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John 5:29

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Shall come forth - Shall come out of their graves. This was the language which he used when he raised up Lazarus, John 11:43-44.

They that have done good - That is, they who are righteous, or they who have by their good works “shown” that they were the friends of Christ. See Matthew 25:34-36.

Resurrection of life - Religion is often called life, and everlasting life. See the notes at John 5:24. In the resurrection the righteous will be raised up to the full enjoyment and perpetual security of that life. It is also called the resurrection of life, because there shall be no more “death,” Revelation 21:4. The enjoyment of God himself and of his works; of the society of the angels and of the redeemed; freedom from sickness, and sin, and dying, will constitute the life of the just in the resurrection. The resurrection is also called the resurrection of the just Luke 14:14, and the first resurrection, Revelation 20:5-6.

The resurrection of damnation - The word “damnation” means the sentence passed on one by a judge - judgment or condemnation. The word, as we use it, applies only to the judgment pronounced by God on the wicked; but this is not its meaning always in the Bible. Here it has, however, that meaning. Those who have done evil will be raised up “to be condemned or damned.” This will be the object in raising them up - this the sole design. It is elsewhere said that they shall then be condemned to everlasting punishment Matthew 25:46, and that they shall be punished with everlasting destruction 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; and it is said of the unjust that they are reserved unto the day of judgment to be punished, 2 Peter 2:9. That this refers to the future judgment - to the resurrection then, and not to anything that takes place in this life - is clear from the following considerations:

1. Jesus had just spoken of what would be done in this life - of the power of the gospel, John 5:25. He adds here that something still more wonderful - something beyond this - would take place. “All that are in the graves” shall hear his voice.

2. He speaks of those who are in their graves, evidently referring to the dead. Sinners are sometimes said to be dead in sin, but sinners are not said to be “in a grave.” This is applied in the Scriptures only to those who are deceased.

3. The language used here of the “righteous” cannot be applied to anything in this life. When God converts men, it is not because they “have been good.”

4. Nor is the language employed of the evil applicable to anything here. In what condition among men can it be said, with any appearance of sense, that they are brought forth from their graves to the resurrection of damnation? The doctrine of those Universalists who hold that all people will be saved immediately at death, therefore, cannot be true. This passage proves that at the day of judgment the wicked will be condemned. Let it be added that if “then” condemned they will be lost forever. Thus, in Matthew 25:46, it is said to be “everlasting” punishment; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, it is called “everlasting” destruction. There is no account of redemption in hell - no Saviour, no Holy Spirit, no offer of mercy there.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Our Lord declared his authority and character, as the Messiah. The time was come when the dead should hear his voice, as the Son of God, and live. Our Lord first refers to his raising those who were dead in sin, to newness of life, by the power of the Spirit, and then to his raising the dead in their graves. The office of Judge of all men, can only be exercised by one who has all knowledge, and almighty power. May we believe His testimony; thus our faith and hope will be in God, and we shall not come into condemnation. And may His voice reach the hearts of those dead in sin; that they may do works meet for repentance, and prepare for the solemn day.
Ellen G. White
Faith and Works, 55.2

If it stirs up the enmity of the human heart when the Lord, the great Jehovah, is mentioned, you may know the person has no connection with God. People may claim that they have great faith in Jesus and that there is nothing you can do but that Christ will do for you. Now, when Christ shall call forth the dead, it depends wholly upon your course of action whether you have a resurrection to life eternal or a resurrection to damnation. Thus they get these truths all mixed with error, and they cannot tell what is truth; and if asked to sit down and search the Scriptures with you to see what saith the Lord, I never knew a case but the answer was that they had no need to search the Scriptures, for the Lord told them what to do. FW 55.2

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Ellen G. White
Faith and Works, 85.1

“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Ephesians 5:2). In all the fullness of His divinity, in all the glory of His spotless humanity, Christ gave Himself for us as a full and free sacrifice, and each one who comes to Him should accept Him as if he were the only one for whom the price had been paid. As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive; for the obedient will be raised to immortality, and the transgressor will rise from the dead to suffer death, the penalty of the law which he has broken. FW 85.1

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 491.3

You will come forth with other faithful ones who have believed in Him, to praise Him with a voice of triumph. All you are expected to do is to rest in His love. Do not worry. Jesus loves you, and now when you are weak and suffering, He holds you in His arms, just as a loving father holds a little child. Trust in Him in whom you have believed. Has He not loved and cared for you all through your lifetime? Just rest in the precious promises given you.—Letter 299, 1904. 2MCP 491.3

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 313.3

You will come forth with other faithful ones who have believed in Him, to praise Him with a voice of triumph. All you are expected to do is to rest in His love. Do not worry. Jesus loves you, and now when you are weak and suffering, He holds you in His arms, just as a loving father holds a little child. Trust in Him in whom you have believed. Has He not loved and cared for you all through your lifetime? Just rest in the precious promises given you. TDG 313.3

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 261.4

In the day of His coming, the last great trumpet is heard, and there is a terrible shaking of earth and heaven. The whole earth, from the loftiest mountains to the deepest mines, will hear. Everything will be penetrated by fire. The tainted atmosphere will be cleansed by fire. The fire having fulfilled its mission, the dead that have been laid away in the grave will come forth—some to the resurrection of life, to be caught up to meet their Lord in the air, and some to behold the coming of Him whom they have despised and whom they now recognize as the Judge of all the earth. UL 261.4

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