AT THE APPEARING OF CHRIST.
χοϊκος"; and such also will they be who will be called upon to "awake!" They will be "εκ γης χοϊκος, out of the earth, of dust"; but when they afterwards "put on incorruption," in their incorruptible investiture (το οικητηριον, το εξ ουρανου), they are "clothed upon with their dwelling, which is from heaven." Thus, the two bodies, the natural and the spiritual, are represented by Paul as derived from two opposite regions, as remote the one from the other as the earth and heaven; yet both as intimately connected as cause and effect; or as the seed sown, and the body the Deity is pleased to give it.
But Paul says, "in the last trumpet which shall sound, the dead ones shall be raised incorruptible." So it reads in the Common Version; and if the words be understood in the sense intended by the apostle, there cannot be the least objection to it. He announced a truth, which was afterwards apocalyptically represented to John in Patmos; that in the period symbolized by the seventh trumpet "the dead shall be caused to exist incorruptible." This is the import of the word εγερθησονται, rendered "shall be raised," in this text. It includes the whole process of rebuilding from the awakening to the quickening, when the subject of the finished operation can shout aloud with joy, and exclaim "I am immortal! Hallelu Yah!" This will be seen in any lexicon under the word εγειρω; among the definitions are "to raise up, or again, to rebuild, to cause to exist." The raising of an edifice is not begun and consummated in an instant. It is the pleasure of the Deity, who is "the builder of all things," to execute His purposes with deliberation. He lays the foundation of "the house, which is from heaven," in the dust. This foundation is the body which springs forth therefrom; while the superimposed building is the white robe of immortality, "the house from heaven," with which it is arrayed, and in the panoply of which it dwells. Hence raising in this text, is not an instantaneous act, as though a body shot forth from the dust incorruptible and immortal; but a process consisting of divers successive stages. These are all developed in, or during, the sounding of the last, or seventh, trumpet; but the interval to elapse between the beginning and the finishing of the process, is nowhere revealed. It will, doubtless, be sufficiently long to afford scope for "the gathering unto Christ," and the judgment of His house, which is to follow. They are caused to exist when they come forth from their graves; but they are not "caused to exist incorruptible," until they shall have been approved at His tribunal, when the raising will be complete.
Thus, from these premisses, it may be perceived that the raising of the righteous is the exaltation of them from a lower to a higher