Rather than view the resurrection as an event, how about in this post, we view the resurrection as a relationship. There are questions raised by Post-Tribbers concerning how those who become believers after a certain period of time will obtain their resurrection bodies if the resurrection/rapture is not at the seventh trumpet. So this post partially goes with the last post, but let’s go a little deeper.
When is the first resurrection? Are the rapture and the first resurrection the same thing? What happens to those who are saved after the rapture, as in, when do they receive their resurrection bodies? What happens to martyrs after the rapture, as in, when do they receive their resurrection bodies? What about the two witnesses?
My views: The rapture happens at the sixth seal at Christ’s second coming along with a resurrection of the righteous dead. This includes all saints from the beginning of creation, all Old Testament saints, all post-Pentecost saints, and tribulation martyrs. This is the first resurrection.
What about after that? How will the saved of the Millennial Kingdom receive physical salvation? Consider the following scriptures on the nature of the Resurrection Himself.
Once Christ returns, death will be swallowed up in victory, I Corinthians 15:51-55. Paul is writing of the resurrection of the righteous dead and the translation of living saints in this passage as he quotes Isaiah and Hosea. Hosea writes, "O grave, I will be thy destruction". Isaiah writes, "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; (fulfilled in Revelation 7:17) and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth". Once death is swallowed up in victory at this time, a new level of victory over death will have been brought to humanity by the LORD Jesus. This will be at His coming.
Consider the following verses concerning the resurrection spoken to Martha by Christ.
John 11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
Martha’s mistake was thinking that her brother would simply be resurrected at the last day. True, but instead, Jesus IS the resurrection. What Jesus told Martha ran against the grain of everything she saw. Lazarus already believed in Jesus, yet he died anyway. Instead of believing in the resurrection as an event, Jesus explained it as a relationship.
There is a timing for the resurrection laid out in scripture. However, once Christ is physically present on earth, we have THE RESURRECTION present with us. Do we make the subtle mistake that Martha made? Do we think of the resurrection as something Christ will do and forget about the fact that HE IS the resurrection?
I believe that the first resurrection will be at the sixth seal. Any resurrections after that will not be "mass resurrections" as the resurrection at the sixth seal, but instead, will be based on the fact that THE RESURRECTION HIMSELF is present here on earth. This obviously is something that we cannot fully comprehend in the here and now. Those who come to know Christ during the Millennial Kingdom will not necessarily have to wait until a certain timing for their resurrection body as we do today. Their physical resurrection will be based on the presence of the Resurrection with us here on earth.
By the way, I Corinthians 15:23, speaking of the first resurrection, "afterward, they that are Christ’s at His Parousia". That’s His physical presence on the earth which would extend all the way through the Millennium. So the first resurrection would actually be initiated by the sixth seal, but would be in effect as long as Christ is present on the earth.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman