THE LAKE OF FIRE - Part XII

GOD JUDGES THE WORLD IN A POND

 

WHENCE THE WORD LAKE?

Interesting word, this word "lake." The word lake in Rev. 19, 20, & 21 is "limen, which comes from Strong’s "[#3040--limen] (through the idea of nearness of shore); a POND (large or small) -- lake."

And the word limen means "a harbor—haven, the fair havens" (Strong’s Greek Dictionary, p. 151).

A pond? God judges the world in a pond? Yes, God judges every unrepentant, unbelieving, wicked person that has ever lived (billions and billions and billions of people) -- The WHOLE WORLD OF HUMANITY (who are not in the first resurrection)… in a pond. A pond of divine, purifying SPIRIT.

This word limen has the word "fair" before it in Acts 27:8, in the King James Version—the "fair havens." Other translations render this verse as "safe harbor." (My father helped build Safe Harbor Dam in Pennsylvania).

Is not even the definition of this word and its root, comforting? And so even in this most solemn setting of God’s judgment there is a hint of safety and security.

SAFETY AND SECURITY IN THE DIVINE LAKE OF FIRE

Perhaps one reason that God describes this place of judgment as a "pond" or "lake" rather than a "harbor" is because a lake is landlocked, thus preventing a return to the perilous winds and waves of the deep sea from which these occupants have figuratively come:

"And the SEA gave up the dead [spiritually dead people] which were in it…"

This is not speaking of the physical waters of the world’s oceans, however. Remember that just as the "lake of fire" is symbolic in Revelation, "the sea" is likewise symbolic. This is speaking of the SPIRITUALLY DEAD from the great sea of humanity, not the relatively few literal flesh souls who have unfortunately drowned to death in the oceans of the world. Many have also drowned in rivers and other waterways don’t you know.

The very reason that the "fair haven" of Acts 27:12

"…was not commodious [suitable] to winter in…" [is because of its position to the sea] "…the more [majority] part advised to depart thence also if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven [harbor] of Crete, and lies [opens] toward the south west and north west."

The American Bible Union Version translates this verse:

"was not well situated for wintering in…"

The Living Bible translates this verse:

"And since Fair Havens was an exposed harbor…"

ONLY GOD IS THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE SEA

Various nations in the past were called "the sovereignty of the sea" because of their great naval domination. But there is only one which is truly the Sovereignty of the sea, and that is God. Forty years ago I cut from a book and pasted into the inside cover of my Bible the following:

"O God, Thy sea is so great and my boat is so small."

This is really a parable of the salvation of the world. The "sea" in Scripture is a symbol for mankind, humanity—the sinning human race. Scripture often speaks of (1) the sea, (2) the earth, and (3) the heaven—the sea being the lowest, and the heaven being the highest.

Remember the Scriptural principle that first comes the physical and then the spiritual. There are many physical types in the Bible that represent spiritual realities.

God saved Noah and his family from the raging waves of the sea in an ark. When we come to understanding spiritual things, we will clearly see that the ark represents Christ. We also have examples of Jesus saving His disciples from the raging waves of the Sea [lake] of Galilee.

"And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was COVERED WITH THE WAVES [‘and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was already filling, Mk 4:37]: but He was asleep. And His disciple came to Him, and awoke Him, saying Lord, save us: WE PERISH. And He said unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!" (Matt. 8:23-27).

Does anyone have the slightest doubt that Jesus possesses the power to calm the sea? Is any man or group of men more powerful than the sea? Then why, oh why, do we allow theologians, clergymen, pastors, preachers, teachers and authors to tell us that Jesus Christ is POWERLESS TO CALM THE SEA OF HUMANITY? That man possesses a raging power of "free will" that even God Himself cannot and will not penetrate or calm? No, my friends, "…the winds and the sea OBEY HIM!"

On another occasion we read this:

"And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away… But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, TOSSED WITH WAVES" (Matt. 14:22-24).

In both cases Jesus SAVED His disciples from the raging waves of the sea.

JESUS CHRIST IS OUR COVERING

We just read where the Apostles were on a boat on the sea of Galilee and were, "…COVERED with waves…" I see another type here. What do the "raging waves of the sea" symbolize?

Jude tells us that, "filthy dreamers," who "defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities," "brute beasts," those who have "gone the way of Can," and are after "the error of Balaam," and those who "perished in the gainsaying of core," these are "spots in your feasts of charity … RAGING WAVES OF THE SEA…" (Jude 8-13).

Say, did you notice where these "filthy dreamers, brute beasts, raging waves of the sea" are located. That’s right—IN THE CHURCH. These evil people are eating right along with the rest in the Church’s "feasts of charity." These are those who, "say they are apostles [of Christ], and are not," and those who, "say they are Jews [spiritual Jews -- converted Christians], and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."

The disciples were literally "covered with waves" of the sea, but they were also covered with the "raging waves of the sea" spoken of in Jude, because they were, as yet, unconverted.

Actually, the Sea of Galilee is really a lake, also called, The Lake of Gennesar [et] and Lake Tiberias. Jesus Himself called Galilee a "lake" (Luke 8:22). Notice that the carnality of man symbolized in "covered with waves" (raging waves of the sea) needed salvation—"Lord save us, WE PERISH." What did Jesus become to His disciples at that very instant? Answer: "a covering shelter." Whereas they were covered by the raging waves of the sea, Jesus now became their "covering."

Jesus SAVED His disciples from the "raging waves of the sea that covered them," in the middle of the Sea [lake] of Galilee. But this was a literal physical event. They were not spiritually converted as yet, but this event pointed to just such a conversion of the spirit. Will not Jesus also become a "covering shelter" for others? If so, for whom, and for how many?

JESUS CHRIST IS THE COVERING SHELTER
OF THE WHOLE WORLD

"And He [Jesus] is the propitiation [Greek: hilasmos, signifies "an expiation, a means whereby sin is COVERED and remitted" Strong’, p. 121] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD" (1 John 2:2).

It may come as a surprise to realize that Jesus started His work of propitiation in a "lake"—the Lake of Galilee, and He will finish His work of propitiation in another lake, "the Lake of Fire."

In Romans 3:25 we read:

"Whom God has set forth to be a PROPITIATION through faith in His blood to declare His righteousness for the remission [passing over of] sins that are past, through the forbearance of God."

In Heb. 9:5 this same word hilcsterion (propitiatory) is used for the COVERING LID OF THE ARK. Jesus Christ IS the ark. When the disciples were "covered by the raging waves of the sea" Jesus Christ became their "covering," and (physically) SAVED THEM!

In Hebrew, "haven" comes from cowph, and it means "to COVER; a cove (as a sheltered bay, Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary p. 32).

Jesus not only "propitiates—COVERS," He IS the Covering, "…IS the Propitiation…" (I John 2:2). Likewise, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever," does not just "cover" IN the lake of fire: HE IS THE LAKE OF FIRE! Jesus Christ IS the Judge of the world, and the world is Judged not only BY Jesus Christ, but IN Jesus Christ.

These words and their meanings that God chooses for our understanding are not accidental coincidences. Every word of God is purified to perfectly fit its application:

"The WORDS of the Lord are PURE WORDS: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times" (Psalm 12:6).

Do any really believe that God wants to play just one more insane cruel joke on the majority of humanity which are supposedly destined to an eternity of torture in fire, by telling us that this insane pit of torture is going to take place in a SHELTERED PLACE OF SAFETY? Is God Almighty going to torture the majority of humanity in a place He jeeringly calls: a pond, a lake, a "SHELTERED PLACE OF SAFETY?"

It is true that, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God" (Heb. 10:31), but that does not negate the fact that there is also "safety, shelter, and covering" in God’s Divine Pond of Spiritual purifying FIRE.

FIRE IN THE LAKE

The lake of fire presents us with another enigma if taken literally. A literal lake is a body of water, not fire. We learned that the Divine purifying presence of God is in this lake in the form of spiritual brimstone. If it were water in the lake, we might conclude that those thrown into this lake are to be washed. The Bible does use water as a symbol of washing away our dirty sins. However, giant spiritual character flaws need more than washing, they need to be obliterated if they are "wood, straw, and stubble." And even the "gold, silver, and precious stones" need to be purged and purified if they are to be perfected.

One cannot wash away the impurities of the carnal mind any more than one can wash away the impurities in gold ore by water. It takes power, and heat, and the molecular separating qualities of fire to purify gold ore. And likewise, water has little effect on eliminating wood, straw, and stubble. But put fire to this same wood, straw, and stubble, and it will be obliterated, annihilated, eradicated, and exterminated.

This is the lesson we are to learn from God’s spiritual fire. Spiritual fire will purify good qualities to total perfection but will obliterate character flaws to total extinction. And so it is that God uses spiritual fire to produce the greatest possible good, not to cause the severest possible pain and torture.

GOD IS CALLING YOU
TO BE A PART OF HIS MARVELOUS PLAN

Here is God’s plan:

"And God said, Let us make man in OUR IMAGE…" (Gen. 1:26).

"Ye [‘ye’ means ‘all of you’] therefore shall BECOME [it’s a process] perfect even has your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48).

"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to BECOME [it’s a process] the SONS OF GOD…" (John 1:12).

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS OF GOD" (Rom. s8:14).

"The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the CHILDREN OF GOD: And if children, then heirs, HEIRS OF GOD and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also GLORIFIED TOGETHER. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature [and the whole creation] waits for the manifestation of THE SONS OF GOD" (Rom. 8:1618).

"And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For ye ARE the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell IN them, and walk IN them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them [‘my people’ Rev. 18:4] and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS, says the Lord Almighty" (II Cor. 6:16-18).

"But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the ADOPTION OF SONS. And because ye ARE SONS, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying Abba, Father. Wherefore you are no more a servant, but a SON; and if a SON, then an HEIR OF GOD through Christ" (Gal. 4:5-7).

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, THE SONS OF GOD, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (Phil. 2:15).

"For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing MANY SONS UNTO GLORY, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (Heb. 2:10).

"According as He has chosen us in Him before the disruption of the world, we to be holy and flawless in His sight, in love designating us beforehand for the place of A SON…" (Eph. 1:4, Concordant Literal New Testament).

"Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called THE SONS OF GOD: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not" (I John 3:1).

Now then, did God plan to call these sons? Did He have it all worked out in advance? Is there any chance of failure in bringing these Sons to glory? Let’s read it:

For whom He [GOD] did FOREKNOW, He also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to THE IMAGE [Remember Gen. 1:26—"Let us make man in OUR IMAGE…"] of HIS SON, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did PREDESTINATE, them He also CALLED; and whom He called, them He also JUSTIFIED: and whom He justified, them He also GLORIFIED" (Rom. 8:29-30).

It should be noted that the verbs in this verse are in the Greek aorist tense and should more properly be translated, PREDESTINATES, CALLS, JUSTIFIES, AND GLORIFIES. This is not a past and completed act only, but a continuous process into the future.

God is calling Sons and Daughters into Glory! All that He "foreknew" He will bring to fruition. But for what purpose? To roll ‘round heaven all day? To play harps and sing gospel music for all eternity? To glut ourselves on dainty foods like some fat monarch? What is God’s first order of the day when all these SONS of God are manifested? Just what will they do? Or will they do nothing? We read part of the answer in one of the Scriptures quoted above. Let’s read a little more. There is a GRAND CHALLENGE AND MARVELOUS WORK waiting to be accomplished by the manifested SONS OF GOD:

THE WORLD IS GROANING FOR IT KNOWS NOT WHAT

"For the earnest expectation of the creation waits FOR THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD" (Rom. 8:19).

Notice this verse in a few other translations:

"For the EAGER outlook of creation ARDENTLY awaits the revealing of the Sons of God" (The Emphasized New Testament).

"For the LONGING of the creation LOOKS EAGERLY for the time when [the glory of] the sons of God shall be revealed" (The Epistles of Paul by Conybeare).

"All creation is YEARNING, LONGING to see the manifestation of the sons of God" (The New Testament in Modern Speech).

Or the creation waits with EAGER LONGING for the revealing of the sons of God" (The Revised Standard Version).

"THE WHOLE WORLD IS ON TIPTOE to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own" (Phillips’ Translation).

To be sure, it is GOD Who is telling us that the whole creation is groaning in earnest expectation. It is groaning for it knows not what, but GOD KNOWS! In other words, God is telling US, who are growing in spiritual truths, what it is that the whole world and indeed the whole creation is in desperate need of—the saving power of the Sons of God. We ARE the BODY OF CHRIST! What Christ does, he DOES THROUGH US!

WHY? Why are they waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God? Of what value will these Sons be to them? We can see why the Sons themselves would want to be manifested as such with God their Father and Elder Brother Jesus Christ, but why would all the wicked humanity of the entire "CREATION" be "waiting in EARNEST expectation?" What in the world is taking place here?

The church teaches that after all the Sons and Daughters of God are in their glory, the rest of the world will be tortured eternally by real fire in a terrorist hellhole of hopeless doom (never mind the fact that God says "there will be NO MORE DOOM") (Rev. 22:3, Concordant Literal New Testament).

Seriously, when all the Sons and Daughters of God are manifested IN THEIR GLORY, why would the ENTIRE CREATION be awaiting this event with almost uncontrollable bated breath, excitement, and anticipation? WHY? What is it that the churches have never told you? What is God going to do with all these glorified Sons and Daughters?

You have heard enough lies, now let’s read God’s Truth. Here is one of the most profound and all-encompassing Scriptures in the entirety of the Bible:

"For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waits for THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD. For the creature [creation] was MADE subject to VANITY [‘…surely, EVERY MAN IS VANITY’-- Psalm 39:11], NOT WILLINGLY, but by reason of Him [GOD] Who has subjected the same in HOPE. Because the creature [creation] itself also shall be DELIVERED from the bondage of corruption [corruption includes DEATH] into THE GLORIOUS LIBERTY OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD. For we know that THE WHOLE CREATION GROANS AND TRAVAILS IN PAIN together until now" (Rom. 8:19-22).

WOW! Let me point out a few marvelous things in this verse. Notice the chronological order of things in this Scripture and see how it contradicts the terrible teaching of orthodox doctrine:

First the Sons of God are manifested or shown to be what they really are—SPIRITUAL SONS OF GOD (and DAUGHTERS—II Cor. 6:18)! No longer flesh and blood. No longer subject to the pulls of a carnal mind, but True Sons in the very IMAGE OF GOD and His Son, Jesus Christ.

But what happens next? What happens to all the rest of humanity who are not sons and daughters and are not saved? What will happen to them? Just why, pray tell, are they eagerly awaiting the manifestation of these Sons and Daughters? Of what value is the salvation and manifestation of the few chosen saints to those left behind who are not saved?

The Church teaches the world that the rest of humanity will be tortured for all eternity in the lake of fire. Is that true? Is that the purpose of the lake of fire is?

Next we read what the condition of the rest of humanity is, how they got that way, and what is the solution to the problem.

"For the creature [creation] was made subject to VANITY, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope" (Rom. 8:20).

God MADE man subject to vanity. God did not ask man’s permission to do this. God did it for His own wise purpose. But God is not a fiend that takes pleasure in the failures of weak humanity. God did not make man in a condition of vanity so that most of humanity would fail of the ideal, and God would then torture most of his creation eternally, when it was He Who created them weak and subjected them to every form of vanity in the first place. God created the whole creation subject to vanity. It is, therefore, God’s responsibility to get man out of this mess.

God supernaturally made a way for the "manifested Sons of God" to conquer the flesh and the carnal mind and be formed into the very image of God with the very mind of Christ! They will be no longer subject to vanity when they are manifested. They will be no longer subject to "the BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION." They will be FREE!

And it is they who will then FREE the rest of humanity from their bondage! What was the purpose for this subjection to vanity? So that they will eternally fail and God would eternally torture them for their failure? No! Let’s read it:

God has, "subjected the same IN HOPE" (Verse 20). Wait a minute, am I saying that all of humanity, who fail to be in the first resurrection and become the manifest Sons and Daughters of God, will nonetheless still have "hope?" Is there really hope for all the lost and unsaved? How can this be? Aren’t they going to be subjected to the "lake of fire?" Yes, but there is "hope" in the lake of fire. In fact, the lake of fire is their ONLY HOPE! They will not be eternally tortured just because they did not attain to the first resurrection, but will rather be "DELIVERED!" Let’s read it:

HOPE AND BLESSED ASSURANCE IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

"And as it is appointed unto men ONCE TO DIE, but after this THE JUDGMENT" (Heb. 9:27).

So all creation spoken of in Rom. 8 will ultimately die. And "after" death comes "judgment." Who is in charge of this judgment and when will it take place?

"Because He [God] has appointed A DAY, in which He will judge the world [how?] IN RIGHTEOUSNESS [eternal torture is NOT righteousness] by THAT MAN Whom He has ordained [‘For the Father judges no man, but has committed ALL judgment unto the Son,’ John 5:22]; whereof He has given ASSURANCE unto ALL MEN [Gee, could this ‘assurance to ALL men … in the WORLD" be the same as the ‘hope for all creatures in ALL CREATION’ that we just read about in Rom. 8:20? And just how can there be hope and assurance for all these lost, unrepentant, unbelievers of the world? Read on…], in that He has raised Him [Jesus] from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

Notice the reason given that THE WHOLE WORLD, or the WHOLE INHABITED EARTH as some translations have it, is given "assurance." It is because Jesus Christ ROSE FROM THE DEAD! Paul plainly tells us that if Christ has not been raised from the dead, then even WE are still in our sins:

"And if Christ be NOT raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep [died] in Christ ARE PERISHED" (I Cor. 15:17-18).

And so it is because of Christ’s resurrection that we have HOPE and ASSURANCE for a future life with GOD! And now you also have Scriptural proof that the ENTIRE CREATION which was SUBJECTED TO VANITY and CORRUPTION, NOT WILLINGLY, has "HOPE" in the same risen Christ. And the whole inhabited earth, in that day of judgment, ALSO has full ASSURANCE because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead! Do you even begin to comprehend what you are now reading in God’s Word? God’s day of judgment is a time of "hope" and "assurance."

We read that all judgment has been given unto the Son, Jesus Christ. But Jesus is not the only Judge in that day. Here is where the manifested Sons and Daughters of God come into their most important role in the salvation of all mankind, all creation, and the entirety of the creation in both the heavens and the earth:

THE SAINTS SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD

The called and chosen were born to be Judges:

"Or are you not aware that the saints [the manifested Sons and Daughters of God] shall JUDGE THE WORLD? And if the world shall be judged by YOU, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?" (I Cor. 6:2).

"And I saw thrones and they sat upon them, and JUDGMENT was given unto them [the saints, the manifested Sons of God]…" (Rev. 20:4).

Every man will be judged and the Saints will do the judging:

"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it: and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were JUDGED EVERY MAN according to their works" (Rev. 20:13).

JUDGES, LORDS, PRIESTS AND KINGS

The called and chosen were born to be Judges, Lords, Priests and Kings:

"If we suffer, we shall also REIGN with Him…" (II Tim. 2:12).

"And has made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall REIGN on the earth" (Rev. 5:10).

We are the church of the Living God, and what is the church in relation to Christ?

"And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church, Which IS HIS BODY, the fullness of Him that fills all in all" (Eph. 1:22-23).

"For we are members of HIS BODY, OF his flesh, AND OF his bones… This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and THE CHURCH [the heavenly, not the carnal church]" (Eph. 5:30 & 32).

Whatever Christ does, WE DO ALSO, because we ARE HIS BODY! Yes, WE, the manifest Sons and Daughters of God, will JUDGE THE WORLD!

But are the saints ready, equipped, and experienced to actually judge the world by the mere fact that they accept Jesus as the Priest, Lord, King, and Judge of the world? We are part of this world until God takes us out of it. We too have need of a Priest, a Lord, a King, and a Judge.

All too many Christians accept Jesus as their Priest, Lord, King, and Judge in ceremony only. In fact, I doubt that many accept Jesus as their "JUDGE" even in a ceremonial way, let alone by actual experience OF that judgment in their daily lives.

We must first be judged ourselves if we are to became the judges of the great sea of humanity.

THE SYMBOL OF THE SEA

One will never understand the Book of Revelation until he understands the meaning of the symbols. This is a huge study which would take more time and space than is being devoted to this paper on the lake of fire. However, to understanding the lake of fire alone, we need to understand the meaning of numerous symbols. One important symbol used throughout the Bible and in Revelation is the word "sea." As the whole book of Revelation is symbols and figurative language, we should hardly believe that when God speaks of the "sea" that he has reference to the literal oceans of the world. This will be clearly seen as we let the Scriptures interpret for us the meaning of sea used as a symbol.

MANY WATERS

"Mystery Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth"

sits upon "many waters" we are told in Rev. 17:1. Anciently God also referred to the nation of Babylon as, "O thou that dwells upon MANY WATERS…" (Jer. 51:13). And these many waters are explained in Rev. 17:15 as:

"The WATERS which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."

Since all of Revelation is symbolic and metaphorical language, the "sea" represents the vast sea of humanity, not the watery oceans of our planet. It is fitting that if ancient Babylon dwelled upon "many waters" that the end-time Mystery Babylon would also sit upon "waters" which are clearly defined as "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."

And just where are we told that the beast that carries the great whore comes from?

"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a [wild] beast rise up OUT OF THE SEA [the vast sea of humanity]" (Rev. 13:1).

THE SEA

God uses "waters" and "sea" interchangeably in the Scriptures. Babylon was:

"O thou that dwells upon many WATERS…" (Jer. 51:13).

Notice that Babylon’s "…waves do roar like great waters…" (Ver. 55). But then in verse 36 we read this:

"Therefore thus says the Lord; Behold, I will plead your cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will DRY UP HER SEA…"

Anyone who followed the war in Iraq knows that there is no sea in Iraq. This is not speaking of a large body of water, but of PEOPLE!

Notice further proof in verses 42-43:

"The SEA is come up upon Babylon, she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof. Her cities are desolation A DRY land, and a wilderness…"

After the establishment of Babylon as a nation, it was never entirely flooded by a literal sea of water. Besides, if a land were "flooded" it could hardly be called "a DRY land," could it? Notice what the "sea" and the "waters" represent:

"And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of her mouth that which he has swallowed up: and THE NATIONS [the waters of ‘peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues’ Rev. 17:15] shall not flow [like waters] together any more unto him, and the wall of Babylon shall fall" (Verse 44).

It is the wicked that are generally associated with "the sea." In Jude 4 we read of

"…certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

In verse 13 these same ungodly men are called, "RAGING WAVES OF THE SEA…"

"Come hither; I will show you unto you the judgment of the great whore that sits UPON MANY WATERS."

And the "many waters" are defined as,

"The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."

The whore is a great church, and it sits on a wild beast (a great political system), and John, "…saw a wild beast rise up OUT OF THE SEA (Rev. 13:1). This beast does not rise up out of one particular sea, that is one particular nation or people or multitude or tongue, but out of ALL OF THEM.

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives THE WHOLE WORLD…" (Rev. 12:5).

And the waters on which the whore sits are called, "…peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." In other words, the whore sits upon ALL THE SEA; ALL THE PEOPLES AND MULTITUDES AND LANGUAGES AND NATIONS OF THE ENTIRE EARTH! And she RIDES the wild beast that came up out of this same great and vast sea of humanity.

THE SEA OF GALILEE VERSUS THE LAKE OF FIRE

Let’s look at Matt. 14 next, and learn a great lesson from this physical type of a spiritual reality.

"And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst…"

Jesus always operates, teaches, and saves, from ‘the midst.

Matt. 18:20—"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the MIDST of them."

Luke 2:46— "…they found Him [Jesus] in the temple, sitting in the MIDST of the doctors…"

John 19:18—"Where they crucified Him, and two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the MIDST."

Rev. 1:13—"And in the MIDST of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man…" Etc.

Now then, where do you suppose that it is that WE, the Body of Christ, the Sons of God, receive our trials, training, and experience of overcoming this world? Answer:

"That ye [all of you] may be blameless and harmless [innocent], the SONS OF GOD, without rebuke [fault], in the MIDST of a crooked and perverse nation [generation], among whom ye shine as lights in the world."

It always amazes me how so many people when they truly want to become holy, go off somewhere in an isolated monastery to get away from the world. Yet Jesus trains us right in the MIDDLE of this crime-ridden and sin-sick world—in the MIDST.

"But the ship was now in the midst of the sea [or lake] TOSSED with the waves…"

Was this a good thing that the disciples were being "tossed" with the waves? Not according to them. They were frightened! But Jesus wanted them to experience this "tossing" with the waves.

Jesus did not come to them until the "fourth watch" (between 3 and 6 am), when they were now "in the MIDST of the sea." And the winds and waves were very strong so that they were being "TOSSED."

Notice that it was Jesus Who commanded them to take this ship to the other shore:

"And straightway Jesus constrained [Greek: ‘compelled’] His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away" (Matt. 14:22).

Why did Jesus need to "constrain or compel" them? The word "constrained" in this verse is translated from the Greek word anankazo, and notice its definition:

"Anankazo denotes ‘to put constraint upon, to constrain, to compel, whether by threat, entreaty, force or persuasion." Strong’s Greek Dictionary p. 18.

Wow! "To compel, whether by THREAT, ENTREATY, FORCE or PERSUASION."

No one with a carnal mind ever desires the judgments of God. We aren’t told exactly how much threat, entreaty, force or persuasion Jesus used on the disciples to get them to take their boat into the sea, but we know for sure from the word itself, that it took more than a casual suggestion that they go. Likewise, we read that those who must go through the lake of fire, are

"…CAST into the lake of fire…,"

"…CAST into the lake of fire…" (Rev. 20:10, 15).

They will not want to go voluntarily. And so it is true that:

"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31)

But it is still far better to be "in the hands of the Living God" than to be anywhere else! Even the of worst of scoundrels who have ever lived will fare far better in the hands of the Living God than anywhere else.

The Church thinks that this verse says, "It is a fearful thing to fall UNDER THE FEET of the Living God" rather than, "It is a fearful think to fall INTO THE HANDS of the Living God."

It sounds to me like His disciples DIDN’T WANT TO GO! Jesus didn’t just say: "You go on, fellows, and I’ll catch up with you later." No, He COMPELLED them to go! They obviously didn’t want to go. The sea was probably ALREADY turbulent and scary, and I am sure they realized the further they went from shore the worse it would be. They were afraid to go, but Jesus "COMPELLED" them to go; they had to go! And so they went.

Do you not see yourself in this scene? Do you not picture yourself being compelled by our Lord to enter the dark and scary trials of this life? Do you not feel TOSSED by the frightening trials and tribulations of this life?

Let me give you a verse that I have never heard quoted in my life. It is not a popular verse. I doubt that very many will even remember having read it. Christian teachers like to avoid verses like this:

"Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you WHERE YOU DO NOT WISH TO GO" (John 21:18, New Revised Standard Version).

All of the apostles came to understand this verse experientially, as am I "TOSSED."

The word "tossed" appears but four times in the New Testament, and all four times it is translated from a different word. In this verse, tossed is translated from the Greek word basanizo, and here is its definition: "#928. basanizo, to torture:--torment. Basanizo, as a verb, properly signifies in Greek

(1) ‘to test by rubbing on the touchstone’ [basanos, ‘a touchstone’], then,

(1a) ‘to question by applying torture’; hence

(1b) ‘to vex, torment’;

(2) in the NT in the passive voice,

(2a) ‘to be harassed, (2b) distressed’;

(2c) it is said of men struggling in a boat against wind and waves: ‘But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed (bazanizo) with waves: for the wind was contrary’ (Mat. 14:24; Mark 6:48)." (Strong’s Greek Dictionary, p. 51).

And where have we seen this word basanos before? In my paper on "Lazarus and the Rich man" we saw that the Rich man was also, "…in torments (Greek: basanos—a touchstone)…" (Luke 16:23). This is mental, emotional, spiritual torment. The Rich man was not physically tortured by the flames anymore than the disciples were physically tortured by the waves, or that Mary and Joseph were physically tortured when they couldn’t find the young boy Jesus.

"And when they saw Him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto Him, Son, why has thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing (Greek: basanos)" (Luke 2:48).

I assure you that Joseph and Mary were not physically tortured! Neither were the disciples (basanizo) physically tortured. Nor those who go through the fire of I Cor. 3:15, nor those who go through , "the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

Strong’s Dictionary tells us that basanizo can mean: "to question by applying torture."

It ought to be apparent to anyone that for God, "to question" someone by "applying torture" is silly. God ALREADY KNOWS what is in man. He doesn’t need to torture him to learn the truth. But it is absolutely necessary for man to go through this bassnizo, or torment because it is part of his spiritual development and spiritual perfection.

WHAT SINS ARE TORMENTED IN THE LAKE OF FIRE?

Here are the character flaws and sins that need "tormenting" in the lake of fire:

"But the fearful [timid], and unbelievers, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [paramours], and sorcerers [enchanters], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).

Were the Apostles of our Lord "idolaters?" No.

Were the Apostles of our Lord "sorcerers?" No.

Were the Apostles of our Lord "whoremongers?" No.

Were the Apostles of our Lord "murderers?" No.

Were the Apostles of our Lord "abominable?" No.

Were the Apostles of our Lord "unbelieving?" YES.

Were the Apostles of our Lord "fearful [timid]?" YES.

And were the Apostles of our Lord "all liars?" YES they were.

Is it absolutely necessary that even the "fearful and unbelieving" and all tellers of little white lies, must be cast into "TORMENT?" Yes … yes it is.

"And straightway [immediately] Jesus constrained [force, entreaty, threat, persuasion—not too dissimilar from being cast into the lake of fire’] His disciples to get into a ship…" (Matt. 14:23).

At this time in Christ’s ministry, the apostles were still unconverted. It will shock most people to realize that Jesus went to the cross, never having converted a single disciple! They were not truly converted until the Day of Pentecost when they received the Holy Spirit of God WITHIN themselves. They were not, however, all, abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, and idolaters. But they ALL possessed two or three of the character flaws mentioned in Rev. 21:8—they were all "fearful [timid] and unbelieving."

Jesus specifically points out these character flaws to them all by an ACTUAL EXPERIENCE! In other words, the disciples proved TO THEMSELVES that they were fearful, unbelieving, and liars: "…and they cried out for FEAR" (Matt. 14:26). And they all doubted that it was Jesus walking on the water, so Jesus both reprimanded and encouraged them:

"Be of good cheer; it is I; be NOT afraid… O you of little faith, wherefore did you DOUBT" (Vers. 17 & 31).

"And Jesus said unto them [His apostles], ALL YE shall be offended [turn against me, desert me, fall away, fall from your faith] because of Me this night…" (Mark 14:27).

And so we read that they were "tossed [TORMENTED] by the waves." They were being TRIED UNDER PRESSURE as when using a touchstone.

We have already proved that "the fire shall try every man’s work" in I Cor. 3:13 is a spiritual match with Rev. 20:13 & 15 where "they were judged every man according to their works … in the lake of fire" And in both cases the "fire" is God’s SPIRIT. God’s spirit burns spiritual character flaws out of the hearts of mankind in a similar way in which literal fire burns up and abolishes wood, straw, and stubble. And since we are the Body of Christ and we too are made "flames of fire," then we also judge the deeds of men’s hearts.

CALMING THE RAGING WAVES OF THE SEA

What is the final outcome of a humanity that is likened to, "Raging Waves of the Sea?" Will they spew out their raging foam of hatred and wickedness forever? No, certainly not. There is a cure for every disease, a solution to every problem, a Saviour for every lost soul. The "raging waves of the sea" are not match for Him Who walks on water.

"And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, PEACE, BE STILL. And the wind ceased, and there was a GREAT CALM. And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? [How is it that Christendom has NO FAITH?] And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of Man is this, that even the WIND AND THE SEA OBEY HIM?" (Mark 4:39-41).

Has Jesus lost His touch? Do we think that Jesus no longer can make "the wind and the sea OBEY Him?"

"And the SEA gave up the dead [spiritually dead] which were in it [these spiritually dead are also called, "raging waves of the sea" who are "foaming out their own shame" Jude 13] …and they were judged every man according to their works… And whosoever was not found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:13 & 15).

Will these wicked "raging waves of the sea" continue foaming out their or shame for ALL ETERNITY, in a place of eternal torture? Or will Jesus once again walk on the waters and cause a "GREAT CALM" to come over all humanity?

The spiritual fire in the lake of fire is a powerful, powerful remedy for the sins of humanity, and this Fire from God will work a great work on the "raging waves of the sea." There is coming a great calm on all humanity:

"And I saw as it were a SEA OF GLASS mingled with FIRE [yes, the fire of God’s spirit is a necessary part of this ‘sea of glass’]: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass [ah, they too can now walk on water which is now smooth and calm as glass], having the harps of God"

All of the "raging and foaming" has been calmed SMOOTH AS GLASS by the fiery spirit of God. They now sing praises to God, symbolized by their harps! Jesus will yet calm the great sea of humanity. Be not deceived, the sea will yet "OBEY Him!"

(We will explain the symbols of "the beast," "his image," "his mark," "the number of his name," "the man of sin," "the two witnesses," "the second death," "the antichrist," etc., in upcoming installments of this series).

GOD’S MINISTERS ARE FLAMES OF FIRE

I showed you earlier that Jesus Christ is not only IN the lake of fire, He IS THE LAKE OF FIRE. He is the Divinity in this spiritual fire.

Ponder this:

Like Christ, we too are raised with a "SPIRITUAL body" (I Cor. 15:44).

We are in fact called, "the BODY of Christ" (Eph. 1:23).

We will literally "be LIKE Him [Christ]" (I John 3:2).

God will make us into "ministers [of] FLAMING FIRE" (Psalm 104:4).

We too then will be like our God, "a CONSUMING FIRE" (Heb. 12:29).

God promises us that, "…the saints shall JUDGE THE WORLD…" and "we shall JUDGE ANGELS" (I Cor. 6:2-3)!

God tells us WHERE this judgment will take place:

"…they were judged every man according to their works," and "whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into THE LAKE OF FIRE" (Rev. 20:13 & 15).

Therefore, we, the Saints, the Body of Christ, the consuming fire ministers of God, the saviours of Mt. Zion, the manifested Sons and Daughters of God, along with our Head, Jesus Christ, also ARE THE LAKE OF FIRE!

THERE IS NO LITERAL LAKE, AND THERE IS NO LITERAL FIRE. Jesus Christ and His Body of Saints ARE THE LAKE OF JUDGING, PURIFYING, CONSUMING SPIRITUAL FIRE!!!

The lake of fire is a metaphor written in symbols that stand for what is being symbolized, not the symbols themselves. The lake of fire is composed of Jesus Christ the Judge of the world, Christ’s divine spiritual fire and brimstone, and the Sons of God who are the body of Christ who are also FLAMES OF FIRE (Heb. 1:7).

And the whole world will be judged BY US! After death, all the dead will be resurrected, they will all be judged, they will have to pass through the purifying lake of fire, they will have to PASS THROUGH US! WE will be their judge along with our Lord.

"Know ye not that the SAINTS SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD?"

And so, the GREAT SEA OF HUMANITY will be judged in the safety and security of the LAKE OF SAINTS!

NOT YET IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Most of Christendom have been taught and believe that God created (past tense) man in the very "image of God." Oh really?

So if we want to see what the "image of God" really looks like, all we have to do is look at the vast sea of evil, sinning humanity? Or maybe you believe like many that Adam and Eve WERE (past tense) in the absolute, very IMAGE of God when they were created, but then lost that "image" when they sinned?

Few indeed realize that being made into the image of God is much the same as being saved—IT IS AN ONGOING PROCESS!

Check all the verses in the original: "now saving," "to save," "shall save," "might save," "are being saved," etc. "For by grave ARE ye saved through faith…" tells us HOW we are being saved, not WHEN (Eph. 2:8). Verses such as I Cor. 1:18 in the King James, "…but unto us which ARE saved it is the power of God," is not a faithful rendering of the Greek. Check an interlinear. The words are thus: "…to-THE YET ones-beING-SAVED US…" Yes, often the original manuscripts have only endings and not the complete word, as in "ING." It clearly shows and uncompleted action.

Creating man in God’s image:

King James Version: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; make and female created He them" (Gen. 1:26a & 27).

Concordant Version: "And saying is the Alueim [Hebrew: elohiym, gods or used of the supreme God--plural of elowahh, a deity or the Deity], Make will We humanity in Our image, and according to Our likeness… And creating is the Alueim humanity in His image. In the Image of the Alueim He creates it. Male and female He creates them" (Gen. 1:26a & 27).

So we see here the same thing we have already discussed with regards to the Greek aorist tense of verbs, as in "For God so lovED the world" versus "For thus God lovES the world." God’s love for the world CONTINUES! And creating man in God’s image also CONTINUES!

Lustful, carnal-minded, sinning, Adam and Eve were no more in the complete image of God at their physical creation than the Apostles were completely converted during the schooling under Christ’s teaching. It is all an ongoing process. We are even still being converted, and still being perfected, and still becoming more and more like God. How often I have heard preachers remark how Adam and Eve where in the very IMAGE OF GOD. THE TRUE IMAGE OF GOD DOES NOT SIN!

"For whom He did foreknow He also did predestinate TO BE conformed to the image of His Son…" (Rom. 8:29).

"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we SHALL also bear the image of the heavenly" (I Cor. 15:49).

Presently, only Jesus Christ is the true "Image of God" (II Cor. 4:4).

FOR YOU SEE YOUR CALLING BRETHREN

Isn’t it strange that there are whole categories of people who are not even called in this church age (I Cor. 1:26)? And only a very few of those who are called, are finally "chosen." They are, of course, chosen for a grand and glorious purpose.

If one wants to die in their sleep during a peaceful dream and then float up to a fluffy cloud in heaven over the rainbow where they will then spend eternity plucking a harp, it is evident that that wouldn’t require much prior training (except for possible harp lessons). But if one desires the "HIGH CALLING of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14), then brace yourself for a little more vigorous preparatory program.

"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that NOT many wise men after the flesh, NOT many mighty, NOT many noble, are called: But God has chosen the FOOLISH things of the world to confound the WISE; and God has chosen the WEAK things of the world to confound the things which are MIGHTY; and the BASE [insignificant] things of the world, and things which are DESPISED, has God chosen, yea, and things which are NOT, to bring to nought [nothing] things that ARE. That no flesh should glory in His presence" (I Cor. 1:26-29).

God is choosing the FOOLISH, WEAK, BASE, DESPISED, NOTHINGS of this world to CONFOUND the WISE and MIGHTY of this world! And you don’t think that will take any particular specialized training? You think that you are already fully equipped and suited for such a task? You feel that with your "acceptance" of Jesus Christ, that you are fully equipped to not only debate and take on the WISE and MIGHTY of this world, but to utterly CONFOUND THEM? Oh really?

Take heed that you do not end up like William Jennings Bryan in the infamous Scopes case, dubbed "the monkey trial," later made into a play and film entitled Inherit the Wind. The American Civil Liberties Union sent lawyer, Clarence Darrow, an agnostic lecturer, to defend a teacher, by the name of Scopes, for teaching evolution in the school. William Jennings Bryan, a Bible believer who was also Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson, led the prosecution. This agnostic lawyer, Darrow, however, humiliated the professing Bible expert, Bryan, in a cross-examination that made him look like a religious fool!

That Bryan was a believing Christian there is no doubt. That he was NOT READY "to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear [reverential awe]" (I Pet. 3:15), there is also no doubt!

Peter thought that he was ready to conquer the world at Jesus’ side, long before he was even converted:

"Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him [JESUS!], saying, Be it far from Thee, Lord; this shall NOT be unto thee" Jesus said: "Get thee behind Me, SATAN." (Matt. 16:22).

"And he [Peter] said unto Him, Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison, and to death." Jesus said: "I tell thee, peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that you shall thrice DENY that you know Me" (Luke 22:33-34).

"Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear." Jesus said: "Put up again your sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (John 18:10 and Matt. 26:52).

"And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be You, bid me to come unto You on the water… But when he saw the wind boisterous [violent], he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." Jesus said: "O you of little faith, wherefore did you doubt" (Matt. 14:28-31).

And so it was with Peter (who personifies all of us), that he was not ready to take on the world with his carnal mind. He needed converting, training, experience, testing, and purging, before he (or we) would be ready to "Judge the world."

"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through MUCH TRIBULATION enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

COUNTING THE COST

God has already outlined a training course for those who would be Sons and Daughters of God. It involves a whole lot more than just enunciating a phrase of faith in Jesus. Acknowledging Jesus as your Saviour is certainly the starting point, but it is far from the complete requirement for those who would reign with Jesus as Judge, Lord, Priest and King. Here are just a few of the things that God requires of us. There are, of course, dozens, even HUNDREDS more declarations and admonitions to those who would become manifest Sons and Daughters of our God and Father:

  1. "LOVE your enemies, BLESS them that curse you, DO GOOD to them that hate you, and PRAY for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you [Why?]; that ye may be the children [Greek: ‘SONS] of your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:44-45)!

  2. "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, DO YE EVEN SO TO THEM: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matt. 7:12).

  3. "For I say unto you, That except YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL EXCEED righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in NO CASE enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:20).

  4. "Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let Him DENY HIMSELF, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS, and FOLLOW ME" (Matt. 16:24).

  5. "Jesus said unto him, You shall LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matt. 22:37-40).

  6. "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall ENDURE UNTO THE END, the same shall be saved" (Matt. 24:12-13).

  7. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, IF YE CONTINUE IN MY WORD, then are ye my disciples indeed" (John 8:31).

  8. "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" (Matt. 7:21).

  9. "COME OUT OF HER [Mystery Babylon the Great and all of her evil teachings], My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4).

  10. "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him. 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? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons" (Heb. 12:5-8).

  11. "Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as YE ARE PARTAKERS OF CHRIST’S SUFFERINGS; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (I Pet. 4:12-13).

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

  13. "LOVE NOT THE WORLD [that is the social system of this world, we are to love the people of the world], neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (I John 2:15-16).

  14. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: but be ye transformed by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:1).

  15. "But Jesus called them unto Him and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But IT SHALL NOT BE SO WITH YOU: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister [servant]" (Matt. 20:25-26).

  16. "Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each ESTEEM OTHER BETTER THAN THEMSELVES" (Phil. 2:3).

  17. "Let this MIND BE IN YOU, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:5).

  18. "SUBMIT yourselves therefore to God. RESIST the devil, and he will flee from you. DRAW NIGH to God, and He will draw night to you. CLEANSE your hands, ye sinners; and PURIFY your hearts, ye double minded" (James 4:7).

  19. "REPENT ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15).

  20. "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but ALSO TO SUFFER FOR HIS SAKE" (Phil. 1:29).

  21. "But I say unto you, That ye RESIST NOT EVIL: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matt. 5:39).

  22. "Then said Jesus unto him, PUT UP AGAIN YOUR SWORD into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Matt. 26:52).

  23. "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die, but if ye through the Spirit do MORTIFY THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, ye shall live" (Rom. 8:13).

  24. "WALK IN THE SPIRIT, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16).

I know that it sounds overwhelming that we should actually live by all of these commandments. And actually, there are many more like commandments in God’s Word. How are we to perform all these impossible tasks? Well certainly not by our own will and power.

ALL THESE THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD

Thankfully, we don’t have to accomplish all these many commands by our own power. God also gives us many promises to be with us in every way necessary to assure our success:

"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me [‘I have strength for all things in HIM which GIVES ME POWER’ {Henry Alford}, ‘Nothing is beyond my power in the strength of HIM Who MAKES ME STRONG’ {The Twentieth Century New Testament}, ‘I am ready for anything through the strength of the One who LIVES WITHIN ME’ {Phillips Translation}]" (Phil. 4:13).

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and HE SHALL LIFT YOU UP" (James 4:10).

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST LIVES IN ME: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).

"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you though the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord… Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity [LOVE]. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ… Wherefore the rather, brethren given diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, YE SHALL NEVER FALL" (I Pet. 1:2-10).

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season WE SHALL REAP, if we faint not [Gk: ‘do not lose heart’]" (Gal. 6:9).

"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto ALL THEM ALSO THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING" (II Tim.4:8).

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment [remember that, ‘judgment is upon the House of God NOW,’ I Pet. 4:17] : because as He is, SO ARE IN THIS WORLD" (I John 4:17).

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP [Gk: ACHIEVEMENT], CREATED IN Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-9).

"If God be for us, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US? (Rom. 8:31).

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angles, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from THE LOVE OF GOD, WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD" (Rom. 8:38-39).

And likewise, there are many more such Scriptures of comfort and assurance that God is able and willing to see us succeed once He has begun a work in us.

 

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