and your Father; and to my God and to your God " (John 20:17).

He was shown (waved) before God. Jesus was the wavesheaf for the FIRST resurrection, the resurrection to eternal life.

The Planted Seed Dies

Near his last Passover, Jesus said

". . . the hour is come that the son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth ALONE; but if it die, it bringeth forth MUCH FRUIT" (John 12:24).

Of course, Christ was speaking of his death and resurrection. Jesus was a "planted grain."

In his discussion of the resurrection, Paul also uses the grain analogy:

"thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die: and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be . . ." (1Corinthians 15:37).

When we sow a grain of wheat, that grain disappears, dies; it becomes a root and stem. Its genetic code is transmitted so that the root goes downward to seek more constituent parts for new seeds, and the stem grows upward to make many seeds. (Note Isaiah 37:31.) An average stem may produce a head (fruit) with thirty seeds. But the seeds are the same grain, wheat if wheat is sown, rye if rye is sown, etc. ". . . to every seed his own body" (verse 38). The bodies that are built look just like the sown seed! They are made of different parts, but the genetics made each of them look like a wheat seed, not like maize or grass seed!

Some people confuse as fruits the plant stem. The fruit is the multiple seed produced that looks like the original seed, not the stem or leaves. They are just the means, becoming the chaff and straw. Notice how amazed Paul was that people did not understand this.

". . . Some will say, How are the dead raised up? with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die: and thou sowest not that which shall be, but bare grain, it may be wheat or some other grain . . . to every seed his own body" (1Corinthians 15:35-38).

You only get wheat from wheat seed, barley from barley. These people were skeptics. They did not believe in a resurrection! (see verse 12). They were attempting to make fun of the resurrection by saying as it were, "if you know so much, what bodies will they have?" Paul was telling them they were going to have a body that looked just like the human body they now had, except it would be composed of different "stuff", and most importantly, quickened by spirit instead blood (verse 44, 50). Paul was so amazed, because any farmer or gardener knew you get back the same type of seed you plant. Now notice carefully Jesus statement:

" . . . except a corn of wheat . . . die, it abideth ALONE; but if it die, it bringeth forth MUCH FRUIT." (John 12:24).

The planted grain dies, but it produces multiple new grains. Jesus was planted in the earth a flesh and blood body.

Jesus SPROUTS! Was He Resurrected Alone?

In writing this article, I took a break and walked down the country road from my house to the neighbor’s wheat field. It is July, and North Carolina wheat is already in harvest. I found a head of wheat, rubbed it back and forth in my hands to break the grains out, blew away the chaff and counted 29 grains. Of course, one planted grain often sprouts into two or three stems or branches, each bearing thirty or so grains, as it is written,

". . . some (seed) bearing thirty (one stem), some sixty (two stems), some a hundredfold (three or more stems)" (Matthew 13:8).

Of course, any farmer is very interested in what kind of crop he is going to have. My folks have been in wheat and beans in recent years. They go to the field after the wheat is headed out, pull up a root, and see how many stems it has produced and how many grains per head. That is their profit! The chaff and the straw are not important.

We may be confused by another analogy: Jesus is referred to in several ways as a root or stem (Isaiah 11:10; Romans 11:16, 15:12; Revelation 5:5, 22:16). But in Revelation 22:16 Jesus also shows that he is ONE of the grains that comes back, "the root and offspring of David."

In Revelation 1:5 it says ". . . Jesus Christ . . . the first begotten of the dead." The Greek word prototokos (Strong's Concordance #G4416) , translated as "first begotten", should more accurately be translated as "firstborn" and this refers to the resurrection to glory -- spirit, and not to flesh and blood. The Interlinear Bible translates this Greek word as firstborn as well . So Jesus is the seed sown, but also one of the seeds that are produced. Notice again his statement:

" . . . except a corn of wheat . . . die, it abided ALONE; but if it die, it bringeth forth MUCH FRUIT" (John 12:24).

The Other Grains in the Wavesheaf

Jesus was the wavesheaf for the firstfruits, the first resurrection, the better resurrection of Hebrews 11:35. But what about the resurrection of the last great day, a physical resurrection? Was Jesus the wave offering for the physical resurrection, or were there others? Notice again the instruction in Leviticus 23:10, 11:

". . . ye shall bring a sheaf (margin: handful or omer) of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest, and he shall wave the omer before YHVH, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath shall ye wave it." (Leviticus 23:10, 11).

The wavesheaf was not one grain, abiding alone, but a handful. And this handful was but a type of the harvest to come. Notice what happened when Jesus died.

"Jesus . . . yielded up the (spirit), and behold, the veil of the temple was rent . . . and the earth did quake . . . and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose and came out of the graves after the resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Matthew 27:51-53).

Notice that after Jesus was resurrected three days after he died that MANY saints were resurrected back to physical life. Their bodies were probably thrust up out of the ground by the quake, but still dead. After three days was the wave sheaf. What did these resurrected saints do? They went into the holy city and appeared to many. They were "waved" around Jerusalem, the holy city, which is symbolic of God’s throne on the earth, even as Jesus ascended to heaven to appear before God’s heavenly Jerusalem!

Notice God says about Jerusalem in 1Kings 9:3:

". . . mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually."

So, they were waved around earthly Jerusalem "before God’s eyes" in that sense.

Certainly, this would have caused a great stir in Jerusalem, probably many of the priests saw them, even as the wave offering was to be brought to the priests. Probably most of the priests were in the Jerusalem area. (One source states that with David’s organization of the priests to serve in 24 [2 week] courses during the year (Luke 1:5, 1Chronicles 23:27 - 24:19, note verse 10), there was combined duty during the festival weeks when all the priests were on duty.)

Certainly Caiaphas and Annas were there. These resurrected saints were a wavesheaf for the resurrection to physical life to come in the great white throne judgment. Jesus said:

". . . all that are in the graves . . .shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation (judgment). " (John 5:29)

Thus Jesus showed there were two kinds of resurrections, one kind to physical fleshly life (judgment) and the better to eternal, spiritual life.

Through the annual Biblical Holy Days we learn at the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ all the Saints will be resurrected to spiritual life to rule with Jesus. The last annual Sabbath, the Last Great Day, pictures the time when the rest of humanity will be resurrected to flesh (judgment period).

Jesus was the wave sheaf for the spiritual resurrection to life. The saints resurrected with Jesus were the other grains of the "handful" waved. They were the wave sheaf for the resurrection to judgment. They were resurrected to judgment (flesh) to be with the church. (Remember the scripture that says: "judgment is now on the house of God"? - 1Peter 4:17). Like the grain of wheat in his parable, Jesus died and did not "abide alone" any more! These saints would have to be planted again, however - next time to be spiritual firstfruits at Christ’s coming!

As it is written,

"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:21)

How thorough is the Great God, our Father and our Brother, and soon a Family of many! How plain are his truths when understood through the annual Holy Days!

Written by: Bill Hillebrenner
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God in America

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