Full text of renowned Bible teacher Derek Prince’s Laying The Foundation Series (Part 9) titled “Resurrection Of The Body” which was recorded in New Zealand, December 1994.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Derek Prince – Bible Teacher
Our proclamation this morning will be taken from 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24. As usual, we’ll make it personal. Where Paul says you, we say we.
Now this is particularly appropriate, because we’re going to be dealing with the events connected with the coming of the Lord, and these Scriptures refer particularly to our being ready for His coming.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24: ‘Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify us completely, and may our whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls us is faithful who also will do it.’
Now I think it would be good if you were to say that, all of you make it your own special prayer and proclamation after us.
Now we’ve come to the last two of the great foundation doctrines: the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. In this present session I will be dealing with the resurrection of the dead, and then in the following session I’ll be dealing with eternal judgment.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH?
We need to understand the meaning of the word resurrection. The Greek word that’s translated means ‘to stand up out of.’ So resurrection is standing up out of death and out of the grave.
In the Scripture we just quoted we saw that man consists of three elements: spirit, soul and body. It’s important to understand that it’s the body that dies, and it’s the body that will be resurrected. The spirit and the soul never need to be resurrected, because they’ve never passed into death. So we are talking about the resurrection of the body. This is very important.
Now, I want to deal a little bit this morning with what the Bible shows about what happens to people after they die. I’ve discovered that this is a matter of universal interest. It doesn’t really matter what nationality or what culture you belong to, everybody is interested to know what happens after death.
And the Bible gives a pretty clear picture and I’m going to try to outline this picture and then show how it will affect the resurrection.
In Luke 16:22-26: Jesus gives us His picture of what happens. And I want to point out that this is never called a parable. Because the word ‘parable’ is not used in connection with this. We’ll start with Luke 16:19-31: ‘There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously — (or lived luxuriously) — every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus full of sores who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.‘
So it was that the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torment in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.’
But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore father Abraham, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
And Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.’
And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead they will repent.’
But he said to him: ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.’
And how true that proved in experience. Even when Jesus rose from the dead, those who did not believe Moses and the prophets did not recognize what had happened. That’s a very solemn thought.
Sometimes we expect some tremendous supernatural visitation and say if that happens we’ll be convinced. But God says: ‘You have My Word, that’s all you need. If you believe it and obey it, it will take you through.’
Now I want to point out certain features that are indicated by this story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
There are five features. First of all, there was PERSISTENCE OF PERSONALITY AFTER DEATH. The rich man was still the rich man and Lazarus was still Lazarus. Neither of them lost their identities. Now some people teach us that after death, everything just fades away and there’s nothing left. That’s not scriptural. We continue in the same personality after death as we lived in in life.
Secondly, there was RECOGNITION OF PERSONS. The rich man recognized Lazarus and he recognized Abraham. And Lazarus recognized the rich man.
Third, there was RECOLLECTION OF LIFE ON EARTH. Both the rich man and Lazarus could recall the circumstances of their lives before they died.
Fourth, there was a CONSCIOUSNESS OF THEIR PRESENT CONDITION. The rich man was in torment, his tongue burning with fire. Lazarus was in comfort and peace in the bosom of Abraham.
And fifthly, there was a COMPLETE SEPARATION BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE UNRIGHTEOUS. Each of them had an appointed place and neither could cross from one to the other.
Let me say those five things again, because they’re very, very important, and they contradict a lot of theories that are being put around today.
Number 1: There was persistence of personality – no loss of identity.
Number 2: There was recognition of persons.
Number 3: There was recollection of life on earth.