One of the things that has frustrated and bothered me greatly is how the WTS has invented their own definitions for Koine Greek words that already have meanings. The word death is one of those.
Throughout the past 2000 years the word “death” has been widely known and accepted to mean not only that the corporeal body has died, but with regard to spirituality, it has meant that one exists forever knowing they are separated from Christ and the Father.
For centuries eternal death has been understood to mean that one has an ongoing existence of punishment. Eternal life has been understood to mean that one has an ongoing existence living with Christ.
While not all Christians accept those definitions, they are the ones found in standardized dictionaries like Thayer’s and Strong’s. But the WTS has utterly redefined death to only mean “non-existence.” That is certainly neat and convenient, but it contradicts the Bible again and again.
When the Bible is allowed to speak for itself, the passages make it fairly obvious that the second death, the Lake of Fire , is not a onetime quickie burn, but a punishment and a condition that goes on and on.
And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire . (Jude 1:6-7)
"Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me. ' "These will go away into eternal punishment , but the righteous into eternal life."
"The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth . (Matthew 13:41-42)
And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever . (Revelation 20:10)
Passages that call the second death a more severe punishment than corporeal death, or rather, a punishment of vengeance even after the first death:
Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY." And again, "THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE." It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
"If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE , AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED .
"In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. (Luke 13:28)
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire . And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:13-15)
If the second death were nothing more than non-existence, it means non-awareness. No punishment, no pain, no lamenting, no grief. Live like a murderous raging wolf all your life, go to sleep, and never awaken to face your crimes. Thus, no vengeance is ever taken against you.
Maybe I am all alone in this, but I just cannot accept the WTS’s definition of “death” as meaning non-existence and non-punishment.