The following verse is important to our conclusions.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Often in the Bible the word man (hekastos) is in the neuter gender and so it refers to both male and female, today we would probably use the word person. The word order (tagma) means “orderly in arrangement” or “a series or succession:”
HOW MANY RESURRECTIONS ARE THERE?
THE FIRST RESURRECTION.
The first resurrection is called the Resurrection to LIFE.
In terms of how many resurrections there are, the answer is simple. The Bible speaks clearly of only two resurrections, the first resurrection Rev 20:6 “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
We shall see that “The First Resurrection” is comprised of many parts; it is NOT a single event, but every man in his order.
Please understand that I do not count people who were raised from the dead to this life again by miracles of the prophets or Jesus, but who later died again as being a part of the “First Resurrection” which is to life eternal in heaven.
Mat 27:52 & 53 “and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; V53 and coming out of the graves AFTER Jesus resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. Note that in V53 Jesus was first.
No. 1. In this passage we see that Jesus was the FIRST person ever to be resurrected from death to eternal life.
No. 2. The second lot of people in their order, but AFTER Jesus, we read that “many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.” Only bodies of the Saints, can be part of the first resurrection.
No. 3. The third group of saints to be resurrected, will be The dead in Christ, as Paul tells us in 1Th_4:16 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, And the dead in Christ will rise first”. So we see that the dead in Christ rise immediately before the rapture of the living saints of that time. This resurrection takes place before the Great Tribulation commences, as we shall see in Part Two – How Many Raptures?
No. 4. The fourth group to be resurrected are seen in Rev 7:9-14 “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. V10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” V11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, V12 saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honour and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” V13 Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” V14 I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”.
Please note they washed their robes in “The Blood of the Lamb” not in their own blood, only Jesus blood can make us pure, and the white robes are a sign of the righteousness of Jesus.
As this passage comes immediately after the passage where the Angel of God seals the 144,000 JEWISH Evangelists in their forehead with the “Seal of God”, most commentators agree that these who are seen in this passage represent both resurrected martyrs and the faithful living from “THE Great Tribulation”. Guzik says, “They have had trouble on the earth during the great tribulation. In the ancient Greek grammar of this passage, “the” is emphatic. This was a time of great tribulation for this multitude. This has led many to believe that most, if not all, of these are martyrs from the great tribulation.”
No. 5. The next people we see being resurrected are “The two witnesses” Rev 11:11 But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. These two faithful men of God proclaimed the Gospel for three and a half years, calling down plagues, and shutting off the rain on the earth to try and get more people to come to Jesus for salvation, but they were murdered by the Antichrist, and left in the street to rot. God had other ideas however and He resurrected them to life eternal again after three and a half days.
No. 6. The sixth and what appears to be the final group at this point in time who take part in the first resurrection are found in Rev 20:4 “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
It seems that these martyrs are probably those who received Jesus as the result of the witness and testimony of the “Two Witnesses” and also of the angel preaching the Gospel in Rev_14:6-7 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people V7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
It would seem therefore that there are at least six different parts to the First Resurrection which take place prior to the millennial period. There will be at least one more part to the first resurrection, probably after the millennial period, when all the remaining dead are judged. This final resurrection would see all the saints who died during the millennium, and whose names would be found in the “Book of Life” resurrected to eternal life, as part of the first resurrection, and they would then receive their glorified bodies. That would make seven parts to the first resurrection.
THE SECOND RESURRECTION.
The Second resurrection mentioned is called the Resurrection to Death. This resurrection requires all those who are still dead, to be resurrected so that they can be judged according to their works.
No. 7. This is the final resurrection, and it takes place after the millennium. In this resurrection all the remaining dead will be judged and sent to their final respective destinations. Rev 20:12-15 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. V13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. V14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. V15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. The second death.
In order to be judged, these “Dead” had to be raised to life, after their judgement they died the second death mentioned in Rev 20:6.
There is only ONE Second resurrection. The second resurrection will result in the “SECOND DEATH” for any person whose name is not found written in the Book of Life as seen in the above passage in Rev 20:12-15.
Resurrection is guaranteed, but it is up to each of us to make sure that if for any reason we were to die before the Rapture takes place, that we will be counted worthy to be a part of the “First Resurrection” and not find ourselves in the second resurrection. There is only one way that we can be assured that we will be part of the first resurrection, and that is by believing that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, and that He came from heaven to be born as a man on the earth, that He lived a sinless life, and was crucified on the cross, where His blood was poured out as a sacrifice for OUR sins, so that we could have salvation. We must repent and be sorry for our sins, and turn away from them, as best we possibly can, and ask God for forgiveness of our sins. Then we must confess that we are Christians, and follow His teachings to the best of our ability. Rom 10:9-10 “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”.
John 5:28-29 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice V29 and will come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.