Today's Foundations Devotional: Death and Hades are persons

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Memory verse:

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.

(Revelation 20:12)

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This distinction between Sheol and Gehenna is further brought out by the statement of John in Revelation 20:14:

Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.

Just what is the true nature of Death and Hades as revealed in the New Testament? John’s famous vision of the four horsemen sheds light on this question. Concerning the fourth horseman, John says:

And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him (Rev. 6:8).

It is obvious from this account that both Death and Hades were revealed to John as being persons. Only a person could sit on a horse, and only another person could follow along with this first one. This passage therefore casts light on the nature of Death and Hades as revealed in the Scriptures.

In one sense death is a state or condition. It is the cessation of life, the experience which results in the separation of the spirit from the body. However, Death is also a person. Death is the dark angel, the minister of Satan who claims the spirit of every unrighteous person that is separated from his body when he dies.

A similar truth applies also to Hades. In one sense Hades is a place of confinement for departed spirits. In another sense, however, Hades is a person. Hades, like Death, is a dark angel, a minister of Satan, following close upon the heels of Death. Hades takes charge of the spirits of the unrighteous which have been claimed by Death and conducts them to the realm of departed spirits from which he receives his name – that is, Hades.

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Prayer:

Lord, thank You that death is very literally a frightening reality, but that

all people who are afraid of this do not have to be subject to that fear,

because You Lord Jesus, have definitively dethroned death! I pray that

this reality will be revealed to all people who fight with fear of death!

Amen.

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