Scripture calls this "the first resurrection", rather than a part or stage of a resurrection. Is the idea that this is not really the First Resurrection, but that it is just a sub-stage that is part of the first Resurrection, Biblical?
Revelation 20:4 - 5
KJV - 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. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
Chuck Missler thinks so! I'm still learning this stuff, but he seems fairly sure of his position and is a great researcher. Check him out!
I have always been taught that "The" represented one or only such as John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth and the life."
I have always been also the "A" could mean more than one such as Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Could we explain more?
Thinking about the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 in the previous chapters and Matthew 25:31-46, I would suppose it does take place at different stages.
I agree that the two witnesses were caught up. But a voice addressing them only not the whole body of Saints? When is the 144,000 resurrected?
Who are the saints with the Seal of God in Revelations 9:4? "And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads."
Revelation 6:9-11 speaks of seeing the souls under the altar. Could not these be souls who have not received their earthly body.? The same being in Revelations 7:9-11?
Does this prove the split stages exclusivelly? If the Holy Spirit could tell John that this was the first resurrection, could not he have told him it would happen in stages?
Scott is a very good comment. As far as my understanding goes the 144,000 never die, they remain forever. I cannot even place them in a time frame or geographical boundary even though I live within these limits.
It does look to me that the resurrection happens in stages as there have been others before like the Jerusalem Saints who walked out of the tombs at the crucifixion and Lazarus. But shall this matter to a believer and cause people to walk away from their faith? As it is written in Romans 8:35-36 there should be nothing able to separate us from Christ.