UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but this is my one aim:
to forget everything that's behind, and to strain every nerve to go after what lies ahead.
I press on toward the finish line, where the prize waiting for me is the upward call of God
IN KING JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14)
TUC #09-1518
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
February 23, 2015
Out-Resurrection from Among the Dead
Over the years, I have noticed that among believers there seems to be a lack of understanding of Paul's revelation
of the out -resurrection, or lack of any interest to learn of it. I heard a very well-known pastor state from the pulpit
on several occasions that the resurrection is very important, but he never explained what he meant. So, one day, I
asked several of his people what his teaching was on resurrection. Not a single person could answer me. Not one!
Even worse, no one could clearly explain what the resurrection was all about, of course, other than Jesus'
resurrection. I thought this phenomenon might be limited to this one large group until one day I mentioned the
out -resurrection to an entirely different group and they admitted they did not know what I was talking about.
Why is this so? I can't say for sure, but there are at least two related possibilities. First, resurrection is seen solely
as a present, spiritual reality, that is, believers experience a spiritual resurrection while in mortal bodies. Some
claim it occurs when one believes and is baptized into newness of life; others see it as a progressive experience.
Second, a present, spiritual resurrection fits in with one dying and going to heaven and receiving a new body, as
some are taught. Given this, why care about a future resurrection or what Paul calls the redemption of the body
(Romans 8:23)? We should care, for it mattered to Paul.
Why, in his last personal letter to his beloved Timothy, did Paul warn Timothy to beware of those who had gone
astray from the truth and were upsetting the faith of some by saying the resurrection had already taken place (2
Timothy 2:17-18)? Obviously, Paul expected a future bodily resurrection. The time of his departure had come; he
had finished his course, and the crown of righteousness was laid up for him on that DAY, a future day (2 Timothy
4:6-8). Earlier in his course, Paul wrote: He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present
us with you (2 Corinthians 4:14). This sure sounds like something off in the future, which leads to Paul's goal of the
out -resurrection, as paraphrased in the Wuest New Testament – An Expanded Translation .
In order that I might come to know Him in an experiential way, and to come to know experientially the
power of His resurrection and a joint-participation in His sufferings, being brought to the place where my
life will radiate His likeness to His death, if by any means I might arrive at the goal, namely, the out-
resurrection from among those who are dead . (Philippians 3:10-11 Wuest)
It is very clear that Paul desired above all else to live as if he were radiating the very life of Christ in his body, even
in suffering and death. Notice that he sought to know the power of Jesus' resurrection through suffering and
death. In his flesh, Paul died daily, and, in this death, he sought to know through experience the power of His
resurrection. This is could be described as a death to life cycle. If you want to call this a type of spiritual
resurrection or a cycle of death leading to spiritual life, I have no argument, but note that, according to Paul, this
is not the endpoint; it is the way to attain something else that Paul called a goal to press on toward.
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on…. I press on toward the
goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12, 14 NASB)
There was no pretense in Paul as there is in some today who are claiming with near giddiness that they have
arrived. This great apostle was nearing the end of his life and he had no pretense in him. The reality to Paul was
that he had not arrived at a goal or mark set before him, namely, to arrive at what he called the out-resurrection ,
which comes from the Greek word exanastasis . This is the only place in Greek scripture that this particular word is
discovered, and yet, practically all translations translate it simply as resurrection . It is as if Paul wanted to catch
our attention to a truth that he knew would be lost or distorted. After all, it was happening in his day.
#09-1518 [645]
Out-Resurrection from Among the Dead
Page 2
Exanastasis is made up of two words. The root word is anastasis , which means "standing up again." This is the
most commonly used word in Greek scripture to refer to the resurrection or being raised up. However, Paul added
the prefix ex , which "denotes origin or the point from whence motion or action proceeds, or out of a place, time
or cause." It can mean "out among." The Concordant Greek Text, English Sublinear , translates this expression as
"out-up-standing of the out-of-dead-ones." In other words, Paul saw a future resurrection in which some would
be raised up from the dead while others remained dead. Wuest makes this distinction quite clear, to the point of
redundancy, in the phrase out-resurrection from among those who are dead .
Scripture refers to resurrection in two ways, the difference being in the preposition—resurrection of the dead and
resurrection from (among) the dead or raised from the dead. Clearly, Paul was given revelation of this distinction,
for he used both expressions in his defense of resurrection: Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised
from the dead , how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:12)? In
Jesus' day, the Jews understood the resurrection of the dead to mean that in the last day all the dead would be
simultaneously raised up, some to a resurrection of life and others to a resurrection of judgment (John 5:29). This
is why Martha told Jesus in regard to Lazarus' death: I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last
day (John 11:24).
However, the expression resurrection from the dead , which was introduced by Jesus Himself, was an entirely new
concept to the Jews, which is seen in the disciples' response as they came down the mountain after witnessing
Jesus' transfiguration. He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man rose
from the dead. They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead meant
(Mark 9:9-10). Not only did they not understand that the Son of man was to die on the cross, but that He would
also be raised from the dead. For someone to be raised from among the death in the course of history, that is, not
at the end of history (end of the age), was foreign to the Jewish mind. How could someone come to life from the
dead sometime in the midst of history—that is, apart from the last day? When Jesus did, it was a shock to not only
the Jewish world but the entirety of mankind. No one had ever risen from the dead in the middle of history.
Of twenty-two references in the new testament to being raised from the dead , nineteen refer to Jesus (John 2:22;
21:14; Acts 3:15; 4:10, 13:30, 34; Romans 4:24; 6:4, 9; 7:4; 8:11; 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:12, 20; Galatians 1:1;
Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Peter 1:21), and three refer to Lazarus (John 12:1, 9, 17).
Of seven references to the resurrection from the dead , five refer to Jesus (Acts 4:2; 26:23; Romans 1:4; 1
Corinthians 15:12; 1 Peter 1:3), and two refer to man (Luke 20:35; Philippians 3:11). Luke is particularly telling, for
here Jesus answered a question from the Sadducees who did not believe in resurrection: The sons of this age
marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection
from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like
angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection (Luke 20:34-36).
This is Paul's out-resurrection , also called the better resurrection (Hebrews 11:35), that is reserved for the called
and chosen company of believers that are adopted (placed) in the kingdom of God as sons of God—the sons of
the resurrection. Paul pressed on toward this goal. It was an upward call, meaning Paul sought to be in the
company of those who would rise up or stand up from among the dead, receiving an inheritance in the kingdom,
which is a resurrected, transfigured, glorified, spirit-animated body in the image of Jesus, the consummate Son.
Dear brethren, this was Paul's expectation, his longing. We ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for
our adoption as sons, the redemption [deliverance] of our body. For in hope [expectation] we have been saved, but
hope [expectation] that is seen is not hope [expectation]; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope
for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it (Romans 8:23-25).
Do you long for the redemption or deliverance of your body? Do you long for immortality; being changed into the
likeness of the Son of God? Let us not pretend we have arrived. Let us wait eagerly for it; it won't be long!