THE TIMING OF THE FIRST RESURRECTION
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed–in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
“Rapture” comes from the words “caught up” in I Thessalonians 4:17. In the Greek the word is harpazo – “to seize upon by force”, “to snatch up.” The Latin translators used the word rapturo.
When will those who are alive be raptured (caught up) to meet the Lord in the air?
It is clearly stated in 1Thessalonians 4:16-17 that the Rapture or snatching away of those who are alive when Christ returns will occur after the dead are resurrected to eternal life.
When will the dead be raised – before or after the reign of the Antichrist?
Revelation 20: 4-5
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.
Those who had not worshiped the beast or his image and were slain for their testimony are blessed to partake in the first resurrection. Since the first resurrection takes place after the reign of the Antichrist, and the Rapture does not take place until the resurrection of the righteous, it is evident that the Rapture does not take place prior to the Tribulation.
For those who claim that there are many resurrections, please note that there is a difference between being raised from the dead and resurrection to a “glorified body.”
In both the Old and New Testament there are several accounts of those raised from the dead by prophets, apostles and Adonai Yeshua (the Lord Jesus). Yet, none were raised immortal in glorified bodies.
At the first resurrection, all the righteous are raised to life. After the Millennium, after the “great white throne judgment” all those not found in the “book of life” are cast into the lake of fire.