Two Kinds


The book of Revelation mentions the 1st resurrection (but not the 2nd), and it mentions the 2nd death (but not the 1st). Here's the puzzle, to fill in this chart...

resurrection death
1st resurrection 1st death
2nd resurrection 2nd death

There is no 3rd death, nor is there a 3rd resurrection: only two of each.


1st death

Clearly, the 1st death is physical death. Note that death (the 1st death) is finally cast into the lake of fire (the 2nd death).

resurrection death
1st resurrection 1st death

physical death

2nd resurrection 2nd death


2nd death

The 2nd death sounds really bad; we should avoid it at all costs.

resurrection death
1st resurrection 1st death

physical death

2nd resurrection 2nd death

eternal separation from God in the lake of fire



1st resurrection

Since the 1st resurrection is mentioned twice in the book of Revelation, it should be easy to know what is meant. But it's not easy at all and the passages lend themselves to various interpretations.

It's easy to get these verses all tangled-up with the 1,000 years but I discuss that elsewhere. Anyway, Jesus clears it all up as I note two paragraphs down.

The 2nd death has no power over those taking part in the 1st resurrection. Therefore, the 1st resurrection includes all the redeemed, all who will not end up for eternity in the lake of fire.

Jesus explains the 1st resurrection, the resurrection of the dead. He says that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are resurrected. And this was even before he went down to preach to them and bring them into another place.

resurrection death
1st resurrection

entrance into the kingdom of God

1st death

physical death

2nd resurrection 2nd death

eternal separation from God in the lake of fire


The 1st resurrection is, therefore, becoming redeemed, or getting saved, or born again; however you want to say it. It happens at first while a person is alive, and then, finally happens as part of death in which Jesus appears to each person and they choose whether or not to follow him.


2nd resurrection

There is only one option for the meaning of the 2nd resurrection; it is the final resurrection after the 2nd coming of Christ.

resurrection death
1st resurrection

entrance into the kingdom of God

1st death

physical death

2nd resurrection

resurrection of the body at the second coming

2nd death

eternal separation from God in the lake of fire


Some teach there are multiple resurrections. Two examples: (1) a preliminary rapture, and (2) a resurrection of the redeemed 1,000 years before the resurrection of the damned. I reject these multi-resurrection scenarios.


Jewish Views

There are several New Testament passages referring to the soul or spirit living after death, and this is referred to as "resurrection". Christians usually assume the word "resurrection" refers to bodily resurrection but this is not the case. Weirdly, the passage in Matthew is wrongly interpreted as meaning there is no marriage in the new heavens and new earth.

Certainly Daniel had a vision of the general resurrection, a bodily resurrection.