Messiah 101
Foundational Principles of Messiah
R' Richard Pustelniak
November 19, 2000

Repentance from Deeds that Lead to Death
Faith toward G-d
Doctrine of Ceremonial Immersions
Laying On of Hands
Resurrection of the Dead
Continued Existence After Death
Continued Consciousness After Death
Restored Life After Death
Resurrection, A Cardinal Tenet of Judaism
Resurrection of Messiah
General Resurrection of the Dead
Eternal Judgment

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Warning: The truths contained in this teaching are not for the faint of heart, or the lukewarm! You can be sure that haSatan (the adversary) will do all he can to keep you from understanding and applying the concepts and truths contained herein, but it is our prayer that every one who receives these notes will carefully consider and apply the contents to their lives.

X. Resurrection of the Dead
bible icon...the foundation of...the resurrection of the dead (t'chiyyat chameitim)...(Heb 6:1,2)
A. Biblical Terms
anastáseos te nekrón: literally meaning, literally meaning, "resurrection of the dead," from (anástasis), meaning , "a standing up again"; (te), which, in this context means, "also"; and (nekrós), which , when used as a noun, means "dead" as in "the dead"

hades: in B'rit HaChadashah (New Covenant) and later Judaism, interpreted as the realm of the dead, a place of sojourn prior to the resurrection
bible iconAnd you, Capernaum (K'far Nahum, or village of Nahum), who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. (Matt 11:23)

bible iconFor You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. (Ac 2:27)
t'chiyyat hameitim: literally meaning, "to cause the dead to live," from (chai), meaning "life," or "living"; and (müt), meaning "to die" or "to kill"

Sheol: the abode of the dead, is where the identity (spirit or soul) of an individual goes to await the judgement, the coming of Messiah, or the resurrection.
bible iconI said, "In the prime of my life I shall go to the gates of Sheol; I am deprived of the remainder of my years." (Isa 38:10)
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B. Continued Existence After Death
bible iconFor man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets. {Remember your Creator} before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. (Eccl. 12:5-7)

In this passage we receive a hint of the eternal nature of the spirit of man. The spirit that comes from G-d is eternal and shall always exist.

bible iconThen Saul said to his servants, "Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her." And his servants said to him, "In fact, {there is} a woman who is a medium at En Dor." So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, "Please conduct a seance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you." Then the woman said to him, "Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the spiritists from the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?" And Saul swore to her by the L-RD, saying, "{As} the L-RD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing." Then the woman said, "Whom shall I bring up for you?" And he said, "Bring up Samuel for me." When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, "Why have you deceived me? For you {are} Saul!" And the king said to her, "Do not be afraid. What did you see?" And the woman said to Saul, "I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth." So he said to her, "What {is} his form?" And she said, "An old man is coming up, and he {is} covered with a mantle." And Saul perceived that it {was} Samuel, and he stooped with {his} face to the ground and bowed down. Now Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" And Saul answered, "I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and G-d has departed from me and does not answer me anymore, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do." (1Sam 28:7-15)

Revealed Concepts:

  • Individuality is retained—Life force does not return to an impersonal cosmic pool
  • Identity is retained—Individuals retain characteristics, enabling others to recognize them
  • Memory is retained—Memories of one's life (experiences, acquaintances, etc.)
  • Dominant mode: rest—which can be disturbed
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C. Continued Consciousness After Death
bible iconThere was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Eleazar (Lazarus), full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Eleazar in his bosom. Then he cried and said, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Eleazar that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." But Abraham said, "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Eleazar evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us." (Lk 16:19-26)

Revealed Concepts:

  • Differences in location—Same fate does not await all...the righteous and wicked are separated, and the kind of existence is determined by the kind of life lead while alive
  • Variation in state—Not egalitarian, variations in honor and recognition exist
  • Persistence of sensation—The ability to experience torment or rest (in their degrees)
  • Permanence of status—Once life is exited, no ability to repent or change is available
  • Those in the various states are aware of one another
  • Communication and recognition persist
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D. Restored Life After Death
bible iconNow it happened after these things {that} the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. So she said to Elijah, "What have I to do with you, O man of G-d? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?" And he said to her, "Give me your son." So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. Then he cried out to the L-RD and said, "O L-RD my G-d, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?" And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the L-RD and said, "O L-RD my G-d, I pray, let this child's soul come back to him." Then the L-RD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, "See, your son lives!" Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now by this I know that you {are} a man of G-d, {and} that the word of the L-RD in your mouth {is} the truth." (1Kgs 17:17-24)

Here we see the restoration of life, after a brief period of time, although the time was long enough to ensure that this was a restoration of life not a simple resuscitation.

bible iconThen Elisha died, and they buried him. And the {raiding} bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year. So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band {of raiders} and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. (2Kgs 13:20,21)

Here is a restoration of life after a longer period, where preparation for burial has taken place (spices, wrapping, etc.)

bible iconY'Shua said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "L-rd, by this time there is a stench, for he has been {dead} four days." Y'Shua said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of G-d?" Then they took away the stone {from the place} where the dead man was lying. And Y'Shua lifted up {His} eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said {this,} that they may believe that You sent Me." Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Eleazar (Lazarus), come forth!" And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Y'Shua said to them, "Loose him, and let him go." (Jn 11:39-44)

Here is a restoration of life, after a long enough period for significant putrification and decay to have taken place.

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E. Resurrection, a Cardinal Tenet of Judaism

G-d's ability to bring the dead back to life is called (gevurah), literally meaning strength...1 Resurrection is one of the primary tenets, and hopes, of Judaism, and to fail to believe in the resurrection is to commit chilul Hashem, to desecrate the Name.

Resurrection is so important to the Jewish mind set that it holds a prominent place in the Thirteen Principles of Faith, set forth by the Rambam (Moses Maimonides), for all Jews to believe:

Principle 13: I believe with perfect faith that there will be a resurrection of the dead at the time when it shall please the Creator, blessed be your Name, and exalted be the remembrance of You for ever and ever.2

Faith in G-d's ability to raise the dead, and trust in His faithfulness to do so is pronounced and given thanks for three times daily by observant Jews all over the world, as part of the Amidah (Standing Prayer):

You are mighty forever, my L-rd; You resurrect the dead; You are powerful to save. He sustains the living with loving-kindness, resurrects the dead with great mercy, supports the falling, heals the sick, releases the bound, fulfills His trust to those who sleep in the dust. Who is like You, O mighty One! And who can be compared to You, O King, who brings death and restores life, and causes deliverance to spring forth. Blessed are You, who revives the dead. (Gevurot Prayer of the Sh'monei Esrei)
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F. Resurrection of the Messiah
bible iconYet it pleased the L-RD to bruise Him; He has put {Him} to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see {His} seed, He shall prolong {His} days, and the pleasure of the L-RD shall prosper in His hand. (Isa 53:10)

In this passage, the one that has lost His life by being "cut off, from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken" (Isa. 53:8), is seen with "prolonged days." For those that believe that this passage refers to Messiah, it is obvious that this passage also refers to His restoration to life, after having died and been buried. Among those with this interpretation are: Jewish commentator, Herz Homberg, in his book, "The Jewish Interpretation of Isaiah 53," the Lubavitch Chasdim, in a work published just before the Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendl Shneerson) died, where all the traditional Messianic prophecies are applied to the Rebbe (including Isaiah 53). There is also a poem, called Az Milipheney Bereshit, in the prayer book of Yom Kippur, which has very clear references to Isaiah 53 as Messianic.

bible iconFor You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence {is} fullness of joy; At Your right hand {are} pleasures forever more. (Ps 16:10,11)

Here we a reference to, and by, one that will be in Sheol only temporarily, and whose body will not corrupt while He is separated from it. The Psalmist is King David, who, everyone knows, did remain in the tomb, and whose body did corrupt. Therefore, this passage must be a prophetic reference to one who would die and rise again (the offering for sin of Isaiah 53?).

bible iconMoreover, brethren, I declare to you the 'Good News' which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Messiah died for our sins in accord with the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day in accord with the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas (Peter), then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the congregation of G-d. But by the grace of G-d I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of G-d {which was} with me. Therefore, whether {it was} I or they, so we preach and so you believed. Now if Messiah is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Messiah is not risen. And if Messiah is not risen, then our preaching {is} empty and your faith {is} also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of G-d, because we have testified of G-d that He raised up Messiah, whom He did not raise up, if in fact the dead do not rise. For if {the} dead do not rise, then Messiah is not risen. And if Messiah is not risen, your faith {is} futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Messiah have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Messiah, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Messiah is risen from the dead, {and} has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man {came} death, by Man also {came} the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Messiah the first fruits, afterward those {who are} Messiah's at His coming. Then {comes} the end, when He delivers the kingdom to G-d the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. (1Cor 15:1-24)

This passage, from the B'rit HaChadashah (New Covenant) makes it clear that the resurrection of the Messiah is absolutely necessary, toward the completion of His work. If the Messiah doesn't rise, then the offering for sin (in Isaiah 53) is insufficient, and no one will rise to life. The stain of sin remains on all. One the other hand, the resurrection of the Messiah is a definite indication that those putting their trust in His atonement will also rise.

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G. General Resurrection of the Dead

There are many passages of Scripture which speak of the great resurrection, directly or by insinuation. However, Ezek. 37, referring to the Valley of Dry Bones, is not one of them. This passage is speaking of HaShem bringing us back to our homeland, first in unbelief, then He will breath the life of faith into our lives. Hear are a few passages which speak of resurrection:

bible iconOh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock with an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know {that} my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this {I know,} that in my flesh I shall see G-d, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. {How} my heart yearns within me! (Jb 19:23-27)

Here we see a definite reference to the restoration of life to a body that has completed the process of decay and corruption. The book of Job, as a book, is believed by many scholars to be the oldest book in the collection of Holy Scripture, significantly predating the writing of the Torah. And, even at the time this book was written there was a clear expectation of resurrection and rejoining of soul and body.

bible iconI {was} so foolish and ignorant; I was {like} a beast before You. Nevertheless I {am} continually with You; You hold {me} by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me {to} glory. Whom have I in heaven {but You?} And {there is} none upon earth {that} I desire besides You. (Ps 73:22-25)

Here we see a clear expectation of the Psalmist, to be received into the eternal presence of G-d, following some implied period of time.

bible iconYour dead shall live; {Together with} my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew {is like} the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. (Isa 26:19)

Again, a definite expectation is expressed by the Psalmist, to have his essence (or soul) restored/rejoined with his body. The earth, or grave, yielding up those who had been temporarily hidden away there.

bible iconAnd many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame {and} everlasting abhorence. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. (Dn 12:2,3)

Here we see another reference to those, whose bodies have been temporarily hidden away in the dust of the earth (the grave), rising up from that hiding place. Also, there is also a clear indication that all of the those that rise do not share the same fate...

1 Yitzchok Kirzner, The Art of Jewish Prayer (New Jersey: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1991) p. 68
2 Ronald H. Isaacs and Kerry M. Olitzky, Critical Documents of Jewish History, A Sourcebook (New Jersey: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1995) p. 180

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