The Hope of the Resurrection - Part 3

~ HaSatan's Judgment ~

Not only will all the people who have ever lived be judged, the Adversary, HaSatan will also be required to go through two judgments. The first judgment occurs at the beginning of the Millennium:

"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven,having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while." (Rev. 20:1-3)

This initial judgment binds HaSatan for one thousand years, during which time he will be unable to deceive anyone. But after the thousand years are completed he will be loosed again for a short period of time. Once loosed, HaSatan will again take up the business of deceiving:

"Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea." (Rev. 20:7-8)

It is evident that an enormous number of people will be alive on earth at this time. If our estimates are correct, the earth's population following the second resurrection will run in the billions. Even though HaSatan will succeed in deceiving many of these people, ultimately his efforts will once again be thwarted. His last gamble will be to bring a huge army of deceived nations against the saints at Jerusalem:

"They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." (Rev. 20:9)

Following his abortive war, HaSatan will be brought for his second judgment. It appears this judgment will occur just prior to the Great White Throne Judgment of men. Perhaps it is the very first sentence that is passed down at that judgment:

"And the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." (Rev. 20:10)

Please note that the word 'are' in the next to last sentence of the previous passage, is an added word. Many translations add the word 'were' at that point, instead of 'are.' The implication, of this latter rendering is that the 'beast' and the 'false prophet,' who are human, were burned up in the fire and do not exist permanently in a state of torment, as does the 'devil.' Also, The New Englishman's Greek Concordance and Lexicon by Wigram-Green, translates the phrase "they will be tormented" as "shall be tormented," thus showing that the translation does not imply that the 'beast' and 'false prophet' are alive in the 'lake of fire.' Thus, another legitimate translation of this passage might be:

""And the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the  false prophet were cast, and he shall be tormented day and night forever and ever."

The Adversary would like us to believe that human beings will receive the punishment that is reserved for him. However, our God is a merciful God who takes no delight in the torture of those who do not wish to follow His righteous way of life, as delineated in the Torah. Rather, God, being merciful, will put those rebellious people out of their misery by consigning them to the 'second death,' a permanent absence of life.

~ Who Will Judge? ~

The Scriptures also indicate that those who have their part in the first resurrection will be involved in the judging process. "Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?" (I Cor. 6:1-3) Of course, as we have already seen, the final decisions will fall to the Father and the Son. "'Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.'" (Acts 17:30-31)

~ The End of an Age ~

This brings us to the conclusion of this age. According to Jewish tradition, the total time that men will exist in a physical state on the earth is seven thousand years. The first six thousand years have been given over to man's rule, under the influence and deception of HaSatan, the Adversary. The last one thousand year period (commonly called the Millennium) will be the time when the King Messiah (Y'shua) will reign on the earth and HaSatan will be chained in the bottomless pit.

It is clear that the final (Great White Throne) judgment period takes place following the Millennium, and is for an indeterminate period of time. However, it seems that it must be of some fair length of time in order for the Adversary to once again create enough deception in the world so that men will be willing to join the armies which will be formed to come against Jerusalem.

~ The Death of Death ~

The last event of this era is the death of death, when death and hell (or the grave) will be also be cast into the Lake of Fire, never more to exist among those who remain alive after the two resurrections.

"Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." (Rev. 20:14)

This concept is given additional support by the Apostle John when he writes about what he saw concerning the new heaven and the new earth:

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. "Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.'" (Rev. 21:1-4)

 However, there are some people who will not have a part in this most blessed era:

"'He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. "'But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'" (Rev. 21:7-8) And so, the Book of Revelation echoes what the prophets Isaiah and Hosea said centuries earlier: "And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, And the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken. "And it will be said in that day: 'Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation [yeshuah].'" (Isaiah 25:7-9)

"'I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.'" (Hosea 13:14)

~ A New Beginning ~

Now the Messiah and His Bride come to dwell in their brand new home.

"Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.'" (Rev. 21:5)

The Scriptures seem to suggest that everyone found alive at this period of time will be housed in spirit bodies rather than physical ones. Yet, the earth itself, and the New Jerusalem, seem still to be made of the physical:

"And the construction of its wall was of jasper, and the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: ..." (Rev. 21:18-19a)

Of course, this could just be a physical description of a spirit city, so that we, (currently still physical beings) can understand to some degree what a city composed of spirit essence will be like. Let us all pray that we will have a place in the New Jerusalem.

"And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.'"  Rev. 21:6-7)

~ Summary ~

This brings to a conclusion our efforts to understand death and resurrection. Let us see if we can summarize the resurrection portion of this study in a reasonably succinct manner.

·         Y'shua, being descended through His male line from God the father instead of Adam, was not susceptible to the first death. (See previous chapter.) Likewise, since Y'shua lived a sinless life, He was not condemned to the second death.

·         By taking our sins upon Himself, Y'shua subjected Himself to the second death for all mankind. However, death could not hold Him because He was both sinless and the Son of God. { God the Father resurrected Y'shua from the sleep of death after three days and nights in the grave, during which time His body and soul were dead and His Spirit was with God.

·         By coming into a covenant relationship with Y'shua, as His betrothed Bride (by accepting Him as our husband and Messiah), we become one with Him and therefore vicarious partakers of His death. This eliminates the need for us to experience the 'second death' as 'wages' for our sins and removes the hold of death from us. (See Romans 6:23) This is pure grace!

·         Because Y'shua was resurrected to life from the grave, we too have already been 'spiritually' resurrected from the grave of our second death, and will never need to actually experience it. Thus, eternal life is figuratively already present in us.

·         Each person, who is in Messiah, will still have to experience the first death.

o    Those who are dead in Messiah will be resurrected to eternal spirit life as the Bride of Messiah, at His coming.

o    Those who are blessed to still be alive when Y'shua returns to fetch His Bride (at the first resurrection) will be able to bypass the first death and have their physical bodies immediately changed into spirit.

·         The rest of the dead (the vast majority of people) will be resurrected to a physical life at the end of the one thousand year period. HaSatan, the Adversary, will be loosed from the bottomless pit at the same time.

·         An indeterminate period of time will occur during which HaSatan will once again attempt to deceive those who have been brought up in this second resurrection.

·         A rebellion will occur which will cause the armies of Gog and Magog to attack Jerusalem.

·         Once this rebellion has been quelled, HaSatan will be cast into the Lake of Fire and rendered unable to deceive anyone ever again.

·         Those who were resurrected to a physical life (the second resurrection) will be judged according to their works. Some will be rewarded with eternal life while others will be condemned to the second death.

·         The present earth will then be replaced by a new heaven and new earth where death will no longer exist.

~ Hope for Loved Ones ~

All of us should receive a great deal of comfort from what God has planned for those who have already died. Consider our loved ones who have died without knowing Y'shua as their personal Lord and Savior. Are they forever 'lost' to an eternity of torture in hellfire even though they were not totally 'wicked' people? Granted, they were sinners, for:

"... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ..." (Rom. 3:23)

But if God did not call them, or if He actually blinded their eyes so they could not see Y'shua as their Savior; is that their fault, or is God the responsible party? For it is written:

"Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: "'He has blinded their eyes and  hardened their heart, Lest they should see with their eyes And understand with their heart, Lest they should turn, so that I should heal them.' (John 12:39-40)

In these cases we believe that God is the One who is responsible, and that He has a plan whereby everyone who ever lived will be given the opportunity to obtain eternal life. The requirements for this being their willing submission to the Father (as God and ruler of the universe) and Y'shua, His Son (as Lord and Savior),  submitting to His rulership by becoming obedient to the rules of His house. When these prerequisites are met, God will change their hearts and they will come to desire a life without sin (i.e. a Torah lifestyle) for all eternity. Some may say this teaching gives people a "second chance," which is not possible if this is the only 'day' of salvation, as it seems to be written:

"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (II Cor. 6:2b)

However, please note the literal translation of this verse reads: "Behold, now a time acceptable; behold now a day of salvation -- ..." This is definitely "a" day of salvation, but it is not "the only" day of salvation.

The point is, if God has not called someone, or if He had actually blinded their eyes to the truth, then the Great White Throne Judgment will be their very first and only day of salvation. It is our contention that at the period of time known as the 'Great White Throne Judgment,' those who's names have been  written in the Book of the Intermediates will receive their very first opportunity to have their names transferred into the Book of Life.

Hallelujah!!!

~ Finally ~

 It is not our expectation that everyone will readily accept this understanding of life, death and resurrection. All of us are learning, and no one, including us here at Hebrew Roots, have all the answers. However, we believe what we have written squares with what the Scriptures teach. Sometimes old beliefs die hard. However, if you have been living with an unbiblical belief system, then we encourage you to replace it with what the Scriptures teach, for:

"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: ... A time to keep, And a time to throw away ..." (Eccl. 3:1, 6b)

Over the past several years we too have had to change our view on a number of our long held unbiblical beliefs and, no doubt, in the future will have to do so again, as YHVH reveals more truth to us. However, when it comes to a statement of what exactly is our hope for the future, we must say that it truly is:

THE HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION!!!

May each one of you reading this article be one of "those who are Messiah's at His coming."

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