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# 01196 :  Mathew Chapter 27:52-53
52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
53 They came out of the tombs, after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

Question: What happened to these people lateron? Were these holy people taken into heaven alive?
Or did they live in the earth?

Bible Scholars all are welcome for a discussion about this topic.

God bless.

Post by : samv  View Profile    since : 25 Mar 2007


Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 26 Mar 2007 7:30:38 AM Close
Dear Sam V

What do you think? Please provide scritural references.

Shalom Malekim!!!

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Reply by : samv   View Profile   Since : 22 Jan 2008 8:07:45 PM Close
I thought you will have something to say.
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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 23 Jan 2008 12:49:31 PM Close
Dear "samv"

Scripture tells us that these Old Testament saints arose from their graves after Christ's resurrection. It does not tell us what happened to them after that. When Christ calls us home at the rapture we may well have the opportunity of asking them personally what their experience was. Until then all we can do is accept God's word because it is true.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : asdpoilkj   View Profile   Since : 23 Jan 2008 7:51:07 PM Close
Few days ago I was reading few posts made by Moses LemuelRaj, who believed that Old Testament saints have not risen yet, and they will also not rise from their graves at what is commonly known as 'Rapture', but they will rise up only when the second advent of Jesus takes place on the mount of Olives. He quoted Job -- "And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:26).
I do not remember which topic was that. It was also in contradiction to what another writer, who wrote on the same topic, on this forum believes.

I do not think that is right that all the Old Testament saints have already resurrected. But if we notice one phrase, "many bodies of the saints which slept arose" it is beyond doubt that not all the dead were resurrected. The resurrection at that time was only of "many" [NOT ALL] and they "which slept arose". The death of saints is ususally called as "sleeping".

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)

The resurrection of these 'many' saints was before the resurrection of Jesus; NOT AFTER Christ's resurrection.

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. (Matthew 27:51-53)

The resurrection of these would be similar to that of Lazarus, who rose from the grave.

Resurrection of Jesus is described in Mathew 28th Chapter.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 24 Jan 2008 1:58:50 PM Close
Dear "asdpoilkj",

You stated that you believe that the resurrection of the Old Testament saints in question was before the resurrection of Jesus, then you quoted the scripture which disproves this.

Do you not believe this portion of God's word?

John

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Reply by : asdpoilkj   View Profile   Since : 24 Jan 2008 4:17:24 PM Close
Dear John Miller,

I was thinking in a different manner. What I was thinking was that in Matthew Chapter 27:52 it reads, "Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose," This was before the resurrection of Jesus. But, in verse 53 it reads, "Matthew 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.".

There seems to be some confusion here. They arose from the dead from their graves before the resurrection of Jesus. This we see if we closely read verse 51. "Matthew 27:51 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" Were they alive and remained in graves for three days until Jesus was buried and rose from the dead? I have nothing to say about it. What you wrote gives us an impression that all the Old Testament saints rose by now.

The inititor of this topic quoted these verses:

52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
53 They came out of the tombs, after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

I am not sure which translation he used. That gives us impression that after Jesus' resurrection they went in to the holy city and appeared to many people. That is to say they arose before Jesus' resurrection, but they went and appeared to many people after the resurrectin of Jesus. However, if my writing was causing confusion, I am sorry.

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Reply by : kumbanadan   View Profile   Since : 24 Jan 2008 9:28:55 PM Close
How i understand this is - These saints resurrected at Jesus' death, but they came out of the tombs after Jesus resurrection only because - Jesus is the first fruit of resurrection (1 Cor Ch 15)
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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 25 Jan 2008 4:15:42 PM Close
Dear brethren,

I do not find any confusion or contradiction in the scriptures. If we study the portions of God's word which deal with this this miracle, and surely we must describe it thus, it is clear that after Jesus rose from the grave a selective resurrection of certain Old Testament saints took place. It is not our place to question God's sovereign pleasure in this occurrence. Scripture does not reveal to us what happened subsequently to these saints and it is not our place to speculate.

What we should bear in mind at all times when studying the Holy Word, is that they it is not a source of information for the human intellect. It is the revelation of God's gracious dealings with his creature man, and as such can only be enjoyed and profited by divinely given faith in the reader.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 25 Jan 2008 4:23:03 PM Close
Dear "kumbamadam",

I agree with your understanding of the scripture in question. The link with 1 Cor. 15 is helpful.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 25 Jan 2008 4:29:49 PM Close
Dear "kumbanadam",

Having read your post again, I must enquire if you meant that the saints in question arose before our Lord Jesus? I do not think that this is right.

If Christ is the "first fruits" it must follow that He arose first. Perhaps you could clarify your meaning.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : asdpoilkj   View Profile   Since : 26 Jan 2008 10:34:59 AM Close
John Miller made a very firm statement that "I do not find any confusion or contradiction in the scriptures. If we study the portions of God's word which deal with this this miracle, and surely we must describe it thus, it is clear that after Jesus rose from the grave a selective resurrection of certain Old Testament saints took place." 25 Jan 2008 16:15:42 Earlier he made a post as follows:

"Dear "samv"
Scripture tells us that these Old Testament saints arose from their graves after Christ's resurrection. It does not tell us what happened to them after that. When Christ calls us home at the rapture we may well have the opportunity of asking them personally what their experience was. Until then all we can do is accept God's word because it is true.

Your brother in Christ,
John" 23 Jan 2008 12:49:31

=======
His post on 25 Jan 2008 16:15:42 differs from what he first posted. First he posted as if he was very sure that all the Old Testament saints resurrected and that they resurrected after the resurrection of Jesus. His subsequent post reads that "a selective resurrection of certain Old Testament saints took place." He is not sure what he is writing.

He posed a question to "Kumbanadan" as follows:

"Having read your post again, I must enquire if you meant that the saints in question arose before our Lord Jesus? I do not think that this is right.

If Christ is the "first fruits" it must follow that He arose first. Perhaps you could clarify your meaning."

Let us read:
Matthew 27:50-53 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.

Does not Verse 52 say that "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose" ?

Contd...2

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Reply by : asdpoilkj   View Profile   Since : 26 Jan 2008 10:35:31 AM Close
Let us read:

Leviticus 23:10-12 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD."

This typifies the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Wave-sheaf implies plurality. If we read John 12:24 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit". This verse shows that Jesus died and brought forth much fruit and Christ was the "firstfruits".

In Matthew Chapter 27:52 it is clear that many saints, who died arose from their dead when the graves were open at the time of the death of Jesus, but they came out only after the resurrection of Jesus. Let me repeat what I wrote in caps to emphasize:

IT IS CLEAR THAT MANY SAINTS, WHO DIED AROSE FROM THEIR DEAD WHEN THE GRAVES WERE OPEN AT THE TIME OF THE DEATH OF JESUS, BUT THEY CAME OUT ONLY AFTER THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS.

The answer to his question "I must enquire if you meant that the saints in question arose before our Lord Jesus? I do not think that this is right." is yes. They arose before our Lord Jesus.

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 27 Jan 2008 11:32:35 AM Close
Dear "asdpoilkj",

Permit me if I may to address you directly instead of referring to you in the third person. I never at any time inferred or suggested that all the Old Testament saints arose after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. I cannot understand why you should accuse me of saying this. I stated quite clearly that a "selective resurrection" of Old Testament saints took place and by this I meant that God in His sovereignty chose certain representatives of previous dispensations (we are not told who), to be brought forth from their tombs in a glorious celebration of the power of death being broken by its mighty Conqueror.

You remarked scathingly, "He is not sure what He is writing." I can assure you, "asdpoilkj", that I am very sure of what I am writing since it is based on the simple account of the facts as recorded in God's word. If we take care to read the scriptures carefully and ponder for a moment or two over their account of what happened we can see that there are two events brought to our notice in these verses. Firstly there was a great earthquake when the Lord surrendered His spirit in death. The veil of the temple was rent, the earth quaked, the rocks split and tombs were opened. Subsequently the divinely chosen Old Testament saints arose after the Lord's resurrection and went into the holy city, appearing unto many.

There are many instances in scripture of separate events being put together because of a divine link between them. For instance in the Old Testament, prophecies of the Lord's coming as the Messiah, firstly as a babe and secondly as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, often seem to be merged into one. We know that this interpretation is not right because while the first event has taken place, the second has yet to be fulfilled.

The resurrection of these saints was different to all previous resurrections in scriptures. It comes under the meaning of Col. 1:18, as does the rapture, which is yet in the future.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

John

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Reply by : asdpoilkj   View Profile   Since : 27 Jan 2008 2:26:39 PM Close
Dear John Miller,

In the very first post in reply to your post I tried to clarify that not all the Old Testament saints resurrected but only 'many' resurrected, but at that time you did not touch that point, but in your subsequest post you wrote a 'selective' old testament saints resurrected. I was not trying to accuse you but I was pointing out the error made by you either deliberately or inadvertently. Now, in the last post also you wrote that "Subsequently the divinely chosen Old Testament saints arose after the Lord's resurrection and went into the holy city, appearing unto many". This is in contradiction to what the verse 52 reads in Matthew Chapter 27. "many bodies of the saints which slept arose". This was before the resurrection of Jesus. It may be that their life was quickened and came to senses, but could not come out of the graves. But they came out of the graves only after the resurrection of Jesus, because He was the 'firstfruits'. If we believe 'resurrection' without seeing it, but based on Scriptures, we need to believe this fact also. Also another thing is that, they appeared to many after their resurrection. In the cases of Lazarus coming back to life, Jairus' daughter coming back to life, we can not call them as 'resurrection'. Their life was recalled by Jesus. They were miracles. They can not be given the status of 'resurrection'.

Greeings in His name.

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Reply by : sambudhanoor   View Profile   Since : 28 Jan 2008 1:04:07 AM Close
Dear asdpoilkj

Mat 27:52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
Mat 27:53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

What you are saying is not the correct interpretation but what John Miller said is the correction explanation.

(1) and the graves were opened

(2) and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised and coming out of graves after His resurrection.

(3) they went in the holy city and appeared to many.

Resurrect = bring somebody back to life after apparent death

If Jesus Christ is the First Fruit of resurrection definitely the saints resurrection was after that but the graves were opened by the earth quake.

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Reply by : asdpoilkj   View Profile   Since : 28 Jan 2008 3:59:05 AM Close
Dear Sambudhanoor,

Please read the text as it is without adding, "if" and "else" conditions.

This is Darby translation:

Matthew 27:51 And lo, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom, and the earth was shaken, and the rocks were rent,

Matthew 27:52 and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints fallen asleep arose,

Matthew 27:53 and going out of the tombs after his arising, entered into the holy city and appeared unto many.

This is NKJV translation:

Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks were split;

Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints that slept arose,

Matthew 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

This is KJV translation:

Matthew 27:51 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;

Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

Matthew 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

There is no point in disscussing further. I believe what I believe and my rewards are not going to be lessened if I stick on to what I believe. I am not forcing upon any body to believe what I believe. I have written what I believe. Now, another man will come for seasoning and accusing.

Let me stop here on this topic.



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Reply by : kumbanadan   View Profile   Since : 28 Jan 2008 4:56:59 AM Close
Scripture very clearly says that the saints resurrected when Jesusí died. Renting the veil of the temple & earthquake all happened simultaneously with this. But God didnt allow the resurrected saints to come out of the grave till Jesusí resurrection. Fruit is a fruit when it is out of the earth. As quoted from Lev 23:10-12, the sheaf of first fruit is sanctified as first fruit when it is waved before the Lord. There were other harvest barley grains in the field, but only one sheaf representative of the whole harvest is waved before the Lord as first fruit. Typically Christ is the first fruit as far as the Church is Concerned. As John 20:17 indicates, He presented himself before Father after his resurrection in fulfillment of the Old Testament Feast of First Fruits.
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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 28 Jan 2008 12:28:44 PM Close
Dear brothers (sisters ?) asdpoilkj, kumbanadam and brethren,

First let me make clear, if I may, that I accuse no one. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and I do not align myself with him. Others may choose to accuse me but I can safely leave that to the One whose resurrection is my justification.

The quotations from Leviticus are interesting, but they are types. The New Testament references to Christ as "Firstborn from the dead" in Col. 1:18 and "First begotten of the dead" in Rev. 1:5 are not typical but actual and literal. We must therefore, according to God's own word and acclamation, accord our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ the distinction and honour of being the First in this divine role of honour.

He rose first. All others followed or will follow. Those who experienced resurrection previously were all, without exception, raised by the selective command of Christ Himself or other prophets or servants of God who had been entrusted with the commission and power to accomplish such miracles. This applies also to the miracles wrought by Apostolic authority and recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.

It is idle to speculate what happened to the Old Testament saints who rose after Christ's resurrection, simply because this is not revealed in God's word and we therefore cannot be sure. Of one thing I am sure and it is the truth and reliability of the Word of God. It tells us that Christ is firstborn from the dead and I will hold to that. Because He arose, all who died in faith will also arise, or, in the case of those mentioned in Matthew 27 have already arisen, but not before the great Forerunner. He is First and I would not give that place to anyone else.

In the consideration of scripture, its meaning and interpretation, we must differentiate between the shadows or types in the teaching of the Old Testamant and the actuality and literality of the New Testament.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

John

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Reply by : samv   View Profile   Since : 28 Jan 2008 6:16:35 PM Close
Can I conclude that Bible has no reference about the people who were raised to life before/after Jesus's Christ's resurrection?

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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 29 Jan 2008 7:39:29 AM Close
Dear brethren,

If I may I would like to add one more thought for our consideration in this matter. Basic to all thoughts regarding the person and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ must be a holy and unqualified reverence. We must always bear in mind His eternal deity and that intrinsic glory which He has That none can question or fully comprehend. Then there is the glory that He has been given of which He speaks in John 17 in His great intercessory prayer. Finally there is the glory that He has won by His work on the cross, laying down His life in order to take it again.

What we have been discussing touches on the latter. Now if I may I would direct your attention to the words of Isaiah (ch.42 v.8).

"I am the Lord; that is my name and my glory will I not give to another..."

Christ's glory as firstborn from the dead must not be usurped by any other person or group of persons.

Your brother in Christ,

John

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Reply by : tinka   View Profile   Since : 31 Jan 2008 3:29:46 AM Close
Dear brethren,
pardon me if I'm wrong, but I had thought that these saints (O.T.) were those who had been brought to life, for a limited time, as incase of Lazarus & Jairus' daughter, also I had inferred that they may have been the ones who had dies in the recent past. Well I had also believed that at the end of end of Great tribulations, whenthe Lord already having fought for Isreal, and having defeated her enemies, would establish the Millenial Kingdom, at that time, the O.T saints would resurrect. They shall all be in the kingdom of God, bodily.
Well, I don't think many of you would agree, or not with this, but what do you people think?
sincerely in Christ,
Tinka
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Reply by : johnmiller   View Profile   Since : 31 Jan 2008 4:15:04 AM Close
Dear Tinka,

We can only go on what scripture reveals regarding these particular Old Testament saints. We are not told who they are, how long they had been in their graves, or what happened to them subsequently. Some believe that they were raptured after the Lord ascended, some believe that they died again as Lazarus would have done.

I am quite content to leave them where scripture does. At the same time it is wonderful to think that when we are finally all together in glory, the explanation and full revelation of all these marvellous events will be made known to us. I believe that it is not profitable to speculate or advance theories according to our own thoughts if the word of God is silent about such matters.

As regards the final resurrection of all Old Testament saints, my own belief is that we will all rise together with them at the rapture, and that Paul had them in mind when he spoke of "those who had fallen asleep". I know that some believe, as you do, that their resurrection will be later but I cannot find a scriptural basis for this.

It is good to hear from you again. May God bless you in all your exercises.

Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

John

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