"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, WHEN THE DEAD SHALL HEAR THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD: and they that hear shall live.Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (Jn. 5:25, 28-29). "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. AND DEATH AND HELL WERE CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into THE LAKE OF FIRE." (Rev. 20:11-15).
We noticed in our previous study some things concerning THE SECOND DEATH what it is and what it is not. We saw how THE SECOND DEATH IS ALL DEATH AND EVERYTHING THAT PERTAINS TO DEATH BEING CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE. There is no need to look any farther or to make it sound like anything other than what the Spirit said that it is. Death itself is cast into the lake of fire; the realm of the dead, hell, is cast into the lake of fire; those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, those who are dead in trespasses and sins, the ones who inhabit hell, are cast into the lake of fire. This terminates death, hell, and sin. God shall destroy all death and everything related to it in the lake of fire. Therefore, THE LAKE OF FIRE is nothing more nor less than THE DEATH OF DEATH!
The last Adam came to undo everything of the first Adam, and likewise, the second death unravels and brings an absolute end to the first death and everything it pertains to. It is as the anointed pen of Ray Prinzing wrote: "The first Adam died to God and righteousness, and became alive unto sin. The last Adam died unto sin (Rom. 6:10), and liveth unto God, and so fulfilleth all righteousness. The first made all men sinners, the last makes all men righteous. The lives and the deaths of the two Adams are thus greatly contrasting the one to the other. The FIRST DEATHwas a transition from life to death, the SECOND DEATH is a transition from corruption to incorruption, from mortality to immortality. We are transformed from the carnal mind to the spiritual mind, a mind filled with life and peace. The transformation is wrought by dying out to the one realm, to come alive to the higher realm. Because the second death is prepared to purge out and burn away sin and its results, and so doing cleanse all of God's universe."
Another accredited writer, J. Preston Eby, shares this: "It is true that some men are cast into the processing of the lake of fire. But what a disreputable lot! '...the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.' These are men saturated with the power of the first death dead in trespasses and in sins, sold under sin, slaves to every devilish passion, possessed of corrupt and perverse natures, obsessed with every evil device, unrelentingly driven by the spirit of the world, the flesh, and the devil. And nothing God has done has yet broken these stubborn wills or brought these men to repentance. The wages of sin has not broken them. The harvest of evil has not broken them. Hell has not broken them. The tender mercies of the Lord have not broken them. The Spirit has faithfully told us of a second death into which unbelieving and incorrigibly wicked men shall surely go. They go there with death and with hell. The second death will be an experience and a period of time similar to this first death we are now experiencing, but much more terrible and severe than anything we now know. The penalty of sin is very great. The processes of God to break the resistance of willfully wicked men are extremely severe. Not only in this present age do they smite us, but in that second death which is to come. It can only be described as the 'lake of fire.' This terrible death is reserved for those who have not profited from the previous judgments and still need further correction to subdue them to the will of God." End quote.
With open eyes every soul should be able to see that there is an appointed time for all men to stand accountable, and afterwards to live: "Because HE HATH APPOINTED A DAY, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof HE HATH GIVEN ASSURANCE UNTO ALL MEN, in that He hath raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31). "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). With the resurrection of Jesus came the assurance for the same thing to all men; and God has appointed a day wherein that assurance will come. It is called judgment. He first appointed death to all, but they are not left there. After the appointment of death, judgment comes and destroys it. Along with death goes the sin that caused it. There is a judgment that abolishes all DEATH its ROOT, FRUIT, and BRANCH! This is the assurance of all men. In resurrection life there is no more death. Can we make it any more clear? I don't think so. It is as simple as the Psalmist said, "Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; TO LOOSE those that are appointed to death" (Psa. 90:3, 102:19-20).
Let us quote once again from our dear friend Preston Eby: "Whatever we hold as the nature of the death state, may we let this truth sink deep into our hearts: DEATH IS TO BE ABOLISHED. The ringing declaration, 'The LAST enemy that shall be destroyed is death' (I Cor. 15:26), overthrows the whole structure of accepted, but unproved, theology which shuts up the mass of the human race in 'eternal death.' When the 'last' enemy is abolished it is self-evident that none remains. Those wretched religionists who demand the endlessness of death, who argue for eternal torment in the lake of fire, the second death, do err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. The lake of fire must end because death and hell are cast into it, which is the second death, and in the end THERE SHALL BE N-O M-O-R-E D-E-A- T-H. No more death! No more first death. No more second death. No more of any kind of death. To say there is no more death is to say that there are no more sinners, for sinners are DEAD MEN, dead in trespasses and in sins. To say there is no more death is to say that God has 'burned up' all the wicked and not left them dead, nor in hell; for as long as any creature of God is in a state of death, death is not abolished. To say there is no more death is to say there is no more hell, for hell is 'the realm of the dead.' To say there is no more death is to say there is no more a lake of fire, for the lake of fire IS the second DEATH. To say there is no more death is to say there is no more sin, for 'the wages of sin is DEATH.' What a universe of truth is contained in three little words: NO MORE DEATH!" End quote.
Whether it is today or after the body has been laid in the grave, it is appointed for every soul to hear the Voice of the Son of God without it there is no such thing as coming forth and living. It is by "hearing" the Word of God that one is quickened to life. One does not live by hearing the trained voice of a religious man, but he lives upon hearing the Voice of the Son of God. Once Jesus opens His mouth and trumpets the sound to stand up, His voice will slice through the heavens of men's souls and pierce the depths of their carnal seas, awakening them in preparation to live. None shall sleep through this call.
Some will rise in the pleasure of Life, while the incorrigible will come forth in the fury of fire; but even so, the fury will end when they become corrigible. They too will live, but much loss shall be suffered. There will be many losers in this great race for the prize of the high calling of God, but it shall never be as the professors of eternal damnation suppose. It is as simple as that, for they shall live; they will not, however, lay hold of the prize of the high calling. They shall not inherit all things. This prize is reserved for those who are counted as overcomers, the ones who will not be hurt by the second death.
Although there will be a suffering of hurt by the lake of fire, contrary to what some may realize, there is something BEYOND THAT SECOND DEATH, and it is good. If there wasn't, humanity would not have much hope and their assurance would be greatly lacking. We would ever live with the nagging thought that our Father created an inferior world that He could not, or would not, save dooming the majority to an everlasting damnation of unspeakable agony. We rejoice that there is an end to all death, even THE SECOND DEATH; that there is something beyond THE LAKE OF FIRE; and that all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest. Let us see what awaits those who find themselves sailing their wooden crafts, as it were, across those stormy waves of flaming fire.
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. AND I SAW A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea" (Rev. 20:14-15, 21:1).
Such an assurance! Such a promise of life! The heavens of their spirits and souls are made new, no longer being carnal, as well as the changing of the earth of their adamic bodies, and no more unstable sea of humanity. All things of the first Adam flee in the fiery presence of judgment. Sin and death are swallowed up by the life of the One who sits upon the throne. Painful? Yes, we are sure, but let us know it is for good, very good; for without it humanity would be left forever in straits of death.
"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Rev. 21:3) The habitation of God is at last and forever with men not with just the elect, not with just a chosen few, but with men with MANKIND. Whatever is subjected to fire, whether it is a log in a furnace or a soul in the lake of Godfire, it has a way of changing things, and the change is good. The change in wood brings warmth and light, while the changed soul becomes the habitation of God, which also brings warmth and light.
Jesus said to the twelve in the fourteenth chapter of John: "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive (at this time), because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in Me, and I IN YOU....and we will come unto Him, and MAKE OUR ABODE WITH HIM (Jn. 14:16-17,20,23).
Did He not keep His promise, and did He not come as fire? "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:2-4).
The 120 became the habitation of God and were changed by the fire. It changed them to such a degree that they spoke with the tongues of the heavens from where they were born. They were so changed that they turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6), and this sweeping fire will continue until every soul is thoroughly salted with it (Mrk. 9:49).
This purging element is always grievous to the flesh, but once it has worked its work, and their heaven and earth has been made new, "...God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Praise His wonderful name! There will be joy to all! God will have it no other way! If it became otherwise His own designed purpose from the beginning would be thwarted, which by His own decree He said will never happen: "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour;there is none beside Me. Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am god, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return (until), that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." (Isa. 45:21-23, see also 55:11).
It is little wonder why there shall be no more tears, for the time will come when the knee of every soul will reverently bow, and the tongue of every man will reverently swear/confess/covenant to Christ Jesus that He is their Lord to the glory of God their Father (Rom. 14:11, Phil. 2:11). No one can prevent it; and be assured that such a confession cannot be made except by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:3). Once that confession is made, He shall save them from their sin and death (Rom. 10:9). The lake of fire is necessary to prompt the confession from many, but when it is made, the gates of their own hell from within shall swing wide. These well-guarded gates in every soul shall not prevail against the fire of the second death. No harbor will escape its relentless pursuit. Its flames shall find and destroy all hidden ships of sin, sorrow, and death; and every soul shall reach the distant shore of salvation, refined.
"And there shall be NO MORE DEATH, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:4). The old heavens and earth are consumed in the flames of the lake of fire. All things in every realm which pertain to hell and death are destroyed by the second death. Darkness and its activities cannot abide in the midst of a fiery blaze nor can wood remain unchanged in a burning flame. Hence no more death; and along with death goes the sorrow of that terrible stroke, and all crying and pain will never again find a place to lodge.
Everything contrary to life, joy, laughter, and well-being is destroyed in the lake of fire. All the former things of Adam pass away. All sin and sorrow cease to be. If it is true that countless multitudes, or even one soul, is left eternally in the darkness of hell, in the gloom of the grave, or in torment of any kind then death, neither sorrow, nor crying, nor pain shall ever pass away. Such a futile outcome would make God a liar and Jesus the greatest failure of all time.
The agony of souls eternally tormented and the dreadful cries of sinful men, even if they are confined beyond our galaxy a billion light-years away, brethren, this will not do. Regardless of how far removed they might be, as long as a cry or sorrow exists anywhere, then the lake of fire has not accomplished its purpose for death, sorrow, crying, and pain still exist. But praises be to our God, for we know that the One sent to be the Saviour of the world will do exactly that! He will save it! He will not return to His Father void. His hands will not be found empty. He is a worthy captain and anchor of souls, of not ours only, but the Saviour of all souls. If He is the author and finisher of faith (Heb. 12:2), which is true, and no one can come to the Son unless he is drawn by the Spirit (Jn. 6:44), which is also true, and that all the Father gives to Him shall indeed come to Him (Jn. 6:37) then what kind of God would knowingly create people He would never call, and of whom He knew were destined to burn forever? The God we know does not tease the majority of humanity with the doctrine of salvation only to punish them forever for a situation He Himself has created, and for no purpose other than to entertain or exercise the elect. By no means are we the sons of such a god. This is not the character of our Father this I know! Try to dissuade me with your arguments if you please; but I have heard His voice, and I know His character. His character is infinite love, and His plan is to put an end to all death, sorrow, crying, and pain of which, He shall do in the lake of fire.
"And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW" (Rev. 21:5). What decree! This King, omnipotent and great, is bold enough to declare as fact what man has said to be impossible. Nevertheless, what every man disbelieves, He not only believes but will do it! Similar words of His refer to the beginning process of this universal change: "AND I, if I be lifted up from the earth, WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME" (Jn. 12:32).
Please know that this DRAWING is not a mere invitation, it is not a plea, and neither is it a threat. The Greek word is helkuo and more accurately means TO DRAG. Jesus said that if He was lifted up from the earth, and He was, signifying what manner of death He should die, HE WOULD DRAG ALL UNTO HIMSELF, ALONG SIDE HIMSELF UPON THE CROSS. Every man, woman, and child would someday take up their cross and follow Him. It is destined for every member of humanity to live in Christ, as Ephesians 1:10 so graciously reveals, but not before they come to the death of self. In righteous submission each one will either have their humble part upon the cross, as it was with their Lord before them, or their cross will be the lake of fire. If their death to self is not in the submissive spirit of the Lamb, their cross will come as judgment in the lake of fire and this with disdain, as it came to the thieves and murderers who hung beside Him. Both ways work well in bringing one to the death to self, but the one (the overcomer) inherits all things, while the other suffers great loss. We see this in the allegories of Jacob and Esau and Isaac and Ishmael. Although the seed of the elect inherited all things, the seed of the other received an inheritance and was certainly not cut off forever.
HE WILL MAKE ALL THINGS NEW this we can count on. He could make 'all new things,' but I for one am glad that such a thought has never been His plan. He will not annihilate the bulk of humanity in a burning hell nor subject them to an eternal death of any sort and then make new things in their place. Rather than bringing Himself to such failure, He will be the absolute conquering King of every enemy by finishing every work of faith He ever started or shall ever begin in every soul. His predestined purpose is to make all things new. He is taking the old creation, called the FIRST ADAM, and making him a new creation called the LAST ADAM. Each member of the First shall ultimately be a member of the Last; otherwise, with missing body parts, the Last would never be complete. In the same way the entire individual person is saved upon confessing Jesus Christ as their Lord, from the top of their heads to the end of their toes, so it is with the many-membered body of Adam of the old First and the new Last. "Behold," He said, "I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW!"
Can you believe it? If so, rejoice and praise God! If not, wait and see, and then praise God! But I do hope you believe this good report without having to wait for it is liberating. "...He said unto me, Write: for THESE WORDS ARE TRUE AND FAITHFUL. And He said unto me, IT IS DONE. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end" (Rev. 21:6).
Who is the man who takes the Words of the living King of kings, the One sitting upon the throne of all thrones, and says it is not so? Brethren, don't be brazen and align yourselves with the camp of unbelievers. Just because they can't make all old and evil things good and new, and wouldn't if they could, doesn't mean that He can't and won't. His words are true and faithful and will continue through the ages until every jot and tittle is fulfilled. If he said there will be 'no more death,' then there will be no more death. If He said 'all sorrow, and pain, and every tear would cease,' according to His word it will be. If He said that His words are 'TRUE AND FAITHFUL,' it must be so. And lastly, if He concluded with IT IS DONE,' then it is a mandate of the King. His seal is upon it and will be carried out. This is sure!
We also ask, who would choose not to believe such a report? The ones, perhaps, who fail to hear His Voice, that wonderful life-giving Voice of the Son of God, they may not believe but they who hear have no trouble in believing. Some may give ear to another's voice, and in their religious wanderings choose to the contrary; but the called of this hour will hear, believe, and overcome. HE THAT OVERCOMETH SHALL INHERIT ALL THINGS; and I WILL BE HIS GOD, and HE SHALL BE MY SON," but the UNBELIEVING will have their part in the lake of fire. When one refuses to believe the words of Christ, which are true and faithful, there is nothing left that will cause them to believe but the fire of God. The heat of this fire melts and changes the elements, like nuclear fusion, even the minds of religious unbelievers. Sounds impossible, doesn't it? But His word is true and faithful! I can't help from believing it! And you?
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