Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and the right to condemn was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had they received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 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 God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
With the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, those who died knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Deliverer will be raised from Sheol, to be clothed in their new eternal body. At the same time, we who are in Christ and remain will put off our old earthly body and put on our new eternal body. Then together we shall all be caught up to meet Jesus in the air. This is the first resurrection. But for the rest of mankind, those who have rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and Deliverer, and who still remain alive on this day; this will be a day of trial by fire. A day when all the wicked will be removed from the face of the earth (2 Thessalonians 1:6 – 8). It will be just like the day of Noah. On that day, God brought trial by water upon the wicked, while the justified were lifted above the waters. At the Second Coming, God will bring trial by fire upon the wicked, while the justified are lifted above the fire to meet with Jesus in the air.
The justified will be saved, but the wicked will be removed and their souls cast into the pit of Sheol. The souls of the unjustified will have no part in the first resurrection for they will remain in the pit, suffering in torment and agony for another 1,000 years. Then after the 1,000 years they will be raised from the world of the dead, to face damnation. After which they, both soul and body will be cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the sky fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it; and death and Sheol delivered up the dead who were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and Sheol were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
It is my understanding of Revelation chapter 20, that verses 4 to 6, are telling us about the resurrection day of all those whose names are found written in the Book of Life. While verses 11 to 15 are telling us about the damnation of all those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life, which will take place a thousand years later.
In verse 13 it says; “The Sea gave up the dead.” Meaning the bodies of those buried at sea, will be raised from the sea. Then it says; “Death and Sheol delivered up the dead who were in them.” ‘Death’ meaning the bodies of those buried in the earth. ‘Sheol’ meaning the souls held in the world of the dead.
Verse 14 says; “Then death and Sheol were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” This verse is referring to the bodies that have just been raised from the dead (both those bodies that were buried at sea and in the earth) and the souls, which have just been raised from Sheol. All these will be thrown into the lake of fire, which is the second death.
Where is the lake of fire? It would appear that this lake of fire is within world of the dead.
In Luke 16:19 – 27, Jesus gives us a look at the world of the dead. Lazarus is pictured with Abraham in Paradise, looking across a great gulf to where the rich man is in agony, because of the fire. This is a picture of the first death, when the bodies of all the dead remain either in the earth or in the sea, while their souls go either to paradise or to the place of torment, both within the world of the dead, also known as Sheol, Hell and Hades.
During the first resurrection, the souls of all whose names are written in the Book of Life are raised from Sheol and united with their body in the grave. Then as they are being raised from the grave, they shall take off mortality and put on immortality. From then on, they will spend eternity with Jesus Christ, living a life of everlasting joy and peace.
A thousand years later, the souls of those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life will be raised from Sheol and united with their body. They will then be raised from the grave to face their maker, on this the day of their judgment. Because they have both sinned and rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and Deliverer, their names are not found written in the Book of Life. Therefore they (both their body and soul) will be cast into the fires of Sheol, to suffer everlasting torment and agony.
This is the second death, also spoken of by Jesus Christ.
Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in the fires of Sheol.”
In the first death, it is only the soul that God cast into Sheol, while the body remains in the grave. But in the second death, all whose names are not found written in the Book of Life will have both their body and soul cast into the everlasting fires of Sheol.
As all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, the second death is our just punishment for our sin. Therefore if it were not for the grace of God, this second death would be the fate of all mankind. But God in His love and mercy towards us has provided a way by which all mankind may be delivered from this everlasting suffering in the fires of Sheol. That way is by repenting of your sin, and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Deliverer.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be delivered from condemnation. 18 He who believes in him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
If you want to be delivered, believe and find a Bible believing church that preaches and teaches from the Bible. Repent and be baptized for the release from sins in the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus was baptized by immersion in water. This is the way Jesus taught his disciples to baptize, and it is the way you should be baptized.
One of the last things Jesus Christ said to his disciples was,
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go all the world, and preach the good news to every creature. 16 He that believes and is baptized shall be delivered; but he that believes not shall be damned.
Everlasting life, peace and joy in the presence of Jesus Christ, or everlasting death, which is eternal separation from God, eternal separation from all your friends and love ones, and to be cast into the everlasting fires of Sheol to suffer eternal torment and agony. The choice is yours; choose today, for tomorrow may be too late. To die without choosing everlasting life is to choose everlasting death, the just punishment for your sins.
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
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Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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