A Study By: Timothy M. Youngblood
Copyright © The Master's Table
Many have heard it preached for years that there will be three resurrections, and that those whom never had an opportunity to know, and accept Jesus the Messiah would come up in a third resurrection to be taught the truth and offered salvation at that time. One biblical prophecy used to demonstrate this is found in the book of Ezekiel and refers to what is called the valley of dry bones. Although this would be great, is this true? Is there a third resurrection for the near lost and those that never heard of salvation through Jesus the Messiah? Let’s look at one place where this teaching came from and then study into the subject to see if it is in fact biblical. One place you can find this teaching of a third resurrection referred to is in H. W. Armstrong’s booklet titled, Mystery of the Ages on page 106 he states..."They celebrate a pagan Easter acknowledging the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But they overlook entirely the plain biblical teaching that all who ever lived are to be resurrected from the dead, although in the time order of three distinctly different resurrections." and on page 111 of the same book he states...GOD'S WONDERFUL MASTER PLAN WILL CALL EVERYONE WHO EVER LIVED TO RECEIVE ETERNAL SALVATION, but on real repentance and belief of God's truth. But, there is a time-order in resurrections (I Cor. 15:22-23). "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward . . ." (two other resurrections revealed in Revelation 20:11-13 are not covered in I Corinthians 15). Those called in the millennium, and those in the Great White Throne resurrection and judgment, shall NOT have Satan, then, to overcome."
H. W. Armstrong also states in his book “Mystery of the ages” page 121 "God took away their miserable lives, by the earthwide Flood, to be resurrected in the next second of their consciousness in the "Great White Throne" resurrection (Rev. 20:11-12). They will be brought back to life in a time when Christ is ruling the earth in righteousness, peace and happiness. Satan will be gone. Their minds then will be opened to God's TRUTH, and eternal salvation will be opened to them." We also found in our research that H. W. Armstrong taught that the prophesy in Ezek. 37:25 concerning the valley of dry bones was referring to the second resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgment but is this scriptural? On page 197 of his book “Mystery of the ages” H. W. Armstrong states, "The 37th chapter of Ezekiel reveals how those of ancient Israel will receive the Spirit of God, if willing, in the Great White Throne Judgment." And again on page 288 he states; "The 37th chapter of Ezekiel also shows the resurrection at the time of the judgment. This 37th chapter is the prophecy of the "dry bones. The Bible itself interprets these dry bones, states Armstrong, in verse 11 where it says these dry bones are the House of Israel: ". So we find that H. W. Armstrong is stating that this 37th chapter of Ezekiel which is the prophecy of the dry bones is a prophesy of the Great White Throne judgment, and that all the ancient Israelites are resurrected mortal, precisely as in their first life. At the bottom of page 290 he states, “But they will learn that Jesus Christ paid their penalty, and in repentance, demonstrated by performance, they will be given an opportunity yet at that time to choose life, and be made immortal. End quote.
Where did H. W. Armstrong get such an idea and do these prophecy's truly picture a physical resurrection at the Great White Throne judgment which would include those that will be given a second chance to live and learn of Christ? Please keep in mind that he continued to state that the third resurrection was during the Great White Throne judgment so let's look at scripture and see if this is possible.
take a close look:
To understand what someone is stating we must take a close look at all the facts in scripture concerning the subject as well as what they are teaching and not just accept what they are placing before us as proof. As we look closely we find that there is a very big problem with this teaching of H. W. Armstrong concerning the valley of dry bones because we can understand by reading about this prophesy in Ezek. 37:25 that the old earth is still existing as it states. "Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.” It's very important to understand what we find in scripture concerning the Great White Throne Judgment so let's take a look in Rev. 20:11-12. Question is just what is happening before the second resurrection takes place? Let’s read the scripture that makes this clear. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.” Rev. 20:11.
Notice that the heavens and earth flee as the great white throne comes down from heaven so the great white throne judgment takes place AFTER this old heavens and earth are gone and BEFORE the new heavens and earth come down from heaven. For those who like to check out the Greek words for meanings, the Greek word for "flee" here is pheugo (fyoo'-go); a primary verb; meaning to run away, by implication, to vanish! So this scripture concerning the resurrection in Ezek 37:25 must be referring to another time when this earth is still in existence. The only other time we find a great resurrection of the dead is at the return of the Messiah which starts the thousand year rule on this present earth which supports the statement in Ezekiel 37:25 “where your fathers dwelt.” So the statement by H.W. Armstrong that the physical resurrection of Ezek. 37 is occurring during the Great White Throne Judgment can’t be the case because if this old heavens and earth are gone and the new heavens and earth has not been put in place during the Great White Throne judgment; where will the physical humans live while they are living out another life in order to learn of Christ and learn lessons needed to reject or accept Him? Remember his statement above “demonstrated by performance” showing that they will have to be proven before they can choose or reject salvation through Jesus the Messiah. Now before you reject all this out of hand please continue the study as I will bring out more very important points that will show that there may not be a third resurrection at all.
We must cover in part the subject of judgment along with the subject of resurrection in this study because to be judged and to be condemned can’t be separated from the study of the resurrections. There are several places in the Bible where the translators used the words Judge, or Judgment incorrectly. In these cases the word should have been condemn or to mean to pronounce sentence on someone. That is why the statement in Matt 7:1-2. "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Should have been “Condemn not lest you be condemned.” The Greek word here is “Krino” and means to try, condemn, or punish. The point is that we can rightly judge a matter, which means to discern based on truth. If you see a man stealing a car you can judge (consider) him a thief, but you can’t judge him in a way that the courts of law can. Also we should not judge him in a way that places ourselves better than him as if we would never sin, or God may judge us and let us fall into a test like the one we judged. This is what the statement means, “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. “God is the one to Judge in the way of final condemnation in the end when all the facts of a persons life has been complete, such as repentance.
Back to the Resurrections:
Now let's do a good study of the resurrections and judgment keeping in mind that the scriptures are the rule and the only place we have for this information. To do the study ourselves we will need to start in (Revelation twenty) where the resurrections are described in the greatest detail for us to see what your bible reveals how the events take place from the first resurrection through to the second resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgment. Rev 20:1-15 “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.” It’s important to note that Satan will be bound for the thousand years during Christ’s rule after the tribulation period. There will be those that came out of the tribulation and are still physical, and those in Christ that have become spirit at he first resurrection will rule with Christ during this time as we read in Rev 20:6. Which stated "Blessed and holy is he 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." Because Satan will not be around to deceive those still physical (during the rule of the Messiah) gives them the greatest opportunity to learn and live according to the laws of God.
We also can conclude that those who are physical will marry and give birth to children because those who are physical will die during this time because death and the grave (hell) will not be destroyed until after this thousand years has expired. 1 Cor 15:23-26. “But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He (Jesus) delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” We also find the companion scripture to this in Rev 20:14-15. "Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."
Let’s continue now in verse 4 of Rev. 20, “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 Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Let’s notice the very important point here that judgment will be committed to those in this first resurrection, who are spirit, and that these are those whom had not worshipped the beast or his image but gave their lives for the witness of the Lamb of God. Verse 5, “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.
This is the first
Here we see a statement that proves there are two resurrections, the one before the thousand-year rule of the Messiah, which are those that are in the kingdom with the Messiah, and a resurrection after the thousand year rule. As we read above: verse six tells us, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” So those that are resurrected in this first resurrection will be spirit, and death no longer has power over them. This also means those who come up in the next, or second resurrection are physical and can be destroyed in the second death. Let’s read on and see what must happen, and if there is in fact a third resurrection. Verse 7-9 “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. 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.” (We don’t want to take the space and time here to read this prophesy but it can be found in Ezek 38:8-23 if you would like to read of it in more detail.) If Satan can muster people out of God's Kingdom after the thousand year rule of Christ then there must still be sinners during that time.
Now let’s continue in verse10 and see what happens after the rebellion, “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.” So we see in this scripture that the devil will be allowed back for his little season and then later cast into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet are and note that Satan will be cast out before the second resurrection takes place. As far as I know there’s no scriptures in the Old or New Testament that records how long this little season is, so let’s just leave it as stated…a little season. What happens next? As we covered above in Verse 11-13 “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.”
We find scripture that Peter understood that the old heavens and earth would be done away with, and he added some information by stating that they would be burned up where this information is not reveled in Revelation 20. Let’s read it. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 2 Pet 3:10. He went on to say down in verse 11-12. “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” What manner of persons ought we to be sure denotes that we are judged out of what is written in the books. These scriptures are denoting the second resurrection because the earth and heavens are not to be "Burned up" before the end of the Messiahs' rule, and please notice, and remember the fact that the dead will be judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books, not after they relived their lives but what was written during their life before this resurrection. And notice also that the Great White Throne judgment is what’s taking place here AFTER this old heavens and earth have been taken away, so this is the time all other people will be made spirit or destroyed by fire.
Peter was in fact writing to the saints but was he only referring to those in the Church when he stated. “What manner of persons ought we to be?” Or was he also warning everyone to be hastening the coming of the day of God, and to be careful in conduct? We find Peter referring to the unjust as being reserved for the day of Judgment in 2 Pet 2:9. “then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,” Here Peter plainly states that those that are not saved are reserved for punishment for the day of judgment, and does not say a thing about them being given a second chance to accept the Messiah after a third resurrection. The truth is that the recordings in these books we read about during the great white throne judgment take place during the first lifetime of these people. Remember the scripture in Heb. 9:27 that states mankind must die once, and after this comes the judgment. Also in Rom 2:5-6. ”But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": The author goes on to write that it will be to eternal life or eternal death. There’s no mention at all here of a third resurrection for the purpose of physical people learning about the Gospel of Christ. In fact there’s no mention of a third resurrection for any purpose by Jesus, the apostles, or any Old Testament prophet.
Many types of Books:
Just what does it mean "The books were opened and they were judged out of the things written in the books? There are many types of books recorded in the Bible. There's the book of the covenant between God and Israel, The book of the law, or the book of Moses. There's the book of the psalms, and the books of the prophets. The books of the Kings, and the books of remembrance. The book of instruction, and books of genealogy. Then there is the book of life or what is called the Lamb's book of life which the Lamb (Jesus) has the power to blot names out of. Is it possible that many who lived before Jesus' time were judged and even condemned because of the things they did during their lifetime? Let's look at some scriptures that mention these books, and then consider why people could be taken out of the book of life before the Messiah had came to save mankind from sin. Exod 17:14. "Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven." Exod 24:7-8. "Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, "All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient." And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.
And in " Exod 32:31-33 we read "Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! "Yet now, if You will forgive their sin-- but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written." And the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book." And in Mal 3:16-18. "Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him." Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him."
We see here in these scriptures that Moses understood he could be condemned forever if God took him up on his word to blot him out of God's book, so this had to be the book of life. Also notice the statement, "On the day that I make them My jewels." In Mal 3 16-18, showing that the time God is referring to here must be the last judgment, or Great White Throne judgment. Other scriptures showing names will be blotted out of the book of life are in Rev 3:5-6. "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." And in Rev 13:8-10 we see that there are those whom will reject God and choose to worship Satan and are described as those whose names are not written in the book of life. "All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." Also in Rev 17:8. "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." Notice that these names are not written in from the foundation of the world, which could mean these people are predestined not to be in the book of life.
Some will say God would not do that because it would not be fair to those condemned, so let's read what's recorded in Rom 9:20-23. "But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory," God is the Judge and we need to keep that in mind in all we think and do or we might find ourselves contending with Him. We need to realize that there are things we can't understand and that there are things best left in God's hands. Consider this point as a possibility. In these last days we know man through his false god of science can bring about human life using sperm from other sources.
The question is does God consider test-tube conception or cloning as being according to the way He designed humans to be complete in all manner to even have the spirit He places in us at birth? Remember, those in the second resurrection will be judged by what was written in the books during their lifetime, and we see that Jesus backed this up as recorded in John 5:28-29 that there is a resurrection of life and a resurrection of condemnation or death. No mention of a third resurrection here by Jesus Himself. Let's notice why some receive life and others receive death. "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth-- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation." The answer here is because of doing good, or evil in our life. If we accept the Messiah as our savior we will repent of evil, and work for the rest of our lives on becoming like Him in keeping the Commandments. Not just keeping them as some daunting guide in fear, but keeping them because we love the way God is and we also want to be like Him. We will be very sure that we are doing it the way God commands using the scriptures and the Holy Spirit as our guide, and helper.
Some teach that those who are deceived are not going to be condemned because they are so say blind, and can't be faulted, but that is not what the scriptures teach. Let's look at the word "deceived" as it is used in the Bible and see what it truly means. The Greek word is "Planao" and means those that were seduced, or those that went astray. When we use the proper word here we see that it denotes more of those that choose to disobey more than those that were blind and had no choice. God the Holy Father does the calling, and it's up to the one called to respond to God by continuing in the calling. Remember, many are called, but few are chosen. Let's remember the warning of Jesus in Matt 7:13-14. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." So we find that Jesus is being very clear about what we do now in this life will either lead to eternal death or eternal life, and that it's not easy to find and continue in the way to eternal life. The way through the Messiah in obedience to the Holy Father in Heaven - the narrow gate - or rejecting the true and right way and going the easy way of the world! Yes! Those that respond to God's calling begin to fight against their sinful nature. They spend much of their time studying the Bible and yielding to the Holy Spirit. Those who reject their calling and the truth will most likely be called again from time to time, but could become hard hearted and lose salvation if they don't respond. The amount of chances any person receives is in God's hands, and He is looking at the heart of every person. (See Law vs Grace at the end of this study)
Did Jesus teach there would be some condemned?
Let's read Matt 13:24-30. "Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; "but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. "But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. "So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' "He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' "But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 'Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." The Greek word for tare is "zizanion" and means false grain. The tares look just like the wheat just as many Churches' today look like Christian Churches' but are truly pagan. Some has taught that the tares here are Christians in their particular Church group, and that can be true when speaking of a Church organization. Let's look at the explanation that Jesus gives about this parable, and see what He stated about it. First let's look at the point of the parable. Jesus stated in verse 24 "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;" so this parable is about the kingdom of heaven and we know there will not be any tares in the kingdom so this has to mean the harvest of the kingdom.
Jesus explained this in Matt 13:36-43. "Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field." He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" So we see Jesus' explanation is that Jesus Himself sows the good seed, and the field is the world not a Church. The good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, (in other words those that fell on good ground and endured to the end that Jesus spoke of recorded in Matt. 13:1-23) then Jesus states that the tares are the sons of the wicked one (wicked people who look and act like Christians). The enemy who sowed the tares is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age. The reapers Jesus spoke of are the angels we read of in Rev. 14:15-20 and this will take place at the end of the age when the wicked will be destroyed in the lake of fire that we read in Rev. 20:14-15.
Sin unto death:
There is sin that does not lead to eternal death, and there is a sin that will lead to eternal death. Let's look at some scriptures that reflect these two points. John the apostle was very clear on the fact that we sin as long as we are flesh when he stated, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." I Jn 1:8-10. But we also see that there is a sin that leads to death (eternal death) I Jn 5:16-17. "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death." The key thing to understand here is that not all sin is wickedness. To be wicked is to be evil like Satan and to be like Satan is to be reprobate which means one who can't repent and is one that is rejected by God and beyond hope for salvation. We also know that Jesus spoke of a sin that was of eternal death, and He called it the unpardonable sin. Why is there a warning from Jesus about not speaking against the Holy Spirit? Let's read what Jesus stated "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come."
What was spoken against the Holy Spirit when Jesus made this statement? Let's go back up a few scriptures to get the story flow. Matt 12:22-26 "Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, "Could this be the Son of David?" Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." "But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?" Also recorded in Mark 3:28-30 "Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation"--because they said, "He has an unclean spirit." We see that this statement was made because they said, "He has an unclean spirit." They were calling the Holy Spirit of God evil. Now concerning the point; can someone commit the unpardonable sin without ever being baptized or receiving the Holy Spirit? Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees whom didn't have the Holy Spirit, and again, what did Jesus Himself say? "But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come." He did not say, "whoever has been converted" speaks against the Holy Spirit or "whoever knows better", although those that have received the Holy Spirit can fall away also and never be renewed as we will read a in few paragraphs. Judas never received the Holy Spirit and there's a great possibility that he committed the unpardonable sin.
The reason I say he most likely committed the unpardonable sin is because he was called the son of perdition. John 17:12 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled." This is the same term used for the one that will be condemned called the antichrist in II Th 2:3 and a son of perdition is also a son of Satan. The very word "perdition" means ruin, or to be damned and it's always used in scripture as to be damned in a way that's final as we read in 2 Pet 3:7. "But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." In Rev 17:8 we read "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."
Let's remember that the children of the devil are those whom have choose Satan over God. These are condemned and are not written in the book of life. Those who worship the Beast will knowingly turn against God and take the side of Satan just like the angels that followed Satan and sinned. This next scripture shows Paul's attitude about those who reject the blood of the covenant and insult the Holy Spirit. Heb 10:27-31 "but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The Lord will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Notice that the term fiery indignation refers to Rev 14:9-11.
Will the Beast and false prophet speak against the Holy Spirit?
Rev 13:5-6 "And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven." Would it indicate that those who are worshipping (loving) the beast are speaking against God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit if their attitude is "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" This is not people that just don't know what they are doing! The two witnesses will be going throughout the earth preaching and performing great miracles in Jesus' name and by the power of the Holy Spirit. These two witnesses will be completing the prophetic week that Jesus started. Will those who have the mark of the Beast speak against these two witnesses and the Holy Spirit? Rev 11:7 "Now when they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them." And in verse 10 of Rev. we read "And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth." Will those that worship the beast say the two witnesses are doing these miracles by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons? Yes those who have the mark will hate these two men God sent to tell them to repent and when they speak against them in the same way those in the past spoke against Jesus they will be speaking against the Holy Spirit committing the unpardonable sin. These people that receive the mark are going to be evil because they love Satan and hate God and even murder our brethren in the most sadistic ways. The key is that they will know what they are doing. They will have made their choice like the angels that rebelled. (See mini study the Choices we make at the end of this study)
The thing we need to keep in mind is that the scriptures do not say they will be condemned because of a tattoo. They will be condemned because they love and worship the Beast. It is the act and acceptance of the evil beast that condemns them. If anyone (worships) has a reverent love and allegiance for the Beast or the image of the Beast, or if anyone is involved in showing their love for the Beast with ceremonies, and prayers, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God. The wrath of God is eternal death! Another profound scripture that depicts everlasting destruction for the wicked is II Th 1:5-10. "Which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed." Let's notice why they will be punished with everlasting destruction. "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." II Th 2:9-10. Notice that it's not because they did not know the truth, or because they received a tattoo, but because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. They rejected the truth for pleasure in unrighteousness. People are given the opportunity as God calls them to salvation, and many are called.
Here in Mark 6:7-11 we read of Jesus sending His disciple's out to cities and giving these cities the opportunity to accept or reject Christ. "And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff-- no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts--but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics. Also He said to them, "In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!" This does not necessarily mean that Sodom and Gomorrah will receive salvation, but that those who reject the Savior will be in worse condition than these cities that sinned so greatly that they had to be destroyed. Let's remember that to accept the Messiah and obey the Gospel is to accept salvation, and to reject the Messiah and to disobey the Gospel is to accept eternal death. Jesus made this very clear as recorded in John 5:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." Notice the statement that those whom accept Jesus will not come under judgment, meaning condemnation.
Also we see the apostles referring to others as being condemned because they rejected the Word of God or to say the gospel. "Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles." Acts 13:46. And in 1 Cor 11:31-32 we read, "For if we would judge (diakrino,- discern, or to say thoroughly introspect ourselves.) we would not be judged. (krino,- not be condemned) But when we are judged, (diakrino) we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world." Also we read in I Jn 5:10-12. "He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." And in Rom 8:13 we see the statement that we must do good works or we will be condemned. "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (See mini study The true Gospel at the end of this study.)
There are those whom have committed the unpardonable sin so when the Bible states that all those whom are not found in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire, it means just that. The only possibility of salvation is to have ones name in the book of life and the only way to have it there is to be called of the Father and to repent and accept Jesus as your savior. Remember this, when God the most Holy Father comes down to dwell, all things that has not been purified by the blood of Christ will have been destroyed. This includes the old heavens, earth and all those not written in the book of life. Do you want to know for sure you will not be destroyed at His coming, or do you just want to "believe" you have salvation without proving all things? It's very clear that we must repent in this life with true heart felt repentance and accept the blood of the Son of God or we will receive condemnation at the Great White Throne judgment. Some may ask, what about all those children or those that never heard of the gospel? How will they be saved? First we must understand that there are none righteous, there are none innocent in the site of God. To become clean or justified before God is to accept the blood of His Son Jesus. Remember the thief on the stake with Christ? The beginning of that day he not only was condemned in the physical life, but in the spiritual as well. But before he died he accepted Jesus as the Son of God and his savior thus receiving salvation that very day. Also we have seen in scripture that one can receive salvation through obedience to God. The bottom line is that God is the one that decides the fate of all, and He will do it in righteousness.
Let's review, and read in more detail the scriptures in Rom. 9, that states, "For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion." So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As He says also in Hosea: "I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' there they shall be called sons of the living God."
Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth." And as Isaiah said before: "Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah."What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." Rom. 9-15-33. We know that God is a very loving and just God, and He is the judge. We can't know whom or if God calls a person, but we know God will in some way call them if it's in His plan. I'm grateful that He is the final judge because His judgment will be with great mercy and for the good of all, but we must also remember that Satan wants people to believe that we can do what we want now, and still have eternal life. There are and will be those whom hate God (tares) and will accept the mark of the beast hoping to over power the kingdom of God thus bringing themselves under the penalty of eternal death. We also know there has been down through time those even before Christ whom has worshipped Satan the devil and rejected God, thus having their names blotted out of the book of life. We know that King David never accepted the blood of Christ but the scriptures state that he will be in the kingdom of God.
I have greatly searched for a third resurrection, or a time yet future when people will be resurrected physical and given the opportunity to learn of the salvation of Christ after this life, and have not found it. From this study we must conclude that there are only two resurrections and there are two events that will take place during the second resurrection. One is the resurrection of eternal life, and the other is the resurrection of eternal death. Again we see where Jesus Himself stated this as recorded in John 5:28-29. "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth-- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation." As stated above He did not mention anything about a third resurrection, or a time when people will live after the second resurrection being given an opportunity to learn of and accept salvation. Again, all scriptural statements from Jesus and the apostles show that all mankind is going to be judged (Krisis,- a decision) on what the person did during their lifetime, and then judgment (Krino,- condemnation) will be given to the wicked, while those who did well and those that accepted the blood sacrifice of the Messiah shall receive eternal life. See this link for what the book of Revelation reveals will be here during the second resurrection and Great White Throne Judgment. What will be here after Rev 20:11-12?
At one time I was of the same belief that people that never had a chance to
know of and accept the blood of Christ would be resurrected physical but could
not find scripture to validate this, however I have found that there is one
scripture in the first chapter of Revelation that might indicate (might indicate)
that those who will not be resurrected as spirit will be resurrected physical
and live during the thousand years of Jesus' rule. The scripture states..."Behold,
He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced
Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen."
Notice the statement even they who pierced Him. Those that pierced Him
includes all those that were responsible for His death. If they will see Him
at His coming than they will have to be resurrected from the dead and I don't
believe they all were converted. The question I would like to have answered
is why this statement is in the first chapter of Revelation?
The only problem is that there are scriptures in John 5:28-29 we listed above which record Jesus as stating the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. So by that statement there is the resurrection of life, and the resurrection of condemnation which we know from scripture that those that are resurrected in the first resurrection the second death has no power over them so what is the resurrection of condemnation; the second resurrection? This seems to contradict because the second resurrection is the great white throne judgment which indicates that not all those in this resurrection will be condemned if they are in the book of life. Remember the books were opened and one was the book of life and the dead are judged from what is written in those books by their works. It then states that those not found in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire.
We also find in Dan 12:1-3 scripture that (might indicate) a physical resurrection and denotes that the time period is the first resurrection. Let's read it..."At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever." The short answer to this question is I don't know and can't really validate it from scripture. I'm only giving you some food for thought concerning the belief that people who never had a chance to know of and accept the blood of Christ would be resurrected physical for a second chance however as we have also found in this study there are no scriptures that support a third resurrection.
Let's read these next words of the apostle very carefully and consider what
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom, which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." Heb 12:22-29. Jesus stated that if we reject Him and if we don't repent (change) or accept our calling when we know we should, we will be condemned forever. Who do you believe?
You might want to read the short study titled: Those who never heard of Jesus' sacrifice - LOST?
Do we go to heaven after death?
for more information on this subject)
A. Fact of Christ's Resurrection. I Cor: 15:1-11
B. Importance of Christ's Resurrection. I Cor: 15:12-19
I. The Rejection of Christ. John 18:1-19:16 II. The Crucifixion of Christ. John 19:17-37 III. The Burial of Christ. John 19:38-42 IV. The Resurrection of Christ. John 20:1-10 V. The Appearances of Christ. John 20:11-21:25
C. Order of the Resurrections. I Cor: 15:20-28
D. Moral Implications of Christ's Resurrection. I Cor: 15:29-34
E. Bodies of the Resurrected Dead. I Cor: 15:35-50
F. Bodies of the Translated Living. I Cor: 15:51-58
G. Satan Is Bound 1000 Years. Rev. 20:1-3
H. The Saints Reign with Christ 1000 Years. Rev. 20:4-6
J. Satan Is Released and Leads Rebellion. Rev. 20:7-9
K. Satan Is cast into outer darkness Forever. Rev. 20:10
L. Great White Throne Judgment. Rev. 20:11-1
M. Death and Grave (Hell) last to be destroyed. Rev 20:14-15
N. New heaven and a new earth. Also there was no more sea. Rev 21:1
In Jesus' Service:
Timothy M. Youngblood
Author and webmaster of
The Master's Table