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“the second death”, figurative?

11-07-2014 - Posted by Andre Piet

images21 Following the study, “what is the second death?”, I received several comments. These were, this time, especially about the question whether “the second death” is to be taken literal or not. The emphasis, in the study that I gave, was on the fact that death will be abolished. That means that all who die in Adam will be made alive, even as Christ was made alive, as the  Firstfruits: in imperishableness, glory and strength. In 1Corinthians 15, it also is made known when death will be nullified, namely, at the end of Christ’s reign. For Christ must reign until He will have abolished death, as the last enemy. That is past the time of Revelation 21 and 22 (the new heaven and earth), because at the time of the new heaven and earth, Christ still reigns (Rev.22:5). This makes sense, because there, too, “the second death” is still mentioned (21:8). But now, again, the question: what is “the second death”? This question is answered directly in Revelation 20:14:

And death and the unseen [hades] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death-the lake of fire.

On my bookshelf, I have a booklet with as title, “The problem of the second death” It is called a problem, because the writer thinks he has to explain the above statement. This is too bad, because this statement needs no explanation, because it is the explanation! In the book of Revelation, there are many examples of this.

  •  …the seven lampstands are seven ecclesias. (1:20)
  • …The seven heads are seven mountains… (17:9)
  • And the ten horns which you perceived are ten kings… (17:12)
  • And the woman whom you perceived is the great city (17:18)
  • … the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the Adversary and Satan… (20:2)

The universal principle is that the explanation, itself, is literal. It are literally, seven churches; literally, seven mountains; literally, ten kings; literally, a big city and literally, the diabolos and Satan. When Revelation 20:14 says: which is the second death”, then we have to take that as it is stated. Literally so. When, here, we take “death” figuratively, the explanation, itself, would again need an explanation… and it would cease to be an explanation! And then, the second death would, as yet, become a problem or an enigma… Revelation 20 describes the judgment of “the rest of the dead” (20:5), who will be resurrected  after “the thousand years”. As their names are not recorded in the book of life, they are, following their judgment, cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. Take it as it is written (as if it were a reporting) and the scenario is clear! The resurrected dead are cast into the fire, and that is the second death. Whether or not the resurrected dead will be aware of this fate, is not said. Nor about pain. Is it a sudden death by fire in a fraction of a moment? They “being cast”… indicates, at least, a quick execution. However that may be, what was called, until now, “death” and “hades” [“the unseen”], is now called, with good reason, “the second death”, for all those who have died from this moment on, are dead for the second time. These dead will, then, have been judged (= everything is set right; Rev.20:12), but they will have no part in the King’s reign for the eons of the eons” (Rev.11:15). During those eons, they will be dead and will, therefore, not be aware of anything (Eccl.9:5,.10), until death will be abolished and all will be made alive, beyond the reach of death. That will be the finale of Christ’s reign: no more death and all the people will really be ALIVE. Christ’s mission will then have been accomplished! Christ will be handing over to His God and Father a perfected and all-embracing Kingdom, so that God will become: all in all (1Cor.15:22-28)!