The term "resurrection" confuses
many people who are not familiar with the teaching of the Church. They read
in the Holy Bible about a first and a second death, or a first and a second
resurrection, and the views that they formulate are many and various. In
this article, we shall attempt to explain this issue in brief, with the aid
of the experience of the saints throughout time.
Death and Spiritual Resurrection
When God made
man “according to the likeness” per His plan, He had also warned man that he must not eat
the fruit of a specific tree. God had said to him: “On the day
that you shall eat from this (tree) you shall die, without fail.” (Genesis
And yet, Adam lived on, for many more years after
he had eaten from that tree. (Genesis
So, what happened? Did God
lie to Adam? Or was God perhaps referring to a different kind of
death, and not the biological death that we are familiar with?
Genesis 2: 7,
it says about the creation of man:
“And He (God) blew into his (Adam’s) nostrils the
breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Now, why
does it say “living soul”? Is there such a thing as a “dead
soul”? And if there is, when is a soul “dead”?
Fathers teach us that the above verse does NOT describe HOW God gave life to a dead body, but that He gave Adam the Holy
Spirit, which vitalized him spiritually. So, when Adam ate
of the forbidden fruit, he lost the Holy Spirit that kept him
spiritually alive and thus became “spiritually dead” – a
This is where
we identify the meaning behind the Christian Baptism, which makes
man a living soul again, just as Adam was, prior to his
downfall. We see this phrased in
Ephesians 2: 5,6
also: “And while we
were dead on account of sins, it vitalized us through Christ….and it
resurrected us with Him..”
These words are
spoken by the apostle Paul - without him being biologically dead.
So he is obviously not speaking of a physical resurrection here,
but a spiritual one.
“Or are you
unaware that those of us who were baptized in Christ, were baptized
into His death? We were therefore buried along with Him, through
this baptism into His death, so that – just as Christ arose from the
dead through the glory of the Father – so shall we walk in a newness
of life. For, if we became conjoined to the likeness of His death,
so we shall also be (conjoined), to His resurrection.
Knowing this, that our old person was co-crucified in order to
abolish the body of sin; that we shall no longer be enslaved to
sin…. so, if we die along with Christ, we believe that we shall (one
day) live with Him.”
3 - 8).
Baptism therefore, man is resurrected Spiritually. This also
appears in the verse of
Acts 2: 38:
“Repent, I say, and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of
Jesus Christ, for the absolution of your sins, and you shall receive
the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
So, that which
Adam lost when he sinned - which rendered him Spiritually Dead – CAN be attained by man, through Holy Baptism. It is the “gift
of the Holy Spirit”; it is the “rebirth”, of which the
Lord Jesus Christ had spoken to Nicodemus, in
John 3: 3 -
8: “if one is not
born of of water and Spirit, he is not able to enter the kingdom of
therefore, is when someone loses the Holy Spirit, and
Spiritual Resurrection is when he re-acquires it.
Death and Bodily Resurrection
As for the
death of the body, there is no need to go into much detail, as we
are all familiar with it. So, just as Spiritual Death is the
separation of the soul from the Holy Spirit, in the same sense, “the
body without spirit is dead”. (James
The word “resurrection”
means “setting upright again”. But, for something to be set
upright again, it must have previously fallen. In this resurrection,
that which falls and “returns to the ground” is the body.
is the meaning of “set upright again” during the “resurrection”.
This is why Protestantism (mainly) is incorrect in waiting for
something it calls “resurrection”, yet not believing that this will
regain their bodies. They give a vague description of a certain
“celestial Paradise” and of their ascent to heaven, but without ever
clarifying any of these.
Christians, the Spiritual resurrection through Baptism is not
enough; in fact, they await “the redemption of their body”:
“..and we, who have our beginning in the Spirit, we too sigh
within ourselves, awaiting the adoption, the redemption of our
a paradise of souls is not enough; because, as God had intended it
from the moment of man’s creation, the physical body will also be a
part of that paradise. It isn’t only the souls of people
that suffered and struggled in their lifetime; the bodies of
Christians also participated. Similarly, it wasn’t only the
souls of the irreverent that sinned, but their bodies also. Thus,
whatever the soul is going to receive, the body must also receive,
be it a blessing or a curse. And, just as God created the earth for
man to live on, it is on this same earth,
that man shall live on, forever.
(Revelations 21: 1,2).
itself shall also be liberated from the bondage of deterioration,
into the freedom of the light of God’s children”.
21). “According to the promise of God, we
await new skies and a new earth.”
(Peter II, 3: 13).
Just like the rest of creation, the resurrected body will also be
imperishable: “the dead will be resurrected imperishably,
and we (the living) shall be transformed”.
Then, just as
the Lord Jesus Christ was on earth but simultaneously in heaven,
(John 3: 13),
so will be the resurrected Saints;
while they shall be on earth, they will also live as denizens of
heaven – which is something that already occurs, even now.
(Ephesians 2: 6; Hebrews 11: 16, 12: 22,23; Revelations 20: 4 - 6).
resurrection and second death
Revelations 20: 4 - 6,
three groups of people are
described as seated on thrones and reigning together with the Lord
Jesus Christ. They are the Christians who died during various
persecutions, the Christians who will die under the beast, and a
group that is mentioned first of all, but is not described in
detail. These three groups of people constitute the whole Church,
which will eventually receive the kingdom along with the Lord Jesus
In these verses
And I saw thrones. And they sat upon them, and (the
authority of) judgment was given to them;
and the souls of those slaughtered for testifying for Jesus and for
the word of God; and those who did not bow in worship to the beast
or his image, nor received his engraved mark on their forehead and
their hand; and they lived and reigned together with the Christ for
a thousand years.
The rest of the dead did not live until the thousand years were
finished. This is the first resurrection.
Fortunate and blessed is the one who has a place in the first
resurrection; the second death shall have no power over them, but
they shall be priests of God and of Christ and they shall reign with
Him for those one thousand years.
are naturally not referring to a future situation in a 1000-year
interim kingdom per se, as certain Adventist religions wrongly
teach. The verse speaks of current situations : even at the time the
Book of Revelations was being written. That is why verse
the one who HAS a place in the first resurrection”.
It is a fact,
that the apostle Paul was referring to this same resurrection -as we
saw above- when writing his Epistle to
Ephesians 2: 5,6:
“And we, who
were dead on account of sins, were vitalized by it through
Christ….and it raised us along with Him, and it seated us in the
heavens in Jesus Christ..”
The apostle Paul - and the others who were like him – were already a
part of the first resurrection. In this same resurrection, every
person has a part who receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and,
being a new man, walks in a new life.
So, the first
resurrection is the Spiritual Resurrection. It is first,
because it precedes the bodily resurrection:
who have our beginning in the Spirit, we too sigh within ourselves,
awaiting the adoption, the redemption of our bodies…..”
Consequently, the second
resurrection is the bodily one.
The verse of
Revelations 20: 6
however, says of those who partake in the first resurrection: “the
second death has no authority over them”.
cannot be speaking of bodily death, because both the apostle Paul as
well as the others who partake of the first resurrection are already
physically deceased. It is therefore referring to the Spiritual
Death: that same death which, as we saw above, is the separation
from the Holy Spirit, which was Adam’s case.
When we therefore
speak of the First resurrection,
we imply the Spiritual resurrection that occurs when
Christians receive the Holy Spirit. The
is the Bodily
resurrection, which will take place during the Coming of
the Lord, for all the deceased.
is the Physical death, and the
is the Spiritual death: the separation from the Holy