Written by: Christopher Sernaque
The entire Christian walk is beautifully illustrated by the Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul, in Romans 6:1-12, outlined how even the sacred privilege of baptism follows the template of the death and burial of the sins of the past life, and the rising up from the waters to walk in newness of life. In verse nine of Romans ten, Paul emphatically states the vitality of the Christian’s believing in the Resurrection of Jesus, noting that it is a prerequisite for salvation! In the Old Testament, the grand theme of the Resurrection is illustrated by the resurrection of several of its figures such as Moses’ resurrection, (Deuteronomy 34:5-6, Matthew 17:3, Jude 9), the resurrection of the son of the widow of Zarephath, (1 Kings 17:17, 21, 22), and the resurrection of the man who touched Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:21). In the New Testament, Jesus performed several miracles resurrections, raising the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-15), the daughter of Jairus (Like 8:41-42,49-55), and raising His friend Lazarus. (John 11:43-44) Paul, whom was mentioned at this articles’ beginning, also raised Eutychus after the latter had fallen asleep and fell three stories. (Acts 20:9-10)
The title of this article predicated the word “resurrection” with the adjective “special.” In the New Testament, we find the account of graves being opened at the resurrection of Christ (Matthew 27:51-53). Christ, and these resurrected individuals, constituted the “first-fruits” of those who had obtained victory over death and the grave. (Leviticus 23:9-11, 1 Corinthians 15:20, Leviticus 23;20, Acts 2:1) However, were these “first-fruits” those who will be raised in the Special Resurrection? No, the Special Resurrection has not taken place yet. Prior to coming to an understanding of the Special Resurrection, it would be profitable to come to an understanding of the two General Resurrections, or the General Resurrection of the Righteous and the General Resurrection of the Wicked.
The Bible makes it astoundingly clear, in John 5:28-29, that there is a General Resurrection of the Righteous, or the Resurrection of Life, and a General Resurrection of the Wicked, or the Resurrection of Damnation. The verses listed in John 5 do not give starting points for either of these General Resurrections, however based on our previous studies, we know what those starting points are. For those unaware, the Resurrection of Life occurs at the beginning of the 1,000 years, which is initiated by the Second Advent of Christ. (Revelation 20:6, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55) At the close of the 1,000 years the Resurrection of Damnation occurs, and all of the wicked go on to receive their punishment for their deeds. (Revelation 20:5, 14; Revelation 21:8)
Now has come the time to address the Special Resurrection. Just as there will be a General Resurrection of the Righteous and of the Wicked, in the Special Resurrection both a righteous group and an unrighteous group are raised. The Bible teaches that prior to the General Resurrections, the Special Resurrection takes place. There is a Special Resurrection of those who pierced Jesus. Those who pierced Jesus and took part in His crucifixion are raised from the grave, and they see Christ coming in the clouds in His glory, and then with the rest of the wicked, are slain by the brightness of His coming. (Matthew 23:37,38; Matthew 26:64, Revelation 1:7-Matthew 24:30) There is also a Special Resurrection of those who died in the Faith of the Third Angel. The Third Angel’s Message is found in Revelation 14:9-12, and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is brought to view in verse 14. In Revelation 14:13, the Bible states that those who died in the Lord after the Third Angel’s Message began to be proclaimed are blessed. Does this include everyone who has ever been saved after the Third Angel’s Message? No, only those who died in the time period of the 1844 Advent movement come up in this Special Resurrection. This is because the Judgement Hour Message of the First Angel pointed to the year 1844. To those who have studied the subject of the Sanctuary, this makes sense, as this is the year that the cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary took place, on the day of atonement, which was a day of Investigative Judgement. (Daniel 8:14, Hebrews 8:2, Leviticus 16:15-19, 29-30) For those who wish to study the topic of the Sanctuary more fully and the Investigative Judgement, please see the 18th, 23rd, 24th, and 28th chapter of the book, “The Great Controversy”, which is provided in a link below.
Furthermore, in Daniel 12 we find that the Special Resurrection is distinct from the General Resurrections. (Daniel 12:3, 4, 10; Daniel 11:44) Moreover, the texts referred to in Daniel could not be referring to the General Resurrections, because the General Resurrections are separated by the 1,000 years of Revelation 20. Thus, the fact that some righteous and some wicked people are raised at the same time, proves that the Special Resurrection maintain its own individuality from the General Resurrections, because in the General Resurrections only one group, either righteous or wicked, is raised at a time, with each General Resurrection being separated by a millennium of time. Returning to Daniel 12, we find in verse 12, the self-same descriptive word located in Revelation 14:13, namely, “blessed.” A study of the prophetic time period in Daniel 12:12, would reveal that the 1,335 years end in the year 1843, and the time periods located in Daniel 12 cannot extend beyond 1844, as that is the beginning of the Investigative Judgement, found in Revelation 14:7 and “there should be time no longer” (Revelation 10:6).
In conclusion, those that died in faith to the Third Angel’s Message in the 1844 Advent Movement and those who took part in the Crucifixion of Jesus, will be raised in the Special Resurrection that is distinct from the two General Resurrections that begin and close the Millennium.
Due to the fact that a number of separate studies were brought up, this present author recommends that the reader obtain the book the Great Controversy. Another entire article could be written on the Spirit of Prophecy comments on the Special Resurrection. For those unfamiliar with the Spirit of Prophecy, the book the Great Controversy will be an excellent introduction to the writings and ministry of Ellen White. Here is a link to this book, which explains the Sanctuary and Investigative Judgement, as referenced in the chapters in the article, and also explains the timing of the Special Resurrection in chapter 40, or page 637. Here is the link:
An explanation of the time prophecies in Daniel 12 can be found in Stephen Haskell’s, “Bible Handbook” under the section entitled, “The Twelfth Chapter of Daniel.” It can be obtained here on Saved to Serve’s e-store for free: https://www.prophesyagain.org/online-store/Stephen-Haskells-Bible-Handbook-PDF-p75748803
The reason why the term, “Special Resurrection” is used in the singular is because even though two groups are resurrected, the resurrection of said two groups is not separated by a 1,000 year time period, in fact, both groups, or those who died in faith under the Third Angel during the Advent Movement and those who pierced Jesus arise at the Second Coming, and meet two different fates. The former goes onto glory with Christ, and the latter are destroyed again by the very glory that they ridiculed.