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What Should We Do?
Standing in a crowded line awaiting the next elevator car going up to the hospital ward fourth floor, I noted the calmness and sobriety each visitor exhibits. They apparently await the reports of the earlier morning surgery. Suddenly the group shifts as one to the open elevator door now with a blinking signal light.
    Fourteen hospital visitors crowd into the elevator car and the self-appointed operator calls out, “Are we ready?” “Not yet,” is the reply. “We will go ahead and try to close the door,” says the last boarder,” and he adds, “Hah, I am the last one in; but I’ll be the first one out. The last shall be first and the first last. I read about that somewhere,” he said as he hurried off. He soon was lost in the crowd and my opportunity for a discussion vanished.
    Obviously the man was referring to the words of our Savior Who is quoted in Matthew, Mark and Luke as He and the disciples were going to Jerusalem for the Passover and the days of Unleavened Bread. A study of the following chapters wherein the enigmatic words of the Savior that “the first will be last and the last first,” reveals the Savior was speaking of the coming heavenly kingdom and who will be in that kingdom.
    Yahshua was reaching back in time to the calling of Abram [exalted father] beginning in Genesis 12 where we learn he was called to leave his clan, relatives and neighbors and go to a new land. The entire book of Genesis then centers on the chosen progeny of Abraham, and the twelvetribe people of Israel.
    Abraham [now father of a multitude] was the first one to be called out of the world as Yahweh’s witness and was obedient to the point of being willing to offer up his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice (Genesis chapter 22). The Scriptures reveal others who are also called to be a witness such as Moses, David, Joseph, along with many others in the Old Testament. These are a special class of people Yahweh has called to be the firstfruits or overcomers (also the elect), who have answered the call and, like Abraham, are willing to do whatever they can to qualify as a child of the King. Their station in the kingdom was the topic the disciples were discussing as they walked toward Jerusalem, not realizing the Savior would lose his life in a few hours.
    The following verses taken from Matthew, Mark and Luke (KJV) reassure us they hold an involved truth about the events surrounding the resurrection to teach us more about the return of Yahshua and help clarify this puzzling situation:
    But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first, Mat 19:30.
    But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. Mark 10:31.
    And behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last, Luke 13:30.
Some Untrue Teachings
Christianity in general teaches that upon the Messiah’s return, there will be a resurrection of all the dead who have ever lived and will come to life and go to either heaven or hell. The teaching is that upon death one will go immediately either to heaven and live a glorious life of ease, or they will go to the fires of hell and burn forever. The Catholics usually include the concept of a purgatory, a cleansing state by which one can get to heaven. This nonsense is not found anywhere in the Holy Scriptures!
    Yahweh’s Word says nothing about a death meaning that one’s soul lives on. It says the opposite, the soul that sins it shall die (Ezek 18:4, 20). Soul is from the Greek nephesh which means “life.” News articles often report a boating accident in which a number of “souls” were lost, meaning simply human beings died.
More Than One Resurrection?
The New Testament teaches there is more than one resurrection, and the first resurrection is the goal all true believers should seek after, for it opens to the Spirit Realm. That is, those who are made alive or changed when Yahshua returns will be made spirit beings, no longer flesh and bone, but will have spirit energy flowing through their veins and thus will be immortal.
    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 Elohim and of Messiah, and they shall reign with Him a thousand years, Rev 20:6.
    At the return of the Savior, the first resurrection takes place. A thousand years later follows the second resurrection. This second is a resurrection to the physical world. Are we being told it will take those already made spirit working a thousand years to get the world back in shape as when first created? This seems to be what the Scripture says a thousand years later: there comes the general resurrection and Satan is allowed to have power returned to him.
    How does the following passage fit in this scheme of things? Yahweh does the calling of those who will be given opportunities to become the firstfruits of this first resurrection group and become spirit beings, which is to say be made immortal!
    So the last will be first, and the first will be last; for many be called, but few chosen, Mat 20:16.
    Yahweh’s Word reveals that since Abraham’s time Yahweh has continued to call people out of this world promising a wonderful world to come to those who will diligently follow in the footsteps of His Son and be baptized into the name Yahshua. Yahweh does the calling of this special group, and He determines the tasks and the station each of us will have in the Kingdom. You may well have a feeling Yahweh is calling you as you consider this truth.
Walking Down the Same Path
Just as the Jews were eager to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, after an exile of 70 years, our group feels the same way. We of Yahweh’s Assembly In Yahshua feel a sense of urgency in our desire to make up for the time lost in successfully resisting attempts to force us to agree with false doctrine. We are thankful many patiently waited and thankfully some continued their support with funds during this trying time. We know Yahweh is in charge and we continually seek His guidance
    It does seem a bit strange that it has been over 56 years since Israel was made a nation in May of 1948 and there still is no Temple today for the Jews to worship. Prophecy buffs are convinced there must be a Temple of some kind in Jerusalem to fulfill prophesies in the book of Revelation. Might it be that Yahweh is giving the Jews more time to turn to Yahshua?
Where is the Temple?
Without a temple there is no special place where the Jewish priest might be found to call for Yahweh’s help. The New Testament book of Acts tells of the coming of the Holy Separated Spirit on the day of Pentecost to the believers gathered there. Since then the Spirit remains on earth and resides in those who have been baptized into Yahshua’s saving name. Take note:
    Don’t you know that you yourselves are Elohim’s Temple and that Elohim’s Spirit lives in you? (1Cor 3:16 NIV)
    Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you whom you have received from Elohim? You are not your own, 1 Cor 6:19 NIV.
    The Scriptures show us that not all who respond to Yahweh’s call will remain dedicated to their calling, and many will drift away.
    That is the constant theme of the Bible, once you have put your hand to the plow, don’t look back but keep your mind and thoughts on things above.
    So the last will be first, and the first will be last; for many be called, but few chosen, Mat 20:16.
    What is likely meant by the term “first” is those who initially answered the call (like Abraham) to be followers of Yahweh, obeying Him in all things. The problem is they will not yet be made immortal. Not until Yahshua died for our sins at Calvary could the Holy Spirit remain on earth as revealed for us in the book of Acts chapter two telling of happenings on the day of Pentecost.
    Those who are alive at the Savior’s return or have died this side of Calvary are the last to be chosen as firstfruits, but will be the first to be made immortal at Yahshua’s return. We have the advantages given us on Pentecost being made immortal and Satan will be bound for a thousand years! The next resurrection following Yahshua’s return will be a thousand years from hence.
    May we all be faithful stewards of whatever Yahweh has given us.
-Elder Donald R. Mansager

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