Insights, Mistaken Perceptions

You Have Heard It Said – Part One

Ecclesiastes 1:9 and 3:15 both tell us – “There is nothing new under the sun. What has been done will be done again.
Deuteronomy 19:15 – “A fact must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

When we look at scripture, we readily affirm that parallels, patterns, pictures, and types have prophetical significance. For instance, the poisonous snake on the pole was a pattern of Yeshua hanging on the tree. Jonah three days in the belly of the womb was a pattern of Yeshua being three days in the belly of the earth. In the same way, parallels, patterns, pictures, and types become very important when we try to determine what scripture has to say to us about the Resurrection and the Rapture. Just as important are the definitions of the words used.

I am about to rattle some cages, upset some carts, and ruffle some feathers, so fasten your seatbelts.

There Ain’t No Signs, They SayOh give me a break.]
No doubt you have heard it said, “Yeshua can come at any time, – it can happen at any moment, without notice” or the corollaries – “Yeshua can come at any time, even while you are reading this article, even while we are speaking, etc.”

No doubt you have also heard it said that “there are no signs that precede the resurrection / rapture – the resurrection / rapture is a sign-less event.” But I say scripture presents an entirely different scenario and those who say there are no signs are greatly mistaken – there are many signs that point to the resurrection and the rapture.

The Signs
Matthew 24:33 – “When you see all these things, you are to know that the time is near, right at the door.
Mark 13:8 – “Nations will fight each other, there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the ‘birth pains’.”
Luke 21:28 – “But when these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Romans 8:23 – “We groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.”

When asked about the signs pointing to his return, Yeshua spoke of many things to watch for: the destruction of the temple, Israel back in the land, many coming in his name, famines, pestilences, wars and rumors of wars, signs in the heavens, and great earthquakes in various places, just to name a few signs. But these warnings came with a caveat: “but the end will not follow immediately,” and “don’t be deceived.” Luke 21:28 also tells us that all these signs point to our redemption, or as Paul puts it in Romans 8:23 – “the redemption of our bodies” from death and corruption!

Let’s begin by looking at the signs, starting with the Resurrection words.

The Meaning of Rise, Arose, Arise, etc.
The definitions of the words translated rise, arose, arise, etc. succinctly negates both the erroneous instant disappearance teaching which says “the resurrection is the rapture – they both happen at the same time and in a twinkling of the eye” and the “the rapture is a sign-less event” teaching.

The rising of the dead first will be THE final sign that the rapture is near, even if one ignores the many signs Yeshua himself commanded us to look for as confirmation that our redemption (resurrection to living if dead / change from mortal to immortal if still living) draws near.

All definitions used below are taken from Thayer’s Greek Definitions, and are confirmed by several other lexicons or concordances.

Scripture uses several Greek words for raise, rise, arise, or resurrect. The primary words are: Egeiro[G1453], anistemi[G450] , and anastasis[G386]
• Egeiro is frequently used in many verses in Corinthians, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
• Paul uses a synonym, anistemi in Thessalonians
• Both egeiro and anistemi indicate that the resurrected person then appears in public – they do not instantly disappear!

Let’s take a closer look:
G1453 egeiro: to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead to life, to cause to appear, and bring before the public. Matthew 9:25 recounts the resurrection of a ruler’s daughter. Acts 10:39-41 tells us that the apostles “ate and drank with Yeshua after he rose from the dead.” Luke 7:15 tells us “the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.” Egeiro is the word Paul uses in 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 to describe Yeshua’s resurrection, who by the way, was seen not only by Peter, but also by more than five hundred brothers at one time. Egeiro is also the word Paul uses to describe all who are resurrected and given their immortal, incorruptible bodies! They too will be witnessed by many – they do not just instantly disappear. Egeiro is translated raise, rise, risen, arise, or arose over 120 times (raised 45 times, rise 23 times, risen 22 times, arise 13 times, arose 13 times, and raise 8 times).

G450 anistemi: to raise up from the dead and cause to appear to enter into conversation or dispute with anyone. This word comes from G2476 histemi: to rise up in the presence or midst of others. It is used of Yeshua’s resurrection twice, in Luke 24:46, John 20:9, and Acts 17:3 explaining and proving that he had to suffer and rise again from the dead. Anistemi is the form used in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 to describe the dead in Yeshua who rise first. is translated arose, rise, rose, arise, raise, or raised over 90 times (arose 24 times, rise 23 times, rose 18 times arise, raise, or raised 28 times).

G386 anastasis: (literally) a resurrection from death. Again, this word indicates a resurrection and return to community, not an instant disappearance. Acts 26:23 tells us that “Yeshua would die, and that he, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to both the Jewish People and to the Gentiles, the Goyim.” Again, no instant disappearance here, either – he did witness to over 500 after he was raised (1 Corinthians 15:6).

G4891 sunegeiro: to raise up together from mortal death to a new and blessed life dedicated to God. Hmmm, not a resurrection that culminates in an instant disappearance, but a new life dedicated to serving Yahweh, Yeshua, and the Ruach Ha’Kodesh.

H6965 quwm: to rise, to arise, come on the scene. An equivalent Hebrew word also defines a resurrection as a rising to be placed back in community, not an instant disappearance. Isaiah 26:19 puts it this way: “Your dead will come back to life; your corpses will rise up. Wake up and shout joyfully, you who live in the ground! For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew, and the earth will cast out the dead.” Growing like well watered plants doesn’t even remotely lend itself to instant disappearance teachings!

The Resurrection is a Witnessed Event
The individuals that were resurrected according to the scriptures that did not instantly disappear but who were seen by many after their resurrection are:
– The son of the widow from Zarephath in Sidon (1 Kings 17:21-22)
– The son of the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:31-35)
– The dead man placed into the tomb of Elisha (2 Kings 13:20-21)
– The prophet Jonah (Jonah 2:1-10)
– The daughter of Jairus who is only “asleep” (Matthew 9:23-25; Mark 5:22, 5:35-42; Luke 8:41, 8:52-55)
– The only son of a widow from the town of Nain (Luke 7:11-15)
– Lazarus (John 11:11-44)
– Dorcas/Tabitha (Acts 9:37-42)
– Eutychus (Acts 20:9-10)
– And possibly, the Apostle Paul who was presumed dead (Acts 14:19-20)
– Yeshua (Matthew 28:7; Mark 16:9; John 20:17, Acts 10:40)
– The Holy Ones (Matthew 27:50-53)

Two Future Resurrections:
– The Dead in Yeshua who more than likely may also remain for a short time if the pattern of Yeshua and the Holy ones is followed (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
– The Two Witnesses of Revelation (Revelation 11:11-12)

The Rapture Is Also A Witnessed Event
– Elijah’s ascension was witnessed by both Elisha and the prophets (2 Kings 2:7-12)
– Yeshua’s rapture was witnessed by the disciples, and perhaps many more people (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11a)
– The two witnesses will be raptured as their enemies watch (Revelation 11:11)
– While not found in the scriptures, Enoch’s rapture was also witnessed by many people (Enoch 81:5-6; Jasher 3:34)

The Dead Rise FIRST
1 Thessalonians 4:16 – “Yeshua himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with the shofar of Yahweh; those who died united with him will be the first to rise.”
No doubt you have heard that “the rapture is an instantaneous event that happens at the same time as the resurrection of the dead” – this is not at all accurate.
Scripture tells us that the dead rise first. Not second, and not third, but the dead are the first in a series of events that take place. The Greek word translated first is: protos [G4413] which means: first in time or place in any succession of things or persons. If you are looking for a sign that points to the rapture, this is it! If you are looking for the Biblical timing of the Resurrection and the Rapture, this is it! Only after meeting with the still living will both then ascend together to be with Yeshua.

Matthew 24:33 – “When you see all these things, you are to know that the time is near, right at the door.”
Yeshua himself commanded us to look for signs as confirmation that our redemption (resurrection to living if dead/change from mortal to immortal if still living) draws near. This succinctly negates the “sign-less resurrection / rapture” teaching – the rise of the dead is the final sign pointing to the nearness of the rapture. No signs is not a fact – many signs is.

The definitions of the words translated rise, arose, arise, etc. succinctly negates the erroneous “the resurrection is the rapture – they both happen at the same time and in a twinkling of the eye” teachings. None of the definitions of the words translated as rise, arise, arose, etc. indicate an instant or twinkling of the eye disappearance. Just the opposite – the resurrected person is placed back in community to converse with others. Same event instant disappearance is not a fact – separate events that are witnessed is.

There are twelve Biblical accounts of witnessed resurrections and three Biblical accounts of  witnessed bodily raptures, and a fourth non-canonical account of a witnessed bodily rapture. Instant disappearance rapture is not a fact – a witnessed resurrection and witnessed rapture is.

The Apostle Paul does not teach that the resurrection is the rapture – but that:
• they are separate events,
• and the resurrection happens first.

Final Thought for 2023
The stage for Yeshua’s return is being set. Prophecy continues to unfold in an escalating pattern as foretold by the Hebrew prophets. The season of the birth pains is here – they are burgeoning and not going away. Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – be sure you have salvation in Yeshua and keep busy reaching the lost.