VII.C.1 The Fulfillment of Redemption




By Daniel Irving

a.  Belief unto a Resurrection

b.  Faithfulness unto a Resurrection

c.  Death by Law Before Resurrection in Grace

d.  Resurrection as the Product of Grace

Sheep Storm

Article 1


a.  Belief unto a Resurrection

The prophecy of Isaiah declares:

Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.  Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.                         Is. 26:19

The Hebrew word translated “dead”[1] is the universal word translated throughout the KJV as “dead,” “die,” or “died.”[2]  The Hebrew word translated; “live”[3] means to “live” or to “preserve alive.”[4]  We should keep in mind the context of the previous verse (v.18) which laments that God’s people could not bring forth inhabitants for the new world, ie., children for God.  Therefore, we must ask the question of to whom is the prophecy addressed when it says “your dead?”  Certainly, this is a reference to Christ, and the “dead” are “His dead”, ie. those “dead in Christ”, just as Paul writes:IMG_0446

  For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God:   and the dead in Christ shall rise first:                                                     I Thess. 4:16 

Why might God’s people have been unsuccessful in producing children for God?  While the living (supposed) children of God could not produce anything for God, there was something that did produce children for God.  It was “your dead”.  Just as Jesus walked in bodily-form as a man, His physical body provided the “seed,” which once sown into the earth, produced the harvest for God.   “Life” was produced from “Death.”  Thus Paul writes:

For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge,  that if one died for all, then were all dead:                     II Cor. 5:14

The NASV states it differently, ie. “one died for all, therefore all died”.  The NASV would appear the better rendering, as the final use of the word “dead” is not the same word that is normally translated “dead” (nekros.)[5]  Graveyard 01Rather, this word is “ap-oth-nace’-ko”, [6] which although sometimes translated “dead”, is more often translated as the verb “to die.”  This is the primary word translated “die” or “died” in the KJV, while “nekros” is the primary word for “dead”.  For example, we find the word; “ap-oth-nace’-ko”, used in the story of the seven brothers, who each “died” in succession and left a widow:

Matt 22:27  And last of all the woman died also.

This word is used to describe the condition of the little girl that Jesus raised from the dead, at a time prior-to her death!

Luke 8:42 For he had one only daughter, about 12 years of age, & she lay a dying.

Therefore the NASV has clearly utilized the more likely meaning of the word when it reads; “one died for all, therefore all died”.

However, not all “believed”, and this is a critical factor.  For the statement; “one died for all, therefore all died” is itself a matter of faith.   Therefore as to Martha, whose brother Lazarus’ body was in the tomb:

Jesus said unto her, “Said I not unto you,  that, if you would believe you should see the glory of God?        John 11:40

And as to the synagogue ruler, that had just been given the word that his daughter had died:

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said unto the ruler of the synagogue, “Be not afraid, only believe.”                   Mark 5:36

We must not overlook that although the statement; “one died for all, therefore all died” is a statement of truth, it is also a matter of faith.  What God has spoken, we are to believe.  For we believe unto conformity with God’s redemptive processes.  We believe unto conformity, and God performs unto transformity.  Therefore while God’s word is “one died for all, therefore all died” shall ultimately be vindicated in the general resurrection, those that belong to Christ shall vindicate God’s word in the special resurrection from the dead, ie. the resurrection that is immune against the terrors of the second death.  Thus faith is crucial to overcoming the world and surviving with our faith in tact when we depart this present evil age.  We must even now “trust in God, which raises the dead.”[7]

b.  Faithfulness unto a Resurrection

Resurrection is the ultimate objective of faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul makes this abundantly clear through several statements, such as: 

  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.                                                                                    I Cor. 15:19

Paul’s context is the resurrection of the body.  He makes it clear that our hope is fulfilled in this yet future event.  This was even Paul’s objective in suffering as he relates when he says:

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.                                                                                      Phil. 3:11

That Paul associates resurrection with suffering for the sake of Christ, makes it clear that resurrection constitutes the pinnacle of redemption.  Thus there must be a foundation laid in justification (a matter of faith), a structure erected in sanctification (also a matter of faith), and its finishing accomplished in our faithfulness to the cross (also a matter of faith.)  Thus those standing on Mt.Zion have followed the Lamb into resurrection:

those who are with Him are the called & chosen & faithful.                                                                                      Rev. 17:14

This expresses the three “days of the Lord” as the three phases of the witness of God.[8]  These are “called” in righteousness,[9] “chosen” in sanctification,[10] and declared “faithful” by laying down our lives in conformity to the will of God.[11]Lamps & Virgins 04

& whom He predestined, these He also called& whom He called, these He also justified;  & whom He justified, these He glorified.                                                                                      Rom. 8:29-30

Therefore the “called” musts be “justified”.  How are they justified?  By the blood of the Lamb.  And those that are “justified,” shall He “glorify.”  How shall he glorify them?  By faithfulness to the Cross.  Their faithfulness to the Cross of Christ is reflected in their faithfulness to their own crosses, and each cross is their “glory” because it is their glorification of God through Jesus Christ.

These principles tie around to the basic nature of God, which is one of faithfulness:

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;        Deut 7:9

And because God is faithful, so are His children faithful.  Christ is “faithful” by His nature as the Son of God, and we are made faithful by sanctification of the Spirit working through our obedience.  Thus the common quality of the saints is that they have proven God faithful.  Those having a part in the First Resurrection have proven God faithful in so doing.

c.  Death by Law Before Resurrection by Grace

Isaiah prophesies, “together with my dead body shall they arise.”  The Hebrew word translated “dead body”[12] means literally just that, and is often translated “carcass.”  Some examples of the this Hebrew word are:

Lev 5:2       Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean        beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping        things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, & guilty.

Lev 11:35  And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falls shall be unclean;

Deu 21:23  His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise                     bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;)

As it appears Isaiah’s prophecy is referring to the resurrection, this appears to be a rare instance when prophecy is speaking literally rather than metaphorically!

The prophecy continues, “Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust.”

The Hebrew word translated “dust”[13] is descriptive of the natural body of man, which is made from the dust.  This word is also provided in reference to repentance, ie. “hide in the dust”.  Adam & Eve Sin This is because “dust” is man’s true condition before God, in need of the Spirit of Christ.  Since man is made from the “dust” (as part of this earth), he is destined to return to the dust pursuant the curse:

…till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; For you are dust, & to dust you shall return.        Gen. 3:19

This is the divine judgment upon mankind.  God declared that man shall “return to the dust.”  Therefore this is the curse of the Law upon our humanity.  In fact, Moses declared that this would be one of the curses assigned for failing under the covenant of Law:

The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dustfrom heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.             Deut. 28:24

The Hebrew word translated “dust” is the same word translated “dust” in this prophecy of Isaiah.  While mankind shall return to the “dust” from whence mankind came, something more remarkable is reserved for Israel.  God’s people are set apart as peculiar recipients of this curse so that it even rains down “dust” upon them from heaven until they are destroyed.

Why does Israel stand in such a broad faced position in respect to the curses of the Law?  Sinai 01Consider that Israel  (the body of Christ) is not situated in the same way as the nations.  Israel met God at Sinai where the Law was given to them as a special witness and in a manner unlike anything the nations had known.  They bore the Law in a way the nations did not.  Therefore for Israel to fail in this covenant brought down consequences for them while still in their body.  Their failure under Law meant death; which was even rained down upon them from the heavens like dust.  For Israel, death becomes almost a tangible thing they can feel in their soul.  Sin results in death to the transgressor, ie. death to the natural man.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.                     Rom. 6:23

The effect of the Law is to bring death, as Paul writes:

For I was alive without the law once: but  when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.              Rom. 7:9

That which we had trusted seemed to fool us, and work only death for us.

For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.                                                                                      Rom. 7:11

What Moses is describing when he foretells that; “the LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust” is the rightful payment of wages earned by the sinner.  Therefore if we should wonder why Israel (as standing metaphor for the Church) should face the consequences of the Law head-on when they are under the covenant of Grace, we consider that God has a purpose in effectuating our death that He might grant to us life from a different source; the source of His own being; the Life of the resurrected Lamb of God.  His Grace is revealed therein.

Consider also that Christ was no exception.  Small Muddy 02When He agreed to step into the Jordan River with John the Baptist, He stepped into His ministry of suffering for the redemption of humanity.  In doing so, He took upon Himself the curse of the Law.  Think of it.  God assumed the likeness of that formed of the dust of the earth that had been cursed; and having assumed the likeness of the cursed earth, he bore into Himself the consequences of that curse: 

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:   For it is written; “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”:                                                                                       Gal 3:13

Christ became flesh, and in dying, swallowed up the death that was due those sinning through the flesh.[14]  Thus we understand such prophecies as:

My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaves to my jaws;   and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.   For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me:   they pierce my hands and my feet.                                                                                      Ps. 22:15-16

The death due the sinner was administered to Christ on the cross:Crucifixion Feet

. . . that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.         Heb. 2:9

Son of God tasted death for humanity.  Therefore it is no wonder that Israel, in following her Redeemer in the pathway of the Cross, should not face the Law herself; a Law which brings death as its inevitable consequence; the difference is she faces an already defeated foe.  Death was consumed in the work of Christ.  Therefore Israel when Israel follows Christ to die His death, ie. the death of the righteous, all that is left on the other side is her glorification with Christ in a resurrection.  The Law came to them, and they died.  But their death was much to be envied.  Certainly Balaam caught revelation of their enviable death; for as he stood on a high place of Baal and beheld a portion of the people of Israel,[15] he said:

  Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel?    Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!                                                                                     Num 23:10

For as he looked out upon the extreme end of Israel, he prophesied that God:

. .  hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel:   the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.                                                                                      Num. 23:21

Among them was the “King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God”,[16] in whom they were identified-in-death; a death that occurred for them “from the foundation of the world”.  There was nothing before Christ’s death for sinners.  Therefore His death precedes the sins of Israel.

d.  Resurrection as the Product of Grace

Isaiah’s prophecy continues, “for thy dew is as the dew of herbs.”  In fact, the Hebrew word translated “herbs” (o-raw’) [17] has a more definite meaning of light.  For instance, we find it used when David declares:

Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.        Ps. 139:12

Therefore the Interlinear renders it, “the dew of lights is your dew.”  Snively Sunset 06The NASV renders Isaiah’s statement, “your dew is as the dew of the dawn.”  This makes sense considering dew occurs in the morning. For the Church, the “dust of death” (which is their condemnation under Law becomes the “dew of the dawn.”  That which should have been the end (ie. death) abruptly becomes the eternal morning.  While this metaphor may apply to our justification and to our sanctification, the particular context of Isaiah 26:19 is the glorification of Christ’s body in resurrection.  This reveals that the Grace of God continues as intrinsic to our very resurrection in Christ Jesus.  The raising and glorification of the body into an incorruptible and indestructible state of being is itself a product of the Cross of Christ.

This point is clear also from the teachings of Paul, ie. that even the fulfillment of redemption in the resurrection of the body, has its basis in Calvary’s annulment of Death.  His death worked justification for the Sinner, working Divine Life within the inner being of the man.  The Living One died.  Christ, our Passover lamb was crucified and thence glorified by the Father.  His resurrection is the fulfillment of the Feast of First Fruits, and is the substance and power of all God’s work to justify men and raise them into spiritual life.  We are even awakened into faith via the power of the Living One to awaken those dead in their trespasses:

  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.    Rom 5:10

A new spiritual principle called; “the law of the Spirit of Life” overcomes that former principle called; “the law of sin and death”.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus  has made me free from the law of sin & death.               Rom. 8:2

This is the principle that shall carry on to overcome the grave itself.  Therefore Isaiah continues, prophesying that “the earth shall cast out the dead.”  The Hebrew word translated “dead”[18] is normally translated this way in the KJV.  This is the Hebrew word used in such verses as:

  Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee?                                                                                     Ps 88:10

  The man that wanders out of the way of understanding  shall remain in the congregation of the dead.               Prov. 21:16

Therefore the word clearly means “the dead,” and the action performed upon them is that the earth “casts them away,” or otherwise “gives them up.”  If they have been purchased by the Living One, Death cannot have them.  In them redemption is fulfilled through the very Grace Christ provided in the first instant of their having believed in Him.

[1] H4191  mûth  mooth  A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill: –  X at all, X crying, (be) dead (body, man, one), (put to, worthy of) death, destroy (-er), (cause to, be like to, must) die, kill, necro [-mancer], X must needs, slay, X surely, X very suddenly, X in [no] wise.

[2] On rare occasion it is translated “kill”; Ex. 1:16, 16:3, 17:3, Lev. 20:4, Judges 13:23, et seq.

[3] H2421  châyâh  khaw-yaw’  A prim root (compare H2331, H2424); to live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively to revive: – keep (leave, make) alive, X certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, (X God) save (alive, life, lives), X surely, be whole.

[4] See commentary on Ezekiel 13:22  “. . and preserve his life.” for study of this word.

[5] G3498  nekros  nek-ros’  From an apparently primary word νέκυς nekus (a corpse); dead (literally or figuratively; also as noun): – dead.

[6] G599  apothnēskō   ap-oth-nace’-ko  From G575 and G2348; to die off (literally or figuratively): – be dead, death, die, lie a-dying, be slain (X with).

[7] II Corinthians 1:9

[8] See commentary on Isaiah 8:2  “took unto myself faithful witnesses”

[9] See commentary on Isaiah 42:6  I have called you in righteousness,

[10] See commentary on Isaiah 41:8  “whom I have chosen”

[11] See commentary on Isaiah 8:2  “took unto myself faithful witnesses”

[12] H5038  nebêlâh  neb-ay-law’  From H5034; a flabby thing, that is, a carcase or carrion (human or bestial, often collective); figuratively an idol: –  (dead) body, (dead) carcase, dead of itself, which died, (beast) that (which) dieth of itself.

[13] H6083    ‛âphâr  aw-fawr’  From H6080; dust (as powdered or gray); hence clay, earth, mud: – ashes, dust, earth, ground, morter, powder, rubbish.

[14] See commentary on Revelation 12:16  “. . & the earth opened its mouth & drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth”.

[15] Numbers 22:41

[16] I Timothy 1:17

[17] H219  ‘ôrâh   o-raw’  Feminine of H216; luminousness, that is, (figuratively) prosperity; also a plant (as being bright): – herb light.

[18] H7496  râphâ’  raw-faw’  From H7495 in the sense of H7503; properly lax, that is, (figuratively) a ghost (as dead; in plural only): – dead, deceased.


About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
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