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The Resurrections of the Dead

  • The Resurrection of the Dead is a fundamental part of Christianity.
  • However, there are many different interpretations and opinions about the Resurrection of the Dead.
  • To begin to understand the Resurrection of the Dead, one must realize that it is divided into two parts, which is to say that there is more than one.


That there will be a "Resurrection of the Dead" is a fundamental tenet of Christianity, that is mentioned numerous times throughout the bible. Despite the attention given to it, there is still alot of controversy surrounding the Resurrection of the Dead.

The revelation of this mysterious and terrific event begins in the Old Testament, where it is firmly entrenched in various passages, "So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep" (Job 14.12 KJV bible), "And many [or the multitude] of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12.2 KJV bible), "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead" (Isaiah 26.19 KJV bible). These passages make clear that the multitudes will not "sleep in the dust" forever.

It's clear that many of the Jews in Jesus' time looked forward to the Resurrection of the Dead, as a time in which the deceased would be made alive again, "Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day" (John 11.23-24 KJV bible). The existence of the Resurrection of the Dead is often reaffirmed and expounded upon in the New Testament, "how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (1st Corinthians 15.12-14 KJV bible). Both the existence and importance of the Resurrection of the Dead is emphasized in the bible, particularly in the New Testament.

Yet despite the attention given to this subject by Jesus and his apostles, there remains terrible confusion and controversy over what exactly is meant by the Resurrection of the Dead. Will everyone resurrect? Is it a physical or spiritual event? When will the Resurrection of the Dead happen, or has it already happened? The answers to all of these questions and more are provided to us in God's Word, but only if we are willing to rightly divide it, laying aside the vain traditions received from men.

A good place to start is to recognize that there are two resurrections of the dead, and they are separated by an interval of a thousand years.

Paul instructs us concerning the Resurrection of the Dead, that not some, but all people will participate in it, "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust" (Acts 24.15 KJV bible), "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1st Corinthians 15.22 KJV bible). However, if there is a complete resurrection of the dead, both just and unjust, how do we account for the following verses, "but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage" (Luke 20.35 NASB bible), "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead" (Philippians 3.10-11 KJV bible)? If everyone automatically resurrects, then why should anyone try and attain unto the resurrection, as these verses suggest?

The answer is that Jesus and Paul are not speaking generally about the Resurrection of the Dead, but are instead referring to the resurrection of the righteous. This resurrection of the righteous is mentioned in the book of Hebrews, "and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection" (Hebrews 11.35 KJV bible), and also in the gospel of Luke, "And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (Luke 14.14 KJV bible). So we come to the realization that there are not one, but two resurrections spoken of in scripture. There will be a resurrection of the righteous or just ones, which we aspire to only through the sanctification of Jesus Christ, and for the rest of mankind a resurrection of judgment, "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [Hades] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works" (Revelation 20.13 KJV bible).

We also need to understand that these two resurrections, righteousness and judgment, do not occur simultaneously, "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 [or came to life] and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived [or came to life] not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection" (Revelation 20.4-5 KJV bible). So the resurrection of the righteous, which is also the first resurrection, occurs at the start of the thousand year period known as the millennium. However, the resurrection of judgment, which is the second resurrection, occurs at the end of the thousand year millennium. Therefore, the Resurrection of the Dead is not a single all encompassing event, but rather it is subdivided into two parts that are separated by an interval of a thousand years.

In studying the Resurrection of the Dead, we need to consider which of the two resurrections a particular passage is referring to, or if the passage applies to both of them. Also, because there is much more written concerning the first resurrection than the second, we need to extrapolate from our information about the first to understand the second.



Comments

ED      03 Dec 2011, 09:25

who is perfect but God himself . all men including women have sinned. only God has all the answers . IF jesus was not God and he said he was not then he was not the Messiah . Gen 22:8 says God himself would give his life and not his son the one most everone calls JESUS it is true that he will have a son called jesus but also he will have a son called David HEwill be the father of them both . GOD himself is the messiah or christ. if he comes and he will no one will know he is God the father and the son in the same body .intell he dies there will be two resurrections . but because he will come . and die but not on a cross. all sins shall be forgiven and 3 days and 3 nights will past and he will raise him beginng the first then those who died before shall raise after him . but it is yet to happen .but before it does happen all will say i am the anticrist . only because you belive that jesus my son was and is the crist. IFi created the heavens and the earth and i did then i am to be blaimed not my son called jesus . would you alow your son to pay for your mistakes ?

Hank Knegt      07 Mar 2012, 13:52

1Co 15:23 But every man in his right order: Christ the first-fruits; then those who are Christ's at his coming.
1Co 15:24 Then comes the end, when he will give up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have put an end to all rule and to all authority and power.

There are three resurrections, Christ was first about 2000 years ago.
Next are those who are in Him when he returns. The last resurrection is after the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth at the great white throne.


Rev 20:4 And I saw high seats, and they were seated on them, and the right of judging was given to them: and I saw the souls of those who were put to death for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and those who did not give worship to the beast, or to his image, and had not his mark on their brows or on their hands; and they were living and ruling with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 The rest of the dead did not come to life again till the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.

Note the above verses call the resurrection at the return of Christ the first resurrection. The rest of the dead, meaning all others still dead are resurrected after the 1000 years at the great white throne judgment. There is no support that I can see for two resurrections after the 1000 years.

Doug Buckley      07 Mar 2012, 13:54

(moved comment over here)

ED      16 Apr 2012, 21:21

AT the sheading of the blood of Christ are we not all righteous ? i say yes in this case there need not be two ressurrection but one.what i unde rstand you are saying the unrigheous will be judged anyway.will the FATHER of heaven and earth judge us.he called all of us sinners .even jesus said that he would not judge us.IS THIS NOT THE REASON THAT THE FATHER SENT IS SON? let me make a correction acording to what i have found in the scriptures .christ will come and die just before the end of life on this earth for 3 days and nights 72 hrs .then he will raise from the dead at his ressurrection he being the first only then can there be the ressurrection of all thoughs that died before him. am i crazy or is this right ? If i am ri ght then what need is there for 2 or 10 ressurrections ? IS NOT OUNCE enough How many times has the FATHER make mistakes ? i say not once HE does it right the first time t

ED      16 Apr 2012, 21:55

HANK thats what it says most people look at this as 1000 yrs thats a long time off. but when we rember a 1000 yrs can be just one day in the eyes of our FATHER.

Doug Buckley      17 Apr 2012, 11:58

Hi Ed, I'm not really sure about your question, but the resurrection of the dead is a future event when the dead will be brought back into the world as new spiritual beings. Its different from the crucifixion, when Jesus died one time on the cross for our salvation.

ED      17 Apr 2012, 14:10

Thank you Doug for getting in touch with me.If we check the scriptures in the newtestment at the ressurrection of jesus some were raised from the dead then we hear nothing about them only that they went to jeresalem.IFchirst is to be the first begotton from the dead .at his ressurrection death will be no more. Paul said IF death is still with us then CHRIST has not yet been raised from the dead " AFTER is ressurrection all the dead who died before him shall raise.I love the words JOB said in job 19:25-27 with the eyes of my new body i shall see him . at his ressurrection CHRIST death can not have anymore hold on us. and in REV.1:5 conferms by the way which question were you not sure of ? was it when i ask if i was crazy or was i right .waiting for your reply

ED      25 Apr 2012, 14:35

bros still no reply wonder why ? The only porpuse i have in this life is to find the truth . i have read in the scriptures and have been taught by man his religon .intell i came to the question . why did my FATHER help me evertime i sined or made a mistake .he solved all my problems and never judge me not once. this is a fact .concerning the resurrection it speaks of forgiveness and judgement . then i started asking him my FATHER for the truth concerning him . he took me to Moses in the old testment and he shewed me the fear the people had for him. the first command was love your GOD with all your heart. trust in him because he cares for you. because he loves us all. he his a GOD of judgement .our he is a GOD of love . but he cant be both. i chose , acording to what he shewed me he is the God of love . and now i do not fear him.he never gets mad at me that i know of .but he does teach me his love for me can never get cold. and when i make a mistake he tells me why so that i wont ever do it again.in his words the message is allways why did you not lisson its for your own good. i created you now let me teach you. and you will never go wrong. i know now no one loves me like he LOVES me. and this is also a fact . he created all of us . and no one can prove to me.that he does not know what he is doing. if he judged one of us, he would be a lier,and he would not be perfect.in the last chaptures in the book of Rev he even tells us the life we will have after the ressurrection of his son and its all good

ED      27 Apr 2012, 18:56

acording to your coment of a 1000yrs IF one day could be the right answer. IT can be also interped as the same day of the ressurrection of CHRIST and all outhers who died before him. we all know the teaching of jesus and this doctrine concerning him . but this was 2000 yrs ago . how much longer do we have to wait for the resurrection and the rapture ? these questions should be answered : and they are all in the scriptures . even when and how death shall be done away. it is a fact that death is still alive and well,because people die ever day. and IF christ is yet to come for the first time , then die then be ressurrected he being the first to be raised from the dead, only one resurrection is enougt . however IF JESUS was the CHRIST including his there must be 3 resurrections 2nd for the sants the 3rd for those who will be judged . it is written that ChRIST will die for all of our sins SHALL he judge twist why would he judge us for our sins if he forgave us of our sins . does this make sence to you ?

Doug Buckley      29 Apr 2012, 12:47

Ed, I just can't follow what your saying.

Red      21 Feb 2013, 09:33

I'm wondering if only those who were "martyred" for faith in Jesus (Rev.20:4) are in the first resurrection, then after the 1000 years, the rest of the righteous who died without being "killed" will then be resurrected.?

Doug Buckley      21 Feb 2013, 14:57

hi Red, some people do believe that it's a special resurrection only for the martyrs. I believe this first resurrection is the gathering and resurrection of believers to Christ described in 1st Corinthians 15.52 and elsewhere. John pays special attention to the martyrs because he's describing what he sees in the context of the tribulation.
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