FEEDBACK: IS ANNIHILATION TRUE AFTER THE RESURRECTION?
We appreciate feedback on the studies posted on this website. It helps us to see if there is anything on this website that does not agree with the Bible.
Below IS A QUESTION ABOUT SOME VERSES THAT SEEM TO TEACH ANNIHILATION.
THE READER’S QUESTION IS IN ITALICS. OUR RESPONSE FOLLOWS.
Yes annihilation is true but only after the resurrection of the dead. All of the dead will be come forth, the saved and the unsaved. That is why God calls theirs(the unsaved) the resurrection of damnation. John 5:28-29. Daniel 12:2 and Matthew 25:31-46 must also be taken into account. The bible is very clear that there is a second death and everyone who hasn't taken part in the first resurrection(The New Birth) will be subject to the second death. Revelations 20:11-15. But when we read in Psalms and Proverbs we see the end of the unsaved is destruction , shame, poverty, and other such things. But we don't really see the Hell that we all were taught in church or in the world by the world.
Thank you for the feedback on the site.
The word “damnation” in the phrase “resurrection of damnation” is not specific about the character of the punishment of the unsaved. It means that the unsaved are under judgment and condemnation. We cannot tell the character of the punishment of the unsaved by the word “damnation”.
You cited Daniel 12:2. This is a very important verse. We know that God defines words by how He uses them in the Bible and this Hebrew is always used in verses to describe someone “awaking” to consciousness. It is never used to speak of an inanimate object without consciousness. In fact, using this same Hebrew word, God warns against telling an inanimate object to “awake” in Habakkuk 2:19:
Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake <06974>; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.
God gives this warning because God has defined this Hebrew word translated “awake” in Daniel 12:2 to always signify conscious action.
In 2 Kings 4:31 God makes an important statement, speaking through Gehazi the servant of Elisha:
And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked <06974>.
In 2 Kings 4:31 God is teaching that an unconscious corpse is not “awake” using the same Hebrew word found in Daniel 12:2. Therefore, when Daniel 12:2 says that the unsaved “awake”, 2 Kings 4:31 shows that they will not remain as unconscious corpses. God is teaching that the unsaved will “awake” to consciousness.
Daniel 12:2 is a proof text that the unsaved, along with the saved, will awake to consciousness in their bodies at the end of the world. There is more information on Daniel 12:2 in the study at this link:
This same study shows how the word “hear” in John 5:28-29 also requires that the unsaved awake to consciousness in their bodies at Judgment Day.
Matthew 25:31-46 talks about the judgment of the unsaved. There is nothing in this passage that teaches annihilation.
You talked about the “second death”. Normally when we see the word “death” we think of a corpse or a cessation of existence. However, Adam and the whole human race died the day Adam sinned as we read about in these verses:
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Proverbs 21:16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
Matthew 8:22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Luke 9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
John 5:25 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.
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
1 ¶ And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
1 Peter 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
According to the Bible, the whole human race is already dead.
The Bible teaches that the body of mankind is dead also in these verses:
Romans 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
1 Corinthians 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
Romans 8:10 and 1 Corinthians 15:29 are talking about true believers. Romans 8:10 says clearly that the believer’s body is “dead”. 1 Corinthians 15 is talking about resurrection of the believer’s body. Verse 29 talks about present state of the believer’s body, which is “dead”.
If the believer’s body is “dead”, then the unbeliever’s body is also “dead”.
The word “physically” has to do with the body and the word “spiritually” has to do with the spirit of man. Since both are dead according to the Bible, then mankind is already “physically and spiritually dead” according to the Bible.
This shows us that “death” for mankind is not cessation of existence. This is because man’s body and spirit are already dead, yet man still has both a body and a spirit.
Do the unsaved still have a spirit-essence?
Some people wonder if the unsaved have a spirit. The Bible teaches in a number of verses that the unsaved still have a spirit-essence. For example, we read in 1 Peter 3:19:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1 Peter 3:19 is talking about how God preached through Noah unto the unsaved in Noah’s day about the coming of the flood. The unsaved in this verse are referred to as “spirits in prison”. Before salvation we are in bondage to sin in our whole personality. We are “in prison” in our whole personality. In 1 Peter 3:19 God emphasizes that the spirit-essence of the unsaved is in prison, confirming that the unsaved have a spirit.
So, unsaved man has both a spirit and a body, yet both his spirit and his body are dead, according to the Bible. The link given below shows more Biblical proof that the unsaved still have a spirit-essence.
What is “life” and “death” for mankind?
We can begin to understand the Biblical definition of “death” for mankind when we consider these two verses:
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
In these two verses, God says that He is “life”. We think of “life” as conscious existence. According to the Bible, God is “life”.
Then, we read in 1 John 5:12:
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
In 1 John 5:12, God says that “life” for mankind has to do with his relationship with God, who is “life”. We think of “life” in terms of conscious existence. However, there are more than 50 verses that teach that God Himself is “life” and that “life” for mankind has to do with his relationship to God. Death is the opposite of life, which is separation from God, who is life. There is a link given below to a study that shows these verses.
This explains how mankind died, both spiritually and physically, the day that Adam sinned. He became separated from God, who is life. He was no longer indwelt by God (Romans 8:9) nor was he energized by God (Philippians 2:12-13).
Even though unsaved man in this world is separated from God, he is not completely separated from God. We read in Acts 17:28:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
The “in him” refers to God Himself. Acts 17:28 teaches that all mankind, is “in him”. That is, “in God”. We all “move, and have our being” in God. Because God is “life”, all mankind has God, who is “life”, in the sense of Acts 17:28.
What about the corpse of mankind?
We wonder about the corpse of mankind. The corpse is actually a body sleeping in the dust. There are a number of verses which talk about the bodies of both the true believers and unbelievers “sleeping in the dust”. That is why Daniel 12:2 says that the bodies of both will “awake” using a Hebrew word that always signifies an “awaking” to consciousness.
This is a very brief summary of this material. There are many more verses and explanation that show these principles from the Bible that can be found in the study at this link:
You mentioned the “second death”. The Bible defines the term “second death” by these verses:
Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:14 defines the “second death” as being “cast into the lake of fire”. Then, verse 10 defines that being “cast into the lake of fire” is to be “tormented day and night for ever and ever”. To be “tormented day and night for ever and ever” is not annihilation. The word “torment” signifies affliction, which requires conscious existence. The Biblical definition of the term “second death” helps us to see that death for mankind is not annihilation. God defines the “second death” as having to do with conscious affliction and not with a cessation of existence.
There is more information about the lake of fire and the above verses in the following studies:
You mentioned several words that the Bible uses to refer to the punishment of the unsaved; destruction, shame, poverty.
When we read the word “destruction” it is easy for us to think in our minds that “destruction = annihilation”. However, the Biblical rule of 1 Corinthians 2:13 is that we must compare Scripture with Scripture to learn what God means by a word.
To give one example, Deuteronomy 28:15-68 describes the punishment for anyone that sins. This includes all of the unsaved throughout time. We see a common Hebrew verb translated “destroy” 7 times in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 (verses 20, 24, 45, 48, 51, 61 & 63). In each occurrence the verb is not in the past or perfect tense. The tense used does not describe a completed action. Rather, the tense is describing an on-going action. There are many words and phrases in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 that describe conscious affliction. This passage is describing an on-going “destroying” of conscious affliction.
For a more detailed study on Deuteronomy 28:15-68, please see the following study and search for the phrase “Deuteronomy 28”:
We can think that “destruction = annihilation”, but we must let the Bible defines it’s own terms. In Deuteronomy 28, God defines the destruction of the unsaved as on-going destroying of conscious affliction. Two more studies that further examine words like “destruction” are:
You mentioned “shame”. We cannot tell just from the word “shame” if God is talking about a conscious experience or not. So, the word “shame” does not help us to determine if annihilation is true or not.
The unsaved are already in “poverty” because the do not have the bread of life, the Lord Jesus. They do not have the Gospel. They do not have salvation. The word “poverty” focuses upon the lack of the Gospel. This word does not help us to learn if the unsaved are annihilated or not.
You said that we don’t see the Bible talking about hell like we learned it in the churches. Actually, the Bible does gives many passages that talk about how the unsaved must awake to consciousness and suffer conscious affliction. Some of these passages can be found in these 3 studies:
In the above studies there are many verses that speak of conscious affliction that all of the unsaved who have ever lived throughout the history of the world must receive as punishment for sin. If you can find any fault in the Biblical arguments in these studies, we would be happy to correct them.