The Resurrection Hope – Jehovah’s Guarantee to Mankind.
“I have hope toward God, which these men also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection.” - ACTS 24:15.
So spoke Paul to Governor Felix. Should you have this same
hope? How important is this hope? The following short article aims to help
answer these questions.
1) The Resurrection Hope – Vital to our faith. Why?
Without question the hope of the resurrection is the most vital part of our faith and keeping this hope strong should be of the utmost importance to us. Most essential to our hope is faith and belief that Jesus Christ was resurrected. Writing to the Corinthians the Apostle Paul wrote with conviction at 1 Corinthians 15:13,14 : “13 If, indeed, there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised up. 14 But if Christ has not been raised up, our preaching is certainly in vain, and our faith is in vain. “. Putting it quite succinctly, if we have doubts in the resurrection hope and in particular that Jesus was resurrected, we doubt the whole basis of our hope. We cannot serve Jehovah in a whole-souled manner if we have doubts about this central teaching of his word.
The full context of this passage goes further.
(1 Corinthians 15:12-23) . . .Now if Christ is being preached that he has been raised up from the dead, how is it some among YOU say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If, indeed, there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised up. 14 But if Christ has not been raised up, our preaching is certainly in vain, and our faith is in vain. 15 Moreover, we are also found false witnesses of God, because we have borne witness against God that he raised up the Christ, but whom he did not raise up if the dead are really not to be raised up. 16 For if the dead are not to be raised up, neither has Christ been raised up. 17 Further, if Christ has not been raised up, YOUR faith is useless; YOU are yet in YOUR sins. 18 In fact, also, those who fell asleep [in death] in union with Christ perished. 19 If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. 20 However, now Christ has been raised up from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. 21 For since death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is also through a man. 22 For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each one in his own rank: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who belong to the Christ during his presence.
Notice how Paul emphasises the key points:
1. v13 If No Resurrection of Dead – Jesus was not Resurrected
2. v14a If Jesus not resurrected – Your Preaching is in vain
3. v14b If Jesus not resurrected – Your Faith is in vain
4. v15 If Jesus not resurrected – You are Testifying as a false Witness against God (saying he resurrected Jesus when he did not) (in ancient Israel this warranted the death penalty)
5. v17 If Jesus not resurrected – There is No ransom sacrifice and no release possible from our sinful condition.
6. v18 If Jesus not resurrected – Those who died as faithful Christian martyrs died for nothing
These verses, giving repetitive emphasis of the implications of having confidence in Jesus’ resurrection, require serious thought being given to their import and show how vital this bible teaching is to our whole faith.
But all these issues are irrelevant as v20 states, because with certainty Christ was raised from the dead. Jesus also stated to Martha in John 11:25,26 “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies will come to life”. It is therefore vital that we review our conviction in this central bible teaching and see how Jehovah ensured that we could be confident that such a future resurrection will take place.
Let us review what Jehovah lovingly recorded in his word the bible to build up our faith in the resurrection and give us confidence that we will see this wonderful time.
2) Learning from the recorded Resurrections in the Bible.
Let us examine the biblical records of resurrections more closely and see what we can learn. Maybe you have wondered why Jehovah had recorded the resurrection of a dead man thrown into Elisha’s burial place. Why were only seemingly few resurrections recorded. If we firstly list the resurrection accounts (in order of occurrence) we can then examine them in more detail and certain interesting points become more readily apparent.
1. The Son of the Widow of Zarapheth (1 Kings 17:19-24)
Performed by Elijah.
2. The Son of the Shunamite Woman (2 Kings 4:25-37)
Performed by Elisha.
3. The Dead Man and Elisha’s Bones (2 Kings 13:21)
Caused by touching Elisha’s dead bones.
4. The Son of the Widow of Nain ( Luke 7:11-16)
Performed by Jesus (1).
5. The Daughter of Jairus ( Luke 8:49-56)
Performed by Jesus (2).
6. Lazarus (John 11:11-44)
Performed by Jesus (3).
7. Jesus (as the firstfruit of the Resurrection to Heaven)
Performed by Jehovah (from whom the power for all Resurrections ultimately comes from). Jesus will be used by Jehovah for accomplishing the 10th Resurrection. Seen on earth by numerous witnesses after his resurrection before he ascended to heaven.
8. Tabitha a.k.a. Dorcas (Acts 9:36-42)
Performed by Peter.
9. Eutychus ( Acts 20:9,10)
Performed by Paul.
10. Resurrection on the Last Day. (John 5:28,29)(Acts24:15)
To be performed by Jehovah and Jesus Christ
Learning from the Three Resurrections by Elijah and Elisha
These three resurrections came at a time of great turmoil and apostasy in Israel.
1st. The Son of the Widow of Zarapheth (1 Kings 17:19-24)
The first resurrection was during the reign of Ahab in the midst of a 3 year famine sent by Jehovah. Ahab had expanded false worship in Samaria and done more to offend Jehovah than all the previous kings of Israel. True worshippers of Jehovah were being persecuted, many prophets were in hiding. Jehovah had sent Elijah outside of Israel to nearby Sidon to be sustained by the Widow of Zarapheth who had faith in Jehovah. A year or so into this stay the widow’s son died. Jehovah answered Elijah’s prayer and restored the boy to life. (Read 1 Kings 17:1,9,17,20-23, 18:1,2) As news of this resurrection spread think how it must have sustained those 7000 who had not bent their knee to Baal. (1 Kings 19:18). A year or so later Elijah destroyed the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel and brought the 3 year drought and famine to an end and relief to true worshippers of Jehovah.
2nd. The Son of the Shunamite Woman (2 Kings 4:25-37)
For the second resurrection we move on about 16 years into the reign of Jehoram son of Ahab who was as wicked as his father. Elisha had now taken Elijah’s mantle, a prominent woman (a wife of a son of the prophets) was childless and her husband was old. Elisha tells her she will have a son which occurs a year later. After growing up for a few years the young son dies, and Elisha comes and resurrects him. (Read 2 Kings 4:25-37). It was a loving provision from Jehovah as a reward for the faithfulness of her and her now dead husband and their providing hospitality to Elisha to the extent of extending their home so Elisha had a room of his own to stay. There followed a 7 year famine decreed by Jehovah and announced by Elisha. There was also a witness given about this resurrection given to Jehoram the son of Ahab in his 11th year which ensured the woman and her son had their house and land returned. (Read 2 Kings 8:1-6)
3rd. The Dead Man and Elisha’s Bones (2 Kings 13:21)
The third resurrection occurred approximately 60 years later in about the 6th-7th year of the reign of Jehoash of Israel shortly after the death of Elisha. (Read 2 Kings 13:20,21). A man was being buried when they were disturbed by a Moabite raiding party, so he was thrown into Elisha’s burial place and on the corpse touching the bones of Elisha, the man came to life immediately. This showed to those that witnessed this that the power for resurrection came from Jehovah whom Elisha had faithfully represented, rather than from Elisha himself.
In total the prophets of Jehovah resurrected 3 people giving strong testimony that resurrection back to life was possible on the last day. (John 11:24). (See also quote below regarding three witnesses used for emphasis)*.
Jesus resurrected 3 people –
Jesus resurrected 3 people, the son of the widow of Nain, Jairus’s daughter, and Lazarus. Why 3?
*Three. In Deuteronomy 17:6 someone could not be put to death at the mouth of one witness. It had to be at the hand of two or three witnesses. While two witnesses testifying to the same matter established sufficient proof for any legal action, three made the testimony even stronger. This is confirmed by such scriptures as Ecclesiates 4:12 which states that “A threefold cord cannot quickly be torn in two”. Other examples include Jesus’ threefold questioning of Peter after Peter’s three denials of Jesus, (Matthew 26:34, 75; John 21:15-17) and the vision Peter received telling him to eat of all kinds of animals, including those unclean according to the Law, which was emphasised strongly by being given to him three times. (Acts 10:1-16, 28-35, 47, 48.)
Jehovah’s holiness and cleanness is emphasized by the declaration of heavenly creatures: “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah.” (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8) Before removing Zedekiah the last earthly king of the line of David off the throne, Jehovah emphasised what he would do when he said: “A ruin, a ruin, a ruin I shall make it. As for this also, it will certainly become no one’s until he comes who has the legal right, and I must give it to him.” This emphatically showed there would be no Davidic kings sitting upon the throne at Jerusalem in his name until God’s time to establish his Messiah in Kingdom power. (Ezekiel 21:27).
What better way to emphasise and give a strong testimony that
he was God’s son, and that he had been given the power by Jehovah to resurrect
people, giving surety to the promise that the dead would rise again.
4th. The Son of the Widow of Nain (Read Luke 7:11-16)
The individual resurrection – Learning from the attitude of
Jesus, being a perfect human had human emotions and they were possibly more intense. If we look at the account recorded in Luke 7:11-16 we see in v13 that when he caught sight of the widow he was moved with pity for her. He signaled his intent by kindly saying “Stop weeping”. What moved Jesus to take action? He could see from the procession that she was a widow, as she was without her husband by her side. There was a considerable crowd with her, which likely indicates that either she and \ or her son were well liked and respected in the community. Mourners usually tended to chant lamentations, and musicians played mournful tunes. (See also Jeremiah 9:17, 18; Matthew 9:23) Verse 14 shows Jesus went right up to the bier and touched it, stopping the procession and then in a firm, commanding voice said “Young man, I say to you, Get up!” Verse 15 records that the dead young man then sat up and started to speak. Likely lifting the young man out of the bier, Jesus then gave the young man to his mother.
resurrection Jesus had pity and showed compassion to this widow. He had the
power granted him by his father Jehovah and he used it to end the widows’
5th. The Daughter of Jairus (Read Mark 5:21-24, 35-43; Luke 8:40-42, 49-56)
Learning more from Jesus 2nd Resurrection.
This resurrection showed that women and young girls were equally important in Jehovah’s eyes as worthy of resurrection as men. Also the kindness Jesus displayed in making the resurrection quiet and peaceful – no wailing, not too many there, so that the young girl would not be traumatized on waking up. Yes it would be as if she had just gone to sleep and woken up – indeed as it will for all. Lastly but not least, the ecstasy and joy that those receiving dead ones back in the resurrection will experience.
Who was Jairus? He was the Presiding Officer of a Synagogue and lived with his wife and their only child near the Sea of Galilee. One day the young girl got very sick, and Jairus could see that she was going to die. Jairus had heard about Jesus and his healing and thought that perhaps Jesus could heal his daughter. So Jairus went to look for Jesus and finds him on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, teaching many people.
On finding Jesus, Jairus made his way through the crowd and fell at Jesus’ feet. He implored and entreated Jesus: ‘My little daughter is very sick. Will you please come and help her? I beg you to come.’ Right away, Jesus goes with Jairus and the crowd also follow along. After some distance, they are met by some men who have come from the house of Jairus and they tell him: “Your daughter died! Why bother the teacher any longer?”
Jesus overheard the men saying this and knowing how sad Jairus would be to lose his only child he tells him: ‘Do not fear. Just have faith in God, and your daughter will be all right.’ So they continue on until they come to Jairus’ house. Here they find friends of the family weeping and beating themselves in grief. They are distraught because their little friend has died. But Jesus tells them: ‘Stop weeping. The young child has not died, but she is sleeping.’
The immediate reaction of the people was to begin to laugh, for they knew that the girl had died. But Jesus said that she was sleeping in order to teach the people a vital truth. He wanted them to know that death can be like a deep sleep and that by means of God’s power, he can bring a dead person back to life just as easily as we can wake a person up from sleep.
Jesus then had everyone leave the
house except his apostles Peter, James, and John (3 witnesses) and the girl’s
father and mother. Then he went in to where the young child was. He took her by
the hand and said: ‘Young girl, get up!’ And right away she got up and began
walking! Her father and mother were filled with joy. The account describes them
as being beside themselves in great ecstasy.—Mark
5:21-24, 35-43; Luke
6th : Lazarus (Read John 11:11-44)
In Jesus 3rd resurrection showed the depth of his feelings for the sorry state mankind is in, and in doing so gives us assurance that he will use his kingly power to end the loss of loved ones in death. Also he demonstrated that resurrection can take place even though the deceased may have died a long time ago. In Lazarus case he had been dead for 4 days.
It is so well described in the ‘Imitate their Faith’ book, that it is here quoted:
“I Have Believed” (Chapter 20)
MARTHA could see it in her mind’s eye—her brother’s tomb, a cave sealed with a stone against the entrance. Her grief was a burden as cold and heavy as that rock. She could barely believe that her beloved Lazarus was gone. The four days since he had taken his last breath seemed like one long blur of mourning, visitors, and condolences.
2 And now, standing before Martha was the man who had meant the most to Lazarus. Seeing Jesus likely brought her grief into sharp focus, for he was the one person in all the world who could have saved her brother. Still, Martha found some comfort in being with Jesus here outside the little hillside town of Bethany. In her few moments with him, she again felt warmed by the kindness in his eyes, the keen empathy that was always so encouraging. He asked her questions that helped her to focus on her faith and on her beliefs about the resurrection. The conversation led Martha to make one of the most important statements that would ever pass her lips: “I have believed that you are the Christ the Son of God, the One coming into the world.”—John 11:27.
3 As those words show, Martha was a woman of remarkable faith. What little the Bible tells us of her imparts profound lessons that can help us strengthen our own faith.
… they [Martha, Mary, and Lazarus had become] … close friends of Jesus. During his ministry in Judea, where he met so much opposition and hostility, Jesus made their home his base. No doubt, he greatly appreciated that haven of peace and support.
A Beloved Brother Lost -And Restored
14 ….The apostle John, in introducing a thrilling account about Martha’s brother, reminds us: “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” (John 11:5) Months had passed since Jesus’ visit to Bethany described above. … 15 When her brother took ill, Martha surely busied herself with his care. She did everything in her power to soothe his discomfort and help him get better. Nonetheless, Lazarus sank still deeper into his illness. Hour after hour, his sisters stayed by his side to care for him. How often Martha must have gazed into her brother’s haggard face, remembering their many years together and the joys and sorrows they had shared!
16 When it looked as if Lazarus was beyond their help, Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus. He was preaching some two days’ journey away. Their message was simple: “Lord, see! the one for whom you have affection is sick.” (John 11:1, 3) They knew that Jesus loved their brother, and they had faith that he would do whatever he could to help his friend. Did they cling to the hope that Jesus might arrive before it was too late? If so, their hopes were dashed. Lazarus died.
17 Together, Martha and Mary mourned their brother, taking care of the preparations for his burial and receiving the many guests from Bethany and its environs. Still, no news of Jesus. Martha may have grown more puzzled as the time passed. Finally, four days after Lazarus’ death, Martha heard that Jesus was nearing the town. Ever the woman of action, even in this grim hour, Martha got up and, without telling Mary, rushed out to meet Jesus.—Read John 11:18-20.
18 When Martha caught sight of her Master, she put into words the thought that had been tormenting her and Mary for days: “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” But hope and faith were not dead in Martha. She added: “And yet at present I know that as many things as you ask God for, God will give you.” Jesus immediately said something to strengthen her faith: “Your brother will rise.”—John 11:21-23.
19 Martha thought that Jesus was talking about the future resurrection, so she replied: “I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.” (John 11:24) Her faith in that teaching was remarkable. Some Jewish religious leaders, called Sadducees, denied that there would be a resurrection, though it was a clear teaching in the inspired Scriptures. (Daniel 12:13; Mark 12:18) Martha knew, however, that Jesus taught the resurrection hope and had even performed resurrections—although not of anyone who had been dead as long as Lazarus had. She did not know what lay ahead.
20 Jesus then made an unforgettable statement: “I am the resurrection and the life.” Indeed, Jehovah God has given his Son the authority to perform resurrections on a global scale in the future. Jesus asked Martha: “Do you believe this?” Then she gave the answer discussed at the outset of this chapter. She had faith that Jesus was the Christ, or Messiah, that he was the Son of Jehovah God, and that he was the one whom the prophets had foretold would come into the world.—John 5:28, 29; read John 11:25-27.
21 Do Jehovah God and his Son, Jesus Christ, value faith like that of Martha? The events that next unfolded before Martha’s eyes provide the clearest of answers. She hurried to get her sister. Thereafter, she saw that Jesus was deeply moved as he talked to Mary and the many mourners with her. She saw the tears come to his eyes as he freely showed his deep grief over the pain that death causes. She heard Jesus order that the stone be rolled away from her brother’s tomb.—John 11:28-39.
22 Ever practical, Martha objected that the body would smell by now, four days after death. Jesus reminded her: “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” She did believe, and she did see the glory of Jehovah God. Right then and there, he empowered his Son to bring Lazarus back to life! Think of the moments that must have been etched in Martha’s memory to the end of her days: Jesus’ commanding call, “Lazarus, come on out!”; the faint noise from the cave where Lazarus was entombed as the man rose and, still bound in the bandages used to prepare the body, inched his way to the door of the cave; Jesus’ command to “loose him and let him go”; and, to be sure, the ecstatic embrace as Martha and Mary flew into their brother’s arms. (Read John 11:40-44.) The burden on Martha’s heart was lifted!
Martha’s faith in Jesus was rewarded when she and Mary saw their brother resurrected.
This account shows that the resurrection
of the dead is not mere wishful thinking; it is a
heartwarming Bible teaching and a proven historical reality. (Job
Jehovah and his Son love to reward faith, as they did in the case
of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.
They have such rewards in store for you too if you build strong faith.
7th: Jesus was the 7th Resurrection
It cannot be mere coincidence that Jesus is the 7th resurrection especially when we consider how 7 is used in the bible.
Seven. Seven is used frequently in the Scriptures to signify completeness. For instance the 7 creative days where Jehovah rested on the seventh day after completing Creation. There was also the seven day week and the Sabbath Year Arrangement (every 7 years). Two of the most important festivals were 7 days in length and Revelation speaks of seven congregations to give a complete picture of all the earthly congregations of God.
Jesus as the Messiah completed or fulfilled the Mosaic Law. It was also through his ransom sacrifice that it is possible for us to have the hope of resurrection to life on a paradise earth. It is also through Jesus as the first fruit of the Heavenly resurrection and the resurrected 144,000 that Jehovah’s purposes regarding the earth will be brought to completeness. Also through Jehovah’s resurrection of Jesus, he showed that the sacrifice was acceptable as Jesus had died faithful, sacrificing his perfect human life.
What proofs are there that Jesus was resurrected?
Appearances of Jesus on earth after his resurrection up to his ascension to heaven
1) Matthew 28:8-10, Mark 16:1, Luke 24:10 records that Mary Magdalene, Salome, Joanna, and the other Mary (Mary mother of James) after coming to Jesus grave on the first day of the week, saw an angel who told them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee. – Most of the women went to tell the disciples and on their way the resurrected Jesus approached them and repeated the angel’s message.
2) John 20:11-17 - Mary Magdalene stayed behind weeping and was approached and consoled by the resurrected Jesus.
3) Luke 24:13-35 records that the same day two disciples on the way to Emmaus, met Jesus and talked extensively with him, recognising him when he prayed over the meal and broke the bread.
4) Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5 the same day he appeared to Cephas
5) Luke 24:36-53; John 20:19-24; and the other disciples (except Thomas)
6) Matthew 28:16; John 20:26-29; 1 Corinthians 15:5 then to the Twelve (including Thomas) 8 days later in Galilee.
7) John 21:1-14 – third appearance to 7 of the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias (Galilee). (This was when Peter was asked to feed the little sheep)
8) 1 Corinthians 15:6 records that he then appeared to more than 500 brothers most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote the first letter to Corinthians around 55 CE.
9) 1 Corinthians 15:7 states after that he appeared to James,
10) and then to all the apostles. See Acts 1:6-11 – The 11 remaining Apostles see Jesus ascend to the heavens at the end of 40 days.
Interestingly in Acts 1:3 the account of Luke states “he
[Jesus] showed himself alive to them by many convincing proofs. He was seen by
them throughout 40 days, and he was speaking about the kingdom of God.” The
scriptural accounts written for our benefit show ten recorded appearances on
separate occasions during this time, although there may have been more, they are
not individually specifically recorded.
Visions of Jesus after his Ascension to heaven
1. Acts 7:55,56 relates how Stephen when defending himself before the High Priest and Pharisees said ‘Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at Gods right hand.’
2. 1 Corinthians 15:9 last of all, the resurrected Jesus in the heavens appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus. (read Acts 9:3-6)
3. Acts 9:10-16 relates Jesus appearing to Ananias ‘There was in Damascus a certain disciple named Ananias and the Lord said to him in a vision:”Ananias!” He said :”Here I am Lord”’
4. Acts 18:9 ‘moreover, by night the Lord said to Paul through a vision: “Have no fear, but keep on speaking and do not keep silent, because I am with you…”’
8th: Dorcas \ Tabitha (Read Acts 9:32-42)
One of Jesus' commands when he sent out his apostles as Kingdom preachers was: “Raise up dead persons.” (Matthew 10:5-8) The only way they could do this was by relying on God’s power. At Joppa in 36 C.E., the godly woman Dorcas (Tabitha) fell asleep in death. Her good deeds had included the making of garments for needy widows, among whom her death caused much weeping. The disciples prepared her for burial and sent for the apostle Peter, perhaps for consolation. (Acts 9:32-38) He dismissed everyone from the upper chamber, prayed, and said: “Tabitha, rise!” She opened her eyes, sat up, took Peter’s hand, and he raised her up. This first reported resurrection by an apostle caused many to become believers. (Acts 9:39-42) It also gives us added reason for hope in the resurrection.
9th: Eutychus (Read Acts 20:7-12)
The last resurrection of Bible record occurred in Troas. When Paul stopped there on his third missionary trip, he continued his discourse until midnight. Overcome by weariness and the crowded conditions in the meeting place, a young man named Eutychus fell asleep and tumbled from a third-story window. He “was picked up dead,” not merely unconscious. Paul threw himself upon Eutychus, embraced him, and told onlookers: “Stop raising a clamor, for his soul is in him.” Paul meant that the young man’s life had been restored. Those present “were comforted beyond measure.” (Acts 20:7-12)
10th Resurrection – on the Last Day
How fitting that the resurrection of all mankind should be the 10th resurrection. As with Jesus resurrection, this is surely not a coincidence.
Ten. Ten is a number denoting fullness, entirety, the aggregate, the sum of all that exists of something. It may be noted also that, where the numbers seven and ten are used together, the seven represents that which is higher or superior and ten represents something of a subordinate nature.” 
The resurrection of Jesus as the first fruit is higher or superior (7th resurrection) and the 10th is only possible because of the 7th and so is of a subordinate nature. However the 10th will be a massive resurrection in terms of numbers, bringing the earth to its fullness, back to the state that Jehovah original purposed for it and completing the resurrections recorded in the bible in a dramatic way.
The 10th Resurrection starts with the resurrection of the anointed who have already died, before their being taken to heaven. (Read) In Revelation 6:9-11 the Apostle John sees in vision those of the anointed who have already died and writes “And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those slaughtered because of the word of God and because of the witness work that they used to have. 10 And they cried with a loud voice saying: ’Until when, Sovereign Lord holy and true, are you refraining from judging and avenging our blood upon those who dwell on the earth?’ 11 And a white robe was given to each of them; and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled also of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they also had been.” Revelation 7:1-3 continues the account “After this I saw four angels standing upon the four corners of the earth, holding tight the four winds of the earth….2 And I saw another angel ascending from the sunrising, having a seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying ‘Do not harm the earth or sea or trees until after we have sealed the slaves of our God in their foreheads’”. When does this happen ?(Read) Matthew 24:29-31 states that “Immediately after the tribulation of those days…30 ...the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven …and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send forth his angels with a great trumpet sound …and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds….”.(See also Mark 13:24-27).
(Read) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 continues the description of this event where Paul writes:“15 For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord shall in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; 16 because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. 17 Then\ Thereupon\After we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; …”.
Here Paul was stating that those who are dead in union with Christ would rise first, to join those following Christ who have survived to that time and would together be caught away in the clouds to meet Jesus being changed in the twinkling of an eye in to spirit creatures during the last trumpet. He described this change in (Read) 1 Corinthians 15:50-52). “I tell you a sacred secret: we shall not all fall asleep [in death], but we shall all be changed,in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” This was the ‘earlier resurrection’  Paul wanted to attain to. (Philippians 3:10,11).
(Read) Revelation 11:11,12,15 also confirms this event saying : “and after the three and a half days spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon those beholding them. 12 And they heard a loud voice out of heaven say to them: ’Come on up here’. And they went up into heaven in the cloud and their enemies beheld them.15 And the Seventh Angel blew his trumpet. And loud voices occurred in heaven saying: ’The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and he will rule as king forever and ever.’”
Revelation 10:7 shows that this time is the conclusion of the sacred secret initially promised in Genesis 3:15. “But in the days when the seventh angel+ is about to blow his trumpet,+ the sacred secret+ that God declared as good news to his own slaves the prophets+ is indeed brought to a finish.”.
Revelation 20:4-6 (Read) “And I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given authority to judge. Yes, I saw the souls* of those executed* for the witness they gave about Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had not worshipped the wild beast or its image and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand.+ And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ+ for 1,000 years. 5 (The rest of the dead+ did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.+ 6 Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection;+ over these the second death+ has no authority,+ but they will be priests+ of God and of the Christ, and they will rule as kings with him for the 1,000 years.+” shows these ones who are to be kings and priests with Christ are the first resurrection, with the resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous to the earth to be the second part following on.
What can we learn about the resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous?
When Paul was defending himself before Governor Felix he stated in Acts 24:15 “And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection+ of both the righteous and the unrighteous.+ 16 Because of this I always strive to maintain a clear* conscience before God and men.” In doing so he was remember Jesus words in John 5:28,29 where Jesus stated unequivocally what would happen in the future:” “Most truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who have paid attention will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself,*+ so he has granted also to the Son to have life in himself.+ 27 And he has given him authority to do judging,+ because he is the Son of man.+ 28 Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice+ 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.+;
Jesus' words confirmed and expanded on the promise given to Daniel in Daniel 12:1-3, “During that time Mi′cha·el*+ will stand up,* the great prince+ who is standing in behalf of your people.* And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape,+ everyone who is found written down in the book.+ 2 And many of those asleep in the dust of the earth will wake up, some to everlasting life and others to reproach and to everlasting contempt. 3 “And those having insight will shine as brightly as the expanse of heaven, and those bringing the many to righteousness like the stars, forever and ever.”
The conditions on the earth for these resurrected ones were described in a vision to the Apostle John in Revelation 21:3,4 : “With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.+ 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes,+ and death will be no more,+ neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.+ The former things have passed away.”
It will also be the final, completing resurrection, for death will be done away with after the 1000 year reign, and also there will be no resurrection for those that die in the final test at the end of the 1000 year reign or who are removed by Jehovah during the 1000 year reign.(see Isaiah 65:20).
Were there other resurrections not recorded?
Please Note: The wording of Hebrews 11:35 allows for the slight possibility there may have been other resurrections performed although it was likely referring to resurrections 1,2,4,6; but if so they were not recorded. “(Hebrews 11:35). . .Women received their dead by resurrection; but other [men] were tortured because they would not accept release by some ransom, in order that they might attain a better resurrection.”. Only the 10 resurrections cited above are recorded and it is faith strengthening when we examine in more detail how many and why these in particular were recorded.
Why did first century Jews like Martha believe in the resurrection hope?
Those who genuinely loved Jehovah and his word were familiar with passages such as the following:
Job 14:13-15 “O that in the Grave you would conceal me, That you would hide me until your anger passes by, That you would set a time limit for me and remember me! 14 If a man dies, can he live again? I will wait all the days of my compulsory service, Until my relief comes. 15 You will call, and I will answer you. You will long for the work of your hands.
Psalm 49:15 “However God himself with redeem my soul from the hand of Sheol.”
Daniel 12:2 “And there will be many of those asleep in the ground of dust who will wake up, these to indefinitely lasting life, and those to reproaches…”
Daniel 12:13; “But as for you, go on to the end. You will rest, but you will stand up for in your allotted place at the end of the days.”
Hosea 13:14 “From the hand of Sheol I shall redeem them; from death I shall recover them. Where are your stings O Death?
Most of us have sadly experienced the loss of loved ones, and could do so between now and the time for the Final Resurrection takes place. NOW is the time for building up our faith in this marvellous promise from Jehovah to be accomplished through his resurrected son Christ Jesus. Reading and meditating on the accounts of the resurrections recorded for our benefit will help us to reaffirm and strengthen our conviction that resurrection truly is not only possible but an event that with certainty will take place shortly at Jehovah’s due time. (Read Revelation 21:3,4) “With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain (of heart) be anymore. The former things have passed away”.
 (NWT) New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures – Reference Edition 1984
 All scripture quotations are from the NWT unless otherwise noted.
 See Also *Learning from the Great Teacher.p183 *
 “Imitate Their Faith” published 2013 p172-p179
 Imitate their Faith chapter 20 p172-179
 See also it-2 p. 512 Number, Numeral
 Revelation to John is not included as according to Revelation 1:1 it was “a revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him… And he sent forth his angle and presented it in signs through him to his slave John.”
 See also w00 7/15 p. 10 The Resurrection Hope Is Sure!
 See also it-2 p. 513 Number, Numeral
 1 Thess 4:16 first (Greek: Protos noun– first in order of time.)
 21 out of 23 mainstream English Translations read “Then, or, and then”. Only the Weymouth and NIV read “After that or Afterwards” like the NWT.
 Kingdom Interlinear: thereupon (Greek = Strongs 1899 épeita (an adverb composed of 1909 /epí, "on, fitting" and 1534 /eíta, a primitive particle meaning "then, to continue on") – properly, only then (emphasizing what precedes is a necessary precursor). The event described in v15-16 is a precursor to the event in v17, as those raised in v15-16 accompany the living and both are caught away in the clouds to meet the Lord.
 (Literally “out-resurrection” Greek:exanastasin)
 Rev 20:5b first (Greek. Prote adjective – first in a series, first, foremost, implying the start of a continuous event in this case resurrection)