Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

Why Is a THIRD Resurrection Necessary?

The first resurrection will be to eternal life for those of Israel who qualify. The second resurrection will be for the purpose of giving those Israelites who died in spiritual blindness their first chance for salvation. Why must there be a third resurrection? Who will take part in it?

by HOIM Staff

How many professing Christians really know what the Bible says about the resurrections?

Most Christians who profess to believe in the resurrection think the "just" and the " unjust" will all be raised to life at the same time -- either to be rewarded or punished.

Some, however, believe the Bible teaches there will be two resurrections.

But how many Christians know that according to YEHOVAH God's master plan there will actually be three resurrections -- not just one or two?

The first resurrection will take place at the second coming of the Messiah and will include only the "just" Israelites who will be raised to life and clothed with immortality at that time (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:53).

There clear biblical proof that after YEHOVAH God's and the Messiah's one-thousand-year rule YEHOVAH will resurrect those Israelites who in past ages died in sin and ignorance, but who (through no fault of their own) never had a chance for salvation -- in many cases never heard of Yeshua the Messiah or saw a Bible in their entire lives. Or if they did hear or see, they were spiritually blinded (see Romans 11:7).

These deceived millions of Israelites did not ask to be born into a world of ignorance and superstition; and since "God is not willing that any [of Israel] should perish," it is His responsibility to see that they are raised up and given a knowledge of the truth (II Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4-6).

The Book of Revelation

The twentieth chapter of Revelation clearly speaks of three resurrections.

After mentioning the future return of YEHOVAH God (Revelation 19:11-12), the apostle John writes that a mighty angel will bind the devil and cast him into an abyss, where he will be unable to deceive the nations for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3).

But what happens immediately after this? The saints of Israel who have been caught up to meet YEHOVAH God at His return (I Thessalonians 4:13-17) will then be given charge of this earth -- ruling with YEHOVAH God and the Messiah for one thousand years. "And I saw thrones, and they [the saints of Israel] sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded...and they lived [again] and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4).

Those Israelites who take part in this resurrection are greatly blessed by being privileged to take part in the "first resurrection" (verse 5).

"Blessed and holy is he [of Israel] that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (verse 6).

When do the remainder of the dead Israelites rise? "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished" (verse 5).

This verse plainly shows that others of Israel are to be resurrected one thousand years later. 

In describing the "second" resurrection, verses 11-12 (of Revelation 20) point to a coming resurrection and judgment of that portion of the "rest of the dead" Israelites who never had their chance for salvation. Verse 12 reads : "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books [Greek: biblos, books of the Bible] were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life.... "

When these millions of Israelites are resurrected, YEHOVAH God will open up the Bible to their understanding. They will be given their first real chance to repent, accept the Messiah as their Savior and receive YEHOVAH's precious holy spirit. While their names are already in the Book of Life, hopefully most will not have their names removed. (See our article, The Genetic Code and the "Book of Life")

Now consider verse 13: "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [Greek: hades, grave] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they [the dead of Israel] were judged every man according to their works."

Here is pictured another resurrection period. Who are these dead? What resurrection is this?

Notice that there is no statement that the "Book of Life" is opened up to them. Why don't those who rise up in this final resurrection have their names in the Book of Life? Simply because they must have already had their chance for salvation -- and have rejected it!

YEHOVAH God is not willing that any Israelite should perish, yet it is not His will to force the truth on anyone. He will not force salvation down anyone's throat.

YEHOVAH offers salvation freely to all those Israelites who will receive it (Acts 2:21). And He has made every man a free moral agent -- with the power of volition, the power to choose. Those Israelites who do not voluntarily accept YEHOVAH God's offer and follow that way of life necessary to receive life eternal will not receive it.

Those who will come up in this third resurrection are the incorrigibly wicked. They are the last Israelites to be resurrected from their graves -- from "the sea" (where they may have perished in their first life), from death (without burial in their first life), or from "hell" (a hole or grave in the ground).

These miserable Israelite beings will be sentenced by YEHOVAH God -- and executed: "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (verses 14, 15). Lamentably, none of the Israelites who will be resurrected in this resurrection will have their names in the Book of Life. Therefore they will all perish!

Missing the Boat!

This resurrection (which will result in the second death) is vividly described in Luke's Gospel. A certain heartless "rich man" is resurrected to a horrible fate. "And in hell [Greek: hades, grave] he lift up his eyes, being in torments....[And he said,] I am tormented in this flame " (Luke 16:23-24).

The wicked Israelites will all be cremated when YEHOVAH God burns up the earth, turning it into the final Gehenna (see II Peter 3:10).

But what is the truth of this parable? The rich man is raised up out of his grave at the very end of the plan of YEHOVAH God for His people Israel on earth. He has had no knowledge of the passing of time -- "the dead know not anything" (Ecclesiastes 9:5). The "rich man" thought that his brothers were still alive (Luke 16:27, 28 -- but other scriptures reveal they, too, had died) .

He now realized that he had missed the boat; he had missed out on receiving salvation. There is now "a great gulf fixed" (verse 26) between him and those Israelites who are with Abraham in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. It is now impossible for anyone to pass either way through this great gulf: impossible for those who are immortal to become mortal; impossible for the mortal ones to receive immortality.

The Messiah said: "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in [the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God], and shall not be able" (Luke 13:24). Continuing with the context, the Messiah then goes on to picture himself as one who refuses to answer the knock of incorrigible sinners of Israel who have previously rejected salvation (as shown by other scriptures). In verse 28 He says: "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves [incorrigible Israelite sinners] thrust out [not able to enter the Kingdom]."

When the time for the third resurrection arrives, everyone of Israel will have had his chance. Everyone's ultimate destiny will have then been "fixed" eternally. It will be forever too late for anyone who -- after receiving his chance for salvation -- sinned willfully, thereby rejecting eternal life. Those Israelites who rejected YEHOVAH God and His way must then reap the consequences of that decision -- the second death, from which there will be no resurrection. How awful! How tragic!

Israelites Must Choose

YEHOVAH God is NOT in any sense a sadist. He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9; cr., I Timothy 2:4). But to those Israelites who refuse His mercy, He is a God of justice and judgment (Hebrews 10:29-31). He wants those who leave Him with no alternative but to put them to death for eternity to know what He earnestly desired and wished them to achieve.

So YEHOVAH God is going to compel the incorrigibly wicked Israelites to see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God before they are eternally put to death (see Luke 13:28; 16:23).

Since YEHOVAH made Adamic man a free moral agent with the power of volition, all Israelites must choose. YEHOVAH God will insist that each Israelite choose either His way or the devil's way -- either life or death (Deuteronomy 30:19). But YEHOVAH God will not force any man to receive eternal life, nor will he arbitrarily consign anyone to death. All Israel must choose, and reap the consequences of that choice.

What will happen if an Israelite chooses the way of sin and suffering? "For the wages [reward] of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

But the Bible speaks of two deaths: first and second. "...It is appointed unto men [of Israel] once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).

From the time of righteous Abel till this very day, even righteous descendants of Adam have had to suffer the first death. But it is the second death that is final -- not the first (Revelation 20:14, 15).

The New Heavens and the New Earth

Notice how the apostle Peter wrote that the wicked of Israel will perish in the lake of fire -- which will occur at the time when the earth is burned up and then made into a new earth, where the righteous will dwell forevermore:

"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (II Pet. 3:7).

YEHOVAH God has decreed that He will not let this earth be destroyed until His great master plan for His people Israel on this earth is finished.

This time of the destruction of the wicked is explained more fully by Peter: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (verse 10).

Furthermore, "all these things shall be dissolved" (verse 11) at the time of the perdition (annihilation) of the ungodly -- during the time of "the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat" (verse 12).

What then? After the perdition (second death) of the wicked of Israel, YEHOVAH God will make "new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth [only] righteousness" (verse 13).

The apostle John, after describing the destruction of the wicked of Israel (Revelation 20:13-15), immediately mentions "a new heaven and a new earth" (Revelation 21:1). He then gives a glowing account of the peace, happiness, beauty and glory that will characterize this new earth.

John was taken in vision to a "great and high mountain," where he was able to view "that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God..." (verse 10).

Notice that this indescribably beautiful city is not up in heaven, but is to be located right here on this earth. Again, the apostle John speaks of the "new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God... " (Revelation 3:12).

Nowhere in the Bible is there a promise that the Israelite man will, at death, waft off to heaven. Rather, the Scriptures plainly teach that the new Jerusalem will come down from heaven to this earth. Israelites will not go up to heaven to dwell with YEHOVAH God; but YEHOVAH will come to this earth to dwell with His people Israel: "...Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Revelation 21:3).

The Bible is consistent. Yeshua the Messiah plainly taught that Israelites would eternally dwell here on this earth when he said: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).

And David wrote: "But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace" (Psalm 37:9, 11).

But will righteous Israelites only inherit this earth during the Millennium -- and then go to heaven? "The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever" (verse 29).

What will happen to the wicked of Israel? Will they, as some say, spend a while in hell (or in some other place) suffering for their sins, and then be taken to heaven to live forever?

The Second Death

Long ago, the Prophet Daniel spoke of the wicked of Israel who would "awake" in a resurrection "to shame and everlasting contempt [or abhorrence]" (Daniel 12:2) .

Malachi also spoke of the end of these wretched beings who spurned eternal life: "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all [of Israel] that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch" (Malachi 4:1).

What about the righteous of Israel? Where will they be?

Daniel said the righteous of Israel would "awake...to everlasting life" (Daniel 12:2). They will then become glorified sons of YEHOVAH God -- living, serving their Creator eternally: "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (verse 3).

The righteous Israelites will then be made immortal. But in the third and final resurrection, the wicked Israelites will be made to see that they have scoffed at YEHOVAH's priceless offer for salvation. As a punishment, and as an eternal example, they will be annihilated in the "second death."

The Prophet Malachi wrote of this triumph of the righteous over the wicked: "And ye [the righteous] shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet..." (Malachi 4:3).

Sinning Willfully

Israel's destiny is so great and glorious that few Christians have ever really grasped it. YEHOVAH God, through His Word, repeatedly speaks of His people Israel becoming sons in the very family of YEHOVAH God.

Even YEHOVAH's angels are servants of these heirs of divine sonship: "Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14.)

Realizing the "high calling" which YEHOVAH has given us, the apostle Paul wrote that Christian Israelites should "give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip" (Hebrews 2:1).

He then asked: "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation...?" (Verse 3.)

The book of Hebrews is filled with warnings to the Israelite believer not to get careless and lose out on eternal salvation.

Paul warns Christian Israelites not to let a "root of bitterness" trouble and/or defile them (Hebrews 12:15).

But the sternest warning in the entire Bible is in the tenth chapter of Hebrews: "For if we sin willfully [with deliberate intent] after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:26, 27).

The apostle Paul then speaks of the severe ("sorer") punishment which will befall that wicked person of Israel "who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace" (verse 29).

Truly, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (verse 31).

[Editor's note: Willful sin is NOT to be equated with sin by force of habit or under heavy temptation. "Slipping," making mistakes, or occasionally falling down spiritually do not constitute willful sin. A thorough exposition of this principle may be obtained by writing for our free articles What Do You Mean -- the Unpardonable Sin? and Just What Do You Mean...Conversion?]

But can a true Israelite believer draw back and be eternally destroyed? Can his name be removed from the Book of Life? "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition [destruction]; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (verses 38, 39).

We have seen that YEHOVAH God is "not willing that any [of Israel] should perish." Furthermore, YEHOVAH has ordained that there will be three resurrections: the first, to immortality at the return of YEHOVAH God's Shekinah Glory -- immediately before the Millennium begins.

The second is to take place shortly after the thousand-year rule of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah. Those who rise in the second resurrection comprise all the deceived multitudes of Israelites who died without a saving knowledge of the truth.

The third resurrection occurs at the very end of YEHOVAH's plan for His people on this earth. Those Israelites who rise up in the third and final resurrection are those who had their chance for salvation and deliberately turned it down. YEHOVAH God will be forced to extinguish the lives of those who have obstinately chosen the way of death! Remember, YEHOVAH God will not force eternal life down anyone's throat.

Now you should be better able to understand what the apostle Paul meant by an "order" of resurrections (I Corinthians 15:23). He simply meant that there would be a succession of resurrections, various ones rising at different times for different judgments.

Inheriting All Things

Let us remember that our Creator is a benevolent, loving God who wants to do everything possible for His people Israel. "The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy....Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him" (Psalm 103:8, 13).

Those of Israel who know the truth should strive with all their might to be in the first resurrection, the resurrection to eternal life, the "better resurrection" (Hebrews 11:35).

But those Israelites who are not predestined by YEHOVAH God to receive the saving knowledge of the truth now, will rise up in the second resurrection. They will then be given their first real chance to be saved.

But those Israelites who reject that knowledge and that way to eternal life -- regardless of the age in which they were given the knowledge of the truth -- will rise in the third and final resurrection, which will culminate in the "second death" in the lake of fire.

But the believing Israelite has a wonderful, eternal future ahead of him. "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Revelation 21:7, 8).

Your eternal destiny -- your future -- is up to you! You can choose the way of YEHOVAH God and eternal life, or you can choose Satan's way of lust, greed, strife and sin -- which will lead to total perdition -- to the "second death" in a lake of fire.

Let each one of us of Israel make sure that we make the right choice.

(Be sure to read the following companion articles: The CHURCH -- Called Out of What?, An Exclusive Israel and the Book of Galatians, and Is Israel a Chosen Servant Race to "Save the World?").


Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

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