Christian Churches of God
The Resurrection of the Dead
(Edition 3.0 19940927-20000926-20071223)
The paper deals with the First and Second Resurrections of the dead. The purpose of each resurrection is discussed, as is the end result of the process. The identification of the Nephilim and the denial of the resurrection to them is examined and explained. This paper also deals with the explanation of pre-Adamic man and is important for all who would seek to reconcile the Bible with scientific findings in the 20th century.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright © 1994, revised 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2007 Wade Cox)
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The Resurrection of the Dead
The Last Great Day is a feast in its own right. It is not simply the Feast of Tabernacles; it is the culmination point. Everything leads up to this. Every single human event, every single life, every part of God’s Plan leads to this day. It is the culmination of all physical creation.
The Day of the Lord lasts over the process of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ and extends to the Last Great Day, or the Day of Judgment. This day is the final process of the reconciliation of the planet to God.
We have to go back before human history, before Adam. It is necessary to try to explain a difficult concept which is not being dealt with properly. The resurrection of the dead does not include all humans who have ever lived. Not all humans are going to be resurrected – that is, not all humanoids. All the descendants of Adam will be resurrected. The people who lived prior to Adam will not be resurrected.
In the paper The Fall of Egypt (No. 36): The Prophecy of Pharaoh’s Broken Arms - Phase One Part Two, the concept of the existence of men prior to Adam as described in the biblical texts was discussed. The term for these entities was the mighty men of old. The mighty men of old refers to the Nephilim or the giants of Genesis 6:4. The application of the texts to the offspring of the fallen Host appears to result in the offspring of the fallen Host being separated in the process of the resurrections. Isaiah 26:13-14, in fact, denies the resurrection to the Rephaim or Nephilim. The word Rephaim was interpreted as deceased or dead.
Isaiah 26:13-14 O Lord our God, other Lords beside Thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. 14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast Thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. (KJV)
They are not listed in the memory of God. They are not part of the resurrection. It is quite clear they shall not rise.
The word for deceased here is Rephaim (related to and associated with Nephilim, the offspring of the fallen sons of God) and The Companion Bible states that it is a proper name and should not be translated. The Rephaim refers to the other lords of verse 13. Where it is translated, it is always rendered giants or dead (Job 26:5; Ps. 88:10). Job 26:5 should read:
The Rephaim remain (Heb.: hul) under the waters (Companion Bible, fn. to verse 5).
Revelation 20:13 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. (KJV)
The Rephaim do not come above. They remain in the waters. The text is saying specifically they do not even make the Second Resurrection.
Isaiah 26:13-14 denies the resurrection to the Rephaim, yet all men are to be resurrected (Dan. 12:2; Jn. 5:28-29; Acts 23:6-8; 24:15; 1Cor. 15:22; Rev. 20:4-6,13). Hence the Rephaim are separate to modern man. The Nephilim are now extinct, although often being exhumed. There are no descendants of the Nephilim alive on this planet. The attempt to link the Australian Aborigines back 40,000 years to the inhabitants of this country is a gross disservice to the Aborigines, and an attempt at racism, separating the Aborigines from the descendants of Adam.
There is no doubt that the Judaic interpretation at the time of Christ and at the time of the compilation of the New Testament held that the fallen Host had committed fornication with the human creation (from Genesis 6:4 and also Jude 6) and that was the reason given for the requirement for women to wear long hair (cf. 1Cor. 11:10). The Bible is written in simple language for people who did not have our scientific knowledge. But the Bible does say that fornication was involved. The angels did appear as human beings and commit fornication. So it appears that they created something, which was in fact genetically inferior and which then interbred with women. It is probable that they were deliberately trying to forestall the Plan of God. Thus, the Nephilim were there to stop the Adamic creation and to destroy, frustrate, or pre-empt the Plan of God. There is no doubt that these Nephilim existed. One cannot deny that there were people on this planet who were entirely different and of larger stature than us. The fornication of the Host is found in the Ethiopic Book of Enoch, and in the Genesis Apocryphon in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Pseudepigraphical writings. The destruction of all humanity in the Flood was thus instituted because of the Nephilim or Rephaim. They were destroyed then, or later as the Anakim (cf. the paper The Nephilim (No. 154)).
The Midrash on the Flood tries to explain the later eruption of the Nephilim amongst the Anakim by saying that Og stowed away on the top of the Ark, and that is the Jewish Talmudic explanation for the later Nephilim. One cannot say if one of the Nephilim was taken on to the Ark. But if we look at the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Babylonian records of the Flood (there is a complete record of the Flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh), the dimensions of the Ark are different and it is stylised. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Ark is made out to be a cube. Also it expands the numbers that went into the Ark. It shows that the people who were the heads of the families were counted and then they took in their families, and also the artisans and the tradesmen who helped Noah build the Ark. So, if we take into account that the eight people there were heads of families, we then start to realise that there might have been more people on board, and there might be an easier explanation for the ethnic diversity that is present today. It makes some things a little more explicable, because we are digging up all sorts of different people in different places on the planet. Also, we have found that there has been a general dispersion. The archaeological finds in the Chekoutien cave in China were skeletons buried side by side and those skeletons were an Eskimo, a Mongolian and somebody from South-East Asia. So the answer seems to be that they went east to a jump-off point and spread out in their diversity when they repopulated the Earth. But we found them all together, and the reference to that is in Berndt, Aboriginal Man in Australia.
The question that must be then asked is: Do we have evidence that pre-Adamic man existed? The answer is “Yes!” The second question is: Does that evidence fit the Bible narrative? The answer is again “Yes!” The Bible testimony is that there were giants in the Earth in those days and afterwards. This concept is derived from the Genesis account (Gen. 6:4). The word used here is nephilim which is derived from the proposition to fall, and hence the term feller. This proposition then becomes a bully or tyrant (see SHD 5303, cf. 5307). The same word is used in Numbers 13:33. From this text the word gibbowr or gibbor (and also geber being a valiant) is translated mighty men. Gibberish is the language of the Nephilim (Heb.: ish means man).
The Bible has been deliberately misconstrued as a result of Augustine's treatment of the proposition in Genesis 6:4. In the City of God, Book XV, Chapter 23, he advances the proposition that the sons of God, also termed Angels of God, were the sons of Seth. The reason he did this is so that Christ could be the only Son of God, despite the fact that the Bible is quite clear from Job that there were many sons of God present at the creation of the Earth. The Trinitarians had to make Christ the only Son of God – so they re-wrote history. They said all these sons of God in the Bible are not really spiritual sons of God – they are the descendants of Seth. So Augustine attempted to destroy the concept that there were multiple sons of God in Heaven and also that these sons of God had formed the fallen Host, and they had committed fornication.
What Augustine did not realise is that when they started digging up the records, Trinitarianism would not only fall but also all of Christianity was prejudiced by it. Augustine set the seeds for the destruction of the Christian faith in his work the City of God and that Trinitarian doctrine established by him was nowhere more defended than in the Protestant churches in the United States of America in the twentieth century. It was because of Trinitarian inability to cope with the literal intent of the Bible that Christianity became unable to deal with science. Thus the teaching of the theory of Evolution started. It started in America and Europe because of Roman Catholic doctrine and American Protestant closed-mindedness. Nowhere was that imbecility more evident than in the Church of God. This error involved the advance of propositions that the Sethite and Cainite lines of the human race tidied up human anthropology so that the priesthood could have a convenient and tidy explanation for human creation. This left humanity totally unprepared for the archaeological finds of the recent past. Consequently, the theory of Evolution could be propounded because the Bible students had no answer from within their accepted paradigm. (The matter is examined in the work Cox, Creation: From Anthropomorphic Theology to Theomorphic Anthropology (No. B5) (at ch. 4).) See also the paper Creation versus Evolution (No. B9).
The fundamental error is in assuming that the creation of Adam was as the first humanoid creation. He was not the first humanoid. The same instruction was issued to Adam in Genesis 1:27-28a as it was to Noah at Genesis 9:1. Both were to fill (male' or mala'') the Earth and this did not preclude a pre-existent Host or tsaba'. When Noah was told to go out and fill the Earth, there was no implication that there had not been an existence there. Nobody assumed that there had been nothing on the planet. Why then do we have to assume that when Adam was told to fill the Earth that there was nothing else there also?
The comments by Cain in Genesis 4:14 show absolutely that there were others on the planet. If the Augustinian account is correct, Cain had just killed one of the only two other men on the planet. Seth had not yet been born. Cain had just killed Abel and there was only he and his father alive on the planet, if Augustine was right. He had then just been banished to the wilderness. The last one left was his father, yet Cain said to God:
Genesis 4:14b-16 And it will come to pass that whosoever findeth me will slay me.
And the Lord said unto him whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.
And the Lord appointed a sign for him lest any finding him should smite him. Then he dwelt in the land of Nod (Nowd from Nod, an exile or wanderer). (KJV)
Cain would have no fear of his father or sisters, but was obviously afraid of another creation, the Nephilim. There is no other explanation. There were people on the Earth at that time. That is the biblical explanation and why he had a sign on his forehead. It was to identify him, so that the people who did not know him, who were alive on the Earth, would not kill him. The Nephilim were a violent people.
It is possible that the term exile derives from this land as the word is not the prime root (see Cox, ibid.). The fact of the matter is that there were other people from whom Cain had to be protected, and Seth had not yet been born. More importantly, Cain built a city, which he named after his son Enoch (Gen. 4:17). A city by definition encompasses people. He did not establish a village, but a city with walls around it. Cities had walls around them and towns did not. Why the walls? Because of the Nephilim; they were all violent. Cain built a walled city to commence to teach the Nephilim how to make war on a large scale. With Cain came the intelligence that the Nephilim lacked and he was a natural leader of the Nephilim. These simple facts should have made it obvious that there were others in the Earth in those days. Yet people were deliberately resistant to such a concept. They denied it and denied we were digging them up. We have dug up body after body and Christianity is saying they do not exist.
No one has examined the DNA and published the results on these humanoids that have been dug up. Perhaps the DNA is different. When they do publish it, we will find that the DNA is not the same as human DNA. There will be a fundamental functional difference between the Nephilim and the Adamic creation such that it does not preclude their interbreeding. But there will be a difference.
The Nephilim have been found now in great numbers. The evidence is now so overwhelming that there were humanoids on the Earth before Adam that the Genesis account has been dismissed. That is not the fault of Genesis. It is the fault of the people who epitomised biblical literalism over the past century.
The best example we might use, which is quoted here from the paper The Fall of Egypt (No. 36): The Prophecy of Pharaoh’s Broken Arms - Phase One Part Two, is that of the Australian excavations. In Australia, we have found evidence of humanoid occupation going back some 40,000 years. The evolutionists claim that the Aborigines have continuous occupation here, yet they know that the evidence contradicts that assertion. The ethno-linguistic characteristics of the Australian Aborigine show that they came here in eight successive waves. There is no connection between them and the races here previously. The evidence presented for the continuity is non-archaeological. R.M. and C.H. Berndt show the diversity of opinion on the matter and show that there is a body of opinion that holds that the Australian Aborigine is a recent migrant to this country from West Asia, and is related to the Dekkan hill-tribes and Ancient Egyptian stock, or is pre-Dravidian of Mediterranean origin spreading into India and the Malayan region with affinity to the Veddas of Ceylon (Aboriginal Man in Australia, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1965, pp. 31-33). Montagu (1965) included the Ainu in this grouping (ibid., p. 34). All of the arguments are based upon the supposition of evolution and migration over a long period. However, it is assumed that the use of boats was necessary (Berndt, p. 39).
Recent archaeological evidence shows the more or less continuous occupation of areas such as the Arunka burial grounds in the Murray basin. This area was occupied from about 18,000 BCE to some 5,000 years ago. Similarly, the recent finds in the Murray-Darling basin show continuous occupation of a race of people over seven feet tall from about 6000 BCE to 4000+ BCE. The Lake Nitchie male was of giant proportions and had the two front teeth extracted. He was buried in a shallow grave with teeth obtained from some 47 Tasmanian Devils (now extinct on the mainland) around his neck. He was allegedly dated to just before the time of Adam in the Fifth Millennium BCE. He was alive in Australia, hunting, and someone else buried him. He was a giant and he lived when Adam was alive. So obviously Tasmanian Devils were in existence on the mainland just before the Flood. The Flood perhaps wiped them out.
The Kowe Swamp people were also pre-Adamic and had elongated heads. Their total dissimilarity to the Australian Aborigine has been explained as the result of possible head binding. Perhaps – but the evidence is missing. These people were post-Neanderthal. They were humanoids between Neanderthal and us, but they were related to neither.
The archaeological record shows discontinuous occupation. Lampert, in The Great Kartan Mystery (ANU, 1981) is perhaps a very good example of such archaeological research. Lampert follows Jones (1973) in suggesting that the second phase of the colonisation of Australia began about 20,000 BP (p. 166). This would follow from the settlement at Arunka and what we know elsewhere. However, there is no evidence that these people were related to the Aborigine and no intensive DNA comparisons are available. It is the contention of the author that they will be shown to be dissimilar in a functional way. Bowdler (1977) assumes a maritime economy for the explanation of the transmission of the tool technologies (Lampert, ibid.).
One of the factors that inhibit the gathering of evidence is that, during the Pleistocene period, the low sea level coast, which is now under water, would have assisted travel. That’s why we haven’t dug much of this up. All of their technology and all of their civilisation were in the Pleistocene era right out from the existing coastline. The coastline in Australia in the Pleistocene era was quite some miles further out towards the continental shelf. All of those people’s remains, and evidence of what they did, are right out there under water and we can’t dig them up. We know that there are cities under water in North America. There are some ruins in the Caribbean and we have no explanation for them. They are prehistoric in terms of recorded history.
There are all sorts of things not addressed because they blow the modern orthodox Christian explanation of everything apart. They prefer to have it in a scientific bowl not addressed by Christians at all and make Christianity look stupid. It is the way we eliminate Christianity as a serious theological proposition or explanation for the creation. We destroy the whole evidence of the creation of God that way. At the Willandra Lake sites, the dates of occupation vary from 24,000 BP to nearly 33,000 BP. The diet was predominantly vertebrate fish and shellfish, with land fauna being exploited less. This appears to be a coastal form of economy, which if transported would leave the major occupation below the present sea levels. The drying up of the Willandra Lakes around 17,000 BP saw the adaptation of the technology to provide for seed grinding around 15,000 BP.
Regardless of the interpretation, there is little doubt that occupation of the Australian mainland occurred some 30,000 years before the appearance of Adam.
The evidence indicates that the Nephilim are now extinct and that all humanoids on this planet are the descendants of the same human group, which is listed as descended from Adam. The more thorough the research, the more likely it is to demonstrate that fact. Thus the varying occupation of Jericho over some 9,000 years does not disprove Genesis – it merely demonstrates the validity of the concept of the Nephilim. The explanation of who they were and how they came to be is listed in Cox (ibid., ch. 4). Much more work along this line needs to be done.
The position now is that all mankind are of the one descent and that all will face a resurrection. That’s the bottom line. It has been done that way so that all face a resurrection.
The Nephilim were wiped out in the Flood. That was the purpose of the Flood, and Enoch was the process by which that civilisation was judged, while Noah was the instrument by which it was destroyed and saved. But Enoch was the standard against which it was judged.
The resurrection of the dead
The resurrections are discussed from Isaiah 26:13-14 and follow on into the time-frame outlined in Isaiah 26:15-18.
Isaiah 26:15-18 Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, Thou hast increased the nation: Thou art glorified: Thou hast removed it far unto all the ends of the earth. 16 Lord, in trouble have they visited Thee, they poured out a prayer when Thy chastening was upon them. 17 Like as a woman with child that draweth near the time of her delivery , is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in Thy sight O Lord. 18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. (KJV)
This is the nation of Israel that is being increased, the future nation of Matthew 21:43. This nation was the woman that travailed as in childbirth in Revelation 12:17, where the seed of the woman was both Jew and Gentile and all of Israel. But they did not bring any deliverance. They did not convince the Gentiles to accept the Law, and they did not save the world.
The Dragon poured out water as a flood from his mouth after the woman. The entire spiritual activity or power of the serpent was poured out or expended in the destruction of the woman. However, it was not enough to destroy the elect. That woman was both Israel as the nation and the Church. The elect are not just a small group of people within a nation. Israel is the elect.
The significant aspect here is that Isaiah is saying that the elect failed to bring deliverance to the Earth, or to bring the Earth to repentance, or to destroy its systems. This sequence is immediately prior to the end as the next text (Isa. 26:19ff.) goes on to discuss the resurrection.
Isaiah 26:19-21 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, My People, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation is overpast. 21 For behold the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain. (KJV)
We go from the Rephaim not having a resurrection to talking about a resurrection at verse 19. So it is making a distinction between the Rephaim and the descendants who are those of the creation of God.
The period of the prophecy is thus over the term called the Time of the Gentiles and spans an enormous period of history. More particularly, the end of this period deals with a number of concepts. The resurrection of the dead is grouped. Isaiah refers to the dead at the end of the period of the world systems as being God’s dead men and that he also was with them in that resurrection. Thus the prophets are in the First Resurrection. Secondly, the People of God then enter into chambers prepared for them and the doors are shut about them. This is the shutting of the doors referred to in Matthew 25:1ff., where the parable of the wise and foolish virgins was used to show that the wise virgins – the elect who are full of the Spirit those virgins referred to in Revelation 14:4 – enter the doors of the Kingdom and the doors are shut behind them and nobody else can get in. That is the hour of trial that comes upon all the Earth that the Philadelphian system is protected from.
The Loadicean system, the foolish virgins, and the Sardis system do not go into that protection. Those two churches do not go into the First Resurrection. Only a very few of them enter. So these people enter the chambers and they become the Temple of God. These texts interrelate to Revelation 7:3 where the Earth and sea were not to be hurt until the servants of the Lord were sealed. These were sealed for the nation of Israel referred to in Isaiah 26:19ff. above. These elect of God were grouped with the Lamb until the nations were overthrown. The time-frame of this prophecy deals with the Day of the Lord, which covers the period of one thousand years from the First Resurrection until the Second Resurrection when the Earth discloses its blood and no more covers its slain. Thus Isaiah 26:19-21 covers the one thousand years of Revelation 20:4ff., or the Millennium. So we don’t need the New Testament to know that the Millennium is a thousand years and that the span of the resurrections follows, as we have that same concept from the Old Testament. Using the Old Testament we can develop the same things that John developed. It is perfectly consistent between both Old and New Testaments. They both say the same thing.
The state of the dead
The soul doctrine is another insidious Trinitarian doctrine which seeks to undermine this concept. The state of the dead is silence (Ps. 115:17) and darkness (Ps. 143:3). There is no eternally existing soul. One fate comes to all people (Eccl. 9:3). The dead know nothing (Eccl. 9:5). So the soul doctrine, as envisioned by mainstream Christianity, is going to be a very boring existence if there is silence, darkness, seeing nothing and knowing nothing. That is the existence or state of the dead. They wait on the Lord.
Some of the ancient dead have no resurrection (Isa. 26:14). This is examined above.
The dead of the saints are termed sleeping or those who have fallen asleep (see Mat. 9:24; Lk. 8:52; Jn. 11:11; 1Cor. 11:30; 15:6,18,51; 1Thes. 4:13,15; 2Pet. 3:4).
God does work wonders for the dead and the dead rise up to praise Him (Ps. 88:10a), but the Rephaim do not rise. His steadfast love is declared from the grave (Ps. 88:11) when the dead are resurrected. Job knew that his Redeemer lives (Job 19:25) and at last he will stand upon the Earth. After Job had been destroyed, he knew that from his flesh he would see God, who would be on his side, and his eyes should see Him and not another[’s eyes] (Job 19:25-27).
Christ raised the dead that we might know that he is the Messiah (Mat. 11:4-5). Lazarus was an example of this power (Jn. 11:11). The other comment is that when he was crucified there were others raised from the dead at his death. The traditions of Israel at that time were that these resurrected ones were subsequently killed. The concept of the resurrection as attributed to the Messiah was well known and expected (Mat. 14:2).
It was understood that we should not all sleep, but that we should all be changed at the last trumpet (1Cor. 15:51). Thus, the brethren will fall asleep and pass over generations, but at the Last Days the Messiah will come while others of the saints are still living. Hence all will be changed into immortal spiritual bodies (1Cor. 15:44ff.). Those who have fallen asleep will be raised. Those who are alive who are left until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep (1Thes. 4:13-15). The Lord will descend from Heaven with the archangel’s call and the sound of the trumpet of God, and the dead will rise first and we who are alive shall be caught up together and thus always be with the Lord (1Thes. 4:16-17).
From the resurrection the millennial rule of the saints will commence. The saints will rule the nations with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:26-27). There are a number of symbols in the rod. The rod has power to smash the nations as vessels of clay and also does not bend or break as the reeds. Egypt was likened unto a reed, which snapped and speared the hand of Israel when Israel leaned on it. When they lean on us our rod will not snap.
In the resurrection there will be no marriage (Mat. 22:30). The saints are raised as spiritual entities. That is the day we will all be divorced. All who are married will simply be divorced. That is the only necessary divorce. We are all going to be divorced and married to Christ, each one of us. There is no sex, no male or female, just spiritual bodies who will all become spirit-begotten sons of God, all working with Christ in power. Christ died for us so that when we wake from sleep we might live with him (1Thes. 5:10).
It is important that we understand that only the righteous attain the First Resurrection. Righteousness and justice in Hebrew are the same word (tsedek) – they are understood to be the same thing. Thus the unrepented perversion of justice precludes the elect from the First Resurrection.
The punishment of the wicked
Mankind is subject to a system of righteous training. It is God’s desire that no flesh should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2Pet. 3:9). If God took back His Spirit then all flesh would perish together and man would return to dust (Job 34:15) – thus the soul would be non‑existent.
The whole of mankind not raised at the First Resurrection – which is a better resurrection (Heb. 11:35) – will be raised from the dead at the Second Resurrection, after the millennial reign of Messiah. This process is a period of judgment that appears to extend over 100 years (Isa. 65:20). The life of man was 120 years (Gen. 6:3), but under Moses it was shortened to seventy years (cf. Ps. 90:10). For the Second Resurrection it will be 120 years, based on being resurrected as a complete adult, and then 100 years of judgment to correction.
As people die, if they are converted they are translated. If they do not repent and convert and they do not enter into the Kingdom of God they simply die and their bodies are burned. The resurrection of judgment (Jn. 5:29) is one of correction and teaching so that all mankind might be prepared to receive eternal life. The word for judgment (kriseõs, rendered damnation in the KJV) has the meaning of decision. The sense is that of correction stemming from opinions or decisions given concerning actions. In other words, this judgment is a critique of action, which then corrects human action over the period. So, it is judgment of activity being then corrected to right activity. It is not damnation, but correction leading to life. It can carry the concept of punishment or of retribution. However, the general populace that has not had the opportunity of knowing God can hardly be punished for that fact. The wicked shall be subjected to intensive training. If they do not repent after the period of 100 years allowed from the Second Resurrection, they will be allowed to die and their bodies will be destroyed by Gehenna fire (Mat. 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33; Mk. 9:43,45,47; Lk. 12:5; Jas. 3:6).
There are three words in the New Testament that are translated as hell. One is hades (SGD 86) which approximates sheol (SHD 7585), the pit or the grave – the place where dead bodies are placed. The second word is gehenna (SGD 1067), which is of Hebrew origin for the valley of Hinnom. This was a rubbish pit where refuse and dead animals from Jerusalem were burnt. Thus Christ used it figuratively in referring to the disposal of the dead, both body and soul (Mat. 10:28), after judgment. The third word is tartaros (SGD 5020) which is the abyss where the angels were confined after the rebellion.
The eternal punishment (kolasin, a penal infliction) referred to in Matthew 25:46 is in opposition to eternal life. It is simply death.
The sense of punishment, such as in timoria in Hebrew 10:29, stems from the sense of vindication. 2Corinthians 2:6 uses the word epitimia from esteem as citizenship. Hence, punishment has the sense of removal of esteem as a citizen.
Thus there is no place of eternal torment of the dead. The saints will be called to the First Resurrection to do a job of teaching in the Millennium, so that the demons might be judged against the saints’ performance and the world might have a comparative standard by which it might measure the results. God sees that justice is done, and God chooses the weak and the base to bring us into a standard where the demons are measured against us. Satan was measured against Christ. Christ was brought to a standard in human flesh, and Satan as a spirit being was measured against Christ as a man in the weak form. So, out of the weakness that Christ assumed, the Host in all its power and the head of the demonic Host in all his power were measured. In the same way, the fallen Host, the demons under Satan, are all measured against us. We are the standard. That is why the Accuser of the brethren is continually accusing us – the more accusations heaped against us, the more he is mitigated in judgment.
To achieve the standard by which the fallen Host are to be judged, Satan must be bound in the bottomless pit for the Millennium. To get a fair comparison we have to put Satan and the demons away.
The Millennium is there so that we can go out unhindered by ‘white ants’, because the demons are just white ants or termites of the system. Their capacity to influence humanity will be removed. Then we can’t say we didn’t have a fair chance. Satan will be released again to deal with all the self-righteous who have come to that point at the end of the Millennium – and by then the planet is going to be rotten with self-righteousness.
Revelation 20:1-4 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while. 4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who 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. (RSV)
All these people were either killed or persecuted and placed under a system that requires them to resist. There is no absence of persecution. If we are in the First Resurrection, we have the judgment. We have been persecuted.
Revelation 20:5-10 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (RSV)
These will not die in the sense that they are judged now. The rest of the world is not judged now. So those who will be raised in the First Resurrection are judged now. We go through that same process of measurement and correction. Then we go through the sequence of the Temple, the Jubilee system of each seven years, and through the same cycle until we are brought up to a position where God can put us into the First Resurrection. The rest of the world will be raised and corrected under supervision at the Second Resurrection (Rev. 20:11-13).
Revelation 20:11-13 Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done. (RSV)
So, every man and woman gives an account of what they do before God. These people are given repentance then. They will simply go through the process of what they did. Many will argue and many people will try to justify their position as to why they were right. The real problem will be dealing with their attitude.
An extraordinary aspect of Revelation 20:11-13 is that it has been used to support the concept of a third resurrection. The fact of the resurrection of the dead in the seas does not support such a theory; indeed, the reverse would be the case. The reference to the sea and to death and hades shows that the term hades refers to the earthly grave in opposition to the watery grave (see the paper The Fallacy of the Third Resurrection (No. 166)).
There is no other resurrection or punishment other than the Second or General Resurrection. The repentant will be granted eternal life with the saints of the First Resurrection, and the unrepentant will simply die and their bodies will be burnt. After this, the state or condition of death and the grave, or hades, will be done away (Rev. 20:14).
So, the devil, evil, death and the grave are concepts – they are not people. The being, Lucifer, was once perfect and will be so again. The concepts are aspects of existence and they are all thrown into the lake of fire. They are consumed. Thus we are not throwing individuals into the lake of fire. The Beast is a system of government, and it is not the false prophet, but false prophecy that is thrown into the lake of fire. All of these concepts – the Beast system of government, democracy as it operates today, political parties and structures, evil under the demonic Host – are all thrown into the lake of fire. They are consumed as concepts and nobody – not Satan, not the fallen Host in any one of their elements, not any living thing – goes into eternal torment. There is no individual ever persecuted by God, neither of the heavenly Host nor of the human Host. God is not a sadist. He is a God of mercy and justice and He simply allows things to die.
The demonic Host will be removed and reduced to human beings, in the Second Resurrection. They will then be dealt with and be allowed to die and be burnt, or they will repent – and most of them will repent (cf. the paper The Judgment of the Demons (No. 80)). It is probable that not one single person or spirit being of the entire creation of God will perish, because it is not God’s will that we perish. Satan will be given repentance, and every human being will be given repentance; and we will convince them all of God’s Way.
The wicked who are alive at the return of Messiah will be killed (Mal. 4:3) and consigned to the Second Resurrection.
This was the punishment inflicted on Judah because of their rejection of Christ. They were the sons of the Kingdom who were thrown into outer darkness (Mat. 8:12). They were consigned to the Second Resurrection instead of partaking of the divine nature (2Pet. 1:4) and the First Resurrection. These were not chosen to partake of the First Resurrection. Many are called but few are chosen to undertake this task (Mat. 22:13-14). Many who espouse Christ but mistreat his elect, or who are not diligent (Mat. 25:30), will in fact be consigned to the Second Resurrection (Mat. 24:51; 25:30), for many are excluded (Lk. 13:26). Even those in the First Resurrection are relocated in order of precedence (Lk. 13:30).
The question of the resurrection is thus developed from the process of the destruction of Satan and his system. The creation of the pre-Adamic humanoids was part of the process of the development of this planet within the purposes of the elohim who controlled it. Satan was one of the elohim who controlled this planet. So God established this 6000-year Plan in order to deal with the Host who had been given the power over planets and the power to deal with its inhabitants. They created different things – entire systems, epochs and dinosaurs. The complexity of this civilisation was quite significant and there is no doubt that there were humanoids on the planet. God decided to intervene and to judge them and to show the fallen Host what they should have been trying to do.
The creation of Adam and this 6000-year Plan is to show the wisdom of God and to deal with the Host and to expand it to go into the next phase of the creation, which will be more exciting than this phase. The universe, which is expanding at a great rate, will achieve other things and we will then go on and recreate the universe. We will do in the universe what was done on this planet – and we will do it right. So this 6000-year Plan is a critical aspect in order to get us, and all humans, to be ready to go on and take up and wipe out the harm that was done during that period. The god of this world has been systematically dealt with over a long period of time from the creation of Adam. Thus the 6000-year Plan of Salvation is of greater significance.