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Resurrection at Christ's Return

  • The Resurrection of the Dead is not one event, but a series of events.
  • In the scriptures we can "lock in" the timing of the first and second resurrections, with respect to Christ's return.
  • Premillennialism and postmillennialism are two opposing views relating to Christ's return, and the timing of the Resurrection of the Dead.


The first resurrection will happen when Christ returns at the start of the millennium, and the second resurrection will happen after the millennium.

Now we can lock in the timing of the second resurrection with respect to the first, by showing that it occurs at the end of the thousand year period known as the millennium. Therefore, the two resurrections are split apart by the millennium, with the first happening at its beginning and the second at its conclusion. All of this is made clear for us by the book of Revelation, which describes these events in their precise chronological order. However, we must start with the return of Christ as described in Revelation, because that is the primary event which triggers the rest, and will provide context for the rest of the passage.

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Revelation 19.11,13-15 KJV bible). The Word of God is another name for Jesus Christ, and this passage depicts his glorious return with the armies of heaven to wage war against the beast and his followers. He will strike down the nations with his sword of truth, and crush his enemies as grapes in a winepress, because they are so filled with unrighteousness.

"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army" (Revelation 19.19 KJV bible). Here we have the great battle of Armageddon, when the kings of the Earth are gathered together with the false prophet in opposition to the teachings of Christ. Being steeped in darkness, and deluded by their own vanity, they will think that they are secure. However, they will be devastated when Christ returns to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.

"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19.20 KJV bible). It's important to understand that there will be two beasts of the end times; one is a religious and political entity that gains control of the world, and the other is the devil himself masquerading as an angel of light. At the battle of Armageddon, both will be captured and cast into the Lake of Fire, which is eternal hell.

"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." (Revelation 20.1-3 KJV bible). This might seem like an apparent contradiction. If the false prophet, who is the devil playing messiah, is cast into the Lake of Fire, then how could he also be bound and put in the Abyss (see ch.2 Hades and Gehenna), for a thousand years? The answer is that it is the devil's role or incarnation as the false prophet which is cast into the Lake of Fire, not the serpent himself. In other words, his great fraudulent power with which he deceives the whole world is stripped away from him and thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, but he himself goes into the Abyss.

Now we can begin to establish the timing of the events that will constitute the great Resurrection of the Dead, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived [came to life] and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again [did not come to life] until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." (Revelation 20.4-5 KJV bible).

There is a lot happening in these verses. First, I should point out that there are two different ways of translating this passage. The first, and most common way, is that the martyrs "lived and reigned" with Christ. The other way is that they "came to life and reigned" with Christ. Either is linguistically acceptable, but if you look at the passage carefully, you will notice that the context demands it be translated that they "came to life". This is because when it is translated the other way the implication becomes that the thousand year millennium is the first resurrection, which doesn't work. The Resurrection of the Dead is an event, not a period of time.

Moving back to the message of the text; John sees the bodiless souls of Christians in heaven who have been martyred for witnessing against the beast, and describes how they come to life and reign with Christ for a thousand years. He identifies this as the first resurrection of the dead. The fact that they are martyred for refusing the mark of the beast tells us that this vision pertains to a time at the end of the seven year tribulation period. However, we also know that they are brought to life before the millennium begins, because they reign during the thousand year period. So we can lock in the timing of the first resurrection as occurring right between the end of the tribulation and the start of the millennium.

Jesus confirms this for us when he says in John 6.40, "every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6.40 KJV bible). Those who believe in Christ will never die in the spirit, and on the last day, not before it, he will raise them up as fellow heirs in his Kingdom. This last day is the Day of the Lord, which we already know begins at the return of Christ (see ch.19 Seventh Trumpet: Resurrection). So the faithful will be raised up on the Day of the Lord, specifically at the return of Christ.

The scripture then informs us that the rest of the dead will come to life when the thousand years are finished, "But the rest of the dead lived not again [did not come to life] until the thousand years were finished" (Revelation 20.5 KJV bible). Therefore, we can lock in the second resurrection as occurring at the end of the millennium. So we know that the millennium divides the two resurrections from each other.

"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20.6 KJV bible). Keep in mind that the first resurrection is not limited to only the martyrs from the tribulation, but all of the saints from all of the generations who reside in Paradise (see ch.4 Souls in Heaven), and also the survivors on Earth at the end of the tribulation. Being overcomers of evil, those who partake in the first resurrection will be immune from the second death, which is the Lake of Fire. However, the rest of the dead will have to wait until the end of the thousand years to realize their fate.

It's also important to understand the timing of the second resurrection in relation to the Day of the Lord. Notice what Jesus says in John 12, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12.48 KJV bible). This passage tells us that nonbelievers will be judged on the last day, which is the Day of the Lord. We also know that all nonbelievers will be raised up and judged in the second resurrection (Revelation 20.11-15). Therefore, if they are judged on the Day of the Lord and also judged in the second resurrection, then the second resurrection must take place on the Day of the Lord.

However, we've already established that the first Resurrection takes place on the Day of the Lord, "every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6.40 KJV bible). This raises some issues with respect to the timing of the two resurrections. How is it that the second resurrection will take place on the Day of the Lord, if we know from John 6.40 that the faithful will also be raised up on that day? This seemingly contradicts the thousand year separation between the two resurrections.

The key here is that the Day of the Lord is not a literal twenty-four hour day. Rather, it is a period of judgment and righteousness that starts at the second advent, continues on throughout the millennium, and ends after Judgment Day. So the Day of the Lord is a fairly long period of time, and everyone will be raised up at some point during it, either before or after the millennium.

There are different opinions about the timing of Christ's return and the millennium.

There are divergent viewpoints about the timing of the millennium in relation to Christ's return. Some feel that Christ returns at the end of the millennium for Judgment Day, and this view is called postmillennialism. Another view (the one I have been espousing up to this point), is that Christ returns before the millennium, and will reign here on Earth for one thousand years prior to Judgment Day. This view is called premillennialism.

Revelation 20 provides solid evidence that the latter view, so-called premillennialism, is the correct one. It does this by jumping forward in time to describe the events that will transpire after the millennium, "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth... And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20.7-8,10 KJV bible).

Notice that when the devil is thrown into the Lake of Fire at the end of the millennium, the beast and the false prophet are already there. If one argues that Christ returns at the end of the millennium (so-called postmillennialism), then how would they account for the beast and the false prophet already being in the Lake of Fire at that time. We already know that they are not defeated and captured until the battle of Armageddon, which is initiated by Christ's return (Revelation 19.19-20). Therefore, it's clear that Christ returns at the beginning of the millennium to depose of the beast and false prophet, and then at the end of the millennium comes Judgment Day, when Satan is joined with them in the Lake of Fire.

This same scenario (premillennialism) is also paralleled for us in Isaiah 24. Isaiah 24 similarly describes the return of Christ on the Day of the Lord, and then a gap of time before the final judgment. "The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again" (Isaiah 24.20 KJV bible). The context of Isaiah 24 is the Day of the Lord, when he pours his cup of wrath upon the inhabitants of the Earth because they have rejected his ways.

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth" (Isaiah 24.21 KJV bible). The kings of the Earth being described here are the world leaders holding high positions in the kingdom and government of the beast. They will be responsible for many of the sins done in the interest of their utopian dream. The host of the high ones refers to the fallen angels who will be on Earth at this time (see Revelation 12.9), and will be supporting the spiritual side of the beast.

"And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited" (Isaiah 24.22 KJV bible). They will all be gathered together as prisoners in the Pit, which is the deep levels of the underworld. In the Pit they will be cut-off from influencing the earth, and then after many days they will be visited or punished. This gap of many days before they are judged is the millennial period.

Isaiah again speaks of this millennial imprisonment when he says, "Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, They will ponder over you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth tremble" (Isaiah 14.15-16 NASB bible). The devil will be thrust down into the depths of the Pit during the millennium, and then only after the millennial period will he himself go into the Lake of Fire, where the beast and the false prophet are.

There is an order to the Resurrection of the Dead.

The Resurrection of the Dead is not a single all encompassing event, but rather there is an order and sequence to it. When Christ returns and the last trumpet is sounded, the first resurrection will take place. Then after the millennium the rest of the dead will be raised up. This timing of the resurrection is reaffirmed for us in 1st Corinthians 15.20-28. Let's carefully break down the passage to better understand it.

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1st Corinthians 15.20 KJV bible). Christ has risen from the dead, defeating both physical and spiritual death. Additionally, he has become the firstfruits of those that have passed on, because he has taken on his eternal form (see ch.16 Spiritual Bodies). No one else has yet resurrected spiritually, even of the saints who are in heaven.

"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1st Corinthians 15.21-22 KJV bible). Just as all die in Adam, who is the man of the earth, all will be brought to life through Christ, the man from heaven. It is through the power of Christ that every person will be raised up spiritually, and many will be joined together with him as Sons of God (see ch.18 Second Resurrection). Similar to Revelation 20, this passage also describes the Resurrection of the Dead as a "coming to life". This is because resurrection is the completion and realization of every soul, whether that spirit dwells in Paradise, Sheol, or is still in the flesh. Absent resurrection, even a soul that rests in Paradise has only obtained the guarantee of an inheritance, not the prize itself.

"But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (1st Corinthians 15.23 KJV bible). This is the order of the resurrection; Christ (who is the firstfruits) has already transformed, and then at his return those who belong to him will also be changed. This verse further confirms for us that the first resurrection, which is the resurrection of the righteous, will immediately occur at the second coming of Christ.

"Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet" (2nd Corinthians 15.24-27 KJV bible). The Father has put all of Christ's enemies under his feet, and Jesus will reign throughout the millennium until they are his footstool. This is why God says to him, "Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool" (Hebrews 1.13 KJV bible). Since the time of his ascension, Christ sits at the right hand of God which is in the position of authority and power (see Mark 14.62). It is through the power of God, working in Christ, that all rule, authority, and power that is counter to his own will be abolished.

However, we don't yet see all things subdued unto Christ, "Thou (God) hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him" (Hebrews 2.8 KJV bible). God has already put all things under Christ's feet because they are rightfully his, however, we don't yet see everything put under him. This is because he will not exert his full authority until the end of the age. He is allowing the world to run its course before the time of the harvest. This is similar to when someone buys a house and they immediately become the rightful owner of the property, however, there is a period of time before they move in and take possession of it. The world belongs to Christ, but he will not take possession of it until the end of the age.

"But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all" (1st Corinthians 15.27-28 KJV bible). God has put all things in subjection to Christ, but naturally God is excepted, because he is the one who gives all power and authority according to his will. Christ is the Living Word, the eternal truth without beginning or end, and the Father has commissioned him to strike down all the workers of iniquity and to judge between the sheep and the goats, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works" (Matthew 16.27 KJV bible). After Christ's work is complete and all things have been subdued to him through God, he will then deliver up the kingdom unto the Father, subjecting himself so that God is all in all. This will happen after Judgment Day, when the harvest is complete, the wheat has been gathered, and the tares have been burned (see ch.30 Eternal Torment).



Comments

Donnyel       10 Nov 2009, 01:25

Hi Doug,
I have really enjoyed what I have read so far. It has answered a lot of questions I have had. However, I have been wondering if Satan and the Devil are one in the same, or are they separate entities? If they are different, how are they different? I started to wonder this once I started seeing "The Devil, which is Satan."

Doug Buckley      10 Nov 2009, 15:55

Hi Donnyel, thank you for your question,
Just as Jesus has many names such as Christ, the Lamb Slain, Son of David, and the Morning Star, Satan also has many names. His names such as the devil, serpent, or enemy, describe different roles or indentifying characteristics through which he operates. So they are all the same individual, but the contexts and meanings of the different names are significant.

alfredo      09 Jun 2011, 17:43

Hi Doug,

When you said that the Day of the Lord is not a literal day but a period of time, i believe we can back that up with 2Pe 3.8 "But beloved do not forget this one thing that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.

Eudene Valle      27 Dec 2011, 15:38

Hello,
You do a decent job in trying to set forth what the Bible has to say about the Day of the Lord and the Resurrection. Here are a few points of constructive criticism which I think would make your scenario more accurate:

1. You rely exclusively on Rev. 20 for the framework for the timing of the resurrections. If you compare this verse with Dan. 12, which is talking about the same events, you see that the resurrection happens immediately after the "time of trouble unlike any that has existed from the time there have been nations." v. 1-2. "At that time," everyone written in the book will be rescued. Some will wake up to live forever, but others will wake up to be ashamed and disgraced forever. Id. When Daniel asks when these things will happen, he is told, "It will be for a time, a times, and a half of a time." v. 7. This the same period of time which Dan. says the "holy people" will be oppressed and handed over to the 4th world empire beast (Dan. 7:25), the same period of time the woman who gave birth fled to the wilderness prepared by God (Rev. 12:6, 14) and the same period that the nations trample the holy city and the two witnesses bear witness to God's revelation(Rev. 11:2-4

Jesus confirms that "immediately after" the tribulation unlike any that has ever happened since the beginning of the world, angels will gather the elect from every corner of the earth. Matt. 24:21, 29, 31. But live Christians will not go into the kingdom ahead of those who are dead so the resurrection happens at this time. I Thess. 4:15.

2. You cite 1 Cor. 15:20-28 to establish the order of the resurrection in relation to other end-time events. You correctly show that the resurrection order is 1) Christ the first fruits 2) those who belong to Christ at his coming 3) Then comes the end (of the OT age) 4) Christ hands over the kingdom to his father; Christ rules until every enemy is made his footstool (millennium). You correctly identify that we are in stage 4 where Christ is ruling. For further proof of this I would add Heb. 9:13. Yet you say, "No one else has yet resurrected spiritually, even of the saints who are in heaven." How can you say that if the resurrection happens at stage 2 and we are at stage 4?

I would assert that Christ came spiritually in 70 ad, the Day of the Lord happened in 70 ad, the living saints were translated into the kingdom (not of this world) at that time, the dead saints were raised at that time and entered the kingdom in their spiritual bodies. Since that time, every believer is resurrected spiritually at the time of his new birth and gets his spiritual body upon death. (This happens to each person in his own turn. I Cor. 15:23). The unsaved were raised to disgrace and everlasting shame in the sense that they were judged and their fate sealed. It may be that they are raised in another sense after the millennium is over for purposes of punishment.

Jesus told his disciples in the Olivet Discourse that, "When you see armies camped around Jerusalem, realize that the time is near for it to be destroyed. This is the time of vengeance. Everything written will come true. This generation will not disappear until all this takes place. The earth and the heavens will disappear..." Luke 21:20,22,32,33.

Eudene Valle

Doug Buckley      29 Dec 2011, 14:06

Hi Eudene, (made a couple corrections). I think you are mistaking in how you interpret Daniel 12. Revelation 20 is clear that there is more than one resurrection of the dead and a gap of time between them. Therefore one must fit this and other resurrection of the dead scriptures into the reading of Daniel 12.

Daniel 12.2 speaks of the second resurrection, which is from the dust (Hades). It has nothing to do with the first resurrection mentioned in 1st Thessalonians 4. The first one is alluded to in Daniel 12.1. Notice that Daniel 12.3 mentions the righteous shining forever and ever, which is the eternity. Then when Daniel speaks of the "wonders" in verse 6 he is talking about the whole context of the last few chapters, which is the tribulation period.

Prophecy is usually not a simple narrative, but moves back and forth giving bits and pieces of information, about specific dispensations of time. Notice that Isaiah 11.1-4 jumps all the way from the first to the second advents of Christ, which is a large gap of time even for a preterist.

As far as your second point, I'm not sure what you mean. Christ does not reign here now. He will receive the saints to him at the first resurrection. This first resurrection is the receiving of the bride. His enemies exalt themselves now, but they will be his footstool during the millennium. See chapters 23-38 on the right for more on this time.

Obviously because you are a preterist, we are not going to agree about the timing of the resurrection of the dead, or the millennium. The resurrection of the dead is related to Christ's return, and you believe that Christ has already returned. I am very familiar with preterism and actually agree on a number of points. I often find myself seeing the preterist side.

Still all things considered i am persuaded that Christ's return will literally be catastrophic like the days of Noah, and the nations or heathen will mourn (Matthew 24.30) because they will know they put their faith in the wrong things (Isaiah 2.20). After this time there will never again be a tyrant on earth (Isaiah 2.17), because Christ will literally reign over the whole world.

Eudene Valle      30 Dec 2011, 02:03

Hello Doug,

I'm a recent convert to preterism. I was a futurist for a long time. Then I was a partial-preterist post-millennial for about 2 years. Over the past few months, I realized I was just assuming a lot of what I thought about the Blessed Hope and Glorious Appearing and not carefully checking it out in the Bible. Since I have changed my mind in the past, I think I would change my mind again if I were convinced that it was correct according to the Bible.

I know that scripture is not a straight narrative and can switch back and forth between different times and concepts. However, this section of scripture is giving us several clues that it is talking about all the things which will happen during a discrete period of time. Dan. 12:1 starts with the phrase, "At that time," and then launches into a discussion of the Great Tribulation. The very next idea, which you concede is the 1st resurrection, also begins with the phrase, "At that time." This is strong evidence that both the great tribulation and the 1st resurrection happen at the same time i.e. at that time. Notice that "everyone" written in the book of the living will be rescued "at the time." The next verse seems to continue the same thought and gives no indication that the time frame or subject has shifted. Some are raised to live forever, others are raised to everlasting disgrace. I think this can be harmonized with Rev. 20 if you accept that the resurrection being discussed is a spiritual resurrection; and I Cor. 15 tells us it is. The unsaved are raised "at this time" for purposes of judgment of guilt and then are perhaps raised again after the millennium for purposes of sentencing and punishment.

The comment about the righteous shining forever is a poetic statement that refers to the glorious status of the righteous being sealed for all eternity, it is not a reference to the eternal state as such. Jesus said, "Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die." John 11:26. Jesus was speaking in the present to his contemporaries about something that is a feature of the eternal state but he was not talking about the eternal state. Clearly, all of his disciples believed in him and clearly they all died. Therefore, Jesus was speaking spiritually and not physically.

In your article, you said, "The Father has put all of Christ’s enemies under his feet," and, "Since the time of his ascension, Christ sits at the right hand of God which is in the position of authority and power (see Mark 14.62). It is through the power of God, working in Christ, that all rule, authority, and power that is counter to his own will be abolished."
So you concede that Christ is ruling as stated in I Cor. 15:25. Christ ruling and Christ handing the kingdom over to his father are two sides of the same coin. Christ turning the kingdom over to his father happens in v. 24, then Christ is seen ruling in v. 25. If Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, then they are ruling jointly.

Metaphorically speaking, Christ obtained the kingdom away from the usurper through his sacrifice on the cross and handed it back to it's rightful owner the Father. At the same time, Christ sat down at the right hand of his father and began to rule the kingdom jointly with his Father, a kingdom which is on the earth but not of the earth. I Cor. 15:22-26 is a chronological time line beginning with the resurrection of Christ and ending with the destruction of death. If, historically, we are in the period where Christ is ruling as stated in v. 25, then everything prior to v. 25 has already happened, i.e., the 2nd coming, the resurrection, the end of the age.

You said that Christ does not reign here and now. Why, then does the Bible say he does? "Good will and peace to you from the one who is, the one who was, and the one who is coming, from the seven spirits who are in front of his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the witness, the trustworthy one, the first to come back to life, and THE RULER OVER THE KINGS OF THE EARTH."Rev. 1:4-5. Daniel prophesied that in the days of the fourth beast, i.e. Rome, a stone cut from a mountain without human hands would smash all of the other kingdoms and establish an everlasting kingdom. Jesus was that stone. He was both a stone of stumbling for some and a rock of salvation for others.

Gabriel told Mary regarding Jesus, "The Lord will give him the throne of his ancestor David. Your son will be king of Jacob's people forever and his kingdom will never end." Luke 1:32-33. Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God was near during his lifetime. When the pharisees asked Jesus when it would come, Jesus answered that they wouldn't be able to see it because the kingdom is not of this world. Luke 17:20-21; John 8:23, 18:36.

If Christ is not ruling here and now, then why does Paul say, "Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors...And the prophet Isaiah said, "The heir to David's throne will come, and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hopes on him?" Rom. 15:8,12 Paul is quoting Isa. 11:10 and stating that this prophecy was being fulfilled at that time. If Christ is not ruling here and now, why does Jesus said, "All authority HAS BEEN given to me in heaven and on earth?" Matt. 28.18.

I agree that the resurrection events are catastrophic. But why are you convinced that they are literal and not spiritual? Being spiritual doesn't make it any less real. The destruction of Jerusalem was pretty catastrophic and was the visible evidence of the unseen spiritual realities that happened also at that time.

You mention that the first resurrection will be the receiving of the bride. Isn't the church the bride? Doesn't the church already exist? Isn't the church the New Jerusalem? "I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven, dressed like a bride ready for her husband." Rev. 20:21. Doesn't Hebrews say that we HAVE COME TO the New Jerusalem? "You (the NT faithful) have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem." Heb. 12:22

The Appointed Times aka Jewish Festivals are another way to confirm that the resurrection has already happened. Most people agree that the Passover, the Unleavened Bread, the First Fruits, and Pentecost literally happened at the appointed times in Jesus' earthly lifetime. How far away were the fall feast from the spring feasts? On the yearly calendar they were only 4 months apart. Likewise, the Feast of Trumpets (the resurrection, 2nd coming), the Day of Atonement (The Day of the Lord), and the Feast of Tabernacles (the Millennial kingdom, the marriage supper of the bride) all happened at their appointed times not too long after the spring feasts. On the redemptive calendar, it was 40 years after the spring feasts in 30 ad, the same period of time the Israel was in the wilderness before entering the physical promised land. Except in 70 ad, it was spiritual Israel who entered the spiritual promised land, the perpetual sabbath rest, the eighth day, and a lot of other wonderful things.

Many Jews rejected Jesus because they took things too literally. Man's tendency is to favor the concrete, the physical, and the literal; what we can see as opposed to what we can't see. If you were to catalog all the incidents in the NT where people were confused, surprised, or wrong about something Jesus said, how many of those incidents consisted of people thinking spiritually when Jesus was really talking about the physical or literal? I tried to think of one incident and I couldn't come up with one. All the ones I could think of involved people thinking literally when Jesus was talking about the spiritual. I think the dispensational hermeneutic of taking things literally by default if there' no clear spiritual indicator is bass ackward. I think a spiritual default rule is called for since the Bible is a spiritual book and Jesus spoke about spiritual things.



Doug Buckley      01 Jan 2012, 04:57

Hi Eudene, that's quite a post. Some of it is off topic, but I will try to address your main points. I somewhat agree with your first point, because the first resurrection happens when Christ returns, which is when the seventh trumpet sounds. His return effectively ends the tribulation.

Notice in 1st Thess. 4.16 Paul mentions the shout or the war cry of the angel, and the dead in Christ rising. This is Michael standing up to deliver the people of God (Daniel 12.1), who are written in the book. The gap is really between Daniel 12.1 and 2, when it makes no mention of the millennium and moves onto the second resurrection. Nonbelievers are the ones spiritually dead in the "dust", which is Hades (Revelation 20.13). Jesus' return will be the last day, which is inclusive of the millennium, though not always spelled out for us.

Further Paul says in 2nd Tim 2.17 that the idea that the resurrection had already happened is heresy, so he was clearly not saying that the resurrection had past.

As per the second point, I address this in ch.6, the wages of sin is spiritual death, and this is why Revelation 20.13 says that death gives up the dead that are in it, because it is the resurrection of nonbelievers.

I believe Christ reigns now in the Kingdom, and has become the heir of all kingdoms. He hasn't yet taken control of the world from the enemy, but it is his, and he has power over the enemy. This is what 1st Corinthians 15.27 means in that all things are (present tense) under his feet. God has already granted him the victory and reign, but the last battle hasn't come yet.

As far as Revelation 1.4-5 its not saying that he rules over them, but rather he is the prince or chief of the them (arkhone), meaning the highest in rank or authority, king of kings, whether they know it or not.

Regarding your next point, Jesus taught that the Kingdom was in their midst (Luke 17.20-21), and also that it will be nigh at hand when he returns (Luke 21.31). So which is it? The Kingdom is here but its not visible. When Jesus returns it will be visible to all (see ch.23).

I've already addressed the next point, but Paul's is just referencing Isaiah 11 and its clear messianic intent, being inclusive of gentiles. He's not saying that every aspect of that prophecy had already come to pass.

Further most scholars place Romans and 1st Corinthians being written between 50 and 60 AD which would make them of no support for preterism.

I don't disagree about believers being the New Jerusalem, but it hasn't been purified and received as the bride yet.

I don't believe that the events of 70AD are the fulfillment of what the prophecies describe about the Day of Lord. The heathen Roman army cannot be mistaken for the army of God (Revelation 19). Neither did any Roman emperor or general fulfill the antichrist prophecies of Revelation 13.13-18.

Christ's return has to be a catastrophic event where he literally divides between believers and everyone else (see Matthew 25.1-30). It can't be fulfilled because the ungodly still exalt themselves against Christ,

"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2nd Peter 3.7). "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2nd Thess. 1.8)

Lastly, I agree with you about literalism. I believe Christ fulfilled alot of prophecies relating to the restoration of Israel, not in 70 AD, but in his crucifixion and resurrection. We are still in this first Messianic phase. However, the second advent, when the nations will mourn and judgement will start at the house of God (1st Peter 4.17), cannot be fulfilled until Christ's literal presence is in the world.

Robert      08 Aug 2012, 12:37

Hi Doug...I find it fascinating that religions, churches automatically believe that when the resurrection of the dead takes place you rise fron the grave and not a spiritual place, abrahams bosom-paradise. Its amazing that everything in your articles I basically agree with. Could you please elaborate a little more on this subject of where your spirit goes immediately after death and how it will ressurect at Jesus return so that I may try to educate others on this subject. My mother is a Seven Day Adventist and of course you know they believe in soul annialation, I believe taking corenthians of of context when it says the dead know nothing

Doug Buckley      10 Aug 2012, 21:24

Hi Robert, good to hear from you. The resurrection of the dead is somewhat of a mysterious subject in the bible. Paul even says in 1st Corinthians 15.51, "behold I show your a mystery". Alot of people assume that because Jesus literally resurrected out of his grave, that the resurrection of the dead is the same.

The saints go to heaven when they die and everyone else goes to Sheol. See Chapters 1 and 2 about Sheol/Hades. See ch.4 about the saints going to heaven when they die. Seventh day adventists believe, very adamantly in soul sleep. They don't believe in an afterlife, but that the dead essentially don't exist until they are reanimated in the resurrection of the dead, (see chapters 10, 12, and 13 on this).
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