Faith
Wednesday June 4, 2008
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2B
FAITH COMMENTARY
"The First Resurrection"
Christ is returning, yet most Christians are not aware of the events that will take place…You will face two resurrections. Understanding the first resurrection enables you to comprehend the second. Rev. 20:5 KJV introduces you to the first resurrection:

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

The manuscripts show the origin of resurrection:

anastasis, Greek 386, Strong’s

anastasis, an-as'-tas-is; from Greek 450 (anistemi); a standing up again, i.e. (literal) a resurrection from death (individual, genitive or by implication [its author]), or (figurative) a (moral) recovery (of spiritual truth) :- raised to life again, resurrection, rise from the dead, that should rise, rising again.

“Raised Again” is leaving the spiritually dead to join the “spiritually alive”; you are then raised in Christ. The better you understand this, the more likely you are to be “Raised Again” at the first resurrection. Those not participating in this resurrection must wait a thousand years. They then have the opportunity to be raised at the second resurrection.

Rev. 20:4 KJV tells you about the first resurrection:

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.

Those taking part here are “spiritually alive” and spiritually speaking, all the rest are dead. God’s loyal servants are participating and you too are included, that is, if you do not have the mark of the beast.

Not having his (Satan’s) mark in your forehead means that your mind is sealed in Christ and not having his mark in your hand means that, physically, you are not doing the work of Satan.

Rev. 20:6 KJV gives you reason to be included in the first resurrection:

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 second death is the death of your soul; it occurs to all that fail to be raised at the second resurrection. It has no power over you because you were raised at the first resurrection. Having been judged there, you reign (teach) with Christ for a thousand years. This means that you can help your loved ones that have

been spiritually dead since the first resurrection.

Rev. 20:2-3 KJV

offers encouragement: Satan and his deception are “put away” during the millennium:

[2] And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

[3] And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

When the thousand years are finished, God turns him loose again; those seeking to be included in the second resurrection will be thoroughly tested by Satan. Yielding to him at this point is fatal as your two choices are…resurrection or lake of fire.

Do not confuse the second resurrection with a second chance. Considering what is being taught today, is it possible for someone to have missed a first chance?

The millennium and both resurrections lie ahead of you. They serve God’s purpose as well as providing you a personal challenge.

2 Peter 3:8 KJV appropriately identifies this “thousand year period” as the Lord’s Day:

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

With a better understanding of the “Lord’s Day”, you can now answer this question: What are my chances of participating in the first resurrection?

 

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Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at billy@lakeshorebible.info or viewed online at www.lakeshorebible.com