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Volume 15 - Page 119 of 160 Index | Zoom | |
covenant" and the "second". They have marked differences, as far apart as law is from
grace, but they remain "covenants" all the way through.
So with the "second death". However much more intense the destructive qualities of
the lake of fire may be than the dissolution of body and spirit, commonly known as death,
the character of death will remain constant right through. We find from I Cor. 15: 18
the character of the first death set forth by an extreme case:--
"Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are PEERISHED."
What makes the death even of the redeemed so utter and hopeless? The denial of the
resurrection. Without resurrection the death even of the saint would mean hopeless
annihilation. Is there a resurrection from the second death? Not a glimmer of hope can
be found at the end of Rev. 20: Nowhere throughout the pages of Scripture is such a
statement to be found. Some there are who see such a hope in I Cor. 15: 26, but this
we cannot agree. Our reasons have been set forth in fair detail in the new volume
The Apostle of the Reconciliation, and have been given further consideration in another
series both in The Berean Expositor and in pamphlet form. There will be opportunity and
occasion to speak more fully of the second death when we reach the closing verses of
Rev. 20: in the order of exposition. We are at present more concerned with the
overcomer of the second death than with those who pass into it.
We are told that the second death hath no power on those who attain to the first
resurrection. The word "power" is a translation of exousia, and means authority. We
shall find the origin of this statement in Luke 12: 4, 5:--
"Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear. Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath
authority to cast into Gehenna; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him."
The first death "kills the body", and its authority ceases at that point. God can go
further. Matt. 10: 28 records the Lord's utterance, and uses slightly different words to do
"Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear
Him Who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna."
If the Lord spoke in Aramaic to the people, then both Luke and Matthew together
provide a full translation. Luke's words "to cast into Gehenna", become in Matthew's
record "to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna". Gehenna is limited in its scope, but
is a foreshadowing of the lake of fire at the end.
The second death has this authority. It is so constituted by the Lord that it can destroy
both soul and body. Apart from philosophy altogether, it is obvious that the destruction
of soul and body is to all intents and purposes annihilation. Such will cease to be. Who
they are and why they pass under this dread authority we leave until we reach the passage
in Rev. 20: All those who attain the first resurrection are free from all fear of the second