The Lake of Fire - Part XI

THE DEPTH OF SATAN AND THE CHURCH OF GOD

"But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine and which have not known the DEPTHS of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden" (Rev. 2:24).

"But as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him’--these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the DEPTHS of God" (I Cor. 2:10, Revised Standard Version).

Just what is, "the DEPTHS of Satan" and "the DEPTHS of God," and where do we find them?

There are two main issues found in both the depths of Satan and the depths of God:

  1. What is the true nature and character of God?

  2. What is the purpose and destiny of the human race? The depths of Satan and the depths of God both answer these two questions.

The DEPTHS of Satan—teaches that what God does mostly, is HATE! He is a God of eternal hatred and vengeance. He is pictured as the chief of hypocrites. He tells mankind to love their enemies, but shows His perverted love toward mankind by torturing most of our loved-ones in fire for all eternity. God’s weak wish of saving all humanity is thwarted by the sovereign power of man’s supposed free will, and thus most of the human race will eternally hate and despise and curse their Creator for ever making them. This teaching of Satan has absolutely no redeeming value to it. God will be remembered eternally for being the greatest failure in the history of the universe. This doctrine is both the most evil and the most stupid teaching ever conceived.

The DEPTHS of God—teaches that what God does and is, is LOVE! He is a God fully capable of bringing the whole human race to repentance through judgments that cause man to learn righteousness. The purpose for man’s creation is to teach him obedience and love, so that he can be molded into the very Image of God Himself and thus be manifested as the Eternal Sons and Daughters of God in the Family of God. God’s plan brings unspeakable happiness to and pleasure to every creature in heaven and earth. God’s plan will be totally successful down to God’s very last wish and desire. Possessing the very character of God and His love for all His creatures is the most marvelous plan ever conceived by our all-wise and Loving God.

Ironically, The Christian Church writes books about, teaches in her seminaries, and preaches from her pulpits, in a most vigorous manner, The DEPTHS of Satan. Contrariwise, she avoids teaching The DEPTHS of God, and accuses those who do, of being false prophets and of the devil.

Seminary professors and theologians, religious writers and movie makers, clergymen and teachers, the world over, attribute to Satan powers and victories that he does not deserve or possess, and they likewise attribute to God weaknesses and failures that He does not deserve or possess! Their theology is turned backward, upside down, and inside out! Satan will not be victorious over the human race by bringing the majority of mankind down into a living eternal hellhole of torture, nor will God be a disgraceful failure in saving the world! It is time now for God to reveal some startling truths to those who have ears to hear.

Little wonder that the Church worldwide does not acknowledge the whereabouts of the depths of Satan. Yet, this is no secret for those who have eyes to see it. "The DEPTHS of Satan is found IN THE CHURCH itself. Satan does not attack the Church from without, but from within:

Where do we find them who "say they are apostles [of Jesus Christ] and are not?" Why, IN THE CHURCH (Rev. 2:2).

Where do we find them who have "left their first love?" Why, IN THE CHURCH (Rev. 2:4).

Where do we find them which "say they are [spiritual] Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan?" Why, IN THE CHURCH (Rev. 2:9 & 3:9).

Where do we find "Satan’s seat [throne]?" Why, IN THE CHURCH (Rev. 2:13).

Where do we find "where Satan dwells?" Why, IN THE CHURCH (Rev. 2:13).

Where do we find "the doctrine of Balaam?" Why, IN THE CHURCH (Rev. 2:14).

Where do we find "them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I [Jesus] hate?" Why, IN THE CHURCH (Rev. 2:15).

Where do we find "that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols?" Why, IN THE CHURCH (Rev. 2:19).

Where do we find them that "have a name that you live, and are dead?" Why, IN THE CHURCH

Where do we find them that "are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked?" Why, IN THE CHURCH (Rev. 3:17).

And were do we find "the DEPTHS of Satan?" Why, IN THE CHURCH, of course Rev. 2:24).

Is it possible that the "depths of God" can co-exist alongside of the "depths of Satan" in the same church? Are not both taught in the Church? No, they are not. However, let me make myself perfectly clear on this matter. I am not suggesting that nothing but the depths of Satan is taught in the Christian Church. That is certainly not true. There are numerous truths of God that are taught in the Church, and there are doctrines and practices of demons that are not taught in the Church. But, therein lies the reason why there is much confusion and contradiction among the different denominations. Error mixed with some truth can be more deceptive than error alone.

THE GREATEST DEPTH OF EVIL IS FOUND ONLY IN THE CHURCH

There is no greater evil taught in the Church today that the doctrine of "eternal torment." This doctrine has no validity in the Scriptures. Even though this doctrine has its origin in paganism, most pagan and heathen nations have long forsaken this hideous teaching. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can be conceived by the mind of man or demon, that is more deplorable, detestable, and disgusting than the thought of being physically, mentally, and spiritually tortured for all eternity.

The thought is inconceivable. The thought of eternal torture is far beyond all known evil, immoral, corrupt, damnable, deprived, heinous, hideous, loathsome, nefarious, obscene, repugnant, reprobate, vile and wicked sins of all the universe combined. There just aren’t enough adjectives to describe this doctrine. It can be compared to nothing. The very thought, the teaching, the doctrine, of eternal torment, is the greatest evil than can ever be conceived.

Eternity has NO END! When totally reprobate men want to commit the ultimate evil, they torture. Torture is outlawed in international warfare. Even the vilest despotic leaders in the world agree in principle (if not always in practice) that torture should be a forbidden practice. All humans who torture others are considered the lowest form of humanity.

Saddam’s two sons were inventors of new forms of human torture. Yet their joy of putting people through tree shredders was child’s play compared to the evils envisioned by the great theologians of Christendom. Theologians picture men, women, and children, being engulfed in real fire while being forced to drink molten hot lead! As for me, I would take the tree shredder any day! At least that quickly comes to an end. But the theologians’ vision of torture by fire in hell, never, ever, ever comes to an end.

And they call it "FAIR"! And they call it "JUSTICE"! I heard them with my own ears. John Hagee said on international television that, hell is "JUSTICE"! And I heard James Kennedy say on international television, that hell is "FAIR"! NO, ETERNAL TORTURE IS NOT JUSTICE AND NO, IT IS NOT FAIR. It is insane rank demonism—it is The DEPTHS of Satan!! IT IS INORDINATELY EVIL: IT IS THE ULTIMATE SIN: IT IS THE BLASPHEMY OF ALL BLASPHEMIES! It is a doctrine that demeans and debases the very character of God Almighty below that of the vilest humans who have ever lived.

And I would also add that it is one thing to reluctantly accept this doctrine because one has been deceived into believing that it is in the Bible, but it is quite another to meditate on this theme and come to embrace in into one’s heart, mind, and soul, as something that is "JUSTICE AND FAIR!" David said that he preferred the judgment of God over that of men. But if eternal torment is a true doctrine, a person would be a fool to prefer the judgment of God over that of men!

This doctrine says that God is evil and unjust beyond any sane comprehension. This doctrine says that the God, who saved the worst sinner that ever lived in a flash of light, cannot save most mediocre sinners in a trillion centuries. This doctrine says that God is a trillion trillion trillion times more evil than He is loving. This doctrine makes God out to be less caring and merciful and the worst of sinners. This doctrine contradicts hundreds of Scriptures. This doctrine makes God out to be a hypocrite when He tells us to love our enemies, but does not following His own teaching. Will the same God Who says to us, "Love your enemies" be the one that will ultimately torture OUR friends, neighbors, and loved ones? Is this the reward we get for loving our enemies—God will torture our loved ones? What kind of an incentive is that? What kind of double-talking, unscriptural nonsense is that?

It would make more sense to hate our enemies and love our loved one, wouldn’t it? Do you hate your loved ones, when they die not knowing Jesus as their Saviour? Do you attend their funerals and curse their name, so as to be in harmony and keeping with the God that you believe is also cursing them in hell at that very moment? You see, this doctrine is so evil that even carnal human nature rebels at there being any reality to this damnable heresy. No, here is the reality: God wants us to love our loved ones and love our enemies, because we are growing into His image, and God loves our loved ones and He also loves His and our enemies. You cannot show your love to your enemies by torturing them, and neither can God! Am I going to fast for anyone?

Just this week, again, I heard John Hagee parrot his little phrase something to the effect: "You say you don’t believe in hell? Well it’s still there and YOU’RE GOING"! The camera then zoomed in on a lady who smiled and gave out a laugh! They think that making a big joke out of being tortured in fire for all eternity is funny? INHUMAN TORTURE IS FUNNY?

His statement was intended to elicit laughter—hence the quick response by the cameraman to the reaction of the audience. Some of these heretics will be laughing out of the other side of their face one of these days, and it won’t be a pretty picture.

"And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searches the reins and hearts [one cannot have the mind and spirit of Christ and yet think it a fair and just thing to torture people for all eternity]: and I give unto every one of you according to your works, But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as HAVE NOT this doctrine, and which HAVE NOT known the depths of Satan, as they [the teachers and preachers] speak; I will put upon you NONE other burden" (Rev. 2:23-24).

And so the modern Church is filled with the depths of Satan and his evil doctrines, but of the "depths of God," precious little is taught. The doctrines that are Scriptural, such as the fact that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the whole world, and that God will save the whole world, and all that God has created is here for the express purpose of training humanity to becomes sons and daughters of God, in the very image of God, are not taught in most churches.

Jesus Christ will not judge the Church for all the good things that they do, but for their INIQUITY!

"Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven. MANY will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils [demons]? And in Thy name done MANY WONDERFUL WORKS? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye [ye means ‘ALL of you’] that work INIQUITY [lawlessness]" (Matt. 7:21-23).

What is more "lawless" than the teaching of "free will?" It contradicts all the laws of physics in the universe. Nothing happens without a cause. The cause of all is God. But the wisdom of men says that man can make uncaused choices. Therefore man can choose to save himself or he can choose to send himself to eternity in hell. The decision is his and not God’s.

Human free will sovereignty is the ultimate example of lawlessness. Plus, it contradicts God and His Word in hundreds of places. We don’t choose Christ; Christ chooses us. We can’t come to God unless and until He draws [drags] us to Christ. We have no faith of our own—it is a gift of God. No man seeks after God. No man is good. Without Christ we can do nothing. It is God Who even causes us to will in the first place. And yet, the Christian Church has a doctrine of "free" will which contradicts all of these plain teachings of the Bible.

So when we begin to see these grand Truths, we desire to fellowship with others who also see and believe these marvelous Truths of God. Which church should we attend?

WHERE SHOULD I GO TO CHURCH?

Maybe the most frequently asked question that I have received over the past three years since we started this web site is this (I will try to paraphrase dozens into just one question):

Dear Ray:

Since coming to your site and learning so many Truths of God right in our own Bible, we believe that we are only getting at best, the milk of the word and not the meat, at our local Holier Than Thou Church of the Self Righteous. Could you tell me where there is a church that doesn’t teach or require: tithing our salaries, belief in a trinity, mumbling in unintelligible gibberish, observing the physical Sabbath day, falling on one’s back and shaking violently while foaming at the mouth, the imminent anticipation of a (to hell with everybody -- let’s get out of here and save our own necks) secret rapture, a do-nothing heaven of singing gospel rock, eating chocolate and sweets at The Big Rock Candy Mountain, participating in heaven’s most popular spectator sport of watching our unfortunate children fry in hell, and other such unscriptural teachings? We live in Deception City, but we would be willing to drive many miles to meet with believing brothers and sisters of like mind. Can you tell us where we can find such a church?

Desperate for fellowship,

David and Wilma Jones

MY LAST DAY OF CHURCH

I usually tell them that I am in the same position as they. My last encounter with an institutionalized church of men was rather interesting. About ten years ago, for a number of Sundays, I attended a very large Baptist church near my home in Miami. There were a number of reasons why I did this. I wanted to see firsthand what is being taught in mainstream Christianity, and I wanted to see if anyone was truly interested in the real Gospel of Jesus Christ. The pastor seemed above average in his knowledge of the Bible. He held a Bible Study in the chapel before the regular Sunday service. Sometimes he came very close to teaching something that is actually Biblical. I got to know him a little, and once related to him that I believe all that happens is part of God’s plan, even if it involves evil. He ridiculed the whole idea.

On one particular Sunday, the pastor approached me, and I guess I was a little teary-eyed. He asked if there was a problem. I said that I was sad because my only son, Blake, who was born on my birthday, died recently, and the reason I was so emotional was because this Sunday was our birthday. He remarked: "Well, I thought you believe that everything that happens is part of God’s plan, and you ought to be happy about it?" I assured him that it was part of God’s plan, and at the same time thought to myself, "I’m out of here!" How insensitive! I have never gone "to church" again. I probably had already overstayed my welcome anyway.

It was enjoyable to sing hymns with a full live orchestra. But once one matures spiritually, there are other "Hymns" that one can sing in spirit to God.

But back to the question: "Where does one attend church where heresy is exposed and the Truths of God are taught?

This will continue to be an enigma to thousands until they learn that there are two aspects of "The Church." One is physical and the other is spiritual: One is for babes and the other for the mature. I will show you the difference, and why they are both necessary for our spiritual development.

CHRIST AND THE SYNAGOGUES

"And when He [Jesus] was departed thence, He went into their synagogue… Then said He [Jesus] stretch forth your hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole… Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against Him [Jesus] how they might destroy Him" (Matt. 12:9, 13, & 14).

"And when He [Jesus] was come into His own country, He taught them in the synagogue… And they were offended in Him" (Matt. 13:54 & 57).

"…and He [Jesus] went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read… And ALL they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath [rage], And rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong [over the cliff]…" (Luke 4:16b, 28-29).

Does anyone believe that Jesus enjoyed Sabbath services in the Synagogues? Jesus didn’t go to the synagogues to worship God: Jesus worshiped God twenty-four hours a day, every day. Jesus didn’t go to the synagogues to have a good time. Jesus when to the synagogues to teach the truths of God! And many hated Him for it.

STEPHEN AND THE SYNAGOGUE

"Then there arose certain of the synagogue… And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he [Stephen] spake. Then they suborned [bribed] men which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God" (Acts 6:9-11).

PAUL AND THE SYNAGOGUES

"And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews… And when there was an assault [violent attempt] made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them" (Acts 14:1 & 5).

"…they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures… But the Jews which believed not. Moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd [evil] fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company [mob], and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted [attacked] the house of Jason…" (Acts 17:1 & 5).

"And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks… Paul was pressed [compelled] in the spirit and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads, I am clean: from henceforth I will go to the Gentiles" (Acts 18:4-6).

"And he [Paul] went in to the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spoke evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them…" (Acts 19:8-9).

CHRIST PROPHESIES REGARDING THE SYNAGOGUES

"But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge [severely beat] you in their synagogues" (Matt. 10:17).

Jesus repeats this unbelievable prophecy:

"Wherefore, behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues…" (Matt. 23:34).

"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time comes that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service" (John 16:2).

From the above Scriptures it would appear that the synagogues housed some rather dubious and evil men. And for sure that is true. However, there were also those who did listen to Jesus, the Apostles, and Paul in the synagogues, and turned to God. In some cities such as Thessalonica, there were large numbers both of men and women, Jews, Hellenists, and Gentiles. And so it was good for those whom God called that they were in the synagogues to hear the Truths of God preached. And just as the synagogues served a purpose historically, the churches of Jesus Christ have served a purpose down through the centuries, continue doing so today, as well as into the future.

THE FUNCTION OF THE SYNAGOGUE

Was there one overall purpose carried out in all of those many ancient synagogues in Judea and other parts of the Roman Empire? Yes, there was.

"For Moses of old time has in every city them that preach him [Moses], being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day " (Acts 15:21).

By "Moses" is meant the "books of Moses," the "Law of Moses," and the "Religion of Moses." And one other purpose for the synagogue and temple,

"My house shall be called of all nations the House of Prayer…" (Mark 11:17).

But the truth of the matter was, that they had already "…made it a den of thieves." We also saw in a previous installment that this "den of thieves" continues on in the Church today.

Paradoxically, hundreds of millions of dollars collected by the fraudulent vehicle of tithing, is invested by many large denominations into such manufacturing as the Defense Industry. And whereas our Lord instructed us to "LOVE your enemies," the Church helps finance weapons of human destruction! Do you ever think about these things?

Now then, is "Moses" still taught in the churches of God, today? Yes, of course he is. The Law of Moses is virtually worshiped by many in the Church. Many believe that observing the seventh day Sabbath is the identifying sign that sets them apart as the only true believers and followers of God. They even make granite idols of the Ten Commandments and bow themselves down to them. I saw them with my own eyes on national television at the courthouse steps in Birmingham, Alabama. While they were removing this Ten Commandment Monument, one man was heard crying out, "You are taking away OUR GOD!"

Today’s Church teaches Moses and Christ. Nearly every person on earth that has ever heard of Christ has heard of Him through the Church. Can a deceived Church, "Teach Christ?" Well, they can, and they do. Is this a good thing? Yes, it is, even if their motives are not always perfect. Notice what Paul said regarding this:

"Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence or in truth, CHRIST IS PREACHED; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice" (Phil. 1:15-18).

But do they teach the truth regarding the gospel, grace, faith, resurrection, judgment, and a dozen other paramount doctrines? Well, not too well. One of the most simple and profound proofs that the Church is not teaching consistently and Scripturally on these subjects is conclusively proved by the very fact that there are so many hundreds of disagreeing denominations in Christendom. How are individual untrained truth-seekers supposed to believe all that a particular church denomination teaches when the educated trained leaders of these denominations cannot even agree among themselves as to what is Truth?

Regardless of what our particular denominational bent might be, I hope that we can all agree that Paul and the Apostles had the Truth. Although I know of quite a number of believers around the world who believe that Peter and Paul were virtually enemies to each other. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Did new converts to Christ continue to attend synagogues to be edified in their new-found-faith? NO! They were persecuted in the synagogues! They left the synagogues. They left the mother Church. Remember our lesson where Jesus said, "I will build My church..." (Matt. 16:18). Jesus didn’t say that He would purify or purge the existing Church. No, Jesus built a New Church—His Church, "MY Church" Jesus called it.

And so it was in the religion of Judaism that the people learned of God and the Law of Moses. But when they learned of the gospel of Jesus Christ, they were forced to "COME OUT OF HER…"

When we read the history of the Apostles in the book of Acts, they and their new converts to Jesus did not continue to worship Jesus in the synagogues. They now began to meet among themselves and in private homes. Paul’s habit was to go to the synagogues of whatever city he was evangelizing to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul did not go to these synagogues to worship Jesus Christ, but rather to teach that Jesus was the Christ. And those who were truly called of God left the synagogues and met with believers of like mind in private homes.

It is true that the Apostles continued for a time to go up to the Temple (not the local synagogues), but they were warned under threat of death that they should discontinue teaching in the Temple. But Peter, who denied Christ three times just weeks earlier, now spoke fearlessly:

"And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to TEACH AND PREACH Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:42).

THE CHURCH OF GOD IN PRIVATE HOUSES

There was a transition period where the disciples still went up to the temple, but God’s intimate dealings would now be found in more humble surroundings. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the first Saints of Jesus, it was not in a synagogue, but in a house:

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all THE HOUSE where they were sitting" (Acts 2:1-2).

Church services were held in houses:

"Likewise greet the church that is in their house" (Rom. 16:5).

"The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house" (I Cor. 16:19).

"Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house´ (Col., 4:15).

"Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, and to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in your house" (Philemon 1-2).

When we come to the famous Jerusalem Conference in the fifteenth chapter of Acts, we read that Paul and Barnabas were "…being brought on their way by the CHURCH…" (Acts 15:3). This is the Church of Jesus Christ, not the church of the synagogue system. Notice that in this conference their determination was to not force the Law of Moses on new Gentile converts:

"Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with THE WHOLE CHURCH…" (Acts 15:22).

The High Priests did not attend this conference. This was the first ‘ecumenical counsel,’ if you will, of the Church of Jesus Christ, consisting of only those who believed, who formulated policy which would be binding on the whole church.

The Jews had "synagogues"—church buildings. The newly converted Christians came out of those synagogue church buildings and their doctrines, and met in homes. Why? Mostly because Christ was not taught or tolerated in these synagogues. In order to worship and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, it became necessary to "come out of her"—the synagogue system of religion.

Jesus Christ, the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the followers of Jesus Christ were hated and despised by most leaders of most synagogues. Do we think that anything has changed regarding this in today’s churches? If Jesus Christ returned to virtually any Christian church in the world today, unrecognized in a business suit, and began teaching His own Gospel, the leaders of the churches would throw Him out. And I say this without the least hesitation as to what the implications of my statement are.

THE MILK BUT NOT THE MEAT

The "DEPTHS of God" in Christ Jesus are not tolerated in the Church today. They may teach the name of Jesus. They may teach that Jesus died for you. They may teach that there is forgiveness of sins in Jesus. They may teach that Jesus ONLY is your Saviour. But is the teaching of "Christ crucified" the "DEPTHS of God"? No, it is not. Paul did teach the Corinthians about "Christ crucified" (I Cor. 1:23). Paul also admitted that this was merely the "milk and not meat [solid food]" (I Cor. 3:2). The Corinthians had the "milk of God’s word," but this did not make them spiritual. Notice what Paul says:

"For ye [Gk: ‘ye’ means, all of you] are yet CARNAL" (Verse 3).

And what does it mean to be "carnal"? Answer:

"For to be CARNALLY MINDED IS DEATH (Rom. 8:6)!

Paul DID NOT; Paul COULD NOT, teach the Corinthians (and others) the "meat" of God’s word, because, "ye are yet carnal." Am I going too fast for anyone? Are you looking up these Scriptures that I am presenting? Have I misrepresented anything that Paul has written for "OUR admonition upon which the ends of the world are come" (I Cor. 10:11)? The Church as a whole has never understood the deep and spiritual things of God! Only "The FEW"—the "called" and "chosen"—"the ELECT."

The Galatian congregation was equally carnal to those of the Corinthian congregation. Paul asks them:

"Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect [mature] by the FLESH? " (Gal. 3:3).

They had a "first love," but they "LEFT thy first love" (Rev. 2:4). I, and everyone that I know, have sometime in their life, "LEFT their first love." If you have never "left your first love," I have serious doubts as to whether you ever had a first love. It is the natural progression of our maturing, according to the Scriptures.

I received an email this week from someone who said that I both slander and call Jesus a liar when I teach that He will not torture people for all eternity for their sins. How much of the Gospel of Jesus Christ do you suppose his church would tolerate from me before throwing me out on my ear?

DOES JESUS RESIDE AND DWELL IN THE CHURCH?

Does not Jesus dwell and reside in the Seven Churches of God mentioned in the Book of Revelation? Actually, He does not. Let’s read it:

"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things says He that holds the seven stars in his right hand, who WALKS in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks" (Rev. 2:1).

Jesus Christ "walks" in the midst of the churches—He does not dwell there; He does not reside there; He does not have His throne there. But someone else does:

SATAN has his "seat [Greek: ‘throne’]" in the Churches (Rev. 2:13)

SATAN "dwells" in the Churches (Rev. 2:13).

SATAN still has his "synagogue" in the Churches (Rev. 2:9 & 3:9).

SATAN’S "depths" of doctrinal evils are in the Churches (Rev. 2:24).

It is Satan who has his "throne" in the Churches--the Throne of Jesus Christ is in Heaven with His Father (Rev. 3:21), not in the church. He is not enthroned in the Church; He merely "walks" in the Churches.

CHRISTIANS DID NOT GATHER TO WORSHIP GOD IN THE SYNAGOGUES

"Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you is Christ. And some of them, believed… But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy… and assaulted the house of Jason…" (Acts 17:1-5).

When Paul later writes to these saints in Thessalonica, does he address them as "The synagogue of the Thessalonians?" Hardly:

"Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto The Church of the Thessalonians, which is IN GOD the Father and IN the Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thes. 1:1).

Were the saints in Judea gathering to worship in the synagogues?

"For you, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are IN Christ Jesus…" (I Thes. 2:14).

A FEW DEFINITIONS

"Synagogue" [Greek: sunagoge means "an assemblage of people, a gathering place for the Jews"

"Church" [Greek: ekklesia] means "a calling out."

"Called" [Greek: kletos] means "invited." The word called is found over six hundred times in Scripture, but the word kletos appears only about a dozen times in Scriptures and always refers to those whom God has invited.

"Chosen" [Greek: eklektos] means "select, chosen out; by implication favorite."

Translated "chosen" sixteen times and "elect" seven times.

Can we not easily see the progression in how God uses these words? God first GATHERS all His people—there was a synagogue in every city. He then CALLS OUT a people (a church) from that huge gathering, and many others from among the Gentiles. He then INVITES many of the called out ones (from the Church) to be His True Followers. But in the end only those whom God SELECTS OUT of the INVITED, of the CALLED OUT, from the gathering of the whole ASSEMBLY will be in the First Resurrection to reign with Christ in the Kingdom of God. And thus we start with a huge number and end up with but a "FEW"! "For MANY are called [‘invited’ from the ‘called out’ church], but FEW are chosen" to reign with Christ as Judges, Priests, Lords, and Kings. (Matt. 22:14).

"But Ray, are you telling us that if we should be chosen from among the invited ones in the called out church, that we are no longer a member of the Church?"

I was hoping some one would ask that question. For most of Church history, clergymen have been trying to materialize away things that are spiritual. And then in their spiritual ignorance, they accuse God’s servants of spiritualizing away things that are supposedly literal and physical. Never mind the fact that it is impossible to "spiritualize away" material things. Material things pass away on their own, whereas spiritual things never pass away.

TO WHICH CHURCH DO I BELONG?

When asked, "Ray, which church do you attend, what denomination do you belong to?" I always give them the same answer as I will now give you. I tell them that I am not a member of, neither do I attend any institutionalized church of men and that includes all the Churches of Christendom.

I am a member of: "The Body of Christ—The Church of the Living God."

Yet if I were invited to any church to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I would gladly go! I do not, however, hold my breath waiting for such invitations. How I would love to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ right behind these televangelists after they have delivered their Sunday message.

The Church is an assembly of "called out" people. Within the Church there are then, the ‘called’ and the ‘chosen’—the ‘invited’ and the ‘selected.’ Remember my analogy of a screen test—many are called to try out, but only the few are chosen to actually perform.

The giant difference between the physically called of God and the spiritually Chosen of God is that the first are immature babes, and the second are spiritually mature sons—having the mind of Christ. The physical Church knows Christ only "after the flesh." The carnal believe that Jesus Christ was "crucified" for them—which is true. But the mature know by experience that, "I am crucified WITH Christ." The carnal-minded Christians "will be saved," but they will not be in the first resurrection, nor will they reign with Jesus Christ as the manifest sons and daughters of God in the Kingdom of God throughout the oncoming ages.

Our Apostle Paul did not teach in vain that,

"For if we would JUDGE OURSELVES, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world" (I Cor. 11:31-32).

This is the reality of the "overcomer." Anyone going through very severe trials, problems, tribulation, judgment, chastening, and scourging is considered by the Church to be a gross sinner under a curse. Yet what does God’s Word tell us:

"For whom the Lord loves He CHASTENS, and SCOURGES every son whom He receives" (Heb. 12:6).

Do we think this Scripture lies? If God calls you to be a son, then He will SCOURGE you. There are absolutely no exceptions and there is absolutely no way around these Scriptures. I have heard professing Christians of 70 years confess that they never suffered persecution a day in their life. One remarked how lucky we are to live at this time and in this country where people no longer persecute Christians. Unbelievable.

"Yea, and all that will live godly [devoutly] in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution" (II Tim. 3:12).

These verses of Scripture do not conveniently go away or disappear just because we have already read them ten or twenty years ago. But you say, "I do live godly in Christ Jesus, but I am not persecuted." Oh really? Perhaps you have overlooked a thing or two. Do you love your enemies? Or do you love your army whom you applaud for killing your enemies? Do you turn the other cheek when someone does your wrong, or do you call your attorney and have him sued? Do you believe and teach that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, or do you believe and teach that most of the world is going to hell? Do you no longer have a "lust of the flesh, and lust of the eyes, and a pride of life," or are these the very things that dominate most of your time? It is futile to profess Christ without living godly in Christ!

CHRIST AFTER THE FLESH VERSUS CHRIST AFTER THE SPIRIT

"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after [according to] the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, YET NOW HENCEFORTH KNOW WE HIM NO MORE [after the flesh]" (II Cor. 5:1).

"Therefore if any man be IN Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW" (II Cor. 5:17)!

How many Christians believe that "IN Christ" we are a NEW creation and that ALL the old things have passed away and that ALL things are become NEW? How many pastors teach the NEW Covenant?

Christians sing: "Give me that OLD TIME religion—it’s good enough for me."

There was an OLD covenant, and now there is a NEW covenant. Do you know what the NEW COVENANT is? Theologians teach that the New covenant is keeping the OLD covenant, BETTER! That is unscriptural nonsense! They teach that we are to keep the law of Moses, BETTER, and we will fulfill the NEW testament.

Is the New Covenant patterned according to the Old Covenant? Let’s read it:

"For finding fault with them, He says, Behold, the days come says the Lord, when I will make a NEW covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah [he is a JEW who is circumcised in his heart and spirit, Rom. 2:29]: NOT ACCORDING TO THE COVENANT that I made with their fathers…" (Heb. 8:8-9).

So then, is the NEW covenant "according" or "NOT according" to the Old covenant?

Then why does the Church continue making the Old Covenant binding on Christians?

Christendom is attempting to believe in the New Covenant, while at the same time trying to live in the Old Covenant. This can’t be done. In fact, Jesus sternly warned against attempting to do such a contradictory and damaging endeavor:

"And He [Jesus] spoke also a parable unto them [the Pharisees]: No man puts a piece of new garment upon an old: if otherwise, then both the new makes a rent [tear], and the piece that was taken out of the new agrees not with the old [‘NOT according with the covenant which I made with their fathers (the OLD Covenant, Heb. 8:9)]. And no man puts new wine into old bottles [wineskins]; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish [be RUINED]. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desires new; for he says, The OLD is better" (Luke 5:36-39).

This is a parable! Jesus is speaking of the Old and New Covenants. We cannot, we dare not, try to put the old with the new. BOTH WILL BE RUINED! Why don’t we believe Jesus? We can’t put the Old and the New together. And true to Jesus’ words, when people come into a knowledge of the New Covenant, they PREFER THE OLD BETTER!

Did you also notice that when we put these two covenants in their proper places (the Old is for babes to bring them to Christ, while the new is for those maturing into Sonship), that they are BOTH PRESERVED? Yes, both are preserved, but only if we don’t MIX THEM. Could anything be clearer.

The "Chosen" live by the New Covenant: The "Called" try to live by the New and the Old Covenants. They have never learned this simple lesson: "No servant can serve TWO masters…" (Luke 16:13). The two covenants are not even in "according" with one another—they are not to be "unequally yoked together," seeing that they are not equal. If you want to be a New Testament Christian, then you need to learn and know what the New Testament is all about.

THE OLD COVENANT VERSUS THE NEW COVENANT

Here is the most concise Scriptural description of the Old and New Testament that I can give you:

"For the Law was given by Moses [that would be the OLD Covenant], but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ [that would be the NEW Covenant]" (John 1:17).

Law is good, but grace and truth is better. Grace and truth is a much more demanding and much higher calling. If you aspire to be among the "chosen" you must learn what the New Covenant really is. Here is a chart I prepared for a paper on The Law, which shows some of the many differences between the Old and the New Covenants—between Moses and Jesus:

Old Mosaic Covenant

New Spiritual Covenant

OLD Covenant…II Cor. 3:14

NEW Covenant…II Cor. 3:6

FIRST Covenant…Heb. 8:7,9:1

SECOND Covenant…Heb. 8:7,10:1-9

Came by Moses…John 1:17

Came by Christ…Heb. 8:6,9:15

Law of God in STONE…II Cor. 3:3

Law of God in HEART…Heb. 10:16

Law of MOSES…Acts 13:38-39

Law of CHRIST…Gal. 6:2

Law of the flesh…Rom. 7:5-6

Law of the SPIRIT…Rom. 8:2

NOT of faith…Gal. 3:2

Law of FAITH…Rom. 3:27

Yoke of BONDAGE…Gal. 5:1

Law of LIBERTY…James 1:25

Law of SIN…Rom. 7:5-6

Law of RIGHTEOUSNESS…Rom. 9:30-31

Law of DEATH…II Cor. 3:7

Law of LIFE…Gal. 3:11, 6:8

Christ removes OLD…Heb. 10:9

Christ enacted the NEW…Heb.10:9

A SHADOW…Col. 2:14-17

The REALITY…Heb. 10:1-18

FULFILLED…Matt. 5:17-18

NOW IN FORCE…Heb. 8:6,10:9

Priesthood CHANGED…Heb. 7:12

UNCHANGEABLE Priesthood…Heb. 7:24

MANY sacrifices…Heb. 9:12-13

ONE sacrifice for sin…Heb. 10:12

IMPERFECT…Heb. 7:19

PERFECT…Heb. 7:19

Blood of ANIMALS…Heb. 9:19

Blood of CHRIST…Matt. 26:28

Circumcision…Ex. 12:48

Uncircumcision…Rom. 4:9-12

WORKS of law…Gal. 3:10

NOT of works but GRACE…Eph. 2:8

REMEMBERS sins…Heb. 10:3

FORGETS sins…Heb. 10:17

YEARLY atonement…Heb. 10:3

PERMANENT atonement…Heb. 10:4

SINFUL priests…Heb. 5:3

SINLESS priest…Heb. 7:26

AARONIC priesthood…Heb. 7:11

MELCHISEDEC priest…Heb. 5:5-10

MANMADE tabernacle…Heb. 8:5

HEAVENLY tabernacle…Heb. 8:2,11

Out of LEVI…Heb. 7:11

Out of JUDAH…Heb. 7:14

WEAK, UNPROFITABLE…Heb. 7:18

POWER of ENDLESS LIFE…Heb. 7:16

NO inheritance…Rom. 4:13

ETERNAL inheritance…Heb. 9:15

Sacrifice of ANIMALS…Heb. 9:13

Sacrifice of CHRIST…Heb. 9:28

Purified the FLESH…Heb. 8:13

Purged the CONSCIENCE…Heb. 8:14

PRODUCES wrath…Rom. 4:15

SAVES from wrath…Rom. 5:9

Perfected NOTHING…Heb. 7:19

Perfects BELIEVERS…Heb. 10:14

NO MERCY…Heb. 10:28

COMPLETE MERCY…Heb. 8:12

NO justification…Acts 13:39

BELIEVERS justified…Acts 13:39

BRINGS a curse…Gal. 3:10

REDEEMS from curse…Acts 3:13

ABOLISHED…II Cor. 3:13

CONTINUES IN GLORY…II Cor. 3:11

Brought DEATH…II Cor. 3:7

Brought RECONCILIATION…II Cor. 5:18

ISRAEL ONLY…Deut. 4:7-8,5:3

ALL MANKIND…Mark 14:24, II Cor. 5:14-19

This chart by no means exhausts all the differences between the Old and New Covenants. Can you not see how totally different the New is from the Old? As God’s Word says, the New Covenant is, "NOT ACCORDING to the covenant that I made with their fathers…" (Heb. 8:9). When will we believe God instead of the traditions of men? I hope that you will not just look at this chart, but look up every Scripture and read it for yourself.

If you believe in Jesus Christ, you are in the Church. But if you are in Christ Jesus, then you are no longer in the physical carnal church, but in God’s spiritual Church—the very Body of Christ. Let me assure you on the authority of all the Sacred Scriptures that carnal [enmity filled hatred] minded Christians are not members of the spiritual body of Christ. Jesus Christ is preparing a "bride"—a VIRGIN bride. Our Lord will not marry a whore or prostitute.

A TALE OF TWO JERUSALEM'S

"Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is NEW JERUSALEM…" (Rev. 3:12).

What is this "New Jerusalem?" It is a "Mother." Mothers are women who have given birth to children. We have all been birthed by a physical woman—a mother. In order to be "born again," we must be birthed by a spiritual mother. And just who is that spiritual mother?

"For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage [through the DEPTHS of Satan] with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is THE MOTHER OF US ALL" (Gal. 4:25-26).

Our spiritual mother is Jerusalem above. Don’t be deceived by the phrase, "…of us ALL," seeing that Paul himself puts a disclaimer at the end of chapter 5 showing specifically who the "all" includes here:

"For IN Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a NEW CREATURE [creation]. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the [spiritual] Israel of God" (Gal. 5:15-16).

And what is this "rule" that Paul is speaking of? Why those who are living by the spirit, and not the flesh and letter of the Law of Moses. Those who live by the "Law of the SPIRIT" which is what the New Covenant is all about.

"LOVE your enemies!"

"Love NOT the world, neither the things that are in the world"

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life!

"I am crucified WITH Christ!"

These are the spiritual laws of the New Covenant. They are far superior to the laws of Moses under the Old Covenant.

MOUNT SINAI AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE BONDAGE

Paul tells us how Abraham had two sons—one was born of a bondwoman after the flesh, and the other born of a freewoman by promise. Paul says,

"which things are an allegory: for these ARE THE TWO COVENANTS; the one from the Mount Sinai [Mt Sinai is where the Ten Commandments and Laws of Moses were given. What is Gods attitude toward the Laws of Moses, the ten commandments, the Old Covenant—‘Mt. Sinai’?] which genders [gives birth] to BONDAGE, which is Agar" (Gal. 4:24).

Notice how this whole Mosaic, Ten Commandment, Old Covenant, Mt. Sinai system is categorized:

"For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in BONDAGE with her children" (Verse 25).

"But Jerusalem which is above [spiritual Jerusalem] is FREE, which is the mother of us all… Nevertheless what says the scripture? CAST OUT the bondwoman AND her son [her children, Ver. 25]: for THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREEWOMAN" (Gal. 4:26 & 30).

And I believe we all understand that what being "heir" to, is the Kingdom of God.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE FOR THE MOSAIC LAW?

Can boys become men on their mother’s milk? Neither can men become spiritually mature on things of childhood. Paul said when he was a child, he thought and acted as a child, but when he became a man, he said he put away childish things. The Christian Church today refuses to put away childish things. Here is the purpose for the Law of Moses in the Church:

"Wherefore the law was [it was not past tense for Paul because he had matured] our schoolmaster [Gk: tutor or guardian] to BRING US UNTO CHRIST, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come [faith HAS now come] we are NO LONGER under a schoolmaster [the law of Moses]" (Gal. 3:24-25).

How is it that all the educated theologians with all their PhD’s can’t understand this simple analogy. The law—the law of Moses, was our "schoolmaster." It WAS, it isn’t any more. Why not? Because mature adults are no longer children. We have all had schoolmaster in our youth. We were under them, subject to them, disciplined by them, taught by them. I am now 62 years old. Am I still under my grade school teachers? Of course not. Do I, however, try to remember the things I learned from my teacher? Why yes, of course. But as a man I am now subject to higher authorities. A person will never acquire a college degree if he never gets out of grade school.

What happens to those who are so foolish as to think that they should remain forever in grade school under a tutor/schoolmaster?

"Now I say, That the heir [the potential, prospective, heir to the kingdom of God in the first resurrection], as long as he is A CHILD [wants to remain a minor under the Old Covenant Law of Moses] differs NOTHING FROM A SERVANT, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors UNTIL the time appointed of the father" (Gal. 4:1-2).

Do you follow this? An heir to the Kingdom of God, as long as he does not mature, will never inherit his Father’s Kingdom, but is in no better position that a "servant" who will never be heir to his master’s household! Let them who have ears to hear, HEAR. You cannot mature on mother’s milk. The Church furnishes mother’s milk to children and corrupts their minds with "the DEPTHS of Satan." We must "come out of her" if we are to be God’s people.

NOT FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES TOGETHER

In Hebrews 10:25 were are admonished as follows:

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching."

That this is speaking of believers congregating together to worship and study God’s Word, there can be no doubt. However, there is a much deeper meaning to this "assembling" that few have ever seen. I never saw it myself until I read a paper by J. Preston Eby, entitled: "FORSAKE NOT THE ASSEMBLING."

I will quote an excerpt or two from his paper:

"The Greek word for ‘assembling’ is EPISUNAGOGE. The word, literally, is a verb meaning to synagogue. It is a compound of the Greek prefix EPI with the word SUNAGOGE from which we get our transliterated English word Synagogue. EPI means super – imposition – that which is above, higher than, highest, upon. SUNAGOGE means a meeting, assembly, or gathering. Putting these two words together, EPI-SUNAGOGE means THE ABOVE SYNAGOGUE, THE HIGHER MEETING, THE HIGHEST ASSEMBLY, THE HIGHER-THAN-ALL-GATHERINGS!

It bespeaks of something far greater than merely collecting so many breathing bodies together in one place.

It is a meeting in a higher realm, on a higher plane, in the high places of the Spirit, and in the heights of Truth. It is a gathering together in a dimension above. It indicates an assembling IN THE SPIRIT…"

(All Caps belong to Mr. Eby).

This Greek word episunagoge is used only one other time in Scripture, and that is in II Thes. 2:1:

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together [Gk: episunagoge] unto Him."

In Hebrews 10 we are admonished to "assemble" in an high meeting, a meeting in the SPIRIT! In II Thes. 2 this meeting in the Spirit will become a literal meeting with our Lord.

And so, back to our question once more: Which denomination should we join? Where should we go to Church? Where should we "forsake not the assembling of ourselves together?" In a physical building of some physical denomination? No. WE are to episunagoge (assemble) on a higher plane, in a higher realm, in a spiritual assembly, IN THE SPIRIT!

This is not something new. This is exactly what Jesus Christ taught regarding where and how we are to (go to church) worship God.

"The woman said unto Him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye [all the Jews] say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus said unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour comes, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the TRUE worshippers shall worship the Father in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit: and they that worship Him MUST worship in SPIRIT AND TRUTH" (John 4:19:24).

We have got to get out of the depths of Satan if we are to worship God in Spirit and Truth. The Church is filled with the depths of Satan. That is not the place to go to worship God in spirit and truth. Did Jesus go to the synagogues to worship His God?

"And when He [Jesus] had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart [Gk: ‘by Himself’] to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone" (Matt. 14:23).

Amazing, isn’t it. Jesus "assembled [Gk: episunagoge]" with His Father BY HIMSELF, ALONE. We can do the same. Not just on Sunday morning or Wednesday evening, with a crowd, in a building, but on every day of the week, and we can do it while we are ALONE.

How often church buildings and temples are referred to as "The House of God." This is nonsense. God does NOT dwell in houses, buildings, churches, or temples made with hands.

"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells NOT in temples made with hands."

And

"Howbeit the Most High dwells NOT in temples made with hands" (Acts 17:24 & 7:48).

How often Jerusalem is called, "The Holy City." People want to visit Jerusalem because they think it is HOLY GROUND. There is nothing holy about it. Constantly Satan’s ministers refer to Jerusalem as the Holy City, and how we should pray for "the peace of Jerusalem." Let me assure you that all of those prayers are going to go unanswered because, "…for the son of the bondwoman [Jerusalem that now is--under bondage] shall not be heir with the son of the free woman [Jerusalem which is above and free]" (Gal. 4:30b).

THE SEAT / THRONE AND DWELLING PLACE OF SATAN LOCATED

"And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" (Rev. 11:8).

That city wherein our Lord was crucified was JERUSALEM!

"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Rev. 14:8).

This great Babylonian city is JERUSALEM, not Rome, as many theologians believe.

When Peter referred to "the church that is at Babylon" he was referring to Jerusalem, not the ancient demolished city on the Euphrates River.

The Mother Church of Judaism (called, "the Mother of Harlots") was headquartered at Jerusalem, not the ancient city of Babylon, neither Rome.

When Peter wrote his epistles from Jerusalem, he knew he was living in the city Babylon.

Jerusalem personifies, Egypt, Sodom, and Babylon. It is from Jerusalem that the depths of Satan entered the Church. Satan’s throne "is, was, and will be" in Jerusalem. I will now present one final proof.

WHO IS ANTIPAS?

"I know your works and where you DWELL, even where SATAN’S SEAT [throne] is: and you hold fast My name, and have not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr [Gk: ‘witness’], who was slain among you, WHERE SATAN DWELLS" (Rev. 2:13).

But how do we know that this is Jerusalem, and not the literal city of Pergamos to whom this message is addressed?

Because God gives us the same proof as when He tells us that,

"their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, WHERE also our Lord was crucified" (Re. 11:8).

And "where" was that? Jerusalem.

Where ever "Antipas" was martyred, is where Satan dwells and has his throne. But just who is Antipas? "Antipas" is not translated. It is the same word in the Greek Manuscripts. It is a compound word: "antee" and "pas." Antee carries the meaning of being ‘in place of another,’ and pas is from pater meaning ‘father.’ And so Antipas is speaking of one who is here in the place of his father. Who might that be?

"I came forth FROM the Father…" (John 16:28).

"Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come FROM God, and went to God" (John 13:3).

"But now I go My way to Him that SENT ME..." (John 16;5).

"No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is IN THE BOSOM of the Father, he has declared [unfolded or revealed] Him" (John 1:18).

"Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I PROCEEDED FORTH AND CAME FROM God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me" (John 8:42).

"God… has in these last days SPOKEN UNTO US BY HIS SON…" (Heb. 1-1-2).

It is absolutely Scripturally clear that it is Jesus Christ who came "in the place of" His Father to reveal His Father to us. Jesus Christ is the Antipas.

The phrase "faithful martyr" is a proper translation, however the word translated "martyr" is from the Greek martus and is translated martyr only three times, but is translated "witness" twenty-nine times, for that is what its meaning is—a witness.

So Antipas, has come in the place of the Father. And Antipas is God’s faithful witness. And Who does the Scripture tell us is the "faithful witness" of God? Answer:

"And from JESUS CHRIST, Who IS THE FAITHFUL WITNESS…" (Rev. 1:5).

And Antipas, Jesus Christ, was martyred IN JERUSALEM. Satan’s throne and dwelling place is in JERUSALEM!

IN THE MIDST OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS

It is no coincidence that Jesus tells us in the first message to the first church that,

"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things says He that holds the SEVEN stars in His right hand, Who walks in the MIDST of the SEVEN golden candlesticks" (Rev. 2:1).

And whatever Jesus does, says, approves, condemns, admonishes, rewards, etc., to any ONE of the seven churches, He does to ALL Seven.

"And I will kill her children with death; and ALL the [seven] churches shall know that I am He which searches the reins [minds] and hearts [of ALL the seven churches]: and I will give unto every one [ALL seven churches] of you according to your works" (Rev. 2:23).

Can anything be clearer? These seven churches personify the strengths and weaknesses of ALL THE CHURCH, that "are, was, and will be."

Whatever Jesus speaks to any one church, He speaks to all the Churches through all generations of the Church of God. Have you noticed that God likens the Church throughout this church age to that of the "seven golden candlesticks" found in the holy place of the tabernacle and temple of God? There is much that can be learned from this physical furnishing that God likens to the Church. We see that there are seven churches, but they are a type of the seven candles of the lamp stand mentioned in the Old Testament:

"And he made the candlestick of pure gold… and six branches going out of the sides thereof… all of it was ONE beaten work of pure gold. And he made his SEVEN LAMPS …" (Exos. 37:17-24).

Notice carefully, the seven lamps which picture the seven churches of Revelation are all made of ONE piece of pure gold. The Seven Churches are ONE.

If you have ever seen a diagram of the Tabernacle, you know that the lamp stand was placed in the holy place between located between the courtyard and the holy of holies. First came the altar of burnt offering, then the holy place where the seven-candled lamp stand stood, and then the holy of holies. The picture again, is quite clear—in order to enter the holy of holies where the presence of God was found, one had to leave the holy place. One had to come out of the holy place in order to enter the holy of holies! The Seven Churches are not in the holy of holies. But we are now invited in to the very presence of God where the high priest only could previously enter once a year on the day of atonement.

Another point of interest that figures into the seven candlesticks is the fact that candles do not give very much light. For sure they do give light, but it is not very bright. They teach the candlelight of the gospel, but not the full sunlight, and certainly not full radiance of "The Father of Lights" (James 1:17), which can only be found in the holy of holies.

And although the Church has the milk of the word, they also have "the DEPTHS of Satan" in their "minds and hearts." It is but the remainder, the few, "the rest in Thyratira," and therefore, the rest in the seven churches, "which HAVE NOT this doctrine, and which HAVE NOT known [in their ‘minds and hearts’] THE DEPTHS OF SATAN."

Virtually all Christian Churches worldwide have within their doctrines, the depths of Satan. And that is why the cry goes out from God Almighty:

"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying ‘COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4).

Come out of… who? Who is the "her?" Her is a WOMAN. A woman in Scripture is a symbol for a CHURCH.

Who is to "come out?" Answer: "MY people." Where are they? In her, in the CHURCH. What Church? The MOTHER CHURCH. Who is the MOTHER CHURCH?

The church that appears to be so good, with good doctrines, and good teachings and spiritual appearing good works and righteousness, which in reality are abominations:

"And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto you the judgment of the GREAT WHORE that sits upon many waters [many nations of people]: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication [intimate religious/political/economic relationships], and the inhabitants of the earth have been made [spiritually] DRUNK with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of ABOMINATIONS and FILTHINESS of her FORNICATION: And upon her forehead [where WE should have the name of God our Father, Rev. 14:1, but this mother church has instead…] …a name written,

MYSTERY, BABYLON, THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev. 17:1-5).

So here is the worldwide mother church with her many catholic and protestant daughters, that sits upon many nations of people, holding a spiritual looking gold cup that when one partakes of it and drinks it down inside, it is really filled with, "abominations and filthiness"—instead of being the marvelous spiritual "DEPTHS of God" it is rather, "the DEPTHS of Satan.

We are not asked by God to "leave His Church," but rather to move from the carnal Jerusalem church under bondage to the spiritual Jerusalem church which is free. We certainly make every effort to fellowship with believers of like mind, but let us never forget where our true fellowship is.

"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ" (I John 1:3).

And we fellowship with God by assembling ourselves in the HIGHEST assembly, in a spiritual, heavenly assembly:

"But we are come unto [heavenly] mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect and to Jesus the mediator of the NEW COVENANT, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel" (Heb. 12:22-24).

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