RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT
CONT., page 5
BIRTH—NATURAL AND HEAVENLY
Let us here address yet another related compelling matter. In light of the dramatic change whereby the time of determining faith comes to an end and everyone believes in the Son of God, beginning in the Millennial Reign, it is very doubtful that natural birth will continue. Anyone who would be born during this time onward would never have the opportunity to exercise determining faith. This is not a solely conclusive reason, for those who died prematurely, or even those who never seemed to be afforded the opportunity to hear and believe, were also excluded from faith. But to be placed in a time when faith was not even an option on the earth would be unique to all mankind.
With the coming of Immanuel and the pure kingdom of heaven that will be established in the Millennial Reign, the emphasis from there on will be the new heavens and new earth. Therefore, Yahweh will seemingly take all men whom He has created for six thousand years, and now train, perfect, and in time transform them into His image. The number six is in fact the number of earthly man, who was created on the sixth day, and it is fitting to complete the creation of mankind on the sixth “day” as well. God created the natural earth in six days and then rested. Therefore, it is quite fitting that at the completion of these six thousand years in which He has created mankind, He will equally rest from creating men.
Furthermore, we have noted in previous writings that fertilization of the human egg is nothing less than the testimony of Satan being cast down to the earth. This body of sin we possess which is from this earth comes to us by the serpent-looking sperm being cast down to the earth-looking egg. Therefore, will this shadow of bringing forth cursed offspring come to an end as well? If death ceases, and if Satan is bound, it seems that birth might also cease. Remember, under the Law of Yahweh the seminal emission of the male, the menstrual cycle of the female that makes ovulation possible, as well as birth itself, were all unclean acts, requiring time periods, washings, and offerings for purification.
Additionally, when the second resurrection takes place at the end of the Millennial Reign, if a woman had been married to, say, three different men, who each died, or vice versa, to whom would she/he be married? Though they will not yet be in immortal bodies that are neither male nor female, evidence is that birth in the flesh will not be taking place, but will be elevated towards the higher fulfillment of spiritual fruit, spiritual offspring. Remember, with the advent of Immanuel, the nations will no longer be ruling, and the focus and purpose in life will dramatically change! The emphasis will no longer be physical gain and pleasure, but now spiritual gain and value.
And let us note as well, when the Millennial Reign comes, the church will have already experienced the fulfillments of both the former rain (shemen) and the latter rain (shemen). As has been noted, these two outpourings of the Spirit, the fresh oil shemen, are conjugal in nature and effects. These having been fulfilled, there is no reason for the natural foreshadowing testimony of intercourse to continue. This would be no more necessary than the need for a natural temple in Jerusalem or the sacrifice of a lamb. When the fulfillment comes, the natural testimony is replaced and done away with.
We have briefly considered natural birth, let us now turn our attention to Yahshua’s resurrection and the matter of heavenly birth. This will occupy the remainder of this section.
We have already noted that the first Remnant must first resurrect from the dead, and then they and the second Remnant ascend alive together to meet Yahshua in the air. As addressed in the writing, Ascending Alive, these are in heaven for fifteen days and thereupon fulfill Yahshua’s instruction that we “must be born from above.” This is the literal translation of John 3:3 and 7. Man has been born of woman thus far, but no one, other than Yahshua, has been born from above. Everyone up to now has gone to sleep. When the united two Remnant return with Immanuel, they will come as the promised “first fruits to God,” the “first fruits among His creatures.” They will be the first of mankind to be born from above, as Yahshua declared.
We know that Yahshua was from above; but, the body provided to Him by Mary was not from above but from this earth. It, like our own bodies, was from below. Its identity with the earthly was very much proven when He died on the cross and His body was buried in the tomb. Three days and nights later, of course, He resurrected from the dead, and on that day revealed Himself to various people. So, the question is: Was He immortal when He came out of the grave, or was He like Lazarus and all the others who had been raised from the dead?
Most Christians think that Yahshua was immortal at His resurrection. But was He really? Why would He be? At that point, like all the others that He Himself had raised from the dead, why would He be any different? He had not yet gone to heaven and restored man and the Garden kingdom through His vow as a Nazirite. Nor had He gone to heaven to sprinkle His blood in the heavenly holy place. In fact, if He was immortal at His resurrection, He would have had no blood.
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. … Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own [Hebrews 9:11-12, 23-25].
Yahshua had to enter into heaven as a man, not only to take His blood before the Father; but most importantly, in order to prepare the way for us as flesh men. In order for us to ascend alive in these mortal bodies, Yahshua had to precede us and do likewise. For our sake, He had to go into heaven as a man. The first Remnant must be resurrected back into their earthly bodies, and we the second Remnant will most certainly be in ours. Therefore, if we are to ascend alive in our mortal bodies, Yahshua had to do the same as “the first fruits of those who are asleep.” Again, it was essential that He precede us in the same manner as we will ascend, preparing the way for us. He came as a man like us, living in a mortal body; and for this very reason He had to complete that process and ascend alive into heaven as a man with that earthly body. In every regard He prepared the way for us, even in ascending.
As you will see, not only did Yahshua clearly state His restored flesh existence to be the case, but three times He demonstrated it—twice before He ascended, and once immediately upon His return from heaven. When He arose from the dead and came into the midst of the apostles and others who gathered with them, they thought He was a spirit. “… He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be to you.’ But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit” (Luke 24:36-37). Yes, He had resurrected from the dead, but what kind of body was He in at that time? Was it already a born-from-above immortal body, or was it His resurrected flesh body? If it was born from above, then how could that be the case, for He had not yet ascended to the Father, as He had told Mary outside the tomb: “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God’ ” (John 20:17). And if He ascended that morning, then why did He ascend into heaven late that evening? “And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50-51). More on this shortly.
So, what kind of body was Yahshua in at His resurrection and into the evening? In Luke 24 He provides the first two testimonies as to His mortal state:
And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?  See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them,  “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them [verses 38-43].
What could be more natural in what Yahshua did so as to prove His resurrection into a mortal body? First He told them to look at the wounds on His hands and His feet, and even asked that they touch Him and see that He was a man just like them. He was just as much a man as was Lazarus who had likewise resurrected from the dead just a few days before. But even so, it says that out of joy and amazement they still could not believe, so He provided yet a second conclusive evidence: He asked for and ate some broiled fish. This Peter confirmed in Acts 10:41, saying that he was among those “who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.” It was evening, and they in fact shared a meal together, just as they had so many times before He was crucified. Most certainly, after the meal they all believed He was flesh.
How much more natural and compelling testimony did Yahshua need to evidence that He was still a mortal man who had come out of death, even as He had performed and demonstrated in raising others? But still today, most Christians think that He was spiritual here, despite His own concerted efforts to demonstrate otherwise. No, He had not yet ascended to the Father so as to offer His blood as an offering and to fulfill the eight-day process so that He would be the first to be born from above as He had instructed Nicodemus.
Believers throughout history have been like the Jews who elevated the coming Messiah so much that they could not accept that He would be a natural man of such humility and servitude. In like manner, Christians elevate Yahshua’s resurrection so much that they cannot accept that He resurrected as a natural man. In body, He was a man just like us, even at His resurrection.
We have already noted that one of the critical reasons Yahshua had to be in heaven for eight days was to fulfill the requirements of the Nazirite vow (Numbers 6:10-12). But also, it is possible that He was not circumcised of His flesh, His earthly body, until that eighth day, as equally required by the Law (Genesis 17:12, Leviticus 12:3, Luke 1:59). Therefore, having prepared the way for us in His earthly body, which was critical, after those eight days in heaven whereupon He would have received His born-from-above immortal body, He could, and did, return to this earth.
Backtracking momentarily, in John 20:19-20 we find essentially the same post-resurrection account as that in Luke, less the meal:
So when it was evening on that day, one of the sabbaths, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Verses 24 and 25 then tell us that Thomas was not there at that time, but he was there when Yahshua returned after eight days. Let us continue in the John 20 account, verses 26-28, that address His return back to earth now in His born-from-above body.
After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Here we find the third testimony that Yahshua was in His mortal body throughout the day of His resurrection. What is the difference here in this account, versus the earlier accounts in John and Luke? We see that before Yahshua ascended into heaven in His mortal body, He told the disciples to simply look at His wounds. But, after He had been born from above into His immortal body, He now could tell Thomas to place his finger into His hands and his hand into His side. This was not possible when His body was mortal. Thomas had even stated this test beforehand (verse 25), and is yet another testimony designed and provided by Yahweh that, yes, “touch Me and see,” He was in flesh like any man. “Have you anything to eat?,” I am still a flesh man. But after eight days in heaven, He demonstrated the very thing that He had told Nicodemus—“you must be born from above.” “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
Also, after Yahshua’s true ascension and birth into a born-from-above body, it is noteworthy that when He later provided fish and bread to the disciples who had fished all night, He served it to them but it did not state that He ate any. “Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise” (John 21:13). This is a clear and telling contrast, once again, to when He was still in His earthly body and ate the meal with them in order to prove its mortality.
And let us note here as well that just because Yahshua said “for a spirit does not have flesh and bones,” it does not mean He did not have blood, as many have purported. He was simply telling them that He was a flesh man as well. This suggested absence of blood at that time is no more valid than to say that Eve was absent of blood when Adam likewise declared, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23). And if He had said He was flesh and blood, would that have meant that He did not have bones? This identification of man as flesh and bone is a like description mentioned several times in the Scriptures, including Job 10:11, Psalm 38:3, and Lamentations 3:4. And remember, according to Hebrews 9:11-12 and 23-25, He had to have His blood so as to bring it into the holy place.
Some might also read these accounts in Luke 24:31 and John 20:19 and object that by Yahshua’s sudden appearance in the room, or even His like departure from the two men whom He met on the road to Emmaus, this proved that He was in a heavenly body: “and He vanished from their sight,” and “Jesus came and stood in their midst.” If that is the case, then one would also have to say that Phillip was in a heavenly body as well when “the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him” (Acts 8:39). If the Spirit could snatch Philip in his natural body away from the Ethiopian eunuch, then He could well do the same for Yahshua in His born-from-the-grave natural body.
Let us also provide yet another evidence that Yahshua did not yet ascend to Yahweh on the day of His resurrection. As noted in the writing, The New Millennial Calendar, page 10, the Jews’ seventh-day sabbath during Unleavened Bread was the second chief sabbath when Yahshua resurrected from the grave on Saturday, April 4, 33 A.D. The following day, Sunday, would have been First Fruits where they had the wave sheaf offering. Very importantly, if Yahshua had ascended into heaven on the day of His resurrection to receive a born-from-above body, then He could not have been the First Fruits wave sheaf offering to Yahweh God. To be that offering He had to ascend on the day after His resurrection, and this is precisely what we find here. Also, this fact is quite essential in that, as we have seen in 1 Corinthians 15:20, Yahshua was identified as “the first fruits of those who are asleep.” This He fulfilled with His ascension into heaven on First Fruits, the day after the sabbath. Let us now more carefully examine these events leading up to His ascension.
We have read in John 20:19: “So when it was evening on that day, one of the sabbaths, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst.” It had to have been getting quite late in the day, for the two men who spoke with Yahshua on the road to Emmaus had already noted, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over" (Luke 24:29). They had just arrived to tell the disciples that they had seen Yahshua, when He came into their midst. How much time had elapsed from when they said this to Yahshua, to when they spoke to the disciples? The journey from Emmaus to Jerusalem was seven and a half miles. If they had run the entire distance, that would have taken them over an hour. So it was most certainly getting late by then.
According to Peter, Yahshua then ate and drank with them at that evening meal. We are also told that He taught them from the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms, and “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). This certainly would have taken a while as well. Then after all of this, He led them out to Bethany, which was about two miles from Jerusalem. Walking that distance would have taken about forty minutes.
Accounting for all of this, and in light of the Law of the First Fruits wave sheaf offering, by then it was certainly after sunset, making it the next day according to the Jewish calendar during that time. Remember, when the two men from Emmaus talked with Yahshua, even then they stated, “the day is now nearly over.” In order to fulfill the law of First Fruits, He then ascended into heaven, as we read: “… He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50-51). Thus, all things considered, Yahshua finally ascended to the Father as He had told Mary to instruct the disciples.
Also, since He had to ascend that next day as First Fruits, this would explain why He delayed until about midday to show Himself to the two on the road to Emmaus; but more significantly, it was not until the evening that He revealed Himself to the disciples. Obviously He revealed Himself to them toward the end of the day so that He would ascend after its conclusion. And for your information, the moon would have been a little less than full, so they would have had no trouble traveling, even at night if necessary.
Frankly, it is MOST naïve to consider that a grave could birth Yahshua into a heavenly body. That is absurd! How can a grave be the womb of heaven? It is not. The only way He could have been the first to be born from above into an immortal body was to go to heaven, be circumcised of His earthly flesh, and from heaven be birthed. The grave IS NOT a substitute for heaven, and cannot in any way birth the heavenly, anymore than Hagar could have birthed Isaac. There is a vast difference between being born from the grave and being born from above. Heavenly Jerusalem is the only one who can birth the heavenly, the immortal (Galatians 4:26-27). At best the grave is sheol, even hell, and prevails until heaven can birth man so as to descend here to earth to those who are in captivity to sin and death and in darkness (Ephesians 4:8-10). (Read “Angels Will Bear You Up” for more evidence regarding Yahshua’s and our own ascension in earthly flesh, and who it is who actually carries us to heaven.”)
So, with all of the compelling evidence that Yahshua resurrected into His mortal body, which He possessed throughout that day, and ascended alive after that evening, why is it that most Christians believe that He was birthed out of the tomb into immortality? Undoubtedly, a lot of this belief is tied to what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15, particularly verses 42-44, which we read here:
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
Based on this passage, one would assume that the transformation of the dead into an imperishable spiritual body is instantaneous; but clearly this cannot be and is not the case. So what was Paul speaking of here? Paul was given tremendous and vital revelation as a man; but in this passage, it was in general and not a complete account. In like example, in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 he was able to reveal that the dead in Christ rise first, and then he states, “we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air ….” Who knows what Paul was thinking when he said in a personal and specific way, “we who are alive and remain.” Was he thinking at the time, as much of the New Testament was written, that Yahshua’s return was imminent and he would be a part of the company—“we”? But there was one thing that Paul never foresaw, something that is only now being revealed in these last days, and that is that he and all of Christianity are a breach! Paul did not see this critical breach!
Yes, He saw the general principle that those who were dead would rise first, and that those who were alive at the time of Immanuel’s coming would ascend alive. And he knew that it would be at the sound of a trumpet. As he stated in verse 15, these things he spoke “by the word of the Lord.” But what Paul was not given understanding of was that the two companies that fulfill this are the “two sons of fresh oil,” the two olive trees, even the two Remnant. Furthermore, he knew nothing concerning the legal necessity that the Body of Christ be split as well, and would be split by the Millennial Reign. Undoubtedly when he wrote this, he thought that it applied to Christians, but it does not. In fact, as you will see shortly, he describes yet another distinctly different resurrection that he and all of Christianity will be in.
In 1 Corinthians 15, verses 51-53, Paul stated something that he called “a mystery.” Here we read:
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Clearly, this was a mystery that Paul did not know the full and complete conclusion thereof. He wrote these things by the Spirit, and was given just what he needed to know and say. This is the same in Ephesians 5:22-33, where in verse 32 he made the like statement, “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” Here he sees that the church needs to submit to Yahshua as a wife submits to her husband. Christians take this and claim that the Body of Christ is therefore the Bride of Christ as well, when clearly they are not. Here again Paul could not fully see the fulfillment of this equally acknowledged mystery, as Christians to this very day also cannot see. They do not see that, as testified in Adam, the Bride is taken out of them, out of the sleeping Body. This is equally attested when Yahshua’s side was opened after He was also put to sleep, and out came blood and water. Like Christians today, Paul did not see the whole picture so as to understand that first the Bride enters into immortality, followed by the Body.
What we find in 1 Corinthians 15 is that Paul revealed the general truth regarding resurrection, but lacked the fuller expression of this truth, and, once again, an understanding of the specific fulfillments. For example, we read in verses 42-44, laid out here for clear comparison:
It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;
it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory;
it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
This is indeed true if one backs off to see the big picture, but it lacks essential specificity. All men will enter into the latter, but each in their own order (to be addressed in the next section). When we read these, there is something distinctly absent in this sown/raised comparison that would not have fit. In verses 40 and 47-49, Paul contrasts our present bodies with those that are to come which are “heavenly.” But in verses 42-44, the absence of the mention of the “heavenly” body is quite revealing. Once again we see that Paul could not understand the details of what he wrote here, but laid out the general truth that would not be more fully understood until the fullness of time. In verses 40 and 47-49 we read, again in comparative contrast:
There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies,
but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.
The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.
As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
That which is absent in verses 42-44 is to say that the dead are raised in the heavenly. They are not. In fact, it is clearly stated in verse 47 that “The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.” Why are the words “heavenly” or “heaven” not in verses 42-44? Because the dead are not raised in the heavenly, and therefore this is entirely absent in those verses. The first Remnant are raised in the earthly, and then ascend into the heavens in these earthly bodies; but no one is ever raised from death in the heavenly, not even Yahshua Himself.
The question once again demands to be asked: How can a heavenly body be obtained here on earth? It cannot be obtained here. It is quite obvious that in order to obtain a body that is “from heaven,” it has to be obtained IN heaven. Would one go to heaven to obtain an earthly body? That is ludicrous to even ask. It is equally ludicrous then to believe that we, or even Yahshua, obtain a heavenly body from the earth, and even doubly ludicrous to think that we receive one from the grave. Thus, as has been stated, clearly Paul was talking in generalities in verses 42-44, and did not mix these statements with what he was seeing and saying in verses 40 and 47-49 regarding the heavenly. He had the facts, but rightly kept them separated, and could not and did not tell the whole story. Again, as Yahshua clearly stated, we MUST be born from above, and the only way to do that is to go to heaven with this body and redeem it for the heavenly, just as Yahshua, the first fruits of those who are asleep, testified. The heavenly body is obtained from only one place—heaven!
Therefore, the idea that Yahshua came out of the grave in an immortal body based on 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 is not accurate. To receive His heavenly body, He had to go to heaven to get it, and He did not do that until after the evening so as to be the First Fruits wave sheaf offering.
Furthermore regarding these verses, we also know that at the second resurrection the vast company of “the rest of the dead” come forth from the grave, and clearly they are not in born-from-above bodies. But, will they physically die? We have already seen that at that time “there will no longer be [physical] death” (Revelation 21:4). One could then say that, technically, they will be raised imperishable. Is this not true? The Greek word for “imperishable” is “aphtharsia,” and refers to perpetuity, or unlimited time. This meaning is evidenced in 1 Peter 1:23, where we read: “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” Thus, living and enduring describes imperishable, the very state of mankind upon the second resurrection.
This being the case, when Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 the mystery that “we will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet,” it can rightly be questioned whether this is the first resurrection of the Remnant, or in fact the second resurrection of “the rest of the dead.” One has to ask here if there is an intended difference between “the trumpet” in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 where “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout … and with the trumpet of God,” versus “the last trumpet” in 1 Corinthians 15:52? Is the last trumpet sounded specifically at the second and last resurrection? A comparison of these passages indicates this to be the case.
In Numbers 10:5-6 we see the testimony where a trumpet, or trumpets, are actually blown two times. In addition, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 the first resurrection is identified not only with the trumpet, but with a shout: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” This is the very testimony we find in these two soundings of the trumpet in Numbers 10:5-6:
“But when you blow a shout, the camps that are pitched on the east side shall set out. When you blow a shout the second time, the camps that are pitched on the south side shall set out; a shout is to be blown for them to set out.”
These two shouts certainly seem to testify of the two resurrections. The first trumpet brings forth those who are on the east side, even the eastern gate that provides the water that heals the sea, as well as the coming of Immanuel (Ezekiel 43:1-4, 47:1-8). This most certainly testifies to the first resurrection. The second or last trumpet brings forth those on the south side who are the rest of the dead and will enter into the great white throne judgment.
There are in fact several noteworthy and revealing differences in these two similar yet distinctly different accounts, affording light and definition relative to the two resurrections. In addition to the testimony of two different trumpet soundings, you will notice that the first Remnant in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is identified specifically as “the dead in Christ.” However, in the last-trumpet account when not only Christians but “the rest of the dead” will resurrect, verse 52 merely states that “the dead” will be raised. This is an important distinction, for if it had repeated “the dead in Christ,” then this could not have been the second resurrection, for the nations are resurrected here as well. Thus, appropriate to the second resurrection, the latter merely said “the dead.”
Also, most significantly, in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 Paul did not include the ascension of those who are alive and remain at Immanuel’s coming as stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:15. They were just the dead. Neither were there two companies that are caught up together to meet Immanuel in the air. They were simply resurrected. Why would he not add these integral events except that the last trumpet was a resurrection separate from and later than that in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17? The latter would instead be one large company of the dead consistent with the second resurrection of Revelation 20:13-14.
Furthermore, while the 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 resurrection leads to being caught up to heaven, affording them their born-from-above bodies, Paul does not say that the last trumpet will catch anyone up to heaven. Instead, remaining on this earth, the perishable simply puts on the imperishable. And as we have seen, “imperishable” is the Greek word “aphtharsia,” which means perpetuity, or unlimited time. In other words, their bodies do not die.
After two thousand years of the church, the vast majority of Christians are in the grave, asleep; and at the last-trumpet second resurrection they will indeed leave the grave to receive a body that will not die. And, of course, this is likewise true for the even vaster company of the nations who resurrect at that time as well. Then each in their own time, which we will address next, Christians and the nations will ascend alive into heaven in those bodies, which will thereupon be redeemed for the heavenly. They will each follow in the way prepared by Yahshua, who was the “first fruits of those who are asleep.”
Thus we see that what Paul wrote here regarding the last trumpet finds far more consistent fulfillment in the second resurrection. This is precisely what he laid out and emphasized in that account, in contrast to the first resurrection of the first Remnant, who, along with the concluding second Remnant, ascend into heaven to receive their heavenly bodies. These will then return with Immanuel to rule and reign with Him for a thousand years. Thus we see that in both of these marvelous yet general accounts regarding the two resurrections of the dead, there is a great degree of definition that has to be and can be added, particularly with just comparison and understanding. The result is wonderful, confirming truth as to what Yahweh has done, is doing, and will yet do in the days before us and beyond.
Continue to page 6 of Resurrection and Judgment for SUMMARY OF EVENTS