The Earth's Repopulation

Posted in: 2007
By Tom L. Ballinger
Mar 14, 2008 - 7:21:06 PM

November 18, 2007


The last recorded event of divine history, with the exception of Paul writing his last seven epistles, is the record found in Acts 28:25-28 of the Apostle Paul pronouncing Israel’s blindness. Since that time, there has been no fulfillment of prophecy. Prophetically, it is as if time has stood still. The chief characteristic of this present interval could be summed up in the phrase—The Silence of God. During this present interval, He has not spoken, nor has He inspired any writings. He is not actively engaged in the affairs of mankind. He does not mete out punishment upon the wicked, nor does He reward the righteous. However, He is active in administering a magnificent attribute of His, which is─GRACE! The time is running-out on the “Clock-of-Grace.”

When the current Dispensation of Grace ends, Christ Jesus will bring about a New World Order which will be centered in the Kingdom of God. He will usher in a Divine arrangement in which every wrong will be made right. He will begin repopulating the world in which every human being will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:11). This repopulation will be achieved, mostly, by means of resurrection. (For this study, we have coined the word “repopulation.” It would be the antonym to “depopulation”).

The present kingdom of darkness will be expelled, and the Kingdom of God’s Dear Son will supplant it. The next Scriptural event which is to occur is found in the willfully ignored prophecy of 2 Timothy 4:1.

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His Appearing and His Kingdom.”

2 Timothy 4:1 clearly, and unambiguously, sets forth the fact that Christ Jesus begins to review, among the dead, everyone who has ever lived, from Adam until the Appearing takes place. By this review, critique, or more correctly, by this adjudication, He will determine who will qualify to live during His Kingdom Reign. It will probably be in the number of tens-of-millions, or even hundreds-of-millions of people who Christ raises from the dead. This determination will also be made among all of the living. Only those who He deems worthy will enter the Kingdom of God. And, concerning the dead, only those who He deems worthy will live again in resurrection. The dead who are rejected remain behind: locked down by “the gates of hell” [that is, the grave].

Those among the “quick” who are unbelieving and, otherwise, disqualified will not be permitted to live under this New World Order. Thus, the Appearing and Kingdom will bring about an evil-free planet-earth.

Over time, as the earth’s population begets, or generates offspring, Satan will begin to produce his spiritual offspring from among some of the original inhabitants’ descendents. Thus, he sows “tares” among the “wheat,” (see the Parable of the Tares Among the Wheat in Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43).

Now, we will focus on how God repopulates the earth by means of resurrections when He begins to judge the quick and the dead at His Appearing and His Kingdom.

The context of this repopulation is found in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23.

20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21. For since by man [Adam] came death, by Man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead.

22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his Coming [Parousia].

In verse twenty, the Apostle Paul uses “the firstfruits” as a figure from the Law of Moses and applies it to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ becoming “the firstfruits of them that slept” seems peculiar to the English ear; inasmuch as, His resurrection was singular, not plural, as “firstfruits” would seem to indicate. In plainer words, other “fruits” were not raised from the dead along with Him.

His resurrection was the “first of its kind.” The rest of its kind will come about when “every man [is made alive] in his own order” as verse twenty-three states. The idea of Christ’s resurrection being the first of its kind is substantiated by the Old Testament phrase, “the first of the firstfruits.”

“The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God.” (Exodus 23:19; & 34:26).

According to Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, the word translated as “first” is the Hebrew word, “re’shiyth,” which means, “the first of its kind.” This certainly describes the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as found in 1 Corinthians 15:20.

In plainer words, 1 Corinthians 15:20 could be read as; But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first of the firstfruits of them that slept.

The crucial point to this is that the rest of the “firstfruits” were left asleep, or in the state of death when the Lord Jesus was raised. These are to be Christ’s firstfruits of verse 23 who will be the “firstfruits” of resurrection when the Pre-Parousia Kingdom of God is ushered in.

It should be noted that in 1 Corinthians 15:23, there are two classes of resurrections mentioned. They are separate and distinct. Neither of them have a reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ since He had already been raised as “the first of the firstfruits” (v. 20). Now, consider verse 23.

But every man [is made alive] in his own order:

Christ the firstfruits;

afterward they that are Christ's at his Coming.

We supplied the Ellipsis, “is made alive,” and indicated it by placing it in brackets.

“Every man” certainly does not apply to the Lord Jesus. He is not included. It refers to every man who is to be made alive and who will live during the Kingdom. Every man will be made alive in his own order. The word for “order” is “tagma” (NT:5001). According to Thayer’s Lexicon, tagma is a military term “for a body of soldiers, a corps, hence, a band, troop, class. Paul specifies several distinct bands, or classes of those raised from the dead in 1 Corinthians 15:23.” Jesus Christ cannot be in this “order.” Therefore, to equate “Christ the firstfruits” as Christ’s Own resurrection is not logically consistent with the meaning of the text. However, this is the standard interpretation of “Christ the firstfruits.”

The Interlinear Bible – New Testament discloses that the word, “the,” was not in the Greek text. It was added by the translators. If the phrase was literally translated, it would read, “Christ firstfruits.” To get the sense of this, if an apostrophe “s” were added to Christ [to wit, Christ’s firstfruits], then, it would clearly indicate it was not referring to the Person of Christ, but to His firstfruits.

But every man [is made alive] in his own order:

Christ’s firstfruits;

afterward they that are Christ’s at His Coming.

The word for Christ is christos, meaning, anointed, an epithet of Jesus: i.e., Christ (Strong’s Concordance).

Some might suggest that it could be rendered “the anointed firstfruits” since christos means “anointed.” We have no problem with this interpretation.

The adverbial conjunction, afterward, establishes a relation between the two clauses, but they remain independent and are joined by a semicolon. The adverb, afterward, is used to state relationships of time. Every man [is made alive] in his own order: Christ’s firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His Coming (Parousia).

Two Classifications of Resurrections

The first classification is ─ “Christ’s firstfruits,” or “the anointed firstfruits.” The whole class, that is to say, “Christ’s firstfruits,” is not raised all at once. When the Kingdom comes, every man who qualifies to be raised in resurrection will be made alive in his own order. Every man will belong to a God reckoned “class.” The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary states that the Greek for “order” is “rank,” or “regiment.” So, according to this commentary, it will be “Every man in his own rank, or regiment.” This begins an orderly succession of resurrections as if in military precision. It will not be a general resurrection, but it will be each man in his own order, or rank, or regiment, or troop. They will live under the Government of the Lord Jesus Christ as He rules from heaven. Therefore, we see that there will be a series of resurrections. How many? We are not told. Over how long a period of time will this class of resurrections continue? We are not told. But, the “Firstfruits Classification” of resurrections will be early-on in the Kingdom of God. [1]

The second classification is ─ those who are Christ’s at His Parousia [Coming]. Their resurrection will be at the conclusion of the Kingdom—that is, the Consummation of the Kingdom.

Of course, when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, the Church, which is His Body was not in view. The truth of the Mystery had not yet been revealed. For the sake of this article, we will not consider our relationship to the resurrections, as found here in detail, other than to say that we will be changed, or made alive as per Philippians 3:11 as we relate to a prior, or out-resurrection—exanastasis.

The believers to whom Paul wrote during the Acts of the Apostles understood many things which present day dispensationalists don’t. One thing being; they knew what their hope was. Their expectation was the coming of the Kingdom of God, not the Parousia of Jesus Christ (the 2nd Coming). He will not return until long after His Kingdom has been established in the earth. The next line will illustrate the two Classes of resurrections.

Each in his own order ─── Interval during the Kingdom ─── Christ’s at His Parousia

The consummation of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:3) will be the return of Jesus Christ (i.e. the Parousia). Then, the “afterward” of 1 Corinthians 15:23 comes into play; “Afterward they that are Christ’s at His Coming (Parousia).

“Afterward” means after a long duration of time under the rule of Jesus Christ from heaven, He will make alive those who died “in Christ” during the Kingdom era when He returns {i.e., His Parousia]. Those who will die “in Christ” during the Kingdom era will be the ones who will have suffered martyrdom at the hands of the warring rebels, to wit, the forces of the anti-christ. The martyr’s loved ones’ consolation will be that they should sorrow not because their loved ones will rise, again, at the Parousia of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 4:13-17).

If all of the above is not true, then, when will “every man” be made alive in “his own order”? It has to be before the 2nd Coming. There is nothing in the Bible to suggest that 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, or 1 Thessalonians 4:16 refer to an orderly succession of resurrections at Christ’s Parousia.

In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:52 says that it will be in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. A mass resurrection! Everyone together in this Class.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says:

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, 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.”

This, too, describes the mass resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15:52.

The above two verses do not describe every man being made alive, in his own order, as
1 Corinthians 15:23 does.

In this section of Scripture, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, we have a historical account (verse 20) of Christ Himself being raised out-from-among the dead in 29 A. D. Then, we have a prophetic mention of the resurrections of “Christ’s anointed firstfruits,” then, many years “afterward,” “they that are Christ’s at His Coming [Parousia],” verse 23.

All of this has been said in order to point out that, according to God’s Word, there will be Pre-Parousia resurrections which will repopulate the earth for the Kingdom of God.

End Note:

[1] “Christ’s firstfruits,” or “the anointed firstfruits” will comprise an innumerable company of the individuals who are classed as those who “feareth Him [God], and worketh righteousness” and are accepted by God (Acts 10:35.) See PWO, He Who Does Good. They are to be raised by ranks, or regiments. Also, included in the Kingdom’s Resurrections will be those who would fit in the category of Hebrews 11, such as, Adam, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Moses’ parents, Rahab, and etc. Also included, will be the Old Testament saints, as well as, the Church of God. Space does not permit a broader discussion of this subject.

The Church, which is His Body, will not be part of Christ’s Firstfruits Resurrections, even though some teachers think so. We will be graced with a prior and more excellent resurrection, that is, one that is more noble in distinction and character than that of the Firstfruits Resurrection. (This resurrection will be associated with Paul’s resurrection as mentioned in Philippians 3:11).

Tom L. Ballinger