What? There’s more than one resurrection?

Hebrews 11:35, A better resurrection. This verse indicates that there is more than one resurrection of the righteous dead, and that there is at least one resurrection that is better than another one. 

Likely, the first resurrection will be the best resurrection, since the righteous dead saints and the righteous living saints will be resurrected at that time to meet Yeshua in the air at his second coming. The resurrection/s that will occur subsequent to that (whether they occur during the millennium or at the white throne judgment) will likely be inferior to the first resurrection. Why is this? 

Those saints who will be part of the first resurrection are those who endured and overcame the world, the flesh and the devil and remained faithful to Yeshua against such opposition. They are the strongest and most righteous saints, since their mettle, loyalty, faith and endurance was tested under the most trying circumstances, and they still remained faithful to Yeshua. They will likely be those who will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19). 

Those saints who will be resurrected subsequent to that will have had to go through great refining trials because they are spiritually subpar. This will perhaps be because they weren’t faithful in living up to the spiritual light they were given, or perhaps because not as much was given to them in the first place, so not as much was required of them (note the Parable of the Talents in Matt 25:14–30; Luke 12:48). 

Those who come to faith in the millennium will likely have a lower reward, since their overcoming faith didn’t need to be as strong. This is because they lived during ideal times when evil was suppressed because Yeshua was ruling the world and Satan was imprisoned in the bottomless pit, thus making it easier to live a righteous life without the struggles and downward pulls of Satan and his demonically controlled world. 

All this goes to show that there are levels of rewards in the kingdom of heaven (e.g. Matt 5:19; Matt 25:20–23, 29; Rev 2:23; 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 20:12), even as there are levels of punishment (e.g. Luke 12:47–48). 

Those who are currently lukewarm believers and who turn their lives around now and who open the door of their life to Yeshua (Rev 3:20) becoming red hot for him prior to his first coming (and first resurrection; Rev 3:15), will have a chance to receive the highest reward in Yeshua’s kingdom, that is, to sit with Yeshua on his throne (Rev 3:21). This shows the mercy and grace of YHVH in that he can take even lukewarm saints who desire to turn their lives around and to repent and reward them with the highest position in his kingdom. 

Lest we get smug in our spiritual complacency, let’s not forget what Peter said, “the righteous are scarcely save” (1 Pet 4:18). Every saint living is lukewarm to one degree or another by YHVH’s highest, righteous spiritual standards. Those who don’t think they are lukewarm are blinded by their own pride and self-righteousness, which is the greatest sin of all (Prov 6:16–17)! In fact, the Bible teaches that our best righteousness is as filthy rags (Isa 64:6). Yet, at the same time, there is hope for us all to come to the higher spiritual level! This, however, won’t occur without our having to go through the refining fires of trials (Rev 3:18) or, for some, even great tribulation (Rev 7:14) at the end of the age prior to Yeshua’s second coming.

 

The Tabernacle and the “Deification” or Theosis of Man

The Tabernacle of Moses from its front to back represents one’s progression in their spiritual journey starting with their initial salvation leading to the glorification of the physical body and eternal life in YHVH’s eternal spiritual kingdom. This view is from man’s perspective looking into the tabernacle through the front gate.

From YHVH’s view inside the holy of holies above the ark of the covenant in the glory cloud looking outward, the perspective is different. We’ll discus this in a moment.

In the outer court of the tabernacle, all the rituals and furnishings pointed to death, judgment, to washing or cleansing. These prophetically foreshadowed salvation through Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross, with Yeshua being the door to salvation, acceptance of his death on the cross for one’s sins followed by baptism for the remission of sins. In the set-apart (kadosh or holy) place inside the tabernacle, everything pointed to life, light, food, fragrant incense, the fruits and gifts of the Set-Apart Spirit—or life in a spiritual relationship Continue reading


 

Do I believe in the rapture? Yes, but…

The Rapture

1 Thessalonians 4:17, Be caught up. Do I believe in the rapture? Yes, but not as many in the Christian church teach it. For them, the resurrection of the righteous dead occurs before the great tribulation — called the pre-trib rapture.

As you probably know, the word “rapture” is from a Latin word for being “caught up” (or resurrected) as found in 1 Thess 4:17 — “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air …” Therefore, a better question to ask would be, do I believe in the resurrection of the dead? Most emphatically I do. The only question is when do I believe the resurrection will occur? As far as I can tell, there are only three obvious answers to that question: before the great tribulation (as much of the Christian church teaches), after the great tribulation, but before the wrath of Elohim is poured out on the earth (what I believe) or after the great tribulation and the wrath (which is what some believe, including some Messianics), which is called the “post trib” position.

The word “caught up” is the Greek word harpazo (Strong’s 726/TDNT 1:472) which is Continue reading


 

When Is the Rapture or the First Resurrection and Who Will Be In It?

The Resurrection of the Dead — A Fundamental Doctrine of the Gospel
The concept of the resurrection of the dead is a fundamental biblical concept and one of the main doctrines underlying the gospel message as the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews states:

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Messiah, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward Elohim, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (Heb 6:1–2)

What Is the Rapture?

The concept of the rapture has bandied about in the church quite a lot in recent years. Many doctrines of men have risen up around this concept and captured the attention and hopes of many modern believers. Let’s explore the what the Bible has to say about the rapture.

The word rapture comes from the Latin word raptura, which is a translation of the biblical Greek word harpazo meaning “to seize, carry off by force, claim for one’s self eagerly.” The idea of the rapture is based on 1 Thessalonians 4:17 where the phrase caught up refers to the glorification of the saints at Yeshua’s second coming.

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up [Gr. harpazo] clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

The rapture, catching away or resurrection refers to saints receiving their glorified bodies — being changed from mortal to immortal. Those saints who are alive when Yeshua returns will be caught up to meet him in the air, while the righteous dead saints will be resurrected from their graves also meet the Messiah in the air at the same time. According to the Bible, the rapture or catching away will occur. The question is when does it occur?

The two primary passages in the Testimony of Yeshua (or New Testament) that speak about the resurrection are 1 Corinthians 15:51–54 1 and Thessalonians 4:13–17.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 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. (1 Cor 15:51–54)
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Yeshua will Elohim bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the YHVH, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of Elohim: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thess 4:13–17)

The First Resurrection

The rapture is simply a euphemism for the resurrection of the dead. How many resurrections of the dead are there? Continue reading