The Second Death
The Destroyer of Worlds
Elwin R. Roach
And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears
There Shall Be No More Death
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; 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....Behold, I make all things new" Revelation 21:4.
Most of us have read this verse and shouted, or at least breathed a prayerful thought: "Praise God! Amen!" But how many reading these few pages grasp the gravity of it and really believe what it says?
We will break it down and see:
1... And God shall wipe away all tears
2... There shall be no more death
3... Neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain
4... The former things are passed away
5... I make all things new
1... Do you believe that all tears will be wiped away? If so, you believe all things that could cause the welling of a tear in a single eye would be forever abolished. Since this is embraced as being true, according to some views of God’s final judgment, what about the innumerable souls in tormenting hellfire, or freezing naked upon mountains of ice, and heartbroken in never ending loneliness, or whatever other maladies are purported to be the fate of the hapless lost? Will they suffer throughout eternity; but with seared tear glands so no tears can form? Or, the wiping away of all tears, does it really mean all, or just part of the all, you know, just the tears of all the good people? Of course, it does not say anything of this sort. It simply says—ALL TEARS! We believe that the voice speaking to John said what He meant and meant what He said! Do you?
2... Do you believe that there will be no more death? If so, how can there be such a thing as, eternal death, as some say? To believe there will be no more death, while also believing certain people will experience eternal death, would be a contradicting dichotomy, double minded. You can have one or the other, but not both. So which is it—no more death, as the Spirit says, or eternal death as men have said that has no scriptural grounds of evidence?
3... Do you believe that there will be no sorrow, nor crying, and neither will there be any more pain? To be forthwith and making it very simple—if there is one soul left in that which is typically taught as being hell, there will always be sorrow, crying, and pain. And if such were the case, it would make what the Spirit of our Lord said a lie. Some may think that this is only speaking of those who are saved; but there is nothing here that indicates such a thought, but to the contrary. It simply says—and I saw in verse one of Revelation 21(which was immediately after the Lake of Fire), that there will be no sorrow, crying, or pain. This is in reference to the previous verses, of those who found their place in God’s sacred fire.
4... Do you believe that the former things will pass away?... If so, what do you suppose those former things might be? To make it brief—all the former things that will pass away is everything that has to do with the former man, the first Adam. As all die in the first man, all shall be made alive in the Last Man. This is with individuals as well as everything that has to do with mankind and the kingdoms of the world: religious, political, and social.
5... Do you believe that He will make all things new? If so, what are all the things He will make new? And all the things that will be made new could be none other than that which is comprised of Jesus Christ, the New Man, the Last Adam. That which the first Adam took, the Last Adam renews and freely gives to those rising from the flames of the Lake of Godfire.
Therefore, the Lake of Fire, the Second Death, the Destroyer of Worlds abolishes the first death by the very life that it is. Oh, the wonder working power and grace of God’s all-consuming fire, the fire that insures every heart is made new and at peace in the full joy of their new Lord.
The term, the Second Death is found nowhere else in the Bible. Only in the book of Revelation do we read anything about it, and it is used only four times therein. As mentioned in our previous article, we would think that since it is one of the common doctrines of most church organizations, it would be sown like a blazing ribbon throughout the tapestry of the Bible. We would expect to see many warnings to its readers and telling them to FEAR the SECOND DEATH! BEWARE of the SECOND DEATH lest you fall into the clutches of its eternal torments. But strangely, God omits the warning of such a supposed danger that awaits most of the world. For thousands of years He said nothing about the "Second Death."
You see, the inspired writers of the scriptures, such as Abraham, never mentioned the Second Death; the prophets never wrote about it, the apostles did not bring it to our attention. Except for the four instances John wrote about it in Revelation, the book of symbols, it is nowhere to be found, and where the apostle did make reference to it, the context of it being a dreadful woe to be feared is lacking. Jesus never said anything about it. Some say that Paul hints at it in his letter to the Hebrews (if he was its author), but Paul was not one to hint about anything. He was probably the most straightforward and outspoken of all the apostles. Alluding to truths was not one of his attributes, but just the opposite. He boldly stated that he shunned not to declare the WHOLE COUNSEL of God (Acts 20:27). He spoke often of the consequences of sin, but never suggested there was a place to where the sinner would go and never return, and neither did he ever say they would be annihilated completely from existence. He said that certain sinners would not "inherit" the Kingdom of God, but he did not say they would never enter "into" His Kingdom as citizens of various degrees. If either thought, eternal damnation or annihilation, was a part of God's counsel and the foundation of His truth to the Church, it is odd that they never surfaced in Paul's or any of the other teachings in the Bible. A few scriptures can be misconstrued as referring to annihilation, that once a person dies he is dead forever, but such thoughts do not have the substantial foundation to stand in the presence of truth. This, however, does not keep people from embracing that hopeless scenario.
One would suppose if such a dreadful penalty of eternal torment stood with gaping jaws awaiting the majority of hapless humanity, God would have made it plain by clearly saying something about it in every book of the Bible, or at least in a few. If the doctrine of eternal torment in and by the Second Death were true, it would be as if there is a bridge that has been washed out by a flood, and no one bothers to warn the drivers coming upon it. On the other hand if there was a deep gorge ahead, and the bridge is firmly intact and safe for driving across to the other side, there will be no reasons to have signs posted, saying, "Danger: Bridge Out Ahead." For when there is no danger, warnings are not necessary. That is why there are no dire warnings to be found in the Bible about the Second Death. What is found, however, is the answer to sin and death—JESUS CHRIST! This is the flaming ribbon we see sown throughout the scriptures—THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE rather than THE THREAT OF ETERNAL DAMNATION! The truth is, the Second Death is a BENEFICIAL AGENT! It is a gift to mankind; for it is the very thing that DESTROYS man's greatest enemies—SIN, DEATH, HELL, AND THE GRAVE. Anything that is contrary to the Kingdom of God, and separates men from Christ, finds its place in THE LAKE OF FIRE, in the midst of THEY WHO ARE THE SECOND DEATH, THE DESTROYER OF DEAD WORLDS!
What a glorious day it is to be privileged to hear the song of Moses and understand what he was saying: "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea." Exodus 15:1. Praise God! HORSE and RIDER (SIN and DEATH) IS THROWN INTO THE SEA, A FIERY SEA—THE LAKE OF FIRE! TWO OF THE GREATEST ENEMIES KNOWN TO MAN ARE TRIUMPHED OVER—FOREVERMORE!
Therefore, GOD coming forth as a consuming fire, His commanding WORD resounding as fire, His MINISTERS being manifested as flaming drops of fire have to do with SPIRITUAL FIRE, and when ALL come together as one, they form THE LAKE OF FIRE.
BEHOLD, WE ARE BECOME THE SECOND DEATH, THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS! AND THEN THE APOSTLE SAW A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH.
Again, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; 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....Behold, I make all things new" Revelation 21:4.
If it were given to every person to read these verses by the Spirit, the deplorable doctrine of eternal damnation would instantly dissolve. Even without the spirit of revelation, one would think that the natural mind could surely come to the conclusion that there is a time when there will be NO MORE DEATH—period! In truth, the natural mind can believe this; for it is as simple as adding numbers in basic arithmetic. First and second graders, even kindergartners can add 1 + 1 and know the answer is 2. When they have learned to read, they can read a few pages here and tell us that there will be no more death and God will make all things new; for that is exactly what the verses plainly say. It is easily understood by unbiased minds. However, too often it is the windswept beliefs with which we are dealing, that is, minds swept by winds of church doctrine that has no substance of truth. Therefore, those who have been bound by spurious dogmas cannot lay hold of this good news. It would be a miracle should they think outside the box of their particular religion. Moreover, they are likely to remain that way until the blazing light of Christ Jesus penetrates their hearts and awakens them to this wonderful fact of life, a fact that will rule sovereignly over all death. It is then they will see that Jesus shall be all in all and there can be no one remaining in death. The thought of eternal death for even one soul will become unthinkable. That is what revelations by the Spirit of Jesus Christ do. They transform one’s way of thinking, seeing, speaking, living, being. Revelations from on high are the beginning of making all things new.
Until the unveiling of truth comes, the mere mention of the Apocalypse often sends dreadful images racing through people's minds. They picture earthquakes, world wars, plagues, stinging locusts, the bottomless pit, everlasting damnation, the lake of fire, the antichrist, the mark of the beast, the false prophet, the rapture, and among other grave calamities, the final judgment, and eternal death of unimaginable torment. It is sad that some have been known to say, in so many words, that if God cannot get them to repent and bow before Him, He will just burn them in hell forever. Rather than having them as guests at His banqueting table, they will be the main course at the "Last Days’ Bar-B-Que."
There are various opinions concerning this judgment, and none of them bode well for the mass of lost sinners. They usually portray God as having the final say when it is all said and done. It is then that His longsuffering is avenged when His fateful angels toss the unrepentant misfits into the everlasting flames of molten sulphur.
Satan is viewed by many like an evil attorney general of the underworld. It is said that this infamous foe will be at the great white throne judgment accusing and charging each person before God. Having no defense provided for them, they will be on their own as the books of evidence are opened. They will have no one, not even Jesus to speak on their behalf, as He sits alongside God with a sad, but stern, countenance upon His face while knowing each soul’s eternal fate. Some picture Jesus as being the judge with no compassion in His judgment. There are various ideas of this final judgment; but most depict the countless mass of people standing naked with no counsel, no defense, just guilty as accused. The devil’s charges will be confirmed by what is written in each person’s book of records and judgment officially announced—GUILTY as charged! Off to hell with you for rejecting Me and my Son!"
After being cast into the molten sulphur, the Dante’s scenario continues with God never heeding their pleas, they will forever be tormented and separated from Him. He once forgave to the utmost, but no more. There is no hope that they will ever enjoy a moment of respite regardless of how they cry, beg, and plead for His mercy.
If we had not heard or read storylines like this, we would be hard pressed to believe they could come from anyone who call themselves Christian (Christ like); for this is NOT Christ like, and neither does it have any marks of our God who IS ALWAYS love. Not only when people breathe air, but ALWAYS!
By the way, has anyone calculated how long such a tribunal would take? David J. Stewart estimates that "281,800 people perish into Hell-fire and destruction every single day that passes." (http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/billions_of_people_going_to_hell.htm). Of course, all the billions who are supposedly in hell and who will be going there, will be called out to stand trial at the great white throne judgment. I have not found in the scriptures that if a person has not voiced the proper prayer or belonged to the right church, they go to that fire-burning prison before there is ever a hearing, trial, or guilty verdict. It is supposedly a holding tank, a limbo of torment where they wait to be officially condemned to everlasting damnation. Sounds crazy to me, and for what my thoughts are worth—it is crazy! It is insane! No just, loving human being, and certainly no parent would pass such a heinous sentence on their children for being disobedient. They wouldn’t do such a thing to their worst enemy. Despots and other amoral tyrants would, but not people with sound, compassionate hearts and minds. So this causes me to wonder about "Christians" who have no problem with the majority of humanity being condemned to such an eternal doom. I remember a friend of ours who told us that when she was a young mother, she said something to her son about all the lost sinners who would burn in hell forever. Her little boy said, "Mom, you sound as if you are happy about it." Out of the mouths of babes. She has now joyfully embraced for many years the good news that none will be forever lost, and shudders at the thought that she could have ever believed such a doctrine in the first place. But many of the things that were established by the 4th century church are hard to see them for what they are.
Let me address those of you who still believe that this judgment brings eternal damnation upon each lost soul. Have you considered how long this might take? If you are planning on living next door to Jesus, or having Him over for supper on occasion, you are going to have a long, long wait. Perhaps a thousand years, maybe a million or two million before judgment can be passed upon each of the billions waiting their turn to be officially judged. Have you ever wondered if there will be snacks served, public water fountains, or porta-potties there? Or will their natural bodily functions be abated during that time, while still having natural human bodies that will burn in hell’s fire?
Notwithstanding, this is one view of the unscriptural doctrine of "eternal death." Some are a little more tolerant of God. They give Him a pass, as if He needed one, by saying that He will simply annihilate the lost, that they will be forever rendered unconsciously dead. Although this is better than the eternal torment story, they miss the mark as well. They really do; and I say this because I believe what Jesus told John over their rationale, as He said in Revelation 21:4 that "...there shall be NO MORE DEATH..."!
How can this clarion truth be missed in our Lord’s statement? NO MORE DEATH really means NO MORE DEATH! With this being true, the idea of "eternal death," whether in torment or unconscious death (annihilation), is impossible. No more death is no more death of any kind, plain and simple!
Man’s mind can be quite the creator of dubious fables. The narratives are very often legend to say the least, and amazingly, this is all without a shred of scriptural evidence, and I mean true scriptural evidence which is of the accurate Hebrew and Greek renditions. It is strange that intelligent people embrace without question these tales as if their salvation depends upon believing them. For instance, do you have to believe in the rapture in order to be raptured in case the rapture hypothesis is true? If the doctrine of eternal hell is true, do you have to belief it in order to be saved? Frankly, and oddly, many believe a person’s judgment will much more severe for those who do not believe in eternal damnation in hell than those who do not believe in God.
Such is the world of religion, and it is virtually
nigh to impossible to reason with those who are concretely steeped
in their beliefs. They may listen to you out of courtesy; but
their minds will often be at the ready to ward off anything contrary
to what they believe regardless of how much truth is presented. To
help understand this phenomenon, please read "Hardwired to
Lie," Publication #224.10
At such a critical point of the ages, death will have met its match. The sting of death and the horrid grave will be swallowed up in victory, 1 Corinthians 15:54-55. This is a straightforward, no-nonsense prophetic promise from a man of authority; but how can such enormous things as death and hell be swallowed up? Simply by the LAKE THAT BURNS WITH HOLY FIRE—THE SECOND DEATH—THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS—EVEN THE WORLD OF SIN AND DEATH!
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God....And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them....And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire....And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:12-15. Not to be redundant, but there is a necessity to keep this stationed in our minds, that herein death and hell will cease to be. After the Lake that burns with the consuming Brimstone (Grk. Theon, Godfire), the unveiling (apocalypse) of all things made new will be known and seen by all:
"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. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; 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. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make ALL THINGS new....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. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." Revelation 21:1-6. And please note that there is nothing greater that will make a man thirst than heat, especially the Lake of Godfire that destroys FOREVER death and makes ALL THINGS NEW! Truly, we have and are becoming THE SECOND DEATH, THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS!
The Pathfinder • PO Box 4004 • Alamogordo NM 88311