1 Cor. 15:23 represented a problem for me. It can be read to support either an allegorical millennium or a premillennial construction (if pressed on the former, it could render a postmillennial reading). True, tagmati does denote military orders and squadrons. As it stands, the text reads, “But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then (epeita) those at his coming, then (eita) comes the end.” My problem is that I had divorced this passage from the verse that came before it: “As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” The tagmati in verse 23 qualify the “all shall be made alive” in verse 22. It tells in what order (or literally, in what platoon) each shall be resurrected.
Karl Barth used verse 22 to teach (or at least imply, since he denied he ever said that) universalism. As it stands it is hard to argue with him. Verse 22 does say all shall be made alive, but verse 23 tells how.