THE FIRST RESURRECTION

"And  I  saw thrones, and they sat upon them,  and  judgment  was given  to 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 right 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. Blessed and holy is he that  has part  in the first resurrection: on 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" (Rev.20:4-6 KJV).

The individuals mentioned here proclaimed the truth about Jesus and were obedient to God's word. Because of their  performance under extremely difficult circumstances, these individuals will receive a great reward.

The Participants of the First Resurrection

Those  whom the Father has called to salvation from the  time  of Adam  to  the time of the return of Christ are the ones who will be  in  the first  resurrection. They are the righteous of all ages who have qualified  during  this  lifetime to become the  leaders  of  the world:

"Blessed  be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus  Christ,  which according  to  his abundant mercy has begotten us  again  to  a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades  not away,  reserved  in heaven for you" (1.Pet.1:3-4 KJV).  See  also Job  14:14-15 Acts 23:6; 24:15; Tit.1:2.

Those Written in the Book of Life

The  Book of Life is an extremely important book to the elect  of God, because  the names of the righteous of all ages are recorded in its pages. In  beseeching God to spare the Israelites who had rebelled  at Sinai,  Moses says, "Yet now, if you will forgive  their  sin. . .; and  if not, blot me, pray you, out of your book which you  have written.  And  the  Lord said to Moses, Whosoever has sinned against  me, him will I blot out of my book"  (Ex.32:32-33  KJV). See also Psa.69:28; Rev.21:27; 22:19.

When speaking to the disciples Jesus said,

"Behold , I give to you power  to tread  on  serpents and scorpions and over all the power  of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in  this  rejoice not, that the spirits are subject to  you;  but rather  rejoice, because your names are written in heaven"  (Lk.10:19-20 KJV). See also Phil.4:3; Heb.12:23; Rev.13:7-8; 17:8.  

"He  that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white  raiment; and  I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but  I will  confess  his name before my Father and before  his angels" (Rev.3:5 KJV). See also Rev.3:4;18; 6:11; 7:9-10; 13-18.

"And at that time Michael shall stand up, the great ruler  stands for  the sons of your people. And there shall be a time  of  distress, such as has not been from the existence of a nation until that time.  And  at that time your people  shall  be  delivered, everyone  that  shall  be found written in the  book" (Dan.12:1 para.).

The Righteous Dead of All Ages

In  the Book of Hebrews, chapter eleven, there is a long  list  of righteous individuals who died without receiving God's promises:

"These  are the individuals, Who through faith subdued  kingdoms, wrought  righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths  of lions,  Quenched  the violence of fire, escaped the edge  of  the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in  fight, turned to flight the armies of aliens. Women received their  dead raised  to  life again: and others were tortured,  not  accepting deliverance;  that  they  might  obtain  a  better  resurrection" (Heb.11:33-35 KJV).

A  Better  Resurrection

The entire eleventh chapter of Hebrews chronicles these righteous individuals  and their deeds of faith as they lived and  died  in obedience  to God. Verse 35 shows that they did all this in  order to obtain a better resurrection. Is one resurrection better  than another?  The  answer  is Yes! The first resurrection is the best  and most desirable because of the rewards that will be given to those who participate in it.

"And these all, having obtained a good report through faith,  received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect" (Heb.11:39-40 KJV). See also v13.

At that point  in  history, these  righteous individuals had not received  their reward; moreover, they still have not received it. They are dead,  and  not alive  in heaven or any other place.  However, the prophets  and the  righteous  of all ages, including  Abel,  Enoch,  Abraham, Moses,  and David, will receive their reward at the same time  as those  who  died after Jesus and those who remain alive  at his return. See 1.Thes.4:13-15.

THE DAY JESUS RETURNS

One  of the most misunderstood topics of the Bible is the  return of  Christ. Most people do not begin to comprehend the  magnitude of the events that surround this climactic event or its importance in the overall plan of God for the future of humanity. The  first resurrection  will  undoubtedly be one of the  most  awesome  and glorious events to ever take place.

A number of cataclysmic, earthshaking events will occur on the day that Jesus returns to the earth. The following are three of these major events that directly concern the elect of God:

Jesus Appears In The Sky

One of the first events on this day will be the gathering of the elect of God to meet Jesus in the atmosphere above the earth. As  Jesus enters the earth's atmosphere and lights the sky with his glory, the angels will begin to collect the righteous of all ages:

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened,  and the moon shall not give her light, and  the  stars shall  fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall  be shaken:  And  then  shall appear the sign of the Son  of  man  in heaven:  and  then shall all the tribes of the earth  mourn,  and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a  great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the  four  winds,  from one end of heaven to  the  other"  (Matt. 24:29-31 KJV). See also Isa.43:5-7; Mk.13:24-27; 14:62; Rev.1:7.

The Dead Rise First

In this great day, everyone who has obtained salvation will  rise to meet Jesus as he enters the atmosphere, and all of the  righteous  who  have died over the centuries will be  resurrected  and will join him before those who are alive at his coming:

"But  I would not have you to be ignorant,  brethren,  concerning them which are asleep [dead], that you sorrow not, even as others which  have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died  and  rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord,  that  we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall  not precede them which are asleep" (1.Thes.4:13-15 KJV; 1.Cor.15:51-54).

"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" (1.Thes.4:16-17 KJV). See also 2.Thes.2:1-8.

Some feel that verse 17 means that the righteous will not come back to earth  but will remain in heaven; however, this is not the  case. All of the prophecies that deal with the Kingdom of God in relationship to physical humans after the return of Christ clearly show  Jesus  ruling  on earth. If the righteous are  to  be  with Jesus, they will be on earth with him. See Matt.5:5; Rev.5:10.

The Change to Immortality

Those who participate in the first resurrection will have escaped  the punishment  reserved for the wicked and have been  promised  that they  will live forever as immortal beings:

"Blessed and holy is he  that has part in the first resurrection: on such  the  second death  has no power. . ." (Rev.20:6).

"He  that  has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says  to  the churches;  He  that  overcomes shall not be hurt  of  the  second death" (Rev.2:11 Para.).

"For  the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God  is  eternal life  through  Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom.6:23  KJV).  See  also 1.Tim.6:12 KJV; Lk.20:34-35.

"And  this is the promise that he has promised us,  even  eternal life" (1.Jn.2:25 KJV; Tit.3:7).

The quality of life that the righteous are promised is comparable to  that which God himself has. God the Father and Jesus Christ are spirit-beings who  inherently possesses the highest form of life: immortality on the  divine plane of existence. This kind of life  springs  forth from itself; it  never dies or decays and  is not dependent on any other source to sustain it: See 1.Tim.1:17; 6:12-16.

"To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for  glory and honor and immortality, eternal life" (Rom.2:7 KJV).

To the Elect at Corinth, Paul explains the resurrection from  the dead and the difference between the mortal human who will  die and the immortal spirit-being who cannot die.

1.Corinthians 15:35-54 NIV

"But someone may ask, 'How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they be come?' How foolish! What you sow does not  come to  life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that  will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of  something else.  But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to  each kind of seed he gives its own body' (vs.35-38).

"All  flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh,  animals have  another,  birds another and fish another.  There  are  also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the  earthly bodies  is another. The sun has one kind of splendor,  the  moon another  and  the stars another; and star differs  from  star  in splendor' (vs.39-41).

"So  will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body  that is  sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown  in dishonor,  it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness,  it  is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a  spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body' (vs.42-44).

"So  it is written: "The first man Adam became a  living  being," the  last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not  come first,  but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The  first man  was of the dust of the earth, the second man  from  heaven' (vs.45-47).

"As  was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth;  and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are from heaven. And  just  as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man,  so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven' (vs.48-49).

"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot  inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable' (v50).

To Be Immortal

The  gift that God offers to those he calls to salvation  is  not just eternal life; it is much more. The angels have eternal  life and  are  sustained by God's life-giving power yet they  can  be destroyed if they disobey God. The life God offers to the elect is immortal life, which can never be destroyed:

"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all  be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at  the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable,  and  we will be changed. For the  perishable  must clothe  itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable,  and  the mortal with immortality, then the saying  that  is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in  victory" (vs.51-54). See also 2.Tim.1:9-10; 1.Pet.4:6; Rev.20:6.

It is this quality of life called immortality that God grants  to those who participate in the first resurrection. The  acquisition of  immortality and eternal life allows the elect to pass  beyond this physical  existence  into the Family of God.  Immortality represents the highest reward for faithfulness to God, and it  is abundantly clear that God intends to share immortality with those he has called to salvation:

"Who will render to every man according to his deeds:  To  them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life"  (Rom.2:6-7 KJV). See Lk.18:29-30; 20:34-35; Rom.6:23; 1.Tim.6:12; 1.Jn.2:25; Tit.3:7.

"Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that  by  these you might be partakers of the  divine  nature. . ." (2.Pet.1:4 KJV).

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet  appear what  we  shall be: but we know that, when he  shall  appear,  we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1.Jn.3:2  KJV). See also Rom.6:1-5; Phil.3:21.

With  immortality,  the righteous will also receive  a  glorified body,  which will radiate with the brightness of the stars:

"And  they  that  be wise shall shine as the  brightness  of  the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the  stars for ever and ever" (Dan.12:3 KJV).

The First to Become Sons of God

"If  in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all  men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man  in his  own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that  are Christ's at his coming" (1.Cor.15:19-23 KJV). See also  Col.1:13-18.

"For  whom he did foreknow, he also did predestine to  be  conformed  to the image of his Son, that he might be  the  firstborn among  many  brethren"  (Rom.8:29  KJV).   See  also 2.Cor.6:17-18; Jn.1:12; chp.3:1-3; Rom.8:8.

The scriptures clearly show that Jesus was the first of  humanity to  be  resurrected as an immortal being and a son  of  God,  and those  who will be resurrected at his coming are also  considered to be the first of humanity to receive sonship in the Family  of God:

"For it became 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. For  both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all  of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Heb.2:10-11 KJV).

"But  you  have drawn near to Mount Zion, even the  city  of  the living  God, to a heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads  of  angels, and  to an assembly, a CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN ones having  been enrolled in heaven; and to God the judge of all; and to the spirits  of  just ones who have been  perfected"  (Heb.12:22-23 KJV). See also Rev.14:4.

"Do  not  err,  my beloved brethren. Every good  gift  and  every perfect  gift  is from above, and comes down from the  Father  of lights, with  whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of  his  own  will begat he us with the word of  truth,  that  we should  be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures"  (Jms.1:16-18 KJV).

The Kingdom of God Established on Earth

After the first resurrection, Jesus will return to the earth with the elect of all ages who will have been changed into  immortal beings  (1.Cor.15:51-54). One of the primary reasons  Jesus  will come to rule the inhabitants of earth is to bring peace, so  that God's plan for the salvation of humanity can go forward, unimpeded  by  Satan  who  is the god of  this  world.  See  2.Cor.4:4; Rev.12:9.

Isaiah prophesied that, after the return of Christ, there will  be a time of peace in which the  nations will come to Jerusalem to learn the way of God:

Isaiah 2:2-4 KJV

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of  the  Lord's  house shall be established in the top of  the  mountains,  and  shall be exalted above the hills;  and  all nations shall flow to it" (v2).

The government of God is symbolized by a mountain  that will be above all other governments. Notice that people will look to God's government for guidance:

"And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up  to the  mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob;  and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths:  for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (v3).

When all the earth finally comes under the rule of the God  family, which includes the elect of God who will have been made immortal, the earth will finally be at peace:

"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and  their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword  against nation,  neither  shall they learn war any more" (v4).  See  also Isa.9:6-7.

Revelation

"And  the seventh angel sounded; and there were great  voices  in heaven,  saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the  kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for  ever and  ever"  (Rev.11:15 KJV). See also  1.Cor.6:2-3;  15:24;  Rev. 12:5; 19:15; 20:4-6.

Daniel

"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up  a kingdom,  which shall never be destroyed: and the  kingdom  shall not  be  left to other people, but it shall break in  pieces and consume  all  these  kingdoms,  and  it  shall  stand  for  ever" (Dan.2:44 KJV). See also ch.2:1-44.

Micah

"But  in the last days it shall come to pass, that  the  mountain [government] of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top  of  the  mountains [governments/nations], and  it shall  be exalted  above the hills [governments/nations]; and people  shall flow to it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us  go  up to the mountain [government] of the Lord  and  to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways,  and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth  of  Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many  people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they  shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks:  nation shall not lift up sword against  nation,  neither shall they learn war any more" (Mic.4:1-3 KJV).

Zechariah

"This is what the Lord says: 'I will return to Zion and dwell  in Jerusalem.  Then Jerusalem will be called The City of Truth,  and the mountain of the Lord Almighty  will be called The Holy Mountain" (Zech.8:3 NIV) See also vs.4-7; ch.14:1-21.

"Behold a day of the Lord comes, and your spoil shall be  divided among  you. For I will gather all the nations to  battle  against Jerusalem.  And the city shall be captured and the houses  plundered, and the women ravished. And half the city shall  go  into captivity,  and the rest of the people shall not be cut off  from the  city. And the Lord shall go out and fight against those  nations, like the day he fought in the day of battle. And his  feet shall  stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is  before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall divide  from its  middle, from the east to the west, a very great valley.  And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half toward the south. . . .And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with you"  (Zech.14:1-5 KJV Para.). See also Hag.2:6-7.

A Time of Rewards

The  rewards and inheritance for the righteous are reserved  in heaven; however, when and where will they be given to the saints? The prophetic scriptures clearly show that  at the first resurrection, the elect of God will  be  given rewards for the works they performed during their lives. When speaking of the distribution of these rewards, Jesus  said, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory  of  his Father  with his angels; and then he shall reward every  man  according to his works" (Matt.16:27 KJV). See also Rev.14:12-13. And, "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done" (Rev.22:12 NIV).

"And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward  to your servants the prophets, and to the saints,  and them  that  fear your name, small and great; and  should  destroy them which destroy the earth" (Rev.11:18 KJV).

The  apostle  Paul knew that besides  being  given  immortality, which was beyond any human's ability to earn, the righteous would also receive rewards for their performance above and beyond their call to salvation:

"Now  he  that plants and he that waters are one: and  every  man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor"  (1.Cor. 3:8 KJV; vs.13-15).

"Henceforth  there  is laid up for me a crown  of  righteousness, which  the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that  day: and  not  to  me only, but to to all them also  that love  his appearing" (2.Tim.4:8 KJV).

CO-RULERSHIP WITH JESUS

King David

Ezekiel  was  inspired to tell of a time when  all of Israel  will again  be  a nation under God's leadership with  David  as  their king:

"And  David  my servant shall be king over them; and  they  shall have  one  shepherd: they shall also walk in  my  judgments,  and observe  my  statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell  in  the land that I have given to Jacob my servant, wherein your  fathers have  dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they,  and  their children, and their children's children, for ever: and my servant David shall  be their prince for ever" (Ezk.37:24-25  KJV).  See also Zech.12:8-10.

The Apostles

On two different occasions, Jesus promised that the twelve  disciples would rule the earth with him:

"Then  answering,  Peter said to him, Behold, we  have  left  all things and followed you: what then shall happen to us? And  Jesus said  to them, Truly I say to you, You who have followed me;  in the regeneration, when the Son of man sits on his throne of  his glory,  you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging  the  twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt.19:27-28 Para.).

"You  are  those  having continued with me in my  trials.  And  I appoint a kingdom to you, as my Father appointed to me, that  you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones  judging  the twelve tribes of Israel"  (Lk.22:28-30 Para.).

The Overcomers Will Rule With Christ

"To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my  throne, even  as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father  in  his throne" (Rev.3:21 KJV).

"And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end , to  him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod  of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to pieces:  even as I received of my Father" (Rev.2:26-27 KJV).  See also 1.Cor.6:2-3; 2.Tim.2:12.

Kings and  Priests

"You also, as living stones, are being built a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to  God through Jesus Christ. Because indeed it is also contained in  the scripture,  'Behold  I lay in Zion an elect,  precious  Stone,  a Corner-foundation;  and the one believing in him shall  never  in any  way  be ashamed. . .. But you are an elect  race,  a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you may openly speak of the virtues of the One who has called you out  of  darkness into his marvelous light"  (1.Pet.2:5-6;9 Para.).

"John  to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace  to  you, and  peace,  from him which is, and which was, and  which  is  to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from  Jesus  Christ who is the faithful witness,  and  the  first begotten  of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the  earth. To  him  that loved us and washed us from our sins in  his  own blood, And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen"  (Rev.1:4-6 KJV).

"And  has  made us to our God kings and priests: and  we  shall reign on the earth" (Rev.5:10 KJV).

Before his death, Jesus told his disciples that he was going to  prepare  a  place for them where his Father resides:

"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I  would have  told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if  I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and  take you to  be with me that you also may be where I  am"  (Jn.14:2-3 NIV).

Major Responsibilities

Many people wrongly  assume that the elect will be in  heaven  forever; however, those in the first resurrection will rule the earth with Jesus  for at least a  thousand years during which the  earth will become a place of peace and prosperity. One  of the first major responsibilities for those in  the  first resurrection is to assist in the conversion of humanity, because God  the Father  and  Jesus  Christ want  everyone  to  obtain  salvation (1.Tim.2:4;  2.Pet.3:9).  For  this task,  Christians  are  being trained and  prepared through  trials, tests, continual bible study, and  prayer  in order  to grow in grace and knowledge, so that each will be  able to  fulfill an office of a  king and a  priest who will rule and teach  God's truth  to  those who have never heard or understood  the  way  to salvation.

Those in the first resurrection (i.e., the elect of God) will  be the examples, leaders, and teachers for the rest of humanity  who have  never had an opportunity for salvation. The elect  are  the ones who will teach the rest of humanity  the way of God.

Inherit the Kingdom

"When  the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all  the  holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his  glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep  from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but  the goats  on the left. Then shall the King [Jesus] say to them  on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father [God the  Father], inherit  the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of  the world" (Matt.25:31-34 KJV). See also Jms..2:5.

Those  in  the  first resurrection will inherit  the  Kingdom  of Heaven as a part of their reward:

"Blessed are the poor in  spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt.5:3 KJV, also see v5).

The elect of God  will inherit  this  government and receive many other rewards  for  their faithfulness and obedience to God.

Inherit All Things

Not  only will the righteous inherit the Kingdom but also all things. What a tremendous reward! To inherit the  kingdom and to be joint-heirs with Jesus of all that will ever exist:

"He  that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will  be  his God, and he shall be my son" (Rev.21:7 KJV). See also  Heb.1:1-2, 5-8.

AFTER THE FIRST RESURRECTION

After  the first resurrection, there will not be a single  person on earth who has the spirit of God. The earth and its people will  have been  almost totally  destroyed by the events at the end of the  age, and the people  of the  earth will be in a state of  confusion,  terror,  and shock. They  will be wondering what happened and  how  they are  going  to survive. Into such a world, Christ and  the elect will return and bring peace, joy, happiness, and harmony.

SUMMARY

The following are the four basic reasons that God has called people  to participate in the first resurrection:

1. To prepare a people to help Jesus Christ rule the world.

"And [he has]  has  made us to our God kings and priests: and  we  shall reign on the earth" (Rev.5:10 KJV). See  also 1.Thes.3:13; Rev.3:21; 20:4-6.

2. To preach the good news of the soon coming Kingdom of God.

"And  this  gospel of the kingdom shall be preached  in  all  the world  for  a witness to all nations; and then  shall  the  end come" (Matt. 24:14 KJV).

3. To preach the message of repentance.

"Go  you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in  the name  of  the  Father, and of the Son, and of  the  holy  spirit, Teaching  them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. . ." (Matt.28:19-20 KJV).

4. To grow in grace and knowledge (2.Pet.3:18) and  learn  and perfect the ways of God in their lives, so that they will be able to fulfill the purpose for which they were called.

The  first resurrection is the best resurrection. During this resurrection, the elect  of all ages will be taken to  the heaven of heavens where they will be  given their rewards and prepared to return with Jesus  Christ to conquer and rule the earth in righteousness:

"What  shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin,  that  grace may  abound?   God forbid. How shall we, that are dead  to  sin, live  any  longer therein?  Know you not, that so many of us  as were baptized  to Jesus Christ were baptized to  his  death?  Therefore  we  are buried with him by baptism to  death:   that like  as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of  the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life  [eternal life, immortality].  For if we have been planted together in  the likeness of his death, we shall be   also in the likeness of  his resurrection:" (Rom.6:1-5 KJV).

By B.L Cocherell, file b7w2