Extracts and comments from Chps. 6:9, 14:13(b), 20:4(b) & 20:13(b)
And when He opened the 5th Seal, I saw under the alter the (a)Souls of them that had been slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
(a) See comments Rev. 20:4 (b). Apps. 110 (2), 170 (3) and 13. There is much confusion on this subject. The Babylonian/Greek myth of an enduring entity called the "soul", is now established teaching in the churches, and works against Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross. The Roman teaching in particular gives power to Priests and people for "Purgatory" relief of "unrepentant souls", by their prayers, and "special Masses". A careful study of Scripture shows that the spirit of life is given and taken by Almighty God, and by Him alone. The spirit of life and the dust of the ground = the living soul, Gen. 2:7. The word soul is used very loosely in everyday speech, which only adds to the confusion, and applies to animals and people! (See Gen. 1:20, 2:6, same word nephesh = soul of life).
In the important instances, care is needed to ascertain the actual intended meaning. In this case, the Greek "psucha", in context means the individual. However these "individuals", "have been slain for the Word of God", and they are in the Tribulation Age, Matt. 24:9. There is the implication that those so affected go straight to heaven. In this Age, when we die, we await the resurrection of either glory with Christ, if we have trusted Him for salvation and we are washed in His redeeming blood, or resurrection to precise judgement at the "Great White Throne", at the end of the Millennial Age, Rev. 20:11-12. In the case of the saved, in Christ's Body, and the unsaved, the spirit of life returns to the Father, Ecc. 12:7. In the case of the Christian (the true Christ one), there is the implication in Scripture, that the Christ Spirit returns to Christ, Acts 7:59 & Philippians 1:23.
Charles Ozanne, makes the following comments in his booklet ‘The Life and Soul of Mortal Man’.
The book of Revelation is the most Hebraic of all the New Testament books. For this reason alone, it is the last place we should expect to find a non-Hebraic use of the soul. Elsewhere in this book, the usage of the word is fully in accord with the Old Testament idiom:
Revelation 8-9; “there died a third of the sea creatures, having souls” (Compare Genesis 1:30 “to everything that creeps on the earth in which there is living soul”)
Revelation 12:11; “they loved not their souls unto death”
Revelation 16:3; “every living soul (= nephesh hayyah) died that was in the sea”
Revelation 18:13; “slaves, that is souls of men (= nephesh adam, Ezekiel 27:13)”
Revelation 18:14; “and the fruit, the desire of your soul (= awwath naphsheka, Deuteronomy 12:15, etc.)”
Revelation 20:4; “I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded” (in resurrection).
The word “soul” is nowhere used of the spirits of the departed. All this goes to show that Revelation 6:9 is not to be taken literally. The martyred saints are represented as sacrificial victims, whose blood (or souls, Leviticus 17:14) has been poured out at the base of the alter (Leviticus 4:7). It is written of Christ that “He poured out His soul to death” (Isaiah 53:12). So the souls under the alter are the life-blood of the martyred saints poured out in a sacrificial death. In a manner totally uncharacteristic of Christian martyrs (cp. Acts 7:60), they cry out to God to avenge their blood on those who dwell upon the earth, and they are consoled by the gift of a white robe – a symbol of their righteousness and purity. They are here personified for our instruction. Doubtless, the closest Old Testament parallel is Genesis 4:10, where the voice of Abel’s blood is represented as crying from the ground”.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying “Write, (b)Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, said the Spirit, that they may rest from (c)their toilsome labours; for their rewards do follow them".
(b) These people of the early Chapters of Revelation are specially blessed, as their rewards “do follow them", which implies as mentioned earlier, immediately after death.
And I saw thrones, and (a)they sat on them, and judgement was given to them; and the (b)souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or on their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
(b) "Souls"; Interlinear 5590, derived from 5594; which is by implication "SPIRIT", as opposed to "a living soul", which is body + spirit of life = soul! These are the "Overcomers", of Chp. 2:26.
(a)And the sea gave up the dead which are in it; and death and the (b)grave delivered up the dead which are in them: and they were judged each one according to their works.
(b) This in A.D. 1611 translated incorrectly "Hell"; the concept of hell is Babylonian and Greek in origin (Pythagoras) and adopted by the Roman church, and later by the Church of England and other Protestant groups. The Greek word "HADES", renders (Str. No. 86), a place or state of departed souls, (i.e. bodies) i.e. grave, “Hell”. This led the Roman church to develop the concept of "purgatory," a place between life, and heaven or "Hell." This was due to the Roman adoption of the Greek concept of soul, i.e. as a separate continuing entity to the body, which ignores the clear definition given in Genesis, 2:7, where God "formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul". The soul therefore is the result of the dust + the breath of life = the soul! The Roman error has led to the awful practice of praying by Roman Catholics for "the souls of departed loved ones", which leads them to believe that their prayers can overcome the departed ones sins, and gain them access to heaven! This terrible teaching negates the work of Our Lord on The Cross, and millions of people worldwide are thus misled. This is part of the "Harlot," of Chps. 17 and 18 etc.