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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Requirements and Purposes of the Two Resurrections
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:5)
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. (Revelation 20:12)
There are two principal resurrections of the dead. The first resurrection will come at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, at the time when Christ returns to earth with His saints and holy angels. The second resurrection will occur at the end of the Kingdom Age, after the earth and heaven to which we are accustomed have passed away.
By the term "resurrection of the dead" we mean the reassembing and reviving of the dead physical body.
The first resurrection has to do only with the royal priesthood of God. No judgment will take place at the first resurrection. Each member of the royal priesthood will have been judged prior to the sounding of the trumpet of the Lord. When the Lord appears, the victorious saints will be raised to be with Jesus for eternity.
The second resurrection will be followed by judgment at the hands of Christ. At the second resurrection, those who are raised will enter either into everlasting life or else into everlasting torment, depending on the nature of their works, whether righteous or wicked.
All persons who have lived on the earth will be raised from the dead. Each body will be reassembled and revived so the individual can stand once more in his or her flesh and bones.
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28,29)
The first resurrection has its own requirements for participation. It is the resurrection the Apostle Paul was striving to attain (Philippians 3:11). Only a relatively small number of people will be raised in the first resurrection. It is for the royal priesthood. There is a specific Divine purpose in the raising of this "firstfruits" out from among the dead bodies.
There is no requirement for attaining the second resurrection. But there is a requirement for entering eternal life at the time of the second resurrection. All who are not raised in the first resurrection will be raised in the second resurrection, there to enter eternal life or eternal torment.
It can be seen that each of the two principal resurrections, the first and the second, has its own requirements and its own purposes. The two resurrections are very different in their requirements and their purposes.
Let us consider for a moment the second resurrection. It is the one that includes the great majority of people who have lived on the earth.
To be continued.