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798Re: [revelation-list] Second death

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  • George F Somsel
    Nov 11, 2005
      On Fri, 11 Nov 2005 08:01:11 EST KennethGentry@... writes:
      > In a message dated 11/11/2005 2:15:28 AM Eastern Standard Time,
      > bobmacdonald@... writes:
      > > to the author of Revelation, what death is first?
      > I believe John the Apostle wrote both Revelation and the Gospel. I
      > suspect
      > John 5:24-29 is the backdrop for the imagery of Revelation 20. The
      > first death
      > is spiritual death into which we are born. The second death is
      > eternal
      > punishment into which those who do not turn to Christ descend.
      > This would fit with the Pauline conception, as well: Ephesians 2:1,
      > 5 speaks
      > of the original spiritual death overcome by the new spiritual life
      > -- which is
      > entered into by a spiritual resurrection (Eph. 2:6).
      > The first death / second death parallel in some respects the "born
      > again"
      > concept that appears in John 3. In that case, however, the first
      > birth is the
      > physical birth, the new or second (born again) experience is the
      > spiritual birth
      > by the grace of God (cp. also John 1:12-13.
      > Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., M.Div, Th.M., Th.D
      > www.KennethGentry.com
      > "Serious Studies for Serious Christians"
      > Chancellor and Research Professor in Theology
      > Christ College, Lynchburg, Virginia
      > www.Christ-College.edu

      The term "second death" is peculiar to the Apocalypse so the only context
      which we have by which to determine its meaning is that of the book
      itself. In Re 2.9-11 he contrasts the condition of the Church at Smyrna
      as being about to suffer persecution in which he encourages them to "Be
      faithful unto death" with that which is promised to them if they
      "overcome." This term is used throughout the Apocalypse with respect to
      the faithful as indicating the suffering of persecution and even death.
      "To conquer" is to suffer for the name. The church is considered to be
      martyrs as Jesus Christ himself was the first martyr. As such they are,
      in the words of Paul, "being killed all the day long" yet living. Thus
      in Re 20.4-6 they are viewed as already having been beheaded. The "first
      death" is thus an actual physical death which all, including the
      followers of Christ must undergo and which they are viewed proleptically
      as having suffered in the persecution which they undergo. The 1000 yrs
      is thus the life of the Christian who experiences the new life
      (resurrection) in Christ. This is in keeping with Is 65.20
      No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an
      old man who does not fill out his days, for the child shall die a hundred
      years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
      This is part of the view that the Kingdom is even now present in the New
      Jerusalem "coming down from God out of heaven."


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