What is the First Resurrection?

First of all, there is, indeed, a “First” Resurrection, and since it is true, then there is also a “Second” resurrection.

The First Resurrection has three parts, but the Second has only one. The first part of the First Resurrection already took place when the Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.

Others have been raised from the dead, i.e., Lazarus whom Jesus raised back to life (John 11:1-43); the woman named Tabitha, translated Dorcas, whom Peter restored back to life (Acts 9:36-42); and the young man named Eutychus whom Paul the Apostle raised with the power of God (Acts 20:9-10). However, the Lord Jesus was the only one raised from the dead to remain alive. He is alive, has been alive, and will always be alive forever. God does not change (Malachi 3:6a).

The First Resurrection (Revelation 20:6, 14) has 3 principal phases:

1) The resurrection of Christ
2) The resurrection of His Church—those who believed in God when they died
3) The resurrection of Old Testament saints and those who came to believe in God during the seven year Tribulation Period.

Revelation 7:14b  
“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Revelation 20:6  
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they [The Church and OT and the ones saved during the Tribulation] shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

The second resurrection is followed by the second death of the unsaved to face the Lord at the Great White Throne. In this second death the unbeliever just keeps dying; it is eternal punishment in the lake of fire which will never be quenched (Isaiah 66:24; Jeremiah 7:20; Ezekiel 20:47-48; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Jude 7; Revelation 20:11-15).

Revelation 20:11-15  
11Then I saw [John saw in the vision given to him from God] a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place [in heaven] for them [Satan, Antichrist, and false prophet]. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death [the unbelievers still alive who will soon die] and Hādēs [the ones who died while never believing] delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14Then Death and Hādēs were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.


All Scripture quoted is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Author: Mike and Elfriede

For the past 14 years Michael Copple has studiously devoted his life to the Lord by preaching the Gospel and moderating Bible studies. He is a 1958 Eagle Scout, holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, and achieved the highest US Air Force enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant with over 26 years service, one year of which was with Forward Air Control duties in Vietnam. For three years he was the senior enlisted member of the US Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Team; he has performed over 2,000 parachute jumps and accumulated over 15 hours of freefall. During his parachuting years Mike experienced a mishap of being a “hung jumper” outside the aircraft, and serious parachute malfunctions like a deadly seesaw night jump entanglement with another jumper, and an 85 mph wind shear which almost took his life. This experience inspired and qualified him to author the novel Calling from the Sky. A former world-wide electronic service engineer for 16 years with a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, he and his wife Elfriede currently live in the Canadian Rockies surrounded by 6 National Parks. Besides studying God's Word, they both like to exercise, cross country ski, hike, garden, and walk their dog Kansas. Visit him at https://www.michaelcopple.com/

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