The Better Resurrection

By COGwriter

The following article is heavily based on articles from the old Radio Church of God (Neff L. We Are Called to a BETTER Resurrection. Good News, October 1959 and Luker DG. The First Resurrection Is a Better Resurrection! Good News, July 1967) and have been updated with using the New King James Version of the Bible (unless otherwise noted) as well as with various additions and significant edits.

Has God required more of some to gain a better resurrection? Is immortality the only reward of the saved?

JESUS CHRIST said, "Children, how HARD it is to enter the Kingdom of God! (Mark 10:24, RSV.) Today it often IS hard to enter the Kingdom of God! Will it be easier for those in the world tomorrow?

Do you understand God's Plan of Salvation through the three resurrections? If you had a choice, in which resurrection would you choose to be? This article explains which resurrection God has chosen for us, and why it is a better resurrection!

Consider the following sentiment:

 "I WISH God hadn't called me in this age. I wish He had waited until the second resurrection when everyone will know the truth. It will be much easier then to qualify for God's Kingdom."

Have you ever said that?

Have you ever thought or silently wished that God had waited to call you? Some have! And that is why many fell away (see also The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).

Some feel the going is too tough in this age of unbelief, doubt, scorn and ridicule. Some may have wished this because of severe trials and tests. Some who have unconverted mates or relatives have wished that God had waited to call them until He was ready to call the whole family! Others have felt that they are unable to find any to marry because there are relatively few available spouses in the true Church of God in North America and Europe. Some are concerned because there will be coming persecutions (cf. Daniel 11:28-35; see also Persecutions by Church and State).

Brethren, if you have wished you were not called then you do not fully understand what it means to be called in this age just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! You could not truly understand the fantastic, almost unbelievable goal and purpose set before you and then wish God hadn't called you!

Notice something from the Book of Hebrews:

2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (Hebrews 2:2-4)

Notice also the following:

20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire." (2 Peter 2:20-22)

Well, if you do know, is it better for you to have known?


(Possibly some of you do not understand God's plan and do not realize that He is going to call everyone to the knowledge of the truth and give everyone an equal chance for salvation--for details, see also Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation).

God's Plan  

Peter was inspired to write:

9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

God wants all to come to repentance!

And Paul added that God "... will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:4). It is God who calls us to the knowledge of the truth and God who grants us repentance (John 6:44, 65; Roman 2:4). God is in absolute control and He is working out a plan. That plan involves adding spirit-born sons to His own divine Family!

All human beings who have ever been born or ever will be born will have their chance to come to the knowledge of the truth. All will someday understand that they were born physically to be "born again" into the Kingdom of God as spirit brings. This is the real purpose in life — to qualify for the Kingdom of God. Matthew 6:33 says, "... seek you first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness..."

Most human beings have lived and died without ever knowing their real purpose in life. So when will they have a chance to know God's plan and purpose and qualify for eternal life? At the time of the second resurrection, during the Great White Throne Judgment!

Today's War Against Satan

In this age Christians must fight in a spiritual warfare against the wicked spirits. Notice:

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

But in the world tomorrow EVERYTHING will be different!

Jesus Christ, and those of us born into the family of God, will be ruling this earth! Peace will come. Satan and his demons will no longer deceive the nations! There will be no more religious confusion.


10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. (Hebrews 8:10-12)

Yes, in that happy day there will be no more persecution from relatives or neighbors. Everyone will know the ways of God!

But why has God allowed Satan and his demons to fight against Christians today? Why this ADDED warfare?

God has required many of us to go through more trials today to receive eternal life than will be required of those to be born in the Millennium! WHY? Notice the examples of Abraham, of David, and of the prophets. Abraham looked far beyond what many of us do today. He had more prophetic vision than most of us today.

These righteous of old went through many TERRIBLE THINGS in their lives of obedience to God. Notice :

33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. (Hebrews 11:33-35)

Did you notice that? Here is one answer to this enigma. Here is why God has required more of some than others! Those called and chosen in this age — and all past ages — are called to a BETTER resurrection!

God has not required more of some and less of others to gain immortality, but HE has called some to HIGHER OFFICES in a better resurrection. These have required more training, more experience and more overcoming to qualify for higher offices. Remember the gifts and the calling are of God! God does at times call some to higher office than others.

Have you ever thought that one resurrection might be better than another? The first resurrection of which this refers, is to immortality and RULERSHIP in the Kingdom of God. The second resurrection is one to MORTAL life. To a life of trial and testing. And yet, there is in it a possibility to attain immortality. The third resurrection is one to utter destruction. It is for those who have sinned WILLFULLY, who have committed the unpardonable sin, to those who have had their opportunity and have rejected it.

A Higher Calling

God has in general called those of this age to higher positions in His kingdom, than those who come after. Notice in your Bible, how God millenniums ago selected the man to rule over Israel. Later He added the twelve apostles to rule various tribes. Now He is calling or inviting others to fill lower positions under these men. God usually calls those with the highest office first. He is calling us to positions of authority above many of those who will come in the ages to follow. But, of course, we do not wish to become arrogant about that or our calling. Particularly since Jesus said:

29 They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last. (Luke 13:29-30)

Others too will have opportunity to rule in the Kingdom of God, but, many in a lesser way. Think of the billions of people who have either lived and died before us, or who will live after us in the millennium. And yet, how FEW in comparison He has called in this age. He is now calling out just a few to serve in these higher places.

On the other hand, some who are called now, may not overcome as they should and not attain to the high office that God has called them to. Possibly some who follow after, who do overcome more will be over them in authority.

God has provided a better, a higher calling for us:

40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. (Hebrews 11:40)

Those of past ages are not complete without us. The bride of Christ is being selected in this age and we can be part of the marriage supper of the Lamb to His wife (Revelation 19:7). The others that come after will have their reward, they will also be a part of the family of God; however they are involved with this. This may have much greater significance than you realize.

Notice also that verse 40 says God has provided "some better thing for us." This chapter is telling us that many before us by their faith (demonstrated by works —James 2:17, 18, 22, 26) have already qualified for the "better resurrection" but that they have not yet received the promise. They are dead in their graves waiting for us to qualify!

ARE you qualifying? Maybe some of these facts about the first resurrection will help you to strive harder!

A Resurrection to Eternal Life

The first resurrection leads to eternal life! Did you realize that? Notice:

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up — if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? 30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!"

33 Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits." 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

35 But someone will say, "How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?" 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain — perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.

39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.

40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."

55 "O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?"

56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:12-58)

Notice something else the Apostle Paul wrote:

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Those verses show that "the dead in Christ" — all true Christians who died before Christ's return — "shall rise first." They shall be "raised incorruptible." They will be immortal. They will be spirit-born Sons of God! Then we (true Christians) who will still be alive at Christ's return will be changed "in the twinkling of an eye" from physical, mortal, corruptible flesh to incorruptible, immortal spirit beings! We will have received the gift of eternal life!

If you will build Godly character now in this present physical life, you will be given a glorified, powerful, Spirit body which will not die which cannot be destroyed! This will happen at the first resurrection.

Remember that the second resurrection is a resurrection to physical life not spiritual life. Those in the second resurrection will be flesh and blood human beings who have not yet qualified for God's Kingdom. They will have to fight the greatest enemy of all to overcome — their own human nature. They will have to build the same Godly character then that you and I do now! They probably will have to fight the downward pulls of human nature a lot longer than most of us now living. How would you like to battle your human nature for 100 years before qualifying?! There may only be about one tenth or so of that much time left for us! We have only a relatively few years left before Christ comes. Wouldn't you rather fight the battle now and be in the first resurrection — the one to eternal life?

If you don't you could be in the third resurrection and suffer eternal death.

Kings and Priests of God

Those in the first resurrection will live and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years as kings and priests of God! This is what God revealed to the apostle John:

6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

We shall rule on this earth as kings and priests of God:

9 And they sang a new song, saying:

"You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:9-10)

Think about that! Meditate on it!

You will be ruling over people in the World Tomorrow. It does not depend at all on your ethnic background either. YOU will be helping, guiding, correcting, blessing, teaching people! Notice what God reveals through Isaiah about how we will teach them:

20 ... Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
"This is the way, walk in it,"
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:20-21)

We will be their teachers! As spirit beings we will have the power to manifest ourselves as human beings. They will see us and hear us. Whenever necessary we will appear to them and say, "This is the way, walk ye in it"! We will teach generation after generation God's way of life!

Do you want to miss out on the opportunity to live and work with Christ a thousand years? He is coming soon to rule this earth, to bring God's government, to establish peace, happiness and prosperity! You can have a direct part in all this. God has called you to be in the first resurrection — to be a king!

Pleasures for Evermore

Many think that being a spirit being in God's Kingdom will not be much "fun." Some members have asked if we will be able to see one another as spirit beings! Some don't really desire to be a spirit being because they think they are going to lose all the pleasures we enjoy as human beings. If only we could realize that this physical life is on a much lower scale than spiritual life. God, who is Spirit, gave us physical life and physical pleasures. What God has given us is only a small type of what He enjoys!

Even a happy marriage and the right kind of love between husband and wife is only a type of the greater, deeper spiritual love, joy and happiness that God does experience.

God's Word says:

11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:8)

Yes, YOU will like it. Consider:

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

12 O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You! (Psalm 84:11-12)

Those who trust God now will be in the better resurrection. God will not withhold any good thing from you!

Think about that!

Notice, now, some passages from the Apostle Paul:

6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

9 But as it is written:

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:6-10)

Notice that David knew that he would be as God when he was resurrected into God's Kingdom:

15 As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. (Psalm 17:15)

Yes, deification. Yes, you will a resurrected child of God as part of God's family.

Although some Protestants have denounced deification as a cultic idea, early Christians taught this.

In the early second century, Ignatius of Antioch wrote:

For it is not my desire to act towards you as a man-pleaser, but as pleasing God, even as also you please Him. For neither shall I ever have such [another] opportunity of attaining to God...It is good to set from the world unto God, that I may rise again to Him...Suffer me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God (Ignatius. Letter to the Romans, Chapters 2,4).

He is the door of the Father, by which enter in Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets, and the apostles, and the Church. All these have for their object the attaining to the unity of God (Ignatius. Letter to the Romans, Chapter 9).

Polycarp of Smyrna, who knew Ignatius, wrote:

But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, falsewitness; "not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing," or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord...may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who raised Him from the dead (Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians. Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1 as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Sections 2,12).

Polycarp is teaching that what happened to Jesus will also happen to true Christians. And that is also what New Testament writers taught.

Theophilus of Antioch also taught the humans were to become God:

For if He had made him immortal from the beginning, He would have made him that if he should incline to the things of immortality, keeping the commandment of God, he should receive as reward from Him immortality, and should become God...For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruption (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter XXVII. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885)

Now, notice something that Job said to God:

1 Then Job answered the Lord and said:

2 "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. (Job 42:1-2)

2 I know that you can do all things (Job 42:2a, NIV).

Think about that. God can do everything. God can do all things.

When you are deified, you can too! No purpose of YOURS will be withheld from you.

We have the most amazing potential!

Of course, to be trusted with such awesome power, we need to learn many things. And that is part of the purpose of your life, your trials, and your opportunities.

Believe that ALL things work together for good for those who will properly respond to God's calling (Romans 8:28).

But God is Eternal and Humans Began

Before going further, it should be noted that some who deny the doctrine of deification have pointed out that God is eternal and humans had a beginning.

Yes, they are right that the Bible clearly teaches that God is eternal:

The eternal God is your refuge (Deuteronomy 33:27).

God has existed eternally and that humans were created (Genesis 1:26-27) and thus humans had a beginning. So, there will always be certain differences between the Father and His children.

But that is not a legitimate argument against the doctrine of deification.

For example, while the differences differ, there will always be differences between a human father and his children. But the children will still be part of the family of the father and are still human as their father is human. Yet, the human father will always be older than his children and in other ways different from them.

God will always be older than His children and in certain ways different from them. But that does not make His children not His offspring. God the Father is greater than His children (cf. John 14:28) and always will be. Yet, He still wants godly offspring:

15 He seeks godly offspring. (Malachi 2:15)

Godly offspring have always been part of the plan of God!

Consider further that Jesus was to be the "firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29). Jesus also will have more authority over the creation:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:15-18)

But although Jesus will always be preeminent over Christians, the destiny of humanity is still to partake of the heavenly calling of ruling over the creation (Hebrews 2:5-3:6; Romans 8:21-22).

Christians will be like Jesus. The Apostle John was inspired to write:

2 when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2)

While the Father and Son will be over us in terms of authority and longevity (they existed forever and we were all born at some point in time), we will be like them!

Ruling the Universe is Part of the Your Destiny

If you respond properly to God (either in this age, or if applicable, the age to come), then ruling the creation, the universe is part of your destiny. Notice:

21...the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:21-22)

As joint heirs with Christ, resurrected converted humans are to rule the universe:

2:5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying:

"What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet."

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying:

"I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You."

13 And again:

"I will put My trust in Him."

And again:

"Here am I and the children whom God has given Me."

14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. 3 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 2:5-3:6)

Ruling the universe is part of the destiny that God has in store for YOU if you will remain faithful to Him.

Now, you might not think you want to rule the universe.

But God knows your strengths and talents.

Notice something that Jesus said:

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. 2 In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going away to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am. (John 14:1-3, BSB)

A place for YOU means that Jesus is promising a place that will be best for you. For your abilities. Do not worry that you cannot be a happy and contributing member of the Kingdom of God.

God is faithful to finish the work He has begun in you:

3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. (Philippians 1:3-8)

Those in the first resurrection are the first who will be partakers of God's grace, God's favor.

And that will 1100 years earlier than other, the rest of humanity (cf. Isaiah 65:20; Revelation 20:5)!

And YOU can make it if you trust God:

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Consider that God's plan for you shall last forever:

14 I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

The good for you will be forever.


24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. (Hebrews 11:24-28)

Brethren, can you focus on the invisible?

As Christians we often must as we are to "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Of course, we are not the only ones. Others did this before us and they, too, will be in the first resurrection:

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented — 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. (Hebrews 11:30-40)

There is something better. And we will attain at the first resurrection.

Eternity will be Better

The Bible shows that Jesus, Himself, came to make things better:

6 ... He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)

Christians have a hope for the better:

19 ... there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:19)

34 ... knowing yourselves to have a better and abiding possession. (Hebrews 10:34, Berean Literal Bible)

God created all that He did so that eternity would be better. It will be better forever (cf. Jeremiah 32:38-41).

The apostle Paul also realized that eternity would be better. And that it was worth everything to be part of it:

8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:8-14)

Paul said that the physical pleasures of this life are like rubbish compared to what spiritual life will be like. He was willing to give up anything, even his own life, to be a spirit being in God's Kingdom!

How about you? Have you come to that point yet? Do you desperately want to be a spirit being in God's Kingdom? Are you sick and tired of your rotten human nature? Have you come to abhor yourself so much that you cry out daily for God's Kingdom to come? We certainly don't want to be selfish and just think of ourselves. We must serve and help others.

Consider also something else from Paul:

12 ... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13)

That does NOT mean to be an 'independent' Christian. It means that others cannot save you and that you have to accept Jesus and be willing to give up your life in order to live God's way.

And as far as God's good pleasure, His plan is to provide you with pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

While he was in a Roman prison waiting to die Paul wrote his second epistle to Timothy, which states:

6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Paul knew he had qualified. He knew he would receive a crown of righteousness at the time of Christ's return when the "dead in Christ" would be resurrected. Paul made it because he knew what his purpose was and came to desire that purpose more than he desired anything on earth! Paul knew that being born into God's Kingdom as a spirit being would be the most fantastically thrilling event that could ever occur. He realized that spiritual life is much superior to physical life.

But notice that this reward was not just for Paul, "but also to all who have loved His appearing."

And the plan for those who receive the reward is to make eternity better (see also The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?).

Jesus Christ, Us, and the Marriage Supper

 Jesus Christ is the only one who has experienced both spiritual life and physical life.

Paul was inspired to write this about Christ:

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-8)

The phrase "made himself of no reputation" could also have been properly rendered from the Greek as "emptied himself." In other words, one member of the Godhead, "emptied himself" or gave up divine power and glory to become a human being. That is what Jesus did.

God lived on this earth as a human and experienced temptations, trials and tests. He also enjoyed many of the pleasures of physical life — but did not not experience marriage when in the flesh. Marriage and physical love between husband and wife is only a type of a much more glorious and pleasurable relationship — the deep, close, intimate, spiritual love that we will have with Jesus Christ when He returns (cf. Ephesians 5:22-32).

Brethren, Jesus Christ was willing to forsake the love, joy and pleasure of a happy physical marriage in order to help us qualify for the most important marriage of all!

Read about it in Revelation 19:

9 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' (Revelation 19:9)

Christ has already qualified to be part of this marriage supper, since He is the Lamb. You, too, should be striving to qualify with all your might!

After Jesus Christ had finished the work which His Heavenly Father had given Him to do on this earth, notice what He said:

5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:5)

He wanted to be back with His Father as a glorified spirit being! He did not want to remain in the flesh! Christ prayed for Himself — that He would receive divine power and glory again — and He also prayed for us:

24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24)

Christ prayed that we would be with Him and also inherit glory, honor, and power!

Brethren, I hope you can begin to see that life in God's Kingdom as perfect spirit beings will be a lot greater than this present physical life. Lived according to God's laws, even this present physical life can and should be a happy, full and abundant one! God intended it to be so. But we need to realize that we were born physically to be born again spiritually into God's Family. And we need to understand that eternal, spiritual life will be even happier, fuller and more abundant with pleasures for evermore!

To attain unto the marriage supper, you and I must be in the first resurrection — the best resurrection!

Church of the Firstborn

Lat's go to Hebrews 12:

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)

Jesus called Abel "righteous" (Matthew 23:35)--and Abel is also mentioned in Hebrews 11. Abel will be part of the first resurrection.

Notice that Hebrews 12 mentioned the "Church of the firstborn."

In ancient times it was the custom for the firstborn to receive the greater share of the father's estate. God is to make us heir of all things. And yet who will receive the greater share?

The Firstborn! They will have greater opportunity for service. Most will be in higher positions of authority in God's Kingdom. The one who has the highest office, CAN MORE EFFECTIVELY HELP MORE PEOPLE. They will, thus, make eternity even better.

In this place the word "firstborn" is somewhat misleading. The word in the Greek is plural. In other words if we were to translate it correctly in English, we would say the "firstborn ones."

There are more than one who will be first-born. At the resurrection MANY SONS will be born at once. These all will be the FIRST BORN ONES. They will have an earlier opportunity for service in the Kingdom of God. They will have a greater opportunity of serving than those that come afterward.

In ancient time God called the firstborn of each family to serve Him (Exodus 13:2). The firstbor, in essence, failed and God had to call others (the Levites per Numbers 3:12) to do this service. In the millennium, God will again use this same principle of using the firstborn for His SPECIAL service in governing the world.

Ruling Is Serving

When we first come into the Church, we often think that we do not want to rule in God's Kingdom. All we want is to be given eternal life. How SELFISH we are! Yes, selfishness is a motivation. We want to receive the benefits of eternal life, and yet we probably do not want to serve others. The higher the position in God's Kingdom that we might attain, the more we will be able to SERVE and HELP others.

You should want to qualify for the highest office possible in God's Kingdom. If you are faithful over a few things in this life, God will make you ruler over many things in the one to come.

In a business or corporation of this world, the one at top should have the best training and background. The one who is a janitor, or a door-keeper does not need the training or the experience of the president of the company. In like manner so is the Kingdom of God. Those who have overcome most, who have had the greatest experience, who have proved themselves more effectively than the others will have the highest position. The one with the most experience is Jesus Christ. And He will be the King over that kingdom. The others who have high positions will be those who have the best experience, who have overcome more, and who have grown more spiritually.

Now maybe you can begin to realize why some must go through more in this life than others. They have been invited or called to a higher office in God's kingdom. God has not put a different price on immortality, but He does require more of some than of others to qualify for the high position that He has called them to.

Think how much more experience those in the first resurrection will have than those who will come after. They will have 1,000 years more experience in ruling in God's Kingdom than those to come later.

Marvelous Prophecy About Our Church

Repeatedly in Revelation chapter two and three God says,"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

The seven churches mentioned represent the seven "eras" or "stages" of God's true Church from the time of the apostles to the end of our present age.

Let's notice the specific promise and reward to the Philadelphian era of God's Church:

7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. (Revelation 3:7-12)

Brethren, please hear and understand! These blessings are for you! The Continuing Church of God now best represents the Philadelphian portion of God's church (for details why, check out The Philadelphia Church Era). God has given us the open door of the internet and the printing press right now to preach and publish the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God and to warn the world of the coming Great Tribulation — "which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth." Philadelphian Christians can escape the Great Tribulation because we have been called now.

We can also help others escape by being faithful and doing our part in God's Work today!

If we will catch the vision, do our part in God's Work and overcome our sins, we have the very special promise that we will be "pillars" (strong supports, mainstays, leaders) in the very temple of God Almighty for all eternity! Read about that fabulous city where you can live and work:

9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. (Revelation 21:9-21)

As a pillar, you can be at the very Headquarters of the universe working with God the Father, Jesus Christ, Abraham, David, Paul and many, many others — if you are in the first resurrection!

Historically, we have refered to a strong person in the Church as a PILLAR in the Church. And so it is in this case too. Those of this Church have been called to be at the temple in Jerusalem, the headquarters on this earth of the Kingdom of God. Our calling and office will be at Jerusalem. That will be our abode, our dwelling place. Just as God in heaven has His dwelling place so will we be at Jerusalem where we can be with Jesus Christ personally.

A pillar is willing to stand alone if need be. Scattered ones in the Philadelphian remnant often have to wait and trust God to establish congregations near them. Being a pillar sometimes can involve being a foundational part of a new group, or standing alone in a separated area. And that could be part of your training for that reward.

Of course, we should fellowship on the Sabbaths when we can (Hebrews 10:24-25). God’s Holy Days, like the Feast of Tabernacles, are another opportunity for that (cf. Leviticus 23:2; Romans 12:1).

Revelation 3:12 also teaches that we who overcome are to have the NAME of God upon us. God names things what they are. If we have the NAME of God, then we will BE GOD. Here is another of the many, many places indicating that those who attain to the resurrection will be a part of the very family of God.

We also will have the name of this CITY of God — that is — the New Jerusalem.

Does this make any sense to you? The city of the New Jerusalem you may think, is that city which God is preparing in heaven. Yes, that is true, and yet a city is more than the buildings and the streets which it contains. A city is composed ALSO of those PEOPLE who live there. At the beginning of Revelation 3:12 God says that we will no more go out of the temple of God. We then will be residents of that city.

It is impossible for us who are now mortal to fully realize the great high calling to which God has called us.

Revelation 21 pictures the which follows the 1,000 year (millennial) period, and the 100 year period (Isaiah 65:20). This is after the old heavens and the old earth are destroyed and a new heaven and new earth are made. The New Jerusalem comes to this earth, and God the father comes to dwell on the earth. In this verse the angel tells John, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." Now remember that we of this age are called to be a part of that BRIDE — those in the FIRST RESURRECTION.

But what does the angel show John? A woman? No — he shows him the CITY the New Jerusalem. Why does he do this? He does this because the bride of Christ not only lives with Him in the New Jerusalem, but also RULES from that city! Here is where the saints of this age, those who overcome, and are a part of the bride of Christ, will be centered.

In the previous, the millennial, age, the Philadelphians are to be at the temple in Jerusalem. The headquarters of the world. During the time of the new heavens and the new earth, we will be at the very headquarters of the UNIVERSE. What a GLORIOUS OPPORTUNITY and JOY to look forward to! To be at the very headquarters of the universe, at the same place where God the Father, where Jesus Christ and many of the Holy Angels will dwell.

A High Calling

God has called many of us who were the foolish, the weak, the lowborn, and the despised:

26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — 31 that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

So, don't think you have to be one the world thinks is important to be called by God to be in the first resurrection. For information on being called, check out the following free online book: Is God Calling You?

This is calling is also referred to as an exceeding "HIGH CALLING" in the Lamsa translation. He has called us to confound the wise. He will confound them through us in the ages to come.

In Philippians, Paul wrote:

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14, KJV)

A high calling.

Paul also wrote:

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).

Think how great a responsibility God has offered to us, the firstborn! By serving in a greater position of authority, we will be able to help and to serve MORE PEOPLE MORE EFFECTIVELY. Because of the JOY that was set before Him, Jesus Christ endured the death and torture (Hebrews 12:2). Maybe you too can now see better the JOY that is set before you--faithful ones from the Old Testament did (Hebrews 11:4-40).

God will not require of you more than you are able to bear. You CAN endure to the end! The way may seem difficult and hard at times. And yet you need not fall!

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10-11)

If you do the things Peter mentions in this chapter, you will never fall. You will endure to the end. You will be in that BETTER resurrection. You too will be a pillar in the temple at Jerusalem, Palestine. You too will be an eternal resident of that Holy City the New Jerusalem.

Here is a link to a related sermon: The Better Resurrection.

The Second Resurrection

The Bible does not use the term "second resurrection." But it does teach a resurrection of all the dead who have never known the truth. This resurrection comes after the resurrection of the saints, called the "first resurrection" in Revelation 20:6, and is, therefore, generally called the "second resurrection."

When does the second resurrection take place? Exactly who will be in it and what will it be like? How long will those in this resurrection live? Let's answer these questions!
The apostle John was given a vision into the future by God.

John wrote:

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)

We see that the second resurrection takes place shortly after the millennium -- the one thousand-year rule of Christ and His saints on this earth. That answers the question, when?!

Related to that second resurrection, the apostle John further wrote:

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. (Revelation 20:11-12)

The answer to the question who will be in the second resurrection is, "the dead, small and great" who never were judged by God by the things which were written in the books of the Bible, according to their works.

When does God begin to judge a person from the Bible? From the time he understands what it says and means! Notice:

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17)

The house of God is the Church of the God (1 Timothy 3:15).

We in God's true church are now being judged according to our works (our obedience to all His laws and precepts)! Our judgment began when God first called us to the knowledge of the truth and it will continue until the day we die, or are "changed" (the flesh still dies) at Christ's return! Judgment, then, takes place over a period of time.

Those who have lived and died without having this period of time to know the full truth and be judged according to their works, will be given that chance during the Great White Throne Judgment.

Most of the kings, leaders and rulers who have ever lived will be resurrected then — great and important men in the eyes of this world! And the billions they have ruled over will also be in that resurrection!

What will that resurrection be like and what will life be like during that judgment time? At the time of the second resurrection, people will be rising out of their graves, out of the sea or from wherever they died, back to physical life again on a beautiful earth (Revelation 20:13)! It doesn't matter how or where they died -- God has the power to give them another physical body, breathe life into it and place them in a dry, safe, place! You can imagine how shocked some are going to be when they find they are not in "heaven" or "purgatory" but on earth!

Ezekiel saw and heard the way it is going to happen:

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. 9 Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live."'" 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. (Ezekiel 37:7-10)

This is the time of the second resurrection! It is a resurrection to physical life. What a fantastic event this will be! Wouldn't you like to be there and have a hand in helping those people?! Some of them will be your own children, friends or relatives!

How long will they live and what kind of world will they live in? God reveals this in the book of Isaiah:

20 "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, And their offspring with them. 24 "It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," Says the Lord. (Isaiah 65:20-25)

What a wonderful, happy, peaceful, productive life they will have! Families will be together. No broken homes! Everyone will work and enjoy life! There will be peace, happiness, and safety everywhere! Verse 20 indicates that everyone who is resurrected, those who died young and those who died old, will be resurrected and live a full 100 years more. No new babies will be born during this period. After the 100-year period all who have qualified will be born into God's Family as spirit beings and live forever! If they do not qualify after this period of time they "shall be accursed." They will be destroyed in the lake of fire and remain dead forever! This will happen at the third resurrection.

Those of us in the first resurrection will help those in the second resurrection.

The Better Resurrection

In relation to knowing and obeying God's Word there are three general categories of people on earth today -- those who know and obey, those who do not know and consequently do not obey, and those who know but will not obey!

The first resurrection is for those who have lived, known and obeyed God before and up to the second coming of Christ. They are called "saints" in the Bible. When people qualify during the millennium they evidently will be changed immediately from "flesh" to "Spirit."

The second resurrection is for those who have lived and died prior to the second coming of Christ without ever knowing the truth of God. This will include by far the vast majority of all human beings who have ever lived — billions and billions! If you are wondering how there will be room for them all on earth then read the question box article in the September, 1965, GOOD NEWS magazine, on page 23 (2nd Question).

But those in the first resurrection will have been spirit beings for 1100 years before others will.

1100 MORE YEARS of joy and blessing.

And of course, those who reject God's ways will experience the second death:

14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14-15)

The second death will some to those who will not obey Obviously, we should not want that.

The Bible shows that God has given us the Spirit of power to overcome and qualify for the FIRST resurrection!

A better resurrection!

And we who are Philadelphian will be pillars in the temple of God to help make eternity better for all.

And that includes us, ourselves, too!

Here is a link to a related sermon: The Better Resurrection.

Thiel B. The Better Resurrection. COGwriter (c) 2019 1022

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