On a separate post, the question about who populates the Millennium brought this question to mind.

The belief is that Christ rose first, then believers, whether dead or living at the time of the rapture will receive their immortal bodies. Next, martyrs of the tribulation period would be resurrected to immortality to live through the Millenium, and finally, all others will be resurrected or receive immortality at the Great White Throne.

At the Great White Throne, believers would be resurrected to or granted access to eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth, because their names are recorded in the book of life, while unbelievers would be resurrected to eternal damnation in the lake of fire, along with the antichrist, false prophet, Satan and all of the demons.

The relationship to the original question about the Millennium was with regard to some people dying "young" at 100 years old during that period, and who those mortals would be if all saints received immortality before the Millennium began, and unbelievers will have perished, according to Revelation 19:

He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave,[d] both small and great.”

  • I did not account for how/when the Judgement Seat of Christ fits into this, so it would be most thorough if your answer incorporates that aspect of the future timeline, with Scriptural evidence – MutluAnne Oct 12 '17 at 21:22
  • So to clarify your request: you heard about all those things already, but you just want scriptures to back them up? – Steve Oct 13 '17 at 0:48
  • That's correct. I haven't taken the time to lay out the Scriptures I have read in an orderly way myself to either support or refute this view. I generally lean toward this view, but prefer to be able to defend any view I take with Scripture, and want to be sure that I am not contradicting Scripture with any position I take. – MutluAnne Oct 13 '17 at 1:13
  • There are stages, but they are not what you have laid out. Are you wishing for a particular view point only? – Gina Oct 13 '17 at 10:55
  • 1
    Are you looking specifically for a sequence of events (like a timeline with scriptural support) surrounding the resurrections of the saints? – Steve Nov 22 '17 at 13:48

I wrote this like a timeline of events to identify all the places where believers are taken from the earth, with some special care to pinpoint who populates the millennium. I am depicting the events as literal events and not mere symbolic "apocalyptic imagery."

Christ rose from the dead as "the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Cor. 15:20). He is literally the first to rise from the dead and go to heaven.

At Christ's ascension, "He led captivity captive" (Eph. 4:8). Tradition uses this verse to teach that the part of hell where Abraham stayed (Luke 16:19-31) was emptied and those rose up to heaven.

There is a subset of Christians who believe there will be a rapture prior to the coming of Christ, either of the entire church, or only those in the church who are ready (Luke 21:36 is used for this latter group, as well as Matt. 25:1-13). Since they are saved from wrath through Him (Rom. 5:9), and the final years are a period of God's wrath, they will be taken before the tribulation period noted in Revelation, so the teaching goes. So we put a full or partial rapture here.

Some time during the final years before Christ comes, "two witnesses" will be raptured (Rev. 11:1-14).

At His coming, two more groups ascend in 1-2 succession: "the dead in Christ shall rise first" (1 Thes. 4:16). "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds" (1 Thes. 4:17). "Alive and remain" probably refers to those who have escaped the wars and famine, and the beheading by the antichrist figure in Rev. 6:9-11 and Rev. 13:16-17. This verse is used to support the partial-rapture viewpoint and takes place in Rev. 7:9-17, immediately after Christ comes and His wrath starts in Rev. 6:12-17. This verse is also used in support for the full rapture viewpoint and according to them takes place in Rev. 4:1-2.

After Christ comes, He separates the "nations" which remain after the tribulation period of God's wrath, and one group of nations, the "sheep," are allowed into the kingdom (Matt. 25:31-46) because they demonstrated care for God's people during the reign of the antichrist figure. This is not a resurrection; they seem to be those who populate the millennium along with those of the raptured/resurrected of the previous stage. The resurrected and worthy saints will reign over these nations (Matt. 25:14-30). Also reigning are those who were martyred (Rev. 20:4-6). The other nations who were indifferent to the plight of God's people, the "goats," go into "everlasting punishment."

After the millennium, the Great White Throne is set and the dead are raised for judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). "And anyone not found written in the book of Life was cat into the Lake of Fire" (Rev. 20:15). This is worded such that there could be those whose names are in the Book, such as people who became believers among the "sheep" who lived and died during the millennium.

For the sake of completeness, I will include the stages in 1 Cor. 15:24-28, "when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."

  • This will be a helpful tool for jumping off points in Scripture for studying the matter myself. I appreciate you posting this answer . – MutluAnne Nov 27 '17 at 19:52

This answer offers the scriptural evidences of the stages of resurrection as requested by the OP.

Stage 1:

Christ, the first fruits. No one was resurrected before Christ. No one ascended into heaven before Christ.

Matt. 28:6,

"6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said...." (KJV)

Col. 1:18,

" And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." (KJV)

Psa. 89:27,

" And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." (KJV)

Rev. 1:5,

" And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth....." (KJV)

Acts 13:33,

" God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." (KJV)

Jesus was begotten of God the day He was resurrected from the dead. The reference is to Psa. 2:6-7,

" “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” (KJV)

Stage 2:

All of the people who had died prior to Christ's ascension to heaven were being held somewhere else, as they had not yet ascended to heaven. The second part of the resurrection was the separation of the sheep and the goats out of Hades.

Matt. 25:31-34, 41, 46:

" When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:...

41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:....

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (KJV)

This was the resurrection of those who had been waiting in Hades, the realm of those who had fallen asleep. Hades had two parts: Hades Paradise (the saved), and Hades Tartarus (the condemned). This is pictured in Luke 16:19-31.

There was a large gulf separating the two parts of Hades so that no one could cross over from either side. Those in Hades had already experienced bodily death, but the realm was a holding area, a type of prison with gates (1 Pet. 3:18-20). It was Christ who held the keys to the gates of Hades (Psa. 16:9-10; Acts 2:31).

Neither would Hades prevail over Christ's church. See Matt. 16:18 and Phil. 1:23.

Most people believe this event to be still in our future, a final judgment, a "last day." But, that is not what the word of God teaches. The separation of the sheep and the goats out of Hades took place at His 2nd coming in that generation of the first century A.D. at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. That time is identified in the parable of the wedding feast in Matt. 22:1-14:

"And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king [God], which made a marriage for his son [Christ],

3And sent forth his servants to call [the gospel call of John and Christ] them that were bidden [the Jews] to the wedding: and they would not come.

4Again, he sent forth other servants [the apostles & disciples], saying, Tell them which are bidden [the Jews], Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

5But they made light of it, and went their ways [those who rejected Christ], one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

6And the remnant [the Sadducees, Pharisees, Sanhedrin] took his servants [Christ and the apostles], and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

7But when the king [God] heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies [the Romans], and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city [Jerusalem].

8Then saith he to his servants [Christ and the faithful], The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden [the unbelieving Jews] were not worthy.

9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find [the gentiles / other nations], bid to the marriage.

10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: [not clothed with the righteousness of Christ]

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth [the judgment began].

14 For many are called, but few are chosen." (KJV)

This parable is a very brief outline of Revelation, and shows the sequence of events of the manifestation of Christ and His second appearance in that first century A.D. (Heb. 9:28) to bring in the kingdom, and of His marriage to His church.

The call to the wedding was the Gospel call of Christ and His apostles / disciples. The messengers were sent to the people of the King - the Jews. Christ was sent to the Jews (Matt. 15:24). He sent His disciples to the lost sheep of the house of Israel - the dispersed of the northern 10 tribes (Matt. 10:6).

The scribes and Pharisees, the Sadduccees and Sanhedrin rejected the call from their King, and eventually crucified Christ and killed His apostles and disciples.

The King (God) became angry and sent His army (the Romans) to kill those wicked people who had slain His messengers and burned their city (Jerusalem). This was the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the judgment that fell upon them for crucifying Christ (Rev. 1:7).

The parable pictures the guests at the wedding and wedding feast which occurred immediately after the city (Jerusalem) was destroyed. And, the judgment began at the wedding feast (Rev. 21: 1-2). The King (God) saw the guests that were clothed in the proper wedding garments - meaning they were clothed with the righteousness of Christ (Isa. 61:10; Rom. 13:14; Rev. 3:5).

The one who was not clothed in the wedding garments, was not clothed with the righteousness of Christ was bound and cast into outer darkness.

Christ came in the fullness of time, in the first century A.D. preaching the kingdom was at hand (Matt. 4:17; 10:7; Mark 1:15; Luke 21:31). "At hand" meant near, soon, when He spoke those words in their lifetimes during the first century A.D. The promised second appearance could only be to those who had seen His first appearance, those of that very special century when He was manifested and walked on this earth.

No other generation than that first century AD could have a second appearance of Him as no other generation since has seen Him even once. He came back to them just as He told them He would to judge those who crucified Him, who persecuted His saints, and to bring in His kingdom. Each of the gospels is filled with the news of the coming of the kingdom, and that the time was at hand then. The time was at hand when He spoke those words in the first century A.D.

So, at his second coming to that generation He destroyed Jerusalem, He destroyed that earthly temple, and He established in full the kingdom, the promised land of the new covenant. And, at that very same time He began to judge the quick and the dead (Acts 10:42; Rev. 20:12).

That judgment began first with all those who had already passed from this earthly realm, and were being held in Hades waiting for Him to come and release them. Once the sheep and the goats were removed from Hades, then Hades was thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).

Hades is gone; it does not exist anymore, and hasn't existed since A.D. 70.

Stage 3: The continuing judgment process. Rev. 14:13,

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." (KJV)

"From henceforth"... life and death continued on after the judgment of Revelation, and after the battle of Armageddon. Otherwise, this verse would not make any sense at all. How could there be any who die in the Lord henceforth if Revelation was about the end of the world?

After Jerusalem was destroyed, and after the wedding of Christ to His bride (the church, the new Jerusalem of heaven - Rev. 21:1-2), then all those who are baptized into Christ, and are faithful unto death are then resurrected when they die, are changed in a twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:51-54), and are taken up into the air to heaven to be where all the other saints are who have gone before us (1 Thess. 4:17).

We are now in stage three, which has been a continuing judgment process since the first century judgment of that wicked generation of vipers (Matt. 3:7; 12:34; 23:33). There is no scriptural basis for a belief in a rapture, nor of a physical earthly kingdom, nor of a thousand year reign of Christ on earth, nor of an end of the world scenario.

If you would like to read more about the evidences from the scriptures of the fulfilled eschatology (Preterist) of Christ, of the completed promises of Christ, I have many posts available at my blog ShreddingTheVeil. If this is new to you, it would be best for you to begin at the bottom right margin with the series of "It's Not The End of The World - Part I" and work through Part X before going on to the other articles.

  • I recognize that this is one way of looking at the Scriptures, but hadn't imagined that someone would differ so greatly from the stages as I understood them in giving an answer with references to Scripture. I respect the time and thought of your response and the heart for God and His Word you display here and on your blog . I hope to find the time to search for myself if no one else responds with the Scriptural basis for the dispensational view of eschatology in regard to these stages of resurrection. I was looking to fine tune my understanding verses overthrow it. Thanks, anyway. – MutluAnne Oct 20 '17 at 20:51
  • We have to accept the record of the Holy Spirit. As He recorded the words spoken in the first century AD as having been the last days when Christ walked on this earth, then the generation of the first century AD were living in the "last days". We must therefor ask the last days of what? Heb. 8:13 supplies the answer: "In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." The were living in the last days of the old covenant. It was in the process of vanishing during that generation, and it was completely done away.... – Gina Oct 21 '17 at 15:42
  • .... at the destruction of Jerusalem and their temple in AD 70. Christ came back to them to punish and destroy the wicked ones who had crucified Him, and to destroy their city / temple, and to fulfill, fill up, complete the old covenant law. He brought in the kingdom at the same time. All of the future tense verbs spoken to that first century AD generation were still looking for that kingdom home, the promised land. It was still out in front of them. It arrived in full glory in AD 70 and it has been present within us ever since. To lift those future tense statements away from them.... – Gina Oct 21 '17 at 15:45
  • ...out of the 1st century AD and move them 2,000 plus years into our generation and our future is anachronistic. Please read the materials at www.preteristcentral.com. Or watch some of Don Preston's vidoes at youtube.com/channel/UCCMCzZrSxKb9GRwWFW3i0kA. – Gina Oct 21 '17 at 15:48
  • I am not interested in being swayed to the Preterist view or replacement theology. I respect that you believe your view to be consistent with Scripture. I believe the Dispensationalist view to be consistent with Scripture. As long as we agree that Christ's death was sufficient for atonement, let us not get hung up in this debate. I am still hoping there is a Dispensationalist on Christianity.SE that has an answer for me, but if not, I will sort it out in my own Bible study as time allows...(husband, 3 children ages 11, 15, and 19, and ministry to international students keeps me quite busy) – MutluAnne Oct 21 '17 at 20:49

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