By Miriam Mohr

Scripture tells us God is all knowing, all wise, all loving, and all powerful. "If any doctrine does not square with the four attributes of God, it bears closer examination." The present concept of second death leaves out the power of God. When asked "Cannot God bring every individual into conformity with him through his power" we are told "God forces no one. Man is a free moral agent." This statement I do not believe is scriptural. Man is either a servant of righteousness or a servant of sin--neither is free. We're in bondage to either one or the other. Rom. 6:16. The difference is that bondage to sin brings sorrow, sickness and death. Bondage to righteousness brings joy, peace, and life. The only freedom we experience is freedom from the woes of sin which in turn brings forth the joy, peace and life.

What is the purpose of the reign of The Christ during the millennium? Are the judgments not a means of force to bring mankind into conformity to God's laws? Isn't force a method used by parents to turn a rebellious child into an obedient and loving child. The Lord says:

Prov. 13:24--"He that spareth his rod hateth his son;
but he that loveth him chastenth him early."

Prov. 22:6, 15--"Train up a child in the way he should
go and, when he is old, he will not depart from it."
"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the
rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

Prov. 23:13-14--"Withhold not correction from the child
for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Thou shalt beat him with the rod and shalt deliver his
soul from sheol."

Prov. 29:15, 17--"The rod and reproof give wisdom, but
a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."
"Correct thy son and he shall give thee rest; yea, he
shall give delight to thy soul."

Prov. 19:18--"Chasten thy son while there is hope, and
let not thy rod spare for his crying.,,

The purpose of discipline is to bend the will of the child that he may grow in wisdom and understanding and follow the will of his parents. But we say--some are incorrigible (another term that I believe is not scriptural). Can God read the heart? Does he not know the reason for that person’s rebellion? Does he not know what correction or care will work for the individual? Does God require more from us as parents than he does of himself? Are not God's judgments perfect and successful? Isa. 55:11, Isa. 45:23. Can God deny himself? 2 Tim 2:13. God being able to read the heart (Matt. 10:29-30) and know what made that person's character what it is, is able to give the proper correction (that will work) and turn that person around. God does not fail!!!!

Let's look at the term "second death". It occurs only in one book of the Bible--Revelation. And in that book it is used four times: Rev. 2:11; Rev. 20:6; Rev. 20:14; and Rev. 21:8. Rev. 2:11 and Rev. 20:6 speaks of the Church class who are overcomers and therefore will not have part in the second death--the death of the "old man" being accomplished in the first death. Rev. 20:11-15 is the throne scene at the time of the world's awakening from their sleep in death. They are judged for their works. If not found in the book of life they are cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. Who at the awakening is found in the book of life? The only ones at that time would be the church, the great company and the ancient worthies. The rest of the world lies in sin and darkness. 1 Cor. 3:11-15 states "if any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved; yet so as BY FIRE." 2 Pet. 3:10-13 states that fire consumes the dross of the earth and heavens but the earth and heavens remain. In Rev. 21:8--Who is cast into the lake of fire? The list covers every sin. The whole world is covered by this verse in one way or another, even the fearful. The lake of fire and brimstone is the portion of their cup. Psa. 11:6.

What is the nature of the Lake?--fire and brimstone.


Fire is a purifying agent--it burns up the stubble and purges the vessel from all defilement. Fire is an energizer and source of power: fire will energize the people to go the way of righteousness. Fire is a quickening element--melts the rigid heart and molds it into the form of God's holy will. Fire warms--sets the heart aglow with divine enthusiasm. Fire protects-the eastern shepherd surrounds his fold at night with a little wall of fire around his flock. Zec. 2:5—"I will be unto her a wall of fire round about."

Brimstone: Brimstone-sulfur-used in fumigation to get rid of pests and bugs. Sulfur is used in medicine for healing. (Sulfur and molasses-blood purifier) (sulfur salves and sulfur drugs) Sulfur was used in ancient times for bleaching cloth Isa. 1:18) Taken from Encyclopedia Britannica. Smith's Bible Dictionary: Fuller is one who bleaches cloth. (Isa. 7:3; 36:2; Mal. 3:2; Mark 9:3.) Fuller field OUTSIDE the city of Jerusalem; so close that one speaking in field could be heard by one standing on the wall.

Revelation is a book of symbols and should be analyzed as such.

In Rev. 14:10, are those who worship the beast destroyed or purged? In Rev. 9:17-18, only those who turn to God are affected by the fire and brimstone. The rest go on in their sins and wickedness.

Wrath of God--The word wrath could also be translated desire. The destruction and burning of the age of fire (millennium) is to bring about the desire of God, to make man in his image and likeness.

God's desire is accomplished by (1) the destruction of the present evil world and (2) the destruction of the "old man" (that sinful soul), that the new man in Christ Jesus might grow and live.

Matt. 25:41--Age lasting fire --- second death --- gehenna. Gehenna: Place where garbage was thrown--second death will burn up the garbage of character that makes up our sinful soul. Matt 25:46--age lasting punishment from Strong’s 2849. Strong's "kolacis" is a word which comes in the first place from "kolas", to lop or prune, and the meaning of the word as defined by Thayer, Lindells and Scott, and others, is to check, curb, restrain, correct. It's usage in the time of the Lord was twofold (1) punishment in the sense of restraint of the offender’s power to continue his offense, and (2) disciplining correction, or as we would say chastisement. Other usages: 2 Pet. 2:9; Acts 4:2; John 4:18.

Why is it called "second death"? The sinful nature (Adamic character) of man is termed the "old man". Eph. 4:22; Rom. 6:6; Col. 3:9. When men are awakened from the first death will they not be as they went into the grave? Still bound by the chains of sin? The way to life is through death. Romans 6:7--"He that is dead is freed from sin." Matt. 10:39--"He that loseth his life shall find it." Heb. 2:15--thru fear of death... subject to bondage." Psa. 1:6--"WAY of the ungodly shall perish." The bonds of sin and death in Adam are to be burned away that men may be set free to righteousness and life in Christ. Psa. 107:10-14; Psa 142:7; Isa. 42:7; Isa. 61:1; Rom. 7:23-24; Heb. 2:15.

Adam was told in Gen. 2:17--"thou shalt SURELY die." Adam did die, but did he SURELY die? Isn't a part of us carried on through our children? Isn't this why we have children--to carry on our posterity? So a part of Adam was carried on through all his children--some more, some less. So in this sense Adam did not SURELY die--but he will in the second death. That "old man" in Adam will die that the "new man" in Christ Jesus will grow to maturity. The world must give up the life rooted in Adam because it is sinful--therefore it must die in order that the life in Christ might be made manifest. "The soul that sinneth it shall die". The "old man" is the soul that sinneth, the new man does not sin. I John 5:18; 1 John 3:9-10.

Ransom--Christ's ransom sacrifice covered not only the elimination of death, but the cause of death--sin. Therefore sin must be destroyed in each individual that death may be conquered. If sin is not destroyed then death is victorious. 1 Cor. 15:54-57.

Man was condemned under the law to death because there was no mercy under the law. Christ died. Nailed the law to the tree. Satisfied the justice exercised under the law. Now mercy, not justice is exercised. We (now) and the world (future) are under mercy, not justice. God WILL write the law in their hearts and he WILL be their God and they WILL be his people. They will be schooled--educated by the law, but not condemned by it because justice is not demanded during the millennium but mercy is exercised.

Read the covenant with David--Psa. 89:27-37. Note vs. 30, 32 and 36.

So to summarize--I believe the second death is not the destruction of man but the sin. God doesn't hate the sinner. He loved us so much He gave His son. He hates the sin. This is what will be destroyed in the second death. The elimination of sin will be the elimination of death. The second death is the process by which this is accomplished through the judgments by which the people will learn righteousness.

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