Job asked, If a man die shall he live again? John says if a man dies, he shall die again. Both men had the same subject in mind from two different angles. Job focused on the second life. John focused on the second death. Adam’s transgression gives us some insight on both questions.
In Genesis, Adam transgressed and died the day he ate. However, after he sinned, he yet had an opportunity to live forever. This is expressed in God’s statement to him that “Now, lest he put forth his hand and take of the tree of life and live for ever, (Gen. 3:22). So, Adam had the opportunity to become immortal by merely eating of the tree of life.
Because of sin, God cast him out of the garden shutting him off from the tree of life. Apparently, some condition existed preventing Adam’s access to immortality. Without exposure to the tree of life, Adam faced another consequence, a second death.
The Second Death and Tree of Life in Revelation
In Revelation, John presents the same analysis of the problem. He says to the church at Ephesus that if they overcome they would have right to eat of the tree of life which was in the midst of the paradise of God, Revelation 2:7. This means that the tree of life follows the time of the end of the or is restored at the coming or parousia of Christ.
When we turn to chapter 22, we see very clearly after the end times judgment and battle of Armageddon is past, that access to the tree of life is regained in the holy city, i.e. the new Jerusalem which came down out of heaven from God. So, it cannot be possible to access the tree of life prior to the entrance into the holy city.
Rule Over the Nations in the Millennium or in the Eternal City?
Now the Dispensationalists argue that in Revelation 2:25-26 where the saints are promised to reign over the nations with a rod of iron, that this refers to the millennium or 1000 years reign before the end times judgment. This however creates problems. Why? Because the promise to the church at Thyatira is given to them when they overcome.
That means that the promise of overcoming referred to what happens after Christ returned in judgment. Thus, things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. So, if overcoming means to have power over the nations and rule them with a rod of iron, and if overcoming equals eating of the tree of life, then the tree of life must be placed in the millennium or the ruling of the nations must be placed in realm of paradise after the millennium.
Now, we can check our work very easily. Every blessing mentioned to the seven churches which follows the word “overcomes” (which is used in the message to each of the churches) always refers to that which occurs after the parousia.
What Is the Second Death in Revelation 20?
We can easily support this conclusion by examining the second death. To the church at Smyrna, God says to him who overcomes they would not be hurt of the second death. Exemption from the second death equals access to the tree of life. But, access to the tree of life is in the holy city, in the new Jerusalem which arrives after the millennum!
Therefore, the dispensational posit that ruling over the nations with a rod of iron in Revelation 2:25-26 refers to the time of the millennium is false. Wherever the tree of life and the second death is placed, we must place the ruling over the nations.
Thus, God’s casting Adam out of the garden potentially subjected him to the second death apart from the intervention of God’s grace and mercy. However, Christ came to die, and reverse the failure of the first Adam. Through him, we gain access to the tree of life, and thus exemption from the second death. Unlike Adam, our sin does not prevent us from eating. Because of the work of Christ, that access is freely given even to believers who sin.
Remember the tree of life is for the healing of the nations. For more information see the study of Will Planet Earth Be Destroyed with a full verse by verse analysis of 2 Peter Chapter 3.
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