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Fed By The Spirit

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(16) ... What is the "Good News" of the Gospel of Christ? (Re-examining the widely held belief of "eternal torment" in "Hellfire")

"WOW," I was taught and believed that multitudes upon multitudes of humans will suffer "eternal torment" in "Hellfire" for 100 trillion years, and then another 100 trillion years, and then another 100 trillion years, and it goes on and on with no hope of it every ending.

I am sure that each one of us, "deep inside" of our very being, know that something just does not add up about this viewpoint which is held by so many people as being Biblical, but we just can't quite figure out what is it that we are not understanding correctly from the Scriptures?

The "true" Biblical teaching is neither the traditional Christian view of hell, nor the view of annihilation. Our great God is neither a great torturer, nor a great annihilator, but He is the great Saviour of the world.

There are some Biblical topics which in order to get a better and clearer understanding of, require a lengthy Biblical explanation. This Biblical topic is certainly one of them. After all, there is certainly "NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT" than "our eternal purpose" & "our eternal destination!" Therefore, it is of the utmost importance for us to have a better and clearer Biblical understanding concerning this most important topic.

My purpose for this article is to Biblically "expound" upon: (1) "eternal torment" in "Hellfire" (2) "eternal annihilation" (3) to give a Biblical answer to the question "if there is no "eternal torment" in "Hellfire," and if there is no "eternal annihilation" of our very being, then what are we being saved from, and what is our being here during this present time on earth really all about?"

I was a Christian for 38 years before the Lord opened up my Spiritual understanding to see more clearly some Biblical truths that I had not properly understood before in regards to the finished work of Christ on the Cross.

It is very likely that most Christians, including myself, have at some point and time in their innermost being have thought to themselves, "Is God, who created the human race for the purpose of having eternal fellowship with "Him", really going to sentence the majority of the human race to suffer "eternal torment" in "Hellfire?" Well, I guess so, because that is what the Bible says!"

Well, let us examine the "Scriptures" in the Bible very carefully and see if we are really being told that there is really going to be "eternal torment" in "Hellfire."

In the 2nd chapter of Luke, we are told  that there were some shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, when suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared to them and said to them "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you "Good News" of great joy, which is for (ALL) people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

If that is indeed the case, it is beyond all comprehension to me as to why the proclamation was made that the birth of Christ the Saviour is "Good News" of great joy for (ALL) people, if still even after the birth of Christ the Saviour and "His" sacrificial death on the Cross for the human race, that the larger portion of the human race is still going to be "condemned" to "eternal torment" and "eternal separation" from God.

Does that sound like "Good News" for (ALL) people? 

We need to examine much more carefully what the Written Word of God "declares" concerning the "Good News" of the Gospel of Christ, and the finished work of Christ on the Cross. After all, there is "NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT" than "our eternal purpose" & "our eternal destination!"

The Church today claims to be proclaiming the "Good News" of the Gospel of Christ, and yet the most important part of the message of the "Good News" of Christ "is not being proclaimed today" by the Church, because today’s Church  has not understood how "PROFOUND" the finished work of Christ on the Cross really is.

It seems that God had fellowship with Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden quite frequently, maybe even on a daily basis before they sinned.

"EACH" and "EVERY" human being has been created for the purpose of having fellowship with God for all eternity. This has always been the plan of God from even before the creation of all things. 

"His" plan "cannot be changed," because God "PRE-DETERMINED" our fellowship with "Him" for all eternity from before the creation of all things. God "Himself" tells us that it "cannot be changed," because "HE" tells us in Malachi 3:6 - I am the Lord, I change not;

It is IMPOSSIBLE for God's "PRE-DEDERMINED" plan for the entire human race to fail.  To  attribute failure to God is of the "highest insult" to our Creator !!!

We are told in 2nd Peter 3:9 that the Lord is not willing that any should perish. In the Greek translation, the word "willing" means "intend." (i.e. - The Lord "does not intend" for any to perish) What a HUGE difference this makes in giving us a proper understanding of the actual meaning of this Passage of "Scripture."

Lamentations 3:31 - "For the Lord will not cast off forever." (i.e.- reject, forsake, abandon) This verse is very clear in communicating to us God's promise that NO ONE will be separated from "Him" for all eternity.

The Bible reveals to us the Father's heart. The Cross reveals to us the Father's "indescrible love" for us, "His" creation. God did not create the human race, to then only wind up rejecting and abandoning the majority of  the human race  to total abandonment from "Him" for all eternity.

Philippians 2:10 - 11 is one of the most PROFOUND Passages of "Scripture" in the Bible. “That at the name of JESUS every knee will bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth: And that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

There is absolutely nowhere in this Passage of "Scripture" that states or even suggests that every knee will be "FORCED" to bow the knee to the name of JESUS!  In all religions, bowing the knee is a "voluntary" form of worship.

As explained in the next several paragraphs, we will come to understand more clearly that Philippians 2:10 - 11 is revealing to us that bowing the knee and confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord "is not going to be forced" upon (ALL), but that (ALL) will do so willingly.

Throughout the Bible, we find that the "Scriptures" clearly state that God "only accepts a willing heart."

A word study of "confess"  (ἐξομολογήσεται)  in the Greek language (in light of the way that this same verb is used in other New Testament "Scripure") reveals that this verb in the context of this Passage of "Scripture" is rendered "to thank." That meaning growing out of the sense of open, joyful acknowledgement. The sense here is that of frank, open confession.

An individual cannot praise and joyously proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, "if one is being forced to do so," especially if that individual knows that "eternal damnation" & "eternal separation" from God awaits them. It is just that simple!

The traditional teaching on this Passage of "Scripture" has been that even the enemies of the Cross will be forced to bow their knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

This train of thought is in complete “contradiction” to the Written Word of God, because the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, "clearly teaches" that the Lord only accepts praise and worship "from a willing heart." "Forced praise and worship" DOES NOT bring Glory to God.

In Philippians 2:10-11God IS NOT proclaiming that all those who have not known Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, "are going to be forced" to bow their knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

"ON THE CONTRARY," God is proclaiming to us an "astonishing" and "profound" revelation, that because of the finished work of Christ on the Cross, that (ALL) will come to know Jesus Christ in such a way that (ALL) "will willingly" (not be forced) acknowledge openly with praise, and proclaim joyously that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The "true meaning" of Philippians 2:10-11 has been "greatly overlooked" by the Church today!

There can be little doubt that after the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ and "His" Saints on earth, that Christ is going to give all enemies of the Cross, and "each" and "every person" who did not have the Gospel of Christ presented to them, a  PROFOUND  revelation of what "HE" did for them on the Cross, which was done out of "His" indescribable love for them.

When the Bible speaks of "Hellfire," it is just simply a "metaphorical expression" that was used in Biblical times. "Hellfire" is not going to produce physical suffering to the lost (lost - those without Christ). Rather, the lost are going to experience "Spiritual grief," which will indeed be agonizing, because of the refining FIRE of God's Spirit Malachi 3:2 - "The Lord is like a refiner's fire."  Hebrews 12:29 - "For our God is a consuming fire."

The "completion" of this mighty work of God is going to produce a "PROFOUND" revelation of what Christ did for them on the Cross. The results of this revelation to them will probably burn in them to such a degree, that it will probably produce an agony in them beyond comprehension, which will cause them to fall down to their knees, and with great joy and praise from the most innermost part of their being, "proclaim openly" that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

We are given another PROFOUND Passage of "Scripture" in Luke 3:6, which states: "AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD." The King James translation has every word in this Passage of "Scripture" in capitol letters. This apparently is for the purpose of wanting the readers to take special notice of this Passage of "Scripture," because it is proclaiming something that is quite PROFOUND.

A word study of "see" in the Greek language "reveals" that one of the definitions of "see" can mean "to experience; to become a partaker of." Because of the way that this Passage of "Scripture" is constructed, it is very reasonable to believe that this is the true meaning of "see" in this Passage of "Scripture."

A better rendering of this Passage of "Scripture" would read: "AND ALL FLESH SHALL EXPERIENCE AND BECOME PARTAKERS OF GOD'S SALVATION." 

NOTE: At some point and time in the future, the above Passage of "Scripture" will be fulfilled. This will all be worked out in God's ETERNAL "plan for man."

The “GOOD  NEWS” of the Gospel of Christ is the RECONCILIATION of (ALL) things back to God through the finished work of Christ on the Cross.
 
Colossians 1:20 And God was pleased for Christ to make peace by sacrificing "His" blood on the Cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God.
 
Colossians 1:26 This is the "mystery" which has been hidden from ages past and from generations, but now has been revealed to "His" Saints.
 
Ist Corinthians 15:22 tells us “For as in Adam (ALL) die, even so in Christ shall (ALL) be made alive. Once again, take special note that (ALL) shall be made alive in Christ.  

What is important to understand is that God has a purpose and plan for (ALL). At the 2nd coming of Christ, the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ will begin in which "He" and the Saints who have overcome (overcoming Saints - 2nd & 3rd Chapters of Revelation) will rule and reign here on earth.

At some point and time after the 1,000 year rule and reign of Christ and the Saints who have overcome here on earth, "everyone else" through  the "refining fire" of God's Spirit, "will be reconciled back to God" because of the finished work of Christ on the Cross. This was the plan of God from the very beginning of creation. This is what the "GOOD NEWS" of the Gospel of Christ is all about.

Ist Corinthians 15:26 tells us "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." (i.e - the last enemy to be destroyed is separation from God) "ALL" will be "reconciled" back to God. yes, even the fallen angels.

God did not create multitude upon multitude of angels and then think to "Himself," "When I created the Angels, I did not know that a large number of them would rebel against ME."

Also, God did not create man in "His" own image and then think to "Himself," "When I created the human race, I did not know that the majority of the human race would rebel against me to the point that the majority of the human race will have to endure "everlasting torment" & "everlasting separation" from ME."

God already knew before "HE" created the human race, that multitudes of people would die without being presented with the Gospel of Christ, therefore, missing out on the opportunity to make Christ their Lord and Saviour. Also, God already knew that the majority of the human race would become enemies of the Cross.

Are we to believe that God would still have made the decision to create the human race, if "HE" already knew that the majority of the human race would be "condemned" to suffer "everlasting torment" & "everlasting seperation" from "Him?"  I THINK NOT !!!

Are we to believe that God who created us to bring Glory to "Him," is such a failure that "HE" is left with no choice but to "condemn" the majority of the human race to "eternal torment" & "eternal separation" from "Him," which will not only bring NO GLORY to "Him," but to the contrary, will only highlight "His" failure in "His" original purpose for creating us?  I THINK NOT !!!

Also, I would like to address the issue of "annihilation." There are those who do not agree with the common belief of unsaved people eventually burning in "Hellfire" for eternity or experiencing some other type of "eternal torment," but their belief is that unsaved people will eventually be "annihilated" and exist no more.

This belief cannot be correct, because we are told in Ecclesiastes 3:11 - "He" has made everything beautiful in it's time. "He" also has planted "eternity" in men's hearts and minds." (a divinely planted sense of a purpose working through the ages).

God created us as "eternal beings." Our eternal "Spirit" "CANNOT be destroyed." Remember, God made us after "His" own image!

THE PROFOUND "FINISHED WORK" OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS HAS NOT BEEN PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD BY THE TODAY'S CHURCH!

God from the very beginning had a plan and purpose for (ALL) creation. "HE" already knew how things would turn out. "HE" made no mistakes. In past ages, God's plan and purposes were unfolding and being worked out. In this present age, God's plan and purposes are unfolding and being worked out. In future ages, God's plan and purposes will continue to unfold and be worked out.

There are multitude upon multitude of families who have prayed for the salvation of their loved ones, only to see them die without knowing Christ as their Lord & Saviour.

Even though they will not take part in the 1st Resurrection and rule and reign with Christ and the Saints (Saints who have overcome) during the Millennial Kingdom Age, we can take great comfort in knowing that (at some point and time) after the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ and the Saints who have overcome, that "EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM" will live for (ALL) eternity under the perfect peaceful conditions of a New Heaven & New Earth.

This is what the "GOOD NEWS" of the Gospel of Christ is all about, the "RECONCILIATION" of (ALL) back to God, through the finished work of Christ on the Cross. The finished work of Christ on the Cross made provision for the "REDEMPTION" of (ALL), "WITHOUT EXCEPTION."

The very last words of JESUS on the Cross before "His" last breath were, "IT IS FINISHED!" Those 3 words will "ECHO" into ALL ETERNITY. Those 3 words PROCLAIMED the final destination of (ALL) being "RECONCILED" back to God.

From even before the creation of all things, the "RECONCILIATION" of (ALL) back to God through the "SHED BLOOD" of Christ on the Cross has always been our Creator's plan.

In John 12:32, JESUS "declares to us" that "HE" will draw (ALL) people unto "Himself." (Note: "each in their own time'')

We are told in Colossians 1:16 that (ALL) things created in heaven, and on earth, visible and invisible, were created for God's Glory. This is why that it is "IMPOSSIBLE" for any part of God's creation "to remain" in "an inglorious condition" for "ALL OF ETERNITY."

In due time, in the Ages to come, (ALL) of God's creation will bring glory to God as was pre-ordained by God before the creation of all things.

The Bible "message" SCREAMS OUT God's plan of "ETERNAL SALVATION" FOR (ALL); NOTE: each in their own time!

JESUS "declares to us" in John 6:44 that nobody can come to "Him" except the Father "draws them" to "Him!" It is "IMPOSSIBLE" for anyone to come to JESUS and surrender their lives to JESUS, without the "working drawing power" of the Holy Spirit.

You see, there is no individual that is "more special than another individual" as to cause the Lord to draw that individual through the "working drawing power" of "His" Holy Spirit to surrender their lives to JESUS, thereby, saving that individual from "eternal torment" & "eternal separation" from "Him," but then sentences another individual to "eternal torment" & "eternal separation" from "Him" who never had the "working drawing power" of the Holy Spirit drawing them to surrender their lives to JESUS.

JESUS told the religious leaders (it was the religious leaders who were responsible for "His" crucifixion) that the publicans and harlots would enter the Kingdom of God before them. JESUS did not say that these wicked religious leaders would not enter into the Kingdom of God. JESUS was telling these wicked religious leaders that the publicans and harlots would "precede them," go "ahead of them" in their entrance into the Kingdom of God.

Most Christians are very familiar with the Passage of "Scripture" that "declares to us" that there is coming a time when God "shall wipe away (ALL) tears," and there shall be "no more sorrow," and there shall be "no more pain." This is "declared to us" by the Lord in Revelation 21:4.

Revelation 21:1 gives us greater insight into what Revelation 21:4 is really "declaring to us."

Revelation 21:1 - "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away."

It is important for us to take "SPECIAL NOTICE" that it is after the Lord's handiwork of a New Heaven & New Earth that is "declared to us" in verse 1, that then verse 4 "declares to us" that there will be "no more tears," and "no more sorrow," and "no more pain."

The Bible tells us that "1,000 years before a New Heaven & New Earth takes place," Christ is going to set up "His" Millennial Kingdom here on earth, in which "HE" and the Saints who have overcome, will rule and reign.

The Saints will already be in their "new Glorified bodies" when they come with Christ to rule and reign with "Him." Therefore, all their tears, and all their sorrows, and all their pain, "will have already been removed from them" for (ALL) eternity.

Therefore, Revelation 21:4 "is not referring" to the Saints who are already in their "new Glorified bodies," and have been ruling and reigning with Christ throughout the "previous Millennium" which takes place "prior" to the Lord's handiwork of a New Heaven and a New Earth.

That then raises the question, who is the Lord referring to in Revelation 21:4 ?

Since Revelation 21:4 is "declaring to us" that (ALL) tears shall be wiped away, it becomes clear that the Lord is "declaring to us" that (All) in this Passage of "Scripture" is referring to the rest of humanity, beginning with Adam & Eve.

So, Revelation 21:4, along with other Passages of "Scripture" that have been shared in this article "declares to us" that "not one single person" will suffer "eternal torment" & "eternal separation" from God.

NOTE: The Book of Revelation in the Bible explains to us that after the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ and the Saints on earth, then comes the "Great White Throne Judgment," and then at some point and time after the "Great White Throne Judgment," the Lord's handiwork of a New Heaven & New Earth will take place.

The "Great White Throne Judgment" will put into motion the final step in the Lord's plan of reconciling (ALL) unto "Himself" through the finished work of Christ on the Cross. This will be accomplished through the "mighty burning working power of God's Spirit" working through each individual who comes before this "Great White Throne Judgment."

The "Scriptures" do not reveal to us the length of time that this process will take. It is after that this process has been completed by the "mighty burning working power of God's Spirit" in each individual who has come before the "Great White Throne Judgment," that the Lord will do "His" handiwork of a New Heaven & New Earth. There will be "no more tears," and "no more sorrow," and "no more pain" for anyone, for (ALL) eternity.

JESUS clearly tells us in John 12:32, that after "His" death and Resurrection, that "HE" will draw (ALL) people unto "Himself" (Note: each in their own time). The "Kingdom of Darkness" has been very successful in blinding the present-day Church from seeing this "GREAT TRUTH" that JESUS so clearly tells us in this verse, as well as other Passages of "Scripture" throughout the Bible which reveals to us this same TRUTH!

Today's Church is greatly lacking in it's understanding of what our purpose of being here on earth is all about. IT IS NOT ABOUT who is going to get saved, because (ALL) will be saved (each in their own time). THIS IS ALL ABOUT the Lord proving "His" servants, because it will be only the "Servants of the Lord" who have been faithful, who will rule and reign with Christ.

There will be many "servants of the Lord" who will be found not to have been faithful servants, and therefore, they will not rule and reign with Christ. In fact, JESUS addresses this issue in some of "His" rather difficult to understand parables.

NOTE: The New Testament was written in the ordinary language of the common people of its day, which included "idioms"  that were used in their everyday language.

("idiom" - a figure of speech) In fact, every language has its own "idioms," which really makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE when trying to come to a correct understanding of a particular Passage of "Scripture" in the Bible which contains an "idiom."

It is important for us to know that JESUS used "idioms" in "His" teachings, which were understood by the people during that period of time.

A very  good example of this is given to us in Matthew 22:13. Here is the "true meaning" of Matthew 22:13. Many read "hell" into Jesus' statement in Matthew 22:13 about the outer darkness and the "weeping" & "gnashing of teeth." This imagery has nothing to do with "hell" at all, but simply portrays the profound regret which is experienced by those who are outside the hall of the wedding feast. They are not inside, with the food, the light, and the dancing, but are in the darkness outside.

The "weeping" & "gnashing of teeth" is a Middle Eastern way of expressing regret and shame.

When I first wrote this article in May of 2014, did not have the information that is printed below. Two years later, in September of 2016, I came across the information that is printed below, which is published by the Pittsburg Bible Institute. It was a great blessing to come across this "priceless" piece of information which has not been properly understood by the Church today. 

It is as if the Lord led me to this "priceless" piece of information which I found on the Pittsburg Bible Institute site, because it "strongly validates" what I have written and shared in this article.

Published by the Pittsburg Bible Institute:

“The Lake of Fire and Brimstone signifies a fire burning with brimstone; the word 'brimstone' or sulphur defines the character of the fire. The Greek word THEION translated 'brimstone' is exactly the same word THEION which means 'divine.' (emphasis mine) Sulphur was sacred to the deity among the ancient Greeks; and was used to fumigate, to purify, and to cleanse and consecrate to the deity; for this purpose they burned it in their incense.

In Homer's Iliad (16:228), one is spoken of as purifying a goblet with fire and brimstone. The verb derived from THEION is THEIOO, which means to hallow, to make divine, or to dedicate to a god (See Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon, 1897 Edition). To any Greek, or any trained in the Greek language, a 'lake of fire and brimstone' would mean a 'lake of divine purification.' The idea of judgment need not be excluded. Divine purification and divine consecration are the plain meaning in ancient Greek. In the ordinary explanation, this fundamental meaning of the word is entirely left out, and nothing but eternal torment is associated with it.”

Charles Pridgeon; Is Hell Eternal, or Will God’s Plan Fail; pgs 116 & 117.

Here, Brother Pridgeon makes a vital point: brimstone is for purification, not punishment. This thought went unquestioned until the Dark Ages. His purpose was understood to purify and consecrate, not separate and punish. This Lake of Divine Fire will purify, refine, restore and consecrate til there is nothing left that is contrary to Him.

An interesting note here, going along with the train of thought is that the Greek word for fire is pur, and is where we get such words as pure, purify and purgatory. Fire in this sense is for purification, not destruction.

You may very well be asking the question "if there is no "eternal torment" for anyone, and if there is no "eternal annihilation" for anyone, then what are we being saved from?

Hopefully, the answer to that question will become more clear from what I will be sharing from the Written Word of God.

You see, when someone receives the gift of salvation, that person is being saved from having to go through the process of the refining FIRE of God's Spirit for the purpose of divine purification. This is a process that all unbelievers will go through, which through the shed blood of Christ on the Cross, is God's final step in "reconciling" that person back to "Him" that "He" promished to do. Malachi 3:2 - "The Lord is like a refiner's fire."  Hebrews 12:29 - "For our God is a consuming fire."

(Colossians 1:20 - And God was pleased for Christ to make peace by sacrificing "His" blood on the Cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God.)

It is very important for us to have the understanding that Believers in Christ who have not been faithful servants will also go through the very same process as unbelievers (Luke 12:46) in respect to the refining FIRE of God's Spirit doing a work of divine purification in them.

That is illustrated in Matthew 24:51 in which in the parable of the unfaithful servant, JESUS declares that the unfaithful servant will be assigned the "same portion as the unbelievers," which will be the process of the refining FIRE of God's Spirit for the purpose of divine purification.

In that parable, JESUS is not speaking about unbelievers, because an unbeliever is not a servant of JESUS. Only a Believer in Christ can be called a servant.

When a person receives the gift of salvation, that person then becomes a servant of God. It is up to that person whether or not they remain faithful to the Lord.

This is why that JESUS declares to us in Matthew 24:51 that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (i.e. - Profound regret and sorrow)

The reason for their weeping and gnashing of teeth, is because they will come to the "stark realization" that as a Believer in Christ, they were given the opportunity to rule & reign with Christ, but because they were found to have been an unfaithful servant, they will have missed out on having obtained the "prize" of the "high calling" of God in Christ Jesus, which the Apostle Paul speaks about, which is to rule & reign with Christ.

So, when a person receives the gift of salvation, that person is not escaping "hell" and "eternal torment" and "eternal annihilation," because the doctrine of "hell" and "eternal torment" and "eternal annihilation" is not Biblical! Instead, that person (if they remain faithful to the Lord) will not be put through the process of the refining FIRE of God's Spirit for the purpose of divine purification.

This Biblical explanation is certainly much different than what is being taught by the mainstream Christian Church today.

A much closer examination of a number of the parables of JESUS, reveals the same Biblical truths that have already been shared in this article.

NOTE: I do not understand how that a Christian can read this article in it's entirety without serious questions being raised in their mind and Spirit about the traditional teaching on "Hell," the "Lake of Fire," and "eternal torment" that is being taught today in the Church, and is widely accepted as "truth" by most Christians today.

Satan has done a very masterful job in "blinding" today's Church to many Biblical truths. Not only does Satan hate humans because they are made in God's image, but because Satan lost his position of being the highest ranking angel before he sinned, he cannot stand the thought of Christians ruling and reigning with Christ. 

The Church has been "deceived" into believing that all Christians will rule and reign with Christ. However, a closer examination of the "Scritptures" will reveal to us that there will be many Christians who will not rule and reign with Christ.

Satan does not want Christians to know this "little known truth" which has not been understood by the Church today. It is Christians who have practiced "applying" the "overcoming" Christian principles to their lives, who will rule and reign with Christ. 

Philippians 3:14 is a MONUMENTAL Passage of "Scripture" for a Christian to understand. After a careful examination of this Passage of "Scripture," if we are able to come to an understanding of the "profound truth" that is in this Passage of "Scripture," then it becomes clear as to why this Passage of "Scripture," is of MONUMENTAL importance for a Christian to understand.

The widespread teaching of the Church today, is that all Christians will rule and reign with Christ. However, upon careful examination of the "Scriptures," the Written Word of God tells us differently.

The Lord through "His" Written Word, is wanting us to understand that Salvation through Grace is "His" gift to those who accept JESUS as their Lord and Saviour, and to understand that after that a person's Salvation, that there is a "prize" that awaits all those who "press toward the mark" for the "prize" of the "high calling" of God in Christ Jesus.

The "prize" is that of ruling and reigning with Christ, which can "only be obtained through" a Christian becoming qualified. (qualified - i.e. having been made fit for a position or purpose) Not all Christians will be qualified to rule and reign with Christ.

In fact, one such example can be found in Revelation 3:16, in which JESUS tells the Laodicean Church that because of it's "lukewarm conditon," that "HE" is going to spew them out of "His" mouth. (i.e. because they were not applying the "overcoming" Christian principles to their lives, they will not rule and reign with "Him")

NOTE: JESUS was warning those who were in a "lukewarm conditon," that "if they continued" to stay in that condition, "the final results" would be that they will not rule and reign with "Him" when "HE" returns to set up and establish "His" Kingdom here on earth.

When JESUS made that statement, "HE" was addressing Christians. There is no such thing as a lukewarm non-believer. Only a Believer in Christ can become lukewarm.

JESUS also gives several more examples in some of "His" parables, which can be difficult to understand when trying to decipher the true meaning.

Having obtained the free gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ does not in itself "qualify" us to rule and reign with Christ. After the free gift of Salvation, the Lord then wants us to have the understanding that there is a "prize" that awaits Christians, but is not automatically awarded to each and every Christian, but is only awarded to those who "press toward the goal" of obtaining that "prize" which the Apostle Paul speaks about.

Salvation through Jesus Christ puts us in position to have the opportunity to "qualify" for obtaining the "prize" of ruling and reigning with Christ.

The Apostle Paul tell us in Philippines 3:14 that he was always "pressing toward the mark" for the "prize" of the "high calling" of God in Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul understood that if a Christian is not careful and not wise to the tactics of the enemy, then he or she can easily "miss the mark" of obtaining the "prize" which is to rule and reign with Christ.

I believe that this was constantly on the Apostle Paul's mind. The Apostle Paul was so concerned about this, that in the 9th Chapter of 1st Corinthians, he tells us that we are to run the race and finish the race in order to obtain the "prize."

The Apostle Paul states the last thing that he wanted was to become a "castaway" himself. The word "castaway" in the Greek means: unapproved, rejected, disqualified.

Even though the Apostle Paul had obtained his Salvation through Grace, and had obtained a very powerful gifting to carry out his earthly ministry, he recognized that if he did not run the race and finish it, that he would himself be unapproved, rejected, disqualified from obtaining the "prize" of ruling and reigning with Christ.

The Apostle Paul was determined to not allow himself "to lose sight" of "pressing toward the mark" for the "prize" of ruling and reigning with Christ.

JESUS tells us in Revelation 3:21, "To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with "ME" on my throne." (i.e. - "HE" will grant the "prize" of ruling & reigning with "Him" to Christians who have practiced "applying" the "overcoming" Christian principles to their lives)

When we are able to grasp the revelation of what "pressing toward the mark" for the "prize" of the "high calling" of God in Christ Jesus truly entails, then some of the difficult to understand sayings of JESUS, and the meaning of some of the difficult to understand parables of JESUS will become more clear to our understanding.

Speaking of difficult to understand sayings of JESUS, I could never understand this saying of JESUS, when "HE" declares in Matthew 21:31 - Verily, I say unto you, that the publicans and harlots will go into the kingdom of God before you. JESUS is declaring to these wicked religious leaders that they would indeed enter into the Kingdom of God, but that the publicans and harlots would enter in the Kingdom of God, before them. 

When reading this, I would always think to myself "if there is going to be "eternal torment" for the unbeliever, then why is JESUS clearly stating in this verse that these wicked religious leaders who were unbelievers, are going "to be allowed" to enter into the Kingdom of God?"

After I gained a good Biblical understanding of the finished work of Christ on the Cross, and a better understanding of God's plan for the human race, I then came to a good understanding of this saying of JESUS.

You see, the publicans and harlots who have repented and "have become faithful followers" of JESUS, will enter into the Kingdom of God 1st, which will take place at the 2nd coming of JESUS. This 1st group will be the ones who will "inherit" the Kingdom of God, which gives them the privilege of ruling and reigning with Christ.

These wicked religious leaders will indeed enter into the Kingdom of God, but not until after the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ & "His" Saints. After that, these wicked religious leaders along with all unbelievers, will stand before the "Great White Throne Judgment." It will be at this point, that the Lord will begin the process of the refining FIRE from "His" Spirit for the purpose of divine purification.

After this process by the Lord is completed, (the Bible does not tell us how long this process will take) then they also will be allowed to enter into the Kingdom of God.

A "major blind spot" of today's Church, has been, and is, it's lack of understanding in the difference of "entering" the Kingdom of God, and "inheriting" the Kingdom of God. Only those who "inherit" the Kingdom of God, will rule and reign with Christ!

Here is another saying of JESUS in Matthew 20:16 which has not been properly understood by the Church today: "Many are called, but few are chosen."

The "many" in this verse has generally been understood by most Christians to mean those who are unbelievers. But that is "not the correct meaning." The Pure Word New Testament translation  uses the "monadic hermeneutics translation method" which gives us a more accurate Greek language translation of the New Testament.

The Pure Word New Testament translation for Matthew 20:16 reads: "Many are inwardly called (Born-Again), but few Elect" (chosen; selected).

The Pure Word New Testament translation was 20 years in the making.

In this verse, JESUS is saying that out of the "Many Born-Again individuals" there will be only a few "Elect." The reason why they are called the "Elect," is because they are the ones who will have been found to have been faithful servants of the Lord.

To explain Matthew 20:16 in a way that will be clearer to the reader: There will be a large number of Believers in Christ who will be found to have "not been faithful servants" of the Lord. They therefore at the 2nd coming of Christ, will not be allowed to enter into the Kingdom of God (at that point in time) to rule and reign with Christ.

Out of the large number of Believers in Christ, there will be a much smaller number of Believers in Christ who will be found to have been faithful servants of the Lord. Therefore, they will be allowed to enter into the Kingdom of God to rule and reign with Christ.

It is only the "Elect" who will rule and reign with Christ. The "many", even though they are Born-Again individuals, will have been found to not have been faithful to the Lord. They eventually will enter into the Kingdom of God, but they will not rule and reign with Christ.

In the 25th Chapter of Matthew, we have a parable of JESUS, in which there is a "Bridegroom," and there are "10 virgins." The "Bridegroom" represents JESUS, and the "10 virgins" represent Believers in Christ.

Notice that the DOOR WAS SHUT to "5 of the virgins." The DOOR "represents" entrance into the Kingdom of God. "5 of the virgins" were not prepared because they did not have a "right relationship" with the Lord. This is why "they were denied entrance" into the Kingdom of God to rule and reign with Christ.

Also, in the 25th Chapter of Matthew, we have another parable of JESUS concerning talents. We are told the end results of "His" 3 servants.

2 of '"His" servants "increased" their talents (i.e. - brought forth Spiritual fruit). The Lord was pleased with them and said to them "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord."

The other servant "did not increase" his talent (i.e. - did not bring forth Spiritual fruit). The Lord had "His" other servant, "which did not bring forth Spiritual fruit," cast out into outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The meaning of outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, has already been discussed earlier in this article. 

In John 15:3 JESUS proclaims:"Every branch in Me that bears not fruit, the Father will take away." This verse coincides with the parable of JESUS in the 25th Chapter of Matthew regarding the 3 servants and their talents.

TAKE VERY SPECIAL NOTICE that JESUS said "every branch in Me." Only Believers in Christ can be a branch in Him. A non-believer cannot be a branch in Him. So, JESUS in this verse, is clearly proclaiming that Believers in Christ who do not bear fruit, (ie. - who have not been faithful servants) will have their portion with the unbelievers, which JESUS clearly proclaims in Luke 12:46, which has been discussed earlier in this article.

For most of my Christian life, John 15:3 was always a great puzzle to me. However, as I have begun to gain more and more understanding from God's Written Word, the pieces of the puzzle have begun to fall into place in such a way that it has given me a clearer understanding (certainly not a full understanding, but a clearer understanding) of God's plan for the human race, which I have not properly understood before.

In the Pure Word New Testament Greek Translation, the word "believe" in regards to one's salvation, is translated "to commit one's self to continually." This gives us the true Biblical meaning of "to believe on Christ," in regards to one's salvation.

Without a doubt, "a top priority of Satan, through deceit," is to keep as many Christians as he can from obtaining the "prize" of ruling and reigning with Christ.

NOTE: Have you ever thought about what exactly it is that the Saints who have been faithful, will be ruling and reigning over?

It is clear from "Scripture" that the unbelievers who survive the Great Tribulation Period, will be allowed to enter the Millennium Kingdom Age of Christ on earth, in which they will continue to bear children and populate the earth.

There are estimates the 80 Billion people to several hundred Billion people could be born during this period of time. The Age that will follow the Millennium Kingdom Age will be the New Earth Age. I do believe that the case can be made from a careful study of the "Scriptures," that the "Scriptures" reveal that people will continue to born in the New Earth Age.

As of January 2017, through the latest telescope technology, scientists are now able to observe 10% of the Universe, which has revealed that there are now an estimated 2 Trillion Galaxies in our Universe. Also, there is now believed to be an estimated 800 Billion to 8 Trillion Planets in our Galaxy (The Milky Way).

There are certain to be many more Galaxies in our Universe, because these estimates come only from the observable Universe, which up to the present (January of 2017), is only 10%. We now know that our Universe is continually expanding, and that it is now expanding at an accelerated rate of speed.

God did not create all that "HE" has created just because "HE" got bored and had nothing else better to do. All that God does and has done, "is for a specific purpose." God has "a specific purpose" for the vastness of outer space and all that it contains.

If new generations of people are going to continue to be born in the New Earth Age that follows the Millennium Kingdom Age, then the earth will soon reach it's limit as to how many people it can support. Maybe this is why God created such a vastness of outer space that is incomprehensible to the human mind.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR GREATER CLARIFICATION: When JESUS spoke of "HELL-FIRE," and spoke of the "fire not being quenched," it is very important for us to understand that "HELL" is just simply the abode of departed Spirits of those who await judgment at the "Great White Throne Judgment."

The judgment that awaits all those who stand before the "Great White Throne," will not be the judgment of burning in a literal Hell-Fire that is unquenchable, but will be a judgment of being "put through the process" of the refining FIRE of God's Spirit for the purpose of divine purification.

You see, it is the FIRE of God's Spirit that is unquenchable, not an unquenchable "HELL-FIRE" that does not even exist, but is just simply a metaphorical expression of speech that was used in Biblical times.

Hebrews 12:29 - "For our God is a consuming fire." Malachi 3:2 - "The Lord is like a refiner's fire."

When the Bible speaks of "eternal judgment" of those who will stand before the "Great White Throne," it does not mean the judgment is a never ending judgment for all eternity! It means that the judgment (which has already been discussed in this article) will be the process of being put through the refining FIRE of God's Spirit for the purpose of divine purification, "which will produce results that will be everlasting, eternal."

It will be a judgment that will not "produce undesired eternal results," but it will be a judgment that "will produce the desired eternal results" that our Creator determined from before the foundations of the world. AMEN!

NOTE: If anyone would like a copy of this article in it's original Word Document Format, or any other article on this website, feel free to request a copy, and I will e-mail you a copy.

 

 

 

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