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The fallacy of this is easily seen, for these holy dead enjoyed the spiritual resurrection before they "were beheaded for the witness of Jesus." Clearly, it was because of this spiritual life in Christ and their faith in the Word of God, that they became witnesses for Jesus and refused to worship the beast, or his image or receive his mark, and therefore they were beheaded (see chap. 13:11-15). Besides, i/ntxas (psukas—souls) means also life, person or individual. See same word in Acts 2:41, "there were added unto them about three thousand souls (persons)" and in Acts 7:14; 27:10-37; 1 Cor. 15:45; 1 Pet. 3: 20; Rev. 12:11; 16:3, it unmistakably means persons.15 A spirit could not be beheaded. Only a person having body and spirit could be beheaded, and such it is evident these were. But they suffered physical death; that is, separation of soul and body, and became part of the great company of the dead. The 5th verse emphatically confirms this—these being that portion of the dead ones (vtKpStv) who lived, while "the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished," and "this is the first resurrection."
In this objection Post-millennialists manifest one of their most remarkable inconsistencies. They labor assiduously to disprove the literalism of the first resurrection, described in verses 4-6, where £da, -zao = to live and ava<rrtuTK- anastasis = resurrection are each twice used, while they hold that verses 12 and 13 do describe a literal resurrection, though neither zao nor anastasis are used therein. Consistency requires that, if either is spiritual, it should be the latter. How much better to accept both as literal.
(15) Acts 7:14. Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.
Acts 27 :37. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souis.
1 Pet. 3 :20. Which sometime were disobedient, when once the
longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
Rev. 16:3. And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
Spiritual Life in Paradise.
Equally fallacious is the interpretation which claims that the first resurrection is the spiritual life of believers with Christ in Paradise (the intermediate place of the holy dead). For this spiritual life begins, not at death, but at the regeneration. It begins with the first exercise of faith in Christ. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." John 3:36. Hath it now. Is quickened already (Col. 2:13), and has been raised (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1), and lives the life he now lives by the faith of the Son of God. Gal. 2:19, 20. This spiritual resurrection spoken of in Eph. 2:6; Col. 2:12, 13; 3:1, is expressed by words entirely different from anastasis, which is used in Rev. 20: 5-6, and which everywhere in the New Testament expresses a literal resurrection.
Only the Beheaded Mentioned.
Again it is objected that only the beheaded are mentioned and those who have specially to do with the beast and His image.
This is true of the latter part of the verse only. And we believe that these are the Tribulation Saints who accept of Christ and become His martyrs under the reign of Antichrist,16 after the Church has been caught up to meet
(16) 2 Thes. 2:1. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6. And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
Christ in the air.'-7 (See page 101.) But notice that the first part of the verse speaks of some as though they had already been raised. "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them."
Nothing is said about the resurrection of these because they had already been raised at the Rapture previous to the Tribulation.
They are all ready to occupy the thrones and reign upon the earth according to the promises.18 But John sees the Tribulation Saints also raised to take part in this reign with Christ, which is in perfect accord with the order of the first resurrection.
8. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.
Rev. 13 :11. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12. And he exerclseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor,
free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
IS. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
(17) 1 Thes. 4:16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
(18) Mat. 19:28. And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
1 Cor. 6:2. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye un
CHRIST THE FIRST FRUITS.
Next, they who
are Christ's at His Coming.
The Church and the Old Testament Saints who are raised at the Rapture when Christ comes in the air.
The Tribulation Saints who are raised at the
The Last Day.
Again we hear it objected that Christ said He would raise up those who believe in Him at the last day (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54), and if it is at the last day there can not follow a thousand years before the unbelievers are raised. But Peter says "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day." 2 Pet. 3:8. This is the great Millennial day ushered in and ending with resurrection and judgment, and during which Christ shall rule the nations and judge the world in righteousness.19
worthy to judge the smallest matters?
3. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
Rev. 3 :21. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
(18) Acts 17:31. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereot
he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Isa. 11:9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
10. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
11. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall
It is "the day of an age" as the Holy Spirit designates it in 2 Pet. 3:18. See the Greek "rj/jLepav aifiros" (heemeran aionos). In harmony with this we find that the same word rjiiipa (heemera—day) signifies "a long period," in John 8:56; 9:4; Rom. 10:21; 2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 4-:7-8.
is the key to the book of Isaiah and many of the other prophets. Note how frequently it occurs. Isa. 2:11; 3:7, 18; 4:1, 2; 5:30; 7:18, 20, 21, 23; 10:27, etc.; Jer. 25:33; Ezek. 38:14, 16; 39:11; 48:35; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:11; Micah 4:6; 7:11, 12; Zeph. 3:11, 16; Hag. 2:23; Zech. 9:16; 12:3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11; 13:1, 2, 4; 14:6, 8, 13, 21; Mai. 3:17; Mat. 7:22; 24:36; Mark 13:32; Lu. 21:34.
See how plainly it is identified with the Day of the Lord. Compare Isa. 2:12 with 20. "For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and
lofty In that day a man shall cast his idols
to the moles and bats." Also Zeph. 1:14, 15.
"The great day of the Lord is near . . . that day is a day of wrath."
See the same in Zech. 14:1-4.
In Hosea 6:2 we read "After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up." These are evidently three days of one thousand years each, for "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years." So "that day" is doubtless the last thousand year day of God's great week of aions (ages). See page 218.
Mentioned in Same Verse.
Again it is objected that, while there will be a great difference in the character of the resurrection of the just and of the unjust, yet they must be simultaneous in time, for
set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from
Cush, and from Elam, and from