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The First Resurrection Pt. 1

Thoughts from "The First Resurrection" by G. H.  Lang


Hudson Taylor and R. C. Chapman both believed that participating in the first resurrection, and the millennial Kingdom is a privilege that can be lost by the believer.

In Hudson's Union and Communion, in the Appendix, Mr. Taylor wrote:

"...if saved, are only half-saved: who are for the present more concerned about the things of this world than the things of God. To advance their own interests, to secure their own comfort, concerns them more than to be in all things pleasing to the Lord. They may form part of that great company spoken of in Rev, 7:9-17, who come out of the great tribulation, but they will not form part of the 144,000, "the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb" (Rev. 14:1-5). They have forgotten the warning of our Lord in Luke 21:34-36; and hence they are not accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man. They have not, with Paul, counted "all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord" and hence they do not "attain unto" that resurrection from among the dead, which Paul felt he might miss, but aimed to attain unto.
"We wish to place on record our solemn conviction that not all who are Christians, or think themselves to be such, will attain to that resurrection of which St. Paul speaks in Phil. 3:11, or will thus meet the Lord in the air. Unto those who by lives of consecration manifest that they are not of the world, but are looking for Him, "He will appear without sin unto salvation."

Robert Chapman, in his Suggestive Questions, asks in Number 10:

"Are not the redeemed in Rev. 4 and 5 the same with those in chap. 20:4, "Thrones and they sat upon them"? (Verse 5). "This is the first resurrection." Is this not a resurrection of first fruits?"

Now, firstfruits are just a portion of the whole harvest. So Mr. Chapman continues:

"And the rest of the dead (in the same verse) do they not include all the family of God? not the wicked dead only. Hence, in verse 12, "Another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (verse 15). "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

If any was found not to have a ticket he was refused admittance, who would dream of suggesting the meaning that no one of all who were there had a ticket, or was allowed to pass?

Edward Pearce wrote of Mr. Chapman:

"It was Mr. Chapman's desire that, by walking with God and by obedience to His Word in all things, he might not shut himself out from the honour of reigning with Christ. He saw no authority from the Scripture for saying that all the children of God would. Rev. 20:4, "and they sat upon them", Mr. Chapman considered were distinguished persons, not all the saints."

From Rev. 20:4,  6, "they lived and reigned" and "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. . . . they shall reign," it is clear that all who rise in the first resurrection do reign, from which it certainly follows that such as are not accounted worthy to reign do not rise at that time.

Devout Jews during the time of Christ looked for a general resurrection "in the last day" (John 11:24). In fact, Christ himself confirmed this and declared He will orchestrate this resurrection. There are allusions to different classes of people will be subject to resurrection at different times.

"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:2)

In Daniel 12:1, the last part of the verse tells us; "and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." "Thy people" is the Children of Israel.  Daniel is being spoken to, his people are the Jews.  They will ultimately be delivered from the Tribulation as many passages explain to us, but (in verse 2) many of them, not all of them, that are in the grave shall come forth in resurrection.  But only some of them will come forth to everlasting life, then the others will come forth to everlasting damnation.

Then also, John 5:25, 28, 29:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. . . Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

In verse 25, it is declared "they that hear shall live" which places all those that don't hear God separate. Luke 20:34 let's us know there is a distinction more than just saved and unsaved, but between a Christian serving God and those Christians not serving God. "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead..." To be in the resurrection we must be accounted worthy to obtain that world.  Of course that world is the Millennial Kingdom, the one we hope to be resurrected to.

 

On to Part 2