ALL THINGS IN CHRIST
In all wisdom and prudence making known to us the mystery of His will according to His
good pleasure which He purposed in Him the plan for the fullness of the times
TO HEAD UP THE ALL THINGS IN THE CHRIST ,
the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, in Him ….
(Ephesians 1:8b-10)
By – Stuart H. Pouliot
Article #52
Next Great Event – First Fruits Resurrection
May 2012
(16) The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if
children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so
that we may also be glorified with Him. (18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present
time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (19) For the
anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. (20) For the
creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
(21) that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the
freedom of the glory of the children of God. (22) For we know that the whole creation groans
and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (23) And not only this, but also we
ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. (24) For in hope we
have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
(25) But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
(Romans 8:16-25 NASB)
(20) For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord
Jesus Christ; (21) who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the
body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to
Himself. (Philippians 3:20-21 NASB)
(9) For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how
you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, (10) and to wait for His Son from
heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to
come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 NASB)
And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous
Judge, will give me on the day of His return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who
eagerly look forward to His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8 NLT)
From this time onward there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord,
the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who
love the thought of His Appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8 WNT)
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The prize that shows I have God's approval is now waiting for me. The Lord, who is a fair
judge, will give me that prize on that day. He will give it not only to me but also to everyone
who is eagerly waiting for him to come again. (2 Timothy 4:8 GW)
In relation to Romans 8:19, I once heard someone say that creation groans awaiting us to come
into our destiny. If he had stopped there, I would have not taken note; but instead, he
connected destiny to this present age as if creation groans waiting for us to come into our
destiny while we are still in mortal, corrupt bodies. Stated another way; creation is groaning
because we have not come into our destiny in this life. Perhaps, it is good to encourage people
to pursue their dreams and goals in this life, but this is not the heart of Paul's message in
Romans 8 nor is it the reason that creation groans.
According to Paul, creation groans because it waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God,
and this revealing only comes with the redemption of our body, and this only comes through
resurrection and transfiguration when the Lord comes for His people, starting with the anointed
first fruits, the conquering ones having the first fruits of the Spirit.
As a watchman, I not only receive revelation through dreams and words, but I also watch for
what is going on around us and listen very intently to what is being said, especially within
Christian circles. Lately, I have come to the conclusion that there are few who are truly eagerly
waiting for the Appearing of the love of their life, the One who comes out of heaven. I sense
that some, perhaps many, have grown weary of waiting for the Lord. In turn, this has directed
the attention of many from the glory of the age to come to a focus on this present wicked age,
as Paul called it, and trying to improve it, even trying to establish the Kingdom of God on earth
in this age while we still occupy mortal bodies. Consequently, Christian destiny has become a
thing of the now and not of the future . Emphasizing the now is not a bad thing as long as it does
not negate or ignore the future.
It is a good thing to encourage one another to pursue their dreams and to be productive in this
life. After all, we are encouraged to occupy or to do business until He comes (Luke 19:13). But
let us not lose sight of the fact that there is something glorious coming. The Lord is coming, and
seeing Him and being like Him in the age to come is to be our driving force in this age. This
speaks mightily of our destiny.
It seems to me that the Christian destiny as presented in Scripture, especially through Paul's
epistles, has been lost in our day. In my book The Ultimate Purpose of God , I concluded with
the thought that the modern-day concepts of free will and an eternal hell are two of the
greatest hindrances to seeing the All of God or the eonian allness of God (phrase coined by
me).
In like fashion, one of the greatest hindrances to seeing our true hope and destiny in Christ is
the modern-day concept of an afterlife in death expressed as "dying and going to heaven" or
"dying and going to hell." This one concept, which has so permeated Christian emphasis of our
day, has almost totally replaced the hope of the redemption of our body, which only comes
through resurrection and transfiguration.
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Of late, I have had many encounters with other believers, and, whenever I have mentioned that
the next great event is the resurrection, the response has been predominately a blank stare as
if they do not know what I am talking about. If I were the only one experiencing this, I would
wonder, but a good friend and brother in Christ who lives several hundred miles from me and
who moves in far different Christian circles than I do at the moment, has experienced the exact
same response. The hope of resurrection seems lost in our day.
What is Christ in you, the expectation (hope) of glory (Colossians 1:27), if it is not bodily
resurrection into the image of the love of our life? Again, consider the opening verses of this
article and add to this the revelation given to John.
(19) For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
(20) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who
subjected it, in hope (21) that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to
corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (22) For we know that the
whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (23) And not
only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan
within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. (24)
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he
already sees? (25) But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly
for it. (Romans 8:16-25 NASB)
(2) Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We
know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. (3)
And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2-
3 NASB)
We are children of God destined to become sons of God, and this comes with redemption of
our body, and this comes through resurrection and transfiguration. Creation groans for the
manifestation of the sons of glory. At the end of our present age, the anointed first fruits, that
is, the conquerors will be manifested in glorified, celestial, spiritual, immortal bodies in the
image of Christ. They will be the first of a mighty huge crop that will follow in the ages to come.
Their coming forth as first fruits is assurance that the crops to follow will be sanctified as well.
Creation groans for the ultimate fulfillment of the manifestation of the sons of God that will be
fully consummated with the consummation of the eons or at what is called Creation's Jubilee
when all creation, including all mankind, will be set free into the All of God, which speaks of the
All of God is love .
What a destiny! Are you longing for this destiny? Are you living with an expectancy of this
destiny? Are you longing to see the love of your life at His appearing? Does everything of this
life pale in comparison? Are the ages to come set in your heart?
Believe me, these are vital questions in these latter days? If we had another hundred or
thousand years until the glorious Day of Christ, perhaps the message might be a little different.
But please hear me; we do not have many years left before the first sounding of the heavenly
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trumpet and the first fruits of the dead or those asleep in Christ will rise up from among the
dead and be transfigured into the likeness of Christ.
This leads to the heart of this article.
The Lord seems to speak to me most clearly in the middle of the night as He gives me a dream
or wakes me with a word; sometimes he gives me both a dream with an interpretative word.
More times than not I am also directed to look at the clock to note the time the word was
spoken. The numbers associated with the time could refer to a specific Scripture verse, a date,
or the number itself, since numbers have meaning in the economy of God. As I see it, God is the
mathematical Genius of the universe and He speaks to us through numbers. In fact, some have
proven that the entire Bible is a mathematical formula, based on the number 7, which refers to
completeness or spiritual perfection.
The same principle applies to words and dreams. If the word or dream that comes in the night
is vivid and I recall it with clarity in the morning, it is usually an indication to me that it is of the
Lord. So, I pay very close attention to what occurs in the night.
I do not think this is a coincidence, considering how close we are to the end of the present eon
(age). After all, two millennia ago Peter quoted Joel that old men would have dreams (Acts
2:14-21; Joel 2:28-32). I do not consider myself an old man, but I guess it is all relative; in
comparison to one of 20 years, I am old; in comparison to one of 80 years, I am young. It
matters not! What matters to me is that we are approaching the end of this age; the Kingdom
of our Lord is coming into sharper focus; soon it will be manifested among the nations of the
world; soon we will see the love of our life; and I am having prophetic dreams and receiving
prophetic words from the Lord in relation to the coming of His Kingdom.
Those who have been following my material know that I see the shaking of our day as a shaking
of Mystery Babylon that will eventually lead to its fall in one day and in one hour (Revelation
18). It must be shaken to dust as the Stone Kingdom hits the feet mixed with clay and iron and
brings the whole statue down, crushes it to become like chaff from the summer threshing floor,
and blows it away in the wind so that no trace of it is found. The statue revealed to
Nebuchadnezzar represents all the kingdoms of the world throughout history and represents
the final downfall of Babylon, the kingdom that rules the world at the very end of our age. But
the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth (see
Daniel 2:31-35). The stone speaks of Christ and the great mountain speaks of His Kingdom, the
Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15).
I mention Mystery Babylon because this prophetic event is underway; so, in a sense, it is not
the next event. The process of bringing it down has begun and will progress until the time fixed
by the Father's authority.
Now, in light of this, I have had four different confirmations about the coming resurrection.
These have been written up previously and posted on my web site under one of two tabs, The
Upward Call [TUC] or Prophetic .
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The Number 144 Signifies First Resurrection Saints
First, on September 26, 2008 at 1:44 am , I was awakened by the Lord with the word: "The next
great event is the resurrection." It is significant that my wakeup call was at 1:44, for the
number 144 is generally acknowledged to signify the first resurrection saints . So, the time and
the word spoken to me were one and the same.
The first prophetic event announcing the Second Coming of Christ is the resurrection of the
dead in Christ or, as Paul called it, the out -resurrection (Philippians 3:11 Wuest), which will
occur during the Feast of Trumpets in the year appointed by the Father. Consequently, this
word speaks of the coming of our Lord and of His Kingdom .
Over the years, the dates themselves that the Lord has spoken to me have had prophetic
meaning. This has caused me to wonder if September 26 might be of great significance in the
future. After all, it falls within the window of the fall feasts.
The Number 35 Signifies Hope of Resurrection
Second, 35 days later, on October 30, 2008, as I put my head down on the pillow for the night. I
heard: "Look up, your redemption draws near. Look at the clock." So, I looked at the clock and
it was 11:11 pm .
Resurrection and redemption refer to putting off mortal bodies and putting on immortal
bodies, so, without doubt, these two words link what was spoken to me. As Paul wrote, we
need to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, which is a glorified, spiritual, celestial body
in the image of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:42-55; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4; Philippians 3:20-21;
Colossians 1:27; also 1 John 3:2). Resurrection and redemption both refer to the body and go
hand-in-hand.
At times, the intervals between when the Lord gives me revelations have had significance. In
this case, the number 35 signifies hope , which speaks of the expectation of the redemption of
our body, which those who are asleep in Jesus will receive through resurrection. Again, consider
Paul's word on the matter.
(23) And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we
ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of
our body. (24) For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who
hopes for what he already sees? (Romans 8:23-24 NASB)
Our hope or expectation is to be placed as sons in the Kingdom , and, for this to be possible, we
must be resurrected from among the dead, if we have fallen asleep in Christ, and be
transfigured into the image of Christ, unless we are alive and remain when He comes, in which
case we must be transfigured.
Sonship in the coming Kingdom and the redemption of our body are inseparable.
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Notice how Paul continued his thought by making sonship and redemption our hope , and this
hope is not possible in the oncoming eon without the first or out -resurrection.
Let me state this in the most emphatic way I know how: The Kingdom of our Lord cannot and
will not begin to overtake the nations of the world until God has placed the anointed first fruits
of His sons of glory (Hebrews 2:10) in His kingdom as its rulers, administrators, and judges, and
this is totally dependent on the first or out -resurrection and the redemption of the bodies of
those who will be counted worthy to attain to the coming eon (age) (Luke 20:34-36) to rule and
reign with Christ (Revelation 5:10; 20:4-6).
Although there is significance to the number 35, this was not the primary number through
which the Lord was speaking. Since the Lord told me to look at the clock in conjunction with His
word, it is obvious that the Lord was connecting His word to the time of 11:11. Actually, seeing
four ones lined up in a row caught my attention. The number 1 signifies unity; the sum of 1111
is 4 and signifies the fullness of creation; the number 11, which appears twice in 11:11, signifies
disorder and disintegration.
I could see some merit to each meaning, but they did not quite fit with redemption. Then, I felt
led to Isaiah 11:11 and saw a connection to the number 144 , which refers to a remnant
(Revelation 7).
Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand
the remnant of His people, who will remain. (Isaiah 11:11 NASB)
The context of Isaiah's prophecy is the coming Kingdom of Christ when the earth will begin to
fill with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the seas. In that day, He will
recover for the second time a remnant as He gathers a company of people by way of the first
resurrection; reuniting both Judah, which refers to kingship (Genesis 49:10), and Ephraim,
which refers to sonship (Genesis 48:17-20; 49:22).
Who is this remnant?
They are the sons of the resurrection, the many sons of glory, the heirs of the Kingdom, the
conquerors of Christ , and the true spiritual Israel . The ones counted worthy to be the remnant
are not deemed so because of their flesh, bloodline, pedigree, nationality, or country, but
because of the Spirit of Christ within them and their life that conquered while in bodies of
death. They will attain unto the Kingdom of Christ to reign with Him for a thousand years.
Undoubtedly, all of this is true; however, it took over three years from this word for me to
really see the significance of the number of 11:11, which leads to the next word.
The Number 11:11 Signifies Resurrection
Third, at 1:11 pm, on April 23, 2012, I had a dream about reviving (resurrecting) a band that my
cousin and I formed when we were teens. The Lord woke me and told me to look at the clock. It
was 1:11 pm . As it turns out, the dream was secondary, for the Lord used it to open my eyes to
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the number 11:11 in a way that I had missed up to this point. I realize that 1:11 is not exactly
the same as 11:11, but the Lord used this to redirect me to the number 11:11.
As I inquired of the Lord, I was led to 11:11 in the Gospel and Revelation of John.
This He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so
that I may awaken him out of sleep." (John 11:11 NASB)
But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they
stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. (Revelation
11:11 NASB)
These two passages refer to the resurrection of Lazarus and the two witnesses; a fact I missed
entirely over three years earlier. For me, the Lord could not have made the point any clearer
that He wants me to know the next great event is the resurrection.
By the way, Acts 1:11 also goes along with this same theme, for it speaks of the return of the
Lord.
They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has
been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched
Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11 NASB)
What is associated with His return? The resurrection!
The Number 153 Signifies Sons of God
Fourth, at exactly 1:53 am , on April 30, 2010, I was serenaded by a trumpet playing the tune
When the Saints Go Marching In . See Prophetic P#36 .
The number 153 signifies the sons of God, and the song speaks of the sons or saints coming into
the Kingdom in the age to come.
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Lord, how I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in
Oh, when the trumpet sounds its call
Oh, when the trumpet sounds its call
Lord, I want to be in that number
When the trumpet sounds its call
Oh, when the new world is revealed
Oh, when the new world is revealed
Lord, how I want to be in that number
When the new world is revealed
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In his book, Number In Scripture , Kregel, 1967, E.W. Bullinger makes the point that due to the
oddity of the number 153 in Scripture, it has caught the attention of biblical scholars down
through the centuries. One thing he notes is that the number 153 is a factor of 9 times 17. The
number 9 can signify the fruit of the Spirit and the number 17 can signify victory . On page 275
of his book, he explains that the expression sons of God occurs 7 times and has a gematria 153,
and the expression joint-heirs (Romans 8:17) is 1071, which is a factor of 7 times 153. The
expression the creation of God has a gematria of 1224, which is a factor of 8 times 153. Within
the miracle of the 153 fish, the word for fishes has a gematria of 1224, which is a factor of 8
times 153, and the word for the net is 1224, the factor of 8 times 153. Then on page 276, he
writes: "Quite a new thought has recently been given by Lieut.-Col, F. Roberts, who finds that
amongst the multitudes who received direct blessing from Christ there are recorded exactly
153 individual cases."
To add to this, keep in mind that the numbers 7 and 8 , which appear as factors in the above
numeric values, refer to completeness or spiritual perfection , and new birth or new beginning ,
respectively.
There is an obvious thread that is woven through all the above meanings that is best summed
up in the expression the sons of God , which speaks of those who will be counted worthy to
reign with Christ in His coming Kingdom.
Some people believe that 153 fish refers to the salvation of the lost since a net was cast, but
this cannot be the meaning. The casting of the net is something beyond initial salvation. It is a
gathering or harvest of the called and chosen of Christ, the elect company that will rise from
among the dead in the first or out-resurrection and be transfigured along with the chosen and
faithful in Christ that are alive when Christ snatches away His conquerors to meet Him in air. In
that day, the Son of God Himself will cast the net to gather together His prized possession that
will reign on earth and among the celestials as a kingdom and priests for 1,000 years
(Revelation 5:10; 20:6). They are the joint heirs with Christ, the many sons brought to glory
(Hebrews 2.10), the sons of God , or the sons of the resurrection (Luke 20:36).
But there is more, for within the text of John 20:19-21.17, I believe there is a hint that the
number 153 is representative of all that will experience Tabernacles at the coming of the Lord.
It may even give a hint of the timing of events. According to Leviticus 23:33-43, the first day of
the month of Tishri is the beginning of the fall feasts , starting with the Feast of Trumpets (day
1), followed by the Day of Atonement (day 10), followed by the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles
(days 15-21), and concluding with the great day , the eighth day (day 22).
By comparing this to John's text, we discover that after His resurrection on the first day of the
week, the Lord privately appeared to His disciples and breathed on them so that they received
the Holy Spirit, which empowered them to go forth with the good news of His Kingdom. Then
eight days later, Jesus appeared to them again in the same fashion in order to convince
Thomas.
What is significant in this encounter is that Jesus proclaimed: "Blessed are they who did not
see, and yet believed." Carrying the story forward, we discover seven disciples fishing because
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they did not know what else to do. Then, Jesus gathered 153 fish in a net and fed His disciples ,
and then sent them forth, especially Peter who was commanded to tend the lambs and to
shepherd and tend the sheep.
Perhaps this is the pattern of what will transpire some year in the month of Tishri as the Lord
appears to His people and sends them forth to the nations to establish His Kingdom on earth.
On the first day of the month, He will resurrect His chosen and faithful ones just as He, the
Faithful One, was resurrected. On the first day of Tabernacles, He will appear to His chosen and
faithful ones to breathe the full measure of the Holy Spirit on them. In John 7, Jesus went up to
the feast midweek and taught in the temple. If Jesus breathes the full measure of the Spirit into
His disciples on the first day of Tabernacles, perhaps He will appear again to His Body, which at
this point will be the fullness of the dwelling of God in Spirit, the temple of God, to teach them,
that is, to write His laws on their hearts (Hebrews 8.10). Thomas had to see, but all will need to
know. Then, on the eighth day or the last day, the great day of the feast (John 7:37), He will
appear once again to His chosen and faithful to bestow His blessing on all of them, for they had
trusted Him, walking by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). In that day, from their
innermost being will flow rivers of living water , which speaks of the full measure of the Spirit
of God flowing forth from their lives since they will be spiritual in the full sense (John 7:38). The
world will begin to see the Christ in His Body of conquering believers, the manifested sons of
God, the New Creation in Christ. They will enter into the feast of the Lambkin for 1,000 years,
and, as they do, they will feed the multitude of the nations. Glory will begin to fill the whole
earth.
Do you see the glory in the number 153? It speaks mightily of the sons of God who will be
manifested soon. Praise God!
For the Kingdom of our Lord to be manifested on this earth for the nations to experience and
know, the resurrection must come. This is the next great event. Here is the good news: It is
coming! Look up! The King and His Kingdom are coming!
We could stop at this point but considering my observation that so few are focused on
resurrection as our future hope, I sense the need to highlight the two major resurrections are
separated by a thousand years.
Much of this has occurred in several of my writings, but as Paul wrote: To write the same
things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard to you (Philippians 3:1).
The Two Resurrections
The first resurrection or, as Paul called it, the out-resurrection occurs at the end of our present
age that leads into the millennial reign of Christ. Then, there is the general resurrection that
follows the millennial reign of Christ and precedes the Day of God,
In Genesis, the book of beginnings, the fact of resurrection is presented in type, for we see the
Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden. Although the Lord kept His word that Adam would die,
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He also made provision for Adam and Eve by covering them with the skin of an animal, which
signified that redemption through the sacrifice of the Son of God was on the horizon. They
were destined to die, but they were also destined to live. We have proof of this with the Tree of
Life in the Holy City, New Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven, having the glory of God.
What was lost in the garden is regained in the New Creation.
There are many indications of resurrection in Hebrew Scripture. Job saw his resurrection: "Even
after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God" (Job 19:26). The sons of Korah
wrote: But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me (Psalm
49:15). David declared: As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied
with Your likeness when I awake ( Psalm 17:15). Daniel was told: "But as for you, go your way
to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of
the age" (Daniel 12:13).
General Resurrection, Second Resurrection
Let us consider the general resurrection first. Many, but not all within Christendom,
acknowledge that there are two resurrections separated by about 1,000 years. However, many
also see the general resurrection for only the unbeliever or the wicked, based on Jesus' words
in the gospel of John.
(28) "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear
His voice, (29) and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life,
those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." (John 5:28-29 NASB)
It is often assumed that this refers to the two resurrections, separated by the millennial reign.
But Jesus clearly referred to an hour, which in Scripture refers to a specific point or season in
time; and at that hour, all who are in the tombs, meaning all in the state of death, which is a
state of unconsciousness, will be awakened from their sleep. Those who have done the good
deeds will be resurrected to life, and those who have done the evil deeds will be resurrected to
judgment.
This was in keeping with what the Jews of Jesus' day believed. Jesus was not trying to correct
them but confirming what they already knew. The Jews believed that there was one general
resurrection in which both the righteous and the wicked will be resurrected at the same time
but with different outcomes. We see this in the conversation between Jesus and Martha when
Jesus said Lazarus would rise again. Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the
resurrection on the last day" (John 11:23-24).
Paul, in defense of his evangel, referred to the general resurrection.
(14) "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the
God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written
in the Prophets; (15) having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there
shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked." (Acts 24:14-15 NASB)
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To Paul, it was a resurrection, which means he referred to only one resurrection of the
righteous and the wicked. Both Daniel and John saw this resurrection.
(9) "I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His
vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze
with flames, its wheels were a burning fire. (10) A river of fire was flowing and coming out
from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads
were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened." (Daniel 7:9-10 NASB)
(11) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth
and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. (12) And I saw the dead, the great
and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was
opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were
written in the books, according to their deeds. … (15) And if anyone's name was not found
written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-12, 15 NASB)
The resurrection Daniel and John saw was unto judgment, judgment by the fiery law of God.
Some of those before the Great White Throne , ablaze with flames and with a river of fire
flowing forth into a lake, were seen as destined for judgment through the second death. For
them, it will be a resurrection of corrective, restorative judgment of limited or eonian duration.
Obviously, there will be others standing before the throne whose names will be recorded in the
Book of Life. For them, it will be a resurrection of life, that is, immortal life for all who believe.
It is safe to state that many do not believe that any of the righteous can or will appear before
the Great White Throne because all the righteous must rise in the first resurrection. But they
fail to see that believers are not promised eonian life in the millennial Kingdom of Christ.
Entering the coming Kingdom and reigning with Christ for 1,000 years is a reward to all who
conquer through Christ, but not all who believe in Jesus in this age [eon] will conquer (Luke
12:45-59; 14:13-14).
It is acknowledged that there are many who see all Christians as overcomers or conquerors.
After all, did not John write that whatever is born of God overcomes the world (1 John 5:4)?
Yes, he did. However, the key to what this means is in the phrase born of God . One can be born
of God and have the promise of immortal life and yet live a carnal life that is not born of God.
One can believe on Jesus and be born of God but not keep His commandments and exercise
God's love.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not
burdensome. (1 John 5:3 NASB)
Consequently, everyone is promised immortal life, but this does not mean that all will receive it
at the same time. Some will have to wait in death until the end of the oncoming eon when the
great and small are resurrected. As Paul wrote, they will be saved, yet so as through fire (1
Corinthians 3:15). All their evil or carnal, fleshly works will be burned up, but they will be saved
to enter the Day of God and the Holy City because their names are recorded in the Book of Life;
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they are accounted as righteous because of Christ, but they were not counted worthy to enter
the Kingdom of Christ 1,000 years before. They will receive immortal life as promised and enter
the eon of the eons, the last eon revealed to us in Scripture; thus, they too will experience
eonian life. This is not the better resurrection!
Dear beloved, if by the Spirit of God you are convinced this is the truth, then set your heart to
overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loves us. Let us seek for the better resurrection.
Better Resurrection, First Resurrection
(34) Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, (35) but those
who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither
marry nor are given in marriage; (36) for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like
angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection." (Luke 20:34-36 NASB)
(9) As they were coming down from the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to
anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man rose from the dead. (10) They seized upon
that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead meant. (Mark 9:9-10
NASB)
Notice how Jesus clearly states that one must be considered worthy to attain to that age and
the resurrection from the dead. First, the age or eon that He referred to entering is the coming
age of His Kingdom, for, according to John, the first resurrection will bring forth conquerors
who will reign with Christ for 1,000 years. Those who rise in the first resurrection will rise from
among the dead, which means that the rest of the dead will remain dead for 1,000 years.
Second, entering the Kingdom of Christ in the next eon is about sonship. All who conquer will
be sons of the Kingdom, sons of God, and sons of the resurrection.
Also, take note of the response of the three disciples who had been with Jesus as He was
transfigured on the mountain. As He was coming down from the mountain, Jesus referred to
rising from among the dead. On one level, they still did not grasp the fact that their Master was
soon to die for the sin of the world. Yet, on another level, they did not understand what He
meant by rising from the dead, for their expectation was for all the dead to rise at the same
time. However, Jesus introduced a new concept that some would rise from among the dead,
which meant that all would not rise together. This thought introduces us to what is called the
first resurrection, the better resurrection, or the out -resurrection.
(4) Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the
souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of
the word of God…. and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (5) The
rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first
resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over
these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will
reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6 NASB)
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Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting
their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection…. (Hebrews 11:35 NASB)
If by any means I might arrive at the goal, namely, the out -resurrection from among those
who are dead. (Philippians 3:11 WAET)
Notice that John declared that the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years
were completed. Only those who conquer will be in the first resurrection. The conquerors (he
who overcomes) of the ecclesia in Smyrna, and by extension all seven ecclesias, will not be hurt
by the second death, which occurs after the 1,000-year reign, because they will come to life in
the first resurrection (Revelation 2:11). The second death has no power over them because
they have taken on immortality, life beyond death, and they reign with Christ.
This is the better resurrection promised to the saints of old who were strangers and exiles on
earth and who desired a better country, that is, a celestial (heavenly) one. God is not ashamed
to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them (Hebrews 11:15, 16). This is the
company of believers of the faith of Abraham, who went out not knowing where he was going,
but he was looking for the city whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).
This is what Paul called the holy temple in the Lord , the dwelling of God in Spirit (Ephesians
2:21, 22). It is not so much about a physical city filled with spiritual, celestial people as it is
about a people filled with the Spirit in spiritual, celestial bodies like the Lord Jesus. The city is
about God's people and God tabernacling with them.
Becoming part of the dwelling of God in Spirit in the next eon is something to be gained
through the first or better resurrection, or what Paul called the out -resurrection, or in the
Greek, the exanastasis .
Exanastasis is made up of two words. It is comprised of anastasis , which means "standing up
again." This is the most commonly used word in Greek Scripture to refer to the resurrection.
However, Paul added the prefix ex , which "denotes origin or the point from whence motion or
action proceeds, or out of a place, time or cause." It can mean "out among."
Thus, Paul sought to stand up again from among the dead. In other words, Paul saw a
resurrection in which only some will stand up; others will remain dead. Obviously, this cannot
refer to the general resurrection of the just and the unjust, for they all will stand up at the same
time, in the same hour. Having been a devout Pharisee, Paul knew that all the dead will be
resurrected one day, but this was not Paul's goal. He sought to arrive at or to attain to a very
special goal. Attain (Greek katantao ) means "to arrive at."
In other words, Paul's goal was to one day arrive at the resurrection from the dead, the same
resurrection that his Lord had attained. In desiring to die as his Lord died, Paul was seeking to
rise from among the dead as a first fruit (barley harvest) just as the Lord rose as the first fruit of
those who have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:20).
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This answers the age-old question about the fate of what many call nominal Christians; the
ones who say they believe, but whose words and actions do not match a life given completely
to the Lord. We all have known people who fall in this category. I have known ones very close
to me who were like this.
Some would say that they will be cast into outer darkness during the millennial reign; they will
suffer great loss but be saved. I once held this view, but it has always bothered me that such
ones have very little heart to see the Lord. I don't question that they are saved and one day will
receive immortal life, but does Scripture really teach us that ones that have no desire to see the
Lord will be in the same resurrection with Paul and the others who sought to be worthy to
attain to be a son of the resurrection?
Scripture seems to point to the ones who conquer being raised in the first or out -resurrection,
and the ones (believers) who do not conquer being raised with the multitudes in the general
resurrection. They will be saved, yet so as through fire. Paul knew that all who believe are
promised to rise and receive immortality in the general resurrection, but he saw the first
resurrection as a goal to press on toward and to attain.
Let us strive to be considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead !
Let us seek to be sons of the resurrection !
Let us press on toward the goal for the prize of the out -resurrection .
Let us desire to be first fruits .
The next great event is the first fruits resurrection. Creation groans to see it. How much more
should we groan for it?
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