The Lake of Fire

PART V

A SCRIPTURAL EXPLANATION OF THE LAKE OF FIRE

We will now delve into some spiritual matters—"yea, the DEEP things of God."

How does the Church decide just what the lake of fire is, what happens there, why, to whom, and for how long? Remember back about thirty pages where I showed you that the Scriptures in Rev. 20 and 21 do not actually say what happens to a person who is thrown into the lake of fire? It does not say they are burned or tortured. It does not say if they are killed. It does not say how long they are in this fire (there is an indication as to how low the beast, false prophet, and Satan are in this lake of fire, however). So how then does the church decide that those who are thrown into this lake of fire are tortured, in their physical flesh, by real fire, for all eternity? A detractor recently e-mailed me and asked how I could say that a certain thing Jesus said was "spiritual?" He told me, "Ray, these things that Jesus spoke of are REAL!" Wow! As though "spiritual things" are NOT REAL?

I never thought about this before, but just maybe that is what scares people about spiritual things—maybe they think spiritual things ARE NOT REAL! I assure you that the lake of fire IS REAL. It is, in fact, MORE REAL being spiritual than if it were physical, material, and literal!

Let me share a practice that I have seen applied to the explanation of Scriptures. It is a common practice to compare physical things with physical things in an endeavor to prove that the thing in question is indeed physical and literal. Ironically, those who practice such things believe that they have accomplished a spiritual undertaking. God, on the other hand, tells us that even all the physical things in creation are signs of His spiritual divinity (Rom. 1:20). Contrary to human logic, physical things are not made out of solid matter. God says they are made out of things [‘things’ not out of nothing] which "do not appear"—invisible things, things of God. God is invisible and therefore "visible things" are made out of the invisible Creator God (Heb. 11:2). Scientists know this for a fact. Physical, tangible, material substances can be reduced down to atomic and subatomic invisible energy—SPIRITUAL ENERGY, if you will!

Theologians say that "the lake of fire" is physical, material, and literal. They compare this phrase with similar phrases in Scripture thinking that they have proved that the lake of fire is literal. Here are a few examples that they believe proves that the "lake of fire" is physical, material, and literal:

"…cast into everlasting fire…cast into hell fire," (Matt. 18:8-9).

"…cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark. 9:45-46).

"…cast into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 13:42-43).

"Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," (Matt. 25:41).

"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever," (Rev. 20:10).

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14-15) and "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, 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).

I will add one more, not because it mentions either hell or fire, but because it is often used to establish the length of punishment in hell. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment…" (Matt. 25:46).

There are other verses and parables that mention "burning" and "fire," but these are the most frequently and strongest verses used to establish the Christian doctrine of eternal torment by literal fire. The proof that these are all literal, however, is found in the carnal mind, and not in the Scriptures. Some of these verses regarding "fire" may sound like they can be taken literally, but that is not the test of whether something is literal or figurative—whether it sounds like it could be literal. Some of the parables of Jesus sound like they could be literal, but NONE OF THEM ARE LITERAL, they all have a higher spiritual truth than is ever conveyed in the literal example or story.

Well, what about it? Do all of these verses combined establish that the lake of fire is a literal fire that burns literal physical bodies as an eternal punishment for unbelieving sinners? No, they do not. They in fact prove something quite opposite from that of eternal torture in real fire. They have NOTHING to do with physical bodies! They have NOTHING to do with physical torture! And they have NOTHING to do with eternity! You have been lied to long enough: it is now time that you know the TRUTH. I am now going to rock some boats!

"THE FLESH PROFITS NOTHING / MY WORDS ARE SPIRIT"

When Jesus Christ said in John 6:63:

"It is the SPIRIT that quickens [gives life]; the FLESH PROFITS NOTHING: the words that I speak unto you, they are SPIRIT, and they are life"

The Scripture then tells us in verse 66:

"From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him."

Why did Christ’s words so offend His own disciples? Because they were carnal and unconverted, that’s why. They did not, could not, and would not understand "spiritual things." They could understand and believe physical, material, and literal things. They could not understand "spiritual" things, and therefore they walked with Christ NO MORE!

So what’s new? Has human nature changed over the past two thousand years? I think not. After reading this next section, many of you may decide that you too have had ENOUGH. You may feel that these things are getting just too "spiritual" for your liking. Maybe you too will doubt the existence of spiritual things, and that if you can’t have things in their natural, physical, material, carnal and literal way, then you will have none of it!

Jesus Christ asked in Luke 18:8,

"Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall He find FAITH ON THE EARTH?"

Orthodoxy would answer, "Why YES, He will find lots of faith—no less than a BILLION or two, filled with the faith of God." Oh really? Does anyone believe that Jesus would have asked such a profound question if He already knew and believed that there would be no less than a BILLION or two believing Christians on the earth waiting to prove their faith to Him? Many professing Christians do not believe God; they do not believe Jesus Christ; and they do not believe the Scriptures! I didn’t say they don’t believe there is a God or that there is a Christ or that there is a book of Scripture; I said they don’t believe God or Christ—they don’t believe what They have said in the Scriptures.

Don’t think that I am always trying to be hard on the Christian Church; I am not. I am trying to get people to BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURES, BELIEVE GOD, and BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST! I hear a lot of lip service, but I fear that all too many have a heart that is far from God. We claim to believe the Scriptures, but do we really? We may believe part of a Scripture, one word of a Scripture, someone’s interpretation of a Scripture, our own interpretation of a Scripture, but do we believe ALL THE SCRIPTURE? How am I to prove to someone that the lake of fire is not God’s eternal version of a terrorist’s torture chamber, if they do not believe in the credibility of Scriptures? If I give a Scripture and someone says, "Well, I don’t believe that! That’s YOUR interpretation," how are we to ever establish the truth of the Scriptures in such minds and attitudes?

There really is simplicity in the Scriptures. But who believes them? We SAY, we TALK, we AFFIRM, we SWEAR, we PRETEND, but do we really believe the Scriptures? "GOD IS LOVE" (I John 4:8). How many believe it? Do YOU believe it? Not if you also believe that God will torture the majority of mankind unmercifully in real fire for all eternity, you don’t. The two thoughts are incompatible and incongruous. One cannot hate one’s enemies while claiming to love them. One cannot torture someone while at the same time insisting that this is showing love. One cannot lie to his children while claiming to be truthful. Little children understand these concepts; why can’t adults?

Heb. 12:6-8, "For whom the Lord LOVES He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for which 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."

There isn’t a theologian alive who can explain this Scripture if he also believes that God will torture most of humanity in a literal lake of fire for all eternity. God chastens EVERY son, but He does not torture him in literal fire for all eternity. If we endure chastening, then we know that God is dealing with us as SONS! But. . . .BUT, if any are "without chastisement" then they are "bastards, and NOT sons." Now then, does God LOVE all His sons whom He scourges and chastises? Yes, of course He does, He says He does. But here’s the sixty-four thousands dollar question: "Does He also LOVE the bastards, or does He HATE the bastards and enemies of the cross?" Don’t be too hasty to answer, as your answer has huge and eternal consequences. Well, some may say, "Love," while others may say, "Hate." Okay, let’s look at both:

  1. If God "Loves" the bastards, then He will eventually HAVE TO CHASTEN THEM, because….He chastens "EVERY son whom He loves." And God then "receives" all that He chastens. No exceptions here. So God can’t burn any whom He "Loves" in a literal lake of fire for all eternity.
     
  2. But if God "Hates" the bastards who are enemies of the cross…wait a minute…God can’t "HATE His enemies!" Jesus Christ said we are to, "Be ye therefore perfect EVEN AS your Father which is in Heaven is perfect." A great part of becoming perfect is to LOVE ONE’S ENEMIES! Jesus said we are to, "LOVE YOU ENEMIES, BLESS them that curse you, DO GOOD to them that hate you…." No exceptions here regarding any enemies that we are allowed to hate. This is HOW ones becomes perfect like the Father. "LOVE YOUR ENEMIES!" (Matt. 5:48 & 45)! And so God can’t burn any of these enemies in a lake of fire for all eternity, either, and still be Our PERFECT Father Who LOVES HIS ENEMIES, just as we are to LOVE OUR ENEMIES!

Bastards are born bastards and did not create themselves or choose to be bastards…"!!!

By the way, just what does God do with those who are "enemies of the cross" (Phil. 3:18)?

"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the ENEMIES of the cross of Christ: Whose end is DESTRUCTION…"

Need I remind you of the Scriptures we covered in the last installment on who Christ came to SAVE: those who are "lost, perished, and destroyed?"

So by God’s Own Words He prevents Himself from hating or torturing enemies for all eternity in a literal lake of fire. You see, GOD REALLY DOES LOVE HIS ENEMIES! But many of us do not, and so we make God into a carnal-minded image of ourselves, which is IDOLATRY! God has never said in His Word that He will torture anyone in literal fire for all eternity—carnal-minded theologians have come up with such utter rank blasphemy! Let me get frank for a moment (as if I am not normally frank). Not many people "LOVE their enemies." No, they don’t. Don’t even try to tell me that they do. A few do. Not many. I myself struggle with the command at times.

DO YOU LOVE YOUR ENEMIES?

How many prayed for the seven POW’s held captive in Iraq? I myself prayed earnestly for them. I hate the thought of being tortured, and I had no idea how badly our POW’s were being treated. Millions upon millions prayed for them. But how many prayed for not only Jessica, but for her enemy captors who "cursed her, and hated her, and despitefully used her, and persecuted her?" How many? That’s what I thought. How many would like to see her captors BURN IN HELL? (That is, were there such a place). I rest my case. We do NOT believe the Scriptures. We pretend! We boast! We LIE! By the way,

"…and ALL LIARS [do you see any exceptions in that statement, ‘ALL liars?"] shall have their part in the lake which BURNS WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8)!

How many still desire that this lake should be a LITERAL FIRE that tortures the flesh for all eternity? So maybe you think you’re not "a murderer, or whoremonger, or sorcerer;" maybe you are just an occasional "liar who hates his enemies?" Think about it.

So you are one of those who "Believes the Scriptures," are you? And you believe that billions upon billions of human beings "…shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death?" And do you believe that they will be tortured there for ALL ETERNITY? Do you? Do you really? Is this what you think the "lake of fire/second death" is? An eternal torture chamber? Well, then you must also concede that if you or anyone you know is "fearful" (same verse) ("fearful" in the Greek here is "timid"), or a "liar," then you and everyone you know who is either "timid" or a "liar" is going to burn and burn and burn in literal fire in this lake of fire for ALL ETERNITY. Are you ever "timid?" Do you ever tell a "lie?" Are you ready to go to Hell and be burned in real fire for all eternity? Why does God lump such relatively minor character flaws such as "timidity (fearful)" with "murderers" and "sorcerers?" Have you ever had the reason for that explained to you? Ask your pastor, I am sure he will be able to explain it to you. (On second thought scratch that last statement. I believe that statement is a "lie." I don’t believe your pastor can explain it to you, and I don’t want to burn in Hell for all eternity for being a "liar").

I can see it all now: Satan is standing at the Rusty Gates of Hell welcoming all newcomers:

SATAN: "And why are you here, young man?"

YOUNG MAN: "In my life I was ABOMINABLE, committed MURDERS, practiced SORCERY, and was an IDOLATER!"

SATAN: "Throw this young man into the burning lake of fire for all eternity!"

SATAN: "And why are you here, young lady?"

YOUNG LADY: "I have never done anything abominable or committed murder or practiced sorcery, nor was I an idolater. But when I heard all those Hell-fire and brimstone sermons on television by all those worldly millionaire preachers of doom, I became a little "fearful" as I am timid by nature."

SATAN: "Throw this evil sinner into the burning lake of fire for all eternity!"

SATAN: "Demon Scribe, how many fearful and timid young ladies have we thrown into the lake of fire thus far?

DEMON SCRIBE: "Your Unholy Corruptness: that last one makes four billion, six hundred and eighty-nine million, five hundred and seventy-eight thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine!"

SATAN: "Very good! Next….."

WE MUST BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURES

Here is another verse that will test your faith in the Scriptures:

"That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved" (Rom. 10:9).

Is not this Scripture so absolutely fundamental to our faith that every Christian on earth believes every word of this Scripture? Let us see. Test yourself: First we must "confess Jesus." Not just saying the name of Jesus as a real historical Figure, but EVERYTHING THAT HIS NAME STANDS FOR! Jesus means "Jehovah-Saviour." Saviour of what? Saviour of whom? Here’s a Scriptural answer:

"And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [Jesus—Jehovah - SAVIOUR] TO BE THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD" (I John 4:14)!

Do you know of a verse anywhere in the Bible that says Jesus will FAIL at being "The SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD?" Do you then completely believe Rom. 10:9 as the infallible Word of God? Do you believe that Jesus IS what His name SAYS He is—Saviour of THE WORLD? Do you believe that His Father gave Him a commission that could only be hoped for, but never accomplished? Do you believe that Jesus Christ will FAIL TO LIVE UP TO HIS NAME? Well, then, if you believe that Jesus IS the Saviour of the world, then you certainly cannot believe that He will NOT save most of the world but rather torture most of the world for all eternity in a lake of fire.

Jesus gave a parable about a father who commissioned one of his sons to do a job. The son said he would do what his father commissioned. However, he lied and did not do what his father commissioned. Jesus told those Pharisees that harlots would enter the kingdom before someone with an attitude like that, (Matt. 21:28-31)! Are we to believe that the very Son of God Himself is no better than this failing servant in Christ’s own parable?

What will it take before we really BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURES? We hear a great deal these days about "THE GREAT COMMISSION," (as though those talking about it have a clue as to what it is). Teaching the gospel is certainly commanded by our Lord, but the greatest thing about the gospel is never taught by most evangelists. That Jesus Christ died to save a small fraction of sinners is only a small fraction of the gospel. And the gospel is not the Great Commission. Would you like to know what The Great Commission really is? Okay, here it is: "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent [Gk: apostello, to send out on a mission—commission] TO BE THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD" (I John 4:14)! See Second Witness in John 3:17. Now if anyone knows of a GREATER mission or commission than this, I am sure we would all like to know what it is?

Now it would only be fitting that such a Dignitary ought to have a name that exemplifies so great a commission:

"Wherefore God also has highly EXALTED HIM, and given Him A NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME: That at THE NAME OF JESUS [Jehovah-SAVIOUR]…" (Phil. 2:9). See Second Witness in Eph. 1:21.

Okay then, we have the "commission," and we have "a name" befitting that commission, but do we have a Son Who will do the works of that commission or will He fail?

"…the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I DO, bear witness of Me…." (John 5:36).

A second witness: Did Jesus take the works ("to be the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD") seriously?

"I MUST WORK THE WORKS [SAVE THE WORLD] OF HIM THAT SENT ME…." (John 9:4)!!!

What power might Jesus lack that could disable or frustrate this august commission of His Father?

"ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18)!

See Second Witness in Dan. 7:14.

Has Jesus already proven that He has enough power to overcome all the "free wills" of the world? "Be of good cheer; I have OVERCOME THE WORLD" (John 16:33).

See Second Witness in I John 4:4.

Maybe God doesn’t want the whole world to be saved?

"Who WILL have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4).

Second witness:

"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Saviour of ALL MEN, especially [but not exclusively] of those who believe" (I Tim. 4:10).

Doesn’t God will that most of humanity will eternally perish in the lake of fire?

"The Lord…is NOT WILLING that ANY should perish [eternally]…" (II Peter. 3:9).

Second witness:

"And I, if I be lifted up [on the cross] from the earth, will draw ALL MEN UNTO ME" (John 12:32).

But doesn’t the whole world need first to have their sins atoned for?

"And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for our’s only, but also for THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD" (I John 2:2).

Second witness:

"The next day John sees Jesus coming unto him, and says, Behold the Lamb of God, which TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD" (John 1:29).

Hasn’t the Church proven by their interpretation of the "lake of fire" that it is "impossible" to save all mankind?

"Who then CAN be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE" (Matt. 19:25-26).

See Second Witness in Job 42:2.

Isn’t it up to each individual to "CHOOSE CHIRST" in order to be saved?

"You have NOT CHOSEN ME, but I have CHOSEN YOU…" (John 15:16).

But didn’t Billy Graham say at one of his crusades that "we must come to Christ all on our own?" To not even pray for those making that decision, because that decision to "come to Christ" must be theirs and THEIRS ALONE?

"NO MAN CAN COME TO ME [by his own free will choice] except the Father which has sent me DRAW HIM [Greek: DRAG HIM] and I WILL raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44).

See Second Witness in Verse 65.

Are you telling me that I never did seek God ON MY OWN?

"There is NONE that seeks after God" (Rom. 3:11b).

See Second Witness in Psalm 14:2.

But what if I believe that I can and I do WILL to serve God on my own.

"For it is GOD which works IN you both TO WILL and TO DO of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

See Second Witness in I Cor. 15:10.

Well I know for a fact that it says in Heb. 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to please God, so surely we must work up our OWN FAITH in order to please God?

"For by grace are ye saved through FAITH; and that [that ‘FAITH’] is NOT OF YOURSELVES [well where does it come from then, if not from US?]; it is the GIFT OF GOD" (Eph. 2:8).

Second Witness:

"…and what have you that you did not RECEIVE….?" (I Cor. 4:7).

But surely everyone will have to acknowledge the RISEN Jesus Christ as their Lord and their Jesus [Jehovah-SAVIOUR] before they can ever be saved, so when does that happen?

"That at the name of Jesus [Jehovah-Saviour—THEIR Saviour] EVERY knee should bow, in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; and that EVERY tongue should confess [‘That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED, Rom. 10:9)] that Jesus Christ [The Christ that God ‘raised from the dead.’ Christ was already ‘RISEN’ when this was written in Phil. 2:11] is Lord [‘Lord’ means ‘master’—acknowledging Christ as Master of their lives], to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:10-11).

But doesn’t this sound like ALL that we do to be saved is OF GOD, and not of ourselves?

"God is operating ALL in all" (I Cor. 12:6)

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

"For OF Him, and THROUGH Him, and TO Him, ARE ALL THINGS: to Whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Rom. 11:34)

"…being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who works ALL THINGS after the counsel of His OWN WILL" (Eph. 1:11).

This almost sounds like we can do absolutely NOTHING on our own to bring about our own salvation.

"I am the vine, you are the branches … for without me you can do NOTHING" (John 15:5).

All these Scriptures make it sound as if the Church has many worship practices that are nothing but the philosophies, commandments, and traditions of men rather than Scripture.

"Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men…Full well you reject the commandments of God, [like: ‘LOVE YOUR ENEMIES’] that you may keep your OWN TRADITION" (Mark 7:7 & 9).

Am I failing to find even a single Scriptural excuse for Christ to FAIL in His Great Commission? I hope so! Perhaps your pastor knows of a Scripture that will justify the Christian concept that Jesus Christ will FAIL to fulfill His commission. If anyone finds such a Scripture, be sure to e-mail me immediately.

Maybe your pastor will say that I am being too negative and expecting too much of our Saviour. Shouldn’t I be content that Jesus saves at least a few? The small flock? The narrow gate? The firstfruit? Is not a FIVE PERCENT success rate something to be praised and awarded even if NINETY-FIVE PERCENT of humanity are to be lost and eternally tortured in a lake of fire? Is FIVE PERCENT considered a GOOD RETURN on His investment according to our Heavenly Father? Jesus gave another parable about a Lord [God] who gave five, two, and one talents to each of his servants ("But made Himself [Jesus] of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a SERVANT….," Phil. 2:7), and later reckoned with them about how well they did with their talents. The two servants with five and two talents were praised and rewarded. The one with one talent (TWENTY PERCENT as much as the one with five talents) gave his Lord back his one talent to which the Lord commanded:

"And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 25:14-30).

The servant gave back to his Lord ALL that He had given him. Did the Lord consider that something to be praised and rewarded? DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT GOD THE FATHER EXPECTS NO MORE THAN THIS FROM HIS OWN SON, JESUS [JEHOVAH-SAVIOUR] THE SAVIOUR OF THE WHOLE WORLD? God the Father commissioned HIS OWN SON to do a job, which His Son agreed to DO.

How many of you parents would be content with your children if they achieved the SAME PERCENTAGE OF SUCCESS, as the Church attributes to Jesus Christ in saving the world? Are five or ten percent test scores from your children in school acceptable to you as parents? What about if they get FIFTY percent? If they always achieve at least a fifty percent grade on their papers, will you consider that ACCEPTABLE? Fifty percent is considerably higher and better than what is attributed to Jesus Christ for the work God has set before Him! Do you think that if Jesus saves FIFTY percent of humanity that it will be "good and acceptable" to His Father?

NO! NO! A thousands times, NO! I’ll show you what percentage is "good and acceptable" to God the Father:

"For THIS is GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have ALL men [What percentage? Five percent? Fifty percent?] ALL men to be saved..." (I Tim. 2:3-4).

Jesus DIED FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD. That part of the commission is finished ("IT IS FINISHED" Jn. 19:30). The sins of the whole world are already forgiven,

"And He [Jesus-SAVIOUR] is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD" (I John 2:2)

And,

"To wit that God was in Christ, reconciling THE WORLD unto Himself, NOT imputing [reckoning] THEIR TRESPASSES [SINS] AGAINST THEM" (II Cor. 5:19).

Why then is not the whole world saved, NOW? Because "dying for the sins of the world" is not the total commission. Well what pray tell could still be remaining? Answer: JUDGMENT and KNOWLEDGE!

"And as it is appointed unto [all] men once to die, but after this the JUDGMENT" (Heb. 9:27)

"Who will have all men to be saved, and to come into the KNOWLEDGE of the truth" (I Tim. 2:4).

"For the EARTH shall be FILLED with the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14).

"For when Thy [God’s] JUDGMENTS are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will LEARN [that’s KNOWLEDGE] righteousness" (Isaiah 26:9).

Rest assured that Jesus [Jehovah-SAVIOUR] will not fail to fulfill His commission and become an unprofitable Servant to His Father. And don’t let anyone tell you that Jesus is only the "potential" Saviour of the world and that actually getting saved is up to man! One cannot even be the "potential Saviour of the world," and yet NOT save the world, because that would be proof that the "potential" was not really there in the first place?

One cannot be the "SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD," and yet, NOT SAVE THE WORLD!

Am I going too fast for anyone?

All that we covered here is the meaning of the name itself, "Jesus=Jehovah Saviour." Believing in the name of Jesus also means believing the dozens and dozens of godly character traits of our Lord. We could certainly spend many pages going through all of the qualities of character, virtue, godliness, and love, contained in the person of "Jesus." But hopefully many of my readers are beginning to see the light.

Why should I have to spend paragraph after paragraph trying to persuade people that Rom. 10:9 and I John 4:14, and I Tim. 2:4 and dozens and dozens of Scripture just like these, really are TRUE? Why? Because many Christians DO NOT BELIEVE THESE SCRIPTURES, THAT’S WHY!

Back to our Scripture, second part of Rom. 10:9, "…that God has raised Him from the DEAD?" Do you believe that? Do you really? Or do you believe as orthodoxy does that Jesus (Himself) NEVER DIED! That’s right. Jesus Christ (the REAL Jesus) Himself, is said to have never died. Theologians teach that only His body died. That Jesus Himself was not DEAD, but was rather on a preaching mission, somewhere in a place called Hell, during the time He was supposed to be dead, and was supposed to be in the heart of the earth, and was supposed to be fulfilling the sign of Jonah, and was supposed to be paying for the sins of the world by suffering death, and supposed to be fulfilling prophecy, all in accord with what His Father ordained for Him to do. Do you believe "JESUS" died or that only His "body" died?

But some will protest: "How can GOD die?" God can die IN THE FORM OF A MORTAL MAN! Jesus emptied Himself, lowered Himself, gave up His glory to BECOME A MAN for the express purpose of DYING!

"But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the SUFFERING OF DEATH…" (Heb. 2:9).

Remember that just as we have a spirit in us that gives us life and at death preserves who we are, Jesus likewise had a spirit that He gave up to His Father when He died. The life of Jesus was preserved in that spirit even though He, Himself, was unconscious and DEAD for three days.

Please understand that what I am saying does in no way negate the faith of those who believe that Christ DIED for them, but do not as yet understand that Jesus Himself died, and not just His shell, His housing, His clothing of a physical body. It is essential that one believe the Gospel, that Christ died for them and that God raised Him again from the dead in order to be saved. This is the gospel, of course, and one doesn’t have to "understand" a thousand and one other facts surrounding the gospel in order to be saved. But let’s also understand that the faith to believe and the faith to be saved is as much a GIFT from God as is the very GRACE by which we are saved. It isn’t that we provide one (faith) and then God will provide the other (saving grace). No. God provides BOTH (Eph. 2:8). Here is what we must believe in order to be saved:

"That if thou shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, YOU SHALL BE SAVED" (Rom. 10:9).

"Sirs [Paul and Silas] what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and YOU SHALL BE SAVED…" (Acts 16:31).

"We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we SHALL BE SAVED…" (Acts 15:11).

"…whereby you and all your house SHALL BE SAVED ... God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ…" (Acts 11:14 & 17).

"…that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead…Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we MUST BE SAVED" (acts 4:10 & 12).

"I [Jesus the Christ] am the door: by ME if any man enter in, HE SHALL BE SAVED..."(John 10:9).

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED" (Acts 2:21).

And, of course, EVERYONE in heaven and earth will ultimately believe this gospel:

"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Ask a hundred pastors or theologians if your mother, let’s say, were to bow her knees in the name of Jesus [Jehovah-Saviour] Christ and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, will she be saved? I am pretty sure all one hundred would say, "YES, OF COURSE!" Next ask the same one hundred whether all those in heaven and earth who will also bow and confess Jesus as Lord will be saved, and I am pretty sure all one hundred would say, "NO, OF COURSE NOT!" See the difference? Me neither!

Ever consider how the thief on the cross was saved? It doesn’t say whether he was Jew and circumcised, or Gentile and baptized—all it says is that he was a sinner and he acknowledged it, (remember that it was for just such sinners that Jesus was commissioned by God to come into the world in the first place). Did the thief on the cross believe on the name of Jesus Christ? Did he acknowledge Christ as his Lord and Master? Did he believe that God would raise Him from the dead? Yes, he did:

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Do you not fear God, seeing you art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Luke 22:40-43.

The thief believed that Jesus was the Christ and the Saviour (this Man has done nothing amiss). He acknowledged Him as his Lord and Master (calling Him Lord). He knew that in order for Jesus to "come into" His kingdom, God would have to resurrect Him from the dead, for soon they would all be dead. Simple, isn’t it? I will give you my shortest possible statement as to how one is saved: "BELIEVE THE SAVIOUR!" That’s it.

I don’t want anyone to draw false assumptions from the things that I teach. I firmly believe that God will save ALL. But I have never said that anyone HAS to believe that the salvation of all order to be saved, anymore than one must believe that his faith to believe God in the first place came from God and not himself. Again, the Scripture says we must "believe," but does not say that we must know "where" that faith came from in the first place. I believe that we are all in for lots of surprises when God reveals all. My papers are trying to show people the wonderful Truths of God and His plan for the salvation of the entire human race, and the entire heavenly host. God sent and commissioned His Son Jesus [Jehovah-Saviour] to save the whole world. Do you believe the following Scriptures:

"For God sent NOT his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that THE WORLD through Him [Jehovah-SAVIOUR] might be SAVED" (John 3:17)!

"…the Lamb of God [Jehovah-SAVIOUR], which takes away the sin of THE WORLD" (John 1:29)!

"And He [Jehovah-SAVIOUR] is the propitiation for our sins [satisfactorily covered all sin] and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of THE WHOLE WORLD" (I John 2:2)!

"And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [Jehovah-SAVIOUR] to be the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD" (I John 4:14)!

"…for when Thy [Jehovah-SAVIOUR] judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of THE WORLD will learn righteousness" (Isaiah 26:9)!

"…for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, [Jehovah-SAVIOUR], the Saviour of THE WORLD" (John 4:42)!

"To wit that God was in Christ [Jehovah-SAVIOUR], reconciling THE WORLD unto Himself, NOT imputing their trespasses unto them…" (II Cor. 5:19)!

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation [will you accept it?] that Christ Jesus [Jehovah-SAVIOUR] came into THE WORLD to SAVE SINNERS…" (I Tim. 1:15)!

"And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge Him not, for I [Jehovah-SAVIOUR] came not to judge the world, but to SAVE THE WORLD" (John 12:47)!

How then can one believe all of these Scriptures and yet believe that Jesus [Jehovah-SAVIOUR] will NOT SAVE, but will eternally torture in the lake of fire, most of THE WORLD? My prayer is that many of you will, for the first time in your lives, repent of your stubbornness, and start believing these marvelous Scriptures.

Now it is no secret that I firmly believe that there are a dozen or two Scriptures in the King James and other modern English Bibles that are not translated correctly, and that those dozen or two Scriptures are of such paramount importance that many false doctrines can be attributed to them. I also know that there are a dozen or so English translations that DO translate those dozen or two Scriptures correctly. However, setting those few Scriptures aside for the moment, let me say this: When I present the really powerful and spiritual Scriptures to orthodox Christians, they invariably will either disagree with the verse or try to contradict it with another Scripture! I present a Scripture to prove a vital point, my opposer then presents another verse, which he says proves my Scripture wrong. In other words, he thinks he has found a Scripture that contradicts my Scripture, which only proves that this person believes the Bible is a book of CONTRADICTING SCRIPTURES! Unbelievable!

DO YOU BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURES?

Test yourself now with another classic prophetic verse that I firmly believe, but that I have had many Christians tell me will never be fulfilled. The verse I am referencing is correctly translated; it is profoundly and simply stated; and yet is believed by virtually NO ONE! Most Christians don’t believe it because THEY DON’T WANT TO BELIEVE IT. If I were to show you a Scripture that says God will NOT torture most of humanity in an eternal lake of fire, would you believe it? What if I showed you a dozen such Scriptures? What about two dozen? Let’s just try one and see how serious you are about believing the Scriptures. We cannot believe that God will save ALL mankind while, at the same time, torturing most of the mankind in an eternal lake of fire, now can we? Here then is just one profound and beautiful statement of Good News from God that virtually none of the Christian world teaches or believes:

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour: Who WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (I Tim. 2:4).

Now I don’t mean to be continually picking on the World of Christendom, but understand that it is ONLY Christians (lead by Christian theologians, clergymen, pastors, and teachers) that teach the whole world that Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the Whole World (I Jn. 4:14), WILL NOT SAVE THE WHOLE WORLD. It is only THEY, who teach the world that this prophecy in I Tim. 2:4 will NEVER COME TO PASS. And so in being obedient to Titus 1:9, I expose them for their heresy. If atheists and pagans and heathens had a billion-dollar campaign to tell the world that I Tim. 2:4 will never come to pass, then I would expose them as well!

Understanding the colossal and far-reaching implications of such a verse, many translators have tried to water down this Scripture. People have told me personally many times that this verse doesn’t mean that God really "will" save all men, but that He only "desires," "wants" "longs" and "wishes" that if only He could save all mankind, it would "please" Him. And I have four translations that use the words, "desires, wants, longs, and wishes" in this verse! NONE of which are a correct translation of this verse.

Consider for a moment if this verse had said in the original Greek manuscripts that, "God our Saviour Who desires and pleases that all men be saved." Would such a translation open the door to possible failure as most contend? Is there a verse of Scripture somewhere that declares that God can’t have or bring about things for which He only desires or pleases? IS THERE? WHERE? SHOW ME? Before we can believe that God will actually and factually DO WHAT HE SAYS, is it necessary and mandatory that He say something like this: "I swear on a stack of Bibles that I absolutely, positively will do, accomplish, and carry out 100%, totally and completely……such and such." So why make such unscriptural and stupid statements that if God only "desires or pleases" for something He can’t always have what He wants? After all, HE’S ONLY GOD!!!

Let’s now look at a few verses where “thelo” has to mean something that absolutely is going to be, rather than only wished for:

  1. “I will [thelo] not send them away fasting...” (Matt. 15:28).
     
    Jesus not only “desired” to not send them away, HE absolutely was not going to send them away famished.
     
  2. “To whom our fathers would [thelo] not obey...” (Acts 7:39).
     
    Is anyone so silly as to assert that Israel only “DESIRED” to disobey God, but maybe they really wouldn’t disobey?
     
  3. “What will [thelo] this babbler [Paul] say?” (Acts 17:18).
     
    Where these Greeks only interested in what Paul “desired” to say? If Paul would not actually say anything, but only “desire” to say something, then the Greeks would have to be mind-readers to know what Paul only “desired” to say, but maybe wouldn’t actually say audibly. No, they wanted to hear what Paul “would” say, not what maybe Paul “desired” to say.
     
  4. “For I will [thelo] not see you now...” (I Cor. 16:7).
      
    Was Paul really telling them that he had no “desire” to see them now?  Of course not, he had a very strong desire to see them, but it just was not possible to see them now.  Paul was clearly stating a physical hindrance to seeing them now rather than that he had NO EMOTIONAL DESIRE to see them now.
     
  5. “For it is GOD which works in you both to will [thelo] and TO DO...” (Phil. 2:13).
     
    When God’s Word adds “to DO” to the word “will/thelo,” it becomes a contradiction to say that the “will” part does not have to come to fruition. The “and TO DO” makes the “thelo/will” an absolute necessity rather than a mere wish.
     
  6. “If any would [thelo] not work, either should he eat” (II Thes. 3:10).
     
    Imagine Paul stating that if anyone has a ‘desire not to work” then he shouldn’t eat?  Why that would include just about everyone, even those who do work. Most people in the world have no “DESIRE” to work when the alarm clock goes off, but they go to work anyway, because they know that is the only way they “will eat.”
     
  7. “Yea, and shall that will [thelo] live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution” (II Tim. 3:12).
     
    Can we even imagine Paul telling us that if we don’t actually, but only desire, to live godly in Jesus, we will, nevertheless, suffer persecution?  Do people suffer persecution for what they “think or desire in their heart,” but don’t actually live out in their Christian walk? Absurd. “Thelo” will be fulfilled just as “thelemo” will be fulfilled.

Well, that’s seven, a good number to stop.

God is not obligated to even state whether he "wills" or "desires" something or not; all He has to do is SPEAK IT! God "SPOKE IT" in I Tim. 2:4; that’s all that is necessary for it to be accomplished. Are we so blind that we cannot see that it is blasphemy for mere mortals to diminish, disparage, degrade, and derogate the desires of VERY GOD into watered-down, wish-washy, unattainable, weak wishes? The SAME GOD Who created the entirety of the universe with its TWO HUNDRED BILLION GALAXIES EACH HAVING TWO HUNDRED BILLION STARS? And pious, carnal-minded theologians tell us that God WILL NOT accomplish His Own desires? !

Must we assume that if God had said: "I will [Gk: thelema] that there be light" that then there WOULD be light?" But had He said: "I will [Gk: telo] that there be light" that then there WOULD NOT be light? It is foolish and demeaning to try to relegate a POSITIVE statement of intent by God into a NEGATIVE and unattainable reality. All God had to say was: "LET there be light and there WAS light"! God is not obligated to preface everything that He says He plans do with such words as, I will…, I wish…, I desire…, It pleases me to…, etc. Has not the Lord also "spoken it" in I Tim. 2:4? All God has to do is SPEAK THE WORDS AND IT WILL SURELY COME TO PASS. Now then, are there any who doubt that I Tim. 2:4 ARE THE WORDS OF GOD? Then why do so many insist that it will NEVER HAPPEN? They have not a love of the Truth. They do not believe God. They do not believe Jesus Christ. They do not believe the Scriptures!

They are traitors of the Truth.

More proof: We have shown that God doesn’t need to use a strong word such as "WILL" in order for His word to be fulfilled. But on those occasions when God uses a word such as "pleases," "desires," or "wills," does not that word then contain within its meaning the possibility of negating God’s whole statement? No, absolutely NOT. If it merely "pleases" God to do something, it will be done just as assuredly as if He had "WILLED" it,

"So shall my WORD be that goes forth OUT OF MY MOUTH [just as in I Tim. 2:4 and everywhere else] it shall NOT return into me void, but it SHALL ACCOMPLISH THAT WHICH I PLEASE, and it SHALL PROSPER IN THE THING WHERETO I SENT IT" (Isaiah 55:11).

Here then is an opportunity for everyone to stand up and be counted. Is Isaiah 55:11 TRUE or is it FALSE or is it only sometimes true and sometimes false? The only negative in that verse is: "it shall NOT return into me void." That is the only thing that can NOT happen in this verse. Notice God’s Word, "SHALL go forth…," "SHALL accomplish that which I please…" and it "SHALL prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." This is not rocket science. This is 1, 2, 3, elementary deduction:

    1. "ALL Scripture is given by inspiration [Greek: God-breathed—out of His mouth] of GOD…" (II Tim. 3:16).
       
    2. I Timothy 2:4 IS " SCRIPTURE"!
       
    3. Therefore what God has inspired (breathed) in I Tim. 2:4, "SHALL go forth…," It is has gone forth for nearly two thousand years and is going forth over the whole internet on this very printed page that you are reading. It also "SHALL accomplish that which I please…," Is the word "will" weaker than the word "please"? And finally, it "SHALL prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

So here we have just one more Scripture that says God, SHALL, SHALL, SHALL, while at the same time Traitors of the Truth tell us that God, shall NOT, shall NOT, shall NOT!

So again I ask, if God only "pleases" that something prosper in the word that He sent fort to accomplish, shall it "prosper" or shall it not "prosper?" Theologians say if God only "pleases" that all men be saved, then THEY WILL NOT ALL BE SAVED, but God says if He "pleases" to do something, "…IT SHALL PROSPER in the thing whereto I sent it." Who ya gonna believe: men or GOD?

More proof: I Tim. 2:4 says that God "wills" that all mankind be saved. What determines God’s will? Answer:

"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who works [operates] ALL THINGS after the COUNSEL of his own WILL" (Eph. 1:11).

Now then, will God’s "counsel" stand? Answer:

"There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the COUNSEL of the LORD, that SHALL STAND" (Prov. 19:21).

Will God’s "will" be done both in the heavens and on the earth? YES:

"Our Father Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10).

More proof: When God speaks something, is He so weak and incapable as mortal men who make great boasts and are unable to accomplish their boast?

"God is NOT a man, that He should LIE [do we think God LIES when He says that He WILL save all mankind in I Tim. 2:4?]; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not DO IT? Or has He spoken [as in I Tim. 2:4 and many other places], and shall He not MAKE IT GOOD?" (Numbers 23:19).

Well? Those of you who contend with your Maker: "Hath God SAID" in I Tim. 2:4 that He "WILL have all men to be saved?" Well then, "SHALL HE NOT DO IT?" (Num. 23:19). Has "He [God] SPOKEN" in I Tim. 2:4 and many other places, that He "…WILL have all men to be saved?" Well then, "…shall He NOT MAKE IT GOOD?" (Num. 23:19).

More proof:

"…Let God be TRUE [Who says He "WILL save ALL MANKIND"], but every man a LIAR [who says He WILL NOT "save ALL MANKIND"]!

More proof:

"Remember the former things of old: for I am GOD, and there is none else; I am GOD, and there is none like Me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel SHALL STAND, and WILL DO ALL MY PLEASURE [as in I Tim. 2:4 and everywhere else]:

Calling a ravenous bird from the east [Cyrus?], the man that executes my counsel [just as the king of Assyria] from a far country: yea, I have SPOKEN IT [as in I Tim. 2:4 and everywhere else] I WILL ALSO BRING IT TO PASS [as also in saving all mankind]; I have PURPOSED IT [as also in saving all mankind] I WILL ALSO DO IT" (Isaiah 46:9-11).

God says, "I WILL DO IT," and He will also do EVERYTHING ELSE that He has , said, declared, spoken, desired, counseled, willed, decreed, or pleased in His Word!

By the way, God NEVER, EVER "wishes" or "hopes" for ANYTHING! He "desires" things that absolutely are certain to come about, but God never wishes or hopes for things that may or may not come about! The very thought of God "hoping" for something, blasphemes His sovereignty!

Now then, how many of my readers still believe that God will NOT save all mankind as He says He "WILLS" in I Tim. 2:4? It is foolish and stupid to insist that God will not perform and fulfill and do His Own WILL in I Tim. 2:4. I have PROVEN it by the Scriptures. I have given you the absolute proof from both the etymology of words and the many Scriptures regarding the fulfillment of God’s will, pleasures, word, desires, etc., etc., etc. Anyone who denies that I Tim. 2:4 will be fulfilled also must deny HUNDREDS of other Scriptures as well. But yet I sense in my spirit a dozen carnal minds out there in computerland that are anguishing over a new approach to prove that I Tim. 2:4 will never be accomplished and that this verse is at best a never-to-be-fulfilled pipe dream of our Great Creator God and Saviour.

Consider this: Suppose I Tim. 2:3-4 did not say what is in our Bibles, but suppose it said the following: "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will NOT have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

Would not every single detractor who teaches that God will NOT save all humanity then use this Scripture to PROVE THAT GOD WILL NOT SAVE ALL MEN? YES OF COURSE THEY WOULD; YOU KNOW THEY WOULD! They would be delighted to show from the Scriptures a statement saying that God "WILL NOT" save all men? And this Scripture would then be the one most profound statements in all Scripture to back up their doctrine that all men will NOT be saved. This would be their "proof text" that God most assuredly WILL NOT (pardon my redundancy here, but I am attempting to make a point of major consequence) save all men.

Now then, the ONLY difference between the fabricated verse above and the real verse found in all Bibles in I Tim. 2:3-4 is the addition of the word "not." So if the addition of the word "NOT" would prove that God will not save all men, then the deletion of the word "NOT" would have to prove that God WILL save all men—this is axiomatic! So if this verse had said that God "WILL NOT" save all men, then it would definitely mean that all men will NOT be saved. I don’t think there is a theologian alive who would deny that! But here is the unbelievable irony of their teaching: since it says that God "WILL have all men to be saved" (according to theologians), this phrase also MEANS THAT GOD WILL NOT SAVE ALL MEN! Excuse me, but am I missing something here?

When Christians don’t want to believe that God will save all humanity, it doesn’t matter what God says. They will believe what they want, not what the Bible says.

If anyone believes that God’s statement that He "will" save all mankind really means that He "will NOT" save all mankind, then maybe they had better click off this site and listen to some Jack Van Impe tapes prophesying that according to his newly revealed knowledge of the length of a Biblical generation, Jesus Christ will return to set up His kingdom in the year 1996! Yes, you saw that correctly, I said NINETEEN NINETY-SIX! In 1990, when I heard Jack say that, I PROPHESIED that Jack didn’t have a clue as to what he was talking about. It is now, 2003! I’ll say this, however, Mr. Van Impe certainly has a lot of Scripture verses memorized—now if he only he knew their meaning. (Excuse my little diversion—just trying to relax your intense concentration for a moment with a little humor).

Imagine if I Tim. 2:3-4 really did say that "God will NOT save all men," and then I would try to argue (using the same stupid scholarship as theologians use) that this verse doesn’t really mean that God will NOT save all men, but that it means He only "DESIRES" that all men "NOT" be saved when in reality they WILL all be saved, even if God were to say He "will NOT" save all men. Would not my detractors try to laugh me to scorn over such inane reasoning? OF COURSE THEY WOULD! YOU KNOW THEY WOULD. EVEN THEY KNOW THEY WOULD. Well, guess what? The word "NOT" is NOT in this verse. So God really "WILL save ALL men!"

Here then is true Christian scholarship: If God will NOT save all men, then He will NOT save all men, and if God WILL save all men, then He also will NOT save all men!! Do you see now why it has become popular to say that: "You can prove ANYTHING from the Bible?" And HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of Christians do not see a problem with kind of inane and insane reasoning! Does anyone think that the word "HYPOCRISY" is too strong to describe the way God’s word is slanderously perverted to maintain such evil doctrines as eternal torment in a lake of fire for those whom theologians say God won’t save even though God says He WILL save them?

Do you still believe that the "lake of fire" contradicts I Tim. 2:4, and that when God says He WILL save all men, what He really means is that He will NOT save all men, but will rather torture MOST men for all eternity in a lake of real fire? Is that what you still believe?

Let’s not neglect the first part of the sentence which begins in verse 3 of I Tim. 2:

"For this is GOOD and ACCEPTABLE in the sight of God our Saviour…"

That God will "have ALL men to be saved" is both GOOD and ACCEPTABLE in God’s sight. These verses do NOT say: "For this is GOOD and ACCEPTABLE in the sight of God our Saviour; Who WILL NOT have all men to be saved, and WILL NOT have all men come unto the knowledge of the truth" now does it? Theologians tell us that the reality of this Scripture is that all men WILL NOT come into a knowledge of the truth and that all men WILL NOT be saved. THAT they tell us is the reality and truth of the Scriptures.

Now then, if the reality is that all men WILL NOT BE SAVED, but rather most men will be tortured in a literal lake of fire for all eternity, I ask: Is this "GOOD and ACCEPTABLE in the sight of God our SAVIOUR? Again I ask: Is it "GOOD and ACCEPTABLE" that most of humanity be tortured for all eternity? If it is "GOOD and ACCEPTABLE" that God DOES save all mankind, then it CANNOT also be "GOOD and ACCEPTABLE" that God DOES NOT save all mankind! Am I going too fast for anyone?

I believe that our Christian friends have been once more painted into their little theological corner from which the only way out is repentance!

God says in I Tim. 2:3 that it is "good and acceptable" that all men come to a knowledge of the truth and that all men be saved. This is a fact. This is not debatable. We know for sure the answer to that question. However, theologians tell us that most men (and women and teens) will be tortured in a lake of fire for all eternity, so they will NOT all be saved. Hence my next question: Is it "good and acceptable" in the sight of God our Saviour that most of humanity be tortured in a literal lake of fire for all eternity?

If we say: "Yes," we blaspheme!

If we say: "No," then God is compelled to do what IS "good and acceptable!"

Does anyone have a third alternative to this question? Do we really believe the Scriptures?

I can give you much more proof on this one verse, but more proof is not what we need. What we need is FAITH! FAITH to believe God; FAITH to believe Christ; FAITH to believe the Word!

So that was my little "test verse" to see how many truly believe the Word of God and have a love of the Truth. If you will not and can not believe I Tim. 2:4, then what need have I to show you more verses that you ALSO WILL NOT BELIEVE? If you still believe that I Tim. 2:4 will NEVER be fulfilled, then you have just proven to yourself conclusively that you will NEVER accept ANY VERSE OF SCRIPTURE THAT DOES NOT AGREE WITH YOUR OWN PRECONCEIVED PERSONAL AND CARNAL DOCTRINES!

There are only two options for those who claim that I Tim. 2:4 will NEVER come to pass: (1) You must prove that this verse is WRONGLY TRANSLATED and has a different meaning from what is stated, or (2) You must confess that YOU REALLY DON’T BELIEVE that the Scriptures are the divinely inspired Words of God. You have now been painted into your own little theological corner, and the only way out is REPENTANCE! There is NO WAY AROUND this verse in I Tim. 2:4 (and a dozen just like it). I have book-ended this verse so that no one can Scripturally contradict it. Anyone who attempts to do so is a LIAR and attempts to make God a LIAR! Now then, with that said:

"…and ALL LIARS, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8)!

But know this: all liars enter the lake of fire, but after going through it, they emerge honest as the day is long! I will prove that! For those of you who still have a love of the Truth, let’s continue:

Now for all of those who insist that all of God’s Word must be taken literally, I have another problem verse for you. Jesus Christ said in John 6:63b:

"…the words that I speak unto you, THEY ARE SPIRIT and they are life."

Even this simple statement is a metaphor! Condensed, it says this: "[my] words are spirit." That’s not literal; that’s figurative. Here’s the proof: If all the words that Jesus spoke were "literally" "spirit," then no one could ever READ THEM. You could never see them on a printed page because THEY WOULD BE INVISIBLE! SPIRIT IS INVISIBLE! GOD IS INVISIBLE!

Maybe here is the place that I should explain what I believe a metaphor represents. I have heard many and complicated theories as to what the components of a metaphor are and represent. Here are a few:

"The lake of fire, which, by virtue of being its cause, thus, represents the second death.

Not true.

"In the interpretation of a metaphor, the goal is to take note of the essential way in which the SYMBOLIC subject is like the LITERAL predicate."

Not true.

"Indeed, if in the presence of a symbolic, subject-expression, the meaning of the predicate-expression were itself unknowable—which would be the case if the predicate expression were a figure of speech—it would be IMPOSSIBLE to note the likeness between the two." (All CAPS are mine).

Not true.

"Meaningful, metaphorical usage entails a literal, predicate nominative."

Not true.

Not one of the above definitions of a metaphor is true.

Interestingly, the same person who says that the subject of a metaphor must be "symbolic" and the predicate "literal" or there would be no real comparison to determine the meaning of the metaphor, also goes on to say that the people thrown into this lake of fire are LITERALLY burned up and DIE. So they would have to die and be burned by SYMBOLIC FIRE? Give me a break. Symbolic fire does not literally burn up physical matter! The reverse is also true: LITERAL FIRE cannot burn up SYMBOLIC BODIES! No, the subject AND predicate of this metaphor are BOTH symbolic! Nor does one part of a metaphor "represent" the other part as stated above.

The above definitions of a metaphor just won’t work in the real world. Let’s try a couple:

"All flesh is grass" (I Pet. 1:24)

"All flesh represents grass"—In no way does "all flesh" represent "grass"!

"All symbolic flesh is literal grass"—In what way is "symbolic flesh," "literal GRASS? Or, in what way is literal grass like symbolic flesh. This is nonsense.

"All flesh" is itself a symbol for "life" and specifically HUMAN LIFE. "Grass" is ALSO a symbol for a very fragile FORM OF LIFE. BOTH are symbols! And it is not "impossible," but rather very easy to see the likeness between them.

For the benefit of my critics, let me get technical here for just a paragraph and then we will move on. Even a metaphor must be understood in the context that we find it, as no Scripture is its OWN interpretation. In our example "all flesh is grass," it does not say whether it means, "all living flesh is living grass" or "all living flesh is dead grass" or "all dead flesh is living grass" or "all dead flesh is dead grass." Is it important for us to know which it is? Well, yes it is, and God tells us in the verses that follow:

"All flesh is grass, And all its glory is as the flower of grass. Withered is the grass, And the flower falls off … Yet the declaration of the Lord is remaining…" (I Pet. 1:24-25).

This clearly shows a flowering grass in the "process" of dying, contrasted with God’s declarations which "remain" and do not die. In Isaiah 40:6-8, we also have the phrase, "the PEOPLE is grass," so again, we are speaking of living people who will rather quickly become like "dying grass."

Now then, is there a simple way that we can at least represent all metaphors in an intelligent, understandable statement? I think so. I have come up with a statement that seems to represent ALL metaphors correctly and honestly. Here is how it works: Take ANY metaphor and apply this principle to it:

A. "The WORDS that I speak unto you, they are SPIRIT." Or condensed: [My] Words ARE Spirit.

Next, add the words "like" and "in certain ways," and state the metaphor like this:

B. "The WORDS that I speak unto you, they are [like] SPIRIT [in certain ways].

There it is. Simple. Christ’s words are not literally spirit, but like spirit, but not in all ways, only in certain ways. And so far I have found this principle to work in all metaphors. Christ’s words are not like spirit in that they can be audibly heard by physical ears. They are not like spirit in that we have them on physical paper imprinted with physical ink, etc. But they are like spirit in that they have INVISIBLE POWER. Jesus Himself gives us an explanation of this very sort of thing,

"The wind blows where it will, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell whence it comes, and where it goes, SO IS every one that is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).

Jesus could have used a metaphor here and said something like this: "Those born of the Spirit are wind." But He didn’t. He explained in what "certain ways" they are "like" the wind. And that, you see, is what a metaphor really is. Now let’s try this principle to other metaphors and see if it does not simplify them:

A. "Take, eat: this [bread] is my body" Or condensed: "Bread is Body"

B. "Take eat: this [bread] is [like] my body [in certain ways]"

As physical bread gives nourishment to the physical body, the Bread from heaven is spiritual nourishment to our spiritual life as if we were eating Christ’s spiritual body.

A. "All flesh is grass" (I Pet. 1:24) Or condensed: "Flesh is Grass"

B. "All flesh is [like] grass [in certain ways].

Flesh, specifically that of humans, is very fragile like grass. It is short lived. It is easily killed or destroyed, etc.

A. "The lake of fire. This is the second death" (Rev. 20:14). Or condensed: "Lake of fire is Second death"

B. "The lake of fire is [like] the second death [in certain ways]."

But before we can see in what ways the lake of fire is like the second death, we must determine what this lake of fire is and what the second death is.

This metaphor is, admittedly, considerably more complex than most for a number of reasons:

  1. The subject contains the addition of an adjective.
  2. The Predicate contains the addition of an adjective.
  3. The phrase "lake of fire" is used nowhere else in Scripture.
  4. The Phrase "second death" is used nowhere else in Scripture.
  5. A lake is a body of water not fire.
  6. Nowhere do we find a counter-balancing phrase such as "the first death."
  7. Satan is thrown into this metaphor—real fire can’t hurt him.
  8. Why are the beast and false prophet thrown in to this metaphor before Satan?
  9. Although it is called the "second death," NO ONE ACTUALLY DIES!
  10. Why would we find "brimstone" or sulfur in this metaphor—brimstone is not something that is used to torture? (
  11. Death and hades are thrown into this metaphor—death and hades are not living creatures.
  12. Many humans are thrown into this metaphor, but we are not told that their bodies are either "burned" or "killed."
  13. Being only "fearful" (Greek: "timid") is cause to be thrown into this lake of fire. Even my detractors might find eternal torture rather excessive punishment for merely being "timid." There are Scriptural answers to all these enigmas.

How then shall we interpret this metaphorical Scripture? Or is this the enigma of all enigmas? The riddle of all riddles? Actually the Scriptures tell us exactly what this "lake of fire/second death" really is. But let me be quick to reassure you that we will never come to an understanding of this metaphor by applying the principles of Christian Theology. This metaphor is NOT physical, material, or literal, but SPIRITUAL in every way! We must look to the spiritual, through spiritual eyes if we are to ever comprehend this enigmatic metaphor.

THE KEYS TO SPIRITUAL INTERPRETATION

We will consider four guiding Scriptures:

1. "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" (II Pet. 1:20).

The KJV is not the best translation of this verse—it is neither by far the worst. The word "private" tends to fog the understanding of this Scripture. If no Scripture is to be of a "private" interpretation, are we to look for a "PUBLIC" interpretation? That sounds silly.

This is a profoundly important verse when it comes to interpreting Scripture. Yet, I doubt that there are many who understand this verse.

The Greek word translated "private" in the KJV is the word idios, and although it can mean private or separate, more specifically it has reference to "one’s OWN" or "his OWN" or "their OWN" or "your OWN" or "OWN." In this case, it would mean "ITS own" as a prophecy is non-personal and inanimate. See Strong’s Greek Dictionary p. 119. Now notice a couple of translations that retain this definition:

First from the Concordant Greek Text in an "Ultraliteral English Sublinear": "…this BEFORE-most KNOWING that EVERY BEFORE-AVERment OF-WRITing OWN ON-LOOSing NOT IS-BECOMING."

Rendered in the Translation as: "…knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture at all is becoming its OWN explanation."—Concordant Literal New Testament

Next from the Emphatic Diaglott English Interlineary: "…this first knowing, that all prophecy of a writing, of its OWN loosing not it is."

Rendered in the Translation as: "This first ascertaining, That All Prophecy of Scripture is not of its OWN Solution"—The Emphatic Diaglot, A New Emphatic Version.

I go to all these extra efforts of showing you the Greek so that you can be convinced yourself and not just believe that this is "my interpretation" of how a verse can or cannot be "interpreted."

So now we can make sense out of this verse, and how profound it is. It destroys the carnal minded approach to Scriptural interpretation. So here is what God is teaching us. No prophetic statement (Revelation is prophecy—See Rev. 22:18, "…the words of the prophecy of this scroll") has within its OWN statement the explanation and fulfillment of that statement. Therefore it is wrong and unscriptural to insist that the very verse that contains the prophecy (such as "the lake of fire. This is the second death") has within itself the interpretation of itself. That’s what God has now taught us in II Pet. 1:20! Therefore, we must go elsewhere to find the correct interpretation. But how do we do that without making blunders and mistakes? We have three more Key verses that will keep us on the right track.

2. "It is the spirit that quickens [makes alive]; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, THEY ARE SPIRIT and they are life."

We touched on this verse already, but it is an important part of our four-verse key. Again I ask: Who believes this verse? If the words that Jesus spoke are "spirit," then how can anyone suggest that everything He said must be taken "literally?" Christ taught in public by parables only. Parables are spiritual, not literal. The book of Revelation is the "Revelation of Jesus Christ," therefore the words of the book of Revelation are SPIRIT! The book of Revelation was "signified" (that is SYMBOLIZED). It is a whole book of symbols, metaphors, and figurative language. Therefore the metaphor: "the lake of fire which is the second death" must be spiritual! But how do we discern things that are "spiritual?"

We need another key.

3. "But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED" (I Cor. 2:14).

And so when I explain spiritual things, I get a lot of e-mail from Christians who condemn me in not too flattering tones, because they are carnal and cannot possibly receive spiritual things. They truly are FOOLISHNESS to them. They ask me if I can’t read. They tell me the verse ITSELF tells us what it means. (But isn’t that just what Peter said cannot be done? That no verse of prophecy explains ITSELF)?

There are reasons God put these verses in the Scriptures.

Remember earlier when we discussed how theologians compare physical things with physical things thinking that they will accomplish something spiritual? Show me a Scripture where God instructs us to compare physical things with physical things for spiritual understanding? SHOW ME! David said "A good understanding have all they that KEEP God’s commandments." The problem with all too many is that they don’t obey God ("Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed CAN BE" Rom. 8:7), and they don’t believe God. We MUST believe God when we are told that the book of Revelation is the words of Jesus Christ and therefore is SPIRIT! Next I will give you one of God’s commandments we are to follow if we are to ever understand such things as "the lake of fire."

The Scriptures don’t command us to compare physical things with spiritual things or spiritual things with physical things or physical things with physical things, so why do we do it? That is exactly how theologians have come to believe that the lake of fire and second death are literal physical tortures for all eternity. They have compared physical fire with physical fire and came up with the conclusion that the lake of fire is physical, material, literal FIRE! God never instructed us to learn spiritual lessons in this manner!

Next we will see how God does instruct us to understand SPIRITUAL MATTERS.

4. "Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth [not by comparing physical things with physical things], but which the HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES; COMPARING [OR MATCHING] SPIRITUAL THINGS WITH SPIRITUAL" (I Cor. 2:13)!

This is really quite profound. This marvelous Scripture, plus the three prior Scriptures will open up understanding to us that has been closed to many Christians for two thousand years.

Let’s recap what we have discovered about "the lake of fire" so far, not according to man’s wisdom, but according to God’s declarations in the SCRIPTURES:

  1. "The lake of fire is the second death" is FIGURATIVE language.
     
  2. "The lake of fire is the second death" is composed of four word SYMBOLS.
     
  3. "The lake of fire is the second death" is a classic example of a METAPHOR.
     
  4. "The lake of fire is the second death" was written in a book that was SIGNIFIED which makes something known by a sign, and a sign is a symbol.
     
  5. "The lake of fire is the second death" is a statement of prophecy and cannot be its OWN INTERPRETATION according to II Pet. 1:20.
     
  6. "The lake of fire is the second death" is a prophecy by Jesus, and Jesus has told us that His words are SPIRIT!
     
  7. "Things of the SPIRIT…are SPIRITUALLY discerned" (I Cor. 2:13). The "lake of fire" cannot, therefore, be PHYSICALLY discerned.

Here are seven proofs that "the lake of fire is the second death" cannot possibly be physical, material, and literal, as many claim to deduce from the verse itself.

Now back to our fourth key verse: "…comparing spiritual things with spiritual." Several translations make this "…matching spiritual things with spiritual." And that word "matching" clarifies this verse even more. Notice the next verse which we have already quoted above, "But the natural [carnal, Greek: animal man] receives NOT the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither CAN he know them, because they are SPIRITUALLY discerned." Now I have heard that verse quoted as many times as any of you, but how many quoting it had even a clue as to what they were quoting? It is often used by charismatic preachers to insinuate that they have special powers of spiritual discernment, and can therefore read your mind and heart and know whether you are in a bad attitude or maybe have a demon, etc., etc. But notice that God tells us exactly how to have "spiritual discernment." We are to follow the instruction in the preceding verse: "comparing [and/or matching] SPIRITUAL things with SPIRITUAL!"

So we have SEVEN proofs that this "lake of fire-second death" is FIGURATIVE language SIGNIFIED IN SYMBOLS, taking the form of a METAPHOR witnessed by John in a VISION and written in a BOOK OF SYMBOLS that is prophetic and therefore cannot be its OWN INTERPRETATION, being a revelation of Christ Who’s words are SPIRIT! And therefore we know two things to be absolute Scriptural truth: (1) This phrase is SPIRITUAL in meaning and not literal. (2) This prophecy cannot be its OWN INTERPRETATION as God commands in II Pet. 1:20. But if one doesn’t believe these seven spiritual proofs (or even ONE of them), how is he to have a spiritual understanding of spiritual things? To find the true interpretation of this spiritual metaphor we must compare it with other spiritual teachings of the same nature until we find a MATCH!

Before we look for something spiritual to match this metaphor, it will be helpful to know just what it means to be "spiritual." There is a giant different between something sounding spiritual and something that actually is spiritual.

WHAT DOES "SPIRITUAL" MEAN?

The American Heritage Dictionary, p. 1335, spiritual adj. 1. Of, relating in, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; NOT TANGIBLE OR MATERIAL.

Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, "spiritual" #4152, pneumatkos, "Pneumatkos ALWAYS connotes the ideas of INVISIBILITY and of POWER" p. 205. (All CAPS are mine).

THE "LAKE OF FIRE-SECOND DEATH" IS NOT TANGIBLE OR MATERIAL OR LITERAL, BUT RATHER IS AN INVISIBLE POWER! THE LAKE OF FIRE IS SPIRITUAL!

That’s right: the lake of fire is spiritual and therefore invisible. No one will ever SEE the lake of fire; just as no one will ever SEE God’s Spirit; and just as no one will ever SEE God’s "consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29). But make no mistake about it; the lake of fire is REAL, and it is very HOT, and it BURNS things, and its effects are ETERNAL—all, of course, SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING.

We need also to understand that not everything that is "spiritual" is holy and good. There is also "spiritual wickedness" (Eph. 6:12). Many believe that the impartation of "immortality" and "incorruption" automatically impart holiness and perfection as well. This is obviously not true, as there is much "spiritual wickedness" in high places among those who do possess incorruption and immortality. We must understand that something "spiritual" can also be extremely wicked, as this has much to do with the purpose and function of the lake of fire. Not only is the lake of fire itself "spiritual," but, everything that is thrown into the lake of fire is either spiritual or at least inanimate or intangible (as with "hades and death").

Okay, fine; the lake of fire is spiritual, but what about these questions: Who are thrown into it? When is it? Where is it? Why is it? What does it accomplish? How long will it burn, and how can you escape it? Now I could answer all those in one sentence, but it wouldn’t be very detailed, and I am sure you would want to know more.

I think most of my readers by now realize that I don’t believe for one second that the lake of fire is some hellhole of real fire that burns and tortures human flesh for all eternity. So we will now concentrate on just what the lake of fire is, what it accomplishes, for whom, and how long will it take.

To do this we must follow God’s four keys to understand spiritual things. God has provided these Scriptural keys so that the wise can and will understand His Word. We need to compare this SPIRITUAL lake of fire with something else SPIRITUAL that will tell us exactly what it is and what it does, to whom, and for how long. Is there such a spiritual Scripture in the Bible that matches the spiritual lake of fire? Yes, there is. There is but one other section of Scripture that fits that of the lake of fire and actually tells us what happens there.

A SPIRITUAL MATCH

In Rev. 20:11 we read of "a great white throne." In Verse 12 the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books are opened, and God presents us with a double witness that "every man’s work" shall be judged by "fire":

  1. "and the dead judged… ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS," (Rev. 20:11). And they are judged in "FIRE," Vers. 14, 15 & 21:8.
     
  2. "…they were judged every man ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS." (Rev. 20:13). And they are judged in "FIRE," Vers. 14, 15 & 21:8.

Now then, is there another Scripture that speaks of the judgment of "every man’s WORK?" and every man’s work judged by "FIRE?" Yes, there is, and only one other:

  1. "EVERY MAN’S WORK shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by FIRE" (I Cor. 3:13a).
     
  2. "…And the FIRE shall try EVERY MAN’S WORK…." (I Cor. 3:13b).

We have now located our "two witnesses." These are the only two places in the entirety of the Bible that speak of:

  1. "EVERY MAN…,"
     
  2. "Every man’s WORK…,"
     
  3. "Every man’s work, JUDGED…MANIFESTED, DECLARED, REVEALED, AND TRIED...,"
     
  4. "Every man’s work judged…tried BY FIRE."

We have proven by SEVEN proofs that the lake of fire in Rev. 20 is not physical, material, or literal, but SPIRITUAL. We shall now prove conclusively that the fire of I Cor. 3 is likewise, not physical, material, or literal, but SPIRITUAL as well. These two sets of Scriptures will explain each other. Remember that we learned there are two groups of people to be judged: (1) The whole world in the day of judging (Acts 17:31), and (2) The house of God NOW (I Pet. 4:17 & I Cor. 11:32). Since God is no respecter of persons, He judges both groups by the same means.

EXAMINING THE METAPHORS AND SYMBOLS OF I COR. 3

"I [Paul] have planted, Apollos has watered; but God gave the increase" (I Cor. 3:6).

"Now he that plants and he that waters are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor [works]. For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry [garden], ye are God’s building" (Vers. 8-9).

Comment: Paul didn’t plant carrots in a garden, which Apollos then watered, and God made them grow. This is not speaking of produce in a vegetable garden. This is figurative, symbolic language concerning the spiritual growth of PEOPLE! Paul says "YE" are God’s garden, and "YE" are God’s building. Now then, people are no more buildings than they are gardens. "Ye are God’s garden" is a METAPHOR and "Ye are God’s building" is a METAPHOR. Remember my aid to understanding metaphors: "Ye are [LIKE] God’s garden [IN CERTAIN WAYS]; "Ye are [LIKE] God’s building [IN CERTAIN WAYS]."

WE ARE GOD’S GARDEN

In what "certain ways" are we "like God’s garden?" Remember we must compare spiritual things with spiritual. Answer:

"My Father is the Farmer… "I [Jesus] am the grape vine. You [that’s us] are the branches. He who is remaining in Me, and I in him, this one is BRINGING FORTH MUCH FRUIT" (John 15:1 & 5). I

sn’t this easy when we stop fighting God’s Word with our own preconceived doctrines? And trust me; this is as hard as it get, if we will just allow God’s spirit to TEACH US spiritual things!

Now then, WHAT KIND of fruit are we talking about—apples and grapes? Let’s again, compare spiritual things with spiritual. Answer:

"But the FRUIT of the SPIRIT [in God’s spiritual garden, which we are] is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control" (Gal. 5:22-23).

All of these character traits from God’s Spirit are invisible and they are SPIRITUAL. But does that mean that they are not real? Of course not. In fact, we can SEE the results of these invisible, spiritual character traits of the spirit just as Jesus told us we can see the results of the invisible wind.

WE ARE GOD’S BUILDING

In what "certain ways" are we "like" God’s "building?"

"Know ye not that YE [that’s us] ARE the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells IN YOU" (I Cor. 3:16). "For ye are the temple of the living God…" II Cor. 6:16).

Notice that "ye are the temple of God" is another metaphor. In what certain ways are we like the temple of God? Answer:

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief corner stone; in Whom ALL THE BUILDING fitly framed together grows unto AN HOLY TEMPLE in the Lord: In Whom YE [that's us again] ALSO ARE BUILDED TOGETHER for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Eph. 2:19:23).

The Lord of heaven and earth "dwells not in temples made with hands" (Acts 17:24). Where does God then dwell? Are you ready for this? This is heavy stuff!

"If a man love Me, He will keep My words: and my Father will love him, and WE [both Jesus Christ AND His Father] WILL COME UNTO HIM [this is US if we love God], AND MADE OUR ABODE [our home] WITH HIM" (John 14:23)! WOW!

LOVE IS THE KEY TO DWELLING WITH GOD

And how does God make His abode with us? The key is to LOVE GOD!

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not knows not God; for GOD IS LOVE. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, GOD DWELLS IN US, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that WE DWELL IN HIM and HE IN US, because He hath given us of His SPIRIT" (I John 4:7-13).

Now for those who are glorying in the above marvelous Scriptures (to the exclusion of about FIFTY BILLION brothers and sisters whom they think will never experience any of this LOVE OF GOD), let us not neglect to read the next verse:

"And we have SEEN and do TESTIFY [so apparently this is more than just pious, unattainable, wishful thinking] that the Father SENT [COMMISSIONED] THE SON TO BE THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD"!

Do we need a second witness on this:

"We trust in the living God, Who IS THE SAVIOUR OF ALL MANKIND…" (I Tim. 4:10)!

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

DON’T BE DECEIVED! Those who glory and delight in the doctrine of eternal torment do NOT have the Spirit of God, and God does NOT make His abode with them! Such persons have a darkened heart, and what fellowship has light (God) with darkness? If you have been deceived into believing that God is going to torture most of humanity for all eternity in fire, but have hated the whole idea with all of your heart, then God will have mercy on your ignorance. But if you gloat in your pious self-righteousness, and eagerly await the day when those who do not follow your religion will be thrown into some hellhole lake of fire, then you have some serious repenting to do.

Here is where this evil doctrine of eternal torment brings out the evil in those who endorse it. Obviously if one feels that God is justified in TORTURING billions of precious human beings in literal fire, then certainly it must seem okay for us to have disdain now for these people that we just know are on their way to hell. I understand that one of the Queens of England justified burning people at the stake by stating that she was only doing NOW what God will be doing to them LATER. Sick!

And so Paul tells us that we are His "garden" where there will be fruit produced, and we are His "building" where God Himself will dwell. But He also tells us that we will have our old man pulled down and humbled while the fire of His spirit burns the wood, straw, and stubble till all such evils and destroyed. And at the same time, God builds man up by refining and purifying gold, silver, and precious stones (the very character traits of God Himself). First comes the physical, the carnal, the Old man that must be destroyed. Then comes the Spiritual—the man of God.

"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a NATURAL body; it is raised a SPIRITUAL body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (I Cor. 15:42-44).

First we are born into mortal bodies with carnal minds by which we build a plethora of straw, hay, and stubble. In judgment these things are burned up and destroyed by the God’s spirit, which is a CONSUMING FIRE. At the same time the qualities pictured as gold, silver, and precious stones are purged and purified by the fire of God’s spirit and made even better.

And so God’s instructions to Jeremiah in chapter one verse ten, are applied to each and every individual whom has ever lived: "See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms [of every man and every man’s work] to root out [‘For it is a FIRE that consumes to destruction, and would ROOT OUT all mine increase’ Job 31:12], and to pull down [‘And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall He PULL THEE DOWN’ Isaiah 22:19], and to destroy [‘To deliver such an one unto Satan for the DESTRUCTION of the flesh, that the spirit may be SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus’ I Cor. 5:5], and to throw down, [‘And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and THROW DOWN all thy strong holds’ Micah 5:11, And the ‘idols in their heart’ Ezek. 14:7, ‘CASTING DOWN imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and brining in to captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ’ II Cor. 10:5], TO BUILD [‘And now, brethren, I command you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to BUILD YOU UP, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified’ Acts 20-32], and TO PLANT [‘Thou shalt bring them in, and PLANT THEM in the mountain of Thine inheritance {heavenly Mount Zion} in the place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established’ Ex. 15:17]!"

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