All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Philippians 3:15-18

Paul was seeking to attain the resurrection from the dead. (Greek term employed here is out-resurrection.) It is not used elsewhere in the New Testament unless one regards the term first resurrection as its equivalent, which is how the author regards it. It is our point of view that Paul’s “out-resurrection” is the same as the “first resurrection. “It reads in Revelation 20:5-6 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. In Philippians 3:11, This is a remarkable verse. It does not fit our traditional understanding of the resurrection from the dead. The term out-resurrection implies an earlier resurrection, a first resurrection from among the dead. (exanastasis; Properly, rising up to experience the full impact of resurrection,) will be a further separation beyond this point. It is the “standing up” of a particular group “out of” those previously raised from among the dead. There may be no greater doctrinal need in our day than the understanding of the first resurrection and our need to attain to it. The Christian discipleship always is to be pursued with the intention of attaining to a “better resurrection.” The context of 3:11 suggests the out-resurrection concerns knowing the power of Christ’s resurrection and sharing His sufferings, and also the change of our mortal body; for Paul states a few verses later: Who shall change our vile body [our humbled body—Rotherham], that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself (Philippians 3:21).No doubt the out-resurrection is the resurrection of which Paul spoke in {Romans 8:11, And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.} {I Corinthians 15:52, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.} and,

{I Thessalonians 4:16, For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.}and the Apostle John revealed in {Revelation 20:4-6, I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.} and they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4). The expression “and they lived” (above) John is speaking of the transformation into the life of our mortal body because our newborn-again inner nature already is eternally alive in Christ at the right hand of the Father. The following passage refers to the resurrection and ascension of our new-born-again inner nature.
{It reads in Colossians 3:1-3, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.} When Paul was seeking to attain to, to advance to, to arrive at the out-resurrection from the dead, he must have been referring to the transformation into life of our physical body. Unlike our physical body, our spiritual nature experiences resurrection life the moment we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. If Paul indeed is speaking of the first resurrection, the transformation into life of our mortal body, the astonishing fact is that Paul is teaching us that we are required to press forward into the life and death of Christ in order to attain to it. Our traditional understanding, on the other hand, is that every person who makes a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and is baptized in water will participate in the first resurrection from the dead. Our traditional understanding does not agree with the third chapter of the Book of Philippians nor is it in harmony with the parables of the Kingdom of God that Jesus taught us. The Lord Jesus taught us that the Kingdom of God is as a tiny seed that grows until it fills all things, and also that many hearts in which the Seed of the Kingdom is planted do not bear any lasting fruit, certainly not the fruit of an all-powerful body. “It reads in Matthew 13:5-6, Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.” The Kingdom of God is more than a label we attach to our personality. The Kingdom of God is more than a ticket to Heaven. The Kingdom of God is more than a religious doctrine about which we attempt to gain a correct knowledge and understanding. The Kingdom of God, the resurrection, is a living Seed that enters us causing us to be born-again. If we would attain to the out-resurrection, we must conscientiously nourish the living, Seed. {It reads in Luke 8:5-16, A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.} The traditional understanding that we receive the full measure of eternal life the moment we believe in Christ does not correspond to the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation, the promises to the overcomer. We believe the second and third chapters of Revelation are describing increments in attaining to the first resurrection from the dead. It is helpful to contemplate the rewards mentioned here. They are not the kinds of rewards we usually associate with going to Heaven. The climax of the rewards agrees with the description of the first resurrection from the dead.

{To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Revelation 3:21} {And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them. Revelation 20:4} The third chapter of Philippians, the second and third chapter of Revelation, and Paul’s references to running a race, to competing with diligence in order to gain the crown of life, suggest that the first resurrection from the dead, including the gaining of a glorified body, will be the reward of the conquering saint. It will not be given on the basis of a mere profession of doctrinal belief. Let’s consider for a moment the fact that in the New Testament, the fullness of salvation is viewed as occurring at the end of our pilgrimage rather than at the beginning. He who endures to the end shall be saved. {But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition [destruction]; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. ‘Hebrews 10:39’} We “believe to the saving of the soul.” We are saved if we persevere in our faith throughout our lifetime.