Here are a few notes on the first resurrection and the second death.
The first resurrection (spiritual) is equated with the second death (physical) in this verse. The first death is physical. Right? We all die. The second death is a spiritual death. Right? To be In Christ (to be born again because you are now walking in His resurrection power) means you do not partake in the second death that sends you to the lake of fire. You obtain the New Heavens and New Earth. The first resurrection and the second death are both spiritual concepts. To me that is obvious.
I don’t believe the mark in the hand or forehead is literal. If it were then we would have a literal seal of God on our forehead that was visible for all to see. We know this isn’t literal especially in a book that uses symbols. And we can see in the old testament that this is spiritual. When we are born again then we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. This is confirmed in the new testament. This is when our first resurrection begins. We have already obtained it i.e. Salvation. But like we talked about before, we continue to work this out until we either die physically or at His return. Some don’t think the spiritual resurrection starts until after death when they are present with the Lord. I can agree to that also.
I came across this quote after seeing this for myself. This confirms on how I interpret these particular scriptures.
“The contrast in 20:4-8 is between the first, physical death and the second, spiritual death. The first, physical death and the second, physical resurrection are part of the physical order of things, whereas the first, spiritual resurrection and the second, spiritual death are part of the eternal order. In addition, notice the contrast in 21:1 between the first, physical heaven and earth, and the second, eternal heaven and earth. There are similar first/second = earthly/spiritual contrasts elsewhere in the New Testament.” – David Campbell
This is not a two resurrection event that is separated by a long span of time (1000 years) they both take place in the same hour. Isn’t that what Jesus said?
25“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. 26“For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 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.
and we know Christians are raised in the Last day.
The key for a separate resurrection event is the term “now is” in John 5:25. We can see two different events here. One with spiritual ramifications and one with literal ramifications.
“Do not grumble among yourselves. 44“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
By the way, Jesus is showing us there are 2 resurrection’s for the believer in the John 5.
25-27 is the first resurrection, that being a spiritual resurrection only reserved for the believer only .
verses 28-29 deal with the second resurrection at the end of the age.
The resurrection at the beginning of Rev 20 is the first Resurrection and is being made alive in the spirit, Jesus tells it like this in John 5:
24“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.
Paul talks about it like this.
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
and again here
5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
This is the first resurrection, those who take part of the first resurrection, the second death holds no threat to us. Death has no sting. We are resurrected twice and die once while the wicked are resurrected once and die twice. When we become born again then we walk in Jesus resurrection power. Once you understand , you will see it everywhere in the NT.
We have a spiritual resurrection now according to Romans 6 (the whole chapter but look at 4&5) and John 5 (which we already saw). We have physical resurrection on the last day (and I do not mean another resurrection; it is the 1st. And same resurrection we do not loose it).
So we reign with Christ now; in death we reign with Christ after the day of judgment we reign with Christ.
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