The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.
Following the logical flow of this text, since those who first resurrect are those who refused to receive the mark of the beast, those who ‘did not come to life’ are those who received it. Much is speculated about this mark. We may not at present be sure of its form, but we know its function (Revelations 13:16-18). In biblical terms the head, especially the forehead represents the will; the hands represent the actions birthed by the will. That is why Jews till today put these prayer boxes with a Scripture scroll inside of them when they pray: to remind them of what should be the focus and direction of both their thoughts and their actions. The devil also tries to control our thoughts and actions by attempting to replace Hashem's mark on our hands and foreheads with his mark and in the eyes of the Eternal, this means death.
We are used to think of death as a permanent state. Looking at the verse in Revelations though, it seems the dead await resurrection in order to go to their reward, good or bad. We are obviously then talking here about something different than the mere corruption of the body, or even 'non-existence'. There are people who are alive and yet who are more dead than the dead; while there are those who are dead, but who are more alive than those still in the body (Matthew 22:32)!
What is then a life that is more substantial than an active biologically functional state? And what is a death more empty and void than the mere corruption of the body? King David put it in these wonderful words:’ I shall dwell in the house of Adonai forever’ (Psalms 23: 6). In other words: presence with God is life more alive than this biological functionality, but absence from God is a state of death lower than the mere corruption of the body.
As long as we are alive the fire, however small at times, of the life of God lives in us. Its light is manifest in our hearts via twinges from our conscience. To others, it is manifest in either strength or weakness according to their obedience to Messiah’s commandments. When we 'die', that fire is set on 'pilot', until the time of resurrection to judgment, when we come to either more than life, what Yeshua called: the bosom of Abraham, or to less than death: the she’ol.
We must take this life more seriously. The good, the bad and the ugly of this life do follow us in the World to Come. We may then shed many tears of regret; Messiah will surely wipe them away, but that doesn’t mean that we will not still have to learn the substance of the lesson from the disobedience that caused these tears.
If we are truly sealed with the mark of the Messiah, let us make sure that in each day of this life, both our will and hands are synchronized with those of our Master. Then and only then will the prayer: ‘Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven!’ be answered!