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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 the Lake of Fire) )

WOW, I was taught and believed that multitudes upon multitudes of humans will suffer eternal torment in the Lake of Fire 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.

The true Biblical teaching is neither the traditional Christian view of eternal the Lake of Fire, 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.

When I had been a Christian for approximately 38 years, I began to seriously question the present-day traditional teaching of the main-stream Church which teaches that there will be people who will suffer eternal torment in the Lake of Fire. It just did not make sense to me that God's judgment would be so severe that the final outcome will be that there will be many people who will burn in the Lake of Fire for ALL eternity with no hope of it ever ending.

I then decided to do my own in-depth Bible study rather than rely on the teaching of someone else, just because they have obtained a degree or several degrees in Biblical studies.

Now to share what the Bible clearly teaches on this topic which is the most important topic for the human race to understand. After all, there is certainly NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT than our eternal purpose and our eternal destination! 

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

I was a Christian for approximately 38 years before I began to gain a better Scriptural understanding of some Biblical truths that I had not properly understood before in regards to the finished 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 the Lake of Fire? Well, I guess so because we have been told that the Scriptures in the Bible tell us that there will be eternal torment in the Lake of Fire.

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 the Lake of Fire.

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."

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 and 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 and 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-determined 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.

God did not create the human race to only wind up rejecting and abandoning the majority of the human race to total abandonment from Him for all eternity.

Philippians 2:10 - 11 "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 Scripture, 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. 

TO 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.

Isaiah 45:23 tells us that the Lord has taken an oath that every knee shall bow and that every tongue "shall swear allegiance" to Him. The Lord also states that His oath shall not fail. Not only does this verse tell us God's eternal destination for ALL people, but the Lord strongly confirms what is stated in Philippians 2:10-11.

NOTE: Take special notice that Isaiah 45:23 states that every tongue will swear allegiance to the Lord. If there are going to be people who will receive the judgment of eternal torment in the Lake of Fire, they certainly are not going to swear their allegiance to the Lord. This verse along with Philippians 2:10-11, strongly confirms that ALL will be reconciled to God.

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.

NOTE: As we go into more detail about the Lake of Fire, I want to clarify Biblically that HELL is just simply a temporary abode for those who will come before the Great White Throne Judgment.

Revelation 21:8 speaks  about those who will have their part in the Lake of Fire. We are told that the Lake of Fire is the 2nd death.

It is important to understand that the Lake of Fire is not a physical Lake of Fire. The Biblical phrase "Lake of Fire" is symbolic for a Spiritual Lake of Fire which is representative of the FIRE of God's Spirit that is going to perform a mighty work of "Divine Purification" in each individual that comes before the Great White Throne Judgment. (Note: The Scriptures do not reveal how long that this process will take)

It is important to understand that there is a physical death, and there is a Spiritual death. It is the Spiritual death that is referred to in Revelation 21:8 as being the 2nd death.

The Lake of Fire is not going to cause eternal physical suffering because the Lake of Fire is not going to be a physical Lake of Fire, but it will be a Spiritual Lake of Fire, or to put it another way, a "Lake of Divine Purification."

The reason why that the Lake of Fire can be referred to as a "Lake of Divine Purification," is because of the refining process by the Lord which the Lord will perform through the FIRE of His Spirit which will bring about "Divine Purification" to ALL those who have their part in the Lake of Fire. (i.e. - the Lake of "Divine Purification")

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

The final outcome for all those who have their part in the Lake of Fire (i.e. - the Lake of "Divine purification") is that they will be RECONCILED to God which God promised in Colossians 1:20.

Colossians 1:20 - "Christ, who predetermined by God, bled peace into the world by His death on the Cross as God's means of reconciling to Himself the whole creation, all things in heaven and all things on earth."

The GOOD NEWS of the Gospel of Christ is the RECONCILIATION of ALL things to God  through  the finished of Christ on the Cross.

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 notice 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 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 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 and 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 and everlasting seperation from Him?

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 and 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? 

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 the Lake of Fire 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 has also 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.

Death is NEVER DEFINED by the Bible lexicograthers as extinction, annihilation, non-existence or unconsciousness. It is always defined as physical death of the body and as Spiritual separation from God. The early Christians clearly understood this.

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 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 and Saviour.

Even though they will not take part in the 1st Resurrection to rule and reign with Christ and the 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 Age 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 and New Earth.

This is what the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel of Christ is all about, the RECONCILIATION of ALL 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 to God.

From even before the creation of all things, the RECONCILIATION of ALL 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 eternity.

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

The Bible's message SCREAMS OUT God's plan of ETERNAL REDEMPTION 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 and eternal separation from Him, but then sentences another individual to eternal torment and 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 and 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 and New Earth takes place, Christ is going to set up His Millennial Kingdom Rule 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 to 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 the 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 and 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 to 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 have eternal life in the Kingdom of God, because as explained in great Biblical detail in this article, eventually ALL will have eternal life in the Kingdom of God, but THIS IS ALL ABOUT the Lord preparing His servants who have been faithful for their future exalted position of ruling and reigning with Christ for ALL eternity. 

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. In Matthew 22:13 when JESUS speaks about the outer darkness and the weeping and gnashing of teeth, it is just simply an idiom that JESUS is using that 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, with the light, and the dancing, but are in the darkness outside. (i.e. - in the next Age they will not be allowed to enter into the Kingdom of Christ with His Saints. They will be left outside in the outer darkness.)

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

You may very well be asking the question, if there is no eternal torment for anyone, and there is no eternal annihilation for anyone, then what are we being saved from? Hopefully the answer to that question will become clearer from what I will be sharing from the Written Word of God.

The traditional teaching of the Church today teaches that when a person accepts the gift of Salvation that they are being saved from the judgment of eternal torment in the Lake of Fire.

However, the Scriptures teach that when a person accepts the gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ, it is not the judgment of eternal torment in the Lake of Fire that they are being saved from, but they are being saved from the future Great White Throne Judgment which will begin the process of an individual's "Divine Purification" through the refining FIRE of God's Spirit.

ALL unbelievers, as well as ALL Believers in Christ who will not have been found to have been faithful servants of the Lord, will go through the refining FIRE of God's Spirit for the purpose of "Divine Purification" which will be through a process that will begin to take place after the Great White Throne Judgment. This is explained in greater Biblical detail in this article.

When someone receives the gift of salvation, if that individual has been found to have been a faithful servant of the Lord, that individual will be saved from having to go through the process of the refining FIRE of God's Spirit for the purpose of "Divine Purification" which will be a process that ALL unbelievers will go through as well as Believers in Christ who are found to have not been faithful servants of the Lord.

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

It is so 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.

This is again illustrated in Matthew 24:31 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 that of going through the process of the refining FIRE of God's Spirit for the purpose of "Divine Purification". In this parable, JESUS is not speaking about unbelievers, because an unbeliever is not a servant of JESUS. Only a Believer in Christ can become an unfaithful servant.

This is again illustrated in 1 Corinthians 3:15 which states that if any man's work (reward) shall be burned up, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so through fire. This 3rd Chapter of 1 Corinthians is dealing strictly with Christians.

In clearer terms, 1 Corinthians 3:15 is stating that a servant of the Lord who has not been a faithful servant will lose their reward of ruling and reigning with Christ, but just like the unbeliever, will be reconciled to God through Christ as the result of going through the refining FIRE of God's Spirit.

This is why that JESUS declares to us in Matthew 24:15, 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 and 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 and reign with Christ.

When a person receives the gift of Salvation, that  person is not escaping the Lake of Fire, and eternal torment, and eternal annihilation, because the doctrine of the Lake of Fire, and eternal torment, and eternal annihilation is not Biblical. Instead, that person, if they remain faithful to the Lord, 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 Biblical explanation is certainly much different than what is being taught by the Christian Church today.

When JESUS spoke of HELL-FIRE that is unquenchable, it is the FIRE of God's Spirit that is unquenchable, not an unquenchable Lake of Fire that does not even exist, but is just simply a metaphorical expression 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 or eternal judgment of those who will stand before the Great White Throne, it does not mean that the judgment is a never ending judgment of eternal torment 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 of being RECONCILED to God that our Creator pre-determined from before the foundation of the world.

A couple of years after I started writing my article, I came across the information below, published by the Pittsburgh Bible Institute.

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.

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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 Biblical 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 also 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 Scriptures 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 will be Christians who have been found to have been faithful servants of the Lord who will rule and reign with Christ. 

Philippians 3:14 - "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."  This Passage of Scripture which is explained in further detail in the following pages of this article is of great 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 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 Revelation 3:16, 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 being faithful servants, 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 the 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.  Simply put, the Bible's description of an overcomer in Christ is that of a servant of the Lord remaining faithful by continually staying committed to the Lord.

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 until recently 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 are going to be allowed to enter into the Kingdom of God?

After I gained a better 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 much better 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 and His Saints. After that, these wicked religious leaders along with ALL unbelievers and ALL Believers in Christ who were not faithful servants of the Lord. 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 have been faithful servants will inherit the Kingdom of God which gives them the privilege of ruling and reigning 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 are 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 a much smaller number who will become the "Elect".  The "Elect" refers to those who have been chosen, selected out of the many Born-Again individuals for the purpose of ruling and reigning with Christ.

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. This smaller number of Believers in Christ will be the ones who 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 servants of 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. 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.

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.

"Biblical Salvation" is not a one-time process, but a continuing process.

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 the Scriptures 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.

"IT IS FINISHED!" Those were the last 3 words of Christ on the Cross before giving up the Ghost. Those 3 words uttered by Christ on the Cross declared to all creation that God's plan from the beginning of all creation had now been accomplished. 

The Bible clearly tells us what that plan was.

Colossians 1:20 - Christ, who predetermined by God, bled peace into the world by His death on the Cross as God's means of reconciling to Himself the whole creation all things in heaven and all things on earth.

2 Timothy 1:10 tells us that the shedding of blood by Christ on the Cross VOIDED Spiritual death which Satan has been given power over, but only for a season. (Spiritual death means separation from God)

Because of the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST on the Cross we are told in the 8th Chapter of Romans that nothing can separate us from the love of God. The word "us" in this verse means that not one single person "in due time" will ever be separated from the love of God.

What I have shared in this article all comes down to what JESUS declared to us in His final words uttered on the Cross when He declared to all creation, "IT IS FINISHED!"

"IT IS FINISHED" is the core message of the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel of Christ.

Colossians 1:20 declares to us what JESUS meant when HE uttered with His last breath the words "IT IS FINISHED" to ALL CREATION

Colossians 1:20 - "Christ, who  predetermined by God, bled peace into the world by His death on the Cross as God's means of reconciling to Himself the whole creation, all things in heaven and all things on earth."

How can God be any more clear than His declaration to us that the shed blood of Christ on the Cross was God's means of RECONCILING (in due time) ALL CREATION to Himself? This great truth is so clearly stated in the Scriptures, and yet today's Church as a whole, seems determined to hold onto and teach the traditional viewpoint of eternal torment in the Lake of Fire.

Without the finished work of Christ on the Cross which put into motion the RECONCILING of ALL CREATION to God (in due time), there would be no GOOD NEWS in the Gospel of Christ because the whole purpose of Christ here on Earth was to complete His mission of  RECONCILING ALL CREATION to God (in due time).

The mission of Christ was not to RECONCILE a portion of ALL CREATION to God, but to RECONCILE ALL CREATION to God through the shedding of His blood on the Cross.

Anything less than the RECONCILING of ALL CREATION to God would have been a complete failure on the part of JESUS. To attribute failure to what JESUS accomplished on the Cross is of the highest insult to our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I would like to re-emphasize further in regards to what I have already shared earlier in this article concerning the very important fact (a fact that the present-day Church is greatly lacking in it's understanding of) that not ALL Believers in Christ will rule and reign with Christ.

In Matthew 7:21, JESUS states very clearly that not everyone that says to Him, Lord, Lord, will enter into the Kingdom of God. JESUS goes on to say that there will be many who will stand before Him and say Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name case out devils, and in thy name done many miracles?

Because these individuals are Believers in Christ, they will be in complete shock when they hear JESUS tell them to depart from Him. These Believers in Christ will tell JESUS what wonderful things that they have done in His name which will not impress JESUS, because even though they call Him, Lord, Lord, they actually never surrendered their lives to His Lordship. This is why that JESUS makes the sobering statement to them, "I never knew you: depart from me."  There is a big difference between the Saviourship of JESUS and the Lordship of JESUS.

When JESUS comes back to set up His kingdom here on Earth, these Believers in Christ will not be allowed to enter into the Kingdom of God to rule and reign with Christ. They will eventually be allowed to enter into the Kingdom of God, but they will not rule and reign with Christ. I have explained earlier in this article the process that these Believers in Christ will have to go through before being allowed to enter into the Kingdom of God.

The great tragedy of the Church today is the lack of understanding and neglect in teaching the true meaning of to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. The meaning of those words recorded in the New Testament of the Bible goes much deeper than just acknowledging that we are sinners and asking JESUS to come into our heart.

The true meaning for us to understand is that a person must commit themselves to the Lord. And it even goes deeper that that. It means to commit one's self to the Lord continually. In the Bible that is God's description of a faithful servant.

To further expound upon being continually committed to the Lord, JESUS tell us in Matthew 24:13 - "He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." This verse is dealing with Believers in Christ. (i.e. - endure to the end means: remain faithful to the end; stay committed to the end)

Now to Biblically expound further on what a person is being saved from:

In this article, I have already shared from the Scriptures that there is no eternal torment in the Lake of Fire. I have also shared in this article that when the Scriptures speak about being saved, the Scriptures are speaking in reference to being saved from standing before the Lord at the Great White Throne Judgment which will begin the process of the refining FIRE of God's Spirit for the purpose of "Divine Purification" which will be God's final step in RECONCILING that person to Himself that is promised in Colossians 1:20.

As has already been shared in this article, ALL unbelievers as well as ALL Believers in Christ who will be found to not have been faithful servants of the Lord, will go through this refining process by the Lord.

NOTE: The "Mercy Seat" which was among the Children of Israel in the Old Testament was the most important object in the Tabernacle. The "Mercy Seat" represented the Throne of God in Heaven. The Great White Throne in Heaven (i.e. - Throne of Mercy) will be the very Throne that God will be seated on when He passes judgment on all those who come before Him at the Great White Throne Judgment.

The Great White Throne Judgment which has been misunderstood by today's Church will be the judgment of God executing His GREAT MERCY of RECONCILING to Himself each and every person who comes before the Great White Throne Judgment. This will be done through the transforming work by FIRE from God's Spirit for the purpose of "Divine Purification." This has only been made possible because of what Christ accomplished on the Cross by the shedding of His Redeeming Blood for ALL. (Note: The Scriptures do not reveal the length of time for this transforming work of God in each individual. Very likely the length of time will vary with each individual)

Colossiand 1:20 - "Christ who predetermined by God, bled peace into the world by His death on the Cross as God's means of reconciling to Himself the whole creation, all things in heaven and all things on earch."

The "Mercy Seat" in the Tabernacle of the Old Testament was a shadow of the future "Mercy Seat" from which the Lord will execute His GREAT MERCY to each an every person that comes before the Great White Throne Judgment. The Great White Throne Judgment will not be a judgment of people spending eternity being tormented in the Lake of Fire which has become the popular present-day teaching of the Church.

I would like to leave the reader with this thought: It is usually very difficult to unlearn what we have been taught to be the Gospel truth, only to discover that what we have been taught is not the Gospel truth.

Below are a couple of paragraphs that I read somewhere which are wonderfully stated:

"If the Written Word shatters cherished beliefs, we then should be willing to be shattered, no matter how painful it is. Isn't God's Truth more important than personal belief? Isn't loyalty to God's Truth more important than loyalty to traditons, the commandments of men, or our local Church?

We need to carefully examine ourselves and ask where our loyalties rest. Have we believed and practiced something just because our Church or Pastor said it was Biblical Truth without our putting forth the effort to examine the Scriptures very carefully for ourselves to see if what we are being told is indeed Biblical Truth."

Tragically, I myself for many years believed a number of the traditional man-made doctrines that are being taught in the Church today and are being accepted by a large number of Christians as Biblical truth.

When the Church teaches traditional man-made doctrines and when we as Believers in Christ accept these teachings as Biblical truth, whether we realize it or not, our Spirit becomes Spiritual enslaved.

JESUS tells us in the 8th Chapter of John that the truth sets us free. I can personally testify that when I began to gain a better Scriptural understanding that a number of the doctrines that are being taught today in the Church are not Biblical, but are in fact man-made doctrines that have become the traditional teaching of the Church today, I began to experience an exhilarating liberation in my Spirit as a Christian.

John 4:24 - "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth." The meaning of this Passage of Scripture is: Believers in Christ must serve God in their Spirit according to His Truth. (i.e. - not according to traditional man-made doctrines)

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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