If We Say Christians Are Now Reigning, What Then Is The First Resurrection?
Rev. 20:4, 5b. “4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”
Essentially the “b” part of verse 5 ought to follow verse 4 immediately after “reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
So it ought to read; “…they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years… This is the first resurrection.”
Meaning those who are reigning with Christ are those who have partaken of the FIRST RESURRECTION.
So what is the first Resurrection?
Ans. John 5:25, “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.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice.”
When He said the Father has given him authority to execute judgment, this is referring to that judgment which He was shortly to execute on this unbelieving nation, and apparently in direct reference to Dan. 7:13, “Behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds.” And the Jews have always expounded on this to mean the promised Messiah.
So talking of the resurrection Jesus was only actually referring to the release of the Jews from their captivity should they listen to His voice, as at the time of His birth Israel was under bondage to Rome.
By reason of their rebellion not to listen to His voice, He wept over the city when He foresaw the judgment that was coming to them through the Roman armies in AD 70.
Matt. 23:36, “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
So when He talked about resurrection, He was essentially referring to freeing the Jews from their slavery just like the Prophet Ezekiel stated also. And we read,
Ezek. 37:12, “Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel,” KJV.
This was prophetic of Israel coming out of captivity. So the graves aren’t talking of the cemetery but their enslavement he called graves. And if you come out of a grave what’s that supposed to mean? A resurrection!
Now in Rev. 2:11 we are told,
“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.”
Second death? What’s the second death? And so we read,
Rev. 20:14, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Meaning the lake of fire is the second death. That would mean that the first death is where those who partook of the first Resurrection came out from.
So what’s the first death and first resurrection?
The first resurrection is the moral and spiritual re-awakening (Phil. 3:11) from among the dead in sin and trespasses (Eph. 2:1-3) being influenced by the devil. We are resurrected in Christ as we hear His voice (words).
John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
All those therefore who truly have Christ, have partaken of the first resurrection while the rest are still dead.
(Gen. 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”) Now they ate and they died to the life of God (Gen. 3:5).
For 1 Tim. 5:6, “…She (anyone) that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.”
Now to come out of the death state in the Adam life, you have to die in Christ.
MSG, Col. 3:1, “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. 2 Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ — that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. 3 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life — even though invisible to spectators — is with Christ in God. He is your life.”
So you see all those who have received the life of Christ have risen from the realm of death into the real life, the resurrected life of God in Christ, the first resurrection.
Meaning the blood of Jesus brought you out of that grave where you were in Adam.
So we are not talking of rising from a cemetery in this context but from a state of the dead in Adam, even as we have to die in Christ as a resurrected being with a new life.
Now we are dead TO sin but not dead IN sin. Meaning sin can no longer have an effect and power in your life. You are a new creature with the life of Christ.
To be continued..