The First Resurrection

“John 5: 24-29 gives us key information regarding the resurrection: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

Jesus introduces us to have life without judgment by simply believing on the Father sending the Son. The judgment Jesus is speaking of is the second death. Those that believe in Jesus are counted to be a part of the first resurrection. The first resurrection is not a physical resurrection; but a spiritual resurrection through the new birth.

John 5: 24 says of those that believe that they “… shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Revelation 2: 11 says: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” The reason they won’t be hurt by it is because they are part of the first resurrection.

Revelation 20: 6 says: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

The first resurrection is synonymous with the Millennial reign of Christ. The stoning of Stephen showed Jesus standing and not sitting on the right hand of the Father (Acts 7: 56).

Could it be that the beginning of Christ’s seated millennial reign was after the destruction of Jerusalem?

The souls under the altar in Revelation are the same who are privileged to begin reigning with Christ in the heavens: “Revelation 6: 9-11 says: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” The cry coming from the saints from under the altar is against Jerusalem which was destroyed in A.D. 70.

Notice what Mathew 23: 34-36 says: “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city. That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel, unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” Jesus was speaking to that generation. The Easy Read Version of Matthew 23: 36 says it like this: “Believe me when I say that all these things will happen to you people who are living now.”

The Lord avenged the blood of his saints on first century Jerusalem: Revelation 18: 23-24; 19: 1-2 says: “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth… And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.”

Jeremiah 7: 34 was fulfilled in A.D. 70: “Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.”

It is by the new birth that we are raised from spiritual death to our heavenly place in Christ. The hour had come for those that were spiritually dead to hear the voice of the Son of God; and those that heard began to live.

Ephesians 2: 1, 5-6 says: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins… Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” This quickening happens when your sins are forgiven in water baptism through faith. The word ‘quickened’ means to make alive or give life to. Paul in the book of Colossians compares being made alive to the spiritual circumcision of water baptism.

Colossians 2: 11-13 says: “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” The Holy Spirit is the one who causes us to be raised to our heavenly seat in Christ.

Romans 8: 10-11 says: “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Not only does the Holy Spirit cause us to be raised spiritually; but he will resurrect us physically as well. The Apostle John says we have already passed from death unto life because we love the saints (1 John 3: 14).

The physical resurrection of believers is postmillennial; that is, after the 1000-year heavenly reign of Christ. The 1000-year reign is not a literal 1000-years but it is symbolic for a long period of time.”

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