Saviour of All Fellowship

P.O. Box 314, Almont, MI 48003, U.S.A. Telephone (810) 798-3563 July, 2020

Dear friends in the faith,

There is much unrest in the world today. People are concerned about the corona virus, and places being locked down. There is much civil unrest. In the midst of all this we rejoice! We have a loving God Who is working all together for GOOD! We have a loving Saviour Who gave His life for all mankind. Coming is the administration of the complement of the eras, to head up all in the heavens and earth in Christ! Also coming is the reconciliation of all in the heavens and earth whereby all who are at enmity embrace one another in love. In the darkness beset about us we see God moving His universe towards a great goal. And wonder of wonders, He will use us—such a motley crew as we are—to have a part in bringing about His goal in the universe! We have so very much to be thankful for!

For now, we are ambassadors entreating the world to be conciliated to God. Originally, when God created the earth it was all good. But we are told: “. . . . the whole world is lying in the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Notice the world is not walk- ing or standing or even sitting in the wicked one. Rather, the world is at ease in the wicked one. The world is complacent. The world and the wicked one lie in the same bed. Quite possibly this is one good reason not to be friends with the world? The world, being in darkness, has a paroxysm when light is cast upon it. Jesus said: “If the world is hating you, know that it has hated Me first before you” (John 15:18). As ambassadors, it seems the cards are stacked against us.

“Now, if our evangel is covered, also, it is covered in those who are perish- ing, in whom the god of this eon blinds the apprehensions of the unbeliev- ing so that the illumination of the evangel of the glory of Christ, Who is the Image of the invisible God, does not irradiate them. For we are not herald- ing ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, yet ourselves your slaves because of Jesus, for the God Who says that, out of darkness light shall be shining, is He Who shines in our hearts, with a view to the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor.4:3-6)

A. E. Knoch wrote concerning the above passage in the Concordant Commentary:

“The evangel of the glory of Christ!” Would that our evangelism reached to this altitude! And why are Christ’s glories so lacking in the gospel efforts of today? Because the god of this eon not only blinds the minds of the unbe- lievers, but he centers the gospel on sin and self and sanitation—anything except Christ and His glories.

“Few subjects for meditation will be found so full of blessing as that of the Image of God. John presents Him to us as the Word of God, through Whom we hear Him; Paul shows us the One in Whom we can see God. God Himself cannot be seen, for He is invisible. Hence it is that He has given us an Image of Himself which we can discern. And just as we give the picture or statue of a person the same place in our minds and in our speech as the person him-

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self, so Christ is seen in the Scriptures, addressed as God as if equal to God. Unlike the inflexible image of a lifeless photograph, He is instinct with the life of God, and changes to accord with the divine assumptions (Heb 1:3).

(verse 7) “The present pathway of God’s saints and slaves is not calculated to glorify us, but God. And this is often best accomplished by contrast, for God will not give His glory to any of His creatures. We must be broken if we would be bearers of His blessing.”

The above commentary seems so very fitting for us today. We cannot look to the news sources in the world today for much of any good news. But we can look to our timeless resource of God’s word for incredibly great news!

Popular Confusions and Delusions about the Second Death

Some Bible teachers suggest that the death of the lake of fire brings people to God. If that were true the second death would rightly be called a friend. However, scripture assures us that death is an enemy. As you read this newsletter, keep that thought in your mind. Death is an enemy.

If our fellow brothers in Christ looked at the second death only through the lense of 1 Corinthians 15:22-28, they would see death as an enemy.

The only way for God to be All in all mankind is to abolish the enemy called death (1 Cor.15:26,28). The way God abolishes this enemy called “death” is by means of vivification, not education. Nor is it abolished by means of a chance or God giving people in the second death a crack at salvation.

I repeat: the abolition of death is accomplished by means of vivification. Again, we are assured that death is an enemy (1 Cor.15:26). It is not a friend. The enemies of 1 Corinthians 15 are all things keeping God from being All in all mankind.

Figurative vs. Literal

Death is the complete absence of life. This is so whether death is used in a metaphorical sense or a literal sense. Metaphorically, when one is dead to God, there is a complete absence of life toward God. Jesus said: “Be following Me, and leave the dead to entomb their own dead” (Matt.8:22). The first usage of “dead” in the above verse is figurative. The second usage is literal. If the person follows Christ, he is alive [to Christ]. If he follows the dead entombing the dead, he is dead [to Christ]; he is dead [to God]. It is just that simple.

Some state that the second death isn’t a literal death. They say the 2nd death is something other than actual death—that it is actually something good. For example, A. P. Adams says: “the first death is to be carnally minded” (Rom.8:6). However, the Scriptures do not say “The disposition of the flesh (carnally minded, KJV) is the first death.” The context of Romans 8:6 concerning the disposition of the flesh is death is concerned with the LAW. The law is “death [a literal death] by letters chiseled in stone” (2 Cor.3:7). Since the disposition of the flesh is enmity to God, it is not subject to God’s law and therefore has the curse of the law which is death. The death that passed through into all mankind due to Adam’s sin is the first death (cf Rom.5:12) before the law came (Romans 5:13). The first death was the death which

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entered into Adam until he returned to the ground (Gen.3:19). The death that was in Adam till he returned to the ground was a literal death. Just as the 1st death is a literal death, thus the 2nd death is a literal death. It can logically be proven that the 2nd death is a literal death and not another form of life.

Here is the proof: Was Christ vivified out of a carnally minded death or a “disposition of the flesh” kind of death? No. He was vivified out of the literal enemy, death. He was held captive by this enemy, death, for three days. God roused Him from a literal death. God did not rouse Christ out of a carnal minded death. Christ was not carnally minded for three days nor during His lifetime.

What about “those who are Christ’s”? They too are vivified out of a literal enemy called death. This is the same kind of death out of which Christ was vivified.

What about the rest of mankind at the consummation? The only death remaining is the 2nd death. The rest of mankind are vivified out of the same kind of literal death as Christ and those who are Christ’s. Therefore, the 2nd death is a literal death. Eliminating death by vivification is the great news of Paul’s evangel!

To make death kinder, gentler, is to destroy the greatness of God to viv- ify all mankind out of such a terrible E-N-E-M-Y.

Here is a chart I made for this newsletter illustrating how literal death is from the beginning to the consummation and who is vivified out of that literal death:

No Bible teacher that I know of ever stated: “Jesus was vivified out of a sinful nature” or “vivified out of being dead to God.” I have, however heard, “Jesus was just kind of dead but not really dead.” These statements make their position look moronic. Some teachers don’t dare bring up that Christ was vivified out of a literal death and the death those who are Christ’s are vivified out of is a literal death. The reason this is so is they would have to come to the conclusion that the rest of mankind are vivified out of a literal death. The last enemy is a literal death. The 2nd death IS the last enemy. Rather than face this, they go immediately to Revelation and say this 2nd death is completely different from the 1st death. They say it isn’t really a physical death. But again, if it isn’t a physical death then Christ and those who are Christ’s are not vivified out of a physical death. We have to re-write Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15 concerning death and the vivification of the dead. A. P. Adams also said this: “The [fours verses in Revelation] do not say that the Lake of Fire causes the second death of any person, or that any sinner loses his physical life, or any other life in the Second death. This conclusion is entirely human assumption, or man’s reasoning, and lacks Bible proof.”

Why call it “death” if it is “life”? In fact, Adams stated that: “And strange to say, these same Revelations tell us that this symbolic Second death is a BENEFICENT

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agent of the Creator which actually DESTROYS man’s greatest enemies, DEATH and the GRAVE, in the SAME ‘Lake of Fire.”

See? Adams does not see death as an enemy. To him it is a friend. We will write further on this point in our next newsletter (God willing).

A dear friend, Phil Scranton, e-mailed me concerning the second death: “Lazarus died twice, but he did not die the second death. He died a second death. There are four occurrences of the term, the second death (Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8). In each of these occurrences the definite article is part of the term. It is the second death, not a second death. The definite article signifies that something is distinctive when it is used with second. If the definite article were lacking, it would be more likely that the death mentioned should be understood as a repetition or continuation of the first

death.” (end of quote)

First of all, the term “a death” is never mentioned in the New or Old Testament. We are not told Lazarus died a second death.” Where the definite article “the” is absent, the indefinite “a” is also absent. So it is improper to say Lazarus died “a second death” rather than “the second death.” Lazarus did not die the second death because the second death is in the future. Lazarus was not cast into the lake of fire.

It is improper to say “The figurative lake of fire is literal death” and then say: “death here is something other than death.” It’s kind of like saying “The Lambkin is the Christ and ‘Christ’ represents something figurative.” You would improperly have:

a figure = a literal = a figure.

The term “Lambkin” is a figure of speech and **represents** the literal Christ.” Some Bible teachers improperly do the same thing with the second death.

The figure “lake of fire” = a literal “death” and the literal death = something figurative. Or worse, they say “the figure ‘lake of fire’ is a figurative death.”

In Matthew 13:38 we are told “Now the field is the world.” Christ wouldn’t say “the field is **a** world.” We have a figurative field being sown with a figurative seed. We are told this figurative field is a literal world or system. That system is the literal world or system of Israel. The figurative ideal seed Christ is planting in that world represents the literal “sons of the kingdom.” So, again, we have a figure “seed” being the literal ”sons of the kingdom.” It would be improper to make “sons of the kingdom” something figurative. “Now the darnel are the sons of the wicked one.” So the figure “darnel” is literally “the sons of the wicked one.” Both different types of sons are planted in that world/system/kingdom and grow up together.

I hope it is now easier to see by the example above that The lake of fire is the second death where we have a figure of speech being explained as something that is literal, i.e. “death,” just as the figurative “seed” is a literal ”son of the kingdom” or “son of the wicked one.” It would be improper to suggest the literal “son” is to be thought of as something figurative. Likewise, it is improper to think of the second death as being something figurative.

In His Grace and Peace,

Tony Nungesser

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