"Simon-Philippe: Glorified bodies for 40 days and Ascension Day"
I personally believe that you may very well be right about believers going up on Ascension Day (at least some of us). One person who has studied this and written on it for many years is Sal Smario (known by many as Brother Sal).
I will put a small excerpt of one of his articles written on the Rapture several years ago here, but please don’t make any judgments without reading the whole article at this link http://www.chn-net.com/watcher/teachings/01-24-2002.html . You may also be interested in the “class” found on the left hand navigation titled “Rapture Series”.
In a nutshell, Sal demonstrates from the Bible that many of the dead will be raised on the feast of first fruits (the day Christ rose) and will walk the earth and warn people for 40 days. At the end of the 40 days, the rapture takes place. Once the dead have risen, we will know for sure when the rapture will take place. Last I knew, Sal was not convinced that currently living believers on earth would have their bodies changed for that 40 day period, but I am more inclined to believe that it would make sense if the living believers did get glorified bodies during that time. Maybe it wouldn’t be all believers…maybe just some?
If that’s how it will work, I volunteer! While I, like everyone else on this site, would like to be raptured tomorrow, I would even more LOVE to spend the first 40 days on earth in a glorified body helping those left behind in anyway that God could use me.
The other neat thing I wanted to add is that (if Diane Walker is right about it happening on a Christian “holiday”), it seems to me that Ascension Day would be the most perfect choice! Why?
1) It’s not a man-made holiday such as Christmas or Thanksgiving…it’s the day Jesus went up in the clouds…that makes it a very genuine Christian holiday
2) Even though it isn’t a Jewish holiday, it is directly tied to a Jewish holiday in that Jesus died on Passover, rose on the Feast of First Fruits and then ascended exactly 40 days later…symbolic of the way that God would bring the Jew and the Gentile together.
Here is the excerpt I pulled out of Sal’s article.
First fruits, the promise of the full harvest yet to come, is the day Christ rose. Casting a shadow of a set time for resurrections into the future, setting the stage for the return of Jesus, the Christ in the future.
But, Matthew, in his gospel wrote, at chapter 27, verses 52 and 53, that on that day of resurrection, after Jesus rose, the graves were opened, and my Bible (KJV) says, "and many bodies of saints that slept arose, and, came out of the graves after the resurrection, went into the holy city, and appeared unto many".
What this is saying is that these risen saints are the shadow cast of the promise to be fulfilled by the raising of the dead in Christ of ITHES.4:16,17, as part of the full harvest of the saints yet to come.
And, on that day appointed for the Ascension, Ephesians, chapter 4, at verse 8, tells us that when He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, fulfilling that earlier prophecy made in Psalm 68 at verse 18!
That means that when Jesus ascended, 40 days after He rose, he took with him those saints who rose after him 40 days earlier, those that were seen by many in the holy city. They were the token, of the full harvest yet to come, just as the omer of barley (the flour), made from the sheaf's of barley picked on First fruits, and waved before the Lord, was the token of a full harvest yet to come.
That's what Paul means when he tells the Thessalonians, in chapter 4 at verse 16 & 17, that the dead in Christ rise first, THEN we which are alive and remain are caught up together with them in the twinkling of an eye, to be with the Lord forever. Nothing says that those two events occur simultaneously, in fact, Scripture strongly indicates otherwise. The time set for resurrections is First Fruits, and the time set for going to Heaven is 40 days later.
And in fulfillment of the shadow cast by that event on resurrection day, many of the newly resurrected dead in Christ, will be seen by many, just as they once were seen in the holy city.
That is the warning sign God gave us to know that our redemption is only 40 days away! Just as Nineveh knew EXACTLY what day God's wrath would come down upon them if they did not repent. They had 40 days, and that was it! Scripture is saying that the people of this world will get a 40 day warning before God's wrath begins, and all those who repent will be saved!
Now, all that Scripture has been there for centuries. Why is it only now that we are able to see this meaning in it? No one that I am aware of, has ever preached this message.
Now I know that there may be skeptics to this teaching, but to you I say, study the whole teaching, and notice that there is not a verse taken out of context, nor a shoe horn squeezing any thing into place. God's word is truth, thus it's rooted in simplicity.
With Daniel on the scene, as promised, there is much new knowledge. And the new knowledge of the meaning of the end time for the Church, which had been hidden from us in a mystery, is now in full view.
Because Now is the set time in God's plan for the Church to be alerted to watch, because their redemption draweth nigh! He is making His final call - just as He told the Laodiceans that He's coming a knocking on the door for the last time, and alas, only 50% answer the door.
That knock on the door will be the dead in Christ rising, the exact fulfillment of the shadow cast, and the fulfillment of the prophecy of Paul. And, as I have taught, my mind conceives this as being something we will just have to see at the time to know, if it's a sign to the Jews to repent (they are the ones who need to turn away from their belief and turn to Christ) before it's too late, thus making the many dead that rise visible by many only in the Holy City, or whether that event will bear witness all over the world.
Remember, in the case of Nineveh, an entire population was saved from destruction. That was a lot of people, but the meaning is, all that repented were saved. Aware Christians will know what that signs means when it occurs.
Now in the account given by Matthew, it's only told of as an event that occurred. It is only in the account of what Jesus did during those 40 days that He remained on earth that we know of. And what we know, is that He appeared to His friends and made them aware of what was to come.
I have to believe that those other dead that rose after Him, who were seen in the Holy City by many, were doing the same thing. And, I think that's one of the reasons that so many were converted in Jerusalem on Pentecost. Three thousand was an astounding number of people to convert to Him in a day, in the city that had just crucified Him.
Now, Matthew says there were many dead that rose after Him. Many is more than a few, and less than a lot. So, I don't look for millions of dead walking around the planet. These are going to be a select few who get a 40 day assignment to warn the people. Just as Jonah was selected. And, in Jonah is wrapped the entire landscape of the Messiah.