The Daily Word of Righteousness

The Overcomer and the First Resurrection

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. (Revelation 7:4)

As we have stated previously, the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation are of extreme importance and should be read and taught often.

These two chapters reveal how Christ views the churches on earth. The members of the Christian churches are divided into two groups. There are the majority who are having problems with their dedication to the Lord. Then there are the minority who are serving God with a pure heart. It is the minority who are the true saints, the ones who will be resurrected from the dead when the Lord appears from Heaven.

It is our point of view that the rewards to the overcomer are steps toward the first resurrection from the dead.

We have explained previously that there shall be two resurrections from the dead, one at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, when the Lord returns, and one at the end when all the dead appear before the great white throne.

The first resurrection must be attained. At the second resurrection everyone who did not attain the first resurrection will be resurrected, some to eternal life and some to judgment. There is no need to attain the second resurrection. Our body will come forth from its place of interment whether we want this or not.

The Apostle Paul was seeking to attain the first resurrection, the out-resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:11).

The rewards to the overcomer are increments of relationship to Christ, authority, and ability that give the saint eligibility and competence to rise in the first resurrection. These are the members of the royal priesthood. Each one must be authorized to rule and able to rule.

The steps toward the first resurrection begin with eating of the tree of life and culminate in our position with Christ in His throne.

We see the overcomers eight times in the Book of Revelation.

First they appear as the one hundred forty-four thousand who are sealed (Revelation 7:4).

Second they appear as one of the two lampstands (Revelation 11:4).

Third they appear as the firstfruits to God and the Lamb (Revelation 14:1).

Fourth they appear as the Son, the male Child, who is caught up to God and to His throne (Revelation 12:5).

Fifth they appear standing on the sea of glass and singing the song of Moses (Revelation 4:6; 15:2).

Sixth they appear as the firstfruits of the Bride of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7).

Seventh they appear as the army of the Lord (Revelation 19:14).

Eighth they appear as the resurrected royal priesthood (Revelation 20:4-6).

In their first appearance the true saints are sealed before the messengers of God harm the sea and the trees. We notice during the blowing of the trumpets that when the heavy woes begin, with the fifth trumpet, those who are sealed are exempt from the punishment.

Joseph and Ephraim are treated as one of the twelve tribes because they represent the Gentile stick in the Lord's hand. Ephraim is the father of many nations, not just of the Jews.

The tribe of Dan is omitted because this is not merely a literal list of the Jews. If it were, one of the twelve tribes would not be omitted. The omission of Dan (meaning "judging") signifies that the overcomers have been judged before the resurrection.

To be continued.