Sequence Of Prophecy

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The Three Phases of the First Resurrection and Revelation 11: 18

Let me explain some things that I believe Revelation 11: 18 is referring to. There are, at least, two phases to the first resurrection and there may be three phases. The first one takes place at the time of the Rapture (Rev. 4: 1). The dead in Christ will be resurrected (I Cor. 15: 40, 42 - 44, 51 - 54). The dead and the living saints (Christians) will be changed "instantly" into new spiritual heavenly bodies. And at the same time, (I Thes. 4: 13 - 15, 16 - 17), both the dead, and the living saints (Christians), will go up together to meet Jesus in the clouds, in the air, and then on into Heaven to be with the Lord. They will be caught up (raptured). The second phase happens when the tribulation martyrs go to Heaven in Revelation 7: 9 - 17. (See Rev. 20: 4 - 6.).

The third phase concerns the Old Testament saints. The Old Testament saints are not taken up when the Rapture happens. They go to Heaven in Revelation 11: 18. It talks about how they will be judged and given rewards. It says, "...and the time of the dead, that they (the Old Testament saints) should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints (Old Testament saints), and them that fear Thy name, small and great:...". There is one thing for sure. This has nothing to do with the New Testament Church (Christians). We will have arrived in Heaven in Revelation 4: 1 and will have received our crowns between Revelation 4: 1 and 4: 4. And this cannot be referring to the lost (unsaved) because that judgment does not happen until Revelation 20: 11 - 15 at the end of the world. The prophets would definitely be included in the Old Testament saints. So I feel sure that the saints here are Old Testament saints (Rev. 11: 18). The Bible tells us that many saints arose at the time of Jesus' death (Matt. 27: 51 - 53, NASB), but that was altogether different than what we have here, although those saints are probably included with this third phase. They too will get their rewards here, at this point, in Revelation 11: 18. (See "Is the Body Actually Raised From the Grave?".).

"...Blessed and holy is he that hath (has) part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Rev. 20: 6)

  All Rights Reserved Glen A. Duitman

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