The mark of the beast is mentioned throughout the book of Revelation during the time of tribulation. Without going into what the mark of the beast actually is, I would like to just say that it is not a good thing to have. Let us go to the book of Revelation and read about the mark of the beast.
And the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever. And they will not have rest day or night, those who were worshipping the beast and his image and who took the mark of his name. (HRV Revelation 14:11)
"And the smoke of their torture goes up forever and ever. And they have no rest day or night, those worshipping the beast and his image, also if anyone receives the mark of his name." (ISR Revelation 14:11)
This is a great time of tribulation and those that do not worship the beast, worship his image or receive the mark of the beast will be beheaded for their faithfulness as we will read later. The popular doctrines of the pre-tribulation and the mid-tribulation rapture teach that the rapture will happen before this event.
The first resurrection is what the Christian church refers to as the rapture. Let me point out that the word rapture is found nowhere in Scripture, and why they choose to use the word rapture, I don't know. However the passage below describing the first resurrection is also the event Christians call the rapture.
And this we say to you by the word of our Adon, that we who remain at the coming of our Adon who are living will not precede those who are asleep. Because our Adon with a command and with the voice of a chief angel, and with the trumpet of Eloah, will decend from heaven and the dead who are in Messiah will rise up first, And then we who remain who are living will be caught up with them as one in the clouds, for the meeting of our Adon. (HRV 1st Thessalonians 4:15-17)
For this we say to you by the word of the Master, that we, the living who are left over at the coming of the Master shall by no means precede those who are asleep. Because the Master Himself shall come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of a chief messengar, and with the trumpet of Elohim. And the dead in Messiah shall rise first. Then we, the living who are left over, shall be caught away together with them in the clouds to meet the Master in the air -- and so we shall always be with the Master. (ISR 1st Thessalonians 4:15-17)
We see in the passage above that all those in Messiah, dead and alive will be caught up together with the Messiah in the clouds at this time. This means that there are none in Messiah left on the earth except those who are not in Messiah. Now lets go to another passage in the book of Revelation that describes this same event.
And I saw seats and they sat on them and judgment was given to them. And [I saw] the nefeshot, those who were cut off for the testamony to Yeshua and for the word of Eloah and those who did not worship the beast nor his image, neither received the mark between their eyes or on their hands, they thast lived and reigned with the Messiah for one thousand years. (HRV Revelation 20:4)
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Y'shua and for the word of Elohim, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years. (ISR Revelation 20:4)
Now things are getting somewhat clearer. We now see that among those that were caught up with the Messiah in the clouds and are now reigning with Messiah for one thousand years are those who were beheaded. This changes everything, this means that the first resurrection will not happen until after the tribulation.
Some advocates pushing the doctrine of the rapture will claim that those that those that were beheaded were beheaded after the rapture and that those beheaded were given a second chance and part of a second resurrection or rapture. Lets pick up where we left off and see what the Word says about that.
And this is the first resurrection. (HRV Revelation 20:5)
(and the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended) -- this is the first resurrection. (ISR Revelation 20:5)
The Word seems to be clear on this issue; that those that are not caught up during the first resurrection will not live again until the thousand years are finished. Let us keep reading and see what else we can learn.
Blessed and set-apart is he who has a part in the first resurrection. And upon them the second death has no authority, but they will be cohenim of Eloah and of the Messiah and will reign with him one thousand years. (HRV Revelation 20:6)
Blessed and set-apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death posses no authority over these, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (ISR Revelation 20:6)
Now we have it in black and white; all of those that will live and reign with Messiah are part or the first resurrection and the second death has no power over them. This tells us that those that take part in the second resurrection will not live for a thousand years, are not in Messiah, and will face the second death.
The great tribulation is spoken of in great detail in the book of Mathew. This sermon by Messiah on the Mount of Olives refers to a time of great tribulation, making note of the 'abomination of desolation' which is when the beheading will take place. Those familiar with the book of Maccabee's and the story of Hanukah should know all too well. Let us now read from the book of Matthew.
When you therefore will see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Dani'el the prophet, he who said that it would stand in the set-apart place, (whoever reads, let him understand) (HRV Matthew 24:15)
"So when you see the 'abomination that lays waste,' spoken of by Dani'el the prophet, set up in the set-apart place" -- he who reads, let him understand -- (ISR Mattithyahu 24:15)
It is also mentioned that Yah's people are still here during this time of great tribulation. It is such a horrible time that the days will actually be shortened for us. Lets keep reading from the book of Matthew.
And if those days had not been shortened, there should no flesh be saved; only on account of the chosen those days will be shortened. (HRV Matthew 24:22)
"And if those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the sake of the chosen ones those days shall be shortened. (ISR Mattithyahu 24:22)
Something that I find interesting, and you should too, is that Messiah is assuming that we are all still keeping the Sabbath even into the great tribulation. If we are not to keep the Sabbath then why is He telling us to pray that our flight not be on the Sabbath? Let us read again from the book of Matthew and think about it.
And pray you that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath. (HRV Matthew 24:20)
"And pray that your flight does not take place in winter or an the Sabbath. (ISR Mattithyahu 24:20)
From the above passage, it is obvious that we are still here during the great tribulation; these people mentioned here are obviously Yah's people. We already know that they are not to be left behind for two obvious reasons: because they are to be beheaded and those beheaded are part of the first resurrection and reign with the Messiah for a thousand years, and also because if they were left behind they would be part of the second resurrection, and not live again for a thousand years, and will face the second death (Hellfire).
The second coming is also spoken of in great detail in the book of Matthew. This sermon on the Mount of Olives mentions the second coming as happening right after the great tribulation. This event is one in the same as the first resurrection. What Christians refer to as the rapture is none other than the second coming!
And immediately after the tribulation of those days will the sun shall be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from the heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. (HRV Matthew 24:29)
"And immediately after the distress of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. (ISR Mattithyahu 24:29)
We see from this passage that this event takes place immediately after the tribulation. What a coincidence! The first resurrection also takes place right after the tribulation. It seems very strange that there is no mention of Yah's people being taken away before either the tribulation or the second coming.
And then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then will all the tribes of the land mourn, when they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory. (HRV Matthew 24:30)
"And the sign of the Son of Adam shall appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Adam coming on the clouds of the heaven with power and much esteem. (ISR Mattithyahu 24:30)
From this passage we now see some strikingly similar parallels to the events that will happen in the first resurrection. Remember this statement: "For the Messiah Himself will descend from heaven". This has to be the same event, He is coming a second time but nowhere is there any mention of a third coming.
And he will send his angels with a shofar, and a great voice, thst they may gather together his chosen from the four winds, from the heights of the heaven to its extremities. (HRV Matthew 24:31)
"And He shall send His messengers with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (ISR Mattithyahu 24:31)
This passage also describes events that are all too familiar and are of no coincidence. Once again lets take a good look at this passage referring to the first resurrection and see if it could indeed be the same event.
Because our Adon with a command and with the voice of a chief angel, and with the trumpet of Eloah, will decend from heaven and the dead who are in Messiah will rise up first, (HRV 1st Thessalonians 4:16)
Because the Master Himself shall come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of a chief messenger, and with the trumpet of Elohim, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. (ISR 1st Thessalonians 4:16)
Most important is that at the end of both of these events the Messiah gathers all of His people. Common sense tells us that the first resurrection will take pace at the second coming, that they are the same event as neither of the events described refer to each other as a separate event, nor does is second gathering of those in Messiah mentioned in Scripture.
The doctrine of the rapture pushed by the Christian church is unsubstantiated and a very dangerous message. This doctrine teaches that there will be no hard times ahead and of a second chance that does not exist. If I am wrong and if I will be taken before I face tribulation which I am prepared to go through as I believe I have been forewarned in Scripture, then I will be blessed. On the other hand, if all those that have been indoctrinated into a false hope of being raptured out of here before hard times arise are left here to endure then they will curse Yah. This sets the stage for serious disappointment for some believers. This doctrine will only bring forth bad fruit. I hope and pray that not too many will turn astray.