Questions about “the second death” (1)13-11-2014 - Posted by Andre Piet
1. What is “the second death”?
We do not need to fantasize about this, because the Scripture itself provides a definition. In Revelation 20:14 and 15 we read:
And death and the unseen were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death-the lake of fire. And if anyone was not found written in the scroll of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.
These verses need no explanation – they are the explanation! “This is the second death”! When we take this description as it presents itself, then this means that those who are not written in the book of life, will die a sudden death by fire. And since they have previously been dead, this death is called “the second death”.
2. Is “the second death” a condition of suffering physical pain?
No, because death is not another form of life, but the opposite. It is the absence of life. The dead do not continue to live, but are dead and are, therefore, not conscious of anything. When we understand what the Bible means by “death”, then we also know what “the second death” is. The dead know nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5,10).
3. Is any pain inflicted in the lake of the fire?
Here we must distinguish. Concerning Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet, we read that they are thrown into the lake of the fire and are being tormented “for the eons of the eons” (Revelation 19:20; 20:10). But … for this trio, the lake of the fire is not a “second death.” They are not dead, because they are being tormented. And moreover, for them it is not a second death, because they have not even died a first death. While for people, the lake of the fire will usher in a state of death, this devilish trio will be tormented in this place. They do not die, because they are not ‘ordinary’ people. Of Satan, “that old serpent”, this is obvious, but also the Beast and the False Prophet come from the abyss (Revelation 13:1,11) and, consequently, have no regular, earthly origin. Rev.16:13 and 14 show that behind these human manifestations are hiding “spirits of demons”. The word “torment” likely makes one think of a physical sensation, but not necessarily so. This Greek word is also used in Mat.14:24 (tossed), Mark 6:48 (toiling) and 2Pet.2:8 (vexed); in these texts it is also not about physical pain being inflicted. The Greek word basanizo (Str. 928) means to torment physically or in spirit. The Satanic threesome, that will be thrown into the lake of the fire, will be tormented by their ill-fated end.
4. Where is the “lake of the fire”?
The expression “the lake of the fire” is used 5 x in Scripture, every time in the book ‘Revelation’. The word for “lake” is exactly the same as what is also used for “the lake of Gennesaret” (Luke 5:1). A lake is a body of water surrounded by land. Please note the definite article: THE lake of fire (and brimstone). In Scripture, there is only one lake of this kind. In the once fertile region of Sodom and Gomorrah, God rained fire and brimstone, so that the inhabitants died a sudden death by fire (Gen.19:24-28). That happened in the area of what is called (significantly!) the Dead Sea. It is the deepest point on earth (over 300 meters below sea level), where up to now every form of life is missing. During the thousand years, this lake will come to life (Eze.47), but both prior to (Rev.19:20), as well as after the thousand years (Rev.20:9,10), there came and there will come, here, fire and brimstone from heaven. to be continued