My last two posts discussed the spirit in man.
Since it’s spirit, will it still be stored after the person suffers the second death?
The answer seems related to what happens to the devil and demons.
In the Bible anything spirit—God, Holy Spirit and angels—lives forever. So you’d be inclined to think that would be true of the spirit in man.
It seems that after Satan rebelled against God and took one third of the angels with him, God wanted to avoid that happening again and having to endure more evil beings around for eternity by first working with his children as mortals. The idea would be to test us if we would remain faithful before granting eternal life.
Leaving out a lot of details, the last step before the New Heavens and New Earth is going to be the third resurrection to physical life of hopefully the few who commit the unpardonable sin. They will be burned up in the Lake of Fire—also called the second death (Revelation 20:14). Hopefully we will choose and cooperate to only die once and be resurrected as spirit sons and daughters into the God family! There are lots of reasons why the first resurrection is the better one! And the second, second best. Because anything beats the third!
“Burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up…. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet” (Malachi 4:1, 3).
This is the Bible’s hell fire, a far cry from Dante’s imagination! It’s ever burning all right—until everything physical is combusted. Just like Sodom and Gemorrah were “eternal fire” (Jude 7) but not still burning today. It’s what you’d expect from a loving God who would never vindictively want people to write forever in agony. Hah, I meant to say “writhe” and He doesn’t want that either! It’s eternal punishment—not punishing.
“Death and Hades” (Revelation 20:13) will be cast into this Lake of Fire in that after this nobody else will die and go to Hades—the grave.
So will the spirit in man for those burned up in the Lake of Fire be kept around in storage for all eternity? Will the God family want to keep a record around to remind them of those now eternally gone? A Kingdom Library of unsavory autobiographies for your reading pleasure as a reminder of spiritual lessons?
Ecclesiastes says of the dead, “they are gone and forgotten” (9:5, Contemporary English Version). Will this apply more so for those in the second death?
The fate of the spirits in man would seem to be linked to the fate of the devil and demons.
Into this Lake of Fire were cast the devil, the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 20:10). The latter two are physical and become toast. But you would think the devil being spirit would scarcely be singed, like when the spirit being rescued Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace.
Why would God bother throwing the devil into a Lake of Fire that won’t hurt him? Sentencing him for agonizing punishment to ever-burning hellfire that isn’t going to burn forever?
Peter says “the gloom of darkness is reserved forever” for the devil and demons (2 Peter 2:18), but some translations omit the word forever. This isn’t so with a similar statement in Jude.
But Jude also says they are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day” (verse 6). A judgment? So is their fate not yet decided?
Paul told the Corinthians that we would judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3)! Why bother if all you could say is “You made me do it! Go to (controlling your tongue) you know where!” Will there be other options? How would you judge them?
The goat ceremony for the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), which pictures the putting away of Satan and the demons in God’s plan of salvation, says the goat isn’t killed like the one representing Jesus Christ but rather is sent by a “fit man” to an uninhabited wilderness. But it doesn’t specify how long the goat stays alive out there.
Revelation shows that an angel puts them in chains throughout the Millennium until they are “released from his prison” (Revelations 20:7) and go out for a short time to wreak more havoc. Speaking of the devil, we last hear about him when he’s thrown into the Lake of Fire.
Some argue that since Jesus was changed from spirit to flesh to become a man for 33-1/2 years, then God could change Satan and the demons into flesh and then they would burn up in the Lake of Fire. Then voila, truly “no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Only God the Father, Jesus Christ and sons and daughters around to enjoy the new heavens and new earth for eternity in peace. Pleasures forever! (Psalm 16:11).
It looks like the question of what happens to the spirits in man may be answered by what happens to the devil and demons. Will bad spirit be around forever, no ifs ands or buts? Or changed to physical, removed and forgotten? We’ll probably have to wait until we’re with Jesus Christ in the Millennium to know the answer.
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