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The First Resurrection And The Second Resurrection Explained

Understanding the Two Types of Resurrections

The two types of resurrections are the first resurrection and the second resurrection, each with distinct differences. This article aims to clarify these differences and provide a comprehensive explanation of both resurrections.

The First Resurrection as Described in Revelation 20:4,5&6

The first resurrection, referenced in Revelation 20:4,5&6, signifies the spiritual revival of the human soul after experiencing spiritual death. This resurrection is often misinterpreted as a physical or bodily resurrection, but it is, in fact, a spiritual one.

The Necessity of the First Resurrection for All Humans

According to the Bible, all humans are spiritually dead, which may seem illogical to some who equate physical life with spiritual life. However, it is possible to be physically alive yet spiritually dead due to our connection to Adam. Only Jesus Christ can liberate one from this state (John 8:36). The Bible uses the term “dead in sin” to clarify this concept (Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13).

Evidence that the First Resurrection is Spiritual

Many people mistakenly believe that the first resurrection is a physical or bodily one, involving deceased believers in Jesus Christ. This misunderstanding stems from their interpretation of the one-thousand-year or millennial reign of Jesus Christ and his followers.

The first resurrection is closely tied to the millennial reign of Jesus Christ and his believers. People’s beliefs about the meaning and timing of this reign influence their understanding of the first resurrection.

Revelation 20:4-6 introduces the concept of the first resurrection and provides a detailed description. To correctly interpret the first resurrection, it is essential to consider the context in which it appears. Several factors within this context indicate that the first resurrection is spiritual:

  1. Souls coming to life: This suggests that it is the souls, not the bodies, that are revived. In a physical resurrection, bodies would be reunited with the spirit and soul (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). The first resurrection, however, involves the soul, not the body.
  2. Participants in the first resurrection are described as “blessed, holy, and unhurt by the second death”: A physical resurrection would involve both the blessed and the cursed, the holy and the unholy, as well as those who will be affected and unaffected by the second death (Daniel 12:2, Acts 24:15).
  3. Participants in the first resurrection will serve as priests of God and Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years: This refers to all believers, not just a select group (1 Peter 2:5&9, Revelation 1:6, Romans 5:17, 1 Corinthians 4:8).
  4. Participants in the first resurrection have not worshipped the beast or its image and have not received its mark: This indicates that those who partake in the first resurrection are believers in Christ Jesus who have experienced spiritual resurrection leading to salvation. Many who will participate in the physical resurrection will not achieve this, as they are not saved.

Additional Clarifications on the First Resurrection

  • The one-thousand-year or millennial reign is symbolic of the church age and the spiritual reign of Christ and all believers throughout this period.
  • The first resurrection is not a single event but a continuous process involving individuals as they surrender to Jesus Christ.
  • The phrase “the rest of the dead” refers to the spiritually dead, not the physically dead. The expression “until the thousand years were ended” means that the spiritually dead did not receive Christ throughout the church age and remained spiritually dead since the first resurrection will end with the church age.
  • The reference to those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and the word of God is a figurative expression representing all believers who have been, are being, or will be persecuted.

The Second Resurrection

The second resurrection is the physical or bodily resurrection that will involve everyone who has died physically, regardless of their beliefs. Unlike the first resurrection, this is not a continuous process but a single event involving all physically deceased individuals, whether they are Christians or not. This resurrection will take place shortly before divine judgment commences.


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