Revelation – Part 4



The Resurrection of the Dead

We now return to point #1 concerning why the heavenly temple was opened in Rev 11:19. Verse 18 makes mention of “the time of the dead, that they should be judged . . .” This pertains to the resurrection of dead saints who are called out of their graves at the sound of Yeshua’s voice and the sound of the last trumpet. 1 Cor 15:51,52 and 1 Thess 4:13-16 both mention a trumpet that is blown to signal the resurrection. 1 Cor 15:52 is more specific in that it tells us it is the “last” trumpet. As we saw earlier, the last trumpet in all scripture is the seventh trumpet of Rev 11:15. Notice that a trumpet is not blown at Yeshua’s coming in Rev 19 because those verses do not pertain to his coming to resurrect the dead. They concern his coming to destroy the wicked at the battle of Armageddon.

Some escatologists believe Messiah returns once to resurrect the dead, destroy the wicked, and establish the kingdom. This is impossible unless they choose to rearrange the chapters of Revelation to suit a particular escatology. This means they must remove Rev.11 from the time sequence and place it back with Rev 19. Since they do that, they have no choice but to put Rev 12 in the past, saying it refers to Yeshua’s earthly birth, since it is unexplainable otherwise. However, as we shall see, Rev 12 is yet future.

Upon opening the temple of Yahweh in heaven there were lightnings, an earthquake, great hail, etc. These are distinct events that are independent of other similar events mentioned in various plagues and trumpets.

This brings us to Rev 12:1-5, which is a perfect picture of the resurrection of the saints. The word “wonder” in verse 1 means a sign or indication, in Greek. This sign takes place in heaven, not on earth. The sun represents “the sun of righteousness” of Mal 4:2 that is a reference to Messiah. The moon is said to be “the lesser light to rule the night” or the darkness (Gen 1:16-18). So this sign appears to represent Yeshua clothing the woman in his glory and light as they outshine and rule over the forces of darkness. The moon is under the woman’s feet as a symbol of subjection. The twelve stars comprising her crown represent the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen 37:9). Verse 2 is especially noteworthy. The woman is having labor pains before she gives birth to the child of verse 5. Keep that in mind for future reference.

The great dragon represents Satan (vs. 9). His seven heads represent seven empires through which he dominates the world. Daniel saw four of these; Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Two were before Daniel’s time; Assyria and Egypt. The seventh is yet future and represents the empire of the Anti-messiah. The ten horns represent ten nations of the Roman Empire that, according to Daniel, would remain until the coming of the kingdom of heaven. They form the base of Anti-messiah’s kingdom.

Verse 5 is usually misunderstood to mean Yeshua because Rev 19:15 states that Yeshua will rule with a rod of iron. However, Rev 2:27 states that the saints that overcome will also rule with a rod of iron. This means we need more evidence to prove the identity of the male child. “Caught up” comes from the Greek word “harpadzo” meaning to seize, to snatch away, to carry off (suddenly and by force). This forceful seizure of the child needs to be done because Satan is ready to devour it. In Lu 24:51 Yeshua is said to be “carried up into heaven.” The Greek for “carried” is “anaphero” not “harpadzo” and it means to take up; to bear upwards. It is not a forceful carrying away. It is a slow, victorious ascent. However, in 1 Thess 4:17 it does mean a forceful snatching. This would put more evidence in favor of the child representing the resurrected saints than Yeshua.

A similar occurrence of the birth of a male child takes place in Is 66:7-10, “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed , she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith Yahweh: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy mighty one. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her”: Here we see Jerusalem or Zion giving birth to a son before her labor pains came (vs. 7). Then in verse 8 we see her delivering children after having labor pains. We know these births are speaking about a resurrection because verse 8 says, “shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?” Then we can say, “Shall a nation be born (or resurrected) at once?” What nation is referred to here?

1 Pe 2:9 says the believers are “a holy nation.” When all believers are resurrected they will form a holy nation that dwells together all in the same place, not as we do now, each from different nations. Who is the mother of this nation of believers? Gal 4:22-28 says that “Jerusalem which is above” is our mother. In the very next verse Paul quotes Is 54:1 proving that the barren woman, Jerusalem or Zion, would be the mother of a great nation of children. The first child she had that was born or resurrected was Yeshua. He is the male child that is spoken of in Is 66:7 who was delivered before labor pains. In Is 66:9 we see that after Yeshua was born into the kingdom of heaven, Zion’s womb was left open because another birth had to occur after labor pains began. Those labor pains symbolize the great tribulation.

The prophets often compare the suffering of judgment and war with the pain and anguish that accompany childbirth (Jer 6:24,25). So if labor pains equate with the great tribulation, which ends before the seven trumpets of Revelation sound, then the birth in Rev.12 occurs after the woman’s labor pains start. In Rev 12:2 the woman is in labor which means she cannot be in labor with Yeshua because he was born without labor pains or before the great tribulation. Chapter 12 is a picture of the saints being caught up into heaven at the coming of Yeshua after the seventh trumpet sounds. It is not a picture of Yeshua’s earthly birth.

Let’s look at two more references that deal with the same subject. Mic 5:1-3 reads, “Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [ancestry] have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travails has brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.”

The entire story of Israel is summed up in these verses.

1) The birth of Yeshua in Bethlehem (vs. 2).

2) His rejection (vs. 1).

3) Israel temporarily set aside (vs.3), (blinded by Yahweh).

4) Israel given up until the saints are resurrected (vs.3).

5) The return of the remnant of Yeshua, after the resurrection, to preach the evangel to Israel (vs. 3).

The second reference is Is 26:16-21; “Yahweh, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them. Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Yahweh. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. 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. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, Yahweh cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” After the resurrection of verse 19, the saints are hid for a short time while Yahweh punishes the wicked with the seven last plagues.

Some may ask why the saints go to heaven if the millennial kingdom will be established on earth. One reason is that, just as Yeshua needed to appear before Yahweh upon his resurrection to fulfill the wave sheaf of Lev 23:10,11, so must the saints appear before Yahweh to fulfill the wave loaf offering of Lev 23:17. More will be said about that later in this study.

Part 123

Leave a Reply