The Second Resurrection

20: 13

   DIG: What is the difference between the first and second resurrection? What will happen between them? How many years will that be? Who is the first fruits of the second resurrection? Where has he been? Who was with him? What is the destination of the resurrected dead? For what purpose?

   REFLECT: If the Lord came back right now, do you know anyone who would miss the first resurrection and be destined for the second resurrection? Are you praying for them? Are you living your life as a believer and a witness to them, earning the right to speak to them about such a great salvation (Hebrews 2:3) when their life falls apart without the Lord and Savior Yeshua Messiah?

    After the first resurrection of the righteous there will be a second resurrection of the wicked. Jesus Himself said: A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear [My] voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have evil will rise to be condemned (John 5:28-29). The accused, all the lost who have ever lived, will be resurrected to experience a trial like none other. It is also called the resurrection to shame and everlasting contempt (Dani'el 12:2), and the resurrection of the wicked (Acts 24:15).

    These two resurrections will be separated by one thousand years. Just as the first resurrection will occur in stages (Yeshua as the firstfruits, the righteous of the TaNaKh, then the New Covenant Believers, and finally the Tribulation believers), so the second resurrection will be in stages. The firstfruits of the second resurrection will be the antichrist, who will be killed at the Campaign of Armageddon and then resurrected, only to be thrown in the lake of fire (see Fa – The Beast was Captured, and with Him the False Prophet). The false prophet will follow him there. The two will live in agony for a thousand years until the second resurrection of all other unbelievers. At that time the dead bodies of all the unbelievers who ever lived will be resurrected and reunited with all the souls vomited out of hell. Then Jesus Christ will then judge them on the basis of their works.453

    The sea gave up the dead that were in it (20:13a). In the Bible, the sea is a biblical metaphor for death, destruction and turmoil. Isaiah tells us that the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud (Isaiah 57:20; also see Ezekiel 28:8 and Psalm 107:25-28), that will release its dead for judgment. And death and Sh'ol gave up the dead that were in them. Earlier we saw that Yeshua alone has the authority, or the keys, over death and Sh'ol (1:18). Joined at the hip, these two had also appeared together riding a pale horse (6:8). As inseparable companions, Sh'ol was the gravedigger, burying the remains of death’s victims during the Great Tribulation. Seen here, they will release the dead for the final judgment in heaven before the Lord.

    Hades, translated as hell, is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Sh'ol. Both terms describe the realm of the dead, where the lost and the righteous are separated by a great chasm, awaiting judgment (Luke 16:19-26). Since the resurrection, and the righteous of the TaNaKh were taken to heaven by Messiah (Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:7-10), only the wicked remained. In this incredible scene, Sh'ol is emptied of its wicked spirits, who are reunited with resurrection bodies. Then they will be sentenced the lake of fire where punishment, unlike Sh'ol, will last forever.454 And each person will be judged according to what he or she had done in their life prior to death (20:13b). There will be no need for Sh'ol, where the wicked are held for judgment. Its usefulness will have been served because their judgment will be at hand.455 So death and Sh'ol will be thrown into the lake of fire (20:14).

    When each person is judged according to their works, they must measure up to the perfect righteousness of Messiah. Since unbelievers have rejected God’s grace and His offer of forgiveness and salvation through personal faith in Jesus Christ, and have chosen instead to offer their own works in payment of salvation, God will indeed grant them their wish. However, they won’t like the results because no one has attained the LORD’s high, perfect standard, except ADONAI Himself. Therefore, each unsaved person will be judged according to their works. The peculiar construction of the closing clause in this verse literally reads, they were judged every man, and uses a third person plural for the verb judged, but the masculine first person singular for the term each person. Therefore, while they will be judged as a group, the resulting judgment, nevertheless, is individual.456


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