What is meant by "the dead in Christ shall rise first?" What happens to the body?


In Pastor Hayford’s teaching, "The Rapture Rupture" (tape #1427), he says the following:

"Every time you see a graveyard you’re looking at a site where one of the greatest miracles of history is going to take place…. Those which have gone before the Lord will rise from the dead…. A graveyard is a concentrated scene of a potential miracle…."

"Not minimizing the significance of the body, the body is sacred territory in God’s order of things. But the body is transient and passing until it is glorified into an eternal state…. Those that sleep with reference to the fact that their bodies are in a place of rest, a place of waiting, but they are with the Lord. For the scripture says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. So this is not a case that suggests a person’s soul is asleep, or that they are spiritually oblivious until the day of the Lord’s return. It is their body that is in a place of rest. Their soul is in a place of repose with the Lord, but not unconscious, not asleep. They are with the Lord, fully conscious….

"Now it says then the rapture is related to the resurrection of the righteous dead. ‘Those that are asleep,’ verse 14, ‘those which are asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.’ See they’re with Him now. He will bring them back. Then the Bible says in verse 16, ‘Then the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.’ …There’ll be glorified bodies and then we’ll be with the Lord….

"Secondly, the Bible says that there’ll be a great transformation….something will happen to our bodies which will qualify us for foreverness with the Lord. This body that I have right here is mortal, is decayable, it is biodegradable. This body can’t last forever….but this body will be transformed at the coming of the Lord….

"…I Corinthians 15:51-58… ‘and the dead will be raised incorruptible…’ Now they’ve corrupted and decayed in the grave. But they’ll arise. There shall not be the stench of death upon them, there won’t be anything like at Lazarus’ tomb…. When the Lord opens these graves there is incorruption, there is immediate transformation….God, in order to work a total recreation all over of that body into a glorified and eternal state…. ‘And we shall be changed’…. ‘For this corruptible’ – that’s the ones in the graves – ‘must put on incorruption, and this mortal’ – that’s us – ‘shall put on immortality….’

"One has to do with the transportation, the other has to do with the transformation…."


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