Re: Premill Basis in Rev 20 Questioned

From: Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Date: Thu Mar 20 1997 - 00:01:31 EST

On Wed, 19 Mar 1997 wrote:

> In a message dated 3/17/1997 7:35:50 PM, (Paul Dixon - Ladd
> Hill Bible Church) wrote:
> <<What I am rejecting is the misconception in Rev. 20:4-5, spoken of by
> Alford and subsequent premils, whereby two resurrections are posited and
> it is argued, on the basis of consistent hermeneutics, that the first must
> be literal because the second one is. Most translations do seem to
> suggest this parallel, that is, that the rest of the dead come to life in
> the same way as the first group did, but do so at the end of the 1000
> years. I have only argued that the use of AXPI does not support this
> translation and interpretation. All it says is that throughout the
> duration of the 1000 years the rest of the dead lived not, or did not come
> alive. It says nothing about after the 1000 years. It does not say they
> did, nor that they did not.
> But, it is erroneous to infer that they do and that it refers to a
> physical resurrection and therefore the first resurrection is also
> physical.
> It may be that the first resurrection is spiritual and all v. 5 is saying
> is that the rest of the dead lived not (constative aorist) or did not come
> alive (ingressive) throughout the duration of that 1000 years. Of course,
> if the first resurrection is spiritual, then the rest of the dead don't
> come spiritually after the 1000 years either. But, this does not say
> there is no physical and general resurrection.
> >>
 It seems that John is deliberately contrasting the first resurrection and the
 second death. The first resurrection refers to those who come to life and
 reign with Christ (but not necessarily restricted to them). The second death
 refers to those who are judged at the Great White Throne which is after the
 1000 years are completed. No matter how you take EZHSAN in 20:5, the
 implication is that they come to life after the 100 years. It seems that the
 first resurrection is a resurrection to life and the second death is the
 resurrection to judgment (John 5:28-29). Part of this depends on whom you see
 as the "rest of the dead." In premillennial interpretations, the "rest of the
 dead" are the wicked dead.
No, Charles, you beg the question when you say, "No matter how you take
EZHSAN IN 20:5, the implication is that they come to life after the 1000
years." Furthermore, you give no evidence for this implication.

The question I raised is the assumption made by premills, that is, that
the passage is contrasting two resurrections and that since the second
resurrection is clearly physical, then so also must be the first one, if
we are to maitain consistent hermeneutics. It simply won't do anything
for you say the implication is so. Why is it so? Argue your point.
I have argued that the AXPI does not imply a future resurrection. Do you
wish to argue that it does? Go ahead. I contend that the most that can
be said for sure is that throughout the duration of the 1000 years the
rest of the dead don't live or come alive. What happens to them
afterwards? Do they come alive? The text certainly does not say they do.
In fact, the clear implication is that the rest of the dead never do come
alive, but are cast into the lake of fire, the second death, vv 6ff.

With this scenario, a spiritual first resurrection (cf Jn 11:24-26, Eph
2:5-6) makes excellent sense. The rest of the dead are the rest of the
spiritually dead who do no come to life during the 1000 years but are
condemned to the second death, the lake of fire.

Paul Dixon

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