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Author Topic: Judgement begins at the house of God  (Read 2537 times)

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Jackie Lee

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Judgement begins at the house of God
« on: October 10, 2008, 11:42:17 PM »

1 Peter 4:17
For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

This has been on my mind lately, I must have overlooked in Ray's teachings of this, would someone help with a link?
I believe God is planing to show me something of great importance here. :)
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Stevernator

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Re: Judgement begins at the house of God
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2008, 11:54:09 PM »

http://bible-truths.com/lake3.html

Most have at least heard of this judgment even if they have no solid understanding of what it is all about or its primary purpose. We will have a great deal to say about this judgment later. But first we will take a look at another judgment almost universally unknown in the world of Christendom. It is a judgment that involves believers, NOW!

Peter, who was given many keys to the kingdom, introduces this judgment to us:

"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For [hereís the reason] the TIME IS COME that JUDGMENT MUST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD ..." (I Pet. 4:16-17).

What do you know about this judgment on the house of God. Do you know anything specific? Well, donít feel too badly, most people donít. Apparently theologians and clergymen donít know too much either, seeing that it is not a popular subject to teach. If they had even a superficial understanding of Godís judgments on the house of God, they wouldnít interpret the great white throne and the lake of fire as some hideous act of divine eternal terrorism. These two judgments have much in common.


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Just what is this human life on earth for, anyway? -- Why are we here? -- What is our purpose? -- What is Godís purpose for the Christian?

As children we are taught that Christian people live; they die; their souls go to heaven. Bad people live; they die; their souls go to hell. Live, die, go to heaven or live, die, go to hell.

So I guess this earth is a giant "soul factory." But the truth is that Christian souls do not go to heaven at death, neither do wicked souls go to hell at death. Contrary to all Christian belief, the Bible reveals (as does elementary science), that dead people are DEAD. What a revelation! Thatís right, boys and girls, living people are "ALIVE" and dead people are "DEAD." This is not rocket science!

If ALL the dead are either alive in hell or alive in heaven, who, pray tell, is God going to resurrect back to life from the dead when He returns to judge the world in righteousness? How can the dead be living in heaven or hell when they havenít as yet been judged as to where they should be living in the first place?

THE BELIEVERíS JUDGMENT BY FIRE

Well, yes, it does appear that there is a judgment on the house of God, but certainly not a judgment by FIRE, is there? Doesnít God judge non-believers with fire, but not believers? This only sounds strange to you if you have never been taught the Scriptures.

"Beloved, think it NOT STRANGE concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some STRANGE thing happened unto you" (I Pet. 4:12).

Peter makes it sound as though going through fiery trails is the norm rather than the exception. The New Testament is filled with the fiery trials of the Saints.

Now I hope that none will be offended at my next few statements, but if so, so be it. Unless God Almighty through the purging power of His FIERY SPIRIT, is BURNING OUT the lusts and passions and vanity and haughtiness and greed and self-righteousness and laziness and weakness and hypocrisy and wickedness and pride and materialism and cynicism and depravity and carnality in your life, then Jesus Christ is not choosing you to reign with Him as the Sons of God in the Kingdom of God to bring all Heaven and Earth to repentance and salvation!

And I will tell you on the authority of Jesus Christ and all the Holy Scriptures, that anyone who teaches and takes delight in thinking that God would ever torture anyone for all eternity, will NEVER BE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITH SUCH AN ATTITUDE!

Such damnable character flaws of the mind and spirit are going to be burned out of us all! God will either BURN OUT these filthy impurities from our hearts and minds NOW, or He will BURN THEM OUT IN THE LAKE OF FIRE, but either way, make no mistake about it, THESE THINGS ARE COMING OUT!!!

JOHN THE BAPTIST: John the Baptist said that Jesus would be baptizing repentant believers with fire.

"I indeed baptize you with water unto REPENTANCE: but He that comes after me is mightier than I, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, AND WITH FIRE" (Matt. 3:11).

JESUS CHRIST:

"For EVERY ONE [sinner and saint] shall be salted with FIRE" (Mark 9:49).

APOSTLE PETER:

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it [your faith] be TRIED IN THE FIRE, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:7).

APOSTLE PAUL:

"Every manís work [including believers] shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed BY FIRE, and the FIRE shall try every manís work of what sort it is" (I Cor. 3:13).

With such noble and august witnesses, does anyone deny that the repentant, converted, dedicated, believing Christian will escape being "revealed," tried," "salted," and "baptized" by FIRE? These Scriptures are undeniable! Whatever this "fire" is, it is going to be used ON EVERYONE. These four Scriptures have the believer specifically in view, but it says and includes "EVERYONE shall be salted with FIRE," and "EVERY MANíS WORK ... shall be revealed by FIRE."

And there is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE when it comes to the non-believers:

"And I saw a great white throne ... And I saw the dead...and the dead were JUDGED ... according to their WORKS ... and they were judged EVERY MAN according to their WORKS" (Rev. 20:11-13).

And are these non-believers judged differently from believers who are "revealed, tried, salted and baptized IN FIRE?" Just HOW are these non-believers judged in the book of Revelation? How are the "...fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars..." JUDGED? Answer: "... In the lake WHICH BURNS WITH FIRE ..." (Rev. 21:8)!

Is this "fire" in the book of Revelation DIFFERENT from the fire that tries the works of believers in the book of I Corinthians? NO. The word "fire" used in the four examples above concerning believers, is the SAME word "fire" used in the book of Revelation concerning non-believers:

STRONGís Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, page 219, #4442, pur; a primary word; "fire" (literally OR FIGURATIVELY. Pur is used (besides its ordinary natural significance):

(1) of the holiness of God, which consumes all that is inconsistent therewith, Heb. 10:27; 12:29; cf. Rev. 1:14; 2:18; 10:1; 15:2; 19:12;

(1a) similarly of the holy angels as His ministers, Heb. 1:7;

(1b) in Rev. 3:18 it is SYMBOLIC of that which tries the faith of saints, PRODUCING WHAT WILL GLORIFY THE LORD;

(2) of the divine judgment, testing the deeds of believers, at the judgment seat of Christ I Cor. 3:13 and 15;

(3) of the fire of DIVINE JUDGMENT upon the REJECTERS of Christ, Matt. 3:11 (where a distinction is to be made between the baptism of the holy Spirit at Pentecost and the "fire" of divine retribution; Acts 2:3 could not refer to baptism); Lk. 3:16."

End of quotation, (All CAPS emphasis are mine).

I was quite amazed to see this broadened definition in Strongís Concordance. In my Strongís Exhaustive Concordance that I purchased over forty years ago, it has but one line after the Greek word pur. It states that pur is "fire" either (literal or figurative), fiery, lightning. Thatís it. So when I purchased the NEW Strongís Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible last week, I was pleasantly surprised to see the expanded definitions, especially with reference to this word "pur" -- FIRE. I learned the use of the word "fire" in Scripture the hard way -- I had to research.

We could easily spend twenty pages just commenting on the examples used in this expanded version of Strongís. I wonít do that, but letís take a brief look at a few enlightening items: First, we learn that this word can be, and is, used "figuratively." And in fact, the first five examples given in Strongís ARE examples of figurative usage of the word fire. And of the 500+ times the word 'fire' is used in the Bible, hundreds of times the word 'fire' is used in a figurative or symbolic sense.

I call your attention to the statement in Strongís (1b) "In Rev. 3:18 it [fire] is SYMBOLIC, of that which tries the faith of saints, PRODUCING WHAT WILL GLORIFY THE LORD"! (CAPS emphasis mine).

I just love it when Christian Scholars will occasionally just absolutely "nail" a Scriptural Truth. Notice this beautiful and profound Scriptural Truth: The symbolic fire of Rev. 3:18 tries the faith of the saints, and PRODUCES what will GLORIFY THE LORD! ASTOUNDING!

Carefully note that it is not the "believer" who "produces" these glorious things, but it is the "SYMBOLIC FIRE" that produces them. And just Who is this "symbolic fire?" It is, of course, GOD -- "For OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE." (Heb. 12:29)!

Therefore it is GOD who "PRODUCES" qualities in the saints that will GLORIFY HIMSELF! Godís consuming SPIRITUAL fire (remember that "GOD IS SPIRIT" Jn. 4:24) does the "producing," not the saint,

"For HIS ACHIEVEMENT are we, being created in Christ Jesus ..." (Eph. 2:10).

"Now what have you which you did not OBTAIN? Now if you OBTAINED it also [from GOD] why are you boasting as though [you are] not obtaining [it from God]?" (I Cor. 4:7 Concordant Literal New Testament).

"All is of God" (II Cor. 5:18).

"The One Who is operating ALL in accord with the counsel of HIS will" (Eph. 1:11).

Etc.

In statement (1) the editor of Strongís cites seven more Scriptures that are used symbolically and figuratively to demonstrate "the holiness of God, which CONSUMES ALL that is inconsistent therewith." It doesnít consume their physical bodies, nor does it burn their physical bodies to produce pain, but it "CONSUMES" all that is not consistent with Godís holiness. And these are the things of the heart, mind and spirit! It is not the "body" that needs chastisement and purification, it is the MIND, HEART, AND SPIRIT that needs purification from unholiness. You cannot burn pride and vanity out of oneís heart with REAL FIRE (besides the advocates of torturing with real fire for all eternity admit that it accomplishes NOTHING). It takes the fire of Godís spirit to burn away evils that have their origin in the realm of spirit.

This teaching is so absolutely elementary that it seems strange to even have to explain it. And yet, many of the greatest minds in theology today have not a clue as to these simple spiritual truths. All over the world Christian leaders continue to teach that the way God will deal with people who have wicked and carnal hearts, minds, and spirits, is to BURN THEIR FLESH IN REAL FIRE FOR ALL ETERNITY! And what, pray tell, does this infinite mountain of eternal pain accomplish? Why it is "justice" cry the high priests of Christendom!

Websterís Concise Dictionary p. 392, justice n. 1. The quality of being just, fair, or impartial; evenhandedness.

So first and foremost we are told that burning billions and billions of men and women, and boy and girls, in fire for all eternity is "QUALITY!" - QUALITY? HELL IS A PLACE OF "QUALITY?" Just how sick can the human mind get, and just how low can the human heart sink? And this not from infidels, but from the leading advocates of the Christian Faith!

BACK TO SPIRITUAL BASICS

God gives us perfectly simple and understandable examples of HOW He deals with our sins and faults. In Hebrews 12:6 we read:

"For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?"

Of course when we ask this question today, the answer is not so obvious as back when the writer of Hebrews asked it. Less and less children are chastened by their fathers today, and look at the disastrous results. But ideally a son should be chastened -- chastened, not BEATEN! Maybe I need to investigate this matter one day. Just maybe those who teach the hardest for an eternal hell of pain are those who were physically molested and beaten as children, rather than lovingly chastised. Continuing:

"Furthermore we have had fathers of our FLESH which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of SPIRITS, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His HOLINESS.

Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby" (Heb. 12:9-11).

This is not difficult to understand. Our fathers in the FLESH have corrected us with rods, straps, belts, sticks, paddles, and the back of their hand. This was done for our teaching and correcting. And it worked, "... we gave them reverence ..." Now then, "... shall we not MUCH RATHER be in subjection unto the Father of SPIRITS ..."?

Our Heavenly Father is NOT FLESH, but is the Father of SPIRITS! God is SPIRIT. God is working with our SPIRITUAL life. God does not chasten and correct us believers in Christ Jesus with physical rods, straps, belts, sticks, paddles, and the back of His hand! So how is it that God our Father of spirits accomplishes on a spiritual level what our physical fathers tried to accomplish on a physical level? Verse 29 gives us the answer: "For our God is a CONSUMING FIRE !"

As trash is burned and precious metals are purified by the use of LITERAL and PHYSICAL fire, so God burns our spiritual trash and purifies those qualities of character worth saving by His SYMBOLIC and SPIRITUAL fire. Physical fire is inanimate and uncaring. Godís spiritual fire is caring and loving.

There it is. Thereís the gospel; thereís the purpose for human existence; thereís the plan of God. God is forming man into the very image of Himself. This requires not only a knowledge of good and evil, but an experience of good and evil. God provides both. He is calling just a few select ones out of this world now, and He will call the remainder of the human race later.

Some sinners are called, given faith, brought to Christ, repent, receive Godís spirit and are being saved NOW. All the rest of the worldís sinners will also be called, given faith, brought to Christ, repent, receive Godís spirit and will be saved LATER. And God uses the same method to convert and save both groups of sinners. Thatís because God CHANGES NOT and God is NO RESPECTER of persons, and God WILLS to save all mankind, and God will perform ALL HIS WILL, PURPOSE, AND PLEASURE!!

All of the above verses regarding fire are used in a figurative and symbolic manner. Christ does not literally "baptize" (IMMERSE) His saints in REAL PHYSICAL FIRE. It would burn them all up, and there wouldnít be any saints or believers! Likewise we saw in Part I that the "lake of fire" is also symbolic and used in a metaphor to describe a SPIRITUAL TRUTH. More on this later.

And so we are assured that EVERYONE will be "revealed," "tried," "salted," and "baptized" "in FIRE." And these fiery trials as Peter calls them go on for a lifetime. If it were real, physical fire, all believersí lives would be short indeed. God is SPIRIT, and God is a CONSUMING FIRE. It is Godís SPIRIT that is likened to fire. The spiritual teaching in this symbol is to recognize what real fire accomplishes and to then use that as an analogy as to what God DOES TO US (or more properly FOR US).

Fire does a number of things:

Fire CHANGES things. Fire brings about molecular changes in the materials that are burned. Godís spiritual fire will make changes in our mind, heart, and spirit.

Fire PURGES. In times past if a building were diseased and rat-infested, they would purge away the filth by burning it down. We are to be purged from all our diseases of sin and carnality. Jesus Christ paid the penalty of sin for us, but now God wants to get at the root and core of what caused us to sin in the first place. We all need desperately to be CHANGED and PURGED.

Fire BURNS UP combustible materials that have no value in saving. God will burn out of all of us the straw, grass, and stubble, which represent evil and wrong doctrines, idols of the heart, and philosophies that exalt themselves against God.

Fire PURIFIES things of value which we do want to retain. The analogy is used in the Scriptures of purifying gold by fire to make it more beautiful and more valuable. Gold represents the highest doctrines of spiritual understanding such as the Love of God and the Sovereignty of God, and salvation of all.

No one teaches us more regarding the fiery trials of life than the apostle to the nations, Paul. Paul was "revealed, tried, salted, and baptized" in Godís "CONSUMING FIRE," and yet never a single hair on his head was ever singed.
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Jackie Lee

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Re: Judgement begins at the house of God
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2008, 12:10:37 AM »

Thank you Stevernator that is what I was looking for.  :)
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Stevernator

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Re: Judgement begins at the house of God
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2008, 12:16:46 AM »

Your welcome Jackie, Im glad it was helpful. Thanks for the post because I reread the article and it was great.
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