The First Resurrection

This entry is part 19 of 20 in the series Spiritual Realms

The Resurrections

For Believers:  (The First Resurrection)

The resurrection of the dead is a global occurrence, for believers and non-believers alike.  The resurrections, however, are conducted in a particular order and at different historical times.

The conclusion of the “first resurrection” is noted in Revelation 20 (we will see this momentarily).  This announcement of the completion of the first resurrection concludes the resurrection of all believers as the final group is resurrected.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23 (NIV)
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

          The order of the First Resurrection:

·         Christ himself

·         20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

·         Others were resurrected in scripture, but also later died again.  They did not receive the resurrection of permanence, which results in a transformed spiritual body.  Jesus was the first to achieve the true “resurrection of the dead” as described in this text.

·         The Church (general)

·         then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

·         The “church” is a term used in dispensational theology, at least, to refer to those who were born again into Christ prior to the time of the rapture.  All of those born again afterward fall into the general category of “tribulation saints,” since it is generally accepted that these will be the generation of the Great Tribulation.  The church is raptured prior to the Great Tribulation.  Thus, “when he comes” for the rapture they are granted their resurrection.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV)16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

·         The Church’s Order in the First Resurrection

·         The dead in Christ

·   16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first

·   The “dead in Christ” refer to those have died in the church and are buried (or otherwise remain) on earth in the body

·         The living in Christ

·   17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

·   “we who are still alive” refers to the living at the time of the rapture event.  While the dead will have their bodies to rise first (and meet up with their spirit) the living will transform at once; body and spirit. 

·         To that end, this isn’t a “resurrection,” because those raptured are not risen physically from the dead.  But, their departure is described in this context, so they are listed here.  Those raptured alive will never experience physical death, however.

·         The Resurrection of the Old Testament Saints

Daniel 12:11-13 (NIV)
11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. 13 “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”

·   Because the Old Testament saints are not “the church,” they are not included in the rapture, but arise later.

·   The promise of their resurrection is noted in Isaiah 26:19, but not the timing of it:  19 But your dead will live; their bodies will rise.
You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy.
Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.

·   Here, in Daniel 12, the specific timing of the resurrection of the Old Testament Saints is noted:

·         13 “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”

·         Daniel is told that he will rise after the “end of the days.”

·   “The days” in the context are the 1,335 days:

1.      1,260 days is the second half of the tribulation (3 1/2 years based on a 360 day Jewish average year)

2.      There are 30 further days before the abomination of desolation is taken down

3.      And 45 more days before it is stated “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.”

a.       The “blessing” of the 1,335th day is two-fold: 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i.      The resurrection of the tribulation saints (in next bullet)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ii.      The resurrection of the Old Testament Saints (“at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance)

Revelation 20:4-5 (NIV)
4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

 

·         Finally, The Resurrection of the Tribulation Saints

·         This concludes the first resurrection, as it is the final resurrection of the righteous. 

·   All of the righteous dead at that point are resurrected

·   “This is the first resurrection”

·   There are believers who will live through the Great Tribulation which will repopulate the earth for the millennial kingdom.

·         Without a great deal of detail (see chapter 9 in The Return of The King), these believers will not die, but will live forever – throughout the entire Millennial Kingdom.  That is why scripture does not indicate a resurrection for the tribulational saints other than those who were killed during the great tribulation.

·         Those martyred during the Great Tribulation will come “to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

·   The timing of this is also the 75th day into the Millennial Kingdom as hinted in Daniel 12:12 “12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.”

·         This blessing is not specified, but seems probable that it is the blessing of seeing the completion of the first resurrection.

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2 Comment(s)

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