Five and Death 

In Genesis chapter 5 after Adam's name is mentioned exactly five times, the last thing said about him in that chapter is "and he died."  There are seven other men whose names are mentioned in that chapter exactly five times and the last thing said about each of them is "and he died."  There is a very strong correlation in the scriptures between the number five and the subject of death.  There are five types of death taught in the scriptures.

The Bible says, "The wages of sin is death..." God told Adam " the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The marginal reading for "die" is "dying thou shalt die." This indicates an immediate death followed by a later death. Thus we know the bible teaches more than one kind of death.

The scriptures teach at least five deaths. These deaths are:

   1. Death of the body or corporeal death.

   2. Death in trespasses and sins.

   3. Death to fellowship.

   4. The second death or eternal death.

   5. Death to sin.

Beginning with Adam sin began to work in the lives of every man to bring forth the death of the body. These corruptible, mortal bodies are headed to the grave as God told Adam, "for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

Second, to be dead in trespasses and sins speaks of the state or condition of our carnal nature. This death is characterized as rendering us incapable of fearing God (Romans 3:18), of seeking God (Romans 3:11), of understanding the things of the Spirit of God (Romans 3:11; I Corinthians 2:14), of knowing the way of peace (Romans 3:17). Under this death we only seek after the world (Ephesians 2:2), the spirit of Satan (Ephesians 2:2), and to satisfy fleshly lust (Ephesians 2:3). Furthermore our carnal mind is enmity with God (Romans 8:7) and we cannot please God (Romans 8:8). All of our works are verily wickedness (Galatians 5:19‑21). David described this death as beginning at conception in Psalms 51:5, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me." Furthermore, he said we begin to portray this sin‑cursed death nature at birth as stated in Psalms 58:3, "The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." Under the law of sin and death according to David we will not even think about God, Psalms 10:4, "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." In addition, a person dead in trespasses and sins is incapable of delivering himself from that condition. The prophet Jeremiah illustrated this truth through question and answer in Jeremiah 13:23, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil." Paul described us under the law of sin and death in Romans 5:6‑10 as being "without strength," "ungodly," "sinners," and "enemies of God."

The third death is "death to fellowship." The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11‑32 illustrates this death. When the prodigal had left his father's house to go waste his substance with riotous living and then later returned, the father described this son thusly, "For this my son was dead, and is alive again..." Likewise he said to his other son, "For this thy brother was dead, and is alive again..." Please notice that the prodigal when wasting his substance with riotous living did not lose his relationship to his father or brother, but he lost his fellowship to them. He was dead to their fellowship. Paul, also describes this death to fellowship in I Timothy 5:6, "But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." I guess we could safely call her a living "dead" person. I wonder how many of God's people are dead to the fellowship of God and to the fellowship of the saints as a result of seeking worldly pleasures?

The fourth death we will consider is called in Revelation 20:14, the "second death." This is God's eternal punishment for sin. Those who suffer the "second death" are "cast into the lake of fire" to suffer the eternal vengeance of God. They are described in Revelation 20:12 as being "the dead, small and great" and they are "judged every man according to their works." Verse 15 tells us, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Paul describes these in II Thessalonians 1:7‑9 thusly, "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."

Finally, there is a good death taught in God's word. Romans 6:2 asks us, "How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" What does it mean to be "dead to sin?" It means to be dead to the condemning affects of sin and to be dead to the bondage of the law of sin and death. Hebrews 2:14 speaks of Christ thusly, "Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all of their lifetime subject to bondage." When Jesus died on the cross for us, he delivered us from the wrathful judgment of God (second death) and when he arose the third day he established our hope in the resurrection of our mortal bodies. Also in Romans 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." This is in harmony with Ephesians 2:1 which states, "You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins." Likewise the Lord said in 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." When Christ speaks to us in that still small voice giving us spiritual life we become "dead to" the condemning effects of sin and its bondage over us. We now, in spirit, fear God, seek after Him, understand spiritual things, believe that he is, bear good fruit, seek to please him, etc. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. 

Image and Likeness

When God created Adam in his image and likeness, he declared him to be good.  However, Adam fell somewhat from that image in which he was created, when he partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  He corrupted his way upon the earth and was no longer righteous and holy before God.  The consequence of Adam's transgression is clearly indicated in the following passage: Gen. 5:1-3 "In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.  And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth."  Seth was begotten in the image and likeness of fallen Adam.  Sin and consequently death passed upon Seth the son of Adam. 

"Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created."  Some have thought this to teach that God created several men and women and collectively called their name, "Adam."   However, this is not the case.  God created Adam and Eve (male and female) and called their name Adam, i.e., Mr. Adam and Mrs. Adam.  In this we see that Eve took the name of her husband Adam.  This is God's order for marriage.

Length of Life Before the Flood

In the 5th chapter of Genesis we read of the following life spans:

                        Adam               -           930 years  

                        Seth                 -           912

                        Enos                 -           905

                        Cainan              -           910

                        Mahalaleel        -           895

                        Jared                -           962

                        Enoch               -           365*

                        Methuselah       -           969

                        Lamech            -           777.

Certainly these life spans are far greater than the life spans typically experienced on earth today.   Occasionally, some one will live to be 100 years old or slightly older.  However, this is not common.   I will set forth why I believe the life spans were different before and after the flood.

Why were people back before the flood able to live so much longer than we are today?  To understand this we take note of the conditions on the earth before the flood vs. the conditions on the earth after the flood.  Before the flood there was a water envelope around the earth's outer atmosphere.  When the earth was flooded, according to the scriptures, water came from three sources: Gen. 7:11 "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights."  According to Gen. 1:6, 7 "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.  And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so."  The waters above the "firmament" (expanse) came down during the flood (windows of heaven were opened). 

There are three major types of rays generated from the sun that greatly affect conditions on the earth: heat rays, light rays, ultraviolet rays.  The heat rays and light rays are generally very beneficial to life on earth.  The ultraviolet rays are generally very detrimental to life on earth.  The UV rays cause rapid aging of the skin and cause cell damage including damage to the genetic materials in the cells.  The build up of UV rays in the atmosphere also increases the oxidation level in the atmosphere which leads to an increased metabolic rate and aging process as well. 

Water reflects UV rays.  Thus, you will more quickly get sunburn when you are around water and on snowy days.  However, during pre-flood days, the water envelope around the outer atmosphere of the earth would have reflected the UV rays from entering the earth's atmosphere.  Therefore, the reflection of the damaging UV rays would have allowed life to live longer than we can live today. 

After the flood life spans gradually began to decrease.  This can be explained due to the fact that it took some time for the concentration of UV rays to accumulate around the earth's surface.  As the UV rays accumulated the life spans decreased and this fits what we read in the scriptures concerning life spans.