Who are these dead? All people throughout time, just un-believers, or who?
Revelation 20:12 - 14
NKJV - 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
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Let's back up to Revelation 20:5, "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." These are the redeemed who were raised up in the first resurrection. See Luke 14:13,14. John 5:29, the resurrection unto condemnation..."And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of condemnation. Refer to 1 Corinthians chapter 15, the Great resurrection chapter. Since the "just" have already been mentioned, these in Revelation 20:13, are the "lost." The unbelievers, if you will. The sea, I think, is a reference to all who perished in the flood of Noah' s day. Death and Hades are all who have been awaiting the Great White throne judgement at the bema seat. A believer will not be there. The believer will be judged for reward only. Amen.
This has to do with The Great White Throne judgment Revelation 20:11-15 1 The Imperial Throne— Great because of its Immensity Great because of the Importance of the assize Great because of the One Who occupies it 2 The Impartial Throne–A White Throne because of the Purity of the Judge because of the Impartiality of His judgment as Son of man (John 5:22,27) 3 The Incriminating Records—the books opened— Book of works Revelation 20:12 Book of Christ’s words John 12:48 Book of life Revelation 20:12 4 The Irrevocable Sentence—‘cast into the lake of fire’ Revelation 4:11; 20:15; 21:8 I will add what Seth Freeman said about Revelation 20:13 here because I agree with him, and my Study Bible lists John 5:28-29 as a cross-reference to Revelation 20:13. "I think it literally means the sea. So all those that had died in the sea. It would include all those who were killed during the flood, any who have died in naval battles, been buried at sea, who have died in shipwrecks, or anyone who has peacefully or otherwise died at sea." Also, the abhorrent fate of those whose bodies were devoured by the fish accounts for the special mention of this group at the resurrection... Both Greeks and Romans attached great importance to land burial and the inviolability of the tomb. They recoiled with great horror at the thought of death by drowning or even burial at sea.
I address this subject under the heading of “The doctrine of partial resurrections” in my book “The Rapture and the Last Seven Years.” Let me attempt to simplify my answer. Rev. 20:12-14 addresses those who died, spiritually, between the First Resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11). The Great White Throne Judgment occurs 1000 years after the First Judgment at the beginning of the Millennium. So, these are not the spiritually dead from the beginning of time. At least I can say that about the dead from the Sea, and I believe the same applies to the dead from Hades. The Sea represents humanity, alive and well on planet earth. The Antichrist “rises up out of the sea” in Rev. 13:1. He will come from “the sea of people” on the earth. Thus, the spiritually dead that come from the Sea will be those who are still physically alive at the end of the Millennium. The spiritually dead in the First Judgment at the end of this age, are cast into the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41). There is a difference, between the ages, on how it is that the spiritually dead are determined. In this age it is by faith. In the age to come, it will be by people’s deeds. Remember, God will be dealing, primarily, with the Jews during the Millennium and they will again be judged on how well they behave, much like it was under the Law and the Prophets. This is evident in Rev. 14:13 where it states that those who die “in the Lord” (Physically dead, but spiritually alive) from now on, will do so, based on their deeds. “From now on” is just after the Antichrist is given authority (Rev. 13:5) to persecute the saints (Rev. 13:7) by facing the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 14:9-11), through the last half of the Tribulation (Rev. 14:12-13). (This requires a Post-Tribulation view of the Rapture, but that is a different subject). The point is that the Great White Throne Judgment is based on one’s deeds. The ESV (Rev. 20:13) uses the words: “…according to what they (the dead) had done.” The NASB uses the words: “…according to their deeds.” So the Great White Throne Judgment is entirely different from the judgment at the end of this age of faith. The dead from Hades, who are these? From the story in Luke 16:22-23, regarding a beggar and a rich man, we see that hell appears to be divided into two compartments – Hades and Abraham’s bosom, as Abraham called to the rich man in Hades and said, Luke 16:25-26. Hades is the place where those who are spiritually dead go, when they physically die. There will be physical death during the Millennium (Isaiah 65:20) and there will be those who transgress against the Lord (Isaiah 66:24). It is those who experience both spiritual death and physical death, during the Millennium, that will be delivered up from Hades at the Great White Throne Judgment. That leaves Death. Is it possible that these are the angels in Jude 6, who disobeyed God? It speaks of a “great day”. This could be the great day of the Lord’s wrath (Rev. 6:17), but it specifically mentions ‘judgment’. I’m inclined to believe it is with respect to the Great White Throne Judgment, and Death could be those angels who were assigned to eternal chains of darkness in Tartaros (2 Peter 2:4). The Greek word for ‘cast into hell’ is Tartaroo (G5020). It contains a reference to Tartaros, “the deepest abyss of Hades” – Strong’s. Isaiah 1:18
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