Here is the order of the harvests, resurrections and judgments that will occur before, during and after the tribulation:
BEFORE THE TRIBULATION
1. The Rapture – Feast of Trumpets / Great Assembly / Bridegroom comes for the Bride.
FIRST 42 MONTHS OF THE TRIBULATION
2. The Counting of the Omer – the First Fruits of the Barley Harvest.
3. The First Fruits of the Wheat Harvest – Pentecost.
4. The BEMA Judgment – the Judgment Seat of Christ
THE SECOND 42 MONTHS OF THE TRIBULATION
5. The Main Harvest of the Barley and Wheat
6. The Grape Harvest
THE DAY OF THE LORD – THE SECOND COMING
7. The Gleaning – Four Corner Harvest
8. The Day of Atonement – Judgment of Nations
AFTER THE 1,000 YEAR REIGN
9. The Great White Throne Judgment
In the resurrections, martyrdom’s and judgments are the fulfillment of three separate requirements of the Law of Moses:
The seven major feasts of Israel;
The appointed days of the feasts and the appointed days between the feasts;
The Law of First Fruits and the harvest cycle of Israel – especially the barley, wheat and grape harvests.
All three of these requirements are found in the death and resurrection of Christ. He literally fulfilled the Feast of Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits to the day required in the Law of Moses. He fulfilled the appointed days between the feasts and fulfilled the first day of the barley harvest with his ascension to heaven on the day of his resurrection after Mary saw him at the tomb.
“Touch me not for I am not yet ascended to my Father.”
This leaves the three fall feasts, the remaining 50 days of First Fruits (the counting of the omer and the First Fruits of the wheat harvest), the main harvest of barley, wheat and grapes (confirmed in Revelation), the 10 Days of Awe and the gleaning, or the four corner harvest to be fulfilled.
The First Resurrection:
There is something that we must address from the outset of this article – the meaning of the First Resurrection. The key is the meaning of the word “first”, as this is the very heart of the debate.
What exactly does “first” mean in the Bible, and in Revelation 20:5? The first thing we need to address can be found in this definition of “first” regarding the First Resurrection.
In Revelation 20:5, we have the original Greek:
Why is this important? Simple – because of what it DOES NOT say. Here what what “first” does not mean in Revelation 20:5.
STRONGS NT 4413: πρῶτος (note the differences in the original script from above)
πρῶτος, πρώτη, πρῶτον (superlative of πρό, contracted fromπροατος, whence the Doric πρατός; the comparitive πρότεροςsee in its place) (from Homer down), the Sept. for רִאשׁון and often forאֶחַד and רֹאשׁ, first;
3. neuter πρῶτον as adverb, first, at the first;
a. in order of time: Luke 10:5; John 18:13; Acts 11:26 (here T Tr WHπρώτως, which see); followed by εἶτα, ἔπειτα, or δεύτερον,Mark 4:28; 1 Corinthians 15:46; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Timothy 3:10; followed by μετά ταῦτα Mark 16:9 cf. Mark 16:12; the first time,opposed to ἐν τῷ δευτέρῳ (the second time), Acts 7:12, 13; τέπρῶτον καί, first and also (or afterward), i. e. as well as, Romans 1:16 (but here L Tr marginal reading WH brackets πρῶτον); ; withoutτέ, 2 Corinthians 8:5; 2 Timothy 1:5; first i. e. before anything else is done; first of all: Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:1; John 7:51 L Tr WH;Romans 1:8; 1 Timothy 5:4; 2 Peter 1:20; 2 Peter 3:3; πρῶτονπάντων, 1 Timothy 2:1. first, i. e. before something else: Matthew 8:21; Mark 7:27; Mark 9:11, 12; Luke 11:38; Luke 14:28; Romans 15:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Peter 4:17, etc.; before other nations,Acts 3:26; Acts 13:46; before others (R. V. the first to partake etc.), 2 Timothy 2:6; followed by τότε or καί τότε, Matthew 5:24; Matthew 7:5; Matthew 12:29; Mark 3:27; Luke 6:42; John 2:10 (T WH omit; L Trbrackets τότε); ἐμέ πρῶτον ὑμῶν (Tdf. omits ὑμῶν) me before it hated you, John 15:18 (see 1 b. ἆ.). τό πρῶτον. at the first, i. e. at the time when one did a thing for the first time: John 10:40; John 12:16; John 19:39.
One of the favorite arguments against the pre-trib rapture comes from Revelation 20:5, declaring that the rapture is the First Resurrection and as such, does not occur until after the tribulation.
However, there are several glaring issues with this logic. First, as we read above, “first” in Revelation 20:5 is not a chronological designation as we think about it in modern times. The First Resurrection is not the first chronological resurrection to occur.
That distinction belongs to Christ, and the Old Testament Saints that were seen waking the streets of Jerusalem at the death and resurrection of Christ.
Not only that, but the rapture aside, there will be a resurrection of the Two Witnesses (yes, what happens to them at mid-trib meets the Biblical definition of the resurrection). Also, there are 144,000 sealed witnesses which suddenly appear in Heaven in Revelation 12. As early as chapter six these witnesses were still on the earth – and they cannot be harmed. That means they are not a part of the martyrs that appear at different points in Revelation. That is three separate events that occur BEFORE Revelation 20:5!
This does not even account for the rapture, which we will show CANNOT be the First Resurrection at Revelation 20:5 in just a moment.
Let’s take a look at what we can find on “first” in Revelation 20:5.
Original Word: πρῶτος, η, ον
Part of Speech: Adjective
Phonetic Spelling: (pro’-tos)
Short Definition: first, before
Definition: first, before, principal, most important.
4413 prṓtos (an adjective, derived from 4253 /pró, “before, forward”) – first (foremost). 4413 /prṓtos (“first, foremost”) is the superlative form of 4253 /pró (“before”) meaning “what comes first” (is “number one”).
before (3), best (1), first (128), first of all (2), first importance (1), first man (1), first one (1), first things (1), first time (1), foremost (5), leading (2), leading man (1), leading men (5), outer (3), previous (1).
Here is what Vine’s tells us on the subject:
1. ( 1, 386) denotes (I) “a raising up,” or “rising” (, “up,” and , “to cause to stand”), Luke 2:34, “the rising up”; the KJV “again” obscures the meaning; the Child would be like a stone against which many in Israel would stumble while many others would find in its strength and firmness a means of their salvation and spiritual life; (II), of “resurrection” from the dead,
(b) of those who are Christ’s at His Parousia (see COMING), Luke 14:14, “the resurrection of the just”; Luke 20:33, 35, 36; John 5:29 (1st part), “the resurrection of life”; 11:24; Acts 23:6; 24:15 (1st part); 1 Cor. 15:21, 42; 2 Tim. 2:18; Heb. 11:35 (2nd part), see RAISE, Note (3); Rev. 20:5, “the first resurrection”; hence the insertion of “is” stands for the completion of this “resurrection,” of which Christ was “the firstfruits”; 20:6;
As we can see, “first” is more than just a chronological designation. Now, I will let you in on something. In just a moment, I am going to show you that there is a chronological component to “first”.
“Wait a minute – you just said it was not chronological!”
No, I said it was not chronological as we understand it in modern times. In the original Greek, there is more than one chronological meaning.
However, there are a few things that we must notice first. When you read through the definitions and studies above, you can see that the primary emphasis for the word “first” is that stature, importance and preference.
In other words, the First Resurrection is not “First” because it occurs before any other resurrection. It is called “First” because it is the first, or referred of the two resurrections.
The First Resurrection is to life. The Second Resurrection is to death.
In Vine’s we see another interesting piece of the puzzle:
Note (3); Rev. 20:5, “the first resurrection”; hence the insertion of “is” stands for the completion of this “resurrection,” of which Christ was “the firstfruits”; 20:6;
This denotes that what Revelation 20:5 calls the First Resurrection is actually the completion of the preferred Resurrection – of which Christ was the First Fruits. This tells us that Christ Himself is considered as the first instance of the First Resurrection. He was then followed by the Old Testament Saints that were raised with Him.
As you will see a little latter in this study, the counting of the omer is a critical piece of the continuation of the First Resurrection.
I stated a moment ago that there was actually chronological aspect. It goes hand in hand with what we have covered so far. When you look at the First Resurrection, and the resurrections in general, you may have noticed something:
Up until the resurrection of the unjust at the Great White Throne Judgment, there has been NO resurrecting of the unrighteous prior.
In other words, the chronological aspect of “first” denotes that the resurrection of the righteous comes before the resurrection of the unrighteous. The unrighteous are raised only once in all of eternity – just before formal sentencing to the Lake of Fire. First comes the different resurrections of the righteous. Then comes the one time only resurrection of the unrighteous.
However, there is one more thing that must be discussed with regards to the First Resurrection, and why it IS NOT the rapture that occurs in Revelation 20:5.
Revelation 20:4-6 ESV – Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection!
Does anything jump out at you here? Who is actually called to this resurrection?
the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus
those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.
By it’s very definition, this resurrection CANNOT be the rapture!
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 KJV – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
At the resurrection in Revelation 20:5, these are those that perished in the second 42 months of the tribulation. The dead in Christ, those that are alive and remain, the 144,000 sealed witnesses and the martyrs of the first 42 months that still found salvation though grace have already completed this process, which concluded with the BEMA, the Judgment Seat of Christ at mid-trib. We will detail this in greater detail shortly.
Also, there is one more thing that must be understood. While it is beyond the scope of this study, there is a difference in the Kingdom of Priests, or the Kings and Priests mentioned in Revelation 1:6, and the priests that we see after the First Resurrection. It is a distinction rooted in the fulfilling of the 24 courses of the priesthood, the difference between the on-duty priesthood serving in the Heavenly Temple throughout the tribulation and the off-duty priests, and the distinction between established priests and those new initiates not yet commissioned.
It is well worth the time to engage in an in-depth study of this subject.
The Rapture – Feast of Trumpets / Great Assembly:
This will be the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the catching away of the overcoming believers that look to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are two primary requirements for the rapture after salvation;
A. The believer must be an overcomer.
B. The believer must have faith in the promise of the coming of the Savior. It takes no faith to believe in the rapture after the tribulation has begun.
Those believers that do not overcome (known today as backsliding in common conversation) nor believe the promise of his coming will not go in the rapture. You cannot receive that which you will not believe in. Even Jesus could perform no mighty miracles in Nazareth where there was no belief.
There is a solemn final warning to the fallen believer found within the pages of the Bible. Do not forget to read “The Final Warning” – the last page on this site.
This is the fulfillment of the Great Assembly in ancient Israel that occurred every seven years. In this particular assembly, both the High Priest and the King would be present. The Golden Trump would be sounded once to awaken Israel and then again to call them to the Temple.
Unlike the other assemblies this would include all members of the family and not just the men. It would include all of the wives and children also.
At this assembly the scroll would be passed from among the priests to the High Priest as they were not worthy to open it. The High Priest would in turn hand the scroll to the King who alone was worthy.
This is the second day of the first fruits of Christ, as the dead in Christ complete their resurrection on this day and the living join the thief on the cross as those that had faith enough in Christ to trust him when there was no reason to do so. Christ made the first wave offerings of First Fruits – those for priesthood, when he ascended to heaven on the day he arose from the grave. He likewise completed the second wave offering – those for the people which started after the offering for the priests – when he presented the Old Testament saints that arose with him (and were seen walking in Jerusalem). Now, with the rapture, we have the second days’ wave offerings (day two of the counting) made on behalf of the congregation, or the people.
The second day of the Feast of First Fruits is now complete and thus continues the counting of the omer.
It should be noted that while parallels exist between the rapture and Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles, it will be the Feast of Trumpets that is fulfilled by the rapture. The best indication rests not within the picture of the Bridegroom coming for the Bride, rather in Jesus Christ himself convening the Great Assembly as both the High Priest and King.
This does not diminish the Ancient Jewish wedding apparent in the Feast of Trumpets. Rather, it confirms the wedding aspect of the feast by providing an additional element to Trumpets.
*** Before we detail the coming martyrdom’s for Christ, it should be noted that in the first 42 months of the tribulation martyrdom is not just by beheading. Martyrdom can come by any means – it must however come as a result of the acceptance of Christ.
Likewise, there is no evidence to suggest that believers are permitted to perish in any manner other than martyrdom during the seven years of the tribulation, or at any time from the rapture forward. This is confirmed when we witness that God indeed controls the timing and manner of death as evidenced in Revelation 9:5-6 during the times of the tribulation.
It is only during the second 42 months that martyrdom is specifically tied to beheading, and it is done so under the authority and sanction of the Muslim world government of the Antichrist.
Daniel 11:36-39 shows us that the Antichrist will declare himself to be god. However, we also see that he continues to honor the god that “his fathers knew not” and conquers the mightiest nations with the help of a “foreign god”. When these four scriptures are analyzed it becomes clear that the Antichrist does not simply declare himself “God” – he declares himself to be Allah himself.
We will detail in a later section how the Antichrist not only stops the Jewish sacrifice at the Temple, but actually restarts them in his own honor. He will sacrifice every manner of foul beast upon the altar of God.
This is a question that many have and it merited clarification. All remaining scriptural references are listed at the conclusion of this section.***
The Counting of the Omer:
This is one of the least understood concepts laid out in the Law of Moses. It requires that the first fruits of the barley harvest be presented for 48 additional days following the first day of the Feast of First Fruits. Jesus Christ fulfilled the requirements of the Feast of First Fruits when he ascended to heaven between the time Mary saw him risen at the tomb and the next time he was seen at the conclusion of the Feast of Unleavened Bread several days later. The rapture is the completion of the second day of First Fruits as the dead in Christ were raised to completion (the process began with Christ and those that were seen walking in Jerusalem) and those that were alive and remain joined the thief on the cross as the embodiment of those that would come to accept Christ while they yet lived. The rapture is the continuation of the First Fruits offerings made on behalf of the congregation – which started when Jesus Christ presented the Old Testament saints to God. It is the second day of the counting of the omer.
*** The actual timing of the counting is 47 months from the time of the rapture to Pentecost at the middle of the tribulation. We detail how the days actually line up perfectly in the section on the timing of the tribulation.
Here is what the counting of the omer requires for fulfillment:
During the first 42 months of the tribulation there will be many that are martyred by Islam for the witness of Jesus Christ. It is important to note that these are not the same martyrs that fall for failing to take the mark of the beast.
These are believers that will find salvation during these days or they will be those that did not overcome and those that did not believe in the promise of his coming (believers that did not go in the rapture, and survive the rapture as well).
They will be harvested as part of the counting of the omer during this time. That means their spirits will be brought to heaven at the time of their death and they shall find themselves under the altar. Here they will be given the whites robes made clean by their death.
Three days after they perish they shall be rejoined with their resurrected and perfected bodies and found now before the Throne of God in the company of just men made perfect.
During the counting of the omer fresh sheathes of barley are brought before to the Temple, counted, prepared and offered before God. Upon each single sheath the individual grains are counted and prepared, and the prepared offering is presented and waved before God. Each grain represents a single believer, broken in the name of Christ. The Israelites would make their way to Jerusalem during this time and the first fruits of their barley harvests would be offered as well. This was a continuous daily process as millions of sheaths were offered before the Temple of God during the 49 days from First Fruits to Pentecost.
Believers that fall during this period will be harvested as they fall, and will have the benefit of the Holy Spirit to strengthen them at the time of their death. They will need to give no thought as to what they will say as the Holy Spirit will give them utterance.
Their death as martyrs will serve as their final act of obedience to Jesus Christ. Indeed, the term martyr actually means “judicial witness” in the original Greek. Early church Fathers have written on how the martyrdom of born again believers served as the single greatest witness to Christ.
As it once was so shall it be once more. Through their deaths they will possess a peace that defies all understanding. Those that witness such things will be left with an indelible understanding that there is indeed something different with these “Christians”.
It should be understood that the resurrections that occur will not be noticed by a world that is dying. Between the judgments of the Lamb that are being poured out upon the earth, and the absolute desecration of bodies of believers that occur at the hands of Islam it will be the last thing that crosses anybody’s mind. The judgments of the Lamb will effectively mask the resurrection process of these saints – they will slip quietly from the places they fell into heaven one by one, sacrifice by sacrifice.
Most bodies of believers will be burned, dumped into mass graves or simply discarded into “trash heaps” where any attempts to retrieve them will find friends and family members on the receiving end of a “convert or die” demand.
These martyrdom’s will continue the length of the entire first 42 months of the tribulation. They will last up until the appointed time, when the total number of saved martyrs are reached. The last of these shall fall three days before the appointed Feast of Pentecost in the middle of the Tribulation, and presented before God on the day before Pentecost. This fulfills the final day of the counting of the omer as laid out in the Old Testament.
The three days from the time of death until the full resurrection and presentation to God, the martyrs undergo the same “process” which the wave offering of the barley would undergo. To be acceptable as an offering before the Lord, the barley has to be cut down, beaten by a rod, winnowed in the air, subjected to fire (but not burned), run through 13 sifters until refined and pure, mixed with oil and then waved before before the Temple of God. We can see the parallels here in both the life of believers that are raptured, and in the lives of those that are martyred in the first half of the tribulation.
It should be noted that while the end result is the same between the first fruits of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest – both become “bread” at the Temple to sustain the priesthood, it barley completes it preparation at the Temple of God itself. Only after it is presented and accepted does the barely take its final form – bread.
However, for the first fruits of the wheat harvest – the 144,000 sealed Jews – they must complete their “processing” into bread before ever arriving at the Temple of God. This is indicative of the refusal of Israel to accept Messiah (interesting when you stop and consider that this was written into the Law of Moses before Israel even occupied the promised land), and requiring a time of great trouble. Indeed, even before the 144,000 Jews are sealed they must endure the seven seals first. Likewise, they ride out the rest of the first half of the tribulation before being redeemed from the earth before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Also, in the section on the timing of the tribulation we get into specifics regarding the overall timing of these things.
One final note about believing the promise of the coming of the Lord. There are many that believe in a mid-tribulation rapture and a post-tribulation rapture. Unfortunately this is not enough to be accounted worthy for the rapture. You see, the rapture is a reward for faith – not salvation. The belief in a mid-trib or post-trib rapture requires no faith as the tribulation itself gives witness and proof of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
It is akin to saying “I believe Jesus is coming, I’ll just believe it more when I see it”. That is not faith.
“I believe in Jesus, but. . . ”
Faith is the essence of thing hoped for, the things not seen. It takes faith to speak of the promise of the coming of Christ when everyday continues as it did the day before. It takes faith to speak of the return of Christ when it seems there is no reason to do so.
“Where is the promise of his coming? All things are as they were in the days of our fathers”.
If you cannot be trusted to speak of Christ when faith is required then you cannot inherit the reward for faith. If you cannot bring yourself to speak of the coming of Christ when others think you a fool to do so then you shall be cast to outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. The outer darkness is a double reference – it speaks of hell as weeping and gnashing of teeth are mentioned. It also speaks of the darkness of being cast into the tribulation where – knowing what has happened – you shall surely weep and gnash your teeth for your foolishness. It is a reference to the great celebrations and the ancient Jewish weddings held at night. It is also a reference to the dungeons and Roman prisons that were also known for their utter darkness, misery and loneliness.
On the appointed Feast of Pentecost the First Fruits of the Wheat Harvest are presented.
Note: There is circumstantial evidence which shows that the believers taken in the rapture may fulfill part of their role as the kingdom of priests and present the “wave offering” of martyrs for which they are directly connected to as the counting of the omer progresses. They are the on-duty course of priests, literally working in the Heavenly Temple, ministering to the Most High God.
The First Fruits of the Wheat Harvest – Feast of Pentecost:
This will be the 144,000 sealed Jews. They will be caught away to heaven either with the two witnesses or shortly before or after.
There is strong evidence to suggest that their “rapture” may follow a period of 40 days of ministry to Israel. In this scenario they would remain 40 days after the two witnesses are caught up to heaven which occurs three days after their death.
Their catching away to heaven will occur on the appointed Feast of Pentecost thereby fulfilling the First Fruits of the Wheat Harvest as set forth by the Old Testament. We discuss the timing for this in greater detail in the section on the timing of the tribulation
This completes the appointed days of the spring feasts as set down by the Law of Moses.
At this time the Holy Spirit is withdrawn and the Abomination of Desolation comes forth. The days of salvation through the Holy Spirit are now complete. There remains not one soul on earth that has found salvation during the dispensation of grace. So begins the 1,335 days and the 1,290 days of Daniel.
The appointed number of believers has come. Now shall come the wrath of God and the vengeance of the blood of the slain.
The BEMA – The Judgment Seat of Christ:
Once the two witnesses and the 144,000 sealed Jews are called to heaven the BEMA will occur.
The Judgment Seat of Christ is the primary judgment for those that accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. It marks the end of the dispensation of grace as now salvation can only be achieved through the gut wrenching efforts to resist the Antichrist.
Present at this judgment will be:
1. The Old Testament saints.
These are those that were born and died under the Old Covenant or the Old Testament. Upon their deaths they went to a chamber under the earth called Abraham’s Bosom where they were kept from the fires of Hell and resided free from the torment that was found in the fires that burn with brimstone. They were free from the torment, but they had full knowledge of what awaited those that would not devote every waking day to the keeping of the Law of Moses.
Here they remained, awaiting Christ to come for them. For three days and three nights Christ came and preached the Gospel of salvation for these saints. As it is with us so it was with them.
While I cannot say for absolute certainty, I suspect that not one OT saint found in Abraham’s Bosom listened to the words of Christ, glanced over to the fires of hell and decided hell was the better route to go.
It was these saints that were seen walking the streets of Jerusalem the day that Jesus rose from the grave and ascended to heaven to complete the cleansing of the heavenly Temple.
2. The dead in Christ – those that died having accepted Christ while they yet lived.
No great mystery here – these are they that came to salvation and passed into eternity under the New Covenant or New Testament. At the time of their passing they joined the Old Testament saints under the altar (the same altar seen in Revelation 6:9) if all of the OT saints were not raised with Christ and presented before God on First Fruits.
The location of paradise is where the souls of the saved dead reside until their resurrection at the rapture. They represent the bulk of those that are taken in the rapture and are the primary business of the rapture as the first resurrection, or the resurrection of the First Born. Under the altar is the location for saved souls. It is only after you have a resurrected and perfected body that you can come before the Throne of God. The saved soul is saved, but a perfected state comes only after the resurrection and perfection of the body.
Only then can the saints be seen standing before the Throne of God.
3. Those that are alive and remain.
These are the living believers that have salvation and overcame for Christ. Also, these are the believers that had the full faith in salvation – even unto the promise of his coming. They contended for the faith every day and spoke of Christ and his coming when others mocked them.
They had an understanding that was absent from those that turned their backs and those that would not believe the promise of His coming. They understood that to have faith in Christ as the Son of God was to have faith enough not to say “but”. They never uttered the words “I believe in Christ, but. . . ” To them, Christ is indeed God, with all power in heaven and earth. As their living Savior, their hearts and minds never filled with the doubt of the scoffers. Their minds never beheld such a thought as “I know people believe in the rapture and there are scriptures that look that way, but what if they are wrong?”
These raptured believers never doubted the power and integrity of Jesus Christ. If He said He would return and save them, then by God’s name that is what He meant.
Ironically, when you read through the scriptures and see the more correct translations from the original Greek, it becomes evident that those living believers are more of a “minor” business when the rapture occurs. That is, they are an exception to the resurrections simply by being alive when the time came. They are not minor business to Christ, rather, the resurrections are the primary order of business.
4. The martyrs for Christ from the first 42 months of the tribulation.
This includes any believers that were left behind (and survived the rapture) and turned back to Christ. While they are martyrs for Christ, they are not the beheaded martyrs that come from refusing the mark of the beast. Many will have been beheaded, but martyrdom in the first 42 months can come by any means – just that it must be the witness for Christ that brings death. Given the Islamic fondness for beheading I suspect that most will have been beheaded though.
These martyrs will continue to file into paradise under the altar during the entire first 42 months as they are killed.
5. The 144,000 sealed Jews.
Either at the time of the rapture of the two witnesses or shortly thereafter the sealed Jews will likewise be raptured to heaven.
Revelation 14:3 – and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
At the Judgment Seat of Christ we are given the rewards for the works of our hands for the cause of Christ. There is no sin judgment as our sins are forgiven, but the evidence of our salvation is our work for the kingdom. Remember, faith without works is dead.
At the judgment the books of your works are presented before the Throne of Christ. They are consumed by fire and that which remains determines the rewards you shall receive. When the fire has ceased your works will have been as either wood, hay and stubble if they were not true, or gold, silver and precious gems if they endure.
Once your works are laid bare they are presented for reward.
Those that received the word of God and it’s preaching are rewarded.
Those that received a righteous man of God are rewarded.
Those that served those in greatest need (a cup of water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry, etc.) are rewarded.
Then shall the crowns be awarded for all other works for the Kingdom of Christ:
The Incorruptible Crown – given to those that live each day for Christ and endured to the end. No matter how small the task the righteous completed it with joy. When they were tired they prayed, when they hurt they went to the nursing home. When life was bearing down on them they studied and prepared.
The Crown of Rejoicing – given to those that win souls to Christ.
The Crown of Life – this crown is given to the overcomer, those that overcame the world, the flesh and the devil. They battled addictions, weaknesses and the assaults of the enemy and moved forward. those that die the martyrs death receive this crown. Those that stand faithful in severe persecution receive this crown.
The Crown of Glory – given to those that minister and tend the flock. Those that are called to ministry and faithfully tend to their congregations receive this crown.
The Crown of Righteousness – given to those that looked to the promise of his coming and lived the appearing of the Lord. Those that lived everyday in a righteous manner knowing that the master of the house should return at any moment shall receive this crown.
Revelation 3:11 – Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Those that are called by the Lord to serve and do not shall lose their crown for such. That which was set aside for you shall be given to another that takes up your calling.
The main harvest of the barley and wheat (completed together in ancient Israel):
After the completion of First Fruits the primary harvest of the barley and wheat begins. During this harvest, the wheat and barley are reaped and gathered for processing at the store house. Here the grains are processed and prepared for use (barley by winnowing and wheat by threshing).
This occurs throughout the entire harvest season. In ancient Israel, the barley harvest started before the wheat harvest, but the two came close enough together that they were generally completed at the same time. Also, it should be noted that the difference between the barley and wheat offered at First Fruits is that those were the first grains to ripen. The rest of the field was not yet ready and would require more time in the field to be harvest ready.
All but the four corners of the field are harvested. Those are to remain for the homeless, poor and the hungry to glean from.
In this harvest the barley represents the gentiles (non-Jews) that come to Christ and the wheat represents Jews that come to Christ.
“Blessed is he that dies in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ from now on”.
From the Abomination of Desolation forward there will be no Holy Spirit to strengthen those that would perish for the witness of Jesus Christ. They must now do so absent any supernatural help.
In other words – they must live for Christ Old Testament style. They will not be found as believers until the very last day of their lives or until the day that Christ returns. This is for one reason alone – until that day they can always fail.
Without the Holy Spirit it will be nearly impossible to stand for Christ as your life is being called for. It was the Holy Spirit that made our first century church such strong witnesses. It was the Holy Spirit that made the believers from the first 42 months such a strong witnesses.
For this reason their judgment before Christ will not be as it was at the BEMA. They will have no books of deeds done for Christ as believers. They will have but a singular determination made on their behalf – to the right or to the left.
As these few believers fall they shall obtain rest but shall not be resurrected until the gleaning at the end.
The Grape Harvest:
This is the great winepress of the wrath of God. This harvest is simple – to harvest grapes they must be cut from the vine and crushed. The juice of the grape is called wine while it is still in the grape and it is also the blood of the grape.
The body of the grape is crushed and every last drop of blood runs from the broken corpse.
The overwhelming majority of those still alive at this time will fall to the grape harvest as the Holy Spirit is no longer present to strengthen those that should resist for the name of Christ.
Those harvested during the grape harvest shall remain dead until the time of the Great White Throne Judgment. Their spirits shall fall into Hell while they await formal sentencing before the Throne of God. Whatever torment they find in Hell will pale in comparison to what awaits them in the Lake of Fire.
On an interesting note, while the Bible does not call for the first fruits of the grapes to be brought in the Book of Revelation, the first fruits of the fruit of the trees are gathered on the fourth year that the tree bears fruit. Only after this first fruits harvest can the rest of the fruit be harvested and eaten. It is at about year four that the grape harvest is called in heaven.
The grape harvest is completed in time for the Day of Atonement.
The Gleaning – Four Corner Harvest:
At the conclusion of the harvest season the four corners are gleaned.
We should make a note of something here. Part of the coming judgment of the nations will revolve around the reason for the gleaning.
When the Law of Moses commanded that the four corners of the field be left it was for those that were homeless, hungry and poor. It was for those that had nothing to go and find sustenance. Indeed we find this very premise in the tribulation.
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
We have seen this before in Matthew 24 and 25. We see the same conversation in Mark 13:33-37 also. In these two conversations we see a specific admonition. When the Lord Jesus speaks in Revelation 16:15 he is taking us back to a specific conversation that he had with the disciples. In that conversation he remarks that he is coming as a thief and outlines that there are differences between believers. This is important as it is a warning for those that would not watch for his coming or believe, but it is something more as well.
In Matthew the Lord then speaks of the coming judgment of nations. He talks of those that gave food and water in his name. He speaks of those that were kind to strangers in his name. Here in Matthew 25 we see a warning for those that should find themselves alive at the judgment of nations:
Though doing so will mean your death do not deny kindness to others during such harsh times. Furthermore, do not deny Jesus Christ in such kindness or he shall deny you.
The Lord is reminding those that remain that they themselves are the four corners. They are the harvest for those that hunger. If a believer in Christ is to withstand unto the end and secure salvation they must be willing to be consumed for the cause of Christ. Should they turn others away they shall surely perish. Should they help others yet deny the name of Christ in doing so they shall surely perish.
Upon the return of the Lord the angels of heaven are dispatched to the four corners of the earth to gather the elect – both living and dead (all that died or stood ready to die for the witness of Christ in the second 42 months of the tribulation). Likewise, all living unrighteous not found at the battle of Armageddon are gathered likewise.
This is the final harvest or the four corner harvest. It is done for barley, wheat and grapes. This harvest may hold another “grain of wheat” – the Jew that resisted the Antichrist in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These Jews would be given the chance to accept Christ as they remained faithful to their covenant with God and were ready to die for it.
The Day of Atonement – Judgment of Nations:
This occurs on the chronological Day of Atonement in the ninth year after the rapture occurs thus fulfilling the 10 Days of Awe, or the eight days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement recorded in the Law of Moses – for the total of ten days from Trumpets to Atonement. Stated differently, the rapture (Feast of Trumpets) is the first day, or day one. The Judgment of Nations (Day of Atonement, Second Coming) is the tenth day, or day ten. The seven years of the tribulation fills in the remaining eight days between the two feasts.
It should be noted that the first day of the Ten Days of Awe occurred prior to, and upon the rapture. As it is on earth so shall it be in heaven. What this tells us is that the seven major feast days are also celebrated in heaven. This is further evidenced by the events that occur at the heavenly Temple during the tribulation and the Trump of God being sounded to gather the Assembly. At the given time on the appointed feast day the first trump would be sounded to awaken Israel and prepare them to assemble. At the last trump the congregation would assemble and enter the Temple.
The timing of the tribulation is covered in greater detail in the “Time, Times and a Dividing of Times” section.
As it is the Trump of God that sounds to announce the Great Assembly it must likewise be sounded according to the Law of God. It is sounded on the appointed feast day to call the congregation to the Holy Temple of God in heaven.
After the four corner harvest is complete all shall be gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat to the judgment of the nations. Once there, those that died in Christ during the second 42 months of the tribulation, those that lived yet refused the mark of the beast (by this time the only reason you would have to do so is a healthy fear of the Lord given what it would have cost you) and those that were not destroyed at the battle of Armageddon yet wear the mark shall be judged.
Those that were righteous unto the death or the end of things shall be separated to the right hand of Christ. Those that were not to the left hand of Christ.
Those on the left are destroyed. Those on the right enter the 1,000 year reign of Christ.
Those that were martyred during the second 42 months now receive their robes of white and already possess perfected bodied from when they were harvested in the gleaning. They now take their place with their fellow martyrs and the Bride of Christ to rule and reign for the next 1,000 years.
Those that endured until the end shall walk into the 1,000 year reign as those that should live and die as human beings. They will repopulate the earth and shall find favor with God. They shall be strengthened and they shall know true peace. This generation shall never turn from God.
The Great White Throne Judgment:
This shall be the final judgment upon creation. It is here that everyone born of the survivors of the tribulation will be judged before God. It occurs after the 1,000 year reign of Christ.
It is here that the unrighteous dead shall be called forth from Hell to stand judgment and formal sentencing.
All that have not been found to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ (BEMA) or the Judgment of Nations shall be judged here. This will include all of the Angels of Heaven – both fallen and redeemed (not redeemed in the sense that man is redeemed, rather made innocent once more as even the angels that did not rebel against God were subject to the knowledge of sin after Lucifer fell).
For the living that remain their names will be found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life as they are still living and did not fall during the short season that Satan was loosed.
All others will not be found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire.
This concludes the resurrections and judgments.
As we list the scriptures for this study, it is important to understand that this list is by no means conclusive. The subject of the resurrections, martyrdom’s and judgments are the key to understanding the plan of redemption and the end times. The entire unfolding of prophecy revolves around the harvest cycles of Israel and their part in the Law of Moses and the feast days.
This subject requires an in depth word study and continuous studies regarding the Jewish roots of our faith. In the subject of the resurrections, martyrdom’s and judgments resides the last of the mysteries of God. This is a study that cannot be taken lightly nor explained in one or two scriptures.
If you are to engage in a study of this subject it must be done with unceasing prayer and a willingness to unlearn that which you have learned if necessary. I approached this subject with a genuine desire in my heart to know the truth – regardless of whether or not I “agreed” with it. So it must be with you also. If you undertake this study in an effort to support a preconceived position you will fail in your efforts.
I have endeavored to present most of the scriptures I turned to for this study in the list below. However, I cannot say with complete surety that I did not unintentionally omit scripture from this list.
The study of the Bible cannot be successful without earnest prayer. Of all of the subjects contained in the scriptures the resurrections, martyrdom’s and judgments are the key to unlocking everything and among the most rewarding subjects to study.
Outside the plan of salvation there is no greater body of God’s insight than this.
Remember this – line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.
Here is the listing of scriptural references for the resurrections, martyrdom’s and judgments:
Leviticus 23:5-6, 10, 16, 24, 27 and 34.
Exodus 12:22, 19:10-20, 23:16-17, 34:18 -22 and 24-25
Psalms 47:5, 81:3, chapter 118
John 7:37, 14:2
Matthew chapter 13:30, 17, 24:8 and 31, 29-36, 25:10
Revelation chapter 2:19, 3:7-11, 4:1 and 4, 6:9-11, 7:1-3, 5-8 and 14-15, 9:20, 11:15 and 18, 12:17, 14:1, 14 and 19, 16:9-11, 19:12, 14-15, 20-21, 20:2-4 and 6
1 Corinthians 3:5-8, 4:5, 6:2, 9:24-25, 15:51-52
2 Corinthians 5:10
Romans 2:26, 14:10-12
1 Timothy 5:24-25, 6:18-19
2 Timothy 4:1, 8, 14
Isaiah 13:9-11, 26:17-21, 27:31, 63:3
1 Thessalonians 2:9 and 19-20, 4:16
1 Peter 5:4
Leviticus 19:10, 23:42-43, 25:3-4
Daniel chapter 12 (1-2)
Joel 3:2, 12