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Thread: Amil and Rev. 20

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    Amil and Rev. 20

    But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
    Revelation 20:5-6.

    Where in the Bible is the death of believers ever called a “resurrection”?

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    Joh 5:24-27 is the 1st resurrection, Joh 5:28-29 would be the 2nd. Look carefully at this passage and notice, the believer in vs 24 "passes from death into life, vs 25 the dead "now live". vs 28-29 describes a resurrection that bring both living and dead up for judgment, not just believers coming back to life.

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    I will post more extensively soon on this once I have time to re-read the various NT passages on 'resurrection.' Basically, this is one of those issues where I do not have a sure and certain answer to the question--but can propose some alternative interpretations for everyone to consider. --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    Thanks.

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    The Meaning of THE FIRST RESURRECTION in Rev. 20:5,6

    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 those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 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. Rev. 20:5,6 NASB

    I have only seen three major schools of interpretation by historic Bible interpreters on the meaning of this passage. Within each of those schools, of course, there are multiple strains of belief on the WHEN and exact EVENT corresponding to the first resurrection.

    All interpretations point to the following parallel Johannine passage, a saying of Christ, as the background basis of what is said in Rev. 20 on the resurrection(s):

    Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself. and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 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 5:24-29 NASB

    Christ refers to three resurrections in the above statement:
    1. A present resurrection of believers from death to life.
    2. A future resurrection of believers to eternal life.
    3. A future resurrection of unbelievers to damnation.

    1. The Premillenial school

    This school focuses on #2 and #3 above as the two resurrections in Rev. 20 and discards #1. The first resurrection is the bodily resurrection of believers at the last day, the resurrection mentioned in Rev. 20:11-13 is the second and later resurrection of unbelievers (with the millennium occurring in the interim).

    The pre-tribulation view, of course, would put 1007 years between the two resurrections. A mid-tribulation view would put 1003.5 years between the two resurrections. A post-tribulation view would put 1000 exact years between the two resurrections. Some pre or mid tribulationists would propose that the first resurrection occurs in two phases; one phase before the second coming and a second phase for the tribulation saints AT the second coming. Some dispensationalists also teach that the 'non-church age' saints of the OT era will not be raised until after the tribulation.

    2. The Amillennial / Postmillennial school

    Both of these views interpret the first resurrection as #1 in Christ's statement above, with a 'general' resurrection in the future encompassing both #2 and #3 as the fulfillment of the 'last' resurrection in Rev. 20:11-13. I have seen three different perspectives on what the first resurrection actually is in terms of time and event:

    a) The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and therefore of all the elect in him--as He is their representative.
    b) Regeneration from death to life of each individual believer.
    c) The entrance into heavenly life with Christ immediately following the death of the present body.

    The postmillennial view would picture the 'reigning' aspect of the first resurrection as still future whereas the amillennial view would picture it as present.

    3. The Full Preterist school

    Full Preterism views the first resurrection (#2 above in Christ's statement) has having taken place in 70 A.D. at the same time that Jerusalem was destroyed. At that time, all believers-to-date were raised spiritually to be with a pure spirit Christ in a pure spirit non-material otherworld. All believers since then enter this pure spirit otherworld at the death of the body.

    Some old-school Preterists like Stuart Russell taught a bodily resurrection of believers and a physical New Heavens and Earth 'somewhere else' entered at and since 70 A.D.--but most Preterists today do not believe in a material resurrection at all--either of Christ himself or of his followers.

    In my next post I will state what I perceive as the strengths and weaknesses of each of the first two interpretations. I will not evaluate Preterism as all know by now that I am convinced it is awful error.

    --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    The Meaning of THE FIRST RESURRECTION in Rev. 20:5,6

    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 those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 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. Rev. 20:5,6 NASB

    Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself. and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 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 5:24-29 NASB

    --Bob
    First I really wanted to say thank you so much for posting that verse in John! I think it helps clarify in detail what is being taught in Revelations 20. I really enjoyed this post, I think I learned something from it too. But of course I am always learning and rethinking things. I read these verses three or four times now, and a light bulb just when off in my head. I see a connection with the words Jesus spoke and what was mentioned in Revelations. In Revelations it talks about the people who are part of the first resurrection being blessed and holy. And that the second death has no power over them. So the second death would be that of their spirit right? as the first is of their flesh. But we will live forever with Christ and not experience death as nonbelievers. And then talks about believers coming to life in Christ and reigning with Him for a 1000 years. And 1000 years is not literal but figurative right?? But the rest of the people, those that experience the second death so nonbelievers dont come to life till the second resurrection.

    Then Jesus says in John those who believe in Him has passed out of death into life (so connection not experience the second death). So then this believing and having life in Christ could be considered the first resurrection, right? passed from death to life? The dead will hear the Son of God and those who hear will live. ('cause God gives His children eyes to see and ears to hear). Then Jesus talks about their being a time when ALL will hear his voice and come forth.. those who will go to a resurrection of life and those to a resurrection of judgement. Which is Christ's second coming right?

    Sorry if this is just summarizing what the Bible says but I think it actually makes sense to me!! haha I dont think Revelations has ever made sense to me but in this I see a WHOLE lot of connections. And if this is all true than there isn't such a thing as tribulation where some believers are left for a 1000 years right?

    Also reading through this had another question it talks about believers to resurrection of life and non to judgement. But won't all be judged by God? Though thinking of that we are judged by God but we have Christ in us, and Christ took our punishment.. so then will we be judged or not when we get to Heaven? Like I was always told that we'll stand before God and give account for everything we've done... or that He'll judge us when we get there... but maybe judged and give account are different.. yeah I was thinking of this verse: Rom 14:12, (NASB), So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

    Thanks for listening I have more questions than anything!! But I liked your post Bob it got my mind thinking, and starting to understand... Thanks.

    Mary
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    It needs to be noted that pretrib and premil are not the same, the following chart helps to highlight some of the differences, have a look.

    Peace,

    j

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    To pursue this further, consider this cut of the interlinear from Rev. 20:4,5.

    kai <2532> {AND} ezhsan <2198> (5656) {THEY LIVED} kai <2532> {AND} ebasileusan <936> (5656) {REIGNED} meta <3326> {WITH} cristou <5547> {CHRIST} ta <3588> {THE} cilia <5507> {THOUSAND} eth <2094> {YEARS:} 5 oi <3588> de <1161> {BUT THE} loipoi <3062> {REST} twn <3588> {OF THE} nekrwn <3498> {DEAD} ouk <3756> {NOT} anezhsan <326> (5656) {LIVED AGAIN} ewV <2193> {TILL} telesqh <5055> (5686) {MAY HAVE COMPLETED} ta <3588> {THE} cilia <5507> {THOUSAND} eth <2094> {YEARS.}

    The 'first' or pre-eminent resurrection is not described as 'living again' or 'coming back' to life; a different Greek expression is used (ezhsan) than that describing the resurrection at the end of the 'thousand years'--which IS 'living again' (anezhsan). The root meaning of both of these words is exactly as translated; the first is simply 'lived' (past tense) and the second is the negative of 'lived again'. So the first resurrection refers to a life ALREADY ENTERED and PRESENT, not a life that ended with resumption at some point in the future. The resurrection at the end of the 1000 year reign is definitely one that consists of the resumption of a life previously ended.

    The focus of the passage is the martyrs and the fact that even though their present bodies have been destroyed by puny man, THEY LIVE! Elect believers entered everlasting life in the person of their representative at the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Eph. 2:4-7 NASB

    Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Col. 3:1-4 NASB

    Basically, the first resurrection includes ALL dimensions of the believer's resurrection; Christ the firstfruits and all aspects of resurrection life experienced by those belonging to Him. Those aspects are 1) regeneration, 2) entrance into glory at the death of the body, and 3) the putting on of the final body in the New Earth. All of these aspects are manifestations of a life already entered; none of them are the resumption of a life that previously ended. The believer is immortal now; eternal life has already been entered.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    Good stuff, Bob. I used to struggle with this passage when I was being converted away from premillennialism. I agree about the first resurrection being associated with the resurrection of Christ and our being united with Him in our regenerated living anew. Consider the following also for more fuel to the fire.

    The premill interpretation reads the passage in this way:
    Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those
    [Begin description of souls:]
    who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand;
    [End description of souls and tell what they did:]
    and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
    When interpretted this way, it helps the premillennialist keep the timings of the first and second resurrections in sync with his system. I came to understand it this way though:
    Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those
    [Begin description of souls:]
    who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
    [End description of souls]
    If we examine the tail of the passage as a long description of the souls, it fits the reading that the 1st resurrection is one which occurs during the life of the saint. Breaking up the description keyed off of the word KAI (and), we get:
    Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those

    1) who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God
    2) and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image
    3) and had not received the mark on their forehead or on their hand
    4) and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
    One final thing needs to be done, and that is to make more obvious the tense of the last statement. Both "lived" and "reigned" are in the aorist active indicative, which puts them in the past tense -- the same time period as the preceding statements. So it should read closer to: "and they had come to life and had reigned with Christ for a thousand years." That sounds like more of a description, instead of breaking from the description to tell what the souls had done in a different time frame (as the premil reads it). The final product would read something like:

    Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those

    1) who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God
    2) and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image
    3) and had not received the mark on their forehead or on their hand
    4) and they had come to life and had reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
    Taking out the mental pause associated with the last statement helped me to realize that the living was yet another description of the souls in question; and that this living was done in their life times, in the same way as the other things mentioned.

    Grace & Peace!
    Gal 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    Hey folks, thanks for your time and posts. Does that mean you believe the judgments of Revelation have taken place already?

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    Thanks Kyle for your pertinent observations and scriptural interpretation!

    To answer your question Jason, from a historicist perspective I am convinced that the following judgments of God are still future:

    1. Historical judgments on current and future iniquity within the space-time continuum (which will resemble past judgments in their nature and intensity).

    2. The judgment on the great whore (which is pre-advent but not yet fulfilled).

    3. The final judgment at Christ's last appearing (both wrath and redemption).

    All of us should constantly keep in mind that from a biblical perspective judgment is BOTH redemptive (toward the elect) and destructive toward God's enemies. We know that from scripture but I constantly read various writers that seem to use 'judgment' only in the sense of wrath.

    --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Amil and Rev. 20

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    Thanks Kyle for your pertinent observations and scriptural interpretation!

    To answer your question Jason, from a historicist perspective I am convinced that the following judgments of God are still future:

    1. Historical judgments on current and future iniquity within the space-time continuum (which will resemble past judgments in their nature and intensity).

    2. The judgment on the great whore (which is pre-advent but not yet fulfilled).

    3. The final judgment at Christ's last appearing (both wrath and redemption).

    All of us should constantly keep in mind that from a biblical perspective judgment is BOTH redemptive (toward the elect) and destructive toward God's enemies. We know that from scripture but I constantly read various writers that seem to use 'judgment' only in the sense of wrath.

    --Bob
    Amen Bro Bob, 2 Cor. 5:10, Rom. 14:10-12

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