Mennonite Articles of Faith (1766) - Article 33
XXXIII. Of the Resurrection of the Dead.
That the great mystery (1 Corinthians 15:51) of the resurrection was revealed and known to the saints in the old dispensation (Daniel 12:2), though less clearly than to us (Hebrews 11:13-16), we know from the words of Christ when He said, to the confusion of the Sadducees: "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God." "God is not the God of the dead but of the living." Matthew 22:29, 32; Mark 12:24, 26, 27. The same is also evident from the many tokens and testimonies that they lived and died in this faith. This fundamental doctrine (Hebrews 6:1, 2) has, however, been set forth in a much clearer light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:9, 10), by which we now know definitely that before the final judgment there is to be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15) so that all men that ever lived and died, whether buried on land or in the sea (John 5:28, 29; 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22; Revelation 20:12, 13) shall awake and be made manifest. John 6:39; Ezekiel 37:1-14.
As to the possibility of such an occurrence, surpassing all human thought, our faith rests not only on the above mentioned and many other clear testimonies, but on the omnipotence (Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37; Zechariah 8:6), justice and faithfulness of Him who has promised and will perform it (Hebrews 10:23; Numbers 23:19), namely God the Father (Romans 4:17; Deuteronomy 32:39) through His Son Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:14; John 6:40; Philippians 3:21) in the all availing power and working of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11), seeing that He to whom nothing is impossible, who calls into being that which is not (Romans 4:17) should much less find it impossible to call them to whom the seed yet remaineth. 1 Corinthians 15:35-44; John 12:14. This faith rests further on the cases of those who in times past were raised from the dead (John 11:23, 44), and especially on the resurrection of our Lord Himself (1 Corinthians 15:12-18), for in that He was thus declared the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4), having power to take His life again (John 10:18) we can with confidence rely on His Word (John 6:54; 14:19) knowing that He is our Redeemer (Job 19:25, 26) and that He as the first fruit (1 Corinthians 15:20-23; Romans 11:16; Acts 26:23) and the Head of the church (Colossians 1:18) not only can but without fail will fulfill all His promises. Revelation 1:18.
Concerning the way and manner, how all this shall take place, we see from the Word of the Lord, that Christ Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God (1 Thessalonians 4:16) accompanied by the angels of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:7; Matthew 25:31); that then all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of judgment (John 5:29); that this shall take place with the same bodies in which they have thus lived (Isaiah 26:19; Romans 8:11) yet so changed and made incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:53, 54) that they can either live forever in bliss or continue in eternal woe; that these changes shall take place instantly as in the twinkling of an eye, and yet each in this own order (1 Corinthians 15:23), for they that have died in Christ shall rise first and they that are yet alive and remain shall be changed likewise. 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
Finally, as regards the time of this coming of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 3:13; James 5:7, 8; 2 Peter 3:12) it shall be in the last day (John 6:39, 44, 54) immediately before the last judgment, when the Lord shall come to hold judgment, the day and hour of which it is not for us to know. Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32; Acts 1:7. For though there are various prophecies and signs of the times given (Matthew 24:1-38), which we are to observe with deep reverence and which seem to indicate that the time of the end is near at hand (Daniel 12:4-9; 1 Timothy 4: 1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Peter 3:3-18), yet it must be preceded by the transpiring of great things -- there is, nevertheless, nothing more certain than that the Lord will come in an hour when men will not be looking for Him (Matthew 24:44) and in a time when thoughtlessness and worldly-mindedness shall predominate in the world (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 18:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3; 2 Timothy 3:1-5), wherefore the Lord Jesus so often admonishes always to watch, as has been more fully set forth in the foregoing article.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
To cite this page:
MLA style: "Mennonite Articles of Faith (1766) - Article 33." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1766. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M4637ME.html/m4637me_33.
APA style: (1766). Mennonite Articles of Faith (1766) - Article 33. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M4637ME.html/m4637me_33.