of the Just and the Unjust
doctrine of the resurrection electrified the early church.
In the New Testament there are few doctrines on which
more stress is laid, yet there are few doctrines in
the churches today which are treated with more neglect.
Why? Most traditional creeds in the Christian churches
refer to the "resurrection of the body" the
same body we have in this life. Have you ever pondered
what that means?
Evangelical minister attempted to explain the "resurrection
of the body." He said, that it will consist of
a regathering and revivifying of all the bones, sinews,
flesh, skin, etc., that ever constituted a human body,
regardless of how these parts had been disposed no matter
if parts had been destroyed by fire or accident or eaten
by fishes or beasts of prey; or if they had rotted in
the ground and been absorbed as nutrients into various
fruits, vegetables, grass, etc., and thus been over
and over again transformed. He pictured the air filled
with hands, arms, feet, fingers, bones, skins, sinews,
etc., of the billions who have lived and died, seeking
the other parts of their bodies; and that then the souls
would come from heaven and hell and be imprisoned in
those resurrected bodies.
absurd! And yet, how else could one explain the "resurrection
of the same body? No wonder very little mention is made
of the resurrection in today's pulpit. Hear the words
of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:35-37:
some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with
what body do they come? And that which thou sowest,
thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain,
it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But
God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to
every seed his own body.
most complete discussion of the resurrection is given
in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 where Paul unfolds the beautiful
details of this doctrine:
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the
firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man
came death, by man came also the resurrection of the
dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall
all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order:
Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's
at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall
have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father;
when he shall have put down all rule and all authority
and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all
enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall
be destroyed is death (1 Cor. 15:20-26).
20 shows Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead.
But there would be afterfruits all mankind. Verses
21 and 22 identify the afterfruits. Just as all mankind
died because of Adam's sin, so all will be made alive
because of Jesus' death as a "ransom for
all" (1 Tim. 3:6).
23 shows that "all" mankind, for whom Jesus
died, will be divided into two groups Christ the
firstfruits, followed by "they that are Christ's
at his parousia" (Greek for presence). Christ the
firstfruits refers to the Body of Christ, his Church.
Jesus was the firstfruits from the dead. But the Body
of Christ will be the firstfruits of the world for whom
Jesus died. They are called the "firstborn"
in Hebrews 12:23. These Christians are raised at Christ's
return (1 Thess. 4:16, 17).
will be present for a thousand years (2 Peter 3:7-12).
"They that are Christ's at his presence" in
1 Corinthians 15:23 clearly shows the afterfruits or
remainder of mankind will be raised during Christ's
thousand-year kingdom (Rev. 20:1-6). This is confirmed
by verses 24-27 of 1 Corinthians 15 which show that
the resurrection work of verse 23 occurs during the
Kingdom of Christ.
there are two resurrections: first the church and second
the remainder of mankind. No wonder Paul spoke of the
"resurrection of the just and the unjust"
in Acts 24:15. And this is just what Jesus tells us
in John 5:28, 29.
not at this, for the hour is coming in the which all
that are in their graves shall hear his voice and shall
come forth; they that have done good to a resurrection
of life and they that have done evil unto the resurrection
of judgment (RSV).
all will be raised from the dead first, "they
that have done good." This refers to the true Church.
During Christ's return they will be raised to spiritual
life and united with their heavenly Lord. Then will
follow the resurrection of the "evil class,"
all the remainder of men. They will come forth to a
"resurrection of judgment." The Greek word
in the text is krisis and it actually denotes "a
crucial testing time." This Greek word is the source
of our English word "crisis." And it has the
same meaning. A doctor might say, "The patient
will reach his crisis tomorrow morning." This does
not mean that the patient will die tomorrow morning.
Rather, the crisis of an illness is that period when
the patient will take a turn for the better or for the
"crisis" or trial time for the Church is in
this present life, but the "crisis" or trial
time of the remainder of mankind will be at the resurrection
in the Kingdom. Billions of mankind before and after
Jesus' earthly ministry died without receiving the light
of Jesus. Yet John 1:9 states that Jesus is the light
that "lighteth every man that cometh into the world"
A further Scriptural confirmation that, for most, truth
enlightenment will require an awakening from the dead.
of the Unjust When?
Jesus in John 5 and the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians
15 taught the resurrection of the unjust occurs during
the 1,000 year Kingdom of Christ when they will be on
trial for eternal life. Yet Revelation 20:4, 5 seems
to place it after the thousand years.
4 they [the Church] 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
4 and 6 clearly teach that the Church reigns with Christ
in his 1,000 year Kingdom. Therefore, the Church must
be resurrected at the beginning of the 1,000 years and
verse 6 plainly states the Church's resurrection is
the "first resurrection." Yet verse 5 places
the raising of "the rest of the dead" (the
"unjust") after the thousand years are completed.
It then calls the raising of the unjust "the first
resurrection." This is a contradiction to verse
6 which identifies the raising of the Church as "the
in verse 5 we italicized, "the rest of the dead
did not come alive until the thousand years were completed."
Why? These words do not appear in the earliest manuscripts
that contain these verses.1 By eliminating these spurious
words, verses 4-6 harmonize. Now verses 4 and 5 agree
with verse 6 the first resurrection applies to
of their theology, the translators have been less than
objective on 1 John 5:7-8 and Revelation 20:5. Finally
the translators have, in the last couple of decades,
admitted that parts of 1 John 5:7-8 are spurious. Hopefully
they will also concede that the first part of Revelation
20:5 is spurious. Thank the Lord there are reference
books that enable us to prove it for ourselves.
prophet Daniel wrote "many who sleep in the dust
of the earth shall awake"(12:3). In Romans 5:15-19
"many" is used interchangeably with "all"
when referring to those who benefit from Jesus' death.
Daniel then divides the "many" into two classes.
Some awake to "everlasting life" and "some
to shame and everlasting contempt." Some translations
say "age-lasting" or "age-abiding"
"life" or "contempt." The Hebrew
word translated everlasting or age-lasting is olam.
Olam does not mean eternal or everlasting. It means
"for the duration." The context or other scriptures
will define the length of that duration. Some translators
seem to get a satisfaction by rendering olam as everlasting
or perpetual when referring to the punishment on the
following scriptures prove olam does not mean perpetual
or everlasting. In Exodus 29:9 the Aaronic Priesthood
would be olam, and was incorrectly translated perpetual.
Hebrews 7:12 shows the Aaronic Priesthood ended in Paul's
Day. It was replaced by the Melchisedec order. In Jeremiah
25:9, 12, Nebuchadnezzar would make the land of Judah
a "perpetual (olam) desolation." Incorrect
translation! Verse 11 states that the desolation would
be 70 years.
John 5:28, 29. The evil are raised to a resurrection
by "krisis" or trial. This trial includes
the 1,000 years, plus the "little season"
that follows. Some will pass their trial favorably during
the 1,000 years and enjoy what Daniel (12:3)calls age-lasting
life. But only those who pass the test of the "little
season" will receive everlasting life. Certainly
there will be nefarious persons among the evil who are
raised to their trial time (John 5:29). They will endure
age-lasting shame as they are confronted by those they
had harmed. Whether they finally obtain eternal life
1 Corinthians 15? At death "you do not sow the
[same] body which is to be, but bare grain, [our ego
or personality] But God gives it a body just as He wished."
(1 Cor. 15:37, 38, 40 NAS)
spoke of the resurrection of the "good" and
the "evil". Paul called it the resurrection
of the just and the unjust. The Revelator identified
the raising of the Church as the first resurrection,
thus implying a second resurrection. In the first resurrection,
the "good" or "just" receive a spiritual
or celestial body that is immortal (1Cor. 15:38, 40,
53, 54). In the second resurrection, the "evil"
or "unjust" receive an earthly or terrestrial
body (1 Cor. 15:38, 40). This life is age-lasting. If
they have the faith and obedience to pass their "krisis"
or trial, they will have eternal life (Rev. 20:17).
here to send us your question on this subject and we
will provide you a Bible answer.
words are missing in the earliest Greek manuscripts Codex
Sinaitic and Codex Alexandrine. (The Codex Vatican 1209
does not contain the Book of Revelation.) These words
are also missing in the earliest Syriac and Aramaic