What happens after Jesus returns? Some say that only the true Christians, which is usually defined as members of a particular church, will be raptured away where they will be “forever with the Lord.” Then I guess they will forever gaze on the face of God, or maybe hold harp music concerts. Actually, after their “rapture” the only significant event is a worldwide epidemic of auto accidents caused by driverless cars and trucks. Well, let’s get real.
Much of what is believed by Christian churches is from Paul’s imaginations. What appears, that is not known, is that Paul was appealing to those who knew Greek mythology and religion. The Greeks believed in the immortality of the soul. This is not found anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures. So most are trained to ignore the Hebrew Scriptures, because didn’t Paul say that they were done away and replaced by “Christ?”
I heard someplace that someone once offered $10,000 to anyone who could find the words, “immortal soul” in the Scriptures. Of course, no one claimed the $10,000 because the words are not there. But Christians still doggedly hang on to the notion that when we die we either go to heaven or hell. Again, from Greek mythology.
In part three of this series, I stopped at the Great Resurrection that happens at the beginning of the next age as Enoch recorded in his vision of the “Weeks.” There will be one resurrection then with two results: (1) the resurrection of the righteous, those who overcame through the tribulation that started with Adam and Eve and ends at the culmination of our age: the seventh “week,” and (2) the”whole house of Israel” as revealed to Ezekiel.
We will now consider more detail concerning the resurrection of the righteous, also known as “the better resurrection.”
Now some will say that “The Great Tribulation” is only an end time event. But in the book of Revelation, “The Great Tribulation” is mentioned for the first time regarding the great masses of the righteous that no one could number in the seventh chapter. Prior to that the words do not appear except in some translations in Revelation 2:22 where it means intense suffering on account of the people committing adultery with a prophetess Jezebel who misleads her followers. Then it also appears on Matthew 24:21 where it again refers to the intense suffering that will come on the earth at the end of our age.
But this great tribulation is the entire period of seven “weeks” or ages where people from every nation, tribe, people and language found righteousness through discipline and trial. Therefore they can claim:
Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.
And they receive this promise:
Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
This seems to have been an enigma for the Christians, as it is hard to wrap their minds around that idea that any could be saved before their Jesus came. The events of human history are taken with a view to the total time from the start of the first age to the end of the seventh and then the change comes. Read the list of those who were deemed righteous in Hebrews 11: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab (a prostitute), Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets:
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection. Others had trials of cruel mocking and scourging, and bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned. They were sawed in two. They were tempted and tested. They were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. Of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts, in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all obtained a good report through faith but have not received the promise. Elahim having provided some better thing for us that they without us should not be made perfect.
This is the definition of the Great Tribulation that has come upon the righteous and faithful from the very beginning whom the world is not worthy. Therefore, they will obtain the better resurrection. To be part of that resurrection, it is falls upon all to turn from lies to the truth. From Hebrews 12:
And have you forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children?
“My son, do not despise Eyahuwah’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because Eyahuwah disciplines those He loves, and like a father, he scourges every son he delights in.”
If you endure chastening, Elah deals with you as sons. For what son is he whom the father does not chasten? But if you are without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh who corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
For they truly for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them who are exercised thereby.
In consideration of this, lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way. Let it rather be healed.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see Eyahuwah. Look diligently in case any one fail of the grace of Elahim and lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby cause many to become defiled. Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected. For he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
For you are not come to the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor to blackness, darkness, tempest, the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words. On hearing this voice they that heard cried out that the word should not be spoken to them this way any more. For they could not endure that which was commanded, and if so much as a beast touched the mountain, it was to be stoned or thrust through with a spear. So terrible and awesome was the sight that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and tremble.”
But you have come to mount Sion and to the city of the living Elahim, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and congregation of the firstborn who are written in heaven, to Elah the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Eyahushuah the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
See that you do not refuse Him that speaks. For if they who refused him that spoke on earth did not escape, much more shall we not escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth. But now he has promised, “In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill [my] house with glory, … and in this place I will grant peace.”
And this word, “once more,” signifies the removing of those things that can be shaken, like things that are made [like religions], that those things which cannot be shaken[like righteousness] may remain. We will receive a kingdom that cannot be moved, so let us have grace, whereby we may serve Elah acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
For our Elah is a consuming fire.
To have part in the better resurrection, the revealing of the Sons of Elah to the world, we must make straight paths for our feet now, and return to the righteousness of our fathers, who were promised a better resurrection, and who at that time looked forward to their children with the hope that they would obtain the same.