Seventh-Day Adventists/special resurrection

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Question
Hi
my name is Esso I am from cameroon ,im very much interested in your forum thought im
not memeber but enjoying reading it.i have a question that disturb me.
Is there any other denomination who share the SDA understanding of a special
resurrection of some wicked prior to the second coming. If there are please can you
please help me with bibliographical references from those author if not where does
the idea comes from? is it EG white purely understanding?or some SDA pioneers idea?
thank you God bless you

Answer
Esso,

Thank you for your question. It has taken me several days to get to it because a family health crisis kept me from having time to research the matter.

In answering, let me say that the expositors I reviewed use Matthew 26:64 as a reference to the general resurrection of the wicked AT Jesus' second coming. They do not see any need to separate the raising of those who condemned Him and "pierced him" (Rev. 1:7) from a general resurrection of the wicked at the close of the millennium. Their theology of the resurrection does not take into account the testimony of Revelation 20, which contrasts the first resurrection of the "blessed and holy" with the "rest of the dead," which "lived not again until the thousand years were finished." Revelation 20 is the key to placing the resurrection of those who "pierced him" in a special resurrection to allow them to see Jesus coming in the clouds.

From the start, Adventists saw the resurrections of the just and the wicked as being separated by a thousand years. (Charles Fitch, "The Glory of God in the Earth" [1842] p. 11; William Miller, Miller's Works, vol. 2, p. 31; James White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Sept. 1850, p. 50].)

To resolve the difficulty between the separation of the two resurrections in Revelation 20, one could simply ignore what it says, or one could treat the thousand years as something other than a literal thousand years (though this would still require some temporal separation between two resurrections), or one could suggest that the resurrection of the "rest of the dead" after the thousand years is itself a "special" resurrection and not a general resurrection of those who are not "blessed and holy" and who will be subject to the "second death." Each of these have problems. Another way to resolve the issue is to place Jesus' crucifiers' seeing Jesus' return in judgment as taking place at the end of the one thousand years, as James White apparently did in 1850:


    Said Jesus to the Jews, "For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Matt. xxiii,39. Those wicked Jews who rejected and crucified God's only Son, have never yet acknowledged him blessed, neither can they, until they are raised at the second resurrection. Then, when all nations are assembled before him, those Jews who rejected him will be present, and overwhelmed with anguish, as they behold the marks of the crucifixion on his Kingly form, they will acknowledge him "blessed," - that he was the true Messiah. Then, and not until then, will EVERY EYE see him.
    "Behold he cometh with clouds, and EVERY EYE shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." Rev. i.7. This text covers at least one thousand years. - His coming with clouds will be when he comes with all the holy angels to raise the righteous dead, and to change the righteous living. Then the eyes of the righteous will see him, but the wicked certainly will not see him, until they are raised. Then they that pierced him will see him again. {Advent Review, September 1850, p. 50, pars. 7, 8}


Another way to resolve it, as does Uriah Smith in Daniel and the Revelation, is by seeing Revelation 1:7 as requiring a special resurrection:


    Thus we see that there is a time and place for the resurrection of Dan.12:2. We now add that a passage in the book of Revelation makes it necessary to suppose a resurrection of this kind to take place. Rev. 1:7 reads: "Behold, he cometh with clouds [this is unquestionably the second advent]; and every eye shall see him [of the nations then living on the earth], and they also which pierced him [those who took an active part in the terrible work of his crucifixion]; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." Those who crucified the [327] Lord, would, unless there was an exception made in their cases, remain in their graves till the end of the thousand years, and come up in the general assembly of the wicked at that time. But here it is stated that they behold the Lord at his second advent. They must therefore have a special resurrection for that purpose. {1897 UrS, DAR 326.1}


Whether one sees Matthew 26:64 as a special resurrection, as part of a general resurrection at His second coming, or as part of a general resurrection at the close of the thousand years, the weight of Jesus' words remains the same: those who participated in the crucifixion of Jesus will see Him return in judgment. Ellen White vividly portrays the scene:


    There are those who mocked Christ in His humiliation. With thrilling power come to their minds the Sufferer's words, when, adjured by the high priest, He solemnly declared: "Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Matthew 26:64. Now they behold Him in His glory, and they are yet to see Him sitting on the right hand of power.  {GC 643.1}
    Those who derided His claim to be the Son of God are speechless now. There is the haughty Herod who jeered at His royal title and bade the mocking soldiers crown Him king. There are the very men who with impious hands placed upon His form the purple robe, upon His sacred brow the thorny crown, and in His unresisting hand the mimic scepter, and bowed before Him in blasphemous mockery. The men who smote and spit upon the Prince of life now turn from His piercing gaze and seek to flee from the overpowering glory of His presence. Those who drove the nails through His hands and feet, the soldier who pierced His side, behold these marks with terror and remorse.  {GC 643.2}
    With awful distinctness do priests and rulers recall the events of Calvary. With shuddering horror they remember how, wagging their heads in satanic exultation, they exclaimed: "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him." Matthew 27:42, 43.  {GC 643.3}


The testimony of Daniel 12:2 is that "MANY of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake" when Michael stands up and delivers His people. It does not say that ALL shall awake.

I hope this answer helps.  

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Kevin L. Morgan

Expertise

Questions regarding Seventh-day Adventist doctrine and history, especially pertaining to Ellen G. White.

Experience

26 years pastoral experience; edited two books on Seventh-day Adventist history; published articles on theology; published one book on Adventist doctrines and one on Ellen G. White

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Pastor Warrensville Seventh-day Adventist Church

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Ministry magazine

Education/Credentials
BA Theology, with minor in Biblical languages MA homiletics

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Graduated magna cum laude Distinguished preaching award

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