Where were we last post? REVELATION 20:5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished… The dead (after being purged) in Hell live again? Don’t they, we asked in some surprise, get cast straight into the Lake of Fire?
Actually, immediately after this is written: This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. This is confusing because it is talking about those who are beheaded for Yahshua who live and reign with Him for one thousand years. The part of verse 5: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished should be in parentheses. Perhaps Bible translators failed and fail today to fully comprehend the true and full meaning of this Scripture. These souls of the rest of the dead are sojourning for one thousand years in Hell, for look what is revealed about them in REVELATION 20:11-15: V.11 And I saw a great white throne… V.12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before YHWH; and the books (literally: scrolls) 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.
So there is a book for every person here standing before YHWH for their great white throne judgment. In each book is written the minute and intimate details of that soul’s life, warts and all. Then there is another book called the Book of Life. According to REVELATION 3:4-5 those whose names are written in this Book have:
- overcome (sin and worldliness),
- been clothed with white garments (of holiness),
- had his name confessed by Yahshua to His Father before His angels;
- been counted worthy to walk in white with Yahshua.
Christian writer Mary Baxter saw precisely this in relation to these books on her trip to Heaven, and written about in her Divine Revelation of Heaven. After witnessing a man at a church service become a Christian, she was taken by angels to the ‘room of records’:
(Page 71) “As I observed, the man’s book was handed to one of the rejoicing saints. Page after page of the old writings were washed away. They lifted up the pages one by one, and I could see that every page had been washed in the blood (of Yahshua). Nothing of this person’s sins remained” (IS. 43:25).
Then they went before YHWH’s throne where an angel laid the book on the altar.
(Page 73) “I saw the Lamb’s Book of Life (REV. 21:27) on the altar of (YHWH), and I saw a hand come out of that cloud (of YHWH’s Shekinah glory) and open up the book that was laid there by the angel. Then the man’s name was written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Glory to (YHWH)! Saints, our names are surely written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life also!”
Returning to verse 12 of REVELATION 20, we see that these people standing before the throne were judged according to their WORKS, not whether they had Yahshua as their Saviour. V.13: And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
We can also see that there is a difference between the dead given up from the sea and those delivered up from death and Hell, for v.14: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Their physical death and going to Hell being the first.
Only those from ‘death and hell’ suffer the second death, and are cast into Perdition. So what happens to those from the ‘sea’? V.15: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. If only ‘death and hell’–we assume this means those souls whose works on Earth rendered them so evil they were totally spiritually dead and irredeemably separated from YHWH–are cast into the Lake of Fire, the souls from the sea are not. They must then have had their names written in the Book of Life at some point during their hellish purging. This is the second resurrection, as differentiated to the first resurrection of those beheaded for Messiah.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life… suggests that there are some whose names are written therein. If this were not so, what’s the point of judging these people if all are going to the Lake of Fire? Why not just throw them in as was done to the beast and false prophet (REV. 19:20)? What is the point of looking in the Book of Life at all if none of their names are in it? What is the point of judging them according to their works? It appears that the legal protocol of the Heavenly court states that those who never accepted Messiah must be judged by their works towards those who did accept Yahshua. We will revisit this momentarily.
In any case, those from the sea were not cast into Perdition. The sea traditionally means humanity or mankind. These people may still have been redeemable though failed to take the proper steps to salvation while still alive. There was humanity or compassion yet in them, but they may not have been Christians or heard about Yahshua. This is eternal or everlasting life. Souls who are saved go straight to Heaven at death (enough Christians have been there and come back for us to know this, not least our Saviour Himself), but even those who suffer the cleansing fires of Hell receive life everlasting. Yahshua also speaks of those Christians who fail to ‘endure to the end’, those who have failed to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (PHILI. 2:12): Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the LAST day.
Father once told me that a person needs only to have given one of His children a cup of water (or do some other loving act) in order to gain eternal life and be raised from the sea of Hell on the last day. This was if they failed to accept Yahshua as Saviour (MATT. 10:42, Mark 9:41).
Paradoxically, the Scripture immediately following MARK 9:41, v.42 declares whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in Me (the ones to whom was given a drink of water in v.41), it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. This presumably refers also to Christians. Note these people are apt to be cast into the sea. Is Yahshua here making a pun on His words, saying even Christians may be cast into the ‘sea’ of Hell to be raised up on the last day if they fail to repent of what He sees as a heinous deed? Yahshua does, after all, tell Christians who have even prophesied and cast out demons in his Name, “…I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity”! (MATT. 7:23). Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire (MATT. 7:19). A plethora of Scriptures exist like this one for those with eyes to see. Those who bury their talents in the ground and are cast into outer darkness is another (MATT. 25:30). Christianity is not as cut and dried as the majority think. Basically when a Christian disobeys YHWH or His Word, or resorts to worldly means to live their life they are not only committing sin, but denying Him.
There is yet further evidence of the rescue from Hell principle: By which also He (Yahshua) went and preached unto the spirits in prison, Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of YHWH waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water (I PETER 3:19-20); and For for this cause was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to YHWH in the spirit (I PETER 4:6).
Yahshua, while in Hell following His death on the cross, preached the Gospel to the dead in Hell, particularly those from the days of Noah who had never before witnessed YHWH’s judgment. These then were less accountable than any after the Flood who should have been in fear of YHWH and potential punishment for sin. These lost souls were obviously given the opportunity to repent. He is truly a merciful Father, is YHWH.
Although this doctrine has been kept alive by the Catholic Church, it is a sad fact that few Catholics give much thought to where their souls are going at death. Of those who do, many believe a season in Purgatory is inescapable. Oh, that they would know the saving grace of Yahshua and His work on the cross.
The knowledge of this doctrine would make an immense difference to Christendom. What therefore does it mean for my suicidal friend? I happen to know he did much more for YHWH’s people than give to one a mere cup of water. We cannot know where he is at present except in Father’s hands. But if he has denied YHWH by the manner of his death, then he may just be one of those in the sea of Hell who are destined to be raised up on the last day. Personally I wouldn’t want to test YHWH in such a way in order to find out.