Please Explain The Resurrection Of The Dead In The Millennium?

Name: Stephen Wagoner
Question: Brandon, I took the Scriptures that you gave me. We all agreed on being absent from the body, present with the Lord. What I told them, when the Lord returns there will be two types of people. The ones that are saved and the ones that aren’t saved.

The Lord deals with the dead in Christ first. The one that are not saved. Then the ones that are living. The saved ones. This is where they believe that the dead are in their graves and God will change them at that time. I said, I thought you guys believed that they are in Heaven or a burning Hell. The ones in their graves?

I asked if they believe that they have been judged already. Skipping judgment day. They all got quiet and said that I was in a cult. So I decided not to argue and wipe my feet. Then we all had dinner. I used at least over 20 structures from all over the Bible. But they thought that I had lost it. Traditions of man sure does make things hard on me. My wife comes from this family, and she is listening to her mother. People burning in Hell as I write this. And will be Raptured up before the Tribulation. My work is cut out for me. Please pray for me and my teaching to my wife son.

Answer: Stephen,

Good morning sir!

If they believe as Scripture explains, ‘to be absent from the body is to be with the Lord’, how then could anyone be in a grave?

I don’t follow that logic…

It sounds like you did the right thing. If someone cannot see your point, which from what you explained seems pretty clear. You have to let that stuff go, trust me, they will stew on it privately, most people do.

Family is very important, always remember that. They don’t need to believe just like you and you don’t need to believe like them. The fact you all are Christian is an awesome blessing!

Don’t lose sight of that, just try to enjoy everyone’s company. While it’s fantastic to share our beliefs with others, there comes a point when disagreement is just going to have to stand.

Otherwise, we are all arguing and bickering with each other, and one thing is certain, one of us is wrong.

So don’t sweat it, and don’t get hung up on it, and Stephen...

We will be praying for you and your family.

Life After Death

All right, now I want to dial in on a couple of points about people being in the grave or being with God when they pass away.

Despite verses like 2 Corinthians 5:8 and Ecclesiastes 12:7, Scripture talks a lot more about life after death.

Remember Lazarus and the Rich man?

They were both alive after death in the flesh.

Remember when Jesus was being crucified for our sins on the cross?

What did He say to one of the malefactors?

Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Luke 23:43

That means, not only was that sinner on the cross going to be instantly resurrected after death, he was also going to be with Jesus in paradise.

That can only mean one thing…

When we die, we return to God.


For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

Luke 20:38

How about that?

God is not a God of the dead. He does not rule over dead people, but living people.

Now let’s talk about this Return of the Lord business.

What happens when Jesus Returns?

Where Are The Dead When Jesus Returns?

Now in Revelation 20:1-5 we learn, Satan is cast into the bottomless pit, (verses 1-3). Then those who stood with God, today and throughout history will reign with Jesus for a thousand years, (verse 4).

Look what verse five says,

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Revelation 20:5

So we have dead people not living for a thousand years?

“The dead” here is symbolic, I will easily prove that in a moment.

Let’s read the next verse.

Revelation 20:6
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Notice, those who stood for God take part in the “first resurrection”, (Revelation 20:4). Now this includes those who died before us, and those who will live through the Tribulation.

How then can we call it a resurrection if you never died?

I mean think about that.

If we live through the Tribulation and see the Lord, and we are there reigning with Christ for a thousand years, that means we never died.

If we never died, how can we be resurrected?

This is a resurrection of our soul if you will. It means, those who take part in the “first resurrection” have a resurrected body and soul. Meaning, they not only obtain their spiritual body, but their soul becomes immortal as well.

Just like Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 15:35-57.

Let’s read Revelation 20:6 again.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.


Those who take part in the “first resurrection” are granted immortality (body and soul) by God. That is why the “second death hath no power” over them. They have been judged, and will go on to live forever with Him in paradise.

Now what about “the dead” from verse 5 who do not live until the thousand years are over?

Remember, it’s symbolic and here is your proof.

Revelation 20:12
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.


Have you ever seen a dead man stand up, much less before God?


“The dead” being discussed then, are the spiritually dead. They are those who did not take part in the “first resurrection”. They are those who did not fulfill the requirements of Revelation 20:4.

These are those on the wrong side of the gulf in Heaven.

Like the Rich man.

These are those who maybe never had an opportunity to hear about God, at least, in any meaningful way. These are the aborted, the handicapped, the disabled whose minds could not function in the flesh.

You see, the whole point of the Millennium is for those “priests of God and of Christ” to teach these types of people during the “thousand-year” reign of Jesus.

I mean who else would they be teaching, if not for teaching people who never really had a chance to begin with?

Now if these people do not accept God by the end of the Millennium, well then, they are cast into the Lake of Fire, (Revelation 20:14-15).

So there are no dead people (souls) when it comes to God.

Everyone Has Been Resurrected

Moses, Enoch, Elijah, John’s fellow servant, and the other prophets are very much alive and with God.

Remember, Moses and Elijah even appeared before the Disciples, (Matthew 17:3)?

If they were buried in a grave, how could they have appeared before the Disciples?

So we see, when we study Scripture, we have to take the whole book into account. If we start cherry-picking verses, it’s going to make a mess out of the Bible, confuse us, and others who are trying to understand it.

As for hell and the rapture, I encourage everyone to read these works:

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