First Resurrection (of the saints)

A topic to be considered.

”After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they called out with a loud voice saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” (Revelation 7:9-10) 

The photo is the base of the Mount of Olives where the prophet Zechariah said, “In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west ….” (Zachariah 14:4) The white tombs are located on an ancient burial place for Israel’s religious, and now rich or notable Jews, who think to be resurrected upon the Messiah’s arrival. There is more to the first resurrection than where one is buried.

There’s a lot of talk about “last things” among Christians nowadays. We can’t help but think about how things will come to pass, if we are paying a shred of attention to the media. There are differing opinions of how the church will fair when Satan vents his wrath. The answers are found when we walk backwards from the moment of the fulfilled prophesy, “the first resurrection.”

”Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?’ I said to him,  ‘My lord, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in  the blood of the Lamb.’” (Revelation 7:13-14) 

We have to keep reading to chapter 20 before discovering who will be part of the first resurrection. “Then. I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgement was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:4–5)

We can be certain that this event called “the first resurrection” will include those from “every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” and those “who come out of the great tribulation.”  We will be dead before then or we will be the generation of Christians who experience Satan’s wrath.

A mystery explained.

“Listen, I will tell you a mystery:  We will not all sleep, but we will be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be change. (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)

“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with the voice off the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 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.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

The sound of the last trumpet is blown by the seventh angel foretold in the 10th chapter of Revelation. ”There will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to His servants the prophets.”  (Revelation 10:8) 

The apostle Paul revealed God’s mystery regarding our resurrection. The apostle John reveals the time God’s mystery is accomplished, when the seventh angel sounds the trumpet. Then we will be gathered to forever be with Jesus, our Lord. (Revelation 7:15-17)

Easy to understand symbols.

Revelation 12 describes a woman (Israel) who gives birth to a male child (Jesus) who is caught up to God and a war in heaven. The dragon (Satan) and His angels are thrown down to the earth He is described as “having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” (Vs. 12) 

“And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.” (Vs. 13) God protects the woman (Israel, His remnant people) (see Zechariah 14) from the presence of the serpent “for a time and times and a half time.” (Vs. 14) She fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. (Vs. 6) Both of the numerical descriptions express the same period of time (three and one half years) when considering that a Biblical year is 360 days.

The events of that appointed time are described by the prophets as God, once again, makes Himself known to His covenant people, the remnant of Israel. Perhaps a topic for a future article.  

“So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her seed who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. ((Vs. 17)  Christians are the rest of Israel’s seed. “From every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” will come the fruit of the Seed of God, Jesus, who  died and rose again. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24) 

Well, this is the future as I now perceive it to be. The “first resurrection” of “the dead in Christ” will happen when the “last trumpet” sounds at the end of “the great tribulation” when Jesus returns to meet us “in the clouds.”

Father, the first Christians believed that no one or any circumstance could separate them from the love of Christ. (Romans 8:31-39) Their faith was tried in a refining fire. If it is necessary that tribulation comes to those now living may the proof of our faith “result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:5-7) This we pray in the name of Your Son.

“Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection ; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6)