RESURRECTION. The Bible talks about an “order” to the resurrection. “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.” (I Corinthians 15:23, Christ had a real bodily resurrection, Acts 2:31, see JESUS.) Christ was the “firstfruits” and “afterward”, Matthew 27:52-53 says, “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Then the Resurrection that happens at the end of this present age just before the Tribulation. This is the only one that includes the Rapture of believers who are alive at the time of resurrection. “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: 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.” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17, which is also a physical resurrection, see Philippians 3:20-21, see the false teaching of SOUL SLEEP) Then the two witnesses in the middle of the Tribulation (See TRIBULATION), “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud….” (Revelation 11:3-12) Then the resurrection at the end of the Great Tribulation of those who were saved and died during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:9, Chapters 13-14). Revelation 20:4-5 says, “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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” These had died during the Great Tribulation “beheaded,” because they would not receive the “mark” of the Antichrist. This whole time period from Christ till the end of the Great Tribulation is called the “first resurrection,” which is only for the saved. The next verse (v-6) says, “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.” As one can see from this passage, the “first resurrection” is for the saved that died and become alive and then reign during the Millennium. (See MILLENNIUM)
But there remains a resurrection for the lost. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” (Revelation 20:5) This resurrection would include every lost person who has died from Genesis till the end of the Millennium. “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:13-15) After the lost are judged there is a new heaven and a new earth. (See FINAL STATE).