Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Coming to Life

In revelation 20:4 in the kjv it says people have been beheaded and
are getting white robes and are crying out to God. That sounds like the immortal soul idea.
But if you read revelation 20:5, it says some of the other dead didn't come back to life until the 1000 years were over.
This sounds like the soul coming back to life idea.
So which one is right? Both or either or?


I think you may be thinking of Rev.6:9,10,11.
They are the ones given white robes and are crying out, after being slain.

Rev.20:4 and Rev.6:11 does not say that those in white robes, were never dead. 
It says they had died, and then, "came to life". 
They then "reign" (2Tim.2:12), "sit on thrones" (Matt.19:28; Rev.3:21; Eph.2:6), and have "authority to judge" (John 20:21,22,23;  1Cor.6:1,2,3) and they do this, during Christ's thousand year kingdom (Luke 22:69; Ps.110:1,2;  1Cor.15:25).
In fact, it says that they were beheaded. If you look more closely at Rev.20:5, it actually reads that "the rest of the dead" did not attain life, until after the first group. 
Do you not see that if the second group is "the rest of the dead"... that the first group was also dead?
Before you conclude that this is speaking of physical life and death, consider Rom.5:12,17; Eph.2:1,2.
These two groups come to life, when they accept and obey, the teachings of Christ 
(John 6:54,57,58,63;  1Pet.1:23) which birth, is by means of a death (Gal.6:14; Col.2:20;  1John 5:4; Mark 8:35).

Continuing in it's description of Rev.20:5 "the rest" do not come to life until after the thousand years. Regarding the first group, the end of verse 4 states; "And they lived and reigned with Christ during the thousand years".
Can you see that the difference in coming to life, is not about an immortal soul, but rather,
when the two different groups, come to life?
--The first group is "during the thousand years".
--The second group, "after the thousand years have ended".
During the interval between the two
   the first group is alive, 
   the second group is not yet alive.
It is not because one group is immortal and the other is not.

The most important thing to note in Rev.20:4,5, is WHY both groups, come to life.
Let's start with the group that are already alive, and see why.
They were beheaded, and given a white robe. AS we will see, this indicates why they have gained life.
Please compare that to Rev.6:9,10,11.

There we learn that a white robe is given for the righteous act of dying for Christ and truth (Mark 8:35; Rev.19:8), which the first group of Rev.20:4 has already done.
Apparently the second group, did not do that yet... But they will, after the "thousand years" have ended Rev.20:5). That later group is the same as those mentioned, at Rev.6:11.

Please continue to compare Rev.6:9,10,11 to Rev.20:4,5 until you perceive the two different groups mentioned in both citations, clearly.
The two eras that each group comes to life in, is also noted at Rev.1:19.

We begin to see what is required to gain a white robe (and eternal life), and that the first group achieves the required goal first. Then there is a second group, who attains the required goal, after the first group.

Is dying for divine truth, really a required goal in order to gain eternal life?

Rom.6:5 reads;
"For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his."

Were the martyrs in Rev.20:4 who were "beheaded", united with Christ in a death like his?
Well, why were they killed?
"And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God."

Of Jesus, John 8:40 Reads;
"As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God."
As we know, the Jewish leaders did kill Christ, for declaring God's truths.

Note what Jesus told us, at Mark 8:35...
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it."
There Jesus tells us, that if we lose our life for the gospel (the truths of God), we will, as a result, gain our life.

So, those beheaded, gained life. They suffered a death for the truths of God.
Not only did they declare those truths, they believed them and lived by them.

Of such ones, Jesus said;
"Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24)
What kind of life?
Was this life... an indefinite extension of physical life, or an eternal spiritual life?

"Jesus answered “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit." (John 3:6)

"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life." (John 6:63)

Have you discerned from these scriptures, that life results from faith in the words of Christ (the truths of God),
--when a testimony about that faith is given...
--a death like Christ, follows that testimony,
 ---and this all results in the granting of spirit life by God's spirit?...
...even while we yet reside in our flesh (Rom.8:9-11,12-14; John 8:51).

You may wonder then, "How one can be alive physically, if they have already "died" for the truth?"
Note Rom.8:13 (and Col.3:5,6; Gal.5:24) to see that there are "deaths" other than physical.
A "death" for truth, also results, by the hand of those with whom we battle (2Cor. 10:4,5,6; Rev.17:14)... Satan's agents of religious deception (John 16:2; 8:40) have the power to expel and condemn as worthy of a spiritual death, those against whom they bring false charges (usually blasphemy, sedition, heresy, or apostasy) (Matt.26:65,66; John 12:42; 9:22; 16:2; Rom.6:5; John 15:20).

We learn by Rom.6:5, that in order to attain such a spirit life, we must be willing to die like Christ, for testifying to those words of life and truth.
This is confirmed, at Rev.6:9-11, where we hear of others who have died such a faithful death, who are also, crying out.
Note what reply is given to them...

"When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been."

The "full number" of God's witnesses, must be killed for the word of God and a testimony to it.
Only when that full number is completed, will God's judgment and vengeance arrive.
Spirit life results from a death for truth (Mark 8:35).
Those already killed and crying out, have already attained their spirit life (Rev.20:4).
They are waiting for the "rest" "to be killed, just as they had been", so that "the rest" also, can come to life (Rev.20:5).

Since these killed ones (at Rev.6:9,10,11) are also speaking, we can safely conclude the truthfulness of Christ's words,
that they have "passed over from death to life" (John 5:24).
It is crucial that we keep in mind, that such eternal life is spiritual, not physical.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -
Review scriptures: (Rev.1:19; 6:10,11; 20:4,5; Rom.6:5; Mark 8:35; John 6:63; 5:24; 8:51)
-  -  -  -  -  -  -

You ask about "an immortal soul idea".
Well, had these martyrs not proven faithful, they would not have gained eternal spirit life.
They gained it after spirit granted it to them, as a reward,
based upon their "deaths" for truth (Mark 8:35; James 1:12; Rev.2:10).
They did not already possess it, but it was given to them.
An eternal spirit, is a reward for those who faithfully conquer the world and it's persecutions 
(Rev.21:7; 22:14; 2:17; 3:19,20,21).
  This idea of gaining spirit life as a reward for a faithful testimony to truth, unto the death...can also be seen, if we look at three scriptures...

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life, that the Lord has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12)

"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor's crown." (Rev.2:10)

"I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. (Rev.3:11)

Can you see that our reward of eternal spiritual life, is compared to a crown?
Note that it is given to those who prove their love for Christ by being faithful, even to the point of death (Rev.12:10,11).
Note too, that such a crown can be taken away.

Since the life possessed by the martyrs in Rev.20:4, has been achieved through faithfulness,
there was a time in their lives, before that faithful witness and death was accomplished, correct?

Such ones did not always have that gift of life.
It was only given to them, after they had proven faithful.
Before they were granted spiritual life, they were still spiritually dead.
Remembering this, helps us with Rev.20:5...
"The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended."

our first group of martyrs, "came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.".
they attained living spirit during the symbolic "thousand years".
They were faithful witnesses of the truths of God and Christ, and died for that testimony, during Christ's "thousand year" reign.

Not so those in Rev.20:5, of which we read;
"The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years had ended."

"The rest of the dead" indicates that the first group had also been spiritually dead,
but they "came to life" during the "Thousand Years".
This second group "did not come to life until the thousand years were ended".
So this second group, also comes to life.
The difference, is  when.

It will not be possible for you to understand these two verses, if you are viewing life and death as physical.
Not only are these verses speaking of life as spiritual;
they are speaking of death, as spiritual.

One can be alive or dead in a spiritual sense, even while physically alive.
Some examples of being spiritually dead, while physically alive, are:

"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead." (Rev.3:1)
Here Jesus is speaking to someone physically alive, yet is considered by Christ, to be spiritually dead.
That person has not yet, "come to life".

"The widow who lives for pleasure is dead, even while she lives." (1Tim. 5:6).
(See also Eph.2:1,5; Col.2:12,13)
And so,
when we read Rev.20:4,5,
we see that there are witnesses of God who are given the gift of spiritual life during two different time periods.

The first group to share in Christ's resurrection to spirit (1Pet. 3:18; Rom.8:9; Mark 8:35; John 16:2), are killed for their testimony and receive spirit life during Christ's thousand year reign.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -

The "rest" of those to receive such a reward (Rev.20:5), (who are also mentioned at Rev.6:11);
receive their eternal spirit lives for their testimony to the death,
after Christ's thousand year reign.

Why is this?
Well, if you read more of Rev.20, we learn in verse 7, that Satan is let out of the abyss at the end of that "Thousand years". He has an alliance working with him (Rev.20:8,10) which alliance is also described in various other depictions, throughout Revelation.

Verses 8-10 go on to explain the result of Satan's release
 (also shown at Rev.16:13,14,15,16; 17:14).

At the end of the thousand years and Satan's release,
there is a widespread and all consuming deception, released by Satan and his two agents...
the Wild Beast and the false prophet.
Scripture discloses that God's people are completely devoured by this great force 
(Rev.13:7,10; Col.2:8; Luke 21:24,20; Rev.20:7-9).
They are unable to "come to life" through a death for truth...
       (receive their "crown"/get "sealed" as slaves of God), 
...while under the influence and dominion of Satanic deception through his agents, during the Great Tribulation (Rev.9:6).
Rev.13:7 confirms...
"The Wild Beast ("locust-scorpion" collective**) was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation."
Dan.7:21,25; 8:11,12,17,19,24,25; 11:31-32,33,34,35,36,37;  2Thess.2:4;  1Cor.3:16

Those who are faithful servants of God and His laws, are symbolically marked as such (Deut.11:18).
Those conquered by the Beast, submit to it, and receive it's mark on their forehead (Rev.13:16,15).
Any who refuse to render such worship to the Beast's Image, are killed (Rev.13:15).
If any were to wake up, and take a stand against the lies of the Beast (in order to testify to God's truths), they would,
like the faithful martyrs before them, be killed (Rev.11:3,7; 13:10; 6:11; Matt.5:11,12).
It was the same in the first century (John 9:22; 7:13; Matt.23:29,30,31,34,35,36,37,38). 
So it is the same, today (Rev.18:24; John 16:2; Rev.11:3,7).

Yet those who receive spirit life after Satan's release (and after the thousand years), would be "coming to life" "after the thousand years have ended", just as Rev.20:5 stated.

For more confirmation of this interpretation,
let us return to the latter half of verse 4;
In speaking of those resurrected first...
"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."

Note that those who gained spirit life first,
never worshiped the Beast or it's image, and had not received it's mark.
  The Beast had not yet been released from the abyss along with Satan (Rev.20:7).
Yet after the thousand years ends, Satan is released...
and his Beast and False prophet then emerge in the era of the second group. (Rev.16:13,14;  1Tim.4:1). 
They succeed in conquering and slave-marking, the Chosen Elect (Matt.24:24,25; Rev.13:7).

Previous to their waking up, repenting, and giving testimony (Matt.25:5,6,7; Rev.11:3; Joel 1:13),
God's chosen ones alive in this post-thousand year period,
were still spiritually dead (Eph.2:1,13; John 3:18).
They do not come to life, until they conquer their circumstances...
   the final, great machination of Satan, against them (Rev.12:17; 13:7,10).
  They too must give their testimony, and be killed 
(Rev.11:3,7; 12:10-11; 6:11; Mark 8:35; Rom.6:5;  1Pet. 3:18; Rev.15:2).

The Bible defines that final great assault, as the "Great Tribulation".

This is why the faithful who reign with Christ during the "Thousand Years", are depicted separately from those anointed priests who gain life during the Great Tribulation. (compare Rev.7:4 to Rev.7:9,14,17)

To grasp the truth about the thousand years, life, death, resurrection, and tribulation...
you must first adopt a spiritual viewpoint, and realize that it is just as Jesus said...
"the flesh counts for nothing" (John 6:63).

For more information about how each group comes to life:
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -

I hope my reply has given you a clear answer, sourced in the Bible.
The difference between the two groups cited at Rev.20:4-5,
is not IF they always had a living spirit...
But WHEN they receive that gift, and how.

Thank you for your good question, and if any question remains,
please follow up.

Love in Christ,


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Pearl. This is much appreciated.

    You said, “Such ones did not always have that gift of life.
    It was only given to them, after they had proven faithful.
    Before they were granted spiritual life, they were still spiritually dead.”

    Through Jesus’ physical death, he now "is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them”. Heb 7:25

    By means of Christ’s own blood we are given the opportunity to obtain spiritual life completely (saved to the uttermost) by the purification of our conscience from “dead works to serve the living God”. Heb 9:14

    Jesus “put away” mankind’s sin by the sacrifice of himself (Heb 9:27) - we do the same by “putting away” our own dead works by sacrificing what is considered life by those who spiritually “kill” us, where our own dead works were once performed. John 5:24

    Jesus’ death is the ultimate redemption of our sins; yet as our High Priest, we follow in his footsteps by making the sacrifice of our own life through the shedding of dead works, striving to offer ourselves without blemish to God.



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