Presenting a Biblical response by concerned former Seventh-day Adventists to the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.

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Commentary on "The Dead in Christ (1 Thess. 4:13–18)"



Day 5: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - Rising in Christ (1 Thess. 4:15, 16)



In today’s Sabbath School lesson, the author states the key point of this passage is the order of events when Jesus comes.



The Adventist interpretation of the order of events is this:

  1. Jesus returns in a noisy way. (See Clear Word: Jesus is taught to BE the Archangel)
  2. The dead rise from their graves first (before the living ascend to meet Jesus in the air).
  3. Immortality is given to those who are now risen from the grave and those who are still alive.

The Biblical interpretation of events is this:

  1. Jesus brings back WITH Him those who have died.
  2. The Lord descends from heaven.
  3. The dead will rise.

Again, there is no problem with what the Bible says. The Adventist belief regarding the body and spirit are what make this passage difficult for Adventists to understand (or need to rearrange the order of events). Understanding the new birth (we have BOTH a body and a spirit) makes this passage easy to interpret. Those who have died before Christ returns are already WITH Him and He brings them back WITH Him. They are reunited with their bodies and all are taken to heaven with Him.

There is no separation from Christ once we have been given new life through the Holy Spirit.



  1. The order of events is stated to be the key point in this passage. Yet, Adventist doctrine ignores the stated order of events by saying that those who have already died (who believed) will rise from their graves, rejecting the verse that says Christ will bring those who have died WITH Him.
  2. This cannot be an accurate (or hopeful) interpretation because Christ has risen from the grave and those who have received Christ’s life on their behalf will never be separated from Him. (John 5:24)




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