THE OUT-RESURRECTION AND THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING
Phil. 3:10-11, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like him in His death, and so somehow to attain to the out-resurrection (exanastasis) from the dead”.
Many of those who accept the Acts 28 position believe that the out-resurrection of Philippians three refers to an earlier resurrection than the one mentioned in the Acts period epistles, i.e. I Corinthians and I Thessalonians. And many also believe that this out-resurrection is the prize of the high calling. I do not believe that the out-resurrection is an early resurrection, nor do I believe that the out-resurrection is the prize of the high calling. I respectfully offer this paper in an effort to show the reasons for my beliefs concerning this passage of Scripture.
Most of those with whom I disagree hold to the same view as Charles Welch. His views are presented in the article The Out-Resurrection from An Alphabetical Analysis. Because I quote portions of that paper, the reader may wish to read it in its entirety. Mr. Welch’s article may be read on the following web-site: www.rightdivision.com/html/prizesecond_step.html
WHEN WILL THE CHURCH, WHICH IS HIS BODY BE RESURRECTED?
I Cor. 15:22-24 reads, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive, But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.“. I Corinthians is an Acts period epistle. Are believers of the dispensation of the mystery included in the phrase “in Christ”? Are believers of the dispensation of the mystery included in the phrase “they that are Christ’s”? Certainly the church was not in Paul’s mind when he penned these phrases, but I believe that the context will show that those phrases include all believers of every dispensation. That is to say, this passage in I Corinthians speaks of universal truths, not of dispensational truths. Let me explain.
A universal truth is one that is true throughout all dispensations, it never changes. For example, “God is love”. While the Old Testament speaks less of that character of God than does the New Testament, God has always been a God of love, i.e. that has never changed. A dispensational truth, on the other hand, is one that changes from one dispensation to another. For example, that “Nations are joint heirs, joint bodies and joint partakers of the promise…….” is a truth that is peculiar to the dispensation of the mystery.
I Cor. 15:22-24 is, in my opinion a universal truth. That is to say it is a truth for all dispensations. How do we know that? We know that from the context. Consider for example that we read in verse 22 of “all in Adam”. That of course, applies to all human beings no matter the dispensation in which they lived. But let us consider the entire message of the passage.
In verse 12 Paul raises the argument that some have said that there is no resurrection. In verse 13 he explains that if there is no resurrection, then Christ has not risen. And in verse 14 he wrote, “if Christ has not risen then….our faith is in vain”. We read in verse 19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”. But he then writes with all triumph, “But now is Christ risen from the dead….” Paul states that there is indeed a resurrection. Furthermore, Paul included all that are in Christ in this blessed truth when he wrote, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive, but each in his own turn. Christ is the firstfruits, then, when He comes, those who are His.
As we consider the phrase “in Christ”, (“in Christ all will be made alive”) I believe the reader will see further evidence that I Cor. 15:22-24 applies to the believers of all dispensations, including those of the dispensation of the mystery.
Rom. 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ..…..”. We do not read this exact truth in the prison epistles, but it is clear that this applies to all believers in Christ, including, of course believers of the dispensation of the mystery.
II Cor. 5:17, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature….”. This exact truth is also not mentioned in the prison epistles, but it is clear that all believers are made a “new creature”.
Because it is clear that I Cor. 15:22-23 is a universal truth concerning resurrection, and that all believers, in every dispensation are “in Christ”, we may conclude that, in spite of the fact that I Corinthians was written before the dispensation of the mystery, it includes believers of every dispensation, including those of this present dispensation. Furthermore, this passage tells us when the resurrection of those in Christ will take place, “when He comes“. The Greek word translated”comes” is “parousia”. Some have said that the “parousia” is connected to His coming for Israel and that the church has a different hope. This will be discussed in the paragraphs below.
THE FIVE GREEK WORDS CONNECTED TO THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
It is clear that resurrection is the hope of all believers, so the hope of all believers is inherently connected to resurrection. I agree with those in the Acts 28 community who teach that the two Greek words associated with the hope of the church are “epiphania” and “phaneroo”, because those are the two words found in the prison epistles. But I do not agree that the epiphania and/or the phaneroo will take place earlier than the parousia.
There are five Greek words that have to do with the hope of believers. They are often used in connection with the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; they are Erkomai, Parousia, Apokalupsis, Epiphania and Phaneroo.
“Erkomai” is used in reference to the second coming of Christ in the following verses; Matt. 10:23, 16:27, 16:28, 24:30, 24:44, 25:13, 25:31, 26:64, Mark 8:38, 13:26, 14:62, Luke 9:26, 11:40, 15:8, 21:27, Acts 1:11, I Cor. 12:26, II Thess. 1:10, Jude 14, Rev. 1:4, 1:7, 1:8, 2:5, 3:11, 4:8, 11:17, 16:15, 22:7, 22:12, 22:20.
“Parousia” is used in reference to the second coming of Christ in the following verses: Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, and 39, I Cor. 15:23, II Cor. 7:7, I Thess. 2:19, 3:13, 4:15, 5:23, II Thess. 2:1, 2:8, 2:9, James 5:7,8, II Peter 1:6, 3:4, 3:12, I John 2:28..
“Apokalupsis” is used in relation to His coming in the following verses: I Cor. 1:7, II Thess. 1:7, I Peter 1:7, 13, 4:13 and Rev. 1:1.
“Epiphania” is the first word, in our study of Greek words used in connection to the hope of believers, that is used in reference to the hope of the church and is, of course, found in the prison epistles. But it is also found in an Acts period epistle, i.e. II Thessalonians. II Thess. 2:8 reads, “And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor (epiphania) of His coming (parousia) “. The King James has “by the brightness of His coming”. Note that in this verse, the “epiphania” is at His coming, i.e. the “parousia”. The other occurrences of the word are found in I Timothy 6:14, II Tim. 4:1, 4:8, Titus 2:13.
There is one other word used in the prison epistles that is used in connection with the hope of the church. It is the Greek word “phaneroo”, and we see it in Col. 3:4, “when Christ, Who is our life shall appear then we shall appear with Him in glory”. This word is also found in Acts period epistles. I John 2:28 is important in that it tells us when this appearing will occur. “And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when he appears (phaneroo) we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming (parousia)”. The “phaneroo” is at His coming. (The section below on when, in relation to the parousia the phaneroo will occur will give a fuller account of Col. 3:4.)
It is significant that the two words associated with the hope of the church, which is His body are also associated with the hope of the Acts period believers. It is also significant that the epiphania and the phaneroo occur at the time of the second coming (parousia) of our Lord. What is of the utmost significance is the fact that we are told exactly when the phaneroo and the epiphania, i.e. the hope of the church will take place. It will occur at the second coming of Christ. How do we know that? We know that from II Thess. 2:8, which reads, “And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the epiphania of His parousia”. And I Jn, 2:28 tells us the same in regard to “phaneroo”, it will be at Christ’s coming, at His parousia. “And now little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear (phaneroo), we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (parousia)”.
I believe that “erkomia”, “apokalupsis” and “parousia” each describe a different aspect of His coming, and they each, obviously occur at the same time. So too is “epiphania” a word that describes a different aspect of His coming, and occurs at the same time, i.e. His second coming. And, as we have noted above, “phaneroo” also occurs at the time of His second coming in I John 2:28. “Phaneroo” is yet another aspect of what is certainly one of the most important events recorded in the Bible.
I am suggesting that just as the first three words we discussed are three aspects of the second coming of Christ, not three different events, so too are the words associated with (but not exclusively) the church, which is His body different aspects of His coming, not different events. No one believes that the Greek words “erkomia”, “parousia” and “apokalupsis” represent three different events. There is no reason to assume that “epiphania” and “phaneroo” represent a different event. There is no Scriptural evidence for such a theory.
We have two choices in determining the time of the hope of the church, which is His body. Those choices are: 1) accept that the epiphania and the phaneroo occur at, and are two different aspects of, His coming, or 2) manufacture, with no Scriptural evidence, the time of a different resurrection than the one we are told about in the Acts period epistles. I have chosen the former, i.e. that the words used in connection with the hope of the church which is His body (i.e. “epiphania” and “phaneroo”), represent two aspects of the same event, i.e. the second coming of our Lord. Because resurrection is the hope of every believer, and the hope of the church is connected to His second coming, we may conclude that the resurrection of the church will take place at the second coming of Jesus Christ.
But many of the Acts 28 community, claiming the principle of right division, place a great emphasis on the fact that the “parousia” is the word used of the coming of Christ for Israel. They say therefore, that it can have nothing to do with the church, which is His body. It is true that the hope of the church is not that aspect of His coming that is referred to as “parousia”. And I agree that we must rightly divide the word of truth. But we must also see that the Holy Spirit places the time of the epiphania at the second coming in II Thess.2, and the time of the phaneroo at the second coming in I John 2. We must not only rightly divide the word of truth, we must also accept what it says.
There are no scriptures in the prison epistles that tell us when the church, which is His body will be resurrected. By not connecting the epiphania with the second coming as Paul does in II Thessalonians, and the phaneroo with the second coming as John does in I John, we are left with the dilemma of manufacturing a resurrection that is not found in Scripture. That, in my opinion, is unthinkable. I Cor.15 is the only passage that tell us when the general resurrection of those in Christ will be. We may not assume, therefore, with absolutely no Scriptural evidence, that the out-resurrection of Phil. 3 is a different, or an earlier resurrection. If we are to prove ourselves workmen who need not be ashamed we must understand that right division of the word does not allow us to overlook what is written and manufacture what is not written.
WILL THE PHANEROO OCCUR PRIOR TO THE PAROUSIA OF CHRIST IN THE CLOUDS?
Some believe that the sequence of events connected to our Lord’s return is: 1) His appearance in heaven, at which time the church will be resurrected, 2) some time later He will appear in the clouds, at which time all other believers will be resurrected, 3) His return to earth. Let us examine that belief.
We read in Col. 3:4, “When Christ, Who is our life shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”) then we shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”) with Him in glory”. Because the KJV translation of “phaneroo” is “appear” most misunderstand this verse to say that Christ will be seen in heaven. (The Appendix at the end of the body of this paper discusses all 49 occurrences of the word “phaneroo” and will prove that it means “manifest” and not “appear” or “to be seen”.) It seems logical to conclude from that, that Christ will appear in heaven first since He is already there, and then at some point after that, be seen in the clouds. But the question is, does Col. 3:4 really say that Christ will be seen, i.e. appear in heaven?
As mentioned above, the Greek word translated “appear” in this verse is “phaneroo”. The Companion Bible defines “phaneroo” as, “to bring to light, make manifest“. As we consider a few more uses of this Greek word, I hope the reader will agree that “appear” is not the way we should understand this word, that the word means “to be made manifest” and is usually translated “manifest”.
We read, for example in John 1:31 the words of John the Baptist concerning Christ, “and I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest (Gr. “phaneroo”) to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water”. John the Baptist is saying that he is baptizing with water to make Christ manifest to Israel. Did John the Baptist mean that he wanted Israel only to see Christ? Of course not. He was saying that he wanted Israel to know Christ, their long promised King and Messiah. That is to say, John the Baptist wanted Christ to be made manifest to Israel as their King and Messiah. The point is that “phaneroo” cannot be understood as “to be seen” in this passage, it must be understood as “made manifest”. John wanted Christ to be made manifest, i.e. to be made known to Israel as King and Messiah.
Let us consider John 17:6 where John records Christ’s prayer to the Father concerning His disciples. “I have manifested (Gr. “phaneroo”) Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world…..”. What is meant by the phrase “manifested Thy name”. I believe that “name” is used as a figure of speech, i.e. Metonymy of Adjunct which is defined in the Companion Bible as, “When something pertaining to the subject is put for the subject itself”. In this case “name” is put for the subject Which is God. I believe that Christ said in this verse that He had manifested God to His disciples so that they would know Who God is through Christ Himself. While it is true that His disciples did indeed see God in Christ because Christ is God, I believe that Christ did much more than allow His disciples to see God. Christ manifested God to them. He made God known to them. There is a great difference between seeing God and having God manifested to them. Again, the point is that “phaneroo” means so much more than “to be seen”, it means “to be made manifest, “to be made known”.
As we consider Jn. 21 we will see that if we do not see the definition of “phaneroo” as including being made manifest we not only miss a profound truth, we also create a contradiction in the perfect Word of God. We read Jn. 21:1, “After these things Jesus shewed (phaneroo) Himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed (phaneroo) He Himself”. Did our Lord merely make Himself seen by the disciples or did He manifest Himself to them as their Lord? Let us look at the context for the answer to that question.
Verses 2-6 describe Christ’s telling the disciples where to cast their nets and having done as they were told, brought up a large number of fish. We read in verse 6, “…..They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore the disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, ‘It is the Lord’”. Note the word “therefore”. It tells us that once they had brought up their nets with the large number of fish, then they knew it was the Lord.
So when John wrote in verse 1 that Christ showed (phaneroo) Himself to the disciples “on this wise”, i.e. in this manner, John was telling us that it was when the disciples had filled their nets that Christ had been manifested to them as their Lord. In short, in this context, the Lord was made manifest to His disciples as their Lord.
Further, as mentioned above, if we do not see the definition of “phaneroo” as more than “to appear”, we have a contradiction in the Word of God, which is quite impossible. Let me explain. As the paper on the supposed errors in the Bible (which proves that there are none) https://rightwordtruth.com/a-study-of-the-supposed-errors-in-the-bible/ I list the 12 times that Christ appeared after His resurrection. That paper will show that the appearance recorded in Jn. 21 was the fourth time Christ was seen by His disciples, but we read in Jn. 21:14 of the “third time” Christ appeared to the disciples. “This is now the third time that Jesus shewed (phaneroo) Himself to His disciples, after that He was risen from the dead”.
In other words, the disciples had seen the risen Christ four times, but He manifested Himself to them three times. If we do not recognize the difference between appearing and being made manifest, we have a contradiction in the Bible, which, again, is quite impossible.
We see this same truth in I Tim. 3:16 where we read, “God was made manifest (Gr. “phaneroo”) in the flesh”. This tells us so much more than just that one could see God in Christ. It tells us that God could be known through Christ. If we understand “phaneroo” to mean “appear” or “to be seen” we miss the profundity of this verse.
Let us consider I Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”)…..”. I have tried to show that “appear” misses the profundity of the meaning of the Greek “phaneroo”. It does not mean “appear”, it means “to be made manifest”. Furthermore, this verse is an excellent example of the context telling us what Christ shall be made manifested as. That is to say, Christ will be made manifest as “the chief Shepherd“.
I Jn. 3:2 is also very helpful to a correct understanding of “phaneroo” and will also help us to set the time of the phaneroo. That verse reads, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear (Gr. “phaneroo“) what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”) , we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is”. The first thing that should be noted is that the Greek word translated “see” in the phrase, “we shall see Him”, is “opsomai”. So this verse tells us that when Christ will be made manifest (“phaneroo”) He will also be seen. We know from I Thess. 4:17 that Christ will be in the clouds and therefore, be seen by those to whom John was writing (i.e. Acts period believers of Israel). In other words, logic dictates that the phaneroo will occur at the very same time that Christ will be seen in the clouds.
I Jn. 2:28 is yet another passage that is helpful in determining when, in relation to the parousia, the phaneroo will occur. We read in that verse, “And now little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”) we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (Gr. “parousia”). John is not saying here that they should have confidence at one time (His appearing , i.e. the phaneroo) and not be ashamed at another time, i.e. His coming (parousia). John is saying that they should have confidence and not be ashamed when Christ is made manifest at His parousia. In other words, His being made manifest is the exact same time as His coming.
We read in I Jn. 1:2, “For the life was manifested (Gr. “phaneroo”), and we have seen it…and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested (Gr. “phaneroo”) unto us”. Let us consider the phrase “that eternal life which was with the Father”. It is clear that the “eternal life” is in reference to Christ Himself, it was Jesus Christ Who was with the Father and had in Himself eternal life. (“I am the resurrection and the life”.) In this verse then we see that Christ was made manifest as the “eternal life”.
And that brings us back to Col. 3:4. I have tried to prove from the way in which the Holy Spirit used the word “phaneroo” that “appear” or “to be seen” is not a correct translation/understanding. As difficult as it may be to divest one’s self of the sense of “to be seen” in the word “phaneroo”, “to be seen” is not the correct meaning of “phaneroo”. Certainly, when something is made manifest it is “seen” figuratively, but not literally. What Col. 3:4 does tell us is that Christ will be made manifest. Manifested as what, we might ask? Again, the immediate context gives us the answer to that question, i.e. He will be manifested as “resurrection life“. Note verse 1, “If ye then be risen with Christ”. And verse 3, “…your life is hid with Christ in God”.
I am suggesting therefore, that Col. 3:4 does not tell us that Christ will be literally seen in heaven, it tells us that as believers are resurrected, Christ will be made manifest as “the Resurrection”. Just as we read in I Jn. 1:2 that Christ is manifested as “the eternal life” so too in Col. 3:4 Christ will be made manifest as “resurrection life”.
The point is that neither Col. 3:4 or any other passage of God’s Word tells us that Christ will be seen literally in heaven before He will be seen in the clouds. And we have discussed two passages in I Jn. (3:2 and 2:28) that tells us that the phaneroo of Christ will occur at the same time as His coming (parousia). That being the case, there is no Scriptural evidence to conclude that some believers will be raised any earlier than all other believers.
But what about the phrase in Col. 3:4 which reads, “then shall ye also be manifested [as having received resurrection life] with Him”. Does the preposition “with” tell us that we will be manifested in the same place as Christ or at the same time as Christ? The Greek preposition translated “with” is “sun” and is defined in the Companion Bible as, “denotes proximity to and hence conjunction or coherence”. The word itself does not tell us whether this conjunction or coherence is in reference to time or to place or to anything else, but the context will always make that clear. Let us consider some passages in which the Holy Spirit used the word “sun” in order to establish the fact that “with” (“sun”) does not necessarily mean “in the same place” .
Matt. 26:35, “Peter said, ‘Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee…..”. Peter did not say that he would die in the same place as Christ, but that he would join Him in His death.
Acts 8:20, “That money perish with thee”. This verse does not tell us that money perishes in the same place as people perish, it tells us that money is joined together with us in our perishing.
Acts 10:2, “A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house……”. His house feared God together with the “devout man” but this verse does not say that they “feared God” in the same place.
Acts 15:22, “Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church to send chosen men ….to Antioch….”. This verse does not tell us that the apostles and elders were in the same place as the “whole church” when it “pleased” them to send some to Antioch. It tells us that they were together in their decision.
Acts 23:15, “Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you….as though ye would inquire something….concerning him…..”. The council was to signify to the chief captain in conjunction with others, but this verse does not tell us that they signified this in the same place.
Rom. 6:8, “Now if we be dead with Christ….”. Paul is not saying that we are dead and in the same place as Christ, but the we are dead together with Him.
Eph. 3:18, “May be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth……”. This verse does not tell us that this comprehension is in the same place as “all the saints”, it says that it is together with them.
Bearing in mind that “sun” means “together with” but not necessarily in the same place, let us review Col. 3:4. “…..then shall ye also be manifested with Him in glory”. In other words, the church will be manifested together with Christ, but this verse does not tell us that it will be in the same place.
We know that Christ will be made manifest as the resurrection life when He appears in the clouds, as that is when those “in Christ” will be resurrected (see I Thess. 4:16). But the church will be manifested in heaven as having received resurrection life. Therefore the preposition “with” (Gr. “sun”) cannot mean “with” in terms of place. That is to say that as Christ is made manifest as resurrection life in the clouds, the church will be made manifest together with Him (at the same time) as having received resurrection life in heaven.
IS “THE DAY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST” A DIFFERENT DAY THAN “THE DAY OF CHRIST JESUS”?
Some who believe in an earlier resurrection of the church point out that the day of resurrection is implied in I Cor.1:8 (an Acts period epistle) where the phrase “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” is used. While in Phil. 1:6 (a prison epistle) the day of resurrection is implied and a different phrase is used, i.e. “the day of Christ Jesus”. Those who point to this difference have assumed an earlier resurrection not mentioned anywhere in God’s word, and then go on to suggest that the different phrases must refer to two different resurrections, because there are two different terms describing them. Let us examine that thought.
I Cor. 1:8, “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ“.
Phil. 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”.
The message of both verses is the same: as believers in Christ we may trust in our Lord to bring us to perfection on the day of resurrection. The question is: do two slightly different phrases necessitate the conclusion that they refer to two different events?
As mentioned above, we are told of only one resurrection day of believers only, and that will be at the second coming of our Lord. Are we to manufacture a different resurrection because the phrase is different? On the other hand, we do want to distinguish between the things that differ.
Let us look at other passages that speak of the “day” of resurrection to see if the same phrase is used consistently. In II Cor. 1:14 we read, “as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus“. This is slightly different than I Cor.1:8 where we read of the “day of the Lord Jesus Christ”. I doubt that anyone would suggest that these are different “days”.
In Phil. 1:10 we read again of the day of resurrection, only Paul uses yet another slightly different phrase. “…….so that you may be…..pure and blameless until the day of Christ“. Again, I doubt that anyone would suggest that the “day of Christ Jesus” of 1:6 is a different day than “the day of Christ” of 1:10. My point is that because the phrase is slightly different, that does not, in and of itself, prove that they are not the same “day”. We must have collaborating evidence to prove different “days”, and since there is but one day of resurrection spoken of in the Bible, we are led to the conclusion that they refer to the same day.
Let us consider this question from a different angle. All the references quoted above refer to a day of resurrection, one event. Since there is only one resurrection day spoken of in the Bible, is it not natural to assume that all slightly different phrases that refer to that one event all refer to the same “day”? Let me give an example from every day life. The United States signed a declaration of independence only once. We celebrate the signing of that declaration on July 4th. We may call that day “Independence Day”, or we may call it simply, “the Fourth of July”. But because both phrases refer to one event, we understand that both phrases refer to the same day.
We understand that the term “independence day” is the same day as the term, “fourth of July” because it was a one-time event. So too we must understand that “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” is the same day as “the day of Christ Jesus”, because they refer to a one time event, i.e. the resurrection of believers.
Could there be another reason, other than that they are different days, for the differing phrases in reference to the day of resurrection as found in I Corinthians and Philippians? I believe there is another reason. That reason lies in the fact that there are 24 references to “the day of the Lord” in the Bible. They all refer to the day of God’s judgment. This is a day that centers on Israel and the nations surrounding Her. (Please see the paper on this web-site, Is The Tribulation World Wide? for proof of that statement.) Therefore, we would not expect to see the phrase “day of the Lord” anywhere in a prison epistle. That is why, in my opinion, Paul does not write in Philippians “the day of the Lord Jesus Christ” but he writes instead, “the day of Christ Jesus”.
(I am usually extremely hesitant to suggest why the Holy Spirit uses a particular phrase or word. However, because so much weight is being placed by some on the different phrases to describe one event, I felt it necessary to comment.)
There are different phrases that refer to the day of resurrection. If there was Scriptural evidence of more than one day of resurrection we may expect a different phrase to describe each one. But there is only one day of resurrection of believers given in the Bible. We must conclude, therefore, that because there is only one day of resurrection, the different phrases must refer to that one day.
On page two of the “Second Step” of the article mentioned above, Mr. Welch presents his reasons for saying that the Greek “ek” tells us that the out-resurrection of Phil. 3:11, will be a first resurrection. The Greek word used in Phil. 3:11 is “exanastasis”. It is “anastasis” with the preposition “ek”. If it is a first resurrection then it must be a resurrection earlier, and of course, different than the general resurrection of I Corinthians 15. But there is no mention of more than one resurrection day of believers, so there can not be a first or a second resurrection of believers. Let us examine Mr. Welch’s arguments for a “first” resurrection of some believers.
In his effort to prove that the Greek preposition “ek” always means a first resurrection, Mr. Welch points out that Mark 9:10 uses the Greek phrase “ek nekron anaste” in relation to the resurrection of Christ, Who was, of course, first to be resurrected. Mark 9:9-10 reads, “As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen (a reference to the transfiguration) until the Son of Man had risen from the dead, (ek nekron anaste). They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what ‘rising from the dead’ meant.”
Mr. Welch writes in relation to Mark 9:10, “It is the presence of this word ‘ek’ that caused the questioning. It was something additional to the common creed”. In other words, Mr. Welch believed that the disciples would have understood our Lord if He had said that He would rise from the dead. But the reason the disciples did not understand Him was because He used the Greek “ek”, which, according to Mr. Welch, means a first resurrection; it was the notion of a first resurrection that confused the disciples. I do not agree that “ek” always implies a first resurrection. As we consider Mr. Welch’s argument that “ek” refers to a first resurrection we will see that there are two problems with his argument.
Remembering that Mr. Welch writes “it was the presence of the word ‘ek’ that caused the questioning”, let us look briefly at the Appendix 114 in the Companion Bible. Paragraph four reads, “….the Lord spoke in Aramaic; certainly not in the Greek of the Gospel documents”. So it could not have been the word “ek”, which is a Greek word, that confused the disciples, because the Lord did not speak in Greek, He spoke Aramaic. The Gospel writers then translated what He said into Greek.
Secondly, we are told exactly why the disciples did not understand Christ’s statement concerning His resurrection, and it had nothing to do with the use of the Greek word “ek”. We read in Luke 18:31-34 (a time much later than the transfiguration as recorded in Mark 9) “Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again’”. The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about”. It was not the use of the Greek word “ek” that left the disciples confused about the Lord’s resurrection, they did not understand what Christ was telling them about His resurrection because its meaning had been hidden from them.
There is one more fallacy with the idea that “ek” when used in connection with resurrection, always means a first resurrection. It is true that the Greek word “ek” was used in the context of Christ’s resurrection and He was raised first, but that does not prove that “ek” implies a “first” every time it is used in connection with resurrection. In fact, I Cor. 6:14 tells us beyond doubt that “ek” does not always mean “first” and that it is not used exclusively of Christ or of the body of Christ. “And God hath raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power”. The Greek word used in the first phrase, “raised up the Lord” is “egeiro”. Note that even though the reference is to the Lord’s resurrection there is no preposition “ek” in this phrase. The Greek word used in the second phrase, “and will also raise up us” is “exegeiro”, that is, “egeiro” with the preposition “ek“. So, in this verse we have “egeiro” with no “ek” in reference to Christ’s resurrection, and we have “exegeiro”, with the preposition “ek”, in reference to the resurrection of believers. According to the theory that “ek” always means a first resurrection, this verse would teach that Christ was not resurrected first, and that the believers of the Acts period will be raised first. This, of course, is not the teaching of this verse or of any other verse. (One note of clarification: the word “egeiro” does not always mean resurrection, but I believe that the phrase “will raise us up by His own power” shows that, in this verse, it does refer to resurrection.)
What is particularly meaningful to this present study, is that the believers addressed in I Corinthians are Acts period believers. If they are raised first, (as Mr. Welch writes “ek” means) how can the church be raised first? “Ek” is used in connection with those of the Acts period in the word “exegeiro”, and it is also used in connection with the church of the prison epistles in the word “exanastasis”. A different word for resurrection is used in each case, but the point is, that the Greek preposition “ek” can not mean a first resurrection for both Israel and the church, unless they are raised at the same time, which is what I believe to be the case.
What does all this tell us? It tells us that we may not place undue importance on the preposition “ek” in relation to the doctrine of resurrection. Is Paul’s use of the preposition inspired by the Holy Spirit? Of course it is. But, as I Cor. 6:14 proves, it does not, in and of itself, automatically mean a first resurrection.
OUT-RESURRECTED FROM WHOM?
Let us continue our study with the idea suggested by many in the Acts 28 community, that the Greek phrase translated “the out-resurrection out from the dead” in Phil 3:11, in and of itself, tells us that there must be an earlier resurrection. The argument is that because the out-resurrection is out from the dead, there must be some dead left in the grave from which to come out. And, they say, that those dead left in the grave must be the dead that will be raised, later, i.e. at His coming. Let us examine that thought.
To begin with, some dead will not be resurrected until after the millennial reign of Christ. Rev. 20:5, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” The important point in terms of our present topic is that there were at least some left in the grave until after the 1,000 years, thus all those who are raised at His coming, at the beginning of the 1,000 year reign, are raised out from those dead.
Furthermore, I do not agree with Mr. Welch when he writes in the first paragraph of the paper mentioned above: “Resurrection is not only a blessed hope, it is inescapable. The unjust as well as the just, they that have done good and they that have done evil, those who form the Body of Christ, and those who stand before the Great White Throne, each and every one, each one of the seed of the woman, Jew or Gentile, must be raised from the dead”. I believe that, with the exception of those who worshiped the beast in the tribulation period, no unbeliever will be raised. I have given my reasons for that belief in the paper Will The Unbeliever Be Raised For Judgment?
I would like to quote just a few lines from that paper to give the reader a very brief idea of why I do not believe in the resurrection of the unbeliever, except for those who worshipped the beast in the tribulation period.
Job 14:10, “But man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more”. In this verse and in the verse quoted below, Job speaks of man in general, i.e. the believer and the unbeliever. But Job also writes that his Redeemer lives. That is to say that of all mankind, only those who do have a redeemer, (those who are believers) have One Who will redeem them from the grave. As these verses show, however, Job knows also that the ungodly do not have a redeemer, i.e. no one to raise them from the grave.
Job 14:12, “So man lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, men will not awake or be roused from their sleep”.
Psalm 49:13-15, “This is the fate of those who trust in themselves….. Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave far from their princely mansions. But God will redeem my soul from the grave; He will surely take me to Himself”. Note the contrast in this verse. The forms will decay, but the writer of the psalm will be redeemed. The contrast in this scripture is between decaying in the grave and being redeemed from the grave. The former will not be raised, the latter will be raised.
Proverbs 24:20, “for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out”.
Isaiah 26:14, “They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, and they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish”. The note in the Companion Bible on verse 14 suggests that these dead, the “other lords of verse 13” are the “methim, not dead men”. However, verse 13 does not use the Hebrew word “methim”, it uses the word “adon” which is translated “other lords” and is used of God and of important men. Every single verse mentioned in the note on Is. 26:14 refers to the resurrection of unbelievers of the tribulation (please see the above-mentioned paper on universal salvation for proof of that statement). Also, the paper on this web-site Are The Rephaim The Progeny Of Fallen Angels? will prove from Scripture that while it is true that the Rephaim were giants, not all tribes of giants were progeny of fallen angels, i.e. only the Nephalim were progeny of fallen angels.
Jeremiah 51:39, “In their heat I will make their feasts and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake….”
Jer. 31:57, “…and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake….”.
The resurrection of unbelievers for judgment at the great white throne is only for those who worshipped the beast. For proof of that statement, please see the paper mentioned above.
The fact that unbelievers, except for those of the tribulation, will not be raised only substantiates the point that a resurrection prior to the one mentioned in the Acts period epistles is not necessary to fulfill the requirements of a resurrection out from the dead. There will be, unfortunately, many unbelieving dead left in the grave. Even if the reader did not agree that the unbeliever is not raised from the dead, there are still those dead who will not be raised until after the millennial reign. That will satisfy the criterion of “the out-resurrection out from the dead”, (see Rev. 20:5).
THE “OUT-RESURRECTION”, THE “FIRST RESURRECTION” AND THE “BETTER RESURRECTION”
There is one more argument that Mr. Welch uses to suggest that the out-resurrection of Phil. 3 is a first resurrection. On page one of the “Second Step” he writes, “The resurrection therefore, that was the object of the Apostle’s desires here in Philippians 3:11 …..must be something equivalent to the ‘first resurrection’ of Revelation 20:4-6 or the ‘better resurrection’ of Hebrews 11:35″. It is true that the above mentioned resurrections were equivalent in that they were to be attained, but it is equally true that all the above mentioned resurrections occur at the same time, i.e. at the second coming of Christ. Let us examine the scriptures that refer to these resurrections to test the validity of that statement.
Rev. 20:4-5 reads, “…..I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years”. When will these saints be raised? They will be raised at the beginning of the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth. When does that begin? At His coming.
(The phrase “first resurrection” found in Revelation 20:5 refers to those who did not worship the beast in the tribulation. It is “first” in relation to those who did worship the beast, not to a resurrection that is before the resurrection of all other believers. Because the phrase “first resurrection” is used of a very limited company of believers, I use the phrase “general resurrection” when speaking of the resurrection of all believers. Of course the martyrs of the tribulation are included in the general resurrection.)
Going on now to the “better resurrection”. We read in Heb. 11:35, “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection”. It is clear that these women had sacrificed much for their faith. They would, of course, be rewarded for their faith. In point of fact we read in verse 26 of this same chapter of Moses, who considered “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward“. The “better resurrection” then is a resurrection unto rewards. When will these saints be resurrected? Again, we read in I Cor. 15:24 that those who are in Christ will be resurrected at His coming.
We have seen that both the “first resurrection” of Rev. 20 and the “better resurrection” of Hebrews 11 refer to the resurrection at the second coming of Christ, the only general resurrection of believers recorded in the Bible. We have also seen that the context of both the “first resurrection” and the “better resurrection” includes the concept of rewards. The section below on the “prize of the high calling” will show by comparing Scripture with Scripture that the prize of the high calling is to reign with Christ (see II Tim. 2:12). In other words, the reward of Phil. 2 is not an earlier resurrection then all other believers, it is the reward given to the faithful to reign with Christ.
So there are indeed two points of commonalty between the “first resurrection”, the “better resurrection” and the “out-resurrection”. Those two points are: 1) They will all occur at the same time, i.e. at the second coming of Jesus Christ, and 2) they all come in the context of rewards. The reward of the first resurrection is quite clearly stated in Rev. 20:4, “….they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years”. Given that there is no mention of a reward given to the faithful other than the reward of reigning with Christ, we must conclude that those who will take part in the “better resurrection”, will also reign with Him. And the only reward mentioned in the Bible for the faithful of the dispensation of the mystery is also that we will “reign with Him” (II Tim. 2:12). Certainly the reign of faithful believers of the dispensation of the mystery will be in heaven, while the reign of those of Heb. 11 and Rev. 20 will be on earth. That is to say, they will be in different places, but there is no evidence to suggest that they will be at different times.
Having discussed what the “out-resurrection” is not, we are now ready to answer the question: what is the out resurrection of Phil. 3:11?
WHAT IS “THE OUT-RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD?”
I have tried to show from Scripture that the only resurrection of believers before the millennium is at the second coming of Christ. I have also tried to show that the out-resurrection is a resurrection of believers out from among the dead bodies of unbelievers who are left in the grave (see Rev. 20:4-5). The out-resurrection of Phil. 3, therefore is not one that can be first or before the resurrection of other believers.
In our prayerful search for the truth concerning the out-resurrection let us consider the epistle to the Philippians as a whole. It is clear that Paul’s letter to the Philippians is not primarily an epistle written to teach doctrine. It was a letter to encourage the Philippians to walk in accordance with their salvation in Christ (see Phil. 1:6, 9, 11, 27, 2:3, 4, 14, 15, 4:8, 9), We would therefore, not expect to read in this epistle of a new doctrine of resurrection, especially one not found anywhere else in Scriptures.
Chapter three especially, is devoted to the exhortation for believers to live in accordance with their faith in Christ, and Paul offers his own life as an example for others to follow (see Phil. 3:15 and 17). We read for example in verse 10 that Paul wants to know Christ. Paul did know Christ. I believe that he was saying that he wanted to know Him better, on a much deeper level, not in his mind, but also in his heart. Paul writes that he wants to know the power of His resurrection. I believe that Paul is saying that he wanted to know more fully of His power. Paul wanted to know the fellowship of Christ’s suffering. Obviously Paul had already suffered a great deal for Christ, but he wanted to experience fellowship with Him in His suffering. Paul also wanted to become like Him in His death. (Note that he wanted to be more like Him in His death, not His resurrection. I mention that because some have suggested that because Christ was the first to be raised from the dead, Paul also, wanted to be first in resurrection which, they say is the “out-resurrection of Phil. 3:11.) In verse 12 Paul assures us that he had not “attained” or were “already perfect”. Verse 17, “Be ye followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample”.
The point is that throughout this chapter Paul’s expressed purpose is that believers understand that they must “press toward the mark”. In short, this is a walk passage, not a doctrinal one.
Having considered the context of the epistle as a whole, we are now ready to consider the out-resurrection, and more specifically, why is Paul speaking of attaining the out-resurrection? As we seek to answer that question let us consider a comment found in Mr. Welch’s last sentence of “Second Step”, the article mentioned above. He writes, “Meanwhile his (Paul’s) ‘confidence’ in Philippians one and his ‘diffidence’ in Philippians three give us the two sides of truth that give us a perfect whole”.
I believe that this is an extremely important concept to keep in mind when we study God’s Word, one that cannot be overlooked if we are to avoid several seeming contradictions. Take for example faith as opposed to the Law of Moses for justification. In Galatians 2:15 Paul writes, “We who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners know that a man is not justified by observing the law……” But in Romans 2:13 he writes, “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Is this a contradiction? Of course not, it is simply “two sides of truth that give us a perfect whole”. That is to say, it is faith in Christ that makes one righteous, but the law was given to Israel to obey, and their obedience showed their faith in the One Who gave them that law. By obeying the law the individual Israelite showed his faith in Christ and that faith brought him justification.
Let us consider another example of “two sides of truth that give us a perfect whole”. Eph. 2:8-9 reads, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast”. But Paul writes in Phil. 2:12, “……Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” . Did he mean that we are not saved by grace but by works? Of course not; he meant good works must accompany true faith. Again, “two sides of truth that give us a perfect whole”.
As we consider chapter three of Philippians we will see throughout this chapter there are examples of the concept of two sides making a perfect whole. For example we read in verse 6, “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless“. But the other side of that truth is expressed in verse 9, “And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ…..”.
Verse 8b gives us another example of two sides of truth giving us a perfect whole, “I consider them rubbish that I may win Christ”. Paul was certainly a believer and a very faithful one. What did Paul mean by the phrase “win Christ”? The first occurrence of the Greek word translated “win” is found in Matthew 16:26, “What good will it be for a man if he gain the whole world…”. But what did Paul mean when he wrote of gaining Christ? Christ is not gained or won, I believe Paul’s message is that even though Christ is not won or gained, we must prove our faith by our works. This is “the other side of truth that makes a perfect whole”. One side is expressed in verse 9, “and be found in Him”. the other side is Paul wanting to gain or win Him.
Paul’s confidence in resurrection is expressed several times in his writings. See for example Eph. 2:6, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. Note that Paul writes of resurrection in the past tense. This is the use of the figure of speech “Heterosis”. It is used to express the absolute certainty that what has been promised will indeed be fulfilled. Note also Col. 3:1, “If ye then be risen with Christ…”. Again, note the tense.
But If Paul already knew that he would be resurrected, why did he strive to attain it? To attain the out-resurrection is “the other side of the truth that makes the perfect whole” concerning the doctrine of resurrection. One side of the perfect whole is knowing that one will be resurrected. The other side is to attain resurrection. Just as we read above about two sides of the perfect whole in relation to the law and faith, and in relation to salvation and works, so too is this the other side of the perfect whole in relation to resurrection. And in the epistle to the Philippians itself we have the very same principle expressed in 2:12, where Paul writes, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”.
I respectfully encourage the reader to ask yourself if this interpretation does not better fit the immediate context, the epistle in general, and the Bible as a whole in its teaching on resurrection.
Let us continue in the context and look at verse 12. In his article mentioned above in the section called “Second Step”, Mr. Welch gives his reasons for preferring the R.V., so I will quote that version here. “Not that I have already attained or am already made perfect, but I press on if so be that I may apprehend that for which also I was apprehended by Christ Jesus”. What was it that Paul was apprehended for by Christ? Paul was apprehended by Christ for resurrection life. And yet Paul writes that he had not “already attained” it. Again, in this one verse we see two sides of the same resurrection truth. On one side we see that Paul was hoping to “attain” resurrection, and on the other side Paul sees that Christ had already “apprehended” him for resurrection.
In Ephesians Paul is certain of resurrection, in Philippians three he is uncertain of attaining it. Is this a contradiction? Of course not! It is “two sides of truth that give us a perfect whole”.
I suggest therefore, that the out-resurrection is the resurrection of believers out from the dead bodies of unbelievers, and that the reason Paul hoped to “attain” it was the other side of the truth that he (as all believers) is guaranteed resurrection.
CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE OUT-RESURRECTION
We have seen that there is no mention anywhere in the Bible as to when the general resurrection of believers will take place, other than the resurrection at His coming spoken of in I Cor. 15 and I Thess. 4. As students of God’s word we may not simply make one up to fit our doctrine.
The objection that the parousia of Christ is connected to Israel, and therefore can have nothing to do with the hope of the church, which is His body is fully answered by the fact that the hope of the church, i.e. the epiphenia, occurs at His parousia, (see II Thess. 2:8). And “phaneroo”, another Greek word used in the prison epistles in relation to the hope of the church which is His body, also occurs at His parousia, (see I John 2:28). Just as the three words in the Acts period epistles that refer to His second coming refer to different aspects of the same event, so too do the two words found in the prison epistles refer to different aspects of His coming. It is not at all surprising that we would find five different words to describe five different aspects of the momentous occasion of the second coming of our Lord.
The fact that the out resurrection is out from the dead bodies does not imply an earlier resurrection than other believers, because all believers are resurrected out from the dead bodies of unbelievers.
As we have seen, the Greek preposition “ek”, as in “exanastasis” of Phil. 3:11, does not mean a first resurrection. We are on very dangerous ground when we take a Greek word (exanastasis) that occurs only once in the entire Bible and in an epistle that is not primarily a doctrinal epistle, and form a doctrine of an early resurrection. This is especially true when there is absolutely no evidence to support that early resurrection.
The out-resurrection of Phil. 3:11 is not a different resurrection than the one promised all believers, the one to take place at the second coming of Christ. Once we see that the out-resurrection to be attained is the other side of the truth of resurrection which is promised, there are no problems with this passage. It fits the context, it fits the doctrine of resurrection and it is consistent with the fact that there are also other doctrines that the Bible presents as two sides of the same truth.
THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING
Phil. 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.
Some have suggested that the out-resurrection is the prize for the high calling. And some have suggested that the prize is the high calling itself. Let us examine those thoughts. Mr. Welch writes in the “Third Step” of the article mentioned above, “It is exceedingly difficult to find support from any passage of Paul’s epistles to suppose that the prize was itself the high calling. Just as the ‘reward of the inheritance’ in Col. 3:24, means the reward attached to an inheritance already assured by grace (Col. 1:12), so the prize of the high calling of God means the prize which is attached to the high calling already received and entered by grace.” On page 4 of the “Third Step” Mr. Welch nullifies the argument that the word translated “high” is an adverb, and adverbs qualify verbs, therefore “calling” must be a verb. He points out that in the Greek, adverbs do not qualify verbs only. I recommend that the reader study this page for himself/herself.
What then is the prize of the high calling? The best way to answer that question is to consider the only other occurrence of the Greek word translated “prize” in Phil. 3:14. That occurrence is in I Cor. 9:24-25, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible”.
Note the reference to a “crown”. That takes us to II Timothy 2:12 where we read in the NIV, “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him…..”. This is the only prize mentioned in the prison epistles, there is no other mentioned specifically. If we endure we will reign with Him. That, in my opinion, is the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. That is the prize toward which Paul was pressing, i.e. to reign with Him.
A STUDY OF ALL THE OCCURRENCES OF THE WORD “PHANEROO”
The Greek word “phaneroo” is used 49 times. It is translated “manifested” or “made manifest” 32 times. It is translated “appear” or “appeared” 12 times. It is translated “shew” or “shewed” 5 times. “To show” is, in my opinion, very close to the concept of “manifest” which leaves us with the translation of “appear” in a definite minority of 5 out of 49 occurrences.
But we cannot determine the meaning of a word by simply counting the number of times it is translated in a certain way. The only reason I mention the number of times it is translated “appear” is to say that because the majority of the times it is translated “manifest” (or something close to it) I believe that we should give that meaning more weight in considering each occurrence. So for example in Mark 16 where we read that Christ appeared to His disciples, we should consider a more profound meaning than just the obvious one of “appeared”.
1) Mark 4:21-22, “And He said unto them, ‘Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not to be set on a candlestick: for there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested (phaneroo) neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad'”. This statement follows immediately the telling of the parable of the seeds which represent truth that is rejected for various reasons, and truth that is accepted. The context, therefore, tells us that it is truth that shall be made manifest, i.e. shall be made known.
2-3) Mark 16:9-14, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared (Gr. “phaino”) first to Mary Magdalene….and she went and told them that had been with Him…… And when they had heard that He was alive, and been seen (Gr. “theaomai”) of her, believed not. After that He appeared (phaneroo) in another form unto two of them and they went and told it unto the residue; neither believed they them. Afterward He appeared (phaneroo) unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen (Gr. “theaomai”) Him after He was risen”.
Does this passage tell us simply that Christ appeared to, i.e. was seen by, His disciples? I think not. If Mark had wanted to say that he could have used the word “optomai” which is translated “appear” 17 times and “see” 22 times. But he used, instead, the word “phaneroo”. Why? I believe that the context will answer that question.
It is clear that none of the disciples believed the report when they were told by those who had seen Christ that He was alive. But when Mark used the word “phaneroo” he was saying that Christ had been manifested to the disciple as being alive. I hope it is clear that by using the word “phaneroo” rather than “optomai” Mark revealed a more profound truth than merely that Christ was seen by His disciples. He revealed in the use of the word “phaneroo”, the fact that Christ did much more than simply appear to His disciples, He manifested Himself as being alive and risen from the dead. His resurrection from the dead is after all, the key to God’s plan of salvation.
4) Jn. 1:31, “And I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest (phaneroo) to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water”. John the Baptist is saying that he is baptizing with water to make Christ manifest to Israel. Does John the Baptist mean that he wants Israel only to see Christ? Of course not. He was saying that he wanted Israel to know Christ, their long promised King and Messiah. That is to say, John the Baptist wanted Christ to be made manifest to Israel as their King and Messiah. The point is that “phaneroo” cannot be understood as “to be seen” in this passage, it must be understood as “made manifest”. John wanted Christ to be made manifest to Israel as King and Messiah.
5) Jn. 2:11, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested (phaneroo) forth His glory…..”. “This beginning of miracles” was Christ turning water into wine at the wedding feast. Of course, the miracle was seen, but the miracle was more than just seen, the miracle manifested Christ’s glory. That is to say, the miracle was understood by those who saw it to be just that, i.e. a miracle, and therefore, that miracle manifested forth the glory of Christ. In short, to be seen is one thing, but “phaneroo” means so much more than that, it means to be made known, i.e. to be manifested. In this context, the miracle was understood to be the manifestation of the glory of Christ.
6) Jn. 3:20-21, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, (phaneroo) that they are wrought of God”. It is obvious in this context that the deeds are much more than just seen, they are made manifest as being “wrought of God”.
7) Jn. 7:4-6 “For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew (phaneroo) Thyself to the world. (For neither did His brethren believe in Him). Then Jesus said unto them, ‘My time is not yet come….'”. The Lord’s answer tells us that He did not understand them to say that He should be merely seen because it was not His being seen that would lead to Christ’s death. Our Lord knew very well that it was being made manifest as Israel’s King and Messiah that would provoke the Jews to seek His death.
8) Jn. 9:3, “Jesus answered, ‘Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest (phaneroo) in him”. Christ healed this blind man. Are we to assume that when Christ healed him, that Christ wanted His disciples to merely see Him do it? I don’t think so. The only reason Christ wanted them to see Him heal the man was so that they might see the “works of God” and by seeing them, they might believe that Christ Himself was the Son of God. I say that because that is the expressed reason for John’s recording the miracles as given in John 20:30-31. In other words, the healing of this blind man manifested to those who saw it that Christ was the Son of God.
9) John 17:6, “I have manifested (phaneroo) Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world…..”. What is meant by the phrase “manifested Thy name”. I believe that “name” is used as a figure of speech, i.e. Metonymy of Adjunct which is defined in the Companion Bible as, “When something pertaining to the subject is put for the subject itself”. In this case “name” is put for the subject, Which is God. I believe that Christ said in this verse that He had manifested God to His disciples so that they would know Who God is through Christ Himself. While it is true that His disciples did indeed see God in Christ because Christ is God, I believe that Christ did much more than allow His disciple to see God, Christ manifested God to them. He made God known to them. There is a great difference between seeing God and having God manifested to them. Again, the point is that “phaneroo” means so much more than “to be seen”, it means “to be made manifest”.
10-11) Jn. 21:1, “After these things Jesus shewed (phaneroo) Himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed (phaneroo) He Himself”. Did our Lord merely make Himself seen by the disciples or did He manifest Himself to them as their Lord? Let us look at the context for the answer to that question.
Verses 2-6 describe Christ’s telling the disciples where to cast their nets and having done as they were told, brought up a large number of fish. We read in verse 6, “…..They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore the disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, ‘It is the Lord'”. Note the word “therefore”. It tells us that once they had brought up their nets with the large number of fish, then they knew it was the Lord.
So when John wrote in verse 1 that Christ showed (phaneroo) Himself to the disciples “on this wise”, i.e. in this manner, John was telling us that it was when the disciples had filled their nets that Christ had been manifested to them as their Lord. In short, in this context, the Lord was made manifest to His disciples as their Lord.
12) Jn. 21:14, “This is now the third time that Jesus shewed (phaneroo) Himself to His disciples, after that He was risen from the dead”. Please see the note above on Jn. 21:1.
13) Rom. 1:19, “because that which may be known of God is manifest (phaneros) in them; for God hath shewed (phaneroo) it unto them”. The NASB reads, “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident (phaneroo) to them”. I believe that this verse is telling us that there is something in man that allows them to know God because God has made Himself manifest to them as God. Here again, God is manifesting Himself, making Himself known, as God,
14) Rom. 3:21, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested (phaneroo), being witnessed by the law and the prophets”. It is clear in this verse that righteousness has not been seen, it has been made manifest, i.e. made known by the law and the prophets.
15) Rom. 16:26, “But now is made manifest (phaneroo), and by the scriptures of the prophets….”. Here too, it is clear that to be “made manifest” is not to be seen, but to be made known.
16) I Cor. 4:5, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest (phaneroo) the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God”. Here too it is clear that the “counsels of the hearts” will not merely be seen, they will be made manifest, they will be made known.
17) II Cor. 2:14, :”Now thanks be unto God, Which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest (phaneroo) the savour of His knowledge by us in every place”. Again, His knowledge is made known, i.e. made manifest, not merely seen.
18) II Cor. 3:3, “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly (phaneroo) declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us….”. The note in the Companion Bible reads, “manifestly declared = manifested”. And the NASB reads, “being manifested that you are a letter of Christ….”. In this verse Paul is telling believers that they are the “epistles of Christ” which in themselves manifest Christ.
19) II Cor. 4:10, “…..that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest (phaneroo) in our body”. Here, Paul speaks of his body making Jesus known.
20) II Cor. 4:11, “For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest (phaneroo) in our mortal flesh”. See note above on II Cor. 4:10.
21-23) II Cor. 5:10-11, “For we must all appear (phaneroo) before the judgment seat of Christ…..but we are made manifest (phaneroo) unto God; and I trust also are made manifest (phaneroo) in your consciences”. At first reading it may seem that believers must all simply be seen at the judgment seat of Christ. But in the next verse Paul goes on to say that we are “made manifest to God”. Let us take a step back and consider the judgment seat of Christ.
Paul is writing to believers, i.e. it is believers who will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ. Believers have “passed from death unto life” and will “not come into judgment” (Jn. 5:24). That being the case, it must be a judgment of rewards. I say that to make the point that it is his deeds that are made manifest. But his deeds in turn make manifest his worthiness, or lack thereof, of receiving rewards.
In my opinion, because the context and the fact that the word “phaneroo” is never used only in the sense of “to be seen” it is deeds that will be made manifest to God at the judgment seat of Christ. That is to say, when Paul wrote that “we must all be made manifest” he is saying that deeds, which is what will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ, will be made manifest. What this verse is saying, in my opinion, is that believers must be made manifest by their deeds at the judgment seat of Christ.
24) II Cor. 7:12, “Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, not for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear (phaneroo) unto you”. That Paul is saying that his care for them might be manifested is so obvious as to not require further comment.
25) II Cor. 11:6, “….we have been thoroughly made manifest (phaneroo) among you in all things”. Here too, the meaning is so obvious as to not require further comment.
26-27) Eph. 5:13, “But all things that are reproved are made manifest (phaneroo) by the light. for whatsoever doth make manifest (phaneroo) is light”.
28) Col. 1:26, “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest (phaneroo) to His saints”. Here it is the mystery that is made known.
29-30) Col. 3:4, “When Christ Who is our life, shall appear (phaneroo), then shall ye also appear (phaneroo) with Him in glory”. The context is about resurrection life. Verse 1, “If ye then be risen with Christ”. Verse 3, “….your life (i.e. resurrection life) is hid with Christ…”. To interpret “phaneroo” as “appearing” does not fit the context and it is not in keeping with the way the word is used by the Holy Spirit in any other passage. I believe therefore, that this verse tells us that Christ is made manifest. Made manifest as what? Again, that question is answered by the immediate context. Christ is made manifest as “Resurrection life”. “(I am the resurrection and the life”.) How will Christ be made manifest as the Resurrection life? That too is answered in the immediate context. When believers are resurrected, Christ will be made manifest as that Resurrection life. In the phrase “then shall ye also be made manifest” the context, which is resurrection life” explains that believers will be manifested as having received resurrection life.
31) Col. 4:4, “That I may make it (the mystery of Christ, vs. 3) manifest (phaneroo), as I ought to speak”.
32) I Tim. 3:16, “God was made manifest (phaneroo) in the flesh”. This tells us so much more than just that one could see God in Christ. It tells us that God could be known through Christ. If we understand “phaneroo” to mean “appear” or “to be seen” we miss the profundity of this verse.
33) II Tim. 1:10, “But is now made manifest (phaneroo) by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”. I believe that it is God’s “purpose and grace” spoken of in the previous verse that is “now made manifest”. It was made known by the appearing of Christ.
34) Titus 1:3, “But hath in due time manifested (phaneroo) His word through preaching……”.
35) Heb. 9:8, “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet made manifest (phaneroo)…..”. Obviously, it was not yet made known.
36) Heb. 9:26, “For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared (phaneroo) to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself”. This is another passage that, in my opinion, speaks of Christ manifesting yet another office that He had come to fulfill. By interpreting “phaneroo” as “appear” we do not see that profound truth, we see only that Christ was seen. But this verse speaks of Christ and His sacrifice in His office of “Lamb of God”. In other words, I believe that this verse is saying much more than that Christ appeared, I believe that it is saying that Christ was made manifest as the Lamb of God.
37) I Peter 1:20, “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest (phaneroo) in these last times for you”. In this verse the KJV does not simply say that Christ “appeared”, it says, correctly, that Christ was manifested. And once again the immediate context tells us Who Christ was manifested as. We read in the previous verse, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot”. I Peter 1:19-20 tells us that Christ was made manifest as the Lamb of God.
38) I Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear (Gr. “phaneroo”)…..”. I have tried to show that “appear” misses the profundity of the meaning of the Greek “phaneroo”. It does not mean “appear”, it means “to be made manifest”. Furthermore, this verse is an excellent example of the context telling us Who Christ shall be made manifested as. That is to say, Christ will be made manifest as “the chief Shepherd“.
39-40) I Jn. 1:2, “For the life was manifested (phaneroo), and we have seen it…and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested (phaneroo”) unto us”. Let us consider the phrase “that eternal life which was with the Father”. It is clear that the “eternal life” is in reference to Christ Himself, it was Jesus Christ Who was with the Father and had in Himself eternal life. (“I am the resurrection and the life”.) In this verse then we see that Christ was made manifest as the “eternal life”.
41) I Jn. 2:19, “…..but they went out, that they might be made manifest (phaneroo) that they were not all of us”.
42) I Jn. 2:28, “And now little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear (phaneroo), we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming”. I believe that as we consider the theme of the context from verse 18 we will see that here too Christ is made manifest in one of the offices which He came to fulfill. We read in verse 18, “as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists….”. Verse 22, “who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son”. John was writing to believers warning them of antichrists who would deny “that Jesus is the Christ”. But when He comes, He will be made manifest as the Christ. If we interpret the word “phaneroo” as “appear” we miss the point of this verse in relation to the context.
43-44) I Jn. 3:2,”Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear (phaneroo) what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear (“phaneroo”) , we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is”. It is obvious that in the phrase, “it doth not yet appear what we shall be” the meaning of “phaneroo” is that it has not yet been manifested what we shall be”. But how should we understand “phaneroo” in the phrase, “when He shall appear, we shall be like Him? Is John saying here that we shall know what Christ will look like? I do not believe that is the meaning of this verse. I believe that we are missing a profound truth by not considering verse 1 which reads, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.…”. And again in verse 2 we read, “now are we the sons of God“. As we take that into account I believe that we will see that John is making the point here that when Christ will be manifested as the Son of God, we will be be like Him in that we too are sons of God.
45) I Jn. 3:5, “And ye know that He was manifested (phaneroo) to take away our sins…..”.
46) I Jn. 3:8, “…..For this purpose the Son of God was manifested (phaneroo) , that He might destroy the works of the devil”.
47) I Jn. 4:9, “In this was manifested (phaneroo) the love of God toward us because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him”.
48) Rev. 3:18, “I councel thee to buy of Me …..white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (phaneroo) ….”. I believe that the sense of this statement is that the shame is manifested by nakedness.
49) ….all nations come and worship before Thee, for Thy judgments are made manifest (phaneroo)”.
This paper was written by Joyce Pollard. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please E-mail me at: