Pamphlet 1911 Rev. kc 51-2
that John was taken spiritually to the Millennium!
Where there are no more flesh and blood people!
Next we will learn what reward comes with being part of the first resurrection.
Thrones, you know, are where rulers, the ones who wear crowns, i.e. the ones in authority who exercise judgment, sit. And there are two groups in this verse who sit upon them.Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
(1) The first group are the martyrs down through the ages, those who have been beheaded, i.e. killed or executed for the (a) the witness of Jesus, and (b) for the Word of God. It would include the two witnesses also.
(2) The second group are those of this final generation who had the seal of God in their foreheads and who overcame the beast.
Note: In our previous studies we've covered in great detail the beast (Satan), his image (role as Jesus), his mark upon their foreheads (deception), and his mark in their hands (doing his work).
Now, did you read the last phrase in verse 4, "and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years"? What an honor and a privilege! If you ever are in want of some encouragement to continue to fight the good fight, then just refer to Rev. 20:4. For if you are one of God's elect then you will be part of the first resurrection at His coming, and you will reign with Jesus Christ for the entire 1000 years during the Millennium.
But if you are not part of the first resurrection then you are part of "the remainder" who are called "the dead" and you must wait until the end of the Millennium. You will then be tested that short season by Satan who will be released temporarily, and then you will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment when the books are opened (vs. 12). Only then can you be part of the Second Resurrection and receive eternal life. Until then you are called "dead" because you are still subject to the second death, which is the destruction of your soul in the lake of fire (vs. 14). Here is Christ documenting that there are two deaths, one of the flesh, and one of the soul in the lake of fire: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
And of course to have your soul "destroyed" is to "perish", which is taught in the most quoted verse in God's Word, John 3:16.Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
So you'll either receive eternal life at the first or second resurrection, or you'll suffer the second death, i.e. perish in the lake of fire.John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Let's now go back to Rev. 20:5. Understand that we are now in the Millennium! There are no more flesh people! Everyone has been changed. And John is telling us what's going on! The first death (of the flesh) and the first resurrection (to eternal life) is over! So the "dead" (who are alive in their spiritual bodies) in the Millennium means those who are "spiritually dead". To "live" then is to receive "eternal life". So the "dead" cannot "live" until the thousand years are finished, i.e. none of them can receive the gift of eternal life until judgment day following the Millennium, which is the second resurrection! If you don't quite understand yet, wait until we finish this chapter and it should become clear in your mind regarding the "dead".
Let's go one more verse to conclude today's study:
To be part of that first resurrection is a truly an Unfathomable Blessing! If you have SEEN the PICTURES of heaven and of the glory of our Father and His throne described so far, and if you will follow with us to the end of this great Book of Revelation and SEE the beauty of the NEW JERUSALEM coming down out of heaven, then you still cannot fathom the blessing of being part of the first resurrection. Our feeble brains just cannot imagine how wonderful it is!Rev. 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Now read again verse 20. Since eternal life is granted to those who are part of the First Resurrection, then the second death, the lake of fire, does not apply to them!Their souls cannot be destroyed because they have already received the gift of eternal life. And they shall be PRIESTS and REIGN with Christ throughout the Millennium.
In our next study we will document from the Old Testament and see in greater detail the reign of these Priests of God and of Christ.But for now, just stop everything and take a deep breath and consider the following:
If you have eyes to see and ears to hear then you have been and will be reading about YOU, a participant in the first resurrection! And if you can only even briefly comprehend the enormous reality of all this, that it WILL HAPPEN TO YOU as it is written, then your faith will be greatly increased, your fears and anxieties will be greatly decreased, and you will be overcome with love and thankfulness for our Father who loves His children so much.
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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