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Just One Resurrection?

How many resurrections does the Bible teach?

Introduction
   The general message of the churches is that a big battle is taking place for control of the minds of mankind. The churches are striving to teach the Bible and trying to save humankind, but Satan is busy leading them astray. If such a struggle is the true situation of what is going on today, Satan is the big winner. It appears he is gaining ground as the growing population outstrips the converts to churchianity. The ratio of “unsaved” continues to grow faster than those being “saved”! Is Satan really outwitting and outmaneuvering Yahweh today?
   Lacking a proper understanding of Yahweh’s plan for redeeming mankind, the churches insist they must convert everyone now! This means even a last ditch effort to save those about to die who have not publicly confessed they believe in the Bible’s promise and accept the Savior. If one has stated even on the deathbed that he or she accepts the salvation extended by “J-sus,” churchianity believes this person will be taken to heaven immediately upon death. Is this really true? Is everyone to accept the Savior before dying, and if he/she does not, is he/she doomed to eternal torment in the place called “hell” as they say? Among those just starting to comprehend deeper truth, a nagging uncertainty arises. What will happen to them?
   The question concerns the many truths which were not understood nor practiced by parents, relatives or loved ones during their lifetime. What is going to happen to them? Their parents or uncle Joe and aunt Tess were good people. They lived exemplary lives, obediently keeping Yahweh's commandments and were pillars of good to all—but were unaware that the Sabbath is the sign that we might know Him (Ezekiel 20:12, 20). Nor did they know Yahweh’s name which is the seal that we are His, Revelation 14:1. Neither did they observe the Feast days. What is going to happen to them? Are they forever lost because of their ignorance?
   What about those living in the bush countries who have never so much as heard of a Bible, not to mention the Sabbaths or the Sacred Name of Yahweh or Yahshua? Are they cut off from salvation because of their ignorance? Just because no one ever made the effort to visit these bush people, are they forever committed to an eternity in flaming vengeance?


More Than One Resurrection
   Yahweh is not slack concerning His promises. He is just and because of His tender mercies everyone will be given their opportunity for salvation. At the times of their ignorance Yahweh winks at, Acts 17:30. The Bible teaches more than one resurrection. The first is by far the
preferred resurrection which will be those who have been faithful and obedient:
  
Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of Yahweh and of Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years, Revelation 20:6 AV.
   That wonderful first resurrection will be the saints who faithfully obey Yahweh and follow in the footsteps of the Savior. Right now Yahweh is calling a people that once they understand the high calling, will cling to the truth and never let go. They will persevere and stand fast until the
end. These overcomers comprise the first resurrection.
  
But every man in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits; afterward they that are Messiah's at his coming. (1 Corinthians 15:23 AV)
   Yahshua Himself promised an eventual resurrection of all the dead, and spoke of more than one resurrection. He called the first resurrection as one “to life.” He was referring to those who would be raised or changed from flesh to the spirit realm, no longer flesh and blood. They would come forth to the resurrection of LIFE, to a never-ending life; to immortality! Those in the first resurrection will be changed to spirit beings.
  
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto damnation [judgment, for this comes a thousand years later], John 5:28-29.
   Paul, in his defense before Felix, stated there would be a resurrection of two groups. Notice that the just are resurrected before the unjust. Those who are striving to obey the commandments, statutes and judgments are preparing themselves to be a kingdom of priests under Yahshua.
  
And have hope toward Yahweh, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. (Acts 24:15 AV)
   The Psalmist emphasizes the same concept, calling those in the first resurrection “the upright.” Resurrection morning, the upright shall fulfill their role as teachers and guides (have dominion) in the kingdom.
  
Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. (Psalms 49:14 AV)
   Yahshua promised that in the first resurrection, those who were obedient would then be blessed. He also urged His hearers to be a generous, helpful, loving people doing good wherever possible, with no expectations of being repaid. Yahshua stated one would be given their reward or repaid at the first resurrection.
  
And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. (Luke 14:14 AV)

Raised from [Among] the Dead
   Paul was quite clear that he was hopeful of being in that first resurrection. Writing to the Philippians he referred to a resurrection from the corpses. In other words and from among these dead corpses, he hoped to be raised (known as the “out” resurrection)
  
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:11 AV)
   Commenting on this verse, W. J. Erdman states “It is clear from these foregoing scriptures that believers in [Messiah], by virtue of their union with Him, share with Him a resurrection peculiar as to kind and as to time. It is the resurrection from among the dead, the rest of the dead waiting until their call to judgment comes. It is not a simultaneous raising of good and evil, nor a judgment of all in one brief period of time.” (The Unseen World; A Concordance with Notes, p. 40).
   Yahshua emphasized the same concept when speaking of the righteous as being worthy of that first resurrection. Note that He states those in that first resurrection cannot die any more, but like the angels will be spirit and are immortal. Another resurrection takes place a thousand
years later.
   Scripture identifies a second major resurrection automatically, by stating there is a first. The second resurrection we find closely relates to The Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:11-13. It is also alluded to by the Last Great Day, which is the eighth day (Lev. 23:36),
counted from the seven day Feast of Tabernacles. Request your free bookmarks, "Yahweh's Appointed Times," as well as the booklet called, "Biblical Holy Days."
   It may be a time when many will be given a first opportunity to accept the One they never knew. An opportunity extended to us who are called right now, John 7:37; Revelation 22:17.
  
But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of Elohim, being the children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:35-36 AV)

The Firstfruit Resurrection
   In the Old Testament, Daniel acknowledged there would be more than one resurrection. Take note all verses agree that the first resurrection is the one we should strive for. It is the resurrection to life, to the spirit realm where one will never die.
  
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2 AV)
   The first resurrection is of the saints who will be priests in the prophesied kingdom of Messiah, of which there shall be no end, Luke 1:33. We are now tested for our sincerity. Strive to stay on that narrow way, do not fall by the wayside! We must always have the Kingdom goal before us and pray that our faith fails not.
   We may have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. But do not despair, we are given the promise we will not be alone and Yahweh will see us through. In a sense we join those pioneers and ancient worthies who continued steadfast in the word of truth and are an
encouragement and a lesson to us.
  
Begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures, James 1:18.
   It will be a great day when Yahshua returns and sets up His kingdom. However, much will occur before He puts down all rule and authority. The saints will be tested and tried as no one has before. Prophecy tells of the torture and martyrdom yet to take place. We have not seen anything yet! Read in the Bible’s “Who’s Who” in Hebrews chapter eleven of the ancient worthies who suffered and died for the truth:
  
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection, Hebrews 11:35 AV.

Many Are Called, Few Chosen
   A study of the Bible reveals that Yahweh is calling a few to be in the first resurrection. Reading Matthew 20:16 and 22:14, both quote Yahshua as saying, “Many be called, but few are chosen.” The Greek kletos has the sense of invited, that is, invited or chosen to be in the first resurrection. In other words, many are called, but only a few answer the call, and fewer are chosen. Take note of John 6:70; 13:18; 15:16, 19; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:2 and other places, Yahshua states He has chosen His disciples.
   Further, adding to this puzzle, we read Yahshua’s words,
“No man can come to Me, except the Father Which hath sent Me draw him...” (John 6:44, 65 & Phil. 2:13)
   Furthermore, no one can come to the Father except through the Son as we read, Yahshua’s words,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me,” John 14:6; Matthew 11:27, etc. Our Father Yahweh calls those He knows have the stuff to be in that
first resurrection. Yahshua chooses His own.


Judgment of the Saints
   When the Savior returns to this earth, the saints will rise with changed spirit bodies to meet Him in the air. Yahshua returns to judge His people. Peter wrote that it will be the believers who will come under His judgment and are chastised through afflictions and persecutions. His loving correction is needed from time to time lest we fall into the ways of the wicked. Even the righteous scarcely will be saved:
  
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of Elohim: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the good news of Yahweh? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the wicked and the sinner appear? (1 Peter 4:17-18 AV)
  
But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Messiah. (Romans 14:10 AV)
   Take note that the returning Savior will be the judge of those who have been faithful to the high calling we have in Messiah. He will bring His reward with Him to give to everyone his part of the inheritance.
  
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Messiah; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10 AV)
  
And behold I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12)
  
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which Yahweh, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8 AV)
  
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2:10 AV)
  
And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of Elohim to be the Judge of quick and dead. (Acts 10:42 AV)

The Wife Makes Herself Ready
   Those in the first resurrection will have glorified spirit bodies just as the Savior now has. We will be like Him:
  
Beloved, now are we the sons of Yahweh, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2 AV)
  
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12 AV)
   Paul goes into detail clearly showing that those in the first resurrection shall be made spirit, no longer flesh and blood:
  
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of Elohim; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15:50-54 AV)
   Not only are we promised hope beyond the grave, but we will achieve immortality—deathlessness!
   Paul reveals that we should be Israelites in every sense of the word. We should obey the laws given to Israel. Keep the days given to Israel. We should worship the Mighty One of Israel. We should call upon Yahweh’s name, which He Himself has revealed to us as He anciently revealed to Israel through Moses. When we accept the salvation given us through His Son, we should rejoice that we are placed into the Abrahamic tree of promise, Romans 11:24. Determine now to measure up to the high calling we have in Messiah and be a part of the Israel of Yahweh, Galatians 6:16. May you be included in the phrase,
“His wife has made herself ready,” Revelations 19:7.



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