The Rest of the Dead

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There is a passage of Scripture at Revelation 20:4-6 that reads:

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

This passage of Scripture is full of information that helps us pinpoint a future time period in which the inhabitants of the earth must go through. This passage of Scripture also helps us to identify who the 144,000 are. It also speaks of two resurrections to life; not not an ordinary life as we view it today.

Life and Death; Eternal Life and Perishing

To understand the above passage of Scripture and the future epoch of time to which it refers, one must come to an understanding of the type of life it is referring to.

First we know, according to Revelation 20:4-7, that the future time period referred to is from the time of the beginning of Christs 1000 rule over the earth to the end of his rule. We are told that Christ performs two resurrections: The First Resurrection occurs at the beginning of his rule and the Second Resurrection occurs at the end of his 1000 rule.

What many persons miss with regards to the promised resurrection (John 5:28-29), is that the First Resurrection is a resurrection to eternal life and those privileged to be a part of it are subject to the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death. (Revelation 20:6) The Second Resurrection is a resurrection is also a resurrection to eternal life, but those who are of the Second Resurrection will always have the prospect of losing that eternal life as they are subject to the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death.

All persons born from Adam will be resurrected to life again. Some of those persons will be resurrected to eternal life and be granted immortality; they are chosen by God and are of the First Resurrection. The number given in Scripture of those who are of the First Resurrection is 144,000.

Many get confused by the expression “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.” This expression is not referring to life, but to eternal life.

When Christs 1000 year rule over the earth begins, there will be a great resurrection of all of the dead. They will be resurrected back to life – born again. The exception will be those who are of the First Resurrection: 144,000 chosen ones of God. Their resurrection is a resurrection to eternal life. That is why The Lake of Fire which is the Second Death has no authority over them. (Revelation 20:6)

When Revelation 20:5 says that the rest of the dead did not come to life until after the thousand years were ended, it is not saying that at the end of the 1000 years that their will be a second resurrection of the dead from the grave. No. What it is saying is that the rest of mankind (other than the 144000) will be granted Eternal Life at the end of the 1000 years.

Neither is Revelation 20:5 saying that the granting of eternal life to the “rest of the dead” occurs immediately after Christ 1000 year reign over the earth ends. Why? Because a whole lot of things MUST occur after it ends. What?

Satan is released from the Abyss. He will go forth through the earth in those days to misled that righteous new society that Christ took 1000 years to establish. Satan will establish his own. He will stand up a beast and an image of his beast. All of those things will take a considerable amount of time. How long? We do not know.

Yet, Jesus said at Matthew 10:22:

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

So, when Satan is released after the 1000 years, there will be a time of faithful endurance his faithful ones must go through BEFORE they are saved for the granting eternal life. In other words, coming to life after the 1000 years.

The religious systems teach acceptance of Jesus as ones Savior and then going to heaven. That is not something Christ taught. Christ said his followers would be hated by EVERYONE. The only way EVERYONE can hate Christs followers is if EVERYONE lived in a world united. The only time period in which the world will be united will be during the future 1000 year reign of Christ. At it’s end, Satan is released and he divides that world and misleads the majority of it. Only a relative few remain faithful and they will be hated by all of their former brethren.

Death is the opposite of life. All of us living now have death in front of us.

Perishing (The Lake of Fire which is the Second Death or nonexistence) is the opposite of eternal life.

All of mankind will be resurrected according to Jesus’ promise at John 5:28-29. Mankind is subject to two resurrections: A First Resurrection and a Second Resurrection.

Those chosen and privileged to be of the First Resurrection are granted immortality. Meaning that they can never die again as the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death has no authority over them. They will live in the earth.

Those of the First Resurrection are granted conditional eternal life as The Lake of Fire which is the Second Death does have authority over them. They could lose that eternal life if they defiantly defy God. Their defiance would be self generated as the Devil will have been long destroyed. So any defiance to God after the 1000 years will be willful.

Those of the First Resurrection will have it relatively easier than those of the Second Resurrection because they do have to worry about losing their grant of eternal life to the Lake of Fire.

The Lake of Fire which is the Second Death is not held out as a threat to those who are of the Second Resurrection. It is simply a reminder that by God’s love and grace, one will be given the power to live forever. All they have to do is not defy their Creator.

I doubt any will as they will see and benefit from God’s goodness.

The religious systems typically teach persons going to heaven. Jesus says no man has ever gone to heaven. (John 3:13)

Jesus also taught us to pray that God’s Kingdom come. Come where? Down to the earth! So why go up to heaven?

Additionally, Revelation Chapter 22 shows God’s Kingdom coming down to the earth.

The chosen immortal 144000 will inherit the earth, be given their kingdoms and represent God’s Kingdom forever as earth’s visible kings.

R. Jerome Harris

A Disciple of Christ in the strictest sense. I belong to no religious organization. I view Christ as my only Head, Master, Teacher, Owner, and Lord. (John 8:31-32, 1Cor 11:3) His God is my God and I champion his teachings above anything issuing out of ANY religious organization.

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8 Comments

  1. so for example a man that has committed murder and is dead still has a chance to go to heaven when resurrected for 1000 years if he commits himself to God? and does it really matter how one live life if we will be resurrected for 1000 years anyways to make a choice then?

    • I NEVER said anything about going to heaven, you did. :). The religious system called by men, Christianity, teaches heaven. Jesus does not.

      ALL resurrections (First and Second) are back to life ON EARTH.

      The condemned man who died next to Jesus, we do not know what his crime was. But Jesus promised him paradise. (Luke 23:43)

      The persons who persecuted, mistreated and executed Jesus, Jesus ask that they be forgiven. They, too, will be resurrected. Jesus promised this at John 5:28-29:

      “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when ALL who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”

      ALL PERSONS IN THEIR GRAVES WILL BE RESURRECTED.

      Those of the First Resurrection (done good) will have eternal life at the very moment they open their eyes because the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death has no authority over them.

      Those of the Second Resurrection (done bad) will rise to live but the threat of Lake of Fire which is the Second Death will be in front of them until the 1000 years has ended. They must pass a test of endurance AFTER the 1000 years before the threat of Lake of Fire which is the Second Death is removed from before them and they are give eternal life. (come alive. Rev 20:5)

      That word “condemned” at John 5:28-29 is a mistranslation. It should be “subject to condemnation.” It does not mean they ARE condemned, it means the Lake of Fire which is The Second Death has authority over them. John 5:28-29 speaks of the two resurrections if you look at it carefully.

      The expression “commit oneself to God” is church-speak and not something God and Christ spoke of.

      All persons born since Adam – rich and poor, small and great, good and bad – will be resurrected back to life again. That is why God sent His Son.

      All of us are bad (sinful) and NO ONE is good but God. Accepting or saying Jesus is ones Savior does not change that. (Mark 10:18)

      Therefore, ALL today stand “subject” to the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death.

  2. im kinda getting confused with the 1st and 2nd resurrection passage.i understand that you are you saying that everyone will be resurrected in the 1st resurrection but still can end up in the lake of fire if they choose sin? could you explain the 2nd resurrection in a simpler form please. thanks

    • No. I am not saying EVERYONE will be resurrected in the First Resurrection. Only a chosen select are. That number is a sealed number of 144000. God choses them.

      Those of the FIRST Resurrection are NOT subject to the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death. (Rev 20:6)

      From the moment they open their eyes from the death state, they can never die again. They will NEVER perish. (That is what the Lake of Fire which is The Second Death is). They cannot commit the sin that cannot be forgiven. These persons will exist right through Christs 1000 year kingdom and what follows it (Satan’s release from the Abyss) without having to worry about going into “nonexistence” (The Lake of Fire). These persons will be special in that they will be FULL of Holy Spirit as they are hand-picked by The Most High God.

      Those who are of the Second Resurrection are different. Their numbers are “un-countable” and like the sand of the sea. From the moment they open their eyes from the death state, the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death DOES have authority over them UNTIL AFTER the 1000 years have ended. (Rev 20:5)

      It is ONLY AFTER the end of the 1000 years AND after a period of enduring faithfully under test that those of the Second Resurrection will have the authority of the Lake of Fire which is The Second Death taken from before them. (Matthew 10:22 and Rev 20:5)

      Those of the First Resurrection are NOT tested.

      The period of testing for those of the Second Resurrection comes after Satan is released AFTER the 1000 years ends. (Rev 20:7-8)

      It will be within Christs 1000 kingdom over the earth (when Satan is Abyssed) that those of the Second Resurrection will be taught “good and bad” from God’s standpoint (His righteousness). So by the time Christs 1000 kingdom ends, none will be ignorant. We will know good and bad.

      Since no one will be ignorant to God’s requirements for continued life, any act or decision one makes will be deliberate and willful and acts of disobedience. Those “defiant” acts are what lands a person in The Lake of Fire which is the Second Death (nonexistence or perishing). In other words, no longer existing in Gods memory.

  3. i get confused with the 2nd resurrection. i understand that in the 1st resurrection we will all be resurrected. could you explain the second resurrection?
    since the wages of since is death and a persons who has killed someone, does that person still have a chance to go to heaven because we will all be resurrected again? and does it matter what kind of life we live on earth if we will be resurrected for 1000 years anyways?

    • Neither do you or I know of which resurrection we will be apart of. God and Christ determins that. A person cannot have BOTH a First and Second Resurrection. A person will have either one or the other.

      Those CHOSEN to be of the First Resurection will be specially selected among a pool of persons born since Adam up to the start of Christs 1000 year kingdom over the earth. God knows who they are. They will come out of their graves FIRST into Christs 1000 kingdom over the earth. They will serve with the authority of kings with Christ in his 1000 year kingdom for 1000 years. (Rev 20:4)

      The Second Death (Lake of Fire) has NO authority over them right from the beginning of their resurrections. What that means is that they exist right through Christ 1000 year kingdom and beyond without having to worry about dying again or perishing.

      Their number is sealed at 144000 persons.

      Those of the Second Resurrection will be the rest of mankind. Their number is as “the sand of the sea.” They are the second ones to come out of their graves. These are billions of persons ever born since Adam. What makes those of the Second Resurrection and First Resurrection different is that the Lake of Fire or Second Death DOES have authority over them until AFTER the 1000 years ends. That means that right from the start of their resurrection, they could “perish” (Second Death) if they commit what is called the “sin that cannot be forgiven.” No person today can commit this sin. One will only be able to commit it at some time well within Christ’s 1000 year kingdom when those resurrected will be taught what it is.

      If those of the Second Resurrection endure to the end of Christ 1000 year kingdom and Satan’s release from the Abyss, THEN and ONLY THEN will they be “Saved” for continued eternal life without having to worry about the Second Death. That what Jesus meant at Matthew 10:22 and what it says at Revelation 20:5:

      “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.”

      So those of the First Resurrection will not have to endure a period of test. Those of the Second Resurrection will. It will not be easy for those of the Second Resurrection. They will be tested. (Matthew 24:9, Matthew 24:21, Rev 20:7-8)

      The life we life once inside Christs 1000 year kingdom over the will be a paradise. This is what he promised a man that was not his follower. (Luke 23:43)

      Christ does not tell us what it will be like during that 1000 years; only that it will be a paradise. That time period is used as a part of his work to to finish his Father’s work in restoring ALL of mankind back to their Creator. So at the end of that 1000 years, Jesus is no longer king; his kingdom ends. He will have completed his work in restoring ALL of mankind back to his Creator. All will stand before God as Adam did, perfect and without an intermediary or Savior. We will be one-to-one in communication with our Creator.

      But it is not over. Satan has to be released upon that world AFTER the 1000 years. Those of the First Resurrection will be misled by him just like those of the Second Resurrection. Because one is perfect does not mean one cannot be misled.

  4. i read an article about Christ 1000 yrs reign. references were made about persons thinking that the wicked will have a second chance and the writer made it point black saying NO. they wont. But a question was asked where they also said that the righteous will judge the wicked and that who would Satan deceived if the wicked will die at the brightness of Christ return and i found it that the response was *might* or *i think*… their response was not as confident as yours. the article says that Satan will decisive the wicked and *might* claim that he is the prince of the world and the they wont have any alternates because they were already judge so they would go to war. what is your view on this? i for one think that everyone has a completely different views and dont know what to believe sometimes. but ive been reading ur articles and fine them very refreshing so thanks. j

    • Who the “wicked” will prove to be will not be up to any human or human agency. As a species, we are all quick to place our own judgment and labels upon others – as being good, bad, believers, non-believers, etc – but these things are not up to us.

      Jesus cautioned several times about any of his followers taking such a viewpoint about others. We should be looking first at ourselves. Close self-examination reveals that none us are “good.” No one is good but God. (Matthew 7:1-5 and Mark 10:18)

      The “wicked” at the “present” time is ALL of mankind. We all will carry this “wicked” state into the grave; as it is because of this inherited “wickedness or sin” that we all grow old and die. The man or woman today who is not dying is sinless and good. Yet, such a person does not exist on earth.

      The stain of “wickedness” is removed from us ALL the moment we close our eyes in death. Our deaths serve as “payment” (a debt paid) for our inherited wickedness. The Apostle Paul made this clear at Romans 6:7:

      “Because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”

      The Apostle Paul also says at Romans 3:23:

      “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

      The picture I am painting here is that ALL OF US are “wicked” and “not good.”

      The problem is that the religious system called by men “Christianity” is incorrectly teaching the world that only those within her enjoy a special position of being “good” and “godly.”

      Accepting Christ as ones Savior does not remove this inherited stain of sin. It does not remove God’s pronouncement given to Adam that he (and his offspring) will die. The truth of God’s pronouncement is seen every day as people die.

      Another problem is that the religious system called by men “Christianity” pay no attention to Jesus’ PROMISE at John 5:28-29 of the resurrection of ALL persons. Not just those who are his followers. Even ALL persons born before he even existed will be resurrected from the dead. Persons existing before him also inherited the curse of sin and death from Adam.

      John 3:16 says that “God loved the world [of mankind] …” and that is why He sent His son. The world has had people in it since Adam.

      ALL persons EVER born since Adam and who have died, have PAID the price in full for sin and wickness by virtue of their deaths. If by ones death one has been set free from sin, what will they have on them when they are resurrected from the dead back to life? NO SIN. (Romans 6:7)

      The great future promised resurrection will occur when Jesus [the] Christ begins his kingdom rule over the earth of 1000 years. Jesus called this 1000 year rule “paradise” and he promised a man who was not his follower that he would be in it. (Luke 23:43)

      The future great resurrection is vastly misunderstood. Three things MUST occur FIRST before it begins:

      1. ALL of mankind enters into the state of “literal” death. In other words, a time period will exist where the earth will be devoid of ALL human life. ALL will die.

      2. Jesus [the] Christ is coronated “earths” king by his Father in heaven. His kingdom over the earth – which will be devoid of human life – begins. There are seeds (dead mankind) in the ground that he will raise up.

      3. Jesus [the] Christ FIRST act as King is to Abyss Satan for 1000 years. This is the exact duration of his (Christs) kingdom.

      4. Jesus [the] Christ begins to call ALL of dead mankind out of their graves as “he” promised he would. (John 5:28-29 and Acts 24:15)

      The resurrection will take place in two stages: A First Resurrection and a Second Resurrection.

      Those of the First Resurrection are hand-picked by Christ and they will serve as his “visible” representatives on the earth and be given the authority to act as kings for him for the entire 1000 years. Their number is 144000. They are made righteous. In other words, they are taught what is “good and bad” from God’s standpoint. (Rev 20:6, Rev 5:10, Matthew 19:28, Rev 14:1)

      The Second Resurrection will be the rest of mankind. Their numbers are so great that it cannot be counted. This makes sense because we are talking about ALL persons born since Adam. It will take 1000 years for them to learn “good and bad” so as to become righteous. They come out of the grave as “unrighteous” not knowing what is good and bad from God’s standpoint. (Rev 7:9)

      Those of the Second Resurrection (everyone but those of the First Resurrection) will stand before – NOT GOD’s THRONE – but before the throne or KINGDOM OF CHRIST which last 1000 years. (Rev 7:9) God’s Kingdom does not come down until after Christs kingdom of 1000 years ends and Satan is released and eventually destroyed. (Rev Chapter 21)

      Unfortunately, the religious system called by men “Christianity” do not see the reference at Rev 7:9 of a vast crowd of people that CANNOT BE COUNTED that will exist in the 1000 kingdom of Christ on earth.

      At present, I can reasonably say that the worlds population is nearly 7 billion people. This is KNOWN. Yet, Revelation 7:9 says a Great Crowd of people that NO ONE COULD COUNT will stand before Christs throne with “palm branches” in their hands.

      These are NOT who people call Christians! These are ALL persons born since Adam who were resurrected. These are not “Christians” because we also KNOW their number: About 2 billion in the world today.

      It is simple: Adam messed it up for us ALL, God sent his son to undo the damage to restore ALL of mankind to the state He intended for His creation, man: That we live forever in the earth he prepared for us.

      It was NEVER about accepting Jesus as ones Savior as the system of religion called by men “Christianity” say it is. While in Christs 1000 year kingdom, ALL will learn to be “good” as God defines what is “good.” Then at the end of the 1000 years, Satan is released upon us ALL in that “good” and righteous state. Christ no longer king. His kingdom ended. Satan seizes upon the vacancy of earth’s king and sets up a visible system of rulership over the earth call The Beast. (Rev 20:7-8) Satan cannot be seen and people will never see him. Satan speaks invisibly through “third-parties.” His mouthpiece will be a “False Prophet.” This False Prophet is not a person. It is a future worldwide governmental entity and collective of former kings in Christs kingdom who will be misled by Satan and they will serve with kingly authority within Satan’s Beastly system of rulership. (Rev 17:12). They will be the ones people will have trusted (they were kings with Jesus for 1000 years) and they will be the ones Satan uses to mislead the entire world in those future days. The people in those days will have no reason not to listen to these men. Yet, they themselves will be misled.

      Things get real interesting AFTER Christs kingdom ends. The time period AFTER Christs 1000 kingdom ends and Satan is released, is the subject of the ENTIRE Book of Revelation. Many people have yet to realize this.

      That is what Jesus is giving a warning about at Rev 1:1. He is give a “revelation” about what will happen AFTER his future 1000 year kingdom on earth ends and Satan is released. (Rev 1:1)

      Nothing in the Book of Revelation has had a start of being fulfilled. The world is looking in the wrong time period.

      Anyway, ALL persons will be resurrected into the Christs future 1000 year kingdom. Jesus promised this.

      Please don’t let John 5:28-29 cause you to think people are resurrected to be killed again. That makes no sense. It does not mean that.

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