By Joseph L. Watkins
In our last paper we were asking our readers to reconsider with us this very misunderstood portion of God's word: "...there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both the just and unjust" Acts 24:14-16.
This very profound statement agrees with all the Scriptures, but all scripture-loving men cannot agree with this statement. We must start our study back in Dan. 12:1: "...there shall be a time of trouble...and all that time thy People (Israel) shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt."
The book mentioned here is the book of life, only those "in Christ Jesus" can be found written in this book so all of these are saved people, the many are said to sleep, only those "in Christ Jesus" can be said to sleep - others are just dead - not asleep.
Some (a few) of the many are raised to everlasting (age-abiding) life, and some (the most) are raised to age-abiding contempt (loss and abhorring). These are the unjust and they are not to have a portion in the kingdom, but they are to have life in the new earth.
Turning to John 5:28,29, here we read from the order of the Greek words: "...not marveling (at) this because coming an hour in which all the (ones) in the grave hearing the voice of Him and out coming those the good having done unto resurrection life and evil having done unto resurrection of judgment."
The Greek word #2920 is rendered with the English word judgment 39 times, 2 times it is accusation, 2 times condemnation, and 3 times damnation. See also related words. Here again we have a case of "works" in view, those having been just, or good, and those children of God having lived unjust, or evil. They may not be worthy of a place in the Messianic Kingdom, but they will have life in the New Earth.
"I saw thrones... judgment was given unto them...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." These are the Overcomers from Rev. 2 & 3. See also I Cor. 15:21-23, each in his own rank... "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years finish."
Yes, the non-overcomer is not to be raised until after the Kingdom-time is over, and they shall be raised and judged at the White Throne Judgment, which is a determining of gain or loss, the gold or silver, or wood, hay and stubble (I Cor. 3:13-15).