Rapture – The First Resurrection
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
Let me state that this study will not be a comprehensive study about the general concept of resurrection. We’re going to focus on John the Revelator’s First Resurrection. Let’s start feasting on the Word. Our Master Yeshua introduces us to the fact of Scripture that there are two resurrections in the future. John 5:24-30, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming [erchomai, Rapture/Resurrection Day is coming], and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of Yahweh; and those who hear will live [First Resurrection at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT]. 26For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming [erchomai] in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29and come forth [First Resurrection at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT]—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life [First Resurrection at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT], and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation [Second Resurrection, 1,000 years later per Revelation 20:1-6]. 30I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” Please take note of how Yeshua ties Rapture/Resurrection Day to Judgment Day. We have already shown over and over how Rapture/Resurrection Day = JESUS 2.0 ADVENT. Then comes Judgment Day, but the righteousness saints “shall not come into judgment”. Why? because we are raptured/resurrected a few days before, on Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets. So now we know that Yeshua considers the resurrection to life as the First Resurrection that John the Revelator speaks of in Revelation 20.
First Picture of the First Resurrection: Yeshua was raised from the dead in 30 CE, per verse 14 above. Colossians 1:18, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, [at the JESUS 1.0 ADVENT] that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Without Yeshua’s resurrection our resurrection would not be possible and our study of it would be in vain.
Second Picture of the First Resurrection: Immediately after Yeshua raised from the grave, Matthew 27:52-53, “and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep [died physically] were raised; [Picture Two of the First Resurrection in 30 CE] 53and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” Notice that the First and Second Pictures of the First Resurrection occurred at the JESUS 1.0 ADVENT back in 30 CE.
Third Pictures of the First Resurrection: The Third Set of Pictures of the First Resurrection happens at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT in the 21st Century. As an introduction to the Third Set of Pictures of the First Resurrection, consider the following teaching of Paul: 1 Corinthians 15:26, “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” Get that in your spirit and meditate on it for awhile.
Hebrews 10:12-13, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of Yahweh, 13from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.” Get that in your spirit, since 30 CE Yeshua has been sitting next to Yahweh on His throne in the Third Heaven, waiting for ALL His enemies to be made His footstool, including DEATH, the last enemy! It’s a given that Yeshua is interceding for the saints while in Heaven.
Now let’s read Paul’s Rapture/Resurrection teaching in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible [First Resurrection], and we shall be changed. [Rapture at the same time as the First Resurrection at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT!] 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
56The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Do you see what the Holy Spirit is saying here? Our last enemy, DEATH, is dealt with at the Rapture/Picture Three of the First Resurrection! From Hebrews 10:13 we see that Yeshua stays in Heaven UNTIL this LAST ENEMY is dealt with when Yeshua raptures/resurrects the saints!!! Therefore, the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT happens at the same twinkling of the eye moment in time as the Rapture/Picture Three of the First Resurrection!! JESUS DOES NOT MOVE FROM HEAVEN BEFORE (not 1 minute, not 1 day, not 7 years before) THE END OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION, BUT ONLY ONCE DEATH IS DEALT WITH AT HIS SECOND COMING AT THE END OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION!!! Let that understanding soak into your spirit for awhile. It will revolutionize your rapture theorizing!!
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [died physically], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [Picture One of the First Resurrection during the JESUS 1.0 ADVENT], even so Yahweh will bring with Him those who sleep [are physically dead] in Jesus.
15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord [JESUS 2.0 ADVENT] will by no means precede those who are asleep [physically dead]. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of Yahweh. And the dead in Messiah will rise first. [Picture Three of the First Resurrection at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT] 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. [on earth as you should know by now] 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
Also included in the third set of pictures of the First Resurrection is the resurrection of the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11:11-12, “Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from Yahweh entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, [Third Set of Pictures of the First Resurrection] and their enemies saw them.” Come up and ascended are the same Greek word. From heaven and to heaven are the same Greek word also. So, where is Yahweh calling the Two Witnesses from? The Third Heaven of heavens or the breathable air heavens? Look where they ascended; into the clouds in the breathable air of the lower atmosphere!!! Remember, Yeshua and Yahweh are on their way DOWN to earth to establish the Kingdom of Yahweh on earth! This is THE RAPTURE/FIRST RESURRECTION twinkling of the eye! The Two Witnesses get raptured/resurrected at the same moment the rest of us do!! Are you getting the picture of the Rapture/Resurrection into your head? Yeshua is coming back to earth ONCE MORE, according to John 14:3 and Hebrews 9:28, two great rapture verses!!
And guess what, you could probably throw in the 144,000 virgin Israelites into this same Rapture/First Resurrection scene from Revelation 14:1-5, “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion [Jerusalem, Israel, ON EARTH!], and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2And I heard a voice from heaven [since this is the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT, this shows us that Yahweh is still hanging out in the clouds in the breathable lower atmosphere!], like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. 4These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to Yahweh and to the Lamb. 5And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of Yahweh.” [ON EARTH, VERSE 1 !!!]
It’s highly unlikely that ALL 144,000 virgin Israelites will survive the Great Tribulation, so they must be raptured/resurrected!! The throne of Yahweh/Yeshua is COMING DOWN TO EARTH, think of it as the Third Heaven of Paul’s experience in 2 Corinthians 12 coming down and possibly overlaying the physical Temple Mount in Jerusalem!! Think of it as Yeshua’s appearing, from the invisible world of the Third Heaven, to the visible world of Ezekiel’s Millennial Temple we see on earth. The multiple forms of the heavens do not necessarily mean distance above the earth, but different dimensions of unknown physics!
Daniel reveals the Third Set of Pictures of the First Resurrection. In Daniel 11:45 – 12:1-2, “45And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he [Antichrist] shall come to his end, and no one will help him. 1At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble [Last 3 ½ years of Great Tribulation], such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. 2And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, [First Resurrection at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT] some to everlasting life [First Resurrection at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT], some to shame and everlasting contempt.” The Second Resurrection 1,000 years later.
Daniel 12:12-13, “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.
13“But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.””
Here we see Daniel is promised that he will be resurrected at the END of the days. Notice that Daniel 12:12-13 speaks of the end-time timeline. As we learned earlier, it’s a blessing to reach the 1,335th day marker. Why? What’s important about that day? Check this out: Revelation 19:9, “Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of Yahweh.”” As I did earlier, I propose to you again that the 1,335th day occurs on a yet future Tishri 15, the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the marriage supper of the Lamb will occur on that day, then we will marry Yeshua and celebrate our wedding for the rest of the seven day Feast of Tabernacles, exactly what that Feast has been rehearsing for the last 3,500 years!! So, if you’re inclined to having fun with timelines, you can now count BACKWARDS from the marriage supper of the Lamb and reach many other dated events during the Tribulation!! Enjoy!
We find the definitive and final understanding of the First Resurrection in Revelation 20:4-6, “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. [In the Greek, this means a jury’s decision was handed to the judges who just sat down on the thrones. The “they” are not raptured/resurrected saints! Possibly the 24 elders?] Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Yeshua and for the word of Yahweh, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived [Third Set of Pictures of the First Resurrection] and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years. 5But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished [Second Resurrection]. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of Yahweh and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
You will have to ask John why he stuck the Second Resurrection right in the middle of his discussion of the First Resurrection. The second resurrection occurs about 1,000 years later. The Third Set of Pictures of the First Resurrection reveals the resurrection of saints martyred during the Tribulation! John clearly states that the Rapture/Resurrection that occurs at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT is the FIRST RESURRECTION! We just see the First Resurrection in prophetic Scriptural pictures.
In conclusion, Paul teaches us that the Rapture and Resurrection are one and the same event that happens at the same twinkling of the eye moment in time. The Third Set of Pictures of the First Resurrection all happen at the same moment, at the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT!! John 14:3, Hebrews 9:28, and Acts 1:11 teach us that Messiah is ONLY COMING BACK TO EARTH ONE MORE TIME! At this JESUS 2.0 ADVENT of Yeshua, all remaining dead saints, including all Old and New Covenant saints, including those martyred and other saints who died during the Tribulation, including the Two Witnesses and possibly including the 144,000 virgin Israelites, resurrect. Then all living saints, we who are alive at Messiah’s Second Coming, which may include some of the surviving 144,000 virgins, get raptured. We learn from 1 Corinthians 15 and Hebrews 10 that Yeshua remains in Heaven until ALL His enemies are dealt with, the last of which is DEATH. Revelation 20:6 shows us that the second death, or Lake of Fire, has no power over those Raptured/Resurrected during the First Resurrection, fulfilling 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, which teaches us that we have victory over death through Yeshua! 1,000 years later, when the Second Resurrection to the Great White Throne Judgment happens, DEATH is thrown into the Lake of Fire! Revelation 20:14, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
I believe the most beautiful thing to glean from this study is that ALL DEAD SAINTS ARE RESURRECTED, AND ALL LIVING SAINTS ARE RAPTURED, AT THE SAME MOMENT IN TIME AT THE END OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION AT the JESUS 2.0 ADVENT!! Any saints already in Heaven, like some Old and New Covenant saints may already be, when Yeshua returns to earth, return to earth with Him and the Father.
Gene Benjamin II
October 20, 2012 CE