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davidswife
August 19th, 2010, 09:53 PM
I can't help thinking about this as it's getting to be that time of year. MAYBE, This time. It's been great making friends sorta with all of you. Maybe I'll meet you guys soon. And the saints of old. And most of all our Savior. Can't wait to see His face!

brudichuk
August 20th, 2010, 03:31 AM
Dear Buzzardhut,

I read your essay (for lack of a better description) regarding the rapture of the saints and while it is very thorough and well done, I wonder if you can deal with a passage from Revelation which has caused me to struggle with the Pre-trib model. I did not see you address this scripture in your essay and perhaps it has been addressed somewhere else in the body of this website, so I was hoping you could either explain your understanding of this passage and how is is differentiated from the rapture or point me to a thread that may deal with it.

The portion of scripture is in Revelation 20: 1-7. This passage has caused me to struggle with the whole Pre-trib model. Its subject is the saints who are part of the "first resurrection" (which I see as congruent with 1Cor15: 51-55 and 1Thes 4:13-18)who were "beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus" and the fact that they "had not worshiped the beast and had not received his mark" (which I see as congruent with Revelation 13). They reign with Jesus for 1000 years after their resurrection (which I assume is the Millennial Reign of Christ).

I have several questions I would love for you to address. Who are these saints? If they partake in the "first resurrection" then how can the rapture event precede them? I ask this because the scriptures commonly used for teaching on the pre-tribulation rapture, also include the passages which teach about the resurrection (1Cor 15, 1Thes 4). According to these passages we "who are alive" will "certainly not precede those who are asleep". There are only two resurrections (the resurrection of the saints and the resurrection of the damned) detailed in the scripture (that I am aware of). So, if we who are alive cannot precede those who have fallen asleep, and the saints in Revelation 20 are taking part in the "first resurrection" along with us, how can our gathering together with the Lord precede their being gathered to the Lord? And if their gathering (resurrection) cannot be preceded by our gathering (rapture) then how can our gathering not be at least during or slightly after the tribulation that they endure?

I appreciate if you can help sort this out for me. Thanks.

Buzzardhut
August 20th, 2010, 06:36 AM
The portion of scripture is in Revelation 20: 1-7. This passage has caused me to struggle with the whole Pre-trib model. Its subject is the saints who are part of the "first resurrection" (which I see as congruent with 1Cor15: 51-55 and 1Thes 4:13-18)who were "beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus" and the fact that they "had not worshiped the beast and had not received his mark" (which I see as congruent with Revelation 13). They reign with Jesus for 1000 years after their resurrection (which I assume is the Millennial Reign of Christ).

Who are these saints? If they partake in the "first resurrection" then how can the rapture event precede them? I ask this because the scriptures commonly used for teaching on the pre-tribulation rapture, also include the passages which teach about the resurrection (1Cor 15, 1Thes 4). According to these passages we "who are alive" will "certainly not precede those who are asleep". There are only two resurrections (the resurrection of the saints and the resurrection of the damned) detailed in the scripture (that I am aware of). So, if we who are alive cannot precede those who have fallen asleep, and the saints in Revelation 20 are taking part in the "first resurrection" along with us, how can our gathering together with the Lord precede their being gathered to the Lord? And if their gathering (resurrection) cannot be preceded by our gathering (rapture) then how can our gathering not be at least during or slightly after the tribulation that they endure?

I appreciate if you can help sort this out for me. Thanks.
If you can answer why the 2 witnesses in Revelation 11:12 are also raptured but separate from the bride of Christ and the first rez you speak of (which is way before the First Rez of Rev 20)

there are many raptures in scripture as well as many saints, Enoch, Elijah, Jesus Himself was raptured in Acts 1, the biggest rapture we always refer to is the pretrib rapture, lumping them together with the others as the first rez causes confusion

Rev. 20:1-7 are the tribulation saints,

"we who are alive" are Paul's audience - pretrib saints
1Thes 4:13-18
Paul speaks of we "his current church" who are alive will get raptured along with their dead loved ones; Paul comforts them that their dead loved ones will not be raptured before them but will actually be raptured along with them, that is his main point for the main rapture. This is the main big rapture whereby the bride of Christ is given her new body before the tribulation

the tribulation saints do not get saved until after the pretrib rapture,

as for the 2 witnesses:
At the mid-point of the tribulation, the two witnesses are killed by the Antichrist, resurrected by God (raptured), and then caught up into heaven (Rev 11:3-12).

the two witnesses are visibly seen resurrected with their new bodies (a rapture ) Revelation 11:12: And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. (another rapture) they can be seen cuz they were obviously given their new bodies, just like Jesus and the Bride of Christ.

A First Resurrection does not nullify the rapture of the 2 witnesses and neither does it eliminate an earlier rapture of the Bride of Christ.

the second rez is the dead only for judgment

your question should be: "What IS the First resurrection?"

The reason for the term "first resurrection" is to contrast the "second death." A sharper contrast cannot be found. "First" contrasts "second" and "resurrection" contrasts "death." the second is not a resurrection to life but to death. How terrible a fate for the unbeliever. His body becomes alive again only to suffer a living death in the lake of fire for ever and ever.

Daniel 12:2 summarizes the two very different fates facing mankind: “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Everyone will be raised from the dead, but not everyone will share the same destiny. The New Testament reveals the further detail of separate resurrections for the just and the unjust.

Revelation 20:4-6 mentions a “first resurrection” and identifies those involved as “blessed and holy.” The second death (the lake of fire, Revelation 20:14) has no power over these individuals. The first resurrection, then, is the raising of all believers. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14) and the “resurrection of life” (John 5:29).

The first resurrection takes place in various stages. Jesus Christ Himself (the “first fruits,” 1 Corinthians 15:20), paved the way for the resurrection of all who believe in Him. There was a resurrection of the Jerusalem saints (Matthew 27:52-53) which should be included in our consideration of the first resurrection. Still to come are the resurrection of “the dead in Christ” at the Lord’s return (1 Thessalonians 4:16) and the resurrection of the martyrs at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 20:4).

Revelation 20:12-13 identifies those comprising the second resurrection as the wicked judged by God at the great white throne judgment prior to being cast into the lake of fire. The second resurrection, then, is the raising of all unbelievers; the second resurrection is connected to the second death. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29).

The event which divides the first and second resurrections is the millennial kingdom. The last of the righteous are raised to reign “with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4), but the “rest of the dead [that is, the wicked] lived not again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5).

What great rejoicing will attend the first resurrection! What great anguish at the second! What a responsibility we have to share the Gospel! “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire” (Jude 23).
http://www.gotquestions.org/resurrection-first-second.html


The first great resurrection was the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is documented in each of the four Gospels (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20), cited several times in Acts (Acts 1:22; 2:31; 4:2, 33; 26:23), and mentioned repeatedly in the letters to the churches (Romans 1:4; Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:3). Much is made of the importance of Christ’s resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:12-34, which records that over five hundred people saw Him at one of His post-resurrection appearances. Christ’s resurrection is the “first fruits” or guarantee to every Christian that he will also be resurrected. Christ’s resurrection is also the basis of the Christian’s certainty that all people who have died will one day be raised to face fair and even-handed judgment by Jesus Christ (Acts 17:30-31). The resurrection to eternal life is described as “the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5-6); the resurrection to judgment and torment is described as “the second death” (Revelation 20:6, 13-15).

The first resurrection is of the Church and will occur at the time of the rapture. All those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ during the Church Age, and have died before Jesus returns, will be resurrected at the rapture. The Church Age began on the Day of Pentecost and will end when Christ returns to take believers back to heaven with Him (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The Apostle Paul explained that not all Christians will die, but all will be changed, i.e., given resurrection-type bodies (1 Corinthians 15:50-58), some without having to die! Christians who are alive, and those who have already died, will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him always!

Another great resurrection will occur when Christ returns to earth (His Second Coming) at the end of the Tribulation period. After the rapture, the Tribulation is the next event after the Church Age in God’s chronology. This will be a time of terrible judgment upon the world, described in great detail in Revelation chapters 6-18. Though all Church Age believers will be gone, millions of people left behind on earth will come to their senses during this time and will trust in Jesus as their Savior. Tragically, most of them will pay for their faith in Jesus by losing their lives (Revelation 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 13:7, 15-17; 17:6; 19:1-2). These believers in Jesus who die during the Tribulation will be resurrected at Christ’s return and will reign with Him for a thousand years during the Millennium (Revelation 20:4, 6). Old Testament believers such as Job, Noah, Abraham, David and even John the Baptist (who was assassinated before the Church began) will be resurrected at this time also. Several passages in the Old Testament mention this event (Job 19:25-27; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:1-2; Hosea 13:14). Ezekiel 37:1-14 describes primarily the regathering of the Nation of Israel using the symbolism of dead corpses coming back to life. But from the language used, a physical resurrection of dead Israelis cannot be excluded from the passage. Again, all believers in God (in the Old Testament era) and all believers in Jesus (in the New Testament era) participate in the first resurrection, a resurrection to life (Revelation 20:4, 6).

There may be another resurrection at the end of the Millennium, one which is implied, but never explicitly stated in Scripture. It is possible that some believers will die a physical death during the Millennium. Through the prophet Isaiah, God said, "No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed” (Isaiah 65:20). On the other hand, it is also possible that death in the Millennium will only come to the disobedient. In either event, some kind of transformation will be required to fit believers in their natural bodies in the Millennium for pristine existence throughout eternity. Each believer will need to have a “resurrected” type of body.

It is clear from Scripture that God will destroy the entire universe, including the earth, with fire (2 Peter 3:7-12). This will be necessary to purge God’s creation of its endemic evil and decay brought upon it by man’s sin. In its place God will create a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-4). But what will happen to those believers who survived the Tribulation and entered the Millennium in their natural bodies? And what will happen to those who were born during the Millennium, trusted in Jesus, and continued to live in their natural bodies? Paul has made it clear that flesh and blood, which is mortal and able to decay, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. That eternal kingdom is inhabitable only by those with resurrected, glorified bodies that are no longer mortal and are not able to decay (1 Corinthians 15:35-49). Presumably, these believers will be given resurrection bodies without having to die. Precisely when this happens is not explained, but theologically, it must happen somewhere in the transition from the old earth and universe to the new earth and new heaven (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-4).

There is a final resurrection, apparently of all the unbelieving dead of all ages. Jesus Christ will raise them from the dead (John 5:25-29) after the Millennium, the thousand-year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:5), and after the destruction of the present earth and universe (2 Peter 3:7-12; Revelation 20:11). This is the resurrection described by Daniel as an awakening “from the dust of the ground ... to disgrace and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). It is described by Jesus as a “resurrection of judgment” (John 5:28-29).

The Apostle John saw something that would happen in the future. He saw a “great white throne” (Revelation 20:11). Heaven and earth “fled away” from the One sitting on it. This is evidently a description of the dissolution by fire of all matter, including the entire universe and earth itself (2 Peter 3:7-12). All the (godless) dead will stand before the throne. This means they have been resurrected after the thousand years (Revelation 20:5). They will possess bodies that can feel pain but will never cease to exist (Mark 9:43-48). They will be judged, and their punishment will be commensurate with their works. But there is another book opened—the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27). Those whose names are not written in the book of life are cast into the “lake of fire,” which amounts to “the second death” (Revelation 20:11-15). No indication is given of any who appear at this judgment that their names are found in the book of life. Rather, those whose names appear in the book of life were among those who are blessed, for they received forgiveness and partook of the first resurrection, the resurrection to life (Revelation 20:6).

http://www.gotquestions.org/when-resurrection.html

There are lots of "firsts" in prophecy
the first trumpet is another perplexing scenario

Believers are in the first resurrection; unbelievers are in the second death. This is the contrast and this is the purpose of the terminology in this context. A word takes on meaning only as we use it in a context. If the word "first" had arms and hands so that it could push, it would not be pushing against earlier resurrections; it would be pushing against the "second death." All I am asking is that we let the context give us the meaning of the word instead of inserting our own definition for "first resurrection."

If the first resurrection allows for earlier resurrections, this also helps to explain a similar problem in 1 Corinthians 15:54:

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

This passage quotes from Isaiah 25:8 which according to the context there places the time of victory over death at the end of the tribulation. Here is the problem. If 1 Corinthians 15 is talking about victory over death at the rapture, then how can the rapture occur at the beginning of the tribulation if Isaiah 25:8 places victory over death at the end of the tribulation? Why the discrepancy of time between the two verses?

I can best answer this by giving you another example. By comparing Joel 2:28 with Acts 2:17 we see a similar problem regarding the time of the pouring out of the Spirit. The church has already entered into the promise of Joel 2:28 early, only about 2000 years early. My point is this: nothing in the Bible prevents an earlier and partial fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. If the church can enter into one promise 2000 years early, then surely she can enter into another promise seven years early. All I am asking for is consistency of interpretation.

Shall we forget early fulfillment and be strict about the time? All right, let us be very strict about the time and see what happens. The promise from Isaiah 25:8, "He will swallow up death in victory" in its final fulfillment, comes 75 days too late to be a resurrection at a post-trib rapture! I'll show you what I mean.

The resurrection of Revelation 20 includes the resurrection of Old Testament saints. We all agree on this. Now Daniel was an Old Testament saint, wasn't he? Again we agree.

Now let me ask you one question: When is Daniel's resurrection? When? You'll find the answer in the last verse of his book:

But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days (Daniel 12:13).

When is Daniel's resurrection? At the end of the days. When is that? As we pointed out in chapter two, Daniel's last chapter gives three dates:



1260 days
1290 days
1335 days


When is Daniel's resurrection?

At the end of the days.



When is Daniel's resurrection? The end of the days is the 1335th day. Since Christ returns on day 1260, as we saw in chapter two, then Daniel's resurrection comes 75 days too late to be a rapture resurrection! Therefore, the resurrection of Revelation 20 cannot take place at the rapture.

We will learn more in the next chapter about this 75-day gap between the tribulation and the millennium. Rather than taking place at the end of the tribulation, the resurrection of Revelation 20 occurs later, at the beginning of the millennium. Notice the context. Revelation 20 comes after Christ returns and destroys the Armageddon armies. You see, this tiny overlooked detail from the context places the resurrection after Christ sets foot on earth, not while He is still in the air as it would happen at the rapture. The order of Revelation 19 and 20 accords with 1 Corinthians 15:26, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." He must put the Armageddon armies under His feet before He destroys death at the resurrection. This resurrection occurs even after Satan is bound. The visions of chapters 19–20 are chronological; they are not part of the overlapping visions of chapters 6–18. Even if we did change the order of the visions, the first resurrection still occurs in the same vision as the millennium (20:4–10) which is 75 days too late for the post-trib scheme.

Shall we be strict about the time? Not only is Daniel's resurrection 75 days too late, not only does the resurrection of Revelation 20 occur at the outset of the millennium, but also the promise of Isaiah 25:8, "He will swallow up death in victory," occurs in a pre-millennnial context. This evaporates the argument that the resurrection of Revelation 20 is identical to the resurrection of 1 Thessalonians 4 and that the time of the rapture can be proved by the "first resurrection."


SUMMARY

In summary of Revelation, let me leave you with the following questions which I hope will stimulate all of us to dig into our Bibles a little deeper:

Is not the church interested in the contents of Revelation as heavenly participants—exactly the role of the first generation church—even though we will not be earthly observers?

In Revelation 3:10, why the unique combination of "keep" and "from"?

How could the twenty-four elders have crowns if Christ had not come previously?

Why does Revelation 13:9, contrary to expectation, contrary to the consistent pattern, address individuals instead of churches?

Why does God deal in a special way with 144,000 Israelites, something that He does not do during this church age?

Why are the 144,000 called "firstfruits" instead of "lastfruits" unless a brand new class of converts arises during the tribulation?

How can the harvest of Revelation 14:14–16 be the rapture when Joel explains it to be the harvest of the wicked?

Why are the white-robed armies all in heaven before Christ leaves heaven to return to earth?

If the resurrection of Revelation 20 is the rapture resurrection, then why does it occur well after Christ sets foot on the earth?

http://www.rapturesolution.com/beechick/Book/Rev.htm

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q193/crinie123/dispensations.jpg

Watchingthesky
August 20th, 2010, 07:39 AM
Very well done, Buzzardhut! :thumb

God bless.

Wally
August 20th, 2010, 08:40 AM
Buzz,

I recall this same question a while back. Please correct me if I'm wrong (I think I'm agreeing with you)

There are three resurrections:

1st - Tribulation Saints - according to Revelation 20
2nd - the damned - leading to the White Throne judgement

3rd - The Everpresent Resurrection - In Christ. .....I AM the Resurrection
It includes: Jesus, Lazarus, Elijiah, Enoch, the two Prophets,..... and both living and dead in Christ at the Rapture

Buzzardhut
August 20th, 2010, 08:53 AM
Buzz,

I recall this same question a while back. Please correct me if I'm wrong (I think I'm agreeing with you)

There are three resurrections:

1st - Tribulation Saints - according to Revelation 20
2nd - the damned - leading to the White Throne judgement

3rd - The Everpresent Resurrection - In Christ. .....I AM the Resurrection
It includes: Jesus, Lazarus, Elijiah, Enoch, the two Prophets,..... and both living and dead in Christ at the Rapture

There are lots of resurrections, Jonah is a type of resurrection, the valley of dry bones, Lazarus, etc....

Wally
August 20th, 2010, 09:12 AM
Oh yea. And the false ones the FP orchestrates...

james46888
August 20th, 2010, 02:36 PM
Believers are in the first resurrection; unbelievers are in the second death.

Good points :)...Let me add that the word translated as "first" there in Rev 20 is the Greek word "protos" and it can indeed mean "first in time" but it can also mean "chief," "head," or "most important." For example, Colossians 1:15 refers to Jesus as the "firstborn" (prototikto) of all creation and, obviously, it does not mean first in the sense of "first in time" (as Jehovah's Witness wrongly interpret the verse to mean).

As Anthony Garland says, "First is πρώτη [prōtē] which can be used “of time: first, earliest” or it can describe relative priority: “foremost, chief, most important of all.” The various individual resurrections which make up the category of the first resurrection all precede the second resurrection in time. It is also the chief or foremost resurrection, the “better resurrection” (Heb. 11:35) because participation in the first resurrection indicates a person is saved and participates in the blessings of God’s kingdom on earth"

And as John Walvoord says, "The expression “first resurrection” has constituted an exegetical problem for all interpreters. Posttribulationalists cite this reference as evidence that the rapture could not occur until after the tribulation. Pretribulationalists have rightly held that the first resurrection is not an event, but an order of resurrection . It is evident that our Lord rose form the dead as the first one to receive a resurrection body—others previously raised from the dead had merely been restored to their former natural bodies. His resurrection, though widely separated from resurrections which follow, is included in the first resurrection, otherwise the event described in Revelation would not be “first.” According to 1 Corinthians 15:20, Christ is “the firstfruits of them that are asleep,” i.e., the first part of the resurrection of all saints. Likewise, the evidence that the translation of the church takes place before the tribulation would point to a large segment of the righteous dead being raised before the tribulation. These also would qualify as taking part in the first resurrection. In contrast to the first resurrection of Revelation 20+ is the resurrection of the wicked dead portrayed in the latter part of the chapter. The first resurrection therefore becomes the resurrection of all the righteous in contrast to the final resurrection which is the resurrection of the wicked."




This passage quotes from Isaiah 25:8 which according to the context there places the time of victory over death at the end of the tribulation. Here is the problem. If 1 Corinthians 15 is talking about victory over death at the rapture, then how can the rapture occur at the beginning of the tribulation if Isaiah 25:8 places victory over death at the end of the tribulation? Why the discrepancy of time between the two verses?

I can best answer this by giving you another example. By comparing Joel 2:28 with Acts 2:17 we see a similar problem regarding the time of the pouring out of the Spirit.


Yeah, Paul simply quotes it as an application (just as Acts does when it quotes the Joel passage). He's not saying it was a literal fulfillment. See Fruchtenbaum's helpful comments on the way the NT quotes from the OT: http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/rabbinic-quotations-of-old-testament-and-how-it-relates-to-joel-2-acts

Buzzardhut
August 20th, 2010, 02:39 PM
Oh yea. And the false ones the FP orchestrates...

yes, some bodies "resurrect" but die again, they are not really resurrected, just brought back to life, only those of Jesus' first fruits ultimately live forever

Buzzardhut
August 20th, 2010, 08:51 PM
Good points :)...Let me add that the word translated as "first" there in Rev 20 is the Greek word "protos" and it can indeed mean "first in time" but it can also mean "chief," "head," or "most important." For example, Colossians 1:15 refers to Jesus as the "firstborn" (prototikto) of all creation and, obviously, it does not mean first in the sense of "first in time" (as Jehovah's Witness wrongly interpret the verse to mean).

As Anthony Garland says, "First is πρώτη [prōtē] which can be used “of time: first, earliest” or it can describe relative priority: “foremost, chief, most important of all.” The various individual resurrections which make up the category of the first resurrection all precede the second resurrection in time. It is also the chief or foremost resurrection, the “better resurrection” (Heb. 11:35) because participation in the first resurrection indicates a person is saved and participates in the blessings of God’s kingdom on earth"

And as John Walvoord says, "The expression “first resurrection” has constituted an exegetical problem for all interpreters. Posttribulationalists cite this reference as evidence that the rapture could not occur until after the tribulation. Pretribulationalists have rightly held that the first resurrection is not an event, but an order of resurrection . It is evident that our Lord rose form the dead as the first one to receive a resurrection body—others previously raised from the dead had merely been restored to their former natural bodies. His resurrection, though widely separated from resurrections which follow, is included in the first resurrection, otherwise the event described in Revelation would not be “first.” According to 1 Corinthians 15:20, Christ is “the firstfruits of them that are asleep,” i.e., the first part of the resurrection of all saints. Likewise, the evidence that the translation of the church takes place before the tribulation would point to a large segment of the righteous dead being raised before the tribulation. These also would qualify as taking part in the first resurrection. In contrast to the first resurrection of Revelation 20+ is the resurrection of the wicked dead portrayed in the latter part of the chapter. The first resurrection therefore becomes the resurrection of all the righteous in contrast to the final resurrection which is the resurrection of the wicked."

Yeah, Paul simply quotes it as an application (just as Acts does when it quotes the Joel passage). He's not saying it was a literal fulfillment. See Fruchtenbaum's helpful comments on the way the NT quotes from the OT: http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/rabbinic-quotations-of-old-testament-and-how-it-relates-to-joel-2-acts

:thumb