Q. I just finished reading your excellent article on “Defending the Pre Trib Rapture Again” I appreciated your research very much. I would point out that I believe you quoted Daniel 12:2 as to when Old Testament Saints will be resurrected at the end of the tribulation. I think if you look at the gospels they show the old testament saints in Abraham’s bosom and they are resurrected when Christ is, that is why many graves were open and were seen by living people.
A. In Matt. 27:52-53 we read of many holy people who came out of their tombs and were seen in Jerusalem following the Lord’s resurrection. Yet Daniel 12:1-2 states that at the time of the Great Tribulation, Daniel’s people (Jews) whose names are written in the Book will be delivered and then multitudes who sleep in the dust of the Earth will awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and contempt. Daniel wasn’t told that 1000 years would separate the resurrection of these two groups, only that it would commence at the end of the Great Tribulation. Twice he’s told that the object of the passage is Daniel’s people.
The Bible obviously cannot contradict itself. Both passages have to be correct. Was the group who came out of their tombs to appear in Jerusalem only a sample, as some believe? That would make them the fulfillment of the “wave offering” required in the Feast of First Fruits wherein a sample of the harvest is brought into the Temple to be waved over the altar so the whole harvest can be accepted. (Lev. 23:9-11) Since the Resurrection was a fulfillment of First Fruits, there’s logic behind that view.
Or were they visible but not yet in their resurrection bodies , as Lazarus was not in his when he came out of the tomb? This opinion holds that they await their resurrection bodies in heaven until the end of the Great Tribulation just like the spirits of Christian believers in heaven await the Rapture to receive theirs.
Since the Matthew passage says “many holy people” rather than “all the holy people” I lean toward the first view. All those who had died in faith of a coming redeemer were brought out of Paradise after the Resurrection. (Ephes. 4:8) Some, perhaps those who would be easily identifiable, were given a physical presence to fulfill the wave offering requirement and confirm the prophecies about the resurrection of the dead, such as Daniel 12:2. All went to heaven with the Lord to await their resurrection bodies at the end of the Great Tribulation.
Matthew wrote his gospel to the Jews and is the only one who recorded this event. This adds credence to the “Jewishness” of this sample of a bodily Resurrection. Since the Saduccees didn’t believe in a bodily resurrection, perhaps this was done to show them the error of their beliefs as well as fulfill the details of Frist Fruits.