Questions & Answers

This is where we will attempt to answer any questions that have arisen from this study or any study for that matter. Please submit your questions to biblereasoning@hotmail.com

Question; There seems to be more than one resurrection mentioned in scripture. can you shed any light on this.

The Resurrections

There seems to be much confusion whenever the topic of Biblical resurrection is discussed. There are many different views and theories and interpretations. I have seen people arguing over this. Depending upon the view we take of the tribulation and the rapture and the millennial reign of Christ, it will slant our view of the resurrections. This lesson should help sort this out.

When I use the term resurrection, I am speaking of a person or persons that are raised from the dead and do not die again. This is not a simple restoration of a life, it is a resurrection for eternity, and it can be with Jesus Christ or it can be with Satan and His angels, that choice is ours to make. What I will attempt to set out here is what I believe scripture teaches about the resurrections. If you will hang in here with me I believe that we will see seven separate events.

We will see three resurrections and then a judgment. We then see three more resurrections and another judgment. Lastly we will see the final resurrection and the final judgment. We will be careful to put all of the scripture into proper perspective and find here a time line that will agree with each.

First, we must not jump ahead before we look at Revelation 20:4-6 because this resurrection is the first in a specific period of time, not the first resurrection ever to have happened.

Revelation 20:4 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 and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Revelation 20:6 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.

This resurrection takes place after the second coming of Christ which means that there have been others preceding it.

What would you believe to be the first resurrection?

Answer, it cannot be any other than Jesus Christ. The scripture is very specific on this point. Jesus was the first person to be resurrected that was never to die again. There were many restorations to life but all of the people brought back to life died again, Old and New Testament saint alike.

1Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Paul makes it very clear that Jesus is the one that paid the penalty for sin by His crucifixion, was buried and rose again from the dead never to die again.

All four gospels record the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 26:32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

Matthew 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Matthew 28:7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

Mark 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

Mark 16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

Mark 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Luke 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

Luke 24:3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

Luke 24:5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

Luke 24:6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

Luke 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Luke 24:8 And they remembered his words,

John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

John 20:2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

John 20:3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

John 20:4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

John 20:5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

John 20:6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

John 20:7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

John 20:8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

John 20:9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

This is the first ever resurrection to eternal life. The body of Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead never to die again, the scripture is quite clear.

One resurrection is past the next one is coming. Can you guess what it is? The second resurrection, this one is subject to interpretation.

Look at Matthew 27:51-53.

Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

Matthew 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

There is precious little to be said here. The scripture is short and we are not given much detail, but the detail we are given should suffice. The saints are an illustration of the resurrection of Christ and the many resurrections that will follow. It is assumed in Matthew 27:53 that they came out of the graves when Christ was raised (“after his resurrection”) and that they ascended to heaven when their ministry was finished (but not specifically stated or proven by scripture). This would also fulfill the typology of the feasts and grain offerings mentioned in Leviticus 23. You can read that one for yourselves.

The third resurrection, or second if we disregard the previous one, is going to take place at the rapture of the church. 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4:13-18 reads as follows.

1Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. This is referring to Christians.

1Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1Thessalonians 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: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

This is the rapture or catching away of the body of Christ. The dead in Christ will rise first. Please notice that it does not say that the Old Testament saints are being resurrected or anyone that died looking forward to a time when the Messiah would come. This resurrection is for the multitude that received Jesus Christ into their lives from the time of Pentecost and died in faith, waiting for and expecting the rapture of the Church. These believers were baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit did not inhabit believers until Pentecost.

From the time of Pentecost the Spirit takes up residence in the believer, whereas, before Pentecost the Holy Spirit would empower a person for a task and then leave, it was not a permanent indwelling.

We see the following in 1 Corinthians 15 verses 3, 4, 51 and 52.

1Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;

1Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:

1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1Corinthians 15:52 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.

This aligns perfectly with the book of 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4. This trumpet that sounds is not the last of the trumpets that sound in the book of Revelation, for it is the trump of God that brings the rapture of the church.

The very next event is the judgment seat of Christ. This is where the believers will receive rewards for the things that they have done to further the cause of Christ, called “good works”.

This is also where we shall loose the rewards that we could have received because we did the works with a selfish motive. If our works have been righteous, we will receive rewards that go along with the type of work that was preformed. If the works were done through our own effort and will, the works will be burnt up and lost, but the believer will still be saved for eternity.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

This leads us to the third, or fourth resurrection. We turn in the scriptures to the book of Revelation Chapter 11 verses 3 through 13.

Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

Revelation 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Revelation 11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

Revelation 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Revelation 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Revelation 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

Revelation 11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

Revelation 11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

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.

To learn the identity of the two witnesses you will need to look at the study of Revelation Chapter 11. Here we will look at the fact that God sets up two men to witness in the streets of Jerusalem, and they will prophesy for three and one half years.

After three and one half years they will be killed and their bodies will lie in the street for three and one half days. They will then be restored to life to the utter amazement of the unbelieving world and then taken up to heaven.

When do these two witnesses come on the scene? Is this the midpoint of the Tribulation Period or the end? These questions are covered in the study of the book of Revelation Chapter 11. I must leave you with a little cliff hanger.

These two witnesses are “taken up” into heaven. Now, do not confuse this event with the rapture of the church. We must take this scripture literally as we have taken all of the previous passages. This passage speaks only of two people ascending to heaven and we must not try to insert any symbolism here. The church has already been taken and this passage must not be spiritualized to mean anything other than two people being taken up.

We have now had three to four resurrections and three are to follow.

The next passages that we will wrestle with must be taken together so that we can receive the full meaning. We look at Revelation Chapter 7: 9-17 and Revelation Chapter 20: 4-6

The fourth or fifth resurrection.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Revelation 7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Revelation 7:11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

Revelation 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

Revelation 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Revelation 20:4 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 and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Emphasis added.

Revelation 20:6 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.

If we look closely we will find that the same multitude of people is mentioned in both passages, they are the saints who die or are martyred during the tribulation. So the natural question is when does this happen?

First, once again, this is not the rapture of the church. Second, this is not the return of Christ to the earth because He is coming down at the second coming with the church in tow and no one is going up. This resurrection takes place approximately at the time of the second coming of Christ.

This can only be the fourth or fifth resurrection. The tribulation saints are raised after the second coming of Christ. This will happen within a few days of Christ’s return.

Confused yet? Let me see if I can clear up any confusion. A careful reading of the book of Daniel reveals that there are some added days in the tribulation period. If you did not know that, may I suggest that you take an hour or so and read the book. Daniel is all about the tribulation period. Daniel was a prophet of God and we see Michael the archangel talking to Daniel and giving him this vision.

Daniel 10:14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

This passage reveals that there will be a resurrection of believers and unbelievers, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those that die in faith and those that die in unbelief.

We know from scripture the tribulation period lasts for seven years. The last half of the tribulation period is 1260 days or 42 months. See the study on Revelation Chapters 11, 12 and 13.

Now look at the following passages in the book of Daniel and notice the difference in the amount of days listed in the verses that deal with the tribulation period.

Daniel 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Emphasis added.

Daniel 12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. Emphasis added.

1290 days Daniel 12:11

1335 days Daniel 12:12

There are 360 days in the Jewish calendar. The last half of the tribulation period is three and one half years which equals 1260 days.

The difference is between 1335 and 1260, or 75 days.

Do you see the apparent problem? We have 75 more days in Daniel that we have in Revelation. Why?

I believe this is the time that:

The 1335 days marks the time period from the midpoint of the tribulation period to the millennial reign of Christ.

Follows closely after the second coming of Christ to the earth.

In verse 11 the extra 30 days mentioned allow for the judgments that follow after the second coming.

In verse 12 the people that live 75 days after the second advent, or 1,335 days from the midpoint of the tribulation, are called blessed and therefore must mark the beginning of the actual functioning of the millennial reign of Christ.

The people that die in faith during the tribulation period will be resurrected at this time. Those remaining in unbelief will not be resurrected until the end of the thousand year reign. You may find more information on this subject by reading the Bible verses that deal with this issue. Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and others.

Now, we have not talked about the Old Testament Saints. When are they resurrected? The fifth or sixth resurrection.

We read in the following passages of scripture.

Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

It seems that this resurrection is just after the end of the tribulation period, just before or just after the tribulation saints, but is separate from the tribulation saints. These are the Old Testament saints that died looking forward to a time when they would be redeemed. These saints all died in faith waiting for the promised Messiah but never having had the opportunity to receive Him personally into their lives. Remember, the Holy Spirit was not yet indwelling believers.

The sixth or seventh resurrection. The last resurrection will be at the Great White Throne judgment. We are now at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, and it is time to judge the wicked dead and those living that have rejected Jesus Christ.

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Every person that lived or died in faith has already been resurrected and now has his or her new incorruptible body. There is just one resurrection left and it is for every person who throughout the ages has said there is no God.

Psalms 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

It is for every person who worshiped at the foot of an idol whatever that idol might have been. Some made images and worshiped them, some worshiped money, possessions things that could be touched and some worshiped false gods that could neither see or feel because they were made of stone.

This section of scripture is also the final answer to the prayer of the saints of Revelation Chapter 6.

Revelation 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

Revelation 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

This is the final judgment of God on unbelievers, everyone that stands before the White Throne will be there because they have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 20:5 backs this up also.

Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished

Now let me ask you a question, where will you be at this judgment? Will you be standing before the White Throne or will you be with Jesus Christ in heaven. The choice is yours to make but you must make that choice while you still draw breath in this earthly life. God never sends anyone to the lake of fire. The people that will inhabit the lake that burns with fire and brimstone chose to go there by rejecting the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.