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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Resurrection and Eternal Judgment, #11
For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (II Corinthians 5:4)
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (I Corinthians 15:53)
Since Paul, when speaking of our being clothed with our house from Heaven, uses the expression "that mortality might be swallowed up of life"; and also states that at the resurrection "this mortal must put on immortality"; we conclude that the house from Heaven will clothe our mortal body at the sounding of the last trumpet.
But whether the dead in Christ will descend as an inner man already clothed with the house from Heaven and then infuse their mortal remains and raise them up, or whether the inner man will descend, raise up the mortal body, and at some point after that receive the house from Heaven as a reward, we are not certain. It seems that the Lord Jesus came forth from the grave in a spiritually animated physical body, and then appeared to the Apostle John some time later in a glorified form, causing John to faint (Revelation 1:17).
Since the white robe, mentioned several times in the Book of Revelation, probably is the house from Heaven, we may notice that the martyrs are given their glorified form prior to the resurrection.
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:11)
The people who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will be a remarkable group of overcomers. They never will be resurrected from the dead because they never will die. They will be changed into immortality while standing on their feet. Sustaining such a change from mortal life to spiritual life will require much faith (Enoch was translated by faith—Hebrews 11:5).
Also, those who are alive and are caught up to meet the Lord must have been judged previously. The resurrection of the victorious saints that takes place when Jesus returns is the first resurrection, the resurrection of the blessed and holy (Revelation 20:4-6). It is not possible that unjudged saints can be raised in the first resurrection and after that be judged according to what they have practiced in the body (II Corinthians 5:10).
It is true rather that their judgment has been accomplished as they, during their pilgrimage on the earth, have passed through the steps of death and resurrection in the inner man and there has then been laid up for them a crown of life. This will have to be the case for the victorious saints who are alive on the earth at the return of the Lord from Heaven.
At the first resurrection the overcomers will receive the crown of life, their judgment having been accomplished previously.
It is not reasonable that the saints will be raised from the dead, ascend to meet the Lord, and then stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Rather, we are passing before the Judgment Seat of Christ now as He commands us to put away our lusts and rebellions and receive eternal life in their place. Judgment has begun now in the house of God (I Peter 4:17-19).
To be continued.