There are certain things that will just line up when you study the end times. One of these things that we have seen in the scriptures is how the repentance of Israel and the resurrection of the righteous dead both happen at the same time. Isaiah 26 was the text in the last post, now let’s move on to Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones, you can look it up for yourself in Ezekiel 37:1-14.
Note that the physical structure of the bones comes together first. Then after the bones, sinews, and flesh come together, the spiritual life comes after that. One thing that many people overlook here is the reference to physical resurrection from the dead at this same time. So many Pre-Millennialists will point out the spiritual birth of the nation of Israel at this time and miss the language that shows that the righteous dead will be resurrected here as well. Note these phrases:
Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
Here we have the resurrection of dead Israelites happening at the same time that the LORD is breathing spiritual life into the nation of Israel. This is the hope of the resurrection as it was known in the Old Testament being fulfilled at this time. Hebrews 11 has this relevant commentary on those who died in the Old Testament in relation to the resurrection. Take a look at these clips concerning the Old Testament saints:
…others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
If I could just sum up here; the Old Testament saints did not receive the promise of a better resurrection. Abraham died not having received the fulfillment of the promise that his offspring would be as the stars of heaven. The godly Israelites died not having received the fullness of the promise that all nations would be blessed through Israel. At the resurrection of the righteous, they will receive those promises. Israelites will be resurrected from the dead and enter the promised land to claim the inheritance promised to them by God.
Note especially that there will be no separation of a resurrection between Old Testament and New Testament saints. The passage is specific, "they without us should not be made perfect". One of the faults of dispensationalism is the separation of the resurrection of the church from the resurrection of Old Testament saints. This passage proves that claim to be false. All Old Testament saints are now a part of the body of the Messiah as are all New Testament saints. All are saved by faith and there is no middle wall of partition between us. There will be ONE resurrection of the righteous and it will happen at the coming of Christ.
Let’s fast forward to Revelation. When does the spiritual birth of Israel happen in the Revelation chronology? Sixth seal. At the sixth seal we have the cosmic signs, Revelation 6:12-14 (which we know from Matthew and Mark immediately precede the coming of the LORD), we have the terror of the nations, Revelation 6:15-17, and we have the sealing of the Israelite remnant, Revelation 7:1-8. Here at the sixth seal is where we see God once again using Israel as the light for the nations. Up until the sixth seal, we are still under the current dispensation. At the sixth seal, the church has officially provoked Israel to jealousy.
Now we would fully expect, based on Old Testament references, that the resurrection of the righteous dead would occur right at this point in the chronology, and it does. Revelation 7:9-17 gives the fulfillment of the resurrection as all who belong to the LORD from all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues are ushered into the presence of the LORD. These are those that have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. How can this not be the church in all its fullness including both Old and New Testament saints? Remember according to Isaiah 25:8, at the time of the resurrection of the righteous, God will personally wipe away tears from the eyes of all faces. Here in Revelation 7:17 God is doing this very thing fulfilling the scriptures that will happen at the resurrection.
The problem for the Pre-Trib Rapture and Classic MidTrib Rapture positions, is that the fifth seal is undeniably the Great Tribulation. The great multitude that is resurrected to stand before the LORD is said to come directly out of the Great Tribulation. PreTrib will usually concede that a resurrection of the righteous happens toward the end of Daniel’s seventieth week, but they insist that resurrection is only for Old Testament saints and "tribulation saints". They believe that the church saints will be resurrected before Daniel’s seventieth week begins. I cannot believe that based on Hebrews 11:40, with 11:35 as a backdrop. It would be a direct contradiction to that scripture, along with going against the current study I have just posted. There is no evidence in scripture to place a resurrection before Daniel’s seventieth week begins. It happens at the repentance of Israel, the spiritual birth of Israel, and at the sixth seal.
This post gets to the heart of the PreWrath rapture position. The resurrection/rapture stands right smack in between the Great Tribulation and God’s Wrath during the day of the LORD. The fifth seal is the Great Tribulation. The sixth seal is when the rapture happens. The seventh seal unleashes the LORD’s wrath as shown in the trumpets and the bowls. The church will be raptured before God’s wrath, but God’s wrath does not begin until the trumpets and bowls.
Note also there are some positions that claim to be PreWrath, but are not. PreWrath has become a very popular buzzword with many wanting to jump on the bandwagon. Some positions will place the sixth seal at the beginning of Daniel’s seventieth week, which is just bad exegetics. The sixth seal is well after the midpoint of Daniel’s seventieth week as the Great Tribulation is upon the earth. The sixth seal actually cuts the Great Tribulation short before the end of Daniel’s seventieth week has come. That’s the heart of PreWrath and if you don’t agree with those basics, you are not PreWrath. There is also the question of how long the Day of the LORD lasts which is a debate between PostTrib and PreWrath. With events that cover perhaps five months (fifth trumpet), extensive troop movements (sixth trumpet and sixth bowl), and Old Testament precedent (judgement on Israel over an extended period of time), I believe PreWrath has the upper hand with the Day of the LORD not being a literal day, but an extended period of time during which the LORD judges the unbelievers who had been persecuting the church. These judgements are described in the trumpets and bowls. This also is a part of the PreWrath position, so, sorry PostTribbers who want to hijack the PreWrath logo. You’ll have to agree with PreWrath basics if you want to be termed PreWrath.
Well that was a nice little rant.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman