The Appointed Day is also called the Day of the Lord and the Day of Judgment. Living or dead, believer or unbeliever, every person will be judged and will experience resurrection during that 1,000-year Day. The type of resurrection is what differs.
In the last blog we saw that believers are resurrected at the start of the Day of the Lord. We are judged as being His. We are born from the dead, overcoming death, as our Lord did, when we are raptured. Paul explains, "We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed --in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet."
Those believers who have already died and gone to Heaven shall be resurrected first, given new immortal bodies from the dust of the earth. Then those of us who are alive when He comes are instantly changed, receiving our immortal bodies.
All others will be judged and resurrected at the end of the Day of the Lord. That includes unbelievers, the Old Testament saints, those who accepted Jesus after the rapture, and those born during Christ's millennial reign over the earth.
Acts 24:14 describes two types of resurrection: the resurrection of the just and the unjust. The type of resurrection depends on whether or not the person's name is in the Book of Life, having received life in Jesus Christ (Rev. 20:12).
Those who now believe in Christ as the Savior receive the resurrection of the just, for they have been made righteous through the blood of the Lamb. They have received the forgiveness of their sins, for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). They live eternally with God.
Those who still reject Christ receive the resurrection of the unjust. They have chosen to reject reconciliation with God. They have chosen the ways of the world, which follows after Satan and ungodliness. John 5:28-29 calls this the resurrection of condemnation. They live eternally separated from God.
Then the final enemy -- Death and Hades (Hell) -- are cast into the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20 ends with these words: "This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire."
We always have a choice. Choices always have consequences.
Hebrews 6:2 lists resurrection and judgment as elementary or basic doctrines of our Christian faith. Resurrection and judgment are key themes of the Appointed Day. Hebrews 9:27 tells us about physical death: "And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." The Bible is clear: there is no such thing as reincarnation.
Genesis 2:17 gives us a clue about what is typically called spiritual death. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the Day that you eat of of it, you shall surely die." Physical death is being separated from our physical bodies; spiritual death is being separated from intimate communion with God the Creator, the source of life.
Every human is first and foremost a spirit being. A spirit doesn't die; it is eternal. Adam and Eve didn't immediately die physically when they ate of the tree. But they were separated from God. Sin creates a gulf between fallen humans and the holy God. Because of His great love, God made a way to bridge that gulf through Jesus -- what is commonly called the new birth or being born again.
Part of our salvation includes the hope of glory described in John 6:40. "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believe in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the Last Day."
Resurrection means to be lifted up, to be raised up, to be perfected, and to be completed. Every believer shall be resurrected at the Last Day. As that Day dawns, Christ will return and gather us to Him at the rapture, and take us to Father's House in Heaven (our prepared place). We receive our glorified, immortal bodies, and we receive our next assignment as part of the heavenly court at the right hand of the Father.
This is called the firstfruits resurrection (1 Cor 15:29). Christ was the first of the firstfruits (plural) when He arose on the 3rd day. Romans 8:29 explains that we are rest of the firstfruits: "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." James 1:18 calls us "a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." The Apostle Paul explains the order of our 3rd Day firstfruits resurrection in 1 Thess 4:13-18. The dead in Christ arise first, then those who are alive at His coming.
Firstfruits refers to a special offering brought to the Lord in the Old Testament before the first harvest could begin (Lev. 23). The offering reminded the people of their bondage in Egypt, God's deliverance, and the Promised Land. Unlike the other offerings, this was set apart solely for the Lord.
Our firstfruits resurrection happens at the start of Christ's 1,000-year reign (the 7th Day), for the Head and the Body must be fully complete and together in Heaven in order to reign as joint-heirs. This doesn't take away from Christ in any way, for He always has the preeminence (Colossians 1:18). It shows His great love for His beloved Bride and the amazing grace of being "in Christ."
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man who He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:30).
If you've been with us through this series, you can probably guess that the day God has appointed is the Day of the Lord. It is during Christ's 1,000-year reign over the earth that He will judge the world. The criterion for this judgment is righteousness--the right standing we have with God through Christ.
Jesus will be the last God-appointed judge, as foreshadowed in the Old Testament judges. He will begin this rule by treading down the enemy--the counterfeit one-world order. Revelation 11:16 declares: And there were loud voices in Heaven saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever."
As we saw in the last blog, Christ and His Bride rule over the earth with a rod of iron, bringing true justice and order to the nations. Near the end of the Appointed Day, Satan will be released from the Pit. Nearly 1,000 years of jail time have done the devil no good. He is still just as prideful and deceitful as ever. He somehow manages to lure some to his side to come against the Jewish nation (Rev. 20:7-9).
The battle is over before it really begins. Fire falls from Heaven and incinerates the hostile army. And then comes the part where we all get to cheer wildly. The devil is cast into the Lake of Fire to be tormented day and night forever (Rev. 20:10).
It is then time for the final harvest of the earth--what Jesus called the separation of the tares (unbelievers) and the wheat (believers). That is when the final judgment is rendered. It is called the great white throne judgment of God. The only criterion is whether or not a person's name is in the Book of Life because he or she has accepted Jesus as the Savior.
If you think this is unfair, consider the millions of people who have been slaughtered over the centuries because of their ethnic group. Think of the countless murders, rapes, and atrocities that have been committed by people who have chosen to know evil.
Today our society cries out for justice. Only the One who is purely just can bring true justice at the appointed time. We always have a choice. And choices always have consequences.
The Antichrist and the coalition of armies coming against Israel have been crushed. The supper of the Great God has devoured the dead. The Antichrist and the False Prophet have been cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity.
As our Bridegroom promised in Rev. 2:26-28, we who have overcome through resurrection at the rapture have been given power over the nations. As joint-heirs, we rule with Him with a rod of iron. Iron denotes strength. We know that mankind's counterfeit global government has been obliterated, and that it is the appointed time for the One New Man to rule and judge the earth in righteousness (Acts 17:31). Then why do we rule with a rod of iron if all is made new and glorious during this reign, as is commonly taught?
Rev. 20:1-3 tells us that our old enemy, Satan, is temporarily bound in the Pit, a compartment of Hades (Hell). He is scheduled to be released toward the end of Christ's 1,000-year reign. Why on earth would Christ allow this?
He does so because He is just, as is the Father. To understand this justice, we have to think about who is still on earth at this time. We know the Bride is in Heaven with Christ. We know there are revived Jews who have finally accepted Jesus as the Messiah at His second coming. We know there are Gentiles who likewise finally accepted Jesus as the Savior after witnessing the rapture.
In both cases, the heart of each new believer has been made new. But the nature of mankind itself is still fallen. This means every person on the earth during the 7th Day still has a will. They still have the choice as to whom they will worship. That is why these people must be given one last chance when Satan is released to decide between life with Christ or eternity with Satan.
As always, it must be a faith choice, for Christ and His Bride rule from above, not from the earth. Israel is now the natural head of the earthly nations as promised in Scripture. This is why a rod of iron will be required.
So what happens next? Consider this teaser: "For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death" (1 Cor. 15:25-27).