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"The Key to Hades and Death"

Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

As Jesus spoke these words, I want you to allow them to touch your heart and mind with what he was saying. So often people will quickly read words and equate them to little meaning unless you slow down. While this translation above (King James 1611) leaves a lot to be desired in their selection of words. The intent or message of Jesus was clearly directed at a poetic statement of three parts and they are not the ending!

These three parts are broken down to the statements as follows as Jesus describes himself:

1. "He that liveth" - he is life, was life, is life and will be life forever more. All life is to be revealed in him. He is the key.
2. "was dead" - means "to become a corpse" thus he is saying that the body he had on this earth remained lifeless for three days. Jesus had to suffer and experience mortal death of the body to fulfill the sacrifice requirements of the Law of God. Just as all of mankind must experience death, Jesus' became the way, the truth and life. This statement signifies Jesus' three day death, and the resurrection from the dead body/death into a newness of physical life establishes the route all mankind will follow.
3. "I am alive for evermore" - is God's guarantee that all mankind will be reconciled into the very life of Jesus - all things will become new and we will all become new creatures in Jesus through the power and blessings of God.

Well, if you focused on the last phrase of this verse without proper attention to the main points then you will likely walk away with a false understanding. It is translated Jesus has "the keys of hell and of death." If I may give you the proper translation...

"to hold the key to Hades and Death."

The significance of the translation that I have given to you is as follows. "To have" is not as strong as this word in the Greek which means "to hold with the right and power of possession." The word "key" was made plural by the translators incorrectly. The word should have been singular since the "Dative Use" is to two indirect objects but related in this case. When using the "Dative Use" the correct way to translate is to use connective words such as "to, in, by or with" depending on how the sentence is presented. In this case it is used in a direction toward Hades and Death. "Hades" is nothing more than the place of the dead. Find me if you would historically in the first century or earlier where the concept of eternal damnation and hell were embraced by Christian doctrine. It was not! So to translate the Greek Word Hades into Hell is ridiculous at best. Hades, as the place of the dead, is specifically tied to death. You have to die in order to go to the place of the dead!!

Jesus being in possession of the Key to Hades and Death clearly speaks of his perfectly paying the ransom for all of the sins of mankind. Remember the wages of sin is death. The wages of sin does not in any form or fashion bring about the pagan belief that sin results in spiritual death. There is no such thing. Sin results in physical death of the body and life on this earth. Jesus has complete power over death and the place where all that have died go. Yes, there is no going to heaven when you die. All people go to Hades until the resurrection of the dead. Then we will all be changed in the twinkling of the eye into immortal and incorruptible! All because Jesus owns and controls the "Key to Hades and Death" so to release all sinners into eternal life.

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