Regarding Resurrections

In September, when I was wrapping up my Revelation series ((which – if you haven’t checked out – please do.  It’s not your typical Rev study.  It’s got awesome illustrations, a touch of Anna breathed in it’s delivery, and facts you might not have ever considered before.))  NoTe:  Those were long.  This also might be a little longer.  Okay.  …where was I…?

Oh!  In September, when I was wrapping up my Revelation series, I came upon a verse that really changed my outlook on the end times completely.  And frankly confuses me.  It’s Rev 20:4-5:

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: andIsaw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither, had receivedhis mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But therest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. Thisis the firstresurrection.

At the time, I said I wanted to talk more about this – delve in a little deeper, but because I had given myself the goal of Rosh Hashanna to finish my Revelation series, we pressed on.  HOWEVER…  ((grins!)) because of the sermon yesterday that sent me straight to Rev20 again.  And so here we are – talking about resurrections.  Because what he said was that when the Trib saints are taken from the earth, that’s the ‘Lamb/Goat’ separation of Matthew 25.  That is NOT TRUE…  and I will show you why.  Follow with me – this may clear up a LOT of stuff for you in regards to the end times.

RESURRECTIONS OF THE OT/NT.  First of all… there have been many ‘single-case resurrections’ in the Bible.  Jesus and Lazarus of Bethany are probably the best known.  The rich man’s daughter in Mark 5, and the widow’s son that Elijah raised are others.  There has even been a ‘group resurrection’… at Jesus’ death – tombs opened and the dead came out and witnessed.  ((We’ll talk more about that when I cover God’s cycles.))  But when Revelation talks about the first resurrection, it’s speaking of a major event.

FIRST RESURRECTION = JUDGMENT #1?   Here’s where I get a little confused.  Because I always assumed that we don’t enter Heaven without being judged first.  Romans 14:10b-12 confirms that:

For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

So, there must be a judgment for those who are raptured, or we can’t go to the marriage supper of the Lamb, right?  Or is there?  Since Jesus already took our judgment for us at Calvary, maybe we don’t have to?  But if the judgment seat isn’t until after the Trib, does that mean we spend time with Christ, and when the time comes, we are pardoned at the Great white throne?

TWO THRONES?  A lot of people hold that there are two distinct judgment seats spoken of in the BIble  We just saw the first one… the ‘judgment seat of Christ’.  Paul further confirms this in 2 Cor 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.

If this is true, (and I’m guessing I’m leaning this way), then we will appear – at the Rapture – at the judgment seat of Christ, before entering Heaven.

WHO IS PART OF THE FIRST RESURRECTION?   Well, we know that the Trib saints are part of the first resurrection, because of Rev 20:5.  And if there *are* two thrones, this ‘resurrection’ must take place in two phases.  Because the first group (or phase) of this judgment takes place at the rapture.  The dead in Christ shall rise, and the living in Christ rise after and both sets of people meet in the air.  Then there’s a 7-year marriage celebration going on in heaven during the Trib (see Esther 1:5, Judges 14:17 to see that this follows Biblical precedence)… and at the end of that, after Christ goes to earth, the Trib saints are taken up and are the second group (or phase) of the First Resurrection.  At which point John (in Rev 20) says “This is the first resurrection’… as if he’s closing that throne, and ending the major event that it was.  When I saw that, it all made sense.

SECOND RESURRECTION.  If there is a First Resurrection, is there a second?  It stands to reason, doesn’t it?  And here we find the answer, just a few verses down in Revelation 20:11-15, after the Millineal Kingdom:

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. 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.  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.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT.   This throne is where the second resurrection takes place.  First, it’s happens as the earth as we know it is gone.  This resurrection isn’t for those who were raptured, nor is it for the Trib saints – they’re already taken care of in the first resurrection (which ended six verses ago).  If you look at this, it’s for the nonnies of the OT, the NT, and the Millenium, as well as for the saints of the Millenium.  This is where Matthew 25 comes in, as those whose names are writting in the book of life are taken to the right, and those who are not found in it are responsible for their sins and will be cast to the left.  Now if the Judgment seat of Christ and this Great White Throne are the same thing, then we’ll be absolved here as ‘sheep’ with the other righteous.  If it’s not, then we were absolved at the Judgment seat of Christ, and this is a second judgment for the second resurrection.

I don’t know which is right, frankly.  All I do know is that Matthew 25 cannot refer to the rapture of the Trib saints at Armegeddon, because there is no judgment involved in that scene, aside from the first resurrection, which involved no ‘goats’, so couldn’t be Matt 25… that’s reserved for the Great White Throne after earth is destroyed post-Millineum.  So regardless of one judgment or two, pastor wasn’t right.  I don’t know which is correct, but to be honest, it doesn’t matter.  I’m redeemed either way.  But if you think you get it better than I do, feel free to let me know which verses and why.  Because I’m leaving it at this.

I might be back to update this at naptime… I don’t remember where the OT righteous figure in (I don’t remember if they’re raptured before the Trib or not), but it was in one of my Revs.  I have to do some back-reading to find it, and the verses pertaining to it.  And it’s school-time… although it really isn’t pertinent to us, as we aren’t part of that group.  Hrm.  Maybe if I’ve already covered it, I won’t bother.  Anyhow, now you can see the difference.  I hope I didn’t confuse anyone worse.  There are two plausible scenarios… I just don’t know which is right.  But that should get you thinking!

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