The First Resurrection

There is much speculation about the coming reign of Christ.

The common understanding is that Jesus will return to earth and reign from the land of Jerusalem for a thousand years along with those he has raptured. Most believe that Satan will be captured and imprisoned in these years. It is then believed that the since captured Satan will be released upon the earth to distribute his death and destruction all over again. At least this, or some version of it, is the common image of the future for men.

We see it a bit differently. Why would Jesus have defeated death (Satan) by his resurrection two-thousand years ago but allow him to be free to continue on as though nothing had happened? Does that make any sense? And does it make any sense that Jesus’ triumph over death would be on hold for two millennium before the devil was even restrained?

No… it makes no sense at all. Even if it did, why would our Christ reign for only a thousand years before we had to deal with Satan, in an open-ended manner, all over again? Then what?

There is a better explanation. And it has been right in front of us, like all things of God, for two-thousand years. The common understanding is wrong.

Most men have a very difficult time grasping what is going to happen in the future tense from what has happened or past-tense. As most men read the Bible, they read it from beginning to end and then refer back in portions of study. They also follow an instinctive understanding of timeline – almost as it’s bound. That’s a problem. The entirety of the 66 books within the Bible were written between 2,000 and 3,300 years ago. Just because Revelation happens to end the book does NOT mean that all of Revelation happens in our future. Quite the contrary, most of it has happened in our not-so modern past.

There is hardly a better example of this than the first resurrection and the imprisonment of Satan. These happened at the same time… two-thousand years ago!

Like all determinations, these are made with Biblical teaching and not a “new” or “supplemental” book or manual. For those who trust in God and can hear his Word, they can see how this has likely played out over history. Just because it hasn’t been seen before has nothing to do with being able to see it now. God has us see what he wants us to see, when he wants us to see it. And it would appear that the what and the when have arrived.

Through the following verses, we can now see how such events fit Biblical teaching. The first resurrection of Revelation 20 commenced with the crucifixion and resurrection of the Christ. So, too, was the imprisonment of the fallen angel – Satan.

“Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.'” – John 18.36

We’ll start our argument at the beginning and the persecution of Elijah:

“Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel — all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” – 1 Kings 19:18

These 7,000 were “announced” to be reserved by God in the time of Elijah – they were the Israelites (Jews) he had selected or “chosen” – not by works, but by grace.

“I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah — how he appealed to God against Israel: Lord they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bent a knee to Baal. So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” – Romans 11:1-6

By this, we know that God “saved” these 7,000 by his grace. Remember, the Jews are his chosen. They have been his chosen and his time-piece since their conception. The conception of Israel was that of the promise of Isaac through Abraham and Sarah.

Though I’m not going to go off on the obvious tangent that ALL Jews are saved by this means, there is an argument for this to be had.

By Paul’s own writing, at present time or at the time of Paul (1st century A.D.), there was a remnant of the lineage of Jews who were saved. Again, this is at the time of Paul. Paul wrote after encountering the Spirit of the Christ just after his resurrection and ascension.

Now, we know that at the time of Jesus’ death many holy people (those who had not bent a knee to the devil) were raised from their tombs and were raised with the Christ and lifted into the holy city, also known as the new Jerusalem.

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” – Revelation 21:2

We also know that Jesus gave a loud shout.

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice…” Matthew 27:50

What did Jesus do? He cried out in a loud voice! (Reference 1 Thessalonians 4:16) And with that loud shout, what did he say?

“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ ” – Luke 23:34

“…he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” Matthew 27:50-53

This is the only reference of the “many holy people” resurrected appearing to many people at the time of Christ’s resurrection and ascension. They appeared only to one another. There is another reference to these seven thousand souls; it is they who were killed in the earthquake of Elijah as God passed by in 1 Kings 19:18 – but it is written as those at the death of the witness in Revelation 11:13. These two witnesses were the Son – Jesus, and the Spirit – Elijah. Though the Son fits all of the descriptions of the witnesses, the Spirit is represented by separate prophets of God. In this case, the tombs broke open upon the passing of God. The passing of God was not just God going by Elijah in the mouth of the cave but also the passing of the Christ Jesus upon the cross.

“At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.” – Revelation 11:13

The mystery of the Godhead begins to unfold and brings itself about and into the minds of those who can see and those who can hear. Jesus, being one of God’s witnesses, is God.  It is only God who can witness for God. See “The Two Witnesses.”  It is God who witnesses of himself through his Son, and his Spirit. Jesus witnessed in both; the flesh and the Spirit. The Spirit of God witnessed through the prophets. Of the three, they witness for the one – GOD!

Remember the wind, earthquake and fire which passed Elijah and left off with the seven thousand? Hence, they are the 7,000 which were reserved by God (1 Ki 19:18). They are the 7,000 killed in the earthquake described in Revelation 11:13. And they are the holy people resurrected at Jesus’ passing (Mt 27:52-53). They are those of the first resurrection …

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image  and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They  came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended). This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” – Revelation 20:4-6

We now know that those beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus are not just John the Baptist, but all who were beheaded for their testimony of God. It just so happens that John’s death preceded Jesus. As is the perfect word of God, John the Baptist seems to have prepared the way for Jesus in both life and death. He, John the Baptist is the one who fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy of 40:

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. ” – Isaiah 40:1-2

“A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.’ ” – Isaiah 40:3

In John 1:23, it is John the Baptist who proclaimed: “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ” He made straight the way for the Lord our God by the washing of “water.” The water is the Word of God. The Word of God is the Christ Jesus. And the Christ Jesus was baptized by John.

The 7,000 who were raised with the Christ had not worshipped the beast (aka Baal, Satan, devil, Babylon, etc.) or his image. For the purpose of the first resurrection, the beast and his image are recognized only as those referred to in the Old Testament. That is because the beast was yet to be complete. At the time that John wrote Revelation, only six of the eight heads or kings (empires) existed. There were still two to go. And in every new evil empire came another false “god” and more new images of it or him.

At the time of the first resurrection, it would be only Jews who were raised. The worship of the Son had just begun. By the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, the false “god” was known as Baal, the serpent or Baal-Zebub and his image was represented by sculpted images of men and animals, asherah poles and burned stones. “Funny” how some things never change…

It would be six centuries after the resurrection of the Christ before the final two kingdoms would form. It would be six centuries after the resurrection of the Christ before the false prophet would appear. And it would be six centuries before the last image of the beast would bind the final two kingdoms together by deluded lies and blasphemies against the Most High – the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Those of the first resurrection knew of the Father and his Spirit. They had just met the prophesied Son.

However, the idols they knew to be false, were to be recycled. The “rest of the dead” would still recognize the evil of; asherah poles as minarets, the burned stone of 2Ki 10:26-27 as the “Black Stone,” mosques as houses of Baal, a new false “god,” a new false prophet, and an image that binds the two kingdoms which followed Rome. Both of these kingdoms were/are Islam.

Like other tangents, and this is a big one, we’ll stay on topic here. But there is much, much more on this topic within this site.

We can now argue that Jesus and the Spirit are God’s two witnesses and that the 7,000 were raised with him 2,000 years ago. From this, we learn something new: Satan was imprisoned at the same time. Think about it – Jesus overcame death. Death was defeated but not yet left to perish. He still had his purpose to fulfill. At the time that John wrote Revelation, he was told that “the beast, which you saw, once was (before being defeated by Christ), now is not (now being 2,000 years ago), and will come up out of the Abyss (where he was imprisoned for a thousand years) and go to his destruction.” – Rev 17:8.

When he re-emerged, he re-emerged as Muhammad’s Allah.

“…every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming (2,000 years ago) and even now is already in the world (confined to the Abyss). – 1 John 4:3

During the thousand year reign of the Christ in the new Jerusalem (not of this earth), Satan was chained. Then, the thousand years ended.

“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth — Gog and Magog —  to gather them for battle. In number they are like sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves.” – Revelation 20:7-9

A thousand years ago, the thousand years of Christ’s reign with the “first resurrection” and Satan’s imprisonment – was ended. Satan was released from his prison, the Abyss, and went out to deceive the nations of the earth. And the nations of the earth were deceived by Gog and Magog.

Gog and Magog have been defined. Ezekiel 39 is a history lesson of Nazi Germany – written some 2,500 years before Hitler came to power. Ezekiel 38:10-13 is the history of Muhammad. The three kings or horns (territories) he subdued are those of the merchants of the Mediterranean (Tarshish), the city of Medina (Dedan), and Mecca (Sheba). The three combined make up the current territory of Arabia.

The balance of Ezekiel 38:1-9 & 14-23 is happening now. The nations of Islam and their Atheist allies surround Israel and threaten the very existence of God’s people – Jews and Christians. They number like sand on the seashore. And it’s the seashore over which the devil stands. Reference Rev 10:2 & 13:1 and Revelation of Ezekiel 38 & 39

Time out… think about what’s happened over the last 2,000 years. Satan wasn’t dead, he was just imprisoned. We know by 1 John 4:3 that his evil spirit remained upon the earth. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. Three hundred years later, Roman influence altered the “WAY” of the Christ Jesus and formed Constantine’s governed Catholicism. Three hundred years after that, Muhammad used the falsehoods of the man-made traditions of Catholicism to deceive others into thinking that Christianity was flawed and contradictory. He used truth with lies to lure men away from the truth of God and into the lying pit of Islam.

So wrapped in Catholicism was the Roman Empire at the time, that the illiterate Muhammad believed the Trinity to be; Father, Son, and MOTHER! (Reference Qur’an 5:116). After Rome fell, Islam replaced it. With its leopard-like speed and lethality, Islam opened the second millennium. With the second-thousand years, we have seen; the Dark Ages, the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the Safavid, Mughal, and Ottoman empires. Within those thousand years have been two World Wars. The first ended the Ottomans and what the world thought was the life of Islam. With the second World War was defeated – Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Then, after nearly 1,900 years, Israel was re-gathered…

Now, surrounded by Islam (including the lawless man of lies Obama) and their Atheist allies, the balance of Revelation 20 comes about.

The third World War will be the last. The head that was wounded and appeared to be dead (Ottoman Islam), raised up again as the current nation of Islam to bring about that fire from heaven.

“But fire came down from heaven (out of the sky) and devoured them (Hitler and the WWI Ottomans lost). And the devil who deceived them (now known as Allah), was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast (men of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and Islam) and the false prophet (Muhammad) had been thrown. They will be tormented (here on a burning earth) day and night (which only earth has) for ever and ever.” Rev 9-10

Again, it’s another tangent, but the fire is brought from heaven to earth by the counterfeit miracles (ayahs) of the image of Muhammad and his “god” – the fallen angel. The image is the Qur’an – that which “speaks” to Islam’s Muslims.

The first resurrection happened with the resurrection of Jesus. So was the moment of Satan’s imprisonment. The “rest of the dead” have been raised since the end of the first millennium. Satan was released at that time, a thousand years ago, to complete his sinful destruction of the earth. And he does so through the evil within men’s hearts (which were given over to him – Dan 7:4) The “rest of the dead” have been raised over the last 1,000 years. They were raised before us. “For the Lord himself (came) down from heaven, with a loud command (Mt 27:50), with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call (all that God promised) of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first (over the last thousand years). After that, we who are still alive and are left (the living) will be caught up together with them (them being the remnant of Israelites in the first resurrection and those raised over the last thousand years) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” (Reference 1 The 4:16-17).

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” – 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

The flash we are changed in is likely the evil of man’s weapons as they detonate over the heads of one another.

“And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

As it appears, we are the last of the living…

“Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.'” – John 18.36

Disclaimer: We are not attempting to rewrite the Bible or to change any of the prophecy within it. We merely trust in God’s Word and apply it to the unchangeable history of man. There will be those who call us false teachers for the order of things above. To them we ask, “Does this mean that if you are wrong on the order of things that you might not be forgiven?” If that were so, it is unlikely that any of us would be raised and “saved” from the power of the second death.

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