ER10. The First Resurrection
o Mat 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
II. Two Resurrections
(i) The First Resurrection
Rev 20:4 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.
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 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.
o This is a Limited Resurrection…..some are excluded from the First Resurrection
o The First Resurrection is for believers, followers of Christ
o Although believers only are in the First resurrection it does not say that all believers take part in the First Resurrection
o Those who participate in the First Resurrection will rule and reign with Christ in the Millennium
o This promise is given to those who are Overcomers….Clearly not all Christians are Overcomers
o Those in the First Resurrection are Blessed and Holy
o Those not in the First Resurrection will arise in the General resurrection at the end of of the Thousand Years reign of Christ
o The First Resurrection is a “ Better” Resurrection
(ii) The General Resurrection
Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
o There are both believers and unbelievers in the second resurrection…not the Overcomers
o Some are found written in the Book of Life. These are believers.
o Some are not found in the Book of Life. These are unbelievers vs.15
o All who are resurrected at the General resurrection will be judged according to their works vs.13
o Jesus taught about this General Resurrection when all the dead would be raised
Joh 5:28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice
Joh 5:29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation
o Paul also taught that there would be a General Resurrection
Act 24:15 I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
III. Not All Christians Arise at the First Resurrection
o Note: This area of teaching is not understood or is disagreed with by many Christians
o Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
o “The resurrection of the dead”….this is a poor translation of the original language
Greek: teen exanastasin teen ek nekrōn…literally …The out from resurrection from among the dead
Clearly this is not the general resurrection. It is a Limited Resurrection
o Paul is speaking about the First Resurrection.
He also calls it the High Calling of God in Christ, and “winning Christ”
o This resurrection which is from among the dead (teen exanastasin teen ek nekrōn) is a privilege at which one must arrive (katanteesō) by a given course of life, even the experimental knowledge of Christ, of the power of His resurrection, and of the fellowship of His sufferings, thereby becoming conformed unto His death (Phil. 3: 7-21)
o “If by any means” ….the word “if” is a condition and implies a possibility of the event not happening
o Act 27:12 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.
In this situation they were shipwrecked on the journey and failed to reach their destination
IV. OT Pattern: The Feast of Trumpets
o NT Coming of Christ: The Trump Sounds
o 1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
o OT Feast of Trumpets
o Three Feasts of Israel
(i). Passover. Ist Month…..…………First Coming of Christ
The first occurrence of the Feast of Passover is found in Exodus 12
This feast culminated in the people of Israel being redeemed by the blood of a lamb from slavery to Egypt
The Feast of Passover is prophetic of Jesus the Lamb of God
Joh 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Jesus , the true Passover Lamb was slain on the cross, on the Feast of Passover, at exactly the time the priests were killing the Passover lamb
1Co 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
The Feast of Passover is also the personal experience when we receive Christ as our sin offering and are born again
(ii). Pentecost. 3rd Month…………….First Coming of Christ
The first occurrence of the Feast of Pentecost is found in Exod.19
This Feast involved God descending upon the Mount in fire and giving the law to Israel
The feast of Pentecost is prophetic of Jesus baptising the disciples in the upper room with the Holy Ghost and fire
The Feast of Pentecost is also a personal experience when we are baptised in the Holy Ghost, receive the gift of tongues and begin to move in the supernatural
The Feast of Pentecost and encounter with the Holy Spirit took place exactly on the day of Pentecost at the time the feast was being celebrated in the city of Jerusalem
It was also called the Feast of Firstfruits…..we receive the firstfruits of our inheritance Eph.1:13-14
Eph 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
The Feast of Pentecost is a personal experience when we are baptised with the Holy Spirit
(iii). Tabernacles. 7th Month……….……Second coming of Christ
The first mention of the Feast of Tabernacles is found in Lev.23 , and it was first kept when Israel entered the promised land
The Feast of Passover and the Feast of Pentecost were both fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus
They were fulfilled at exactly the time the natural feast was being celebrated
The Feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled at the second Coming of Jesus
The Feast of tabernacles is prophetic of the return of Jesus and the Great endtime Harvest
The Feast of Tabernacles will also be a personal experience when the First Resurrection occurs
o Personal Application and Prophetic Application
o Num 10:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
Num 10:2 "Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps.
Num 10:3 When they blow both of them, all the congregation shall gather before you at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
Num 10:4 But if they blow only one, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall gather to you.
Num 10:5 When you sound the advance, the camps that lie on the east side shall then begin their journey.
Num 10:6 When you sound the advance the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall begin their journey; they shall sound the call for them to begin their journeys.
Num 10:7 And when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but not sound the advance.
Num 10:8 The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and these shall be to you as an ordinance forever throughout your generations.
Num 10:9 "When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.
Num 10:10 Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the LORD your God."
o When one trumpet is blown, all the leaders are gathered together at the tabernacle
o When two Trumpets are blown all the congregation gathers together at the tabernacle
o This prophetically points that the first resurrection is a limited resurrection.
o Those who are overcomers and who will rule with Christ will come forth in the First resurrection
V. Principle of Selection for First Resurrection
1. Faithful Service
o The Parable of the Wise Servant (Mat.24:45-51)
This parable reveals there are two different groups of servants at the Coming of Jesus
One servant represents the Overcomers, who arise in the First Resurrection
The other servant represents believers who fail to be worthy of the First Resurrection
o Mat 24:45 "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?
Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
Mat 24:47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
Mat 24:48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,'
Mat 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,
Mat 24:50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,
Mat 24:51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Wise and Faithful Servant
(i) He is a servant of The Lord, a believer
(ii). His heart is sensitive to the Master and His requirements. (He practices intimacy)
(iii). He is faithfully serving God’s people.
(iv). He is fulfilling his assignment
“Meat in due season”
Meat…means nourishment. It refers to spiritual food(wisdom) for mature believers
Due Season….. Means at the appropriate time.
He has an understanding heart and discerns what God is saying and doing (1Chron.12:32)
(v) This Servant: Faithful, Wise, Serving,
(vi). The Wise Servant’s Reward
“Make him ruler over His household”….and Make him ruler over all his goods”…
This servant is an Overcomer
If this wise steward is to be made “ruler,” then we know he is of the first resurrection, for these rule and reign with Christ a thousand years.
The wise steward is one who has learned to be a good servant, one who abides by the laws of the household and does the will of his Master.
He has learned that ruling does not mean having servants, but being a loving servant to others
The Foolish and Unfaithful Servant
(i). He is a servant of the Lord, a believer
(ii) His heart is hardened …lack of intimacy and love
(iii). He is unconcerned at the prospect of his Master returning
He has no fear of the Master or of the consequences of of being unprepared for His return
(iv). His neglect of love for the Master is shown in his attitude and behavior towards fellow
His words and actions are destructive towards the fellow servants
(v). His lifestyle is entangled with ungodly people
(vi). He is totally unaware of the spiritual season and timing. The Lord returns suddenly &
(vii). The Foolish Servant’s Loss
Cut in two (Lit. To flog severely)………...Refers to painful discipline because of his behavior
Portion with the hypocrites…………….….Excluded from all the celebration and reward
“Weeping and gnashing of teeth”………..Deep sorrow and anger at the greatness of his loss
This servant fails to qualify for the First Resurrection
o Jesus reveals what it is to be and Overcomer who inherits the First Resurrection
We must faithfully fulfill our assignment, with loving service to the people of God
2. Loving People with No Agenda
The Parable of the Banquet
o Luk 14:12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.
Luk 14:13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.
Luk 14:14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just."
o Jesus is not talking about the General or Second Resurrection
o He is taking about the Resurrection of the Righteous, the First Resurrection
o He addresses his comments to the host of the banquet in response to seeing the behavior of guests
o Guests were seeking the highest places of honor. Banquets were held for friends who could repay
o Jesus reveals what it is to be an Overcomer who inherits the First resurrection
We must show the quality of unconditional love that gives with no thought of receiving a return from the recipient
o Jesus also gave indication of this in His teaching in Luke 6
Luk 6:32 "But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
Luk 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children (Huios…Mature Sons) of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Great Reward will be given to servants who show the quality of unconditional love.
That Reward will be the First Resurrection and Manifested Sonship
3. Daily Walk with God by Faith
The Example of Enoch
o Gen 5:24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
o Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "AND WAS NOT FOUND, BECAUSE GOD HAD TAKEN HIM"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Jud 1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
o Jud 1:15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
o Enoch was translated alive directly into heaven before the earth was destroyed by judgement
o He is a prophetic picture of those alive at the endtime who will be resurrected and not see death
o Notice what the Bible says about Enoch
Enoch walked with God
Enoch had a life testimony he pleased God.
o Enoch was a man of faith in God whose life pleased God and qualified him to escape death
o Enoch looked forward to the Coming of the Lord and warned his generation of the coming judgment
o Jesus reveals what it is to be an Overcomer who inherits the First resurrection
o Like Enoch we are called to walk with God by faith, and live a godly life that pleases Him
4. Focus upon Eternal Rewards and life of Faith
OT Saints who pleased God
o Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Heb 11:14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
Heb 11:15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
Heb 11:16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them
o Note what is says about these heroes of faith
They desired a heavenly country
They looked for and sought that heavenly city
They saw the promises of God, and embraced them
They lived a life to honor God and suffered hardships for this
o God’s response is that He is not ashamed of them and has prepared for them a heavenly city, because of their manner of life and devotion to the call of God
o Heb 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
o This is a description of men and women of faith who had faith in God that empowered them to overcome enemies and endure persecution
o They had a vision of a “better” resurrection that they desired to attain to
o “Better”…stronger, more noble, more powerful, having dominion and power
o “Attain”..to reach, attain, obtain, get, become master of
o Jesus reveals what it is to be an Overcomer who inherits the First resurrection
o Like OT Saints we are called to Focus upon Eternal rewards, walk with God by faith, and live a godly life that pleases Him, and overcome difficulties and persecutions
5. Growth in Godly Character (Transformation)
Peter’s Exhortation to Believers
o 2Pe 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
2Pe 1:6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
2Pe 1:7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
2Pe 1:11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
o 2Pe 1:12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
o The Context of this passage is the coming of Jesus and the First Resurrection
2Pe 1:16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty
o The Apostle Peter urges believers to make our calling and election sure
Our election, or selection for the High Calling of God, or First resurrection is not sure
Our lifestyle and diligence is important to qualify us for the first resurrection
“Diligent”…mentioned twice…to hasten, make haste, to exert one's self, endeavour, give diligence
“Diligence”…MW…steady, earnest, and energetic effort : persevering application
o The Promise: An Abundant entrance into the coming Kingdom
“ Abundant”….wealthy, abounding in resources …in contrast to “saved , yet so as by fire” 1Cor.3:15
o Peter reveals what it is to be an Overcomer who inherits the First resurrection
Diligent pursuit of growth in the character of Christ
V. Jesus Teaching on the Need to be Counted Worthy
1. Questions on the Resurrection
o Luk 20:34 Jesus answered and said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage.
Luk 20:35 But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;
Luk 20:36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
o The Bible is clear that all the dead will rise again. This was well accepted by the Jews of jesus day
o Jesus is talking here about the First Resurrection….and being accounted worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from among the dead
o “That age” (singular) is not a Bible term for eternity, which is not one age but many, “the ages of the ages” (thirteen times in the Revelation).
o “That age” is set by Christ in direct contrast to “this age,” and so means the age of the kingdom to follow this age.
o A general resurrection the Jews expected (Jo. 11: 34: Acts 24: 15), but here Christ speaks of “the resurrection which is out from among the dead” (tees anastaseōs tees ek nekrōn).
o This is the first clear intimation of such a limited, select resurrection.
o This is Jesus teaching about the First Resurrection and he makes it clear that one must “attain’ or “be counted worthy” of receiving this
o Since Jesus is the one who determines who enters the First Resurrection we must take His words seriously
2. This warning of the need to be Counted Worthy is Repeated
Luk 21:34 "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
Luk 21:35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Luk 21:36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Eph 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
Eph 4:2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
1Th 2:11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children,
1Th 2:12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
2Th 1:7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
2Th 1:8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Th 1:9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
2Th 1:10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
2Th 1:11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,
2Th 1:12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(iii). OT. Joshua the High Priest
o Zec 3:6 Then the Angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying,
Zec 3:7 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk Among these who stand here.
o This is a prophetic vision of the end Time Overcomers received by Zechariah
o Joshua the High Priest has access to the presence of God, to the throne room
o His unclean garments are removed and he is given freely garments of righteousness
o The promises that are made to him are conditional… “if”
o If he walks in Gods ways (Lifestyle), and fulfills his calling…then he shall have have access to the throne room and shall rule the house
o Joshua must be counted worthy of receiving the promises
(iv). OT. The Sons of Zadok
o Eze 44:15 "But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer to Me the fat and the blood," says the Lord GOD.
Eze 44:16 "They shall enter My sanctuary, and they shall come near My table to minister to Me, and they shall keep My charge.
Eze 44:17 And it shall be, whenever they enter the gates of the inner court, that they shall put on linen garments; no wool shall come upon them while they minister within the gates of the inner court or within the house.
Eze 44:18 They shall have linen turbans on their heads and linen trousers on their bodies; they shall not clothe themselves with anything that causes sweat.
Eze 44:19 When they go out to the outer court, to the outer court to the people, they shall take off their garments in which they have ministered, leave them in the holy chambers, and put on other garments; and in their holy garments they shall not sanctify the people.
o This passage reveals that some of the priests were faithful in their priestly service and some were not
o Those priests who are faithful, the sons of Zadok, are given privileged access to Jesus.
o They are also given linen garments, clothing which they wear when entering the presence of Jesus in the Holy Place.
o Linen garments are a prize awarded to the overcomers. (Rev.19:8)
o These garments that they are given correspond to a resurrection body(2 Cor.5:1-4)
o Faithful priests enter the First resurrection, those who are not faithful do not
o We are all called to be priests to God. (1Pet.2:5,9)
o Those who are faithful to fulfill their priestly call will enter the First resurrection.
o The unfaithful will not
3. When will we be Counted Worthy?
Example of Paul:
o Before Death
2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2Ti 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
o Compare with earlier in Paul’s Life:
Php 3:11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Php 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended;
o At some point before Paul’s death his life was judged and he was found to qualify
He was given personal assurance that he qualified for the First Resurrection and Reward
o Example Of Dead Saints
o After Death
Rev 6:9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.
Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Rev 6:11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
o These saints are not yet raised from the dead but have been given a white robe acknowledging that they qualified for the First Resurrection and Reward
VI. For Personal reflection and Action
1. What has the Holy Spirit being saying you you in this study?
2. What actions do you need to take in response?
3. Which of the Principles of Selection most challenged you?
4. Where did you need to grow and develop?
5. What actions will you take?