Bible Study Series: Resurrection, Rapture & the Redeemer
Two destinies - A resurrection of life or shame?
by I Gordon
- Job - which gave his individual hope, how he would rise from the dead and see his redeemer, from his flesh, in the last days.
- Isaiah - gave hope to God's people as a whole who will rise and be protected in their God-given chambers (in Heaven) before the wrath of God is revealed.
- What an angel, likely Gabriel, revealed to Daniel from a heavenly book about the last days and the two resurrections
- Shame! - What was seen about the resurrection unto everlasting contempt
- Shine! - What was seen about the resurrection unto life
- What was revealed to Daniel that we should do in the current life to be rewarded in the next!
All of this will come from a deep dive into the first 3 verses in Daniel 12. Let's go.
- The book that records our trials and tears
Psa 56:8 You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?
- The book that records all of our the days of our life, even before you were born!
Psa 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
- The book of remembrance for those who fear the Lord and speak to one another about Him
Mal 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.
- The book of future events
Dan 10:21 (The angel said to Daniel) But first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth...
- The book for those that will be delivered in the last days
Dan 12:1 At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.
- The Lamb's book of life for all that are saved
Rev 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.
- The book of deeds by which the unsaved will be judged
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
The events that were given to Daniel from 'the book of truth' included God’s plans for Israel under the Persian and Grecian empires (Dan 11:2-35) but also state what will occur at the end of this age under the antichrist (Dan 11:36-45). So the start of Daniel 12 carries on with details 'at that time' - that is, the time of the future antichrist. It says that this will be the worst time of distress since there has been nations on this earth. That is a "gulp!" sentence right there which Jesus repeated in matt 24:21. It will be a time when the Archangel Michael takes his stand to protect the nation of Israel against the forces of wickedness.1 But again, even in the midst of such difficulty on the earth, nothing is outside the control and plan of God. Did you see what it also says in verse 1? 'At that time your people (Israel), everyone whose name is found written in the book, will be delivered.'2 So for the obedient among Israel there is a place of refuge and deliverance even in such terrible times. Now it is in this context that we read about the resurrection.
- Jesus Christ Himself - His was the first resurrection (the firstfruits), unto a glorified body.
- Then those that belong to Him when He returns at the rapture (This is the Church - all those 'in Christ')
- Then the two witnesses during the tribulation (Rev 11:11-12)
- Then the Tribulation and Old Testament saints at the start of the Messianic Kingdom age (Rev 20:4-6)
So Rev 20:5-6 is not speaking of the first ever resurrection in time as we can see above. The saints that are raised at that time are part of the first resurrection which is unto life. This is contrasted with the 2nd resurrection which is of the wicked unto judgement and the second death (Rev 20:11-15). That, quite frankly, is a frightening thought and you don't want to be part of that one! : (
- It was used by David about Israel's shame when trodden down by Goliath and the Philistines. They, as a nation, ,were meant to represent and be a witness for the true God. They were meant to walk in His strength and courage yet here they were in total fear against this pagan giant!
1Sa 17:26 David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?
- Another example comes in the reproach from the shameful and disgraceful rape of Tamar by her half-brother Ammon in the days of King David:
2Sa 13:11-14 When she (Tamar) brought them to him to eat, he (Ammon) took hold of her and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister." (12) But she answered him, "No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing! (13) "As for me, where could I get rid of my reproach? And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you. However, he would not listen to her; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her. "
Their worm … is not quenched depicts eternal punishment (Isa_48:22; Isa_57:20). The imagery derives from the Valley of Hinnom that was Jerusalem’s garbage dump, where unclean corpses decomposed and were burned. This verse is cited by Jesus in Mar 9:44, Mar 9:46, Mar 9:48. Though the Book of Isaiah depicts God’s coming salvation, it closes with a strong statement of the judgment of the wicked.
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary
- The glory upon Moses faded over time. In contrast those in the resurrection unto life will shine like the stars forever and ever! There will be no end to their glory for they will be in the image of their Savior!
- If God's glory was seen upon Moses, someone that was still in this first natural body, how much greater will it be for those that have their new spiritual body that is created in His image?! Well, we find the answer to that in the amazing New Testament chapter on the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15. Speaking of the new body to come for believers at the resurrection we read:
1Co 15:40-42 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. (41) The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. (42) So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable.
"To shine in glory is a privilege of all the saved (cf. the principle in 1Thes 2:12; 1Pet 5:10). Any who influence others for righteousness shine like stars in varying capacities of light as their reward (as in 1 Cor 3:8). The faithfulness of the believer's witness will determine one's eternal capacity to reflect God's glory."
Pastor John MacArthur
- Be wise or prudent: 'Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens' - The Hebrew word here is 'sakhal' which is 'a verb meaning to act with insight, to be prudent, to give insight, to teach'. For our day and age it means to realize the times that we life in and how close the Lord's return is, to understand what God sees as important, and to redeem that time by making the most of it for God's glory.
- Bring others to Jesus: 'Those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever' - Our understanding of the Lord and the days in which we live is never just for ourselves. The Lord wants us to help others. He wants us teach, evangelize, share, always pointing to Christ who is humanities only hope of righteousness. As McGee clearly states:
The remnant in that day will be God's witness in the world, and they are going to "turn many to righteousness." That righteousness is Christ, the only righteousness which is acceptable to God. Our righteousness is as filthy rags (see Isa 64:6) in His sight—not in our sight; we think we are pretty good. We pat each other on the back and tell each other how wonderful we are, while all we produce is a bunch of dirty laundry, my friend. God is not accepting our works; He is accepting the righteousness of Christ, and that is provided only by faith.
J. Vernon McGee
It has been said that for the unbeliever, if they remain unreconciled to God, this life is as close as they will get to heaven and the best they will ever see. For the believer this life is as close as they will get to hell and the worst they will ever see. That is both a sobering and encouraging thought, depending on your status with God!
Pastor David Guzik writes on Michael: "The angel Michael is often associated with spiritual battle (Dan 10:13, 10:21, Jud 1:9, Rev 12:7). Since Michael is called the archangel (Jud 1:9), he is Satan's true opposite. Satan is not the opposite of Jesus; he is the opposite of Michael, this high-ranking angel."
While there is the promise of deliverance and protection for the obedient within Israel who will flee to the place prepared for them (Rev 12:6,14-16) you will see that this infuriates the dragon (Satan) who then goes after anyone who believes in Jesus (Rev 12:17). Those that believe the Church goes through the tribulation often say that God will protect His people but the fact is that the Bible offers no protection for the saints in the Tribulation (outside of the previous mention for the Israelites who obey and flee when they see the abomination of desolation mentioned by Jesus (Matt 24:15-16). For other saints the Bible says that they will be handed into the power of the Antichrist (Dan 7:21,25 Rev 13:7). Thankfully the Church will NOT be here in the tribulation period. We wait for Jesus, not the antichrist, who delivers us FROM (not in) the wrath to come (1 Thes 1:10).
'Sleep' in the Bible is often used as an metaphor for death, especially for believers (Mat 9:24, Mat 27:52, Joh 11:11, Act 7:60, 1Cor 11:30, 1Cor 15:6, 1Cor 15:51, 1Thes 4:13-18). We should always remember that 'sleep' is related to the body which lies in the ground, not the soul. The soul of man doesn't sleep but is conscious after death (Luke 23:43, 2 Cor 5:8, Phil 1:23, 1 Thes 4:13-17, Heb 12:2, Rev 6:9-10, 7:9-14).
For more discussion see: https://jesusplusnothing.com/series/post/soulsleep
The lake of fire / everlasting contempt & punishment is obviously not a nice thought. But that is what the Bible teaches. The only thing I will say... and I can't prove this / could be wrong so take it or leave it... but it seems to me that being outside of time in eternity, for those in that place there will be no concept of time or any sense of how long they have been there. It is more of a state of being. Still a very sobering thought. ↩