Shared from Lambert Dolphin’s email for today, Friday, April 7, 2023. The first portion is written by the late Pastor Ray Stedman. The second portion is composed by Lambert Dolphin, my friend and a strong advocate for the rapture of the Church (“the quick”) and the resurrection (“the dead”).
|Resurrection power is like no other power on earth. It is unique, and has no possible rival. It is a power that operates in the midst of death and despair. It operates when the entire world seems, bleak, dead, and barren. It explodes into life and light in the midst of an empty, dark cemetery–for that is where it was first demonstrated. When Jesus Christ was resurrected, He came out from among the dead. So if you learn to live by resurrection power, you can experience life, hope, and vitality when everything and everyone around you is dead, hopeless, and lifeless.
Resurrection power is a “stealth” power–silent and invisible. It makes no sound, it operates below the radar scope of this world. Other forms of power are noisy and obvious–they pound, pulsate, throb, hum, roar, buzz, or explode. But resurrection power is silent. It accomplishes its purpose without ostentation, flash, pizazz, or neon lights. Christians who live by resurrection power don’t use it to dazzle others or advertise its affects. That’s why the distinguishing marks of Christian character are humility and servanthood rather than showiness. Genuine Christians demonstrate the reality of resurrection power through the quiet evidence of their lives: love, joy, peace, endurance under hardships, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
God has a marvelous way of illustrating spiritual truth through nature. He demonstrates His resurrection power every year through every returning springtime. Out of the cold, barren, death of winter, God brings new life, color, warmth, and glory by means of a quiet, invisible force which gradually transforms the whole landscape into a fairyland of beauty.
Resurrection power is irresistible. It cannot be thwarted or turned aside. It takes absolutely no account of any obstacles thrown in its path, except to use them for further opportunities to advance its cause. When Jesus came bursting from the grave, He didn’t give the slightest attention to the obstacles man had placed in His way. There was a large stone in front of His tomb; He passed right through it. He was wrapped in yard after yard of linen cloth; He left the grave clothes undisturbed behind Him. There were Roman guards in front of His tomb; He ignored them. He took not the slightest notice of the decrees of Caesar or the orders of Pilate or the fulminations of the Jewish priests. –Ray Stedman, According to the Power.
The Quick and the Dead
The Quick and the Dead is an English phrase originating in William Tyndale’s English translation of the New Testament (1526), “I testified therefore before god and before the Lord Jesus Christ which shall iudge quicke and deed at his aperynge in his kyngdom” [2 Tim 4:1], and used by Thomas Cranmer in his translation of the Nicene Creed for the first Book of Common Prayer (1540). In the following century the idiom was referenced both by Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1603) and the King James Bible (1611). More recently the final verse of The Book of Mormon (first published in 1830), refers to “…the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead”.
…The phrase is found in three passages in the 1611 King James version of the Bible: in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 10:42), Paul’s letters to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:1), and the First Epistle of Peter. The last reads: “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead”. This passage advises the reader of the perils of following outsiders in not obeying God’s will. Specifically it warns that those who sin, both the quick and the dead, will be judged by Jesus Christ. In other words, it implies that God is able to act on the sins of a person whether that person is alive (quick) or has passed into the afterlife(dead).
In the Nicene Creed the phrase appears in the following passage (taken from the Book of Common Prayer, 1662).
[He] ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead.
In the Apostles’ Creed the phrase appears in the following passage (also taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer).
He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
Etymology: 1: to quicken something 2: to come to life especially to enter into a phase of active growth and development seeds quickening in the soil 3: to reach the stage of gestation at which fetal motion is felt 4: to shine more brightly watched the dawn quickening in the east 5: to become more rapid “her pulse quickened at the sight.” The use of the word quick in this context is an archaic one, specifically meaning living or alive; therefore, this idiom refers to ‘the living and the dead.’ The meaning of “quick” in this way is still retained in various common phrases, such as the “quick” of the fingernails, and in the idiom quickening, as the moment in pregnancy when fetal movements are first felt.) Another common phrase, “cut to the quick”, literally means cut through the dead, unfeeling layers of the skin to the living, sensitive tissues below. (Wikipedia)