John 5:24-29- Two Resurrections? The Holy Spirit and The Resurrection
In our last installment in this examination of John 5:24-29 we demonstrated that Ezekiel 37 is one of the key underlying texts behind Jesus’ discussion of the resurrection. We shared with you that in the Tanakh (the Old Testament) there is the doctrine that YHVH had withdrawn the Holy Spirit from Israel, but, in the last days, He would pour out His Spirit once again, and raise Israel from the dead. In fact, a close look at several OT eschatological passages reveals and defines the Last Days work of the Holy Spirit:
He would build the Messianic Temple (Ezekiel 37 / Hosea 3).
He would bring in the New Covenant (Ezekiel 37).
He would purify a new priesthood (Hosea 3:4-5).
He would restore the “Ephod.” The Ephod was the instrument of divine revelation to and through the priesthood under the Old Covenant (Hosea 3:4-5). This is why it is important to grasp the significance of the record in Acts of the work of the Holy Spirit through the apostles. This record of the work of the Spirit is tantamount to Luke virtually shouting– “Israel is being restored! These are the last days, before the Great Day of the Lord!”
He would establish the King in righteousness (Isaiah 32:1f) with the resultant peace and holiness.
He would bring salvation (Joel 2:28-32).
He would raise Israel, all twelve tribes, out of the graves, in that promised New Covenant world (Ezekiel 37).
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Resurrection and the Day of the Lord
Notice from Joel 2 that the promise of the Holy Spirit is patently the promise of the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, the gift of prophesy, the gift of tongues, etc..
Note also how Peter says those gifts were promised for the last days, as a sign of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.
Is the Day of the Lord not the time of the resurrection? Patently so! Well, since the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit were to be poured out in the last days, as a sign of the Day of the Lord, then the charismatic gifts were given to signify that the resurrection– the resurrection of Ezekiel 37– was near.
So, if it is true that Ezekiel 37 serves as the prophetic source (one of the sources) for Jesus’ discussion of the resurrection at the last hour, this demands that if the resurrection at the last hour has not occurred, we should have the present occurrence of the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church today, in undeniable, powerful, inspired manner, just as they were present in the first century.
Among those gifts would be the office of the prophet, the restoration of the “Ephod” to divinely reveal the will of God, in inspired, infallible, authoritative manner.
To put this another way, the resurrection of John 5:24-29 would be accomplished through the last days work of the Holy Spirit.
The last days work of the Spirit would include the restoration of the divinely inspired office of the prophets (Joel 2) who would speak with divine power, divine authority, divine inspiration.
If therefore, we do not today witness the presence of divinely inspired, divinely empowered, divinely authoritative prophets, then either the resurrection of John 5:28-29 has failed, or, that resurrection has taken place.
There is no way to divorce the presence of the prophetic office from the last days, resurrection work of the Holy Spirit.
If there are no divinely inspired, authoritative, infallible prophets– inspired by the Holy Spirit, operative in the church today, and I say, with all kindness and respect, but with full confidence, there are no living, divinely inspired, authoritative prophets operative in the church today. the resurrection of John 5:28-29 has been fulfilled!
More to come!