The First Resurrection (10 of 12)

Mike Connell

Notice here, two things: that when one trumpet is sounded the leaders gather; but when two trumpets are sounded, then everyone gathers.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 – “When the trump of God sounds, the dead in Christ shall rise first”.

In the Old Testament, when He sounded one trumpet, all those who were leaders would gather. So when the trump sounds, you notice the overcomers will arise, and they are the ones who will rule with Christ, so you see a strong picture prophetically in the Old Testament, of two different situations: one trumpet, the leaders or rulers arise; the other trumpet, the whole congregation arises. When the Lord returns, one trump will sound, and then the overcomers will arise into their resurrection bodies. It won't be until the end of 1000 years that the two trumpets will sound, and all the rest are gathered. Imagine that!

It makes the study of the Old Testament so wonderful, because hidden everywhere through it is Christ, and the prophetic plan of God. That's why, when Jesus met the disciples in Luke 24, He shared with them all things in the prophets, in the law, that spoke of Him. That must've been the most amazing message to ever hear, for Him to go through the books of the Bible - this is about Me, that's about Me, the Passover Lamb, that's Me… Ruth and Boaz - that's Me, and that's the bride, the church.

He's gone right through the whole Bible, and shown them exactly where He appears in it, and how all these stories have been integrated by God, to point to the end times, and God's plan unfolding. That's what makes the Bible so - it's just inexhaustible, and once you get the understanding of that, you really delight in it.

So, what is the basis for selection? I want to go through a few things that are clear factors in this, and I want to look also at how we are responsible to prepare ourselves. We have to do something to qualify.

The first selection is on faithful service. The Parable of the Wise Servant.

Matthew 24:45-51. – “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, who the master has made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, finds so doing. I tell you he'll make him ruler over all his goods.

But if that evil servant says in his heart, my master delays his coming, beats his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunkards, then the master of that servant will come on a day he's not looking for him, in an hour he's not aware of, and will cut him in two (or cut him off), and appoint his portion with the hypocrites, and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

Now the context of this is Matthew 24:25, where Jesus is talking about the second coming. So, he's now saying, regarding the second coming, that in his house there'll be wise servants and there'll be foolish servants. We saw wise virgins and foolish virgins; now it’s wise servants and foolish servants.

It says: “who is that wise and faithful servant, he finds” - it's that servant whom his master, when he comes, finds doing... Firstly, he's a servant of the Lord, he's a believer. Secondly, he's sensitive to what's happening. He gives meat in due season, meaning meat is the word of God. ‘Meat’ means something substantial; and ‘in due season’ means at the appropriate time; so essentially, he is fulfilling his assignment, and he's sensitive to the hour that it's in, and what's required. The wise servant has discovered his assignment, and he's fulfilling his assignment, with the heart of a servant, and with loving sacrifice.

What is the wise servant's reward? He will make him ruler over all - over his household, and over all his goods - that servant is an overcomer. What does it tell us in there about being an overcomer? It tells us that I must fulfil my assignment, and I must do it in the right spirit; and I must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. His reward? Ruler over the household. Because he's ruler over the household, we know he's of the First Resurrection. These are the ones that will rule with Christ for 1000 years. He's over the household, and all the goods, so he's in a place of substantial authority; and he's learnt and qualified for it, because he's developed being a servant.