“The Resurrection of the Just.” The Evening and the Morning Star (Independence,Missouri) 1, no. 7 (December 1832): [49–51].
THE resurrection of the just, though one of the greatest promises of the Lord, in the gospel, is, we think, less understood, by the world at large, than many other things revealed to man, by his holy prophets. At present, excepting the church of Christ, which the world calls Mormonites, we do not know of a single sect that holds to, or has faith in the resurrection of the just in the flesh; or, in other words, a church or society that mean and hope, by obeying the commands of God in all things; by repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands; hold out faithful to the end, and after death, rise, when the Redeemer comes in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and live in the flesh, on earth, and reign with him a thousand years. It is a solemn fact that the right meaning of scripture, has been perverted, and the light of the gospel darkened, by the wisdom or cunning of man. Enoch, who walked with God, and built up Zion, in the latter part of the first thousand years of this world, preached the resurrection, and confirmed the doctrine by being translated, with Zion, to the bosom of God. The promise of the resurrection, to Enoch, as published in the third number of the Star, is: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you, concerning the children of Noah: and the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve; and righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth to bear testimony of mine only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men: and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called ZION, a new Jerusalem. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us, and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other, and there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years shall the earth rest.
This promise to Enoch, and many others to others, have been withheld from man, for many generations, on account of wickedness, and for want of faith;—Still the bible has ever contained the blessed promise, though not as plain as the Lord has revealed in these last days. In fact the redemption of the bodies of the righteous, is one of the glorious mysteries of the Lord, unfolded unto them in the gospel: that they, by obeying the commandments of the Lord, in all things, may live again in the flesh, on earth. Thus Job, who was a man perfect and upright, and one that feared God and eschewed evil, came so near to his privilege that he knew that these things are so, and exclaimed: I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.—And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reigns be consumed within me. But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me? Be ye afraid of the words: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment. This is a positive declaration, and leaves no room for doubt or cavil. It is to the point: I shall see God in the flesh, for myself and not for another, and that, too, in the last days, when he shall stand upon the earth. No wonder the two men that stood by when the Savior ascended up to heaven, after the crucifixion, could say: ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven. Truly, he went in a cloud and shall come in a cloud; he went in the flesh and shall come in the flesh: For, as saith the Lord, But before the arm of the Lord shall fall an angel shall sound his trump, and the saints that have slept, shall come forth to meet me in the cloud. Wherefore if ye have slept in peace blessed are you, for as you now behold me and know that I am, even so shall ye come unto me and your souls shall live, and your redemption shall be perfected, and the saints shall come forth from the four quarters of the earth. And the language of the Psalmist is very plain on this subject: The righteous shall inherit the land. David rested on this promise when he said:—One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. Let it be remembered that David desired this thing, before the temple of Solomon was built: Knowing as he says in the 71st Psalm, Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles shalt quicken me again, and shall bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
The prophets knew what the resurrection meant, having had the eyes of their understandings opened, in some instances, by the power of God, to behold the just rise from the dust, at the morning of the resurrection to meet Christ in the air: and live again in the flesh, on earth, a thousand years, while satan is bound. The apostles preached this doctrine with great power, showing that Christ had actually risen from the tomb, in the flesh, as a sample of what should follow.—The 15th Chapter of first Corinthians, contains many important things on the resurrection of the just, at the second coming of the Savior as well as hints and instructions, on the resurrection of all: Paul says: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was in me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 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.
Again: after Zion was taken up to heaven; yea, after the world had been, as it were, baptized for its former sins, the Lord revealed himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, wherefore, the children of Jacob, or Israel, as the Lord named him, became the elect nation to receive the Savior, and heirs of the promise, to rise in the first resurrection, and live again, in the flesh, on earth, if they walked in all the commandments of the Lord blameless: and there is something great promised to that nation, yet, notwithstanding it was scattered abroad for transgressing the commandment. It is the powerful word of the Lord, by the mouth of Ezekiel, which brings flesh upon the dry bones of Israel, and they are alive again. Ezekiel says:—The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? and I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.—Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, and exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.
This [p]romise alone, to the house of Israel, is enough to establish the resurrection of the righteous, in the flesh; and the remainder of the chapter goes to confirm it, so that Israel may dwell in the land of his fathers; but to make the matter plainer, let us quote Paul’s words to the Thessalonians: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye 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 unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, 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. In this Paul does not say the righteous rise in the flesh, but he says, we which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up together with them, (the rising dead, such as the pure members of the Lord’s church in the days of the apostles, &c., that died in the hope of a glorious resurrection) to meet the Lord in the air, which is just as plain as to have said, we which remain when the Lord comes the second time, shall be caught up in the body to meet him.
To the saints that trust in the Lord, the whole bible, seemingly, has a reference, in a greater or less degree, to the resurrection of the just. The Psalmist said the righteous shall inherit the land, and Christ said the meek shall inherit the earth, and so we might go on, and make quotations, till we had brought all that relates to the gospel, from Genesis to Revelations, but, to shorten the matter, and, we may say, to unfold the subject, and bring it to the common understanding of such as seek the truth, let us take a paragraph or two from the book of Mormon.
In that, Alma says: Behold, I say unto you, that there is no resurrection; or I would say, in other words, that this mortal does not put on immortality; this corruption does not put on incorruption, until after the coming of Christ. Behold, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead. But behold, my son, the resurrection is not yet. Now I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there are many mysteries, which are kept, that no one knoweth them, save God himself. But I shew unto you one thing, which I have inquired diligently of God, that I might know; that is, concerning the resurrection. Behold, there is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead. Now when this time cometh, no one knows; but God knoweth the time which is appointed.
Now whether there shall be one time, or a second time, or a third time, that men shall come forth from the dead, it mattereth not; for God knoweth all these things; and it sufficeth me to know that this is the case; that there is a time appointed that all shall rise from the dead. Now there must needs be a space betwixt the time of death, and the time of the resurrection. And now I would inquire what becometh of the souls of men, from this time of death, to the time appointed for the resurrection? Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise, it mattereth not; for all do not die at once; and this mattereth not; all is as one day, with God; and time only is measured unto men; therefore there is a time appointed unto men, that they shall rise from the dead; and there is a space between the time of death and the resurrection. And now concerning this space of time. What becometh of the souls of men, is the thing which I have inquired diligently of the Lord to know; and this is the thing of which I do know. And when the time cometh when all shall rise, then shall they know that God knoweth all the times which are appointed unto man. Now concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection.
Behold, it hath been made known unto me, by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body; yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass that the spirits of those which are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise; a state of rest; a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles, and from all care, and sorrow, &c.—And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, which are evil; for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works, rather than good; therefore the spirit of the Devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house; and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and this because of their own iniquity; being led captive by the will of the Devil. Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked; yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for of the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection. Now there are some that have understood that this state of happiness, and this state of misery of the soul, before the resurrection, was a first resurrection. Yea, I admit it may be termed a resurrection; the raising of the spirit or the soul, and their consignation to happiness or misery, according to the words which have been spoken. And behold, again it hath been spoken, that there is a first resurrection; a resurrection of all those which have been, or which are, or which shall be, down to the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Now we do not suppose that this first resurrection which is spoken of in this manner, can be the resurrection of the souls, and their consignation to happiness or misery. Ye cannot suppose that this is what it meaneth. Behold, I say unto you Nay; but it meaneth the re-uniting of the soul with the body of those from the days of Adam, down to the resurrection of Christ. Now whether the souls and the bodies of those of which have been spoken, shall all be re-united at once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say; let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth; or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before the resurrection of those which die after the resurrection of Christ. Now my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh at the resurrection of Christ; but behold, I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are re-united, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven. But whether it be at his resurrection, or after, I do not say; but this much I say: That there is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery, until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be re-united, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works; yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which have been spoken by the mouths of the prophets. The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost, but all things shall be restored to its proper and perfect frame.
And now my son, this is the restoration of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets: And then shall the righteous shine forth in the Kingdom of God. But behold, an awful death cometh upon the wicked; for they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness; for they are unclean and no unclean thing can inherit the Kingdom of God; but they are cast out, and consigned to partake of the fruits of their labors or their works, which have been evil; and they drink the dregs of a bitter cup.
And now my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the restoration of which has been spoken; for behold, some have arrested the Scriptures, and have gone far astray, because of this thing. And I perceive that thy mind hath been worried also, concerning this thing. But behold, I will explain it unto thee. I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration is requisite with the justice of God; for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order. Behold, it is requisite and just, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul of man should be restored to its body, and that every part of the body should be restored to itself. And it is requisite with the justice of God, that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good; and if their works are evil, they shall be restored unto him for evil; therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order; every thing to its natural frame; mortality raised to immortality; corruption to incorruption; raised to endless happiness, to inherit the Kingdom of God, or to endless misery, to inherit the kingdom of the Devil; the one on one hand, the other on the other, the one raised to happiness, according to his desires of happiness; or good, according to his desires of good; and the other to evil, according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long, even so shall he have his reward of evil, when the night cometh. And so it is on the other hand. If he hath repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until the end of his days, even so he shall be rewarded unto righteousness. These are they that are redeemed of the Lord; yea, these are they that are taken out, that are delivered from that endless night of darkness; and thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges, whether to do good or do evil. Now the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore the way is prepared, that whosoever will, may walk therein and be saved.
And now behold, my son, do not risk one more offence against your God upon those points of doctrine, which ye hath hitherto risked to commit sin. Do not suppose because it hath been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold I say unto you, Wickedness never was happiness. And now my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness. And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration, to take a thing of a natural state, and place it in an unnatural state, or to place opposite to its nature? O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration, is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish, for devilish; good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful; therefore, my son, see that ye are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things, then shall ye receive your reward, yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again: for that which ye doth send out, shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore the word restoration, more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.
And now, my son, I perceive there is somewhat more which doth worry your mind, which ye cannot understand, which is concerning the justice of God, in the punishment of the sinner: for ye do try to suppose that it is injustice that the sinner should be consigned to a state of misery. Now behold, my son, I will explain this thing unto thee: for behold, after the Lord God sent our first parents forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground, from whence he was taken; yea, he drew out the man, and he placed at the east end of the garden of Eden, Cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the tree of life. Now we see that the man had became as God, knowing good and evil; and lest he shold put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever, that the Lord God placed Cherubims and the flaming sword, that he should not partake of the fruit; and thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man, to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God. For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and partook of the tree of life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated. But behold, it was appointed unto man to die; therefore as they were cut off from the tree of life, therefore they should be cut off from the face of the earth; and man became lost forever; yea, they became fallen man. And now we see by this, that our first parents were cut off, both temporally and spiritually, from the presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after their own will. Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness; therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal; that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord; therefore it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death; therefore as they had become carnal, sensual and devilish by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare: it became a preparatory state. And now remember my son, if it were not for the plan of redemption, (laying it aside,) as soon as they were dead, their souls were miserable being cut off from the presence of the Lord. And now there was no means to re- claim men from this falen state which man had brought upon himself, because of his own disobedience; therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only, on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state; yea, this preparitory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed: if so, God would cease to be God. And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence. And now the plan of mercy could not be brought about, except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect just God, and merciful God also. Now repentance could not come unto men, except there were a punishment, which also was as eternal as the life of the soul, should be affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul. Now, how could a man repent, except he should sin? How could he sin, if there was no law? How could there be a law, save there was a punishment? Now there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man. Now if there was no law given, if a man murdered he should die, would he be afraid he should die if he should murder? And also, if there was no law given against sin, men would not be afraid to sin. And if there was no law given if men sinned, what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature? But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature, and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God. But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works; according to the law and justice; for behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved. What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God. And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which was prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of men, and also their destruction and misery; therefore, O my son, whosoever will come, may come, and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come, the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day, it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds. If he hath desired to do evil, and hath not repented in his days, behold, evil shall be done unto him, according to the restoration of God.
Our extract from Alma is somewhat long, but it is so full of instruction, that it needs no apology. What greater object can there be of the gospel, which was sent from heaven to Adam, and which has been preached at sundry times from his days until now, than that men might be prepared for the kingdom of God, that the kingdom of heaven might come down, and the righteous rise from the dead, and live again, in the flesh, on earth, a thousand years, before they go into eternity to dwell in the celestial kingdom? This subject is made very plain by the following extract from one of our late commandments from the blessed Redeemer: He that is faithful and endureth, shall overcome the world. He that sendeth up treasures unto the land of Zion, shall receive an inheritance in this world, and his works shall follow him; and also, a reward in the world to come; yea, and blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from hence forth, when the Lord shall come and old things shall pass away, and all things become new, they shall rise from the dead and shall not die, and shall receive an inheritance before the Lord, in the holy city, and he that liveth when the Lord shall come, and have kept the faith, blessed is he, nevertheless, it is appointed to him to die at the age of man: wherefore, children shall grow up until they become old; old men shall die, but they shall not sleep in the dust, but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye: wherefore, for this cause preached the apostles unto the world, the resurrection of the dead: these things are the things that ye must look for, and speaking after the manner of the Lord, they are now nigh at hand; and in a time to come, even in the day of the coming of the Son of man, and until that time, there will be foolish virgins among the wise, and at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked; & in that day will I send mine angels to pluck out the wicked, and cast them into unquenchable fire.
Not to go beyond our knowledge, there are at least two resurrections yet: one of the just, at the second coming of the Savior, and another at the day of judgment, after the thousand years of peace, when the books are opened, and all men judged according to their works. Concerning the first resurrection the Vision, published in the second number of the Star, says thus: And again, we bear record for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ, concerning them who come forth in the resurrection of the just: they are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name, and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he hath given, that, by keeping the commandment, they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; and who overcome by faith, and are sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheddeth forth upon all those who are just and true: they are they who are the church of the first-born: they are they into whose hands the Father hath given all things: they are they who are priests and kings, who having received of his fulness, and of his glory, are priests of the most High, after the order of Melchisedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the only begotten Son: wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God: wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs, and they are Christ’s and Christ is God’s; and they shall overcome all things: wherefore let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet; these shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever: these are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven, to reign on the earth over his people: these are they who shall have part in the first resurrection: these are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just: these are they who are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all; these are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the first born: these are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ is the judge of all: these are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood: these are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the Son, even of God the highest of all; which glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.
The above paragraph is so plain, that we might leave the subject here, but lest any should be left in doubt, or blend the second coming of the Savior with the day of judgment, we continue.
In the first resurrection, Christ comes to the righteous, but at the last day, the wicked stand before God and are judged according to their works: let us read the 20th chapter of Revelations: And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto 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 worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their 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 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. And when the thousand years are expired, satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city:—and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 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. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.—And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.