“Thou shalt surely die”, what does God mean?

The death referred to in Gen. 2:17 is that death wherein there is no resurrection, the 2nd death.

There are 2 kinds of death:
1. The death from which there is resurrection. This refers to natural death and buried in “hades” from which there is coming resurrection. Many examples of man dying but resurrected back to life:

A. Elijah raised the son of the Zarephath widow from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-22).
B. Elisha raised the son of the Shunammite woman from the dead (2 Kings 4:32-35).
C. A man was raised from the dead when his body touched Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20, 21).
D. Many saints rose from the dead at the resurrection of Jesus (Matt 27:50-53).
E. Jesus raised the son of the widow of Nain from the dead (Luke 7:11-15).
F. Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Luke 8:41, 42, 49-55).
G. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44).
H. Peter raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-41).
I. Eutychus was raised from the dead by Paul (Acts 20:9, 10).

All were resurrected to live again on earth but died again.

2.”Second” death or “eternal death” from which there is no resurrection (Rev 2:11; 20:6, 7- 14; 21:8). Notice that those in the end who overcame through the power of the Holy Spirit in them, will participate in the 1st resurrection and the 2nd death has no power as they have eternal life. Those in the 1st resurrection are those living and dead prior to the start of the Millenium, who will change from mortality to immortality “in a twinkling of an eye”(I Cor. 15:52). Those who did not participate in the 1st resurrection will still be in the grave/hades and stay dead, but will resurrect to mortal life, their “first resurrection”, after the Millenium. At that time, God will give them their first chance to receive the promise of the Holy Spirit to sanctify them. As to whether they “submit themselves” (Eph. 5:1-33 ) freely and be “one” with God, depends on their choice.

The second death will be after the Millenium when Satan will be released from “prison” and will again attempt to deceive the world; Gog and Magog will be with him. This is the death from “Gehenna fire” in the “valley of the son of Hinnom” outside Jerusalem mentioned in Matt 5:29-30; 10:29; 18:9; 23:33; Mk 9:43-50; Lu 12:5; James 3:6; Rev 20:14).

Gehenna fire’s death is clearly a punishment from which there is no resurrection; eternal or second death. Being mortal, their lives will cease , unlike Satan who will be “living in torment”, being a spirit-being.

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