Exposition on the Reign of God: Narrow vs Wide

Exposition on the Reign of God: Narrow vs Wide

“Taking the bunny trail” is a euphemism associated with getting off subject, wasting time and energy, or pursuing something that will likely be an exercise in futility.  But in studying scripture and/or being open to the Spirit of God, it is sometimes best to explore.  Since my last blog post, I have been traveling down the rabbit trail in the “Kingdom (or reign) of God” and “Kingdom of Heaven” sayings of Jesus.  It started with the “narrow” gate or door in Luke 13, as well as the “many” versus the “few” referenced in Francis Chan’s book, Erasing Hell.  As I read the context, I see much in common with what is known as the Sermon on the Mount, a well-known message Jesus gave to a crowd of people including the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, and other messages Jesus taught.  I realize that it is beneficial for me to formulate a “big picture” understanding of how the “narrow” way relates to Jesus’s other teachings.

Many theologians believe that Jesus taught the same or similar messages over and over again, wherever He went.  For example, in Luke 6 we read:

And it came to pass in those days, he went forth to the mountain to pray, and was passing the night in the prayer of God, and when it became day, he called near his disciples […] and having come down with them, he stood upon a level spot, and a crowd of his disciples, and a great multitude of the people […] who came to hear him […]  And he, having lifted up his eyes to his disciples, said: “Happy the poor – because yours is the reign of God [etc…]”

But in Matthew 5, we read:

And having seen the multitudes, he went up to the mount, and he having sat down, his disciples came to him, and having opened his mouth, he was teaching them, saying: “Happy the poor in spirit – because theirs is the reign of the heavens [etc…]”

So did Jesus give His sermon on the way up the mountain or on the way back down?  Do Matthew and Luke have their times and places confused?  Why does Matthew quote Jesus saying “the poor in spirit” while Luke records Jesus saying simply “the poor”?  What is the difference between the “reign of God” and the “reign of the heavens”?  Perhaps Jesus gave the same message, although not word-for-word, twice, once on the way up and once on the way down.  What is important here is the message itself, and how the hearers received it.  One regular blog reader, Mary Vanderplas, sums up the situation nicely in her comments on the previous blog, “Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Croissants Falling from the Sky“:

I like what you say about Jesus’ frequent use of metaphorical speech and about the need to interpret such speech rightly. I think you’re right, too, in asserting a connection between the preceding parables in Luke 13 and this text in verses 22 and following, though I doubt that the person’s question was prompted by the parables. It is far more likely that Luke arranged the materials thus as part of his “Travel Narrative,” which begins in 9:51. (Matthew has them in separate places – Matthew 13:31-33; 7:13-14, 22-23; 19:30.) At any rate, I think you’re right to see here a connection between Jesus’ teaching in these parables – which call into question conventional ways of thinking about God’s kingdom – and Jesus’ response to this questioner. Specifically, the images in these parables shatter commonly-held views of how God works, much as the final salvation of God will overturn the expectations of those who assume that they are guaranteed a place in the kingdom.

(*Readers can access most of the texts, in context, that I will examine in this blog by clicking this link.)

The audience consists of a large number of people, whether this is two similar sermons or only one.  Some people might argue against this point, which is fine, but I’m not spending too much time defending the idea in this blog.  (For further information, study internal evidence for a single event with two accounts and reference Matthew 5:1, 7:28 and Luke 6:13 & 17-18 for descriptions of the audience.)  Jesus’s audience can be divided into three groups – the twelve disciples chosen from among Jesus’s many other disciples, the disciples who are not included among the twelve, and the “multitudes” of Abraham’s descendants (possibly including a few curious Gentile onlookers).

Jesus describes what kind of people enter into the reign of God – the poor in spirit, the meek, the hungering, the peacemakers, those persecuted for righteousness sake, etc.  This is not a list of qualifications or rules for admittance into the reign of God.  Jesus is simply creating a picture of the attributes one might expect to find among those who possess the life He gives.  By human standards, this is a sad, sorry group of unimportant, unsuccessful people.  By God’s standards, these people have discovered their salvation, they are not preoccupied with important positions in life, and they measure their success in the perfect life of Jesus Christ.  This called-out group of people have a function in the world – to be salt and light to the others.  In Jesus’s time, these two words packed more of a punch than they do now, because back then, there was no electricity, hence, no instantaneous flick-of-the-light-switch and no refrigeration to preserve meat (they used salt).  Check out any long-term survival guide, and you will find salt and lighting supplies on the list of must-haves.  There’s a bit of humor in the salt metaphor for the in-your-face-super-religious types of people, that is, salt is essential to animal life, but in excess, it is harmful.

Jesus describes the difference between what people have been taught by religious leaders regarding the law and the actual law itself.  Elsewhere in scripture, Jesus says “It is written,” but here, he says, “You have heard it said…”  For example, Jesus said:

Ye heard that it was said: “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth;” but I – I say to you, not to resist the evil, but whoever shall slap thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other; and whoever is willing to take thee to law, and thy coat to take – suffer to him also the cloak. And whoever shall impress thee one mile, go with him two, to him who is asking of thee be giving, and him who is willing to borrow from thee thou mayest not turn away.

The law to which Jesus refers, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth,” was established for these and other good reasons: to maintain through fear of punishment the general peace and order in society, to ensure that the punishment was neither too lenient nor harsh- that it fit the crime, to ensure that wealth or race or social status did not result in legal bias, and to prevent the violent chaos of disproportionate personal revenge.  The Scribes and Pharisees perverted this law through sophisticated arguments, taking the civil laws into their personal lives, applying the “Eye for an eye” concept to exact emotional, physical, and financial retaliation outside of the court system.  It was used as a means of justifying not only racial inequality, but the outright abuse or even death of non-Jews (Gentiles).  Heathens were not considered “neighbors”, therefore the law did not apply to them, and punishment for crimes against them were more lenient than punishment for crimes against fellow Jews. (*See note 1 at end of blog.)

I did not randomly choose “Eye for an eye” as an example of Jesus’s teaching, I chose it because it is a smooth segue into the next portion of the blog regarding the political climate during Jesus’s ministry.  Martin Luther King Jr. was asked in an interview to explain passive resistance, and he replied:

It was the Sermon on the Mount, rather than a doctrine of passive resistance, that initially inspired the Negroes of Montgomery to dignified social action.  It was Jesus of Nazareth that stirred the Negroes to protest with the creative weapon of love. […] The method is passive physically but strongly active spiritually. It is not passive non-resistance to evil, it is active nonviolent resistance to evil.  It does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding.  The attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who happen to be doing evil. [It] is a willingness to accept suffering without retaliation, to accept blows from the opponent without striking back. […]  The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent, but he also refuses to hate him. […] the use of violence in our struggle would be both impractical and immoral. To meet hate with retaliatory hate would do nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe. Hate begets hate […] We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love […]

(*See Note 2 at the end of the blog.)

It is too bad that Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t around to influence the Jewish religious zealots of early first century.  But if they didn’t listen to Jesus, they surely would not have listened to King Jr.  The political situation between certain sects of Jews in Jerusalem and the Roman law enforcement was volatile.  Had these people taken Jesus’s dire warnings seriously, they might have avoided the bloody, violent end Jesus described:

[Jesus said,] “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that is killing the prophets, and stoning those sent unto her, how often did I will to gather together thy children, as a hen her brood under the wings, and ye did not will.  Lo, your house is being left to you desolate […]”  And when he came nigh, having seen the city, he wept over it, saying – “If thou didst know, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things for thy peace; but now they were hid from thine eyes.  Because days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast around thee a rampart, and compass thee round, and press thee on every side, and lay thee low, and thy children within thee, and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone, because thou didst not know the time of thy inspection.”

When Jesus spoke to the Jewish multitudes, His audience was God’s covenant people, people who God had promised to cleanse of sin.  Their blindness and stubborn rebellion came as no surprise to God.  Yes, Jesus wept, because He knew what was about to happen to them, how they would suffer the consequences of their decision to take up arms against the Roman soldiers.  But Jesus also knew that God’s glorious Plan of the Ages would result in not only the salvation of Israel, but the salvation of the whole world.  Paul explained this concept in Romans 11:

For I do not wish you [the church in Rome, mostly Gentile Christians] to be ignorant, brethren, of this secret – that ye may not be wise in your own conceits – that hardness in part to Israel hath happened till the fulness of the nations may come in; and so all Israel shall be saved, according as it hath been written, “There shall come forth out of Sion he who is delivering, and he shall turn away impiety from Jacob, and this to them [is] the covenant from Me, when I may take away their sins.”  As regards, indeed, the good tidings, [the Jews who persecute Christians are] enemies on your account; and as regards the choice – beloved on account of the fathers; for unrepented of [are] the gifts and the calling of God; for as ye also once did not believe in God, and now did find kindness by the unbelief of these: so also these now did not believe, that in your kindness they also may find kindness; for God did shut up together the whole to unbelief, that to the whole He might do kindness.

If we closely examine Jesus’s words, we can see the beginning of the revelation brought to light by the apostle Paul regarding the future of those Jewish zealots who died between 66 and 70 AD.  For example, Jesus said, “If thou didst know, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things for thy peace […]” Notice how He clarifies that at this time they did not know the things for their peace.  It may be a stretch for the evangelical mind to see the implications – that Jesus longed for them to know now instead of later.  I realize that this portion of the text, alone, does not fully support the point I am making, but if we keep reading, it will become more obvious.  Jesus said, “Lo, your house is being left to you desolate, and verily I say to you – ye may not see me, till it may come, when ye may say, “Blessed [is] he who is coming in the name of the Lord.”  There will come a day when these people, who persecuted the “few” and rejected the “narrow” gate in favor of the “wide” path leading to destruction, will see their Messiah.  Jesus even prophecies the words they will speak, words which indicate a change of heart.

Some readers may be questioning whether those who died in 70 AD can be rightly identified as the “many” to whom Jesus referred in the Sermon on the Mount, so let’s take a look.  There are three points we should examine.  First, the admonition to enter the narrow gate is immediately followed by a warning against false prophets.  Second, there is an urgency to enter the reign of God while there is still time, before the door is closed, because the reign of God was “about presently to be made manifest”.  Third, the two groups (“few” and “many”) are clearly described: those who enter in before the door is closed and those who are shut out.

The warning against the false prophets is a theme repeated throughout the gospels and scripture in general.  Jesus said that the few would know who the false prophets were based on their “fruits” or results of their actions, and He uses similar language to describe hypocrites and Jewish opponents – it may be that the “many” include all these people groups, who exhibit the same “fruits”.  For example, Jesus says,

Take heed your kindness not to do before men, to be seen by them, and if not — reward ye have not from your Father who [is] in the heavens; whenever, therefore, thou mayest do kindness, thou mayest not sound a trumpet before thee as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory from men; verily I say to you – they have their reward!  But thou, doing kindness, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth, that thy kindness may be in secret, and thy Father who is seeing in secret Himself shall reward thee manifestly. And when thou mayest pray, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites, because they love in the synagogues, and in the corners of the broad places – standing – to pray, that they may be seen of men; verily I say to you, that they have their reward.

It is obvious, based on the way Jesus describes them, that the “many” are more concerned with appearing righteous than they are with actually being righteous.  Matthew records Jesus’s scathing, open rebuke of the “many”, highlighting their bad fruits for His audience:

On the seat of Moses sat down the scribes and the Pharisees

Jesus identifies the many directly – they are those religious leaders who do the following:

they say, and do not; for they bind together burdens heavy and grievous to be borne, and lay upon the shoulders of men, but with their finger they will not move them. And all their works they do to be seen by men, and they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the fringes of their garments, they love also the chief couches in the supper, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the market-places, and to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi. Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut up the reign of the heavens before men, for ye do not go in, nor those going in do ye suffer to enter.

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the many were more concerned about the political ramifications than they were with whether Jesus actually was Who He claimed to be.  Instead of using their powerful and influential positions to champion Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah, they worried about what they might stand to lose because of this miracle.  They held a meeting, as follows:

[…] the chief priests, therefore, and the Pharisees, gathered together a sanhedrim, and said, “What may we do? because this man doth many signs? If we may let him alone thus, all will believe in him; and the Romans will come, and will take away both our place and nation.” And a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being chief priest of that year, said to them, “Ye have not known anything, nor reason that it is good for us that one man may die for the people, and not the whole nation perish. […] From that day, therefore, they took counsel together that they may kill him.

What seemingly better way to “shut up the reign of the heavens before men” than to do away with the One Who is ushering in the reign?

Jesus continues to describe the many to His audience:

Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye eat up the houses of the widows, and for a pretence make long prayers, because of this ye shall receive more abundant judgment. Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye go round the sea and the dry land to make one proselyte, and whenever it may happen – ye make him a son of gehenna twofold more than yourselves.

Remember in the Sermon on the Mount, how Jesus said:

I say to you, that every one who is angry at his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, Empty fellow! shall be in danger of the sanhedrim, and whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire.

Jesus knew that the judgment of Israel was quickly approaching.  God would very soon remove His hand of protection from them, creating a vacuous space for their enemies to destroy them.  Not only would those who follow the false prophets be subject to judgment by religious leaders (sanhedrim), but they would also be subject to the gehenna of fire (Jerusalem, 70 AD), a spiritual garbage dump.  In this way, the Scribes and Pharisees make the proselyte “a son of gehenna twofold more than” themselves.

Jesus continues to rebuke the religious leaders in the presence of His audience, the masses of Jewish listeners:

Wo to you, blind guides, who are saying, “Whoever may swear by the sanctuary, it is nothing, but whoever may swear by the gold of the sanctuary – is debtor!” Fools and blind! for which [is] greater, the gold, or the sanctuary that is sanctifying the gold? And, whoever may swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever may swear by the gift that is upon it – is debtor! Fools and blind! for which [is] greater, the gift, or the altar that is sanctifying the gift? He therefore who did swear by the altar, doth swear by it, and by all things on it; and he who did swear by the sanctuary, doth swear by it, and by Him who is dwelling in it; and he who did swear by the heaven, doth swear by the throne of God, and by Him who is sitting upon it. Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye give tithe of the mint, and the dill, and the cumin, and did neglect the weightier things of the Law – the judgment, and the kindness, and the faith; these it behoved [you] to do, and those not to neglect.

Let me demonstrate how the concepts Jesus taught, if they had been practically applied, could have saved the many from destruction.  Caligula (the cruel and likely insane Roman Caesar) decided that a statue of himself should be set up in the Holy of Holies in the Temple.  Petronius, the man Caligula put in charge of doing the deed, was impressed by the fact that the Jewish religious leaders would rather die, and in fact, let the whole nation die, before they would allow Caligula’s statue to be set up in the temple.  Although their angry tenacity seems to be commendable, we must remember that Jesus is “God with us”, and that the Spirit of God claimed the vessels (bodies, hearts, minds) of believers as the new “temple” of God.  The religious system and all its trappings were no longer the dwelling place of God among men.  They had become mere buildings, used by people who imagined for themselves elaborate lists of rules and regulations.  The Jewish religious leaders were unable to recognize that the reign of God was not in the Holy of Holies of their Temple building, the reign of God should have been within them!  How could Caligula possibly set up a statue there?  Caligula’s demands should have been disappointing to them, but it should never have been considered an act worth resisting to the point of the bloodshed and enslavement of millions of lives.  Clearly, they did, as Jesus said, neglect “judgment, and the kindness, and the faith” to let God be the One to judge Caligula’s stupidity.  Consequently, God did just that, because it was not yet the appointed time for the “abomination of desolation” to take place.  (I’ll explain this further shortly.)  Petronius decided to disobey orders.  Caligula found out about it and wrote an order for Petronius to be put to death.  But while the written order was en route, Caligula died at sea because of bad weather.  The letter arrived after the news of Caligula’s death, so Petronius was never executed.  Nevertheless, a rift between the Jews and Romans was created, and it would continue to grow…

Jesus said of the Scribes and Pharisees:

Blind guides! who are straining out the gnat, and the camel are swallowing. Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye make clean the outside of the cup and the plate, and within they are full of rapine and incontinence. Blind Pharisee! cleanse first the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside of them also may become clean. Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye are like to whitewashed sepulchres, which outwardly indeed do appear beautiful, and within are full of bones of dead men, and of all uncleanness; so also ye outwardly indeed do appear to men righteous, and within ye are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Wo to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and adorn the tombs of the righteous, and say, “If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.” So that ye testify to yourselves, that ye are sons of them who did murder the prophets; and ye – ye fill up the measure of your fathers. Serpents! brood of vipers! how may ye escape from the judgment of the gehenna? Because of this, lo, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes, and of them ye will kill and crucify, and of them ye will scourge in your synagogues, and will pursue from city to city; that on you may come all the righteous blood being poured out on the earth from the blood of Abel the righteous, unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar: verily I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation.

 

Jewish zealots violently raided Jerusalem, revolting against Roman rule, and for a while, they succeeded.  They raided the homes of local Jews and stole their food.  The Roman soldiers then destroyed the food supply, and people were dying of starvation.  The Jewish sects were vicious to one another in the fight for survival within the city, and the Roman army reorganized and gathered around the city, just as Jesus said.  The Romans gave the people an opportunity to surrender, but they would not – they were more concerned about the appearance of righteousness (having a temple and an orderly system of religious ceremonies) than righteousness itself (love your enemies… do good to those who hate you, etc).  By the time the Roman soldiers were able to enter the city, they were so enraged that they did not wait for orders; they immediately destroyed the temple and slaughtered many Jews.  All of this took place about within the Biblical generation (40 years) of when Christ made His prophetic pronouncement.  The bad/evil fruits of the false prophets, indeed, led to the destruction of the many who followed them along the wide path.

Jesus’s warning against entering the wide gate, accompanied by His description of the many as “false prophets, who come unto you in sheep’s clothing, and inwardly are ravening wolves”, say “Lord, Lord” but do not do the will of the Father, hear but don’t do Jesus’s words, are not known by the “master of the house”, believe that their association with the master (eating and drinking with the master, the master taught in their “broad places”) will be enough to secure their entrance into life, and are “workers of unrighteousness”.  By now, we should be getting a clearer picture of the many.

In contrast, Jesus’s admonition to enter the narrow gate is accompanied by His list of the attributes of the few, that is, they have a righteousness that “abound[s] above that of the scribes and Pharisees”, “seek first” the reign of God over physical needs, do the will of the Father, are known by the “master of the house”, and the progressive triplet – they come to Jesus, hear Him, and do His words.  We also have a clearer picture of the “few”.

Notice that both the few and the many do works.  The few hear the will of the Father from Jesus Christ and put what they hear into practice.  The many suppose or pretend they are doing the will of the Father, but their works are unrighteous.  The reason for this is not because the few are better or smarter or put forth a greater effort.  If this were the case, then we would have to assume that righteousness is a human effort, achievable apart from Christ.  The possibility of a fallible, spiritually dead human being possessing the inclination or ability to do the will of the Father comes only through Jesus Christ, because it is only through Jesus Christ that the Father reveals His will and establishes His reign in and among individuals.  His kingdom is not about average people trying to attain spiritual perfection.  His reign is a “life” relationship between Himself and His people, and it is also a “life” relationship between His people and others.  It is what Jesus calls “My Father’s will” – a new way to relate to one another and to God because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Robert Guelich, in his book, A Foundation for Understanding The Sermon on The Mount, writes:

Inherent to “my Father’s will” was the christological basis of Jesus Messiah, the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise for the day of salvation, that brought about a different orientation to the Mosaic Law.  Therefore, any “prophecy” that attempted to apply rigorously the Mosaic Law failed at precisely the same point where the Pharisees broke with Jesus’ ministry, namely, at the implications of his coming for the old order, the Law in Judaism.  Put another way, those seeking to live and to influence others to live under the “Sinai Torah,” the Law of Moses legalistically understood, had not accepted Jesus Messiah and the accompanying “Zion Torah” whose basis was the presence in history of the new age with its message of salvation and reconciliation between God and his own.  They had ultimately failed to hear the “gospel of the Kingdom,” which offered a new basis and power for conduct, “righteousness” as seen in [Matthew 5-7].

Let’s suppose that the early first century Jewish zealots experienced the same, life-changing spiritual birth as the disciples or the apostle Paul.  How might things have gone differently?  Perhaps they would have recognized the events foretold by Jesus as recorded in the gospels and by John in Revelation unfolding before their very eyes.

Jesus said, “Do ye not see all these [temple buildings]? verily I say to you, There may not be left here a stone upon a stone, that shall not be thrown down.”

The disciples asked, “Tell us, when shall these be? and what [is] the sign of thy presence, and of the full end of the age?”

Jesus answered,

Take heed that no one may lead you astray, for many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ, and they shall lead many astray,[…] Whenever, therefore, ye may see the abomination of the desolation, that was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever is reading let him observe) then those in Judea – let them flee to the mounts […] for there shall be then great tribulation.

(The “abomination of desolation” in Daniel is a prophecy about a ruler causing sacrifices to cease for about three and a half years and the profaning of the temple – if it is to be interpreted literally.)

John, likely comparing the Roman Empire to a beast, writes, that a “beast with seven heads” that “was given to it a mouth speaking great things, and evil-speakings, and there was given to it authority to make war forty-two months, and it did open its mouth for evil-speaking toward God, to speak evil of His name […]”

According to historical records, Nero Caesar (whose Hebrew numeric name-value is 666 and who was called a “beast” in his time), one of the most ruthless rulers ever, claimed to be the sun-god Apollo and demanded the honor of divinity.  He was the first ruler to institute the persecution of Christians, which lasted from 64 AD until he died in 68 – about three and a half years later.  The zealots rebelled and encouraged the general Jewish population to rebel against Roman rule, to rid Jerusalem of the Roman Empire by force. Eventually the temple was profaned, as described by Jesus in the book of Luke:

And when ye may see Jerusalem surrounded by encampments, then know that come nigh did her desolation; then those in Judea, let them flee to the mountains; and those in her midst, let them depart out; and those in the countries, let them not come in to her; because these are days of vengeance, to fulfil all things that have been written. And wo to those with child, and to those giving suck, in those days; for there shall be great distress on the land, and wrath on this people; and they shall fall by the mouth of the sword, and shall be led captive to all the nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by nations, till the times of nations be fulfilled.

What if the zealots and warring Jewish factions had done the works they heard from Jesus Christ?

Love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those accusing you falsely, and persecuting you, that ye may be sons of your Father in the heavens, because His sun He doth cause to rise on evil and good, and He doth send rain on righteous and unrighteous. For, if ye may love those loving you, what reward have ye? do not also the tax-gatherers the same? and if ye may salute your brethren only, what do ye abundant? do not also the tax-gatherers so? ye shall therefore be perfect, as your Father who [is] in the heavens is perfect.

What if they had heeded the clear warning to “flee to the mountains” and “depart out” and “not come in to [Jerusalem]” when they saw that it was surrounded by armies?  Normally, when an area is under attack, the safest place to take refuge is within the city walls, but this is not true of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  Jesus knew it, and He warned His listeners to enter His reign while there was still time, before the door would be shut to them.  Few people understood this.  Many did not.  This sheds new light on the meaning of what Jesus said to His disciples when they asked Him why He always taught in parables (here translated similes):

To you it hath been given to know the secrets of the reign of the heavens, and to these it hath not been given, for whoever hath, it shall be given to him, and he shall have overabundance, and whoever hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken from him. Because of this, in similes do I speak to them, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor understand, and fulfilled on them is the prophecy of Isaiah, that saith, With hearing ye shall hear, and ye shall not understand, and seeing ye shall see, and ye shall not perceive, for made gross was the heart of this people, and with the ears they heard heavily, and their eyes they did close, lest they might see with the eyes, and with the ears might hear, and with the heart understand, and turn back, and I might heal them. And happy are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear, for verily I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men did desire to see that which ye look on, and they did not see, and to hear that which ye hear, and they did not hear.

Before I close, I must admit that I do not yet have a complete understanding of some portions of the scriptural texts to which I refer.  Undoubtedly, blog readers will comment or email me concerning apocalyptic language and parables and the like, which is fine, but I’d like to preemptively offer that many prophetic passages in scripture are fulfilled in a progressive, layered manner.  The more I learn and understand, the less tightly I hold to my former futuristic view of many scriptures.  I do not condemn those who hold to the rapture-seven-years-antichrist-one-world-government type of teachings, and although I have increasing doubts regarding such things, I do recognize my own ignorance.  For all I know, they could be right.  Regardless, I feel very confident that the things I have written in this blog are also accurate.

I also want to add that just because there was a first century fulfillment of the few and many and narrow gate and wide path, this does not mean that these scriptures are no longer applicable. Just to give one example, the many – do works “in the name” of Jesus Christ, yet those who rejected Christ and suffered destruction in Jerusalem probably did not claim the name of Christ for their actions.  This is definitely food for thought.

Matthew and Luke retell Jesus’s stories and teachings from different angles.  When I say different, I don’t mean that one is right and other is wrong.  They compliment each other, and lend support to the idea that the warnings Jesus gave to His immediate audience should also be taken seriously by modern-day hearers of His words, especially those who claim to be disciples of the Good Shepherd.  The larger context of His words should not be dismissed just because the immediate context of His words have already played out in history.

Matthew presents Jesus’s words in such a way that should make the religious leaders of today’s institutional church shudder.  Perhaps they were actually included among Jesus’s intended audience.  After all, Jesus knew His words would be recorded and read in future generations, didn’t He?  Jesus knew that people would seek to validate and legitimize their actions by doing them “in His name”.  Jesus knew that His name would be abused by those who want positions of honor and power as wolves among sheep.  Not everyone comes to Jesus in this age.  Not everyone who comes to Him hears Him.  And not everyone who hears Him enters into the life He gives, a perfect, righteous life that results in the hearer actually being willing and able to do the will of God.  The “leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees” is still working its way through the dough of humanity.  However, the kingdom of God or reign of God is “like leaven, which a woman, having taken, did hide in three measures of meal, till that all was leavened.”  The three measures (who I suspect are the believers who are overcomers, the believers who are not overcomers, and the unbelievers) will all be leavened, that is, subjected to His will, which is the only will that results in life – abundant life.

*Note 1: It is interesting that the concept of eternal torment in Hell as “just” punishment makes the practices of the Scribes and Pharisees look absolutely righteous.  In fact, if a Pharisee were to beat a Gentile to death for telling a lie, then he would be more merciful than the god-of-eternal-torment, because at least he brings the punishment to an end.  What does this say about the eternal torment doctrine?  If this were true, then don’t you think that God takes “eye for an eye” to a new and utterly brutal level?

*Note 2: It is interesting that if Martin Luther King Jr. were to have taught his followers to behave like the god-of-eternal-torment, then American history would be much bloodier than it already is.  Is Martin Luther King Jr. better at following the will of God than God Himself?  Why is Martin Luther King Jr. praised for responding to hate with love?  Because it is the right thing to do – what Jesus taught.  If Jesus said, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me,” then doesn’t this mean that God has a loving way to deal with hate?  What does this tell you about the doctrine of eternal torment?

Comments
  • Stephen Helbig January 2, 2012 at 3:19 am

    “to protest with the creative weapon of love.” Excellant Blog!!!!!!!! A R[̲̅ə̲̅٨̲̅٥̲̅٦̲̅]utionary Discovery for ALL. ! A great way to start “A New Year”…”A New You” Thanks for being here Alice!

    Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
    For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.

  • Mary Vanderplas January 2, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I don’t think the Sermon on the Mount is a verbatim report of a sermon Jesus gave. While it contains materials that go back to Jesus’ ministry, in its present form it reflects Matthew’s work of editing and interpreting his sources. The “disciples” in the narrative represent the church. The hearers of the sermon are thus the readers of Matthew’s Gospel. The “crowds,” who represent potential disciples in the narrative, are those outside of the church who “overhear” the church’s message.

    I don’t agree with your interpretation of the “many” in Matthew 7:13-14. In the context of the sermon, which is addressed to disciples, the “many” are insiders, those who made a commitment to follow Jesus, who started down the path of discipleship, but who fell away. The teaching functions as a warning to those in Matthew’s church who are lagging in their commitment to get back on the path of discipleship, to renew their commitment to follow Jesus. It is not a doctrinal statement about how many will be saved. It functions strictly as a warning to Christians concerning the urgency of righteous living.

    I agree that there likely is a connection between the “many” in these verses and the warning concerning false prophets in the verses immediately following. I don’t think, though, that this means that the “many” includes the Jewish opponents, who produced “bad fruit.” The warning likely reflects the situation of the presence of charismatic leaders in Matthew’s church who were leading the flock astray, prophets who demonstrated by their actions that they were not true disciples. The warning is for disciples, urging them to commit themselves to doing the will of God, lest they end up among the “many.”

    I don’t agree that the “Gehenna of fire” either in the sermon (5:22) or in Matthew 23:33 is a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. By the first century, “Gehenna” was already used as a metaphor picturing the final judgment of God. I agree with those who hold that Matthew 23 is part of Matthew’s discourse concerning judgment, which begins here and continues through the end of chapter 25. By this view, Matthew 23 isn’t addressed to outsiders, but is a warning directed to insiders (“disciples” in the narrative) and potential followers (“crowds”). The warning is specifically directed to disciples whose lives fail to conform to what they teach (23:3). The words presented as Jesus’ critique of the Pharisees function to warn the leaders of Matthew’s church against embodying the attitudes and practices that the Jewish opponents (the Pharisaic leadership of the synagogues) in Matthew’s day embodied. The “woes” anticipate the eschatological judgment of God, with the conflict between the Jewish leadership and the disciples of Jesus reflecting the conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this age. The pronouncement of judgment is upon “this generation” – the generation contemporary with John the Baptist and Jesus, not on the Jewish people of all generations. The pronouncement places before the crowds the decision of whether to follow Jesus or to belong to those who stand to be judged (in the eschaton).

    I don’t agree that the main cause of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple was a failure on the part of some of Jesus’ hearers to apply the concepts he taught – particularly his teaching concerning nonviolent resistance. While I don’t disagree with what you say about the way of God’s kingdom being a way of love and mercy and peace, I don’t think the issue in Matthew 23 is the internal conflict among different sects within Judaism in Jesus’ day or the (violent) response of the Zealot faction to Roman rule leading to the destruction of the holy city. The issue is rather the attitudes and practices of the Jewish leaders, which burdened ordinary people and which revealed hearts that were corrupt. It is these attitudes and practices that are being condemned. Disciples are warned against the hypocrisy of not practicing what one teaches, of focusing on minor infractions of the law while paying no attention to the larger obligations, and of concerning oneself with external appearance rather than internal purity. For Matthew, who composed his Gospel at least ten years after the destruction of the temple, the warning was addressed to Christians who were under pressure from the synagogue to conform to external signs of piety (as a way of preserving Judaism in absence of the temple).

    I agree with your suggestion that part of the problem lay in the Jewish leaders’ attachment to the temple and to “having an orderly system of religious ceremonies.” However, to see the destruction resulting from the war as being avoidable if only the Jewish religious zealots had experienced a change of heart such that they were less attached to the temple and its rituals and more loving and merciful toward rivals and enemies is, I think, misguided. There is no suggestion here that the predicted destruction could have been avoided had the leaders adopted a proper view of the temple and used the temple accordingly; nor is there any suggestion that the disaster could have been averted had they chosen to adopt a more peace-loving orientation. What is communicated is that the people’s rejection of the prophets, including John and Jesus (and the Christian prophets, i.e., leaders in Matthew’s community), resulted – or would result – in divine judgment. The words in verse 38 and the explicit prediction in the following verses serve to explain how the destruction of the temple fit into the divine program. Whether the disastrous end could have been avoided is a moot issue.

    In sum, I don’t agree with your first-century-fulfillment interpretation of Matthew 7:13-14. I don’t see any grounds for interpreting the “many” in this text as outsiders, specifically Jewish opponents, or for interpreting the pictured destruction as being the destruction of Jerusalem resulting from violent response to the hated Romans. Instead, I see the text as a warning intended to spur half-hearted disciples to the way of living that characterizes the kingdom of God – the way of living depicted in the sermon Matthew presents.

    I like what you say in commenting on Matthew 23:39. I agree that what is referred to here is the final coming of the kingdom and that what is envisioned most likely is that the “prophet-killers” have a change of heart, finally embracing Jesus as the Messiah – in line with Paul’s thinking in Romans 9-11.

    I agree, too, that a good dose of humility is needed when it comes to interpreting these texts and asserting one’s views. While I have my reasons for interpreting them as I do, I don’t rule out that I could be wrong. And in any event, it’s interesting to consider views that differ from one’s own and that stimulate deep thought, as your blog has done for me.

    • admin January 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      Much of what you say makes sense. Matthew did present Jesus’s message in such a way that it is applicable to anyone who claims to be a disciples of Christ, no matter what time period. But I also don’t think that this excludes the idea that the message had a more specific audience in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. One idea doesn’t destroy the other idea, it compliments it. Almost everything Jesus said and did had both immediate implications and significance to those who were not there (us). I agree with your comment, “I see the text as a warning intended to spur half-hearted disciples to the way of living that characterizes the kingdom of God”, but I disagree with the idea that this negates the observations made in the blog. Like you said, it is interesting (and I add spiritually healthy) to consider other’s views and think deeply.

      • Mary Vanderplas January 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm

        Matthew was writing for Christians at the end of the first century. The issue is what he meant and the function of his words for his readers. I think it is highly doubtful that what he was saying here in 7:13-14 is that the Jewish leaders, along with their compatriots, would be led to destruction by their action of violently engaging the Roman enemy. In light of the context and of Matthew’s theology, which emphasizes the necessity of righteous living for entering the kingdom, it is far more likely that he was talking about insiders who fell off the path of discipleship being judged in the eschatological judgment – by way of admonishing those in his own community who were lagging in their commitment to follow Jesus. That the message speaks to Christians in all places and times I agree with wholeheartedly. But what that message is must be determined by considering the context and the theology and purpose of the writer.

  • Stephen Helbig January 3, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Alice states; “Let me demonstrate how the concepts Jesus taught, if they had been practically applied, could have saved the many from destruction.

    This statement still aplies as a precept for us today! Jesus wept at the sight of Jerusalem because of their bindness of the (Law / Love of God). The Law is Spiritual and fulfilled in Christ Jesus, The LOVE of God: ex.(the “but I say unto you” Jesus principle), (the “Jesus came to fulfill the Law” principle), (the :FULFILLED not detroyed” principled).

    Alice states: “In contrast, Jesus’s admonition to enter the narrow gate is accompanied by His list of the attributes of the few, that is, they have a righteousness that “abound[s] above that of the scribes and Pharisees”, “seek first” the reign of God over physical needs, do the will of the Father, are known by the “master of the house”, and the progressive triplet – they come to Jesus, hear Him, and do His words. We also have a clearer picture of the “few”.
    Notice that both the few and the many do works. The few hear the will of the Father from Jesus Christ and put what they hear into practice. The many suppose or pretend they are doing the will of the Father, but their works are unrighteous. The reason for this is not because the few are better or smarter or put forth a greater effort. If this were the case, then we would have to assume that righteousness is a human effort, achievable apart from Christ. The possibility of a fallible, spiritually dead human being possessing the inclination or ability to do the will of the Father comes only through Jesus Christ, because it is only through Jesus Christ that the Father reveals His will and establishes His reign in and among individuals. His kingdom is not about average people trying to attain spiritual perfection. His reign is a “life” relationship between Himself and His people, and it is also a “life” relationship between His people and others. It is what Jesus calls “My Father’s will” – a new way to relate to one another and to God because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

    I say AMEN and AMEN, (stephen).
    I welcome Alice to the growing ranks of those of us who have realized A.D. 70 as the time of the fulfillment of all things.
    THESE WILL BE THE DAYS OF GOD’S VENGEANCE WHEN ALL THE PROPHETIC WORDS OF THE SCRIPTURES WILL BE FULFILLED -Luke 21:22 The Daysprig Bible

    The LOVE OF GOD rules and reigns! Let each and everyoneof us become the Stable Few, and not the many belonging to the blind, hypocritical, Inn crowd of today’s dogmatic religiosity and the doctrine of eternal torment.

    Psalm 133
    Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
    It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the MOUNTIANS OF ZION: for there The LORD COMMANDED the blessing, even LIFE FOREVER MORE.

    We are “Zion”, “the joy of the whole earth”, “the city of the GREAT KING” (Psalm 48). Command the blessings of the Lord Jesus Christ “Abundant LIFE” forever more.

    “Father make them ONE as we are ONE”, Jesus

    • admin January 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Stephen, thanks for the enthusiasm, but I don’t necessarily think that “all things” have already been fulfilled (full preterist view). It is a possibility that I have been considering, but I am not convinced one way or the other. I still lean toward a view where God says, “Enough is enough” and intervenes in an unmistakable way. I guess you could label me partial preterist at this point. I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but I have a lot more answers now than I did just a few years ago. It isn’t really about answers anyway – it’s about knowing God and falling in love with Him. We both get that 🙂

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 9, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Anna said: I just went to Passion 2012 at the Georgia Dome and just felt so dead almost the whole time. I feel hopeless. January 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm in response to Alice’s 29th April 2011 blog The Unforgivable Sin.

    That is a very GOOD honest statement by Anna because she either was or still is spiritually dead. She needs to be born again and no amount of Christian Universalism will solve her problem. She experienced spiritually ALIVE college students at Passion 2012 and that awakened her to the reality of her spiritual condition. Now it is up to her to seek an answer from God that is genuinely verifiable by His written Word, that is, the Holy Bible, and not man’s interpretation of it, but the plain sense of the literal word and spelling of the King James Version as we have it. Anna needs now to plead with God in prayer for Him to show her the truth of His reality, and He will by found by those who trully seek Him.

    It is nothing other than down right Christian Fundamentalism that awakes hearts and souls to Christ’s salvation that results in true salvation of sinners from the Devil’s grasp.

    May God bless Anna in finding that salvation.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    “like” button; Alice said: January 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm If there were a “like” button, I’d have clicked it.

    Oh, Alice your response to Anna was so very inadequate. You cannot comfort her with forgiveness three dispensations removed from the Incarnation. She’d be dead and gone to hell long before “then”: the experience of your supposed available forgiveness. She needs hope in this life now, not then. Don’t you see what your doctrine cannot do? Please give it up, Alice, along with that complicated way you view the Holy Scriptures. There is real hope in the literal word for word God-breathed view of every word of Scripture as found in its place in the discovered and collated manuscripts of the Holy Bible. There is real hope in the Holy Bible which promises eternal damnation and eternal punishment for those who refuse Christ, because there are others: those who receive Him. Bible thumping Fundamentalism with its Bible of inspired spelling and word placement and even dispensational eschatology meets the need of souls, my dear Alice; so please discard your universalism and turn to this way. Your heresy is inadequate.

    • admin January 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

      And if there were a “dislike” button, I’d have clicked it for this comment.

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

        Cold, hard-hearted Alice, whose doctrine trumps compassion, cannot reach out to Anna, who is pleading for some one to show her how to find life, the real life, that eternal LIFE which is Christ. You missed the opportunity and are not even sorry; no repentance in Alice, what a pity.

        • admin January 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm

          I asked her a question, but she did not reply. Stop judging me, Lanny.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 10, 2012 at 11:52 pm

            Do you still feel hopeless? was your question after she wrote, “I feel hopeless.” What don’t you understand about “I feel hopeless” that she wrote, Alice? You think she changed her mind reading your blog? That’s the dumbest thing to ask after she read your blog and closed (ended) her response with those words. She’s being so seriously honest with all your readers and you will not believe her.

            Don’t go pulling the “stop judging me” thing on me, Alice, because that’s a dead give away that you know you’re wrong, but will not admit to it. It is the same response UNSAVED people use when the truth of the Gospel is hitting home and they know they are hell-bound if they continue to reject the Lordship of Christ. Which are you, Alice? I think you know what I think about you because you will not believe an inerrant Bible.

            You cannot meet Anna’s need because you point her to herself instead of Christ. Why? Because you’re so rapped into your heresy you don’t see Christ. You say, Lord, Lord; but Jesus says, I never knew you. Humble yourself and get where Anna is facing the reality of her deadness and need for real life-giving faith.

            The question facing Anna is “how do I know when I have that true faith that saves and gives NEW life?” Or rather better yet and foremost “how do I get that faith?” “How do I receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior” as John 1: 12 says she needs to do and “how does verse 13 happen?” She wants desperately to have {John 5: 24} “she who hears my word, and believes on Him Who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but has been passed from death unto life” as a reality in her life. She needs to be praying and pleading, “God, I don’t want to go on feeling this deadness; please make me alive, show me the truth of Jesus.” She’ll get closer to God reading the Gospel of John than reading your blog site, especially listening to you. The old fashioned Gospel can save her better than anything you write. Maybe one of those Passion 2012 college friends can get her into an old fashioned Gospel preaching church and somebody there can lead her in receiving Christ.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    In less than two hours, that is 8:00pm Mountain Standard Time on http://www.hotm.tv you can catch on live streaming video an hour “Heart of the Matter” program by Shawn Mc Craney comparing Christianity with Mormonism containing in the last half a call-in segment where sometimes a caller is a real “seeker” and learn how to direct him/her to find salvation in Christ. If you miss the live you can watch past shows for the same. It is just glorious to recognize how God is working to save lives and to be a witness to it.

  • Michelle January 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Eternal punishment is a lie and a pagan myth straight from Baybylon and Egypt and Augustine brough it into the church because he compromised with pagans. I can hardly stand Fundies and legalists, they promote a return to slavery, bondage and burden. More people are waking up to the truth. Keep up the good work, Alice. 🙂

  • Michelle January 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I really feel sorry for that poor Anna woman, Alice. The last thing she needs right now is to be stuck with Damnationists. She doesn’t need more religious and spiritual abuse of the ET variety, she needs to be told the truth, which is that God loves her just the way she is, just where she’s at, no matter what. Those abused people need prayer. I will keep her in my prayer…

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 12, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Michelle, if God didn’t hate what you’ve become from birth, He would not have died on the cross for the redemption and salvation of your soul. He absolutely hates your guts, Michelle, and you’re so thoroughly “dead” and oblivious to what that means. You are totally depraved and totally ruined by sin: the inability to believe every word God spoke and there is no wonder at all that you’re such an airhead along with all the others that think like you do. The devil’s got you good with that lie.

    • Mary Vanderplas January 12, 2012 at 5:47 am

      God “hates the guts” of sinners????? Hardly. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

    • Stephen Helbig January 12, 2012 at 11:15 am

      New International Version (©1984)
      But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

      New Living Translation (©2007)
      But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

      English Standard Version (©2001)
      but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

      New American Standard Bible (©1995)
      But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

      King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
      But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

      International Standard Version (©2008)
      But God demonstrates his love for us by the fact that the Messiah died for us while we were still sinners.

      Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
      Here God demonstrates his love for us, because if when we were sinners, The Messiah died in our place,

      GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
      Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God’s love for us.

      King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
      But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

      American King James Version
      But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

      American Standard Version
      But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

      Douay-Rheims Bible
      But God commendeth his charity towards us; because when as yet we were sinners, according to the time,

      Darby Bible Translation
      but God commends his love to us, in that, we being still sinners, Christ has died for us.

      English Revised Version
      But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

      Webster’s Bible Translation
      But God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

      Weymouth New Testament
      But God gives proof of His love to us in Christ’s dying for us while we were still sinners.

      World English Bible
      But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

      Young’s Literal Translation
      and God doth commend His own love to us, that, in our being still sinners, Christ did die for us;

      Lanny where is God’s LOVE, Christ in you, the hope of glory?

      Hates your guts? airhead? Oblivious to what that means?

      I see no man after the flesh, (Paul)! Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man; (Jesus) And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. The Savior of the World.

      Lanny, there definately seems to be an in ability to believe every word God spoke, by your above writings, but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our LORD JESUS CHRIST

      Lanny, truly i say unto you “The devil’s got you good with that lie” But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil, and aren’t, you glad God will perfect that which concerns you!

    • Michelle January 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      You do don’t get it Lanny. Take it to your ET buddies. Leave Alice and Anna alone and cry out to God, genuinely asking for the truth. I will keep you in my prayer. I see you’re gonna it…

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm

        God hates you, Michelle, as you are: an unbeliever.

        • Michelle January 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

          I am not an unbeliever, Lanny. You are. You make Jesus Christ out to be a failure who loses most of mankind to the devil. You deify and glorify the devil and man’s so-called free will. You make His suffering and death out to be all in vain. You mock and insult Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ by making them out to be more evil than all the sinners of the world combine. A sinful, human parent correct his child to make him/her a better person, for his/her own good. Our justice system work to cure and rehabilitate criminals and that is part of God’s plan. According to you, God punishes for the sake of punishing and when he does it is for ever, without cease, which serves no purpose. You’re blind, Lanny.

    • Michelle January 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      What God hates more than anything else, Lanny, is religious and spiritual abuse and seeing his poor abused and tormented children being fed distorted and sickening images of Him from early childhood by Fundamnetalists and leaders in the church. You need to cry out to God and repent, Lanny. You saying that Alice has no compassion is projection. You make God out to be a million times worse than all of the sinners of the world combined. Most sinful, human parents wouldn’t even think of punishing or torturing their children forever. Really Lanny, the Bible says that God is love and that His Son died on the cross out of love for us to restore our relationship with God. It was mankind who was hostile and who was changed by the death of Christ on the cross. Mankind needed to be reconcile to God and not the other way around, Lanny. The Bible says so. God never ceased to be love, to be a Father, to carry out His plan to bring His children back into His warm, loving embrace. Repent and pray Him to reveal the truth to you. Maybe YOU hate, but God doesn’t, He is love. He hates sin because of how much it hurts us and because He loves. What part of that do you not understand, Lanny? God doesn’t need to punish people. Sin carry its own punishment. And all throughout the Old and New Testaments, it is made clear that all consequences, corrections, etc are to be met in this life, on this side of the grave. Your KJV has been partly translated from the corrupt latin vulgate. Study the original Greek and Hebrew. You will not find the word hell, not even the concept of hell in there. Study words such as Hades, Sheol, Gehenna, Tartarus, Sozo, apolumi, etc. The most prevailing doctrine in the Christian church for its first five hundred years was Christian Universalism and that it what Paul taught, as well as one of his follower named John. You really need to get your facts right Lanny and ask God to reveal the truth to you…

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

    God hates us THE WAY WE ARE is the reason He GAVE His Son. Put it together, airheads. There’s no reason for the cross if God doesn’t hate your sinful guts.

    • Stephen Helbig January 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Lanny,Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

      Lanny, And what is the pleasure of the Lord – To have all men saved and brought to the knowledge of the truth. “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” Jesus SAVIOR of the WORLD

      New International Version (©1984)
      Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

      New Living Translation (©2007)
      For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the LORD, who has mercy on you.

      English Standard Version (©2001)
      For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

      New American Standard Bible (©1995)
      “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.

      King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
      For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

      GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
      The mountains may move, and the hills may shake, but my kindness will never depart from you. My promise of peace will never change,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

      King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
      For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, says the LORD that has mercy on you.

      American King James Version
      For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, said the LORD that has mercy on you.

      American Standard Version
      For the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but my lovingkindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, saith Jehovah that hath mercy on thee.

      Douay-Rheims Bible
      For the mountains shall be moved, and the hills shall tremble; but my mercy shall not depart from thee, and the covenant of my peace shall not be moved: said the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

      Darby Bible Translation
      For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my loving-kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, saith Jehovah, that hath mercy on thee.

      English Revised Version
      For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

      Webster’s Bible Translation
      For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

      World English Bible
      For the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but my loving kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed,” says Yahweh who has mercy on you.

      Young’s Literal Translation
      For the mountains depart, and the hills remove, And My kindness from thee departeth not, And the covenant of My peace removeth not, Said hath thy loving one — Jehovah.

    • Michelle January 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS CHRIST DIED FOR US. While we were still dead in trespasses in sins, He died out of love for us. We love him, because HE FIRST LOVED US. And you say that he hates sinners???? What part of this did you not understand, Lanny? Even when we were depraved, evil, wicked and blind, HE LOVED US. Do you think He ceased to be love at some point? Cry out to God and ask Him to cure your blindness, Lanny.

    • Michelle January 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      You say Jesus died on the cross because God hates our sinfuls guts??? You’re really blind, Lanny. You turn Jesus’ love and self-sacrifice into the grossest parody. God never hated our sinful guts. God never ceased to be loved, to be a Father and to carry out His plan to cure His children that He loves so much. God hates sin because of what it does TO US, because He loves us. He so love the world that He gave Himself to us, the cure. God’s justice is not retributive, but salvific, Lanny. But I cannot make you see that, only God can and He will in His own timing…

    • Mary Vanderplas January 13, 2012 at 5:29 am

      That’s not what John 3:16 says. It doesn’t say that God gave his Son to die for us so that he could begin to love us. It says that he gave his Son to die for us because he already loved us. We are saved not from an angry God, but from the sin that separates us from the God who loves us passionately even when we live in self-destructive rebellion against him.

      • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 3:09 am

        Well said, Mary! 🙂

      • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 3:29 am

        That’s not what John 3:16 says. It doesn’t say that God gave his Son to die for us so that he could begin to love us. It says that he gave his Son to die for us because he already loved us. We are saved not from an angry God, but from the sin that separates us from the God who loves us passionately even when we live in self-destructive rebellion against him.

        Religion got it all wrong. They have such a twisted view of God’s love. Why would God gave us His Son because He hates us? Why would He give us His Son if He didn’t love us in the first place? God giving His Son to people He hates would only prove that He hates His Son. What parent would give his child to someone he hate? That’s the same twisted logic that makes religious people say that God would punish and torture His children forever when no sinful, human parent would ever think of doing that to his child or anyone else for that matter. Ever notice that this doctrine of endless punishment is always used by religious people against everyone but themselves? They have no problem (or so they say) with someone else being endlessly tortured, but bring to their attention that they are just as guilty as anyone else and they fly off the handle. They are so prideful and arrogant that they believe that they alone “deserve” forgiveness and heaven. May I recommand an excellent book that everyone should read? It’s entitled, “Bearing our scorn: Jesus and the way of Trinitarian love”, by C. Baxter Kruger. This book will move you to tears and touch the deepest parts of your heart like never before. I like to call it, “The true story, the one “church” doesn’t tell”. It brought me even closer to the Father, Son and Spirit and brought significant change to my life. It was not the Father’s heart that was poured out on Jesus, religion got it all wrong and chose to stick to their twisted views. Maybe because the truth would be unbearable to them. If they knew, they could finally cry tears of true repentance and then, their lives would be transformed. I share this with you and everyone else on this blog because this is one of the greatest and most life-changing book I’ve ever read and I thank the Most Holy Trinity from the bottom of my heart for leading me straight to it. Enjoy. 🙂 🙂

        http://www.perichoresis.org/x2/file/9fc3d7152ba9336a670e36d0ed79bc43.pdf

        • Lanny A. Eichert January 14, 2012 at 3:44 am

          Michelle, you pattern God after your own self: your god is just a glorified human being. You fit well within the doctrinal confines of the Mormon Church here in Utah. Find a Mormon church in your area and join it and you can also become just like God’s wife and be eternally pregnant producing literal tons of spirit babies for which your husband can create bodies so they can inhabit the earth he creates. It’s just that your husband god will also have to beome incarnated again taking the name of Jesus and die on another cross to save their souls, too.

          • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 8:38 am

            You’re way out of your league, Lanny. I am not a Mormon. I’m a Christian Universalist like many of the early church fathers were, as well as the apostle Paul and one of his followers named John. You speak out of ignorance and do not study the original Greek and Hebrew as well as the writings of those early church fathers. Just cause the Mormon have some similar beliefs doesn’t make us Christian Universalists, Mormon. You really need to ask God to remove the scales from your eyes, Lanny. Unless you wish to remain a blind leader of the blind and desire to fall into a pit. You might already be there. Repent and ask God to reveal His truth and plans to you…

      • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 3:38 am

        Sorry for the typo. I meant, “It’s not the Father’s WRATH that was poured out on Jesus, religion got it all wrong and chose to stick to their twisted views. Maybe because the truth would be unbearable to them. If they knew, they could finally cry tears of true repentance and then, their lives would be transformed.”

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    You say you believe it, but you don’t own a coming literal thousand year reign of King Jesus Christ on ther throne in Jerusalem after the Great Tribulation. You also don’t own up to millions of dead Jews in hell today from the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities to the present that will also be cast alive into the eternal Lake of Fire.

    Why in the world does God clean up His work by casting death and hell into the Lake of Fire if the Lake of Fire isn’t eternal? Doesn’t God believe in the Law of the Conservation of Energy?

    I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. {Psalm 139: 22} Remember what David speaks here are the words of the Greater David, Jesus Christ Himself.

    • Stephen Helbig January 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm

      Lanny Psalm 139 is a very pcecious to me , as is all of God’s spoken word that wil not return void but will acomplish that which he desires.
      ——————————————————————————————–
      PSALM 139 (KJV)
      O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
      —————————————————————————————————
      This psalm flames out with such flashes of light as to turn night into day!
      As stated in vs.12 “the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.(KJV)”.

      (Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010) states vs. 12 this way;
      And the darkness will not darken from you, and the night will shine like the day.

      Darkness and light, ignorance and knowledge, are things that stand in relation to us; God sees equally in darkness as in light; and knows as perfectly, however man is enveloped in ignorance, as if all were intellectual brightness. What is to us hidden by darkness, or unknown through ignorance, is perfectly seen and known by God; because he is all sight, all hearing, all feeling, all spirit – and ALL IN ALL. (1Cor, 15:28)
      Infinite in himself. He lends to every thing; receives nothing from any thing. And yet vain man would to be wise, and ascertain his foreknowledge, eternal purposes, infinite decrees, with all operations of infinite love and infinite hatred, which is total conceit and full of carnal self, as if he himself had possessed a being and powers co-extensive with the Deity! O ye wise fool! Jehovah, the fountain of eternal perfection and love, is as unlike your creeds as he is unlike your “self”, forgers of doctrines to prove that the source of infinite benevolence is a streamlet of capricious and nocturnal love to thousands, while he is an overflowing, eternal, and irresistible tide of hatred to millions of millions, this is an opposite orientation of who God is for GOD IS LOVE.

      Here is the mingling with the LOVE of God: “I am still with thee.”
      -Psalm 139:18. – “When I awake I am still with thee.”

      I. Awaking is sometimes, yea, most commonly, taken in the natural signification, for the recovery from bodily sleep (Body)
      .
      II. Morally, for recovery from sin. (Soul)

      III. Mystically; “when I shall awake,” that is, from the sleep of death. (SPIRIT).

      NOTE: Psalm 139:18. – “I am still with thee.” when I awake and we will awake!

      NOTE: Psalm 139:20. – Two scandalous offences against God.
      I. To speak slanderously of him.
      II. To speak irreverently of him. These are committed only by his enemies.

      NOTE: Psalm 139:21, Psalm 139:22. –
      I. There is a hatred one need not be ashamed of.
      II. There is a hatred one should be able to define: “grieved.”
      III. There is a hatred one must labour to keep right. “Perfect hatred”.

      Perfect Hatred is a form of hate consistent with all the virtues including the LOVE OF GOD, which reigns and rules over hate for GOD IS LOVE!!!!! Triumphant Love, just as light ruling and reigning over dark , Joy over sorrow.Life over death, O death where is thy sting? Need I go on?

      I. To speak slanderously of him.
      II. To speak irreverently of him.
      These two are committed only by his enemies, yet He loves his enemies, (a command of God) which is given to us! (Lk. 6:35) (Mt. 5:44)(Lk. 6:27).

      NOTE: Psalm 139:23-24. – The language, of SELF examination.
      I emphasize the word self , a wonderful way in our desire to this last phrase “and lead me in the way everlasting” God will lead us for He is the WAY: “our Saviour God.

      …our Saviour God who wills that all mankind be saved and come into a realization of the truth” (1 Tim. 2: 3, 4);

      “We rely on the living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind, especially of believers” (1 Tim. 4:10); ”
      . . . as it was through one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through one just award for all mankind, for life’s justifying” (Rom. 5:18);
      “Even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified,” (1 Cor. 15:22) “… through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on earth or those in the heavens;” (Col. 1:20)

      The word of God must define The Word of God, scripture must interpret scripture. These things are spiritually discerned, the letter killeth but the spirit giveth LIFE. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are Life.

      • Stephen Helbig January 13, 2012 at 12:17 am

        p.s. Lanny I do not wish to debate or quarrel about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. I believe I recognize where you are in the journey to perfection in God, for “HE will perfect that which concerns us”. I believe this because I also in my past partook of these very same preaching and teachings of mans wisdom, which I hear from you in your writings, to the following of traditions of mans wisdom which is foolishness to me now. However if you wish to study and search the sriptures to see if these things be so, as the Bereans did, my phone # is 870-584-2155 “but I do not wish to argue”.
        .
        To me, it seems that this may not be the case for you (the Berean way) at this time, (and I pray that this to will pass) but instead I believe you wish to prove to me your current belief system of which as stated: “I came out of and do not wish to return for it is death to me. I truly thank the Lord upon every remembrance of you.

        p.p.s “God IS Love” notice the words “IS LOVE” in this scripture.

        love in Christ, stephen

      • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 3:54 am

        I never understood David. Saying stuff like, “I hate them with perfect hatred” and “I count them mine enemies”. In these moments David seemed to be giving in to the flesh and listening to the accuser, for God is said to BE LOVE and to love HIS ENEMIES and David really didn’t sound like He was speaking in the Spirit when he said such things. It’s been proved that when reading the psalms, most people will censor the violence and David’s desire for revenge because of Jesus’ command to love your “enemies”. I am one of them…

        • Lanny A. Eichert January 14, 2012 at 4:10 am

          Jesus Christ is speaking those words and that’s why I told you God hates your sinful guts, Michelle. The Messianic “David” who is Christ is speaking as the Messiah. He is the only perfect Man that can perfectly hate sin everywhere it is found.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 14, 2012 at 6:58 am

            “Jesus Christ is speaking those words…”

            Hogwash. Statements like the one in this psalm give vent to the psalmist’s (and the community’s) natural feelings of resentment, even revenge, in the face of suffering at the hands of those who oppose God’s ways. Requests for vengeance are pleas for the justice of God to be manifest.

          • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 8:49 am

            Man is all about payback, God isn’t. Most nations have patterned their justice systems after Rome’s and they mostly are about retributive justice, applying punishments. It’s only in the recent years that they started trying to cure and rehabilitate criminals. God’s justice is not retributive, but salvific. True justice is doing everything for the good of all men. God’s justice brings salvation. I thank God from the bottom of my heart for all of the good and wonderful things He is teaching me. 🙂 🙂

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

            rehabilitating criminals rarely if ever works

            abusive people are trash to be destroyed

            only the miracle of salvation works transformation

          • Mary Vanderplas January 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm

            The God you describe is a caricature of the God revealed in Jesus Christ portrayed in the biblical witness. God’s love is delivered to us in nail-scarred hands, yes. But delivered to us it is, and not only after we’ve been saved and our lives straightened out, but while we were still enemies, “abusive people,” hostile to God, as the others who have responded to your posts have pointed out already. To picture God the way you picture him – abounding in hatred toward sinners, eager to destroy, seeking to avenge mercilessly those who have rebelled against him, counting them as trash instead of his prized creations – is to distort beyond recognition the Good News of the gospel.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

            Oh how I love being misunderstood by the likes of you folks. It is very entertaining. You think because God gives humanity its chance only in this life to be save, that He is quick to condemn by my Gospel. Satan and his angels and demons are not even given a chance to be saved and you think that is insane. The Lake of Fire has no remedy. That’s where it ends. That’s how the Book ends, you poor affectionate people. God told you that by the way He closed the Book. You believe your emotions and refuse His perfect words.

            A sovereign God Who freely and rightly destroys His vessels fitted for destruction is the same sovereign God Who saves those He chose to elect to blessings. God’s emotions flow both ways toward the people He created: love and hate. You cannot force God to be loving people and prevent Him from hating people.

            The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. {Psalm 11: 5}

            He hates their guts.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 15, 2012 at 7:42 am

            The doctrine of double predestination is bad enough. If God has created most of the people of the world with the intention of damning them, then how can it be meaningfully said that God loves the world? The answer is that it can’t. Also, the sovereignty of God portrayed in scripture is demonstrated by God’s acting in Christ for the sake of the world – it is a gracious sovereignty, not, as this doctrine conceives it, the ability either to be gracious or not to be gracious. Moreover, scripture teaches that God is consistently both loving and just – his love is a just love and his justice is a loving justice with all people. It is not the case that with some he is only just while with others he is both loving and just. And the doctrine completely ignores or reasons away the many biblical texts that proclaim that God’s grace is for everyone and not just for a select few.

            As least as bad as the doctrine itself, though, in my view, is the attitude you have in embracing it. Even Calvin confessed that the doctrine of reprobation is a decretum horribile. You, however, not only decline to concede the difficulty of it, but speak casually and callously (and with an apparent disregard for the fact that we all are undeserving) of the “undeserving” getting their just desserts and of God despising those whom he has rejected from the beginning. It isn’t your view that God saves only those who come to faith in the present age that I object to (though I do question the idea that limited salvation will be the final word, given the many universalist texts in scripture). What I object to, rather, is your unbiblical portrait of God as inconsistently just and loving in his dealings with us and as passionately against his rebellious creation (not to mention your doctrine of eternal torment). I object also to the arrogant presumption you demonstrate in speaking of those pitiable hell-bent others – as though you know without a doubt the destiny of the presently unbelieving and as though you are somehow more worthy of God’s love than they are.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm

            Mary, please reread your January 15, 2012 at 7:42 am most recent post and notice how you paint my view as lacking in grace and based on merit. The whole human race is lost and deserves no favor from God whatsoever. He is just in condemning the whole lot and cannot be accused of being unlovingly vengefully hating (angry) in doing so. Your acessment of my attitude lacks consideration for what else can I do, that is, since God does condemn and I am supposed to have the joy of the LORD, why should I grieve over the lost as if His joy is not in me?

            My easy answer to you is that again you want God to be the way that seems to best fit your emotional desire about Him. I upset your apple cart by insisting that God is also harsh in saying the least of it. Buck up and accept it as fact. Faith is not built on our emotional desires, but on what God’s words say. Faith is believing what God said.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm

            Mary asks: how can it be meaningfully said that God loves the world?

            Are you familiar with the Calvinistic doctrine of limited or particular atonement? Their answer is that Christ died only for the Elect, that is the “world” of the elect and that “all” means, not all of humanity, but all of the elect. It seems to solve your objection. Now they also don’t like “potential” salvation saying something similar to your objection that God doesn’t get that for which He paid if some don’t believe.

            {2 Peter 2: 1} denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction: describes hell-bound and eternally condemned false teachers in the church as the rest of the chapter presents them. So what do I say: it appears by the words He, Himself, gave us that God doesn’t always get what He wants. Whether or not we can make absolute sense of that really doesn’t matter. What does matter is believing ever one of the spelt words that proceeds from the mouth of God in ink and paper: His perfect Holy Bible.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm

            Yes, God is just in condemning the whole human race, but the issue is that while no one deserves his favor, some receive it. That is, some seem to be favorites. Calvin and others recognized only too well the difficulty involved in affirming this. Rather than question the justice of God, though, he chalked it up to the limits of human understanding, while at the same time acknowledging that the doctrine of reprobation is a “horrible decree,” which plainly it is.

            The larger issue is whether this doctrine is biblical – which, in my view, it isn’t, as I’ve already stated. It is based on a view of the sovereignty of God that fails to take into account what the Bible teaches about the sovereign God – namely, that he is gracious, that his sovereignty is exercised in Christ for the purpose of reconciling the creation to himself. And it is based on an unbiblical view of God as being only just with some while loving and just with others. Moreover, it can’t answer the question of what it means that God so loved the world without reducing “world” to something other than biblical writer intended (as you aptly demonstrate).

            I don’t deny, as I’ve said repeatedly, that God is not soft on sin, that his judgment and wrath are real and that it is an awful thing to rebel against him. That the Bible teaches this couldn’t be clearer. But this is not the same as saying that God has chosen some for the purpose of condemning them or that the holiness/justice of God in response to human rebellion is the response of an angry tyrant seeking revenge on his enemies (as your picture of God “hating the guts” of the ungodly suggests).

            I do rest my faith on the biblical revelation, as read through the lens of the character of the God revealed in Jesus Christ. This is precisely why I reject your damnation doctrine, which turns the Good News of the gospel into bad news, and which is based on a speculative view of God’s sovereignty that has nothing to do with what the Bible teaches about how God has acted in Christ to accomplish his plan and purpose for the world.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm

            “the doctrine of reprobation is a “horrible decree,” which plainly it is”, but it is not denied, Mary, without manipulating human logic based on human preferences coming from human emotions.

            The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. {Psalm 11: 5} and {Romans 1: 24, 26, 28} Wherefore God also gave them up … For this cause God gave them up … God gave them over to a reprobate mind. So no remedial action upon the wicked is both an Old and New Covenant neglect by a deliberate God.

            The Lake of Fire without a remedy at the close of the Holy Bible confirms eternal torment, thus supporting a “horrible decree”. How humans want to portray God is of no consequence to the revealled facts being what they are. Keep it according to your favorite term: “tension”, Mary, which of course, means it is beyond the limits of human understanding to reconcile. God’s hatred is perfect and God’s love is perfect: God hates perfectly and God loves perfectly. He is perfect in all His ways.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm

            In my view, it isn’t biblical. The doctrine of double predestination is logically consistent, to be sure, but the consistency is achieved at the cost of taking seriously what the Bible in its totality actually says about who God is and what God does. In your zeal to have a logically consistent system that supports your view of the unbelieving and ungodly being eternally damned (by God’s prior choosing), you ignore or explain away the texts that speak of God’s love for the world and his purpose of saving all people. Your accusation that I reject the doctrine of reprobation for the sole reason that it’s unpalatable is unfounded. If my motivation were to domesticate God to suit my fancy, I would embrace a purely sentimental understanding of his love, rejecting any notion of divine judgment, which, I’ve said repeatedly, I do not.

            The texts you cite to support your distorted view of God’s dealing with his rebellious creation do not say that there is “no remedial action upon the wicked.” What they say is that the “wicked” fall under the judgment of God for their sin. The picture in Psalm 11 is of God acting to establish justice. The stern side of God’s justice is real, but it doesn’t mean that God has written off his rebellious creation. In the Romans text, the statement “God gave them up” doesn’t mean that God gave up on them. What it means, rather, is that God gave them over to their own choices. God’s judgment wasn’t to destroy them, but to let them go their own way. The picture here is of the human condition in need of saving. It isn’t of God writing off the ungodly and refusing to care about or reach out to them.

            When it comes to the character of God and his orientation toward his sinful creatures, the biblical witness is clear: the God revealed in Jesus Christ is a God abounding in love and mercy; he is not against, but for the world.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 16, 2012 at 10:42 pm

            Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. {Matthew 7: 13 & 14}

            The “norm” is that many go in at the broad way leading to destruction and though it doesn’t specifically say they are finally destroyed, do you mean to tell me Jesus was telling them there is hope of salvation when they miss the Strait gate? Even if they deliberately avoid the strait gate? Maybe Jesus was just trying to scare them away from the broad way, intending LATER to tell them they will be saved by the love of God any way God can. When and where did Jesus finally tell those He scared the true good news, or was He getting “his kicks” for the moment at their expense never intending to apologize for the joke? Look how long the “joke” has lasted, even to our day, but that’s because of the religious conspiracy that has propagated it through the centuries because of their hunger for power over the masses.

            Leave humanity to their own devices and humanity perishes in the eternal Lake of Fire because Judgment Day will not disappear. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. {Psalm 11: 5} The LORD’s trying of the righteous is not God giving them over, that is, God is actively preventing in this life the righteous from being destroyed, remedial action by God. That remedial action just is NOT there in His words concerning the wicked. By the lack of mention it is easy to conclude there is no divine remedial action for the wicked, especially in the same context and in the same sentence in Psalm 11: 5. The omission has to be glaringly obvious at even many more texts as well, including Romans 1, but it is so amazing that you deliberately choose to object to its absence as proof that remedial action is afforded them any way.

            When you and the others choose to do that, how can I not call you unbelievers, lost, and going to hell?

          • Mary Vanderplas January 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm

            I agree that the picture here is of two ways and two destinies. But the purpose isn’t to answer questions about how many will be saved or who will be saved. Nor is it to scare outsiders into repenting and getting on the right path. The purpose is to spur lagging disciples to renewed decision and commitment.

            Regarding the Psalm 11 text, the picture is of God, the righteous judge, vindicating the righteous and punishing the wicked. That God is just, refusing to tolerate sin, is clear. This doesn’t mean, though, that he doesn’t love and will the ultimate good of the wicked.

            What amazes me is that you run around the scriptures searching for texts that speak of judgment, latching onto any word you can find that even hints at divine punishment (and often reading it into texts that don’t). Yes, judgment is real. And yes, there are texts that suggest a final judgment and separation (though the identity of who will be in and who will be out isn’t as clear-cut as you seem to suppose – see Matthew 7:21 and 22, which suggest that there will be surprises). But the big picture of God’s dealing with humanity is not of God’s anger and judgment, much less of a “horrible decree” whereby the reprobate are doomed from the beginning. The big picture, rather, is of God’s fierce love for his sinful children – his acting in Christ to choose and save us. It is good news for everyone that the scriptures declare. Even in those texts which picture eschatological judgment using violent imagery, the pictures are not of an angry tyrant seeking revenge, but of the righteous anger of the One who gave himself even for those who reject his love (e.g., Revelation 6:16 – the “wrath of the Lamb”). And even in texts that have been taken to support the doctrine of double predestination (especially Romans 9-11), the final word is not condemnation for some but mercy for all (Romans 11:32).

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm

            Please demonstrate in Psalm Eleven that God wills the ultimate good of the wicked though He saiys “this shall be the portion of their cup” in verse six.

            How long will it be their portion? Temporary? Is it a statement of finality? Maybe portion relates to not being a full cup? Is a partial cup a reduced time or a reduced intensity based on mercy or both? Or is the portion a full measure? Isn’t this a contrast to the fullness of His care for the righteous? If this measure is only a partial measure by mercy, then His measure to the righteous is also not a full measure of love? What is there in these verses that we can know assuredly without guessing or assuming? Where is there any absolutely direct statement in Psalm Eleven of God willing good to the wicked?

          • Mary Vanderplas January 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm

            It isn’t said in this text that God wills the ultimate good of the wicked. What it says is only that God judges and punishes the wicked for their sins. But there are other texts in scripture – more than a few of them – that speak of God’s mercy for all and intention that all be saved. And even in the case of texts such as this one, in which the stern side of God’s justice is portrayed, it cannot be said that God hates and wills the destruction of the wicked. The God of justice is, as I’ve emphasized in previous posts, the God revealed in Jesus Christ – the God who has dealt with our sin by taking upon himself his just judgment against us.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm

            The God of justice is also the God who, as John Dean insightfully noted, was the friend of sinners.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

            But ALSO:

            The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. {Psalm 11: 5}

            God’s soul HATES the wicked and does NOT try them in the fashion He tries the righteous. You cannot eliminate the second half of the text. It exists and must be believed. It must be believed God hates bad people.

            The conclusion that is meant to be drawn is that they are eternally damned. There is no middle of the road with God.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 19, 2012 at 1:54 am

            God wills the ultimate good of the wicked by casting them in the Lake of Fire for the purpose of the eternal solitary torment which is their only remaining lonesome activity of their godless desire and state: a fact to be faced as God’s good mercy to them while God looses them to their own free choice. They win; God looses them. The cross is defeated by free choice. Is God maligned? Not if God decreed free choice.

            Do we, everybody, have freedom of choice or don’t we?

          • Mary Vanderplas January 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm

            God is a God of justice who punishes sin and vindicates the righteous. That’s what this text is about. Granted, it expresses the seriousness of sin and the awfulness of divine judgment, but it doesn’t picture God as a revenge-seeking tyrant who hates bad people and wills their destruction. It pictures him rather as a God of justice who hates sin and who will act to turn the tables, setting things right.

            There is no question that this is a judgment text, picturing the awfulness of rebellion against God. But it isn’t the only text in the Bible. As I’ve noted previously, there are others that picture God’s mercy to all. Whether or not in the end all will be saved I can’t say for sure. But I can say that any picture of God that has him “casting [the wicked] in the Lake of Fire for the purpose of the eternal solitary torment which is their only remaining lonesome activity of their godless desire and state” is, to say the least, severely distorted.

            I don’t believe that “God loses them to their free choice,” as though God couldn’t if he wanted to save them in the end despite their decision to reject him. While there are texts that affirm the necessity and urgency of the response of faith, it isn’t the case that our saying “yes” or “no” to God is on the same level as what God has done in Christ to redeem the world. Still, though, I can’t entirely rule out that in the end God may allow those who reject him to live in their self-chosen alienation from him and others. I can’t rule out that, for those who persist in doing evil, separation from God is the natural outcome of the choices they have made.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm

            Another problem I have with what you say is that it is ever-so-presumptuous to talk about God hating and damning “bad people” as if they were somehow different from ourselves.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm

            Mary, God “prepared for the devil and his angels” that Lake of Fire into which also wicked humanity are thrown, so it isn’t qualified to be called “their self-chosen alienation” nor “that in the end God may allow” them it. Your words betray your “desire” to escape the fact that their eternal destiny is in every regard the DELIBERATE WORK of God and was ACTUALLY PLANNED by God.

            Stop living in denial, please. Be honest to yourself and face reality.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm

            Face reality, did you say? The reality is this: The God revealed in Jesus Christ is a God who loves the world and wills the salvation and reconciliation of all people. In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has revealed his purpose of well-being for all.

            Face reality? The reality is this: The power of God in Jesus Christ is the power of life, of resurrection, not the power of death and destruction.

            Face reality? The reality is this: The God who is our Judge (and before whom we will one day stand) is also our Savior, who has taken the judgment of God on himself so that we may go free.

            Face reality? The reality is this: If there is hope from God for any of us sinners and enemies of God, then we can be confident that there is hope from God for every sinner and enemy of God.

            Face reality? The reality is this: The one sovereign and gracious God who has acted in Christ to redeem humanity is capable of finally saving everyone unconditionally.

            Face reality? The reality is this: The God of justice who judges and punishes sin is the “friend of sinners,” who treats all people consistently with both justice and love.

            Pity the person whose understanding of salvation is so small and insecure that it finds its meaning in the reassurance that most will be damned. Pity the person who reads the Bible through the lens of a false (pagan) understanding of God as a vindictive deity who hates and endlessly seeks revenge against his enemies, torturing them eternally. Pity the person who speaks presumptuously of “bad people,” as though they were somehow different from himself and more deserving of divine punishment than he is. Pity the person whose understanding of faith is so lacking that it makes what God has done in Christ of lesser value than the human decision for or against God. Pity the person who reads apocalyptic pictures of the awfulness of rebellion against God as literal descriptions of the final fate of unbelievers, distorting the truth of what it means to go to hell – namely, to move further and further away from a positive relationship with God until one is completely removed from him – and thereby from one’s own true humanity.

            I’m done on this subject, Lanny. It’s obvious again that our views are greatly at odds with one another – something that by this time I’ve come to accept and expect.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm

            The Holy Bible still ends with a populated Lake of Fire that has no revealled exit possibility. God would not have done that except the truth be it is a necessary provision of His love and mercy as well as His hate and justice. The Revelation of Jesus Christ which He gave to His servant John is the last testimony of Jesus Christ that we have been given. Your refusal to abide by it is proof of your degenerate and lost condition, just as it is the same for so many others writing on this blog site.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 22, 2012 at 7:55 am

            The book of Revelation ends with both pictures of final judgment and pictures of universal salvation. As Alice has pointed out in previous blogs, Revelation 21, John’s final eschatological picture, has no dearth of images that suggest the inclusiveness of the New Jerusalem. It is worth noting, too, that the final verse of John’s letter, Revelation 22:21, is arguably a pronouncement of God’s grace to all. Some early manuscripts have only “all,” i.e., they lack “the saints,” making it at least possible that John was ending his letter on a strikingly inclusive note. The ambiguity of this verse, coupled with the scenes and hints of universal salvation in chapters 20 and 21, should prevent anyone from arguing categorically that the last word is damnation for some and from castigating those who don’t agree with this view. Take off your “damnation glasses,” and read the text for what John actually said.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 22, 2012 at 10:35 am

            As I said, Mary, you, as well as the others, always try to escape the reality of the eternality of the Lake of Fire making your unbelief and unregenerate condition unquestionably obvious.

            But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. {Hebrews 11: 6}

            Impossible, Mary, impossible it is to please God without faith in the eternal Lake of Fire. Those who diligently seek the Lord know the terror of the Lord.

            Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. {2 Corinthians 5: 1}

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

            For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

            Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. {2 Corinthians 5: 10 & 11}

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

            Judas is LOST, Mary, just as Jesus prayed so to the Father and to entertain otherwise is to make God a Liar. Don’t you and everybody else see that? Eternally lost, Mary, eternally lost.

            Judas won and Christ lost him forever. Doesn’t that sink in?

            Stephen open that can of worms and nobody is ready with an answer?

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 22, 2012 at 11:04 am

            Amazing Hope, Alice, makes Jesus a Liar, don’t you see that?

            {John 17: 12} While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

            That is no mere man’s opinion, but the Son of God’s declaration to God the Father; and Jesus was praying in the Holy Spirit. All Three are omniscient, knowing the truth which is that Judas is lost forever.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

            I’ve never denied the reality of the terror of God’s judgment. What I’ve denied is your false doctrine of eternal torment of the unbelieving – and your false understanding of God as a vindictive deity bent on getting revenge (eternally) on his enemies. Your views are pagan heresy. Moreover, I’ve argued that, in your zeal to have a logically consistent system that supports your eternal torment view, you ignore or reason away texts in Revelation and elsewhere that portray or imply universal salvation.

            It is “impossible to please God without faith in the eternal Lake of Fire”???? Surely, you jest. I thought the object of believers’ faith is the God revealed in Jesus Christ…..

            What does John 17:12 say? It says that Judas is, literally, “the son of destruction” – the same expression that is used in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, there in reference to the eschatological agent of Satan. The reference in this text is to Judas as the tool of Satan. While it says that he is “lost,” it is not said that he is beyond all hope of redemption and reconciliation.

            The fact is that not one of us is above betraying Christ. If Judas were for that reason disqualified from receiving God’s forgiveness, none of the rest of us would stand a chance. The good news is that God’s purposes were not thwarted by Judas’ act of betrayal. And it is, in my view, far from inconceivable that his saving purposes include even Judas.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm

            Lost is beyond all hope of redemption and reconciliation as Jesus used it.

            While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. {John 17: 12}

            Lost because he was NOT kept in the name of the Father. Lost because Jesus said so. Judas cannot be saved because Mary says so, or because Alice says so, or because Stephen says so, or the whole world says so. Jesus said he was lost and that is final. You all argue against God elevating yourselves above God. You all believe yourselves more than God. I tell you you’re all unbelievers under the wrath of God (God hates your guts) and you will perish unless you repent of this heresy and believe the spelling of every word of God meaning the Holy Bible.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm

            Omniscient Father, omniscient Son, omniscient Holy Spirit. Jesus said He lost Judas. Don’t any of you understand that a statement by an omniscient One is a statement of finality: Judas is eternally lost and there will be NO recovering him.

            Therefore the Lake of Fire has at least one eternal resident and if it has one, then it has the majority of humanity.

            Why do you dispute the words of the omniscient Son of God?

          • Mary Vanderplas January 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm

            Okay. I will grant you that the meaning here is lost forever, forever cut off from Jesus’ offer of life. According to this text, there is no hope for this one who is described as an agent of Satan. But what about other texts – John 12:32, John 3:17, John 1:29, to name three in John’s Gospel – that state or imply that all people – which presumably would include Judas – are finally saved? What do you do with these texts, the first two of which would, on your understanding of how the Gospels were written, qualify as “words of the omniscient Son of God”?

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm

            And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. {John 12: 32}
            For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. {John 3: 17}
            The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. {John 1: 29}
            that state or imply that all people are finally saved?

            Of the three passages, only 12: 32 are words spoken by the incarnate Son of God during His earthly ministry. 3: 17 is the Apostle John’s Holy Spirit inspired commentary and 1: 29 is John the Baptizer’s Holy Spirit inspired commentary. As you are keen to point out what is and isn’t said, please keep those things in mind: imply is only in the mind of the beholder based on preconditioning and the same thing may be said of what you think is stated.

            You conceded Judas is eternally damned {John 17: 12} so that rules out all people being saved not because of becoming an agent of Satan, but because “his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.” {Luke 19: 14} You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink: Jesus knows that. He can’t make “his citizens” love Him. Where are we? Free choice. Lifted up on the cross. The cross is the place of decision. The cross means heaven or hell: the love of God or the hate of God. Both are necessary elements of salvation. He came to save, but that saving cross is the place of damnation as well for so says 3: 19 & 36.

            And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. {John 3: 19}
            He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. {John 3: 36}

            How effectual is the cross? Now we are back to Hebrews 3 & 4 because knowing the facts needs to be “mixed” with faith.

            Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. … Seeing therefore it remaineth that SOME must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. {Hebrews 4: 1 – 3, 6, 7}

            Decision is necessary for the cross to work for the individual. Potential salvation? Jesus left it there: “if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” {John 8: 24} So, all humanity is drawn to the Christ on the cross, God’s love, to avoid the wrath of God, but only few will love Him, while most will despise Him.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm

            I conceded that the meaning of John 17:12 is that Judas is lost, cut off from Jesus’ offer of life, implicitly because of his act of treachery inspired by the devil (John 13:2, 27). It is a judgment text, with final rejection envisioned. That is all I said.

            The issue remains that there are these other texts which state or imply universal salvation. What does John 3:17 say? It says that God sent his Son so that the world might be saved through him. Granted, there are other texts in John 3 that speak of salvation being limited and conditional, but this text says that God’s saving act in Christ is for the world, for everyone. Likewise, John 12:32 says that God finally draws all. God is the actor here. He brings all people to himself; and his bringing is effective. That is what this text is saying, not that “all humanity is drawn to Christ…but only few will love Him…” And John 1:29 says that Jesus’ sacrificial death was for the world, for everyone.

            I suggest that you follow your own counsel in reading these and other texts – i.e., that you consider the role that “preconditioning” plays in your interpretation and that you read the text for what it says instead of reading it through the filter of “what it must say” in order to fit with affirmations of God’s final rejection of unbelievers. The fact is that this Gospel – and the Bible as a whole – contains both affirmations of limited salvation and affirmations of universal salvation. By subordinating the universalistic texts to the limited salvation ones, you dissolve the paradox and, more often than not, wind up distorting the meaning of texts of both kinds (e.g., reading into John 12:32 human decision and responsibility, thereby effectively reducing the “all” to “some”). Moreover, by arguing that God cannot possibly save everyone because “He can’t make ‘his citizens’ love Him,” you wrongly make the human decision for or against God of greater importance that the act of God in Christ.

            While the text in John 17 envisions Judas’ final destiny as eternal separation from God, it cannot be said with certainty that Judas is hell-bound. That the God who is said to have given his Son for the world’s salvation and to bring all people to himself can, if he so chooses, finally accept this one who acted to oppose his purposes cannot be ruled out. As those who have received the wholly undeserved gift of God’s grace in Christ, we ought to do no less than to hope and pray that God does.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm

            Mary, Jesus/Liar, again? “we ought to do no less than to hope and pray that God does.” Hope and pray for a lie? Why do that when Judas is clearly eternally lost and you have the word of the all-knowing Son of God empowered by the all-knowing Holy Spirit agreed by the all-knowing eternal Father in John 17:12. You’d be wise bring all Scripture into conformance with John 17:12 rather than making the triune God a bunch of Liars.

            Your hope and prayer is that of an unbeliever as I have all along judged you to be. {fruit inspecting}

          • Mary Vanderplas January 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm

            Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, whether you like it or not, the same scriptures that call Judas “the son of destruction” – and that speak generally of the seriousness of sin and the reality of divine judgment – also speak of God’s love for the world and his plan to save all. You shamelessly ignore or distort these texts, while castigating everyone who doesn’t share your damnation bias. And you are inspecting my life for rotten fruit??

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

            Mary, the point is to acknowledge Judas will never be saved according to the words of Jesus Christ verbally spoken on earth within the hearing of His disciples while He prayed in the Holy Spirit to God the Father IS to acknowledge eternal torment for all unbelievers. To deny eternal torment is to call the Son of God, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father Liars at John 17: 12 since all three members of the Godhead are all-knowing omniscient and all agree to the words of Jesus without objection that Judas is once and for all lost. ALL other Scripture must be understood accordingly or God is made a Liar. When God is made a Liar, so is the individual who is making God a Liar. All liars go to hell and the eternal Lake of Fire. That includes you, Alice, Stephen, Michelle, and all the others on this site holding eternal torment as a myth. None of you can call God a Liar and expect any other treatment. How laughable you said God’s wrath is without God’s hate. God hates your guts, all of you unbelievers.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm

            You are guilty of textual abuse of the worst kind. First, you wrench this verse out of context and use it to “prove” your doctrine of the damnation of Judas and most of humanity. The context is Jesus’ prayer for the disciples. He prays for their unity and protection – i.e., that they not be overwhelmed by evil. His mention of Judas in verse 12 is not to give information about the eternal destiny of this disciple who rebelled against the will of God. The point is to pray that the disciples, whom Jesus kept while he was on earth, be protected in his absence. Judas is mentioned as one who “got away,” so to speak, having been taken captive by the devil. But the point is not to answer the question, “Will Judas be saved?” To use it to prove that Judas is destined for hell is a gross violation of the text. And, as if using the verse as a proof-text for your damnation doctrine weren’t bad enough, you arrogantly claim (absolute) authority for your biased understanding, arguing that it ought to be the norm for interpreting “all other Scripture.” Only a complete fool – that’s right, I said it – would make such an outrageous claim. To top it off, you do all of this with an air of piety and self-righteousness, under the guise of “having a high view of the Holy Bible,” appointing yourself judge of everyone else and casting aspersions on the character and faith of those who dare to challenge your arrogant folly.

            There are no words to describe the heinousness of your crime of textual abuse or your arrogance in writing off all of those “wicked outsiders.” Even if one adopts the traditional view regarding the final fate of the ungodly and unbelieving, the proper attitude is humility, not the presumptuousness you demonstrate. That there are texts that speak of God’s love for the world and of the inclusiveness of his saving mercy cannot be denied. And while an us/them mentality is present in scripture, there is no hint of the smug self-assurance that you show in declaring that “bad people” are beyond all hope of salvation while assuming that you have nothing to worry about no matter how badly you behave. The scriptures are clear: insiders are also judged as sinners.

            If a parent “hated the guts” of and sought (endless) revenge against a wayward child, he or she would be rightly judged abusive and not fit for the role. As every good parent knows, anger/wrath not only co-exists with love, but expresses it. How much more God, who judges/punishes not in order to get even or to crush his wayward children, but to call us back to the life we were created to live in relationship with him and others. Your view of God as a vindictive tyrant who hates and wills the destruction of sinful human beings is nothing less than a blasphemous caricature of the God revealed in Jesus Christ – a pagan heresy every bit as pernicious as any liberal sentimentalizing of God’s love.

            I do not believe a cheap grace in God. God judges sin and will judge those (both insiders and outsiders) who presume upon his grace. Moreover, the Bible teaches the necessity of repentance and faith. Still, though, the Bible is clear that God alone is Judge, meaning that it is ours simply to love people and not to make judgments about their final destiny. And it is equally clear that God’s decision for all people will be both just and loving.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm

            The all-knowing omniscient Son REPORTS to the all-knowing Father in the power of the all-knowing Holy Spirit, “those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition” and all three Persons of the Godhead accept this report as fact without remedy, but YOU will not accept the very fact that Judas is ἀπώλετο Aorist Middle Indicative {ἀπόλλυμι apollymi} perished, lost, ruined, destroyed. Aorist is PAST action viewed as completed in a point of time. Completely finally lost.

            He, Jesus, is not praying FOR Judas, but only for the remaining eleven. Verse 9, “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” Judas is “of the world” and is otherwise ignored in Jesus prayer. Remember 14: 22, “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” The love of God is directed to the ELECT, but only incidentally to the lost, yet not to save. If you’re among the non-elect, and it seems as though you are, there is no hope for you: not for a one of you, since you cannot believe even the simplest words of Jesus.

            Your justified maligning me does NOT change a single word of the Biblical text, not a single word Jesus prayed: those words remain true regardless of your unbelief. I ask you to face those facts and discard your feelings. I am making it difficult for your feelings by exposing your unregenerate heart and mind, but faith is a decision and not a feeling and if you’d get saved, it will be because of the written Word of God apart from feelings.

            To say Jesus will eventually reconcile Judas Iscariot is to call Jesus a Liar at John 17: 12.

            To accept Judas as eternally lost is to accept eternal pinishment for all unbelievers.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 26, 2012 at 1:05 am

            The norm for interpreting “all other Scripture” on the subject of eternal torment is John 17: 12 because it is the testimony of the all-knowing omniscient Three Members of the Triune Godhead that Judas is lost very simply and finally without any remedy.

            Just look at everything else you suppose is universal salvation texts since they can be otherwise explained by men’s opinions; but Judas cannot be otherwise explained since the testimony is God’s declaration unquestioned by God Himself. There is no surer foundation for eternal torment than the simple words of God Himself here found in John 17: 12.

            Universal salvation is proved false by God’s statement of Judas Iscariot being lost. Since he is lost, so many are lost and they all go into eternal punishment.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm

            Jesus is commenting on the fact that he succeeded in keeping the disciples, all but Judas, while he was with them. He isn’t making a declaration about the eternal destiny of Judas, much less about the eternal destiny of the majority of humanity. To use this text as a proof-text to support your eternal torment doctrine is to misuse it. Moreover, to argue that the text is a normative statement on the grounds that “all three Persons of the Godhead accept this report” is ridiculous in the extreme. That the Father did not interrupt the Son mid-prayer and tell him to shut up and to stop making slanderous remarks about Judas hardly constitutes compelling evidence that Judas is headed straight to hell with the rest of unbelieving humanity following hard on his heels.

            “…you cannot believe even the simplest words of Jesus.”

            Do you mean words such those in John 12:32 – “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself”? Or do you mean only those words of Jesus that you decide are true and authoritative? Don’t give me any bunk about “draw” really meaning “attract” and “all” really meaning “all the elect.” “Draw” here means “bring” – i.e., it is a reference to the divine choice and initiative in salvation, which is effective. The meaning is that God will act to bring all people to himself. That would include Judas. You pick and choose the “words of Jesus” that suit your damnation theology, ignoring and twisting the ones that don’t so as to make them say what you need them to say in order to maintain the coherence of your doctrinal system. And you have the chutzpah to accuse me of not assenting to the truth of the “simple words of Jesus” and of letting my feelings be the norm when it comes to deciding what is true and what isn’t. Incredible.

            “Universal salvation is proved false by God’s statement of Judas Iscariot being lost.”

            Even if the John 17 text could legitimately be used to support a doctrine of eternal damnation – which it can’t – it wouldn’t invalidate the universal salvation texts. The fact is that the Gospel of John and the Bible as a whole contain both limited salvation and universal salvation texts. It is futile to ask which group of texts is true. They are both there, creating a tension that needs to preserved rather than superficially resolved.

            The larger issue in all of this is that the eternal destiny of Judas and of every other human being is for God alone to decide and know. Whether Judas is irrecoverably lost because of his treachery only God can determine. As Alice has said, I would rather err on the side of believing in God’s mercy having the last word – even for Judas.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm

            You cannot believe even the simplest words of Jesus is demonstrated in your posts because lost is perished, Mary. Before Judas Iscariot has even died, Jesus pronounced him destroyed, ruined, perished, lost to the Father by the Holy Spirit in Him; and all Three are agreed.

            And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself {John 12: 32} It says draw, doesn’t say save. Your “interpretation” is unfoundedly not included in draw. Besides in this context Jesus is NOT speaking of saving anybody {see verse 33}, rather He is talking about how He was to die, so therefore this is not a universal salvation text, is it, Mary?

          • Mary Vanderplas January 27, 2012 at 5:38 am

            Only God will decide on the last day whether Judas is irrecoverably lost. God alone is Judge.

            Go ahead and explain John 12:32 – without a doubt a universalistic text – right out of the Bible. Poof! It’s gone. Why? Because it….uh…shoots to hell Lanny’s damnation doctrine. The fact is that “draw” means God’s act by which people come to him (John 6:44). And this act of God is effective. The “lifting up Jesus” is what has been done by God’s act at the cross and resurrection. That this text affirms that all are finally saved couldn’t be clearer.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

            God not WILL decide, but HAS ALREADY DECIDED, Mary, because {John 17: 12} apollymi (perished, lost, ruined, destroyed) is Aorist Indicative meaning PAST REALITY. It is also Middle voice meaning emphatically Judas himself. Jesus’ judgment was and is final on that subject. Neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit had anything to “add” to Jesus’ judgment, but were holely satisfied with His diagnosis.

            This he said, signifying what death he should die. {John 12: 33} clearly refers to crucifixion and nothing more. There is nothing more intended, Mary, nothing. It fails to be a universal salvation passage. There is absolutely NO mention of “saving” in the context.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 27, 2012 at 9:38 am

            Go ahead and explain John 12:32 right out of the Bible. Poof! It’s gone. Why? Because it shoots to the doctrine. What’s the matter, Mary? Can’t you live by your own tactics? Only yours are worse without substance. You pulled the context argument on me so many times I can’t count and the myth one with Lazarus and the rich man. And using other verses as well to insist something more is said than is there, like you’re now doing with John 6: 44. In 12: 27 Jesus introduces His subject, Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? The terror of the crucifixion troubles Him, not the joy of saving believers. Besides they have to believe to be saved which isn’t even in the context in chapter 12, while it is frequently mentioned in chapter 6. The closest thing to believing in chapter 12 is verse 30 This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.

            Poof! It’s gone, Mary.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 27, 2012 at 9:55 am

            And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. {John 3: 14 & 15} Truly there is more than mere crucifixion meant by lifted up for the drawing to be effective. However the whosoever clearly limits eternal life to only the FEW who believe. Whosoever destroys universal salvation as does the many and the few. There’s no inconsistency in God’s words, the Holy Bible. Judas is perished eternally along with many others and many more to come. Eternal torment vindicates the righteous.

            Get eyes that see, will you?

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm

            Mary, there is a difference between John 6: 44 & 12: 32. The first is: except the Father which hath sent me draw him. The second is: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all. The One Who is drawing is different. The Father draws because of 3: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The Son draws because of John 5: 27 And {the Father} hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. So 12: 32 is Jesus drawing all to judgment {condemnation} at the Great White Throne of the Revelation 20: 11 – 15. So why did He say, Now is my soul troubled in verse 27? Because of verse 31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. Not because of Satan, but what it means for the major portion of humanity: the eternal Lake of Fire. Here is where the Judge cries because His death cannot save the human race for which He is about to suffer. Mary, 12: 32 is not a universal salvation text, but a universal judgment unto eternal torment text; just the totally opposite of what you all think.

            Poof, it is gone, Mary.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm

            Blah. Blah. Blah. If you knew anything about John’s theology, you would know that in his Gospel, Jesus’ being lifted up refers both to being lifted up on the cross and being exalted by God. The human act of crucifixion is God’s act of exaltation. This text is talking about what God has done and will do – God’s saving act at the cross and resurrection and his initiative in finally drawing all people to himself.

            John 12:32 is a universalistic text, whether you like it or not. Poof! It’s gone. How many verses are there in your Bible now? Two or three?

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm

            John 12: 27, 31, 33 and still you refuse God’s contextual words.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm

            Mary, John 12:32 if you want to see salvation/deliverance in it, you must at least see the lifting up to be that of John 3: 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. Go to Numbers 21 and see there is nothing said that EVERYbody looked and lived. They had a choice and their track record favored mostly unbelief. There is NOTHING inherent in this text pointing to universal salvation. On the contrary everything points to crucifixion as the meaning that is LIMITED by the context. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. Lifted up is from the earth, meaning dirt and stones. You tend to be metaphorical and that’s the only way to arrive at Philippians 2: 10 every knee should bow. Verse 33 discredits your metaphor. This he said, signifying what death he should die.

            Eventually that serpent of brass became an idol, which is exactly what you are making of this verse: applying to it meanings unintended by the Author.

            • admin February 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm

              It means what it means in plain language – He will draw all men to Himself. If you want to argue against that, then take it up with Him, if you dare. I don’t see any point in wasting time over such an obvious declaration of Jesus Christ and His intentions and ability to carry out those intentions for ALL, just as He said. I suspect that you don’t want it to be true, therefore, you interpret it according to your own desires. I could be wrong, because I don’t know your heart, but based on your words/comments, this suspicion has a firm basis.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm

            admin says: February 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm It means what it means in plain language – He will draw all men to Himself.

            If you can’t keep the context of John 12:32 where the interpretation is given in the very NEXT verse, there’s no intelligence in you, much less honesty.

            • admin February 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm

              This has nothing to do with honesty. It is possible it has something to do with intelligence, I’ll give you that. But understand that be it honesty or intelligence or lack of either one, these matters are beside the point. They draw attention away from the subject at hand and place unnecessary focus on my character or ability. My character or ability has nothing to do with whether the context of the verse does or does not support the subject under consideration, that is, “draw all men”. So let’s set aside petty assumptions about my character and ability and discuss what matters:

              I understand the context (the next verse) to expound on what it means to be “lifted up”. What do you understand it to mean? Please explain, how does the context in any way discredit “draw all men” as you claim it does?

        • Lanny A. Eichert January 14, 2012 at 4:34 am

          If you had the mind of Christ, you’d also hate sin everywhere it is found. You, too, would hate the guts of every sinner because his heart is an evil heart of unbelief and the wrath of God is always resting on him.

          • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

            God hates sin because HE LOVES people. He hates sin, not the sinners. And so do I. I hate sin, but I don’t hate sinners. I don’t see why I should hate sinners either. I too happen to screw up and stumble. I’m no better than anyone else for my own “righteousness” is but filthy rags. God alone is good and He alone is my righteousness. The difference between you and I is I believe that will comform us all to the perfect image of His Son and make us all perfect in Him. Just so you know, in biblical language, perfection means completion in Christ. And at the end of the ages it will an entire race of sinless humans. God never hated the guts of sinners. He socialized and ate with publicans, sinners, prostitutes and some Gentiles. You’re just like Simeon, Lanny. He despised Jesus for letting the sinful woman touch Him and for forgiving her. You’re not better than the rest of mankind, Lanny. Yet you constantly judge those who have serious struggles or those who were so screwed up in their childhood that they have come to treat others the way they have been treated because they don’t know any better. As if you never happened to stumble and sin too. You’re just like the Pharisees that Jesus accused of hypocrisy. The same measure you use to judge others will be measured back to you, Lanny. One of these days, the Lord will do a mighty work in you and then you will cry tears of true repentance. You will seriously regret abusing people like you abuse Anna and you will regret all of the nasty, evil things you’ve said to others and slandering God. On that very day, you will experience self-loathing and shame, Lanny. It will take a lot of love and forgiveness to heal you, but God has an infinite, unlimited stock of those. You will reap what you sow, Lanny, so stop it and repent before you make things much worse for yourself. Cry out to God and ask Him to remove the scales from your eyes and to soften your hardened heart…

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 13, 2012 at 12:08 am

      If Psalm 139 is very pcecious to you, why don’t you believe God hates sinners as sinners as the Psalm simply says? You also incorrectly used Isaiah 54: 10 which is a literal Messianic promise which you don’t believe. And there is still the issue of a literally populated Lake of Fire left without remedy at the end of God’s last revelation to the human race.

      • Stephen Helbig January 13, 2012 at 1:52 am

        Re-read what was written above @ Stephen Helbig says:January 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm and that will tell you why (among many other scriptures i have previously written to you) why indeed I believe that God loves sinners. But if you don’t believe my report that I have recieved from God’s Holy Spirit, Believe His report thru His beloved Son Our Lord Jesus Christ, for you have need that any man teach you because the teacher is God Himself. “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

        Lanny, Even as it hath taught you ye shall abide in HIM (1 John 2:27)

        Yes i do believe Isiah 54 as a messianic promise to the true Israel of God which is ; Zion, the church, bride, wife and those called out to be “one” with Him.

        Everything from Genesis to Revelation pertains to a higher SPIRITUAL meaning than the physical examples, parables, metaphors, allegories, stories and symbols in which they are written. God is Spirit and they that worship Him must do it in Sprit and Truth. Spiritual Israel is the true “prince with God” of which I AM, and is from above!

        Example; does God only own the cattle only on a thousand Hills? (Ps 50:10) answer NO!
        So see Lanny we do agree on some points.

        • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 4:21 am

          “Example; does God only own the cattle only on a thousand Hills? (Ps 50:10) answer NO!”

          Good point…

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. {Isaiah 54: 7} is God’s promise to restore Israel to its LAND and its KINGDOM, and verse ten states His guarantee. Israel will literally rule the world from Jerusalem during the thousand year reign of Christ.

    That “small moment” are the thousands of years from the two captivities right through the Great Tribulation. Then God “remembers” His covenant with David and sets up the Messianic rule of King Jesus.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. {Deuteronomy 7: 9 & 10}

    Now here is an interesting statement. What does “to a thousand generations” mean? Who is doing what “to a thousand generations?” Is it God keeping covenant and mercy that long unto those who love Him and are keeping His commandments OR is it those who love Him are keeping His commandments “to a thousand generations?” Doesn’t “to a thousand generations” in this text mean “forever” or “eternally” as a euphemism? Don’t you see that God’s covenant and mercy is excluded from those who hate God and that exclusion is equally “to a thousand generations” meaning eternally no matter which way you choose to apply “to a thousand generations?”

    Michelle, Stephen, and all other readers take notice: Moses believed in eternal punishment and wrote God’s individual words with God’s spelling intact.

    • Stephen Helbig January 13, 2012 at 3:43 am

      Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: “The man who does these things will live by them.”…But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ…Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!…I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, THEY ARE LOVED on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

      How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” For from him and through him and to him are ALL things.
      To him be the glory forever! Amen

      Lanny, please note CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW, Moses described… by the law.
      Read Romans 10-11 with progression to emphasis @ “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on THEM ALL.”
      Scripture must interperate scripture. God cannot lie for He is Truth!

    • Mary Vanderplas January 13, 2012 at 6:36 am

      Where does it say anything about eternal punishment in this text? Plainly, it says nothing of the kind. What it says is that God shows steadfast love toward those who love him and keep his commandments while judging those (within the community) who do not love him and keep his commands. The picture is of many loving God and few not loving him – and of God’s love (“to a thousand generations”) vastly exceeding his judgment (“in their own person”). Nothing is said here about eternal punishment. Read the text for what it says, not for what you want it to say to fit your torment doctrine, Mr. “Plain-Sense” Man.

  • Stephen Helbig January 13, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Alice states: Not everyone comes to Jesus in this age. Not everyone who comes to Him hears Him. And not everyone who hears Him enters into the life He gives, a perfect, righteous life that results in the hearer actually being willing and able to do the will of God.

    I say GRACE be unto you!

    Alice goes on to say: However, the kingdom of God or reign of God is “like leaven, which a woman, having taken, did hide in three measures of meal, till that all was leavened.” The three measures (who I suspect are the believers who are overcomers, the believers who are not overcomers, and the unbelievers) will all be leavened, that is, subjected to His will, which is the only will that results in life – abundant life.

    (¯`•♥•´¯)☆ ♥ …Unto the Lamb… ♥.
    *`•.¸(¯`•♥•´¯) … be Glory Honor and Praise ..♥
    *ღ♪ `•.¸* .•´.Have a beautiful day .~ and a holy kiss ~.♥.

    Father, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, AMEN and AMEN

    • Stephen Helbig January 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

      The things one shares with one another should be by way of edification, encouragement, and confirmation — not to try to “convert” more people to the message! ” Alice, I truly see this as your heart and I say to you “My sister and beloved, be steadfast; be abounding at all times in the work of THE LORD JEHOVAH, as you know that your toil has not been worthless in THE LORD JEHOVAH.”

      Let us all keep this in mind, When we hear someone declaring that “they” are revealing the message if they truly have that message they will not be revealing it! They are just a witness to it, a confirming of it by His Grace, (the good news delivered by God to humanity). His work being always about the dying and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; being His Love which was delivered unto ALL.. God is not a respecter of persons and the uncomely parts are more comely, and our desire is to esteem others better than ourselves. So the message is now open, held in the very hand (power) of Christ, but it must be eaten by His “many brethren” and digested.

      John, representing all the overcomers, was told to “eat it up,” signifying that He was to receive this revelation directly from the Lord Jesus Christ, take it into his own innermost being, allow that word to be digested and made substance within him, and then, and only then, was he instructed, “Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Rev. 10:11). Become the message “CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY” God ~IS~ Love.

  • John Dean January 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I have to disagree with you Lanny about God hating us in our sin. He hates our sin, but he does not hate us. Christ was criticized by the religious people of His day because he spent time and sat and socialized with publicans and sinners. That is not a picture of God hating the sinner. If He did, he certainly would not have socialized with them. He loved us enough to send Jesus to save those who trust Him, but I don’t think that He hated me personally before I accepted him as my Savior. I know without a doubt that he hated my sin.

    • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 4:47 am

      Amen and amen! Praise the Lord! 🙂

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    God ~ IS ~ HATE

    he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him {John 3: 36} μένει Present Active Indicative μένω menō to remain, abide

    the wrath of God is continuously residing on him

    God hates his guts very actively

    • Mary Vanderplas January 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      No. Even when the justice of God is expressed as wrath, it is not the case that God hates those who rebel against him. On the contrary, God’s wrath is the anger of a parent who loves a child too much to let him get away with his self-destructive rebellion. The very fact that God can get angry means that God loves us too much just to let us be. If God didn’t love us – or if he hated our guts actively – our rebellion and its destructive effects in our lives would scarcely matter to him.

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm

        Mary writes: If God didn’t love us – or if he hated our guts actively – our rebellion and its destructive effects in our lives would scarcely matter to him.

        That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you via Romans 1 thrice repeated that God gave them over to their own devices.

        the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man {Genesis 6: 3 & Psalm 11: 5} The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

    • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 5:24 am

      *Roll eyes* Yeah? Is that why seven words used in both the Old and New Testament were translated as “wrath”??? Just like four different words were translated “hell”??? No wonder so many people are screwed up and insane! The translators take way too many liberties with many words! Is it any wonder that over the centuries, people have been fed a twisted and distorted image of God, an impossible to please God of wrath? They translate according to traditions of man rather than the original languages. And honestly, translating four or seven different words into the same word… either they deliberately sabotaged the translations for the sake of traditions or they are totally incompetent. Don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me people, but one would be justified in wondering if the english translators truly are born again and/or have a hidden agenda. You want to know the truth, Lanny? Study the original Greek and Hebrew. And just so you know, of all the bad translations, the KJV is the most crappy one. It has more mistranslated words than any other translations. Did you know that it was also partly translated from the Latin Vulgate?

      This piece of writing by Lorraine Day might be helpfull:

      “God’s “Wrath”

      The first problem we must address is that the translators have taken great license with the translation of various words in the Bible. “Wrath” and “anger” are no exceptions.

      In the New Testament, two Greek words are both translated “wrath.” They are orge (#3709 in Strong’s Concordance) which means desire, or violent passion and thumos (#2372) which means passion, breathing hard, or fury.

      The translations in the Old Testament are much more varied. Each number on the right in the list below is for a different Hebrew word. But they ALL are translated “wrath.” The Hebrew language is very precise. Each word has a specifically different meaning. This shows that the translators arbitrarily chose to translate all of these different words as “wrath.” But they do NOT all mean wrath

      The Hebrew word aph (#639) means rapid breathing in passion.

      Chemah (#2534) is defined as hot with passion

      Ebrah (#5678) means outburst of passion

      Qetseph (#7110) means, literally, a splinter or “chipped off”. Freely translated it means to be displeased, to fret or possibly to burst out.

      Kaac (#3707) – to be grieved or sorrowful, to be troubled.

      All these words have specific meanings which denote a passionate displeasure or a sorrowful troubled spirit, yet they are ALL translated “wrath.” This, of course, makes God appear violent, frightening and vengeful, apparently the way the translators chose to present God to the world, a “ferocious” God that agrees with their own theology. A more accurate translation is that God is passionately sorrowful or troubled.

      God, Himself, Defines His “Wrath.”

      Human beings define wrath as “intense anger, rage fury, vengeance” according to Webster’s New World Dictionary. But God defines His wrath in a totally different way.

      Look at Romans 1:18: “For the wrath (Greek word orge) of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (suppress) the truth in unrighteousness.” Then verses 24, 26 and 28 tell us how God demonstrates His wrath:

      Verse 24: “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.”

      Verse 26: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections; for even their women did change (exchange) the natural use into (for) that which is against nature.”

      Verse 28: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate (debased) mind, to do those things which are not convenient (fitting).”

      So we see that God’s wrath is just giving us up to our own sinful ways to reap what we have sown. He doesn’t punish us. He doesn’t harm us in any way. He just let’s us go the way we have chosen. We then punish ourselves by our wrong decisions.

      He says that if we obey them, our lives will be easier and happier. If we don’t obey them, our lives will be harder and more sorrowful – – – NOT because He’s going to punish us, but because the natural result of our actions and behavior will bring us sorrow and pain.

      When our children were young, we warned them not to play in the street. We didn’t say, “If you play in the street, I’ll kill you.” No, we said “I love you and I don’t want to see you hurt. If you play in the street, you might be injured or killed.”

      It’s the same with God. He says, “I love you and I want your life to be happy and healthy. If you don’t obey the guidelines I have given you, I won’t punish you, but you will punish yourselves by bringing on yourselves the results of your behavior. You will reap what you have sown.”

      So we can understand that God’s wrath is totally different from man’s wrath.”

      “Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

      “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord”

      That’s the title of a song written by a woman who’s child was gang raped.

      Can you imagine the anger this woman had when these men got off with a mere slap on the wrist?

      She was so angry that she declared, “they won’t get away with it, God will punish them”. Her husband quietly asked her, “and how do you suppose that God will do that?”

      “They will have daughters one day and they’ll be raped!” She raged.

      “So now you think God would have little girls raped?” He asked.

      The woman, a God fearing christian just stood and stared at him. Knowing the answer, but not wanting to admit defeat. She stormed out of the house got in her car and started driving. At first she just drove and cried, but the words of her husband kept ringing through her ears.

      Talking to her husband later, after she had collected her emotions, she asked him how God would repay.

      He told her, the worse thing God could do to the demonic spirits that drove them men to rape a little girl was to show his love and grace and convert the men into christians.
      A few days later she wrote these words in a song:

      Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, I will repay saith the Lord, with my love, my mercy and grace.”

      Simply put, as was stated before, wrath is a horrible transliteration.

      In fact the movie, The Passion of The Christ is the litteral rendering of the greek wrath of God.

      Wrath’s, in my opinion, best transliteration would be, “the fiery emotion”, and then contected to whom is the noun.

      The wrath of God is God’s fiery passion, it is what God is excited about, it’s what He is engaged in.

      Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

      For the fiery passion of God is revealed from heaven, when it encounters the ungodliness of men, who are suppresing the truth of what God has put in them, His own fiery passion to bring about the revelation of Jesus, His own Love.

      For most people that tares them apart. the presence of God destroys the death that is in man yet man resists and unrighteousness is displayed as men fight the goodnews of the Holy Ghost in them.”

      “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

      Love your enemies, kill them with kindness and you will bring them to true repentance and to the feet of Jesus…

      • Stephen Helbig January 14, 2012 at 5:49 am

        Father we give thanks

        “MY God hath sent His messenger, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: because by You God, innocence was found in me”

    • Rachel January 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Lanny, we are instructed to hate the sin not the sinner. P.S. God Is Love!

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    also we … were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. {Ephesians 2: 3}

    Speaking of His saints BEFORE conversion: children of WRATH. You’d better know WHOSE wrath is meant.

    Do you expect to have God’s wrath withOUT hatred. God hated our guts.

    God IS HATE.

    • Mary Vanderplas January 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      Yes, I expect to have God’s wrath without hatred. God’s wrath is a reflection of God’s passionate love for sinful human beings.

    • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 8:23 am

      God is NOT hate. The Bible says that God IS love in the book of John. It IS His very nature, and since He is infinite and eternal, He IS infinite, eternal love. Also, remember that there are many hyperboles in the Hebrew language. Like God “hating” Esau before he was even born (Esau ended up being greatly blessed), or Jesus telling people to “hate” their mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, or they are not worthy of Him, etc. If you interpret that last one literally, it contradicts the command to love one another, to love their enemies, and to forgive seventy times seven. There are many other examples of hyperboles and figures of speech in scripture as well. Ask Him…

      Matt 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

      Tell me, Lanny, do you think God is such a hypocrite that He would command people to love their enemies while He hates His? Do you really think He planned to endlessly punish and torture those people He command us to love and pray for? Ask Him to cure your blindness, Lanny.

      Matt 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

      Luke 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

      Jesus is basically saying that if a saint only love those who love him, he’s no better than a sinner. What would that say about God if He only loved those who love Him? Really, Lanny, ask Him to remove the scales from your eyes.

      Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him LOVED HIM, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

      He loved even the rich young man who wouldn’t turn his back on his material riches…

      Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you;

      Do you think Lanny that God is a hypocrite who command people to do good to those that hate them all the while planning to do endless evil (endless punishment/torture) to those who hate Him?

      Luke 6:35 But LOVE YE YOUR ENEMIES, and DO GOOD, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for HE IS KIND UNTO THE UNFAITHFUL AND TO THE EVIL.

      I don’t need to draw you a picture…

      John 13:23 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

      John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

      John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

      John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

      Romans 5:8 BUT GOD COMMANDETH HIS LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US.

      1 John 4:19 We love him, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.

      1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down His life FOR US…

      No need to draw you a picture here either…

      Romans 9:25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

      Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

      1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

      1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

      1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

      1 John 4:10 Herein is love, NOT THAT WE LOVED GOD, BUT THAT HE LOVED US, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

      1 John 4:11 Beloved, if GOD SO LOVED US, we ought also to love one another.

      1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed THE LOVE THAT GOD HATH TO US. GOD IS LOVE; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

      1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but PERFECT LOVE CASTETH OUT FEAR: because fear hath torment. HE THAT FEARETH IS NOT MADE PERFECT IN LOVE.

      Isaiah 57:16 For I WILL NOT CONTEND FOR EVER, NEITHER WILL I BE ALWAYS WROTH: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.

      Psalms 30:5 For his anger endureth BUT A MOMENT; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

      1 Chronicles 16:41; 1 Chronicles16:41; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 2 Chronicles 7:3; 2 Chronicles 7:6; 2 Chronicles 20:21; Ezra 3:11; Jeremiah 33:11; Psalms 106:1; Psalms 107:1; Psalms 118:1-4, 29; Each of the verses of Psalms 136 (26 times) HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER.

      Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

      Mark 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

      Matthew 11:27 ALL THINGS ARE DELIVERED UNTO ME OF MY FATHER: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

      John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given ALL THINGS into his hand.

      2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, but that ALL should come to repentance.

      1 Timothy 4:19-11This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL men, specially (especially) of those that believe. These things command and teach.

      1 Timothy 2:3-7 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; WHO WILL HAVE A-L-L MEN TO BE SAVED, AND TO COME UNTO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom FOR ALL, TO BE TESTIFIED IN DUE TIME.

      Matthew 6:10, 26:42 THY WILL BE DONE…

      The Father has given all things into the Son’s hands, Jesus came to do the will of the Father, the Father wills that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, Jesus always do the will of the Father, the works of the cross for each individual will be testified in due time…

      Isaiah 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me EVERY knee shall bow, EVERY tongue shall swear.

      Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, EVERY knee shall bow to me, and EVERY tongue shall confess to God.

      Philippians 2:10-11 That at the name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, of THINGS IN HEAVEN, and THINGS IN EARTH, and THINGS UNDER THE EARTH; And that EVERY tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.

      Just so you know, “things” is not even in the Greek, it was added by the translators. It is best rendered as all living beings or spirits.

      Colossians 1:16-20 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be THRONES, or DOMINIONS, or PRINCIPALITIES, or POWERS: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that IN HIM SHOULD ALL THE FULLNESS DWELL; And, HAVING MADE PEACE PEACE THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS, BY HIM to reconcile ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF; BY HIM, I say, WHETHER THEY BE THINGS IN EARTH, OR THINGS IN HEAVEN.

      Reread Colossians 1:16-20 and Philippians 2:10-11. Yes, Lanny, that means even all evil angels will be saved. HIS MERCY ARE OVER ALL HIS WORK AND HE LOVE HIS ENEMIES…

      And what do you think it means that all in heaven, on earth and under the earth will bend the knew and CONFESS/SWEAR that JESUS IS LORD to the glory of God the Father? It means SALVATION… It means that one, ALL in this case are SAVED… And that’s exactly what will happen at the end of the ages. The Bible speaks about at least five different ages, which is an indefinite period of time with a beginning and an end…

      1 Corinthians 12:3

      NLT – …no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.

      ESV – …no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

      NASB – no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

      ISV – …no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

      God’s Word translation – No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

      Darby – and no one can say, Lord Jesus, unless in the power of the Holy Spirit.

      Weymouth NT – …no one is able to say, “Jesus is Lord,” except under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

      WEB – No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” but by the Holy Spirit.

      YLT – no one is able to say Jesus is Lord, except in the Holy Spirit.

      Nice try, the KJV and some other versions having “no man” instead of “no one” which is the correct rendering, leaving the angels out of the picture, reducing Universal Salvation to “Universal Salvation for humans only”. Some translators have definitely been overcome by the traditions of man, trying to hinder some of the truth.

      Nice try also with the word rendered “destroy” in Hebrew 2:14. The Greek word katargeo means to nullify, to render powerless or impotent. The same word was used for the law and the old man. That word was grossly mistranslated. Satan was not “destroyed” or “annihilated”. Jesus at the cross defeated him and stripped him of all power over death. Jesus has the keys to death and Hades.

      All corrections in the lake of fire are age-during which is the correct rendering of the word eonian. An indefinite period of time with a beginning and an end. Not eternal. Eonian kolasis is age-during pruning, not torture in literal fire. Fire, brimstone and worms are symbols of purification. The word in the passage about the lake of fire rendered “torment” is touchstone, a stone used to test the quality of gold, to see if it is pure. Just like He purged and purified the sons of Levi. The Bible is a book of symbols, not everything in it is literal. Literalism is a poison that has destroyed many lives. Really Lanny, study the original Greek and Hebrew, study words such as Sheol, Hades, Gehenna, Tartarus, Apolumi, Sozo, etc.

      And what or should I say WHO do you think the Lake Of Fire is, Lanny?

      Hebrew 12:29 FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.

      1 John 4:8 GOD IS LOVE.

      What do you think is gonna purge the crap, wickedness, uncleanness, attitudes, behaviors, earthly attachments, etc, in those who will undergo age-during correction in the Lake Of Fire? That’s right, Lanny, God’s love. And just so you know, Lanny, the saints, the believers ALREADY ARE IN THE LAKE OF FIRE AND THE LAKE OF FIRE IS IN THEM, HIS MINISTERS ARE FLAMES OF FIRE. What do you think being thrown in the Lake Of Fire is, Lanny? What do you think the sanctification process worked in the saints by the Holy Spirit is? It starts at conversion/salvation and is a continuous action in the process of sanctification. As Jesus said, ALL will be salted with FIRE. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire is just another example. Do you honestly think the disciples were fried on Pentecost? Do you think that litreal, physical fire came upon them? The Bible is a book of symbols. Fire symbolizes the new creation and purification.

      For more infos, read this Lanny:

      http://www.tentmaker.org/BreakingBread/1.html

      Pray God to cure your blindness and to bring you to true repentance. Stop slandering God and stop making Him out to be a failure who loses most of mankind to the devil. Stop giving all credit to Satan, deifying and glorifying him…

      He is the Great Shepherd and the Great Physician. He will seek even the very last sheep until He finds it, cure it and take it home with Him…

      • Stephen Helbig January 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm

        Nothing better than to “SEE” God’s word and His power manifested! !!!

        ARISE SHINE FOR THE LIGHT HAS COME

        Thanks Michelle

      • Rachel January 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm

        Yes. Thank you Michelle. God is good always!

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    How in the world are you going to have sin withOUT a sinner doing the sin? Hating the sin, but not the sinner is only a NICE way to deny the unpleasant truth that sin and sinner go together.

    Why are you all trying so hard to avoid the conflict? God hates as well as He loves. Mary likes “tension” and I don’t understand why she didn’t resort to it as the explanation other than Alice has at last convinced her there is no eternal torment which probably requires minimizing God’s hatred potential.

    God hates your guts, you sinners.

    • Mary Vanderplas January 13, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      God does not hate sinful human beings. God judges human sinfulness, but his judgment and wrath against those who rebel against him are a reflection not of hatred, but of love. And the great Good News of the gospel is that in the death of Jesus Christ the just judgment of God against us (and against all sinners) has been executed.

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 13, 2012 at 10:18 pm

        If you say wrath is just a reflection of love, then you have sucessfully minimized the existence of hate and so that God hates neither the sinner nor HIS sins. Isn’t that what I said you would likely to do?

        Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. {Hebrews 3: 12} Sins are the natural result of the evil heart of every human being, otherwise known as sinners. That’s the core element of the sinner. How can God hate the sin but not the sinner whose insides are evil? You want God to love evil men? Remember what it means that God is holy. How can a holy God love anything that is evil?

        There is a “wrath of God”, who would not love good, unless He hated evil, the two being so inseparable, that either He must do both or neither. See on this anger of God, as the necessary complement of his love. from Richard C. Trench

        • Mary Vanderplas January 14, 2012 at 6:40 am

          No. I am not minimizing the justice of God by saying that the wrath of God is the burning of his love for his sinful creatures. I am refusing to buy into the pagan notion of a vengeful God who hates his sinful creatures. God’s love is not sentimental; it is a holy love. The wrath of God burns against sinful individuals (and groups). But this is not because God hates us and is out to destroy us, any more than a good parent’s anger toward a wayward child is because he or she hates and is out to destroy the child. On the contrary, it is because the parent/God loves the child/us that he or she refuses to let the child get away with his/her self-destructive rebellion.

          If the notion of a loving God who simply ignores sin is unbiblical, so is the notion of a vengeful God who hates his sinful creatures. Indeed, the latter is a pagan notion. The holiness or justice of God is a loving justice, a justice that is on the side of sinful people, that seeks their ultimate good and not their harm.

          • Stephen Helbig January 14, 2012 at 11:38 am

            Amen and Amen

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    God hates perfectly and God loves perfectly. Mary asked where’s eternal torment in Deuteronomy 7: 9 & 10 because she doesn’t see the perfect love of the first part is balanced by the perfect hate of the second part of the verse; that if “to a thousand generations” applies to perfect love, it also does to perfect hate. Both God’s love and God’s hate are operating at the same time for the same duration.

    Now, that’s not very likeable if there is no eternal torment, because erasing hell also requires ultimately erasing God’s hatred. It is also not likeable because you erasers don’t think God could possibly win if He also maintains His hatred.

    • Mary Vanderplas January 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      There is nothing here about God “hating perfectly” – whatever the hell that might mean in your screwball theology – nor is there any indication that “to a thousand generations” applies to “perfect hate.” The picture is of the expansiveness of God’s love in contrast to the limited scope of God’s judgment. You (shamelessly) twist and distort the “plain meaning” of this text – violating the very principle you claim to use in reading scripture.

    • Mary Vanderplas January 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      On a related note, if Joseph had followed every word and letter of his Bible, Mary would have been dead before she gave birth to God’s Christ. He would have had her stoned to death in accordance with the clear teaching in Deuteronomy 22. Instead, he read the scriptures through the lens of God’s love and mercy, resolving to “dismiss her quietly.” Joseph is painted by Matthew neither as a heretic with a low view of scripture nor as a soft-on-sin liberal, but as a righteous man committed to doing the will of God (Matthew 1:19). Go figure.

    • Rachel January 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      Lanny I am unbelievably sad for you.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    So since I’m on the subject of God’s wrath, is God a liar Who said: “So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.” {Hebrews 3: 11} ??? Be sure to use the entire context, that is, both chapter three AND four.

    • Stephen Helbig January 14, 2012 at 1:51 am

      There is, undoubtedly, no greater mystery in all of holy writ than that which surrounds the ministry of the Melchizedek priesthood. So great are its depths that the inspired apostle, in introducing this wonderful subject, could only say that of Melchizedek there were “many things to say and hard to be uttered” (Heb. 5:11). It was in connection with this topic that the apostle offered the keen observation that “strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14). And he was speaking specifically of the magnitude of the Melchizedek priesthood when he urged the believers to leave the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ and “go on to perfection” (Heb. 6:1).

      (Hebrews chapter 6). (vs1) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, LET US GO ON UNTO PERFECTION; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (vs2) Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of ETERNAL JUDGEMENT. (vs3) And this will we do, if God permit. Each one of must individually and corporately understand and identify with each of these basic principles of Christ, and GO ON TO PERFECTION AS GODS PERMITS. The last of these doctrines that must be attained as stated above is ETERNAL JUDGEMENT. THIS JUDGEMENT MUST COME FROM THE JUDGE OF ALL MANKIND and originate in HIM and become “ONE IN US”. WE MUST JUDGE AS GOD JUDGES US !!!!! Grace be unto us.
      Now I must add; to believe in a literal place called HELL and associate everlasting torment in flames of fire with A God of Love is pure delusion and a lie from a fear that must be elliminated from our taditions of carnal mind.The doctrine of eternal punishment is based on a literal interpretation of some of the metaphors of scripture. No doctrine has ever been put forth with more suggestion and theory, and with more confidence and greater bitterness, nor with a grossness and coarseness more hideous and repugnant, and, in the face of the love and kindness of God, more inconceivable and incredible than this doctrine of eternal torment! One of the theologians of the Church of England (Jeremy Taylor) speaks of the fate of the wicked in the following terms:

      “In hell every sense and organ shall be assailed forever with its own appropriate and most exquisite sufferings. We are amazed at the inhumanity of Phalaris, (the Greek tyrant in 570 B.C.), who roasted men in his brazen bull, but THAT WAS A JOY IN COMPARISON WITH HELL”

      Some will ask me whether I do not believe in hell. My answer is very definite on this point. I most certainly DO BELIEVE in hell, but the hell of the Bible and the hell of human tradition are not the same thing at all. The hell of tradition is PUNITIVE, hopeless, and eternal, while the hell of the scripture like every judgment of God is corrective, remedial, and restorative. (see Isa.26:9)
      WE MUST “Search the scriptures !!!!!! “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me.(World English Bible)(Jn.5:39)
      In (John5:39-44) Jesus stated the Jews considered that eternal life was revealed to them in their Scriptures, and that they had it, because they had the word of God in their hands. Jesus urged them to search those Scriptures with more diligence and attention. Ye do search the Scriptures, and ye do well to do so. They did indeed search the Scriptures, but it was with a view to their own glory. It is possible for men to be very studious in the letter of the Scriptures, yet to be strangers to its power. IF indeed you profess to receive and believe the Scripture, LET THAT BE THE JUDGE, THE WORD OF GOD ,ALL OF IT. Scripture states: “TRUST in the living God, who is The Saviour of ALL MEN, specially of those that believe”. (1Timothy 4:10)

      “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a Branch shall grow out of His roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him…and shall make Him of QUICK UNDERSTANDING in the FEAR of the Lord. He shall NOT judge after the sight of His eyes nor reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge” (Isa. 11:1-5). It is very interesting to note that, “In the Hebrew Language”, that word “QUICK” in the above scripture verse means ‘smelling.’ So then one must Possess, this Christ of God, this anointment of God, “THIS SMELLING UNDERSTANDING” as one goes unto the Mountain of the Lord where He will teach us His ways. Smell out, discern, judge what is profitable and unprofitable, and only smell or have that which is profitable in His sight.
      Our nose is our smeller, the way we discern whether something is fresh or rotten, pure or defiled. It is the instrument of discernment for our bodies. The spiritual importance of discernment is pointed out by the fact that scripture states; PROVE ALL THINGS AND HOLD FAST TO THAT WHICH IS GOOD.
      The word “aroma” comes to us from the Greek language. It is derived from the word “airo” which means to “lift up” or by implication to take up and away. We are told that the spikenard sends forth the smell thereof (S. of S. 1:12), just as if it had sent out on a mission. Such a mission would be in vain unless some receptor captured the fragrance and classified its odor to give it a value. So use the nose God has given us to discern the fragrances. (Hebrews 5:14) states: “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by REASON OF USE have their SENSES EXERCISED to discern both good and evil.” (in doctrine). They will appreciate and understand what is true, they will reject what is false.
      But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to DISCEARN both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)
      Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible states of (Hebrews 5:14) the following:
      “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,…. Or perfect; see 1 Corinthians 2:6. This does not intend a perfection of justification; for though some have a greater degree of faith than others, and a clearer discovery of their justification, yet babes in Christ are as perfectly justified as more grown and experienced believers; nor a perfection of sanctification, for there is no perfection of holiness but in Christ; and though the work of sanctification may be in greater perfection in one saint than in another, yet all are imperfect in this life; and as to a perfection of parts, babes have this as well as adult persons: but it designs a perfection of knowledge; for though none are entirely perfect, yet some have arrived to a greater degree of the knowledge of Gospel mysteries than others, and to these the strong meat of the Gospel belongs; they are capable of understanding the more mysterious parts of the Gospel; of searching into the deep things of God; and of receiving and digesting the more sublime truths of the Christian religion: even those who by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil; that is, their spiritual senses, the internal senses of the understanding and judgment, signified by external ones; as by seeing the Son; hearing the voice of Christ; savouring or smelling a sweet odour in the things of God, and Christ; tasting that the Lord is gracious; feeling and handling the word of life, as these are held forth in the everlasting Gospel: and these being exercised on their proper object, by use, an habit is contracted; and such are qualified for discerning, as between moral good and evil, and the worse and better state of the church, and between law and Gospel, so between the doctrines of Christ, and the doctrines of men; who find they differ: the doctrines of Christ such experienced persons find to be good, wholesome, nourishing, and salutary; and the doctrines of men to be evil, to eat, as does a canker, and to be pernicious, poisonous, and damnable; and the discernment they make, and the judgment they form, are not according to the dictates of carnal reason, but according to the Scriptures of truth, and their own experience.” – end quote

      THE MINISTRY OF JUDGING AS “A CALLED OUT PEOPLE” OF GOD

      In the Bible the ones whom God raised up as judges for His people did much more than just settle disputes between individuals or hand down and execute judicial decisions. Those judges were actually THE DELIVERERS OF GOD’S PEOPLE, “ALL OF CREATION”! There is one book in the Bible that is specifically named “Judges.” Here we read of the exploits of those mighty judges whom God, “the Judge of all the earth,” raised up for the salvation and deliverance of His oppressed and afflicted people. Hail the day of judgment that began when God raised up a judge to execute judgment for His afflicted ones! for these judges were, indeed, “saviours” of Israel by a special anointing of the Spirit of the Lord.
      Throughout the government and reign of these “judges” the people were blessed. Note, for instance, how, when under oppression by their enemies because of transgression against the Lord, Israel was again and again released and blessed by the raising up of judges. We read: “When the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a DELIVERER, who delivered them … and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he JUDGED ISRAEL, and went out to war … and prevailed … and the LAND HAD REST” (Judges 3:9-11). And again, “The Lord raised up judges that DELIVERED THEM out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And when the Lord raised up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge” (Judges 2:16, 18).
      These wonderful judges were raised up long millenniums ago for the deliverance of Israel; but now, in this glorious “aeon” (age), God is “preparing” a mighty “Called out People” His “ekklēsia” (the church) (HIS ISRAEL) whose responsibility it shall be to JUDGE THE WORLD in righteousness! “And he that overcomes … to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod (“HIS AUTHORITY”) of iron” (Rev. 2:26-27). “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne” (Rev. 3:21). “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given unto them…” (Rev. 20:4,6). So, even though the church and the world have long been under the power and oppression of “our own” great adversary, yet Jesus our High Priest who paid for the sins of ALL with His own precious blood will take His great power and reign in blessing over realms that up to now have not known Him. He will judge and deliver ALL THOSE WHOM HE SO LOVED AS TO REDEEM. It is written, “With righteousness (up right standing) shall He JUDGE THE WORLD, and the people with equity” (Ps. 98:9).
      The very thought of an age governed by the very “CALLED OUT ONES” who are filled with the seven-fold intensified Spirit of the Lord leaves me absolutely thunderstruck ! We need to understand HIS JUDGEMENT were “MERCY TRIUMPHS OVER JUDGEMENT” (James 2:13) !!!
      Our faltering minds cannot totally appreciate nor comprehend the wonder of Isaiah’s prophecy: “But with RIGHTEOUSNESS shall He judge the poor (weaker in spirit, needy), and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: He shall smite the earth with the rod (AUTHORITY) of His mouth, and with the breath (SPIRIT) of His lips (WORD) shall He slay the wicked (Unjust, wrong, and contrary to God’s WORD) The earth shall be FULL of the knowledge of the Lord, AS THE WATERS COVER THE SEA” (Isa. 11:2-9).
      Let us endeaver to keep the Word of God which states in (1Cor. 2:15) “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. The word “judgeth” here is anakrínō in the Greek and notice this is an “up” process as stated in Strongs Concordence. This Greek word anakrínō comes from two Geek words (aná, Stongs #303) and (krínō, Strons #2919).

      ( 303 ) aná, “up, completing a process,” which intensifies
      (2919 )krínō, “to select by separating/judging”)
      — properly, to distinguish by vigorously judging “down to up,” i.e. closely examining (investigating) through “the process of careful study, evaluation and judgment” (L & N, 1, 27.44); “to examine, investigate, question (so J. B. Lightfoot, Notes, 181f).
      –[The prefix 303 /aná (“up”) shows the process involved that takes krinō (“judging/separating”) up to its needed conclusion. (see Field, Notes, 120f, Abbott-Smith).]

      The SPIRITUAL Judgements of God are always an “UP PROCESS”
      With my soul I have desired thee in the night, yea, with my spirit within me I will seek thee early: for when thy judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn “righteousness” (“up right standing”). (Isa,26:9)

      But Let me address Lanny now:
      Hebrews chapter 3
      1Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
      NOTE: vs.1 “Fix your thoughts on Jesus” Consider – Attentively ponder all that is said of the Messiah. Think of his rank; his dignity; his holiness; his sufferings; his death; his resurrection, ascension, intercession, and High Priest – One great object of this Hebrew Epistle is to compare the Lord Jesus with the high priest of the Jews, and to show that he was in all respects superior after a new order There is, undoubtedly, no greater mystery in all of holy writ than that which surrounds the ministry of the Melchizedek priesthood. So great are its depths that the inspired apostle, in introducing this wonderful subject, could only say that of Melchizedek there were “many things to say and hard to be uttered” (Heb. 5:11). It was in connection with this topic that the apostle offered the keen observation that “strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14). And he was speaking specifically of the magnitude of the Melchizedek priesthood when he urged the believers to leave the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ and “go on to perfection” (Heb. 6:1).
      (vs.1)Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, LET US GO ON UNTO PERFECTION; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (vs 2) Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of ETERNAL JUDGEMENT. (vs 3) And this will we do, if God permit
      .
      Each one of must individually and corporately understand and identify with each of these basic principles of Christ, and GO ON TO PERFECTION AS GODS PERMITS. The last of these doctrines that must be attained as stated above is ETERNAL JUDGEMENT. THIS JUDGEMENT MUST COME FROM THE JUDGE OF ALL MANKIND and originate in HIM and become “ONE IN US”.↔ WE MUST JUDGE AS GOD JUDGES US”
      NOTE: “”The first order of this Melchizedek Priesthood is BLESSING. In Gen. 14:19-2O we are given the exact words of Melchizedek in blessing Abraham. Listen to this: ‘And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God…and BLESSED BE THE MOST HIGH GOD.’ The order is reversed in this blessing, for you would naturally think that Melchizedek would bless the Most High first and then bless Abram, but not so. The blessing of this great man came on Abram to begin with. Remember well, a blessing cannot be given in reality until the one giving it is a Blesser indeed. You will nowhere find an account in the Scriptures of Melchizedek being anything but a Blesser. He was not a judge, he was not a curser, he was not vindictive, he did not judge after the sight of his eyes nor the hearing of his ears – instead he was a king and a priest who lived in the realm of blessing and from there became a blessing to others.

      The faith of Hebrews eleven is a different kind and quality of faith than the faith of Hebrews twelve. Hebrews eleven faith is man’s faith IN GOD. But Hebrews twelve faith is God’s faith IN MAN. What a difference! With Hebrews eleven faith they “all died, not having received the promise.” But in Hebrews twelve we are admonished, “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the AUTHOR (source, origin) AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH” (Heb. 12:1-2). The faith which receives the promise is the faith of Jesus Christ. Paul declared, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). HIS dimension of faith is able to conquer every circumstance and overcome the very last vestiges of sin and death and obtain the promise. HE OVERCAME ALL THINGS BY FAITH! He overcame sin and the devil by faith. He did the perfect will of God by faith. He conquered death by faith. He arose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high by faith.

      But let’s get back to Hebrews 3 & 4
      3:3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses,…4 Moses was faithful as a servant… 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. 7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, (note the word today) 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert (note during what time) ,… 10 That is why I was angry with that generation, (generation of Law ; Old covenant) and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’, 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’

      Question I put to you. Since that day are we still under the old covenant?

      3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, (STILL STANDS) let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it… 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. 12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

      Jesus the Great High Priest
      14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

      MERCY AND GRACE,WHILE WE ARE YET SINNERS, ENTER IN TO HIS REST!

      p.s. truly sorry for I can be very long winded when it comes to my Saviors love and I do not mean to offend

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 14, 2012 at 3:26 am

        Long is certainly an understatement and compared to “Let me address Lanny now” is easily viewed as puffing up your supposed spiritual maturity, though you try to set up the stage for your drama.

        I expected you to resort to the historical setting as your question did certainly address, but at least you did reference chapter four, but without expounding its rest, which was a big disappointment to me, since all you did was quote the chapter and didn’t commit to any explanation of it.

        You proved nothing significant by way of the two chapters and I therefore thought your great swelling words into which you put so much effort unfortunately amounts to just a waste of energy for you and all of Alice’s readers and me. I’d rather say a few choice words that have a concrete message than a multitude of words that maybe brushes the subject with the speaker’s color.

        Is God a liar Who said: “So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.” {Hebrews 3: 11} ???

        This my above question is certainly aimed at eternal punishment which since you referenced {Hebrews 6: 2} “of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment” certainly affirms it.

        Now whether or not you will allow that chapter four makes that “God’s rest” an eternal rest entered in this life upon the moment of faith, nevertheless God prohibited a certain group of people devoid of faith from having His rest. Is God’s sworn oath eternal?

        With God’s rest meaning eternal salvation regardless of what dispensation or covenant is in progress at the time of God’s judgment of their lack of faith, is God’s sworn oath eternal?

        Are there now and will there always be people that God refuses to allow “rest?”

        Does God give up on certain people, and hence refuses to give them His rest?

        How good is God’s sworn oath?

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 14, 2012 at 4:16 am

    Hebrews 3: 11 is also a prophet statement and has multiple fulfillments, Stephen. That’s why it is a declarative statement on eternal punishment.

  • Stephen Helbig January 14, 2012 at 4:46 am

    <>
    Strong’s Transliteration Greek English Morphology
    5613 [e] hōs ὡς so Adv
    3660 [e] ōmosa ὤμοσα I swore V-AIA-1S
    1722 [e] en ἐν in Prep
    3588 [e] tē τῇ the Art-DFS
    3709 [e] orgē ὀργῇ wrath N-DFS
    1473 [e] mou μου of me, PPro-G1S
    1487 [e] Ei Εἰ If [never] Conj
    1525 [e] eiseleusontai εἰσελεύσονται they will enter V-FIM-3P
    1519 [e] eis εἰς into Prep
    3588 [e] tēn τὴν the Art-AFS
    2663 [e] katapausin κατάπαυσίν rest N-AFS
    1473 [e] mou μου of me. PPro-G1S

    so I swore in the wrath of me if(never) they will enter into the rest of me

    NOTICE Stongs 1487 Original Word: εἰ
    Part of Speech: Conditional Particle Or Conjunction
    Definition: if.

    God is not a liar and I did not believe this needed to be adressed However i thought it Sufficient to state the time Reference in entire context which you requested

    And as to chapter 4 we all fall short, but it is God in you that makes the way of escape and the outcome is the tree of life. God will not fail and this REST is our LORD JESUS CHRIST which weI have been translated into, and earnest of this Rest is now.

    “Now whether or not you will allow that chapter four makes that “God’s rest” an eternal rest entered in this life upon the moment of faith, nevertheless God prohibited a certain group of people devoid of faith from having His rest. Is God’s sworn oath eternal?
    Old dispensation (Law) YES; New Covenant NO

    “Are there now and will there always be people that God refuses to allow “rest?”
    No! God does not refuse any According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these one becomes partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world

    • Stephen Helbig January 14, 2012 at 4:49 am

      Lanny please give me a phone call for further discourse adressed to me

      • Stephen Helbig January 14, 2012 at 5:11 am

        Lanny, Please see Stephen Helbig says: January 13, 2012 at 12:17 am
        “debate & quarrel is of no value, and only ruins those who listen”

        or as you “may” have stated previously(?) “waste of time”

        to me the Berean way is preferred, Give me a call

    • Stephen Helbig January 18, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Clarification of my statment “Old dispensation (Law) YES; New Covenant NO”

      Under the Mosaic Law, in the Old Covenant God’s oath was good for that time. So my answer is “YES” to the question, “is God’s sworn oath eternal?”, (this is requarding God’s oath for the “LAW”). However one must realize we are no longer under that Covenant.

      Under the new Covenant which we are currently in and are partakers of, God’s Rest is the outcome for all His children, and ALL will come as stated in numerous scriptures. So under this age and the coming ages God’s work which we are partakers of, will continue, and “NO” his oath pertaing to the Law does not exist. Under the grace of God and the redemption of Jesus Christ, no such oath exists. The Law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

        Are you meaning those who died long before Christ came to earth to whom He specifically swore they’d not enter His rest are now under the New Covenant and will enter that rest they were first prohibited from entering?

        • Stephen Helbig January 19, 2012 at 2:37 am

          Yes they are partakers with us!

          Yes! The old has passed away, and been fulfilled in Christ, as Hebrews “Hall of Faith” ,chapter (chapter 11 states. (“So that they might gain a better resurrection”, vs. 35) and (vs. 39 & 40; “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect)

          Also Romans 11 explains they are partakers with us

          <>
          New International Version 1984
          ________________________________________
          The Remnant of Israel
          1I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”a? 4And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”b 5So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.c
          7What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, 8as it is written:
          “God gave them a spirit of stupor,
          eyes so that they could not see
          and ears so that they could not hear,
          to this very day.”d
          9And David says:
          “May their table become a snare and a trap,
          a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
          10May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
          and their backs be bent forever.”e
          Ingrafted Branches
          11Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!
          13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
          17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
          22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
          All Israel Will Be Saved
          25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
          “The deliverer will come from Zion;
          he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
          27And this isf my covenant with them
          when I take away their sins.”g
          28As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may nowh receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
          Doxology
          33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom andi knowledge of God!
          How unsearchable his judgments,
          and his paths beyond tracing out!
          34“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
          Or who has been his counselor?”j
          35“Who has ever given to God,
          that God should repay him?”k
          36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
          To him be the glory forever! Amen.

  • Michelle January 14, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Did I heard right, Lanny? “Abusive people are trash to be destroyed”? You are one of them, Lanny, you practice religious and spiritual abuse of the worse kind and you take pleasure in abusing people like Anna and saying nasty, wicked things to everyone around you. Do you consider yourself to be trash to be destroyed? And who’s to say that rehabilitating criminals doesn’t work? A lot have been cured and rehabilitated, with the help of spirit-filled therapists and a good dose of the Gospel. Who are you to say that what God wills doesn’t work? You’re really blind, Lanny. You think everyone is trash, but you. Most abusers have been abused from early childhood and have developed behavioral and mental problems because of all the physical, sexual and spiritual abuse they have suffered as children. Some even end up in insane asylum or committing suicide. But of course, they are but trash to you. According to your sick theology, God will torture them forever because they were too weak or fragile to overcome. You need help, Lanny and you need to ask God to give you a heart. You make Jesus cry. Do you enjoy hurting Him? It seems to me like you do.

    http://www.thenewcreation.com/no_end_hope.html

    “Whatever personal torment has finally driven someone to take their own life, God has not prepared a hell for them to suffer in as a punishment, put simply, for suffering too much already.

    It is a slander against God to say that he kicks people when they are down, only accepting those who are naturally tougher, and undamaged; while those who are too frail or too bruised – maybe even bruised by the actions or teachings of those who claim to represent God – are condemned to suffer forever for having weakness and wounds. That smacks of selection of the fittest, the most robust – quite the opposite of Jesus’s portrayal of a new society where people at the bottom of the pile are invited to the king’s special banquet, and where all wrongs are put right…

    In Jesus’s time, just like today, religious people didn’t want anything to do with those who resorted to desperate acts. They saw only the act, and were quick to identify it as being against their rules: then they would slap on the label Sinner, and expect everyone to shun the person, to avoid the risk that disease or depravity might rub off on them.

    Jesus, on the other hand, had no limits on what kind of people he would accept. Instead, he had an eye to finding what was lost, rescuing those who were burdened and in anguish, giving a reason for living to those who had long given up hope, and even giving life back to those who had died. This was no side issue: at the heart of his vision and purpose, as he announced it for the first time, was bringing comfort and healing to the broken-hearted.

    Custom separated the ‘unclean’ and ‘sinners’ from their families and communities, in effect cutting off their lifeline: from then on they became ‘non-persons’. In such a society, those who were excluded were thought by themselves and others as good as dead; so the very deliberate and public acts of Jesus as he touched them, spoke with them, visited their homes and even ate with them (which was a sign of complete acceptance), shouted a declaration to everyone that these were real, living people worth recognition and attention; and gave them the news that they were not forgotten but at last had reason for hope, and a future.

    Two millennia have elapsed since then, but the nature of Jesus has not changed and will not change. Passing years have not made him hard-hearted or hostile! He will not angrily turn on those whom, in an earlier age, he would so lovingly and compassionately have lifted from their virtual non-existence.

    God never abandons us. The very worst possible experience described in the Bible is represented in Revelation by the ‘lake of fire’. Yet even there, ‘the Lamb’ is with those who are going through that experience. ‘The Lamb’ is a reference to Jesus as the one who sacrificed himself for the life of the universe. This is no accident, because he is the same Jesus that he has always been – compassionate, healing, taking on himself our sorrows, feeling with us in our pain and distress, bringing freedom as he opens our eyes to the truth of his reality and limitless love.

    There is an interesting detail in this scene of the ‘lake of fire’ which I mention to contradict the idea that Jesus might be there to enjoy watching the sufferings of ‘the damned’: Jesus brings with him the holy angels, and these are described elsewhere as ‘the servants of those who will be the heirs of salvation’. This is one of many hints we have that those in that ‘lake of fire’ experience are among the heirs of salvation.

    And so we see that Jesus is always there at our darkest times; that he never leaves us to suffer alone, and never gives up until he has wiped every tear off every face.”

    The outcast:

    http://www.thenewcreation.com/outcast.html

    Justice is salvation, not condemnation:

    http://www.thenewcreation.com/sadaq.html

    Jesus touched:

    http://www.thenewcreation.com/touched.html

    http://www.thenewcreation.com/grace.html

    “The rescue from the eternal oblivion and nothingness of death which is God’s salvation through Jesus is NOT AN OFFER, any more than creation-in-the-beginning or our own individual births were offers. It is an unconditional gift: that means that we don’t have to meet any condition to receive it – not even accepting an offer… Once ‘grace’ is conditional upon anything at all it is no more grace, it has somehow been earned or merited.”

    http://www.thenewcreation.com/perfection.html

    “If that is true, our “perfection” is dependent not only on our own strivings, but on our personal intrinsic capacity to engage in those struggles and our inner stamina to sustain the effort. Or, if the suffering comes without our choosing, reaching perfection depends on our resilience, on our ability not to crumble under the pressure – physically, mentally or morally. In either case, the success of the journey leading to our perfection depends on our being strong enough to actually make that journey.

    This is an argument from the cross of Jesus: how could it possibly be wrong? Because it denies the uniqueness and nature of Jesus’s crucifixion. Because it reduces Jesus’s suffering and death to a pattern that we should and can replicate. Because it says that Jesus’s death was a selfish act, primarily for His own attainment of perfection, and not for us (except perhaps, incidentally, as an example). Because it says that the first shall be first and the last last. Because it denies Jesus as the only saviour, or even as a saviour at all, if everything depends on our endurance and persistence. Because it denies Jesus as the shepherd seeking the weakest sheep, the very one that is unable to find his own way home.”

    One way street:

    http://www.thenewcreation.com/one_way.html

    http://www.thenewcreation.com/jesus_women.html

    It is people those who had an holier-than-thou attitude and the abusive religious leaders who treated others like outcasts that Jesus rebuked, Lanny, all the while forgiving and embracing adulterers, prostitutes, publicans and sinners. Ask Him to free you from the religious and pharisaical spirit that causes you to treat everyone like trash and call yourself “trash”, yes, you, who say abusive people are trash to be destroyed, yes, you who is one of the abusive, projecting, hypocritical persons. Your own “righteousness” is nothing but filthy rags, Lanny. Unless your are clothe with HIS righteousness, you will look down on others and keep making yourself “god” thinking you get to decide who is in or out. You will keep exalting yourself until He brings you down and raise you up again in newness of life. I pray that you will be delivered soon…

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 14, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. {Psalm 11: 4 – 7}

    Notice that those who are tried are the righteous, not the wicked. There’s no remedial treatment of the wicked at all. BUT BUT BUT

    Ah, but at last, “he shall rain … fire and brimstone” to purify them, right? I don’t think so, because we deliberately left out the word “snares” where the … is, because it doesn’t quite fit with the remedial aspect of brimstone.

    God’s soul hates the guts of the wicked. God punishes them in the Lake that burns with fire and brimstone eternally. They had their chance in this life only and failed to have faith. Poor, poor souls. In righteousness I have no pity for them: they are enemies. They died without faith by their own choice.

  • Rachel January 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Lanny, you say that God is hate.You have also said many times that Alice, Mary, and others distort biblical texts and yet look what you have done. “God is Hate,” do you know what you are saying? God is anger, cruelty, fear, jealousy, vengeance, destruction…I could go on, but this list will do. Your belief in eternal torment has distorted your view of God to the point that you have incorporated “perfect hate” into who God is. This is both frightening and sad to me.

    God is Love. Good is mercy, kindness, comfort, compassion, salvation, patience, just, perfect…I could go on, but I think the point is clear. If we humans are to understand the character of God, (through human means) in the person of Jesus Christ, and I believe we are, then God is the opposite of perfect hatred. Jesus did not go around setting people on fire or torturing them. He loved them. As Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “he loved the hall out of them,” Literally.

    I have read your posts and watched as they have become more hateful over time. The more that you defend your belief in eternal torment, the more hateful (full of fear, anger, cruelty, ect…) your words and your description of God Become. Don’t you see that you are distorting our perfect creator and turning him into a monster worse then Hitler, Stalin or any that the world has known. You are saying that God willfully tortures those who is is superior to BECAUSE he is superior. That is NOT the God that I know and love. Come to find out, he loved me first.

    Lanny I get angry when I read your posts. They are mean and hurtful. BUT God loves you and I believe God knows a heck of a lot more than I do. I hope for you much joy in God’s love.

    If by chance your reply to this is that I am going to burn in hell forever, then so be it. I mean that literally. If our creator sees fit to torture me for eternity because I love God too much to believe he tortures people for eternity…Well like I said God knows a whole heck of a lot more than I do. I will just have to trust it’s for the best. God is good. Amen

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Rachel, do you forget the harsh words Jesus spoke to the Pharisees?

    Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do … And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. {Jphn 8: 44 & 45}

    Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. {Matthew 23: 33 – 38}

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Alice wrote in this blog: Not everyone comes to Jesus in this age. Not everyone who comes to Him hears Him. And not everyone who hears Him enters into the life He gives, a perfect, righteous life that results in the hearer actually being willing and able to do the will of God.

    Since only in this life can anyone come to Jesus, her first statement means not everyone will be saved; but that’s not what she means: she means they can come to Jesus during other ages even if they are dead and in hell during those other ages and not only CAN they come to Christ, but that they WILL without doubt come to Christ because they will eventually believe the Jesus they had so long rejected, since God will make sure of that regardless of how many ages it takes. I hope her second and third statements are accidental due to how illogical it is that someone who hates and refuses Jesus’ words would want anything to do with Him and how ineffectual Jesus’ words are to save souls even unto service for Him, the proof of conversion. Her claims are rediculous myths, more mythological than she claims Jesus’ parables are fables, but what can you expect from one who doesn’t believe God produced an inerrant Bible? Why would such a one even quote the Bible as a reference source, like she does, except there be no sound logic in her? However her supporters, also having equally no reasonableness, cheer her brilliance. She incredibly equates the “many” only to religious leaders; and well do I mean incredibly. It is even more incredible when you know she is motivated to prove her Amazing Hope by twisting Scriptures at every available opportunity and even making an opportunity where none even exists.

    Alice, please abandon your heresy. The Bible ends with a populated Lake of Fire without any remedy. In the mouth of two or three witnesses and Romans 1 states three times God gave them over to their own stuff that He would no longer be remedial toward them as a testimony to you. Such action viewed parentally is a clear indication of hate and is supported by “but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth” {Psalm 11: 5} God hates your guts because of your promotion of this falsehood and your defaming violence toward His institutional church. (God’s institutional church has always, from Acts 2, existed amomg the false versions of it.)

    • admin January 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

      “Such action [God giving them over], viewed parentally…” What good parent “hates” his/her child? Jesus said, “And of which of you – the father – if the son shall ask a loaf, a stone will he present to him? and if a fish, will he instead of a fish, a serpent present to him? and if he may ask an egg, will he present to him a scorpion? If, then, ye, being evil, have known good gifts to be giving to your children, how much more shall the Father who is from heaven give the Holy Spirit to those asking Him!”

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm

        To give them over to their own devices from a parental point of view is saying I hate you, so when God said He gave them over, He is saying I hate them.

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm

        Alice, your quote of Luke 11: 9 – 13 speaks to the righteous, not the wicked. God is Father to the righteous, but NOT to the wicked. The wicked have Satan for their “father.” Besides the Holy Spirit is contrary to the wicked and even if the wicked would ask for the Holy Spirit, God would not give Him to them. Bad choice of Scripture and bad argument.

        When God gives them over to their own devices, He clearly states that His soul hates their guts and He’ll no longer act remedially toward them. Psalm 11: 5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

        Don’t forget to believe it.

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Alice, by your 1:39 am response it seems you also don’t want to believe God’s soul hates the wicked.

      God cuts people off, Alice, and it is part of life, so stop living in denial. The term “cut off” is used frequently in the Bible.

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

        Perfect hate means a perfect cutting off resulting in undeniable eternal torment of unbelievers: maggots (worms) and all in total darkness in the Lake of Fire.

        There’s nothing remedial when God gives them over to their own devices: just perfect hatred by a perfect God.

      • admin January 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm

        Don’t forget about “grafted in again” – “cut off” is not a permanent condition.

        • Lanny A. Eichert January 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

          Grafted in only works for the righteous, not the wicked whom God gave over to their own devices. The “again” is a Messianic promise and you must be ethnic Israel, born Jewish, in order to be grafted back in. The meaning is national and dispensational more than it is individual. The subject is Gentiles verses Israel in the text. Certainly nations consist of individuals, so groups of individuals are seen in the text as elements of the groups.

  • Stephen Helbig January 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

    “We were by nature objects of wrath”-

    “We were by nature objects of wrath”- Ephesians 2:3. We humans, as we have seen, have always been containers of another, the false god or the True. The nature we have manifested has not been our own; it has been the nature of the one indwelling us. These are the two natures the Bible speaks of. In our unredeemed condition we were “by nature the children of wrath,” because we contained “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” In our redeemed lives, there have been given to us “exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might become partakers of the divine nature.” We were “slaves of sin,” now we have become “slaves of righteousness.” In the old the trend of our lives was downward on the road of self-love. In the NEW the trend of our lives is upward on the road of self-giving. This is what the Bible means by the old man and new man. The old man was I with the old spirit within me, the new man is the same I with the new Spirit within me. We can never be old man and new man at the same time, for the one becomes the other. “Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man” – not put one on top of the other, like an overcoat over a coat, but taking off one to wear the other. God Unlimited The New Creation… by Norman Grubb

    What is the nature of the Divine? GOD IS LOVE

    many are called… (to know the history)(Law ,Old Testament)…
    few are chosen… (to know the mystery)(Grace, New Teastiment)

    Alice states; “I realize that it is beneficial for me to formulate a “big picture”

    One must let the whole of the “Good News”, brought forth by our Lord Jesus Christ, to become alive in us.. As we allow “CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY” to move upon us, and through us, we will mature into the sons and daughters of God, bringing salvation to ALL, to the sum totality of “For God so Loved the World”.

    “For the creation shall also be freed from the bondage of destruction into the liberty of the glory of the sons of God.” (Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010) (Romans 8:21)
    • As stated recently by a Dear Sister in the Lord; Julie Ferwerda to me; ” ALL CREATION anticipates the day when it will JOIN God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay” (Rom. 8:21). Which part of creation is left out of this verse? What can be lost that is not part of this “ALL CREATION”?

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      Which part of creation is left out of this verse? What can be lost that is not part of this “ALL CREATION”?

      Answer: the Lake of Fire with all its citizens. The Book ends with NO remedy for it.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    BTW the Lake of Fire doesn’t yet exist, but still needs to be created, so it doesn’t yet nor will it ever fit into Romans 8: 19 – 22.

  • Stephen Helbig January 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    THESE WILL BE THE DAYS OF GOD’S VENGEANCE WHEN ALL THE PROPHETIC WORDS OF THE SCRIPTURES WILL BE FULFILLED -Luke 21:22

    Here in The Gospel of Luke we are told that ALL the Prophetic Words of the Scriptures will be fulfilled. When you may ask? The previous verses, vs. 20 and vs. 21 state; “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.” Jesus declared when you see Jerusalem compassed about with armies. This occurred in 70 A.D.! NOTICE! “All the prophetic words of the scriptures will be FUFILLED.”

    Also note the fact that many English Bible translations have rendered incorrectly many things as being “eternal” such as; (The Mosaic Covenant), (The fire on the Temple altar), (The sign of circumcision), (The Levitical Priesthood), and many other things. None of these things are eternal as far as we define this word today. They all have been superseded, fulfilled, and done away with in Jesus Christ our Lord and the New Covenant. Paul states in the New Covenant that he knew that Mosaic Law would end. He said it was ending even as He wrote. (2 Cor. 3:1-18) Paul knew of no such thing as being accursed and estranged from God “forever.”
    For in depth studies on the words in many English translations mistranslated “forever,” “everlasting,” “eternal,” etc., see articles and books at: http://tentmaker.org/topics/aion.html
    Now I would like to quote from a book called “THAT ALL MAY BE FULFILLED” by Grady Brown
    “Now observe how the age of the Law – what we generally think of as the Old Covenant – lasted a little over 1500 years. Already the New Covenant age has lasted longer than that, and for good reason. The former was nothing more than preparation for the latter.
    In fact all the ages prior to that of the New Covenant were preparatory to the present New Covenant age. Don’t you think that it would be rather odd for God to spend 4000 years preparing for an age that would only last 2000? Surly there is something more long-range going on here. We have already mentioned earlier in this chapter that God has promised His faithfulness to a thousand generations – that’s 40,000 years! My conviction is that He has only begun what He intends to do on Planet Earth… So many Christians, especially in the past two centuries, have been beguiled by a system of theology that touts itself as being the guardians of “literal” interpretation. “Israel means Israel,” they protest. “God is duty bound to re-gather national Israel to their natural homeland in Palestine, Jesus is coming back and will rule in person from His throne in Jerusalem right here on this earth.”
    Yet this bondage to a so-called “literal” hermeneutic blinds them to the very real spiritual provisions that Jesus came and died for. They can’t see that the stakes have been raised. Jesus came to raise us from a material, visible, temporal plane to a spiritual, invisible, eternal plane. But the “literalists” cannot grasp the wonderful reality. … Some steps have been made in the right direction in recent years. More and more Christians are realizing that God’s promise of bringing His Kingdom to the earth is not something that we have to wait for in some future “millennium.” They have come to realize that the Kingdom of God is “here and now” – a present and glorious reality.” (pages 448,455 and, 456)
    “ The work of REDEMPTION is finished! There is absolutely nothing that needs to be done to bring redemption to fallen humankind. It is, indeed a finished work! But the work of RECONCILIATION is NOT FINISHED!
    “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away – look! The new has come! This newness is all the work of God who through Christ has brought us back to Himself, and who has assigned us to the task of bringing others back to Him. As it is said, ‘Through Christ, God was reconciling the people of the world to Himself, not charging their sins to their account.” This is the message He has given us to declare –that the people can have peace with God. -2 CORINTIANS 5: 17-19 “ (pages 451, and 452)

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Your idea fails because “ The work of REDEMPTION is finished! But the work of RECONCILIATION is NOT FINISHED!

      • Stephen Helbig January 19, 2012 at 2:15 am

        Lanny
        I Love you, Lanny! You definitely are steadfast, very, VERY persistent, determined, and totally consistent, which is just what it takes to be a truly “loyal” servant of GOG, ( “YIKES!” “holy mackerel”, as my dad would say, (HELL’s BELLLS). I really and truly meant to type G-O-D, “OUR” Savior, (“Jehovah-Tsidkenu”) (the Lord “our righteousness”). Pardon, (I have a “peculiar” sense of dry humor), (lol), so I decided to leave my typing error. I really laughed hard when I looked up and saw my typing ERROR,( constantly checking for errors), (I type with 2 fingers, looking @ the keyboard most of the time), (and I find more mistakes in my typing than I would like). If it wasn’t for spell check I couldn’t even use one of these things. I really wish you would give me a call (*&)_^%*$_@!@%), there i go again, (870-584-2155), I talk much better than I type.
        Sincerely Lanny, I see God in you! There is a scripture where Paul states; “We are to regard, (or know) no man after the flesh” (2 Cor. 5:16), and yet he also states that instead of this, by faith, “we are to see see Jesus” (Heb. 2:8-9). Even though we may not see all of God’s divine plans for all ages and stages, as not arriving as yet. I do see a pursuit of “The High Calling” ever present before however. So with that I like to say, “I did not follow your last post on January 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm.” Please call me, I talk much better than I type, but I can continue in this venue if that is not possible. The question I have is, which part of the quote I used do you not see as I? Do you feel that our redemption is not complete in Christ (His work), or is is that reconciliation is a finished work through the ministry given to us? Or do you feel both are incorrect? Quote used; “The work of REDEMPTION is finished! But the work of RECONCILIATION is NOT FINISHED!, “

        Sincerely, stephen, Your brother in Christ

        • admin January 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm

          Yes, he has ZEAL. Gotta give him that.

        • Lanny A. Eichert January 20, 2012 at 11:24 pm

          Stephen is NOT in Christ and therefore cannot be my brother in any sense, neither Alice.

          • Stephen Helbig January 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm

            A trustworthy witness will not lie,
            But a false witness utters lies.
            A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none,
            But knowledge is easy to one who has understanding.
            Leave the presence of a fool,
            Or you will not discern words of knowledge.
            The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way,
            But the foolishness of fools is deceit.
            Fools mock at sin,
            But among the upright there is good will. (Proverbs 14: 5 – 9)

            We are to call no man Racca, and yet there are many foolish as seen in the symbolism of the narrow vs. the wide.
            Raca – This is a Syriac word, expressive of great contempt. It comes from a verb signifying to be empty, vain; and hence, as a word of contempt, denotes senseless, stupid, shallow-brains of ignorant and immature children. Jesus teaches here that to use such words is a violation of the spirit of the sixth commandment, and if indulged, may lead to a more open and dreadful infraction of that law. Children should learn that to use such words is highly offensive to God.

            “EVERYONES FOOL EXITS”, and in its barn there is a lot of POOP!
            When it comes to fools in this world of which we are passing thru, I’ve come to realize that;
            I can choose to let them define me, confine me, outshine me, or I can choose to move on and leave them behind me.
            Some people’s lives are like a movie; they have a superb cast but can’t figure out the plot.

            It’s easy, do not fall for the lies that never were and never will be. “Fools make a mock” – The verb in the Heb. is singular, the noun plural. The King James Version assumes that the number is altered to individualize the application of the maxim. Others translate it: “Sin mocks the fools who are its victims,” i. e., disappoints and ruins them. Realize “But among the upright, (right standing), there is good will” “The Good News”

            I too with Alice believe that; “Not everyone comes to Jesus in this age. Not everyone who comes to Him hears Him. And not everyone who hears Him enters into the life He gives, a perfect, righteous life that results in the hearer actually being willing and able to do the will of God.” I also agree that everyone will come to the knowlege and understanding of HIM, bowing to and giving wilfully worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS, Worthy is the Lamb!

            p.s. Now anyone may chose to view this comment as;
            (LIFE vs. death), (TRUTH vs. lies), (WISDOM vs. foolishness);
            I have choose “LIFE FOREVERMORE” and “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
            I can truly say, “I see JESUS, and I’m in love with HIM”, “THE LOVER OF MY SOUL”, and He will perfect that which concerns us, But every man in his own order.

            p.s.s. If anyone desires to contact me concerning the things I’ve written here, call me @ 870-584-2155 and give me your phone number and I will call you back, I have a “long distance plan”, and am willing to listen and share in in the work of OUR GOD, through our LORD JESUS CHRIST!

          • Stephen Helbig January 23, 2012 at 3:23 am

            p.s.s. For clarification the above comment “(Stephen Helbig says:
            January 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm)”, was addressed to all believers in Christ.

            E.g. “exempli gratia”, ~ “EVERYONES FOOL EXITS”, and in its barn there is a lot of POOP! When it comes to fools in this world of which “WE” are passing thru, I’ve come to realize that…”

            That being said I feel I must address the following specifically to our brother in Christ, Lanny A. Eichert. I also trust that these words, (even though they are not mine per say, contain some light which may help to bring peace and “REST to all “OUR” souls because I believe they are directly from the “Heart” of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for in them there is Gods’ wisdom.

            Lanny
            I personally thank you for sharing your perspective on the scriptures, and the nature in which you shared them. I do understand what you are saying and why you see it the way you do. I will say that we don’t disagree with the validity of the scripture, we simply have different eschatological views, which gives us a different vantage point when viewing the same scripture.

            We also differ as to how literal we are to interpret certain text, and this is a cause of disagreement, especially when pertaining to the Parousia, Vivification, All in All, and whether or not hell is eternal. This is also a result of word study and the study of certain customs of that time period and culture.

            With this being true we can both re-read the same text together at the same time over and over and still see them differently, that is why when I read the time line you reference I still don’t come to the conclusion you did. This does make either one us evil or in danger, we are both good ground, but we are moving with God in the process of revelation at the pace in which He would take us… some 30, 60 and 100 fold, one waters, one plants, but God brings the increase…

            And we will stand in awe of God. All those who err in mind will know the truth, and All those who criticize will accept instruction.

            Love and blessings to you my brother

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 23, 2012 at 4:16 am

            Stephen, you have my permission to deceive yourself as you please. I thank you for the humor about which I’ve had a hardy laugh. Is that the best you can do on John 17: 12? You absolutely make Jesus a Liar to the Father by means of the Holy Ghost. The Triune God certainly knows and agrees that Judas is lost beyond recovery and have prepared an eternal place for him in the Lake of Fire they have intentionally built for Satan and his angels as their eternal abode. If it had been otherwise, the Father would have scolded the Son for making such and erroneous statement in the presence of humanity and the Son would have vowed to correct the problem ASAP. You see, such a simple statement could not have stood unless it is actually true in its simplicity. The silence of the Father and the Holy Ghost proves the accuracy and simplicity of Jesus’ statement of losing the son of perdition. Jesus has nothing for which to apologize concerning His simplistic declaration that Judas is lost forever. Once anyone like Mary concedes Judas is eternally lost, then the way is open to concede all the rest of unbelieving humanity is eternally lost as well, even those who came from Egypt with Moses to whom God swore they’d not enter His rest. The omniscient God speaks what He knows. That is why you should be able to believe even the spelling of the Bible words and their positions in their sentences. That’s why you should believe that oath, as found in Hebrews 3 & 4, applies eternally throughout all ages to everyone lacking faith. If you don’t, you’re no brother or sister of mine.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 23, 2012 at 4:30 am

            Face reality, Stephen: you do NOT believe John 17: 12 that Judas is eternally lost.

            You refuse to accept Jesus at His words.

            You’re as lost as any unbeliever. It doesn’t matter how much “stuff” you say you believe, because you haven’t come to the place of believing Jesus without qualification. So it is with the rest of you all.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 23, 2012 at 4:41 am

            To say Jesus will eventually reconcile Judas Iscariot is to call Jesus a Liar at John 17: 12.

            To accept Judas as eternally lost is to accept eternal pinishment for all unbelievers.

          • Stephen Helbig January 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm

            Lanny, concerning your statement; “Stephen, you have my permission to deceive yourself as you please. I thank you for the humor about which I’ve had a hardy laugh. Is that the best you can do on John 17: 12? You absolutely make Jesus a Liar to the Father by means of the Holy Ghost.”

            My reply is this: God Can not lie! (see Numbers 23:19 and Hebrews 6:18), However Lies exist and the source is “The Father of Lies” as stated in Jesus own discourse; “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

            I have sought truth since the age of 26, beause up to thatage for me i Llived a lie, I found nothing but Lies in my existance on this planet earth! I was a chief sinner filled with foolishness and nothing I pusued gave me peace. I was blind to the truths of God and a hopeless mess.
            My mind is flooded with scripture references so please bear with me, Lanny. I do not wish to dispute the scriptures with you because they are undisputable! I can no more convince youof God’s’ truth than the next, i.e. (Alice, Mary, or anyone else): “Except the Lord build the house, the labor is in vain”. We are indeed the Lords House because All the Earth is His, and belongs to HIM!

            “Now, therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: FOR ALL THE EARTH IS MINE: and ye shall be unto Me A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an holy nation” (Ex. 19:5-6). Today God continues to build this House of His, His Temple, His Body, His Ministers in His Kingdom that bring forth the Good News of Salvation; sparked by the seed of faith He has placed within our hearts. Small beginnings –> big endings, Huge like the mustard seed parable.

            to begin with I’ll say this: The subject of the Royal Priesthood, like many of the themes of Scripture, is inexhaustible. It sparkles as the twinkling stars of the heavens with glories which MANY have not yet beheld. Let the eyes of our understanding be enlightened, and allow this grand subject to be brought nearer to our spiritual vision for, in so doing, we shall behold more of the grandeur and ineffableness of the “High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus,” and of the purpose and majesty of OUR ONENESS IN HIM which has been much of our dicussion. This makes it mandatory upon us to remove the shoes from off our feet and tread carefully upon this holy and mysterious ground. But at the same time it also holds out the promise to us that we shall here gain an insight into some of the most marvelous and glorious things in God’s whole mighty work of creation and redemption (meaning > “purchasing of” a field or a people). Which we will only scatch the surface of in these Glorious truths and plan God has.

            When Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God, blessed Abraham, He said to him, “Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, POSSESSOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.” This word possessor comes from the Hebrew root meaning to erect, create, and thus TO OWN, (From a verb meaning to contain, or hold). As the Scripture says, “IN HIM we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). HE CONTAINS US, EVEN BEFORE WE BEGIN TO CONTAN HIM, as the INDWELLING CHRIST. Man has been HELD by God, long before man ever received God into his own being to contain Him. HE is the POSSESSOR of heaven AND EARTH of which we are. Furthermore, “BY HIM all things consist,” or are held together, and “Thou hast created ALL things, and for THY PLEASURE they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11). This answers the question of the apostle, “Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, (Gentiles>gr.ethnos) (meaning >nation(s), usually referring to unbelieving Gentiles) ” (Rom. 3:29), for He is “the God of the spirits of all flesh” (Num. 16:22) and He has decreed, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, ALL YE LANDS. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we (all lands) are HIS PEOPLE, and the SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE” (Ps. 100:1, 3). “GOD WAS IN CHRIST RECONCILING_ THE_ W-O-R-L-D_ UNTO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM; and hath committed unto US (THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD) THE WORD OF RECONCILIATION” (II Cor. 5:19). :
            The apostle Peter speaks of the saints as “children of obedience”; they are begotten of that nature, and characterized by it. He speaks of “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the living and abiding Word of God” (I Pet. 1:14, 23). Man after the flesh is born of corruptible seed, but there is another generation ,race, nation born of incorruptible seed, who desire earnestly the pure milk of the Word, and then the strong meat of the Word, and who grow up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ by it. THEY BECOME “A CHOSEN RACE, A KINGLY PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR A PURPOSE” (I Pet. 2:9). This is just what the Lord proposed in Exodus chapter 19.
            I’ve stated this to make a point, and it is “spiritual” one which you have reconized also, “GOD OWNS THE CATTLE ON A THOUSAND HILLS”. We have discused this previously, and this ownership is a spiritual picture as to which you agree, (i.e.1,000). HE OWNS ALL THE CATTLE !

            Now with regards to Judas and about your statement; “Is that the best you can do on John 17: 12? You absolutely make Jesus a Liar to the Father by means of the Holy Ghost.”
            I can only say this; I perceive you do not wish to know “stephens” thoughts on this passage of John 17, but rather to hear the Lords Thoughts, just as do I.
            BUT because you asked of me I am ready to give an answer, AND ready to sanctify Christ as Lord in my heart, always being ready to make a defense to everyone WHO ASKS of me, to give an account for the hope that is in my heart, and this will be done with gentleness and reverence in the Lord’s presence; So let us “Hear” THE WORD OF THE LORD, as it has been presented by His Holy Spirit to me and many others in this generation today.

            JOHN 17 [parentheses added by me for thought processes ]

            1Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, (notice Death is Glory -> REDEMPTION & RESSURECTION [Jn. 12:24] if it dies it will produce alot of grain), 2even as You gave Him authority over all flesh (ALL FLESH), that to all whom You have given Him (GIVEN HIM >ALL FLESH IN THE AGES OF AGES TO COME THROUGH> HIS PRIESTS AND KINGS CALLED OUT TO BE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD), He may give eternal life. (WHY? THAT HE MAY GIVE ETERNAL LIFE) 3“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work (IT IS FINISHED) which You have given Me to do. 5“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was (ONENESS < JESUS PRAYED MAKE THEM ONE EVEN AS WE ARE ONE). 6“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world (CALLED OUT ONES,THE CHURCH, THE BODY OF CHRIST); they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word (NOTICE KEPT HIS WORD ! DID JUDAS ? NOTICE WHY!!!! THAT THE SCRIPTURE MAY BE FULFILLED). 7“Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them ( EVERYMAN IN HIS ORDER); I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me(A PEOPLE FOR A PURPOSE); for they are Yours; 10and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine;(“ALL THE EARTH IS MINE” says God!) and I have been glorified in them(< THOSE OBEDIENT TO THE SAVIOR OF THE WORD). 11“I am no longer in the world;(I WILL REMAIN IN THE WORLD NO LONGER) and yet they themselves are in the world (<REMAINING IN THE WORLD, WHY??? TO ABOUND IN YHE WORK OF THE LORD), and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name(GOD I ”IS” LOVE), the name which You have given Me,(SAVIOR< LOVER OF MY SOUL) that they may be one even as We are (“ONENESS WITH GOD”SENDIN HIS SON ?SONS TO RECONCILE THE WORLD, MAKING PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND THE WORD< WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY). 12“While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name (THY WORD IS ABOVE YOUR NAME … “I will worship toward thy holy temple,[WE ARE HIS TEMPLE NOT MADE WITH HANDS] and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth [THE GOOD NEWS] ; FOR THOU HAS MAGNIFIED THY WORD ABOVE ALL[>ALL>ALL>ALL>]THY NAME… “psalm138:2) which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.(WHY???? SO THAT THE SCRIPTURE WOULD BE FULFILLED!!!!!!!) (WITHOUT JUDAS NOT FULFILLED!!!!! GOD MEANT IT TO BE SO> THE UNCOMLY PARTS ARE MORE COMELY LOVETH MUCH) < (GOD IS NOT A RESPECTOR OF PERSONS; WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS HE LOVED US AND GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM, < BOUGHT THE FIELD, THE WHOLE FIELD) ( HARVEST, NOT ONLY FIRST FRUITS BUT LOOK ON THE WHOLE HARVESTIN THE WORLD) so that they (WHO??? THEY WHO COME TO MARRY ANOTHER [Romans 7;4] ) may have My joy ( JOY UNSPEAKABLE AND FULL OF GLORY) made full in themselves. 14“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated(WORLD HAS HATED>) them, (WHY?) because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world (WORLD OF HATE). 15“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.(THE LIES, THE FATHER OF LIES; THE DEVIL,THOSE BELONGING TO AND NOT BORN YET OF THE INCORUPTABLE WORD OF GOD)THE THIEF WHO COMES TO STEAL, KILL, DESTROY> DESTROY), (WHO IS YOUR FATHER?, THOSE WITHOUT THE MINISTRY OF RECONCLIATION WHICH WE ARE IN THIS AGE AND THE AGE TO COME!) 16“They are not of the world(WHY <NO HATE) (LOVE YOU ENEMIES, said JESUS) , even as I am not of the world.(HOME IS< CITY IS ON EARTH GOOD WILL TO MAN) (HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF HIM WHO BRINGS GOOD NEWS); (THE BODY OF CHRIST ANOITED WITH THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATIN> MAKEING PEACE WITH GOD: SHOWING THE MERCIES OF THE LORD WHICH ENDUR FORE-EVER) 17“Sanctify them in the truth(THE WHOLE COUNCIL AND PLAN Of GOD!); Your word is truth( NO LIES). 18“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world(WHY? RECONCILIATION FOR PEACEWITH GOD; SWEET REACE THAT PASSES ALL CARNAL FOOLISH UNDERSTING). 19“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth (HOLY HOLY IS LORD GOD ALMIGHTY) (HAGIOUS TO MAKE THEM HOLY; TO SE APART FROM THE WORLD)) (AS WE ARE HOLY NOT BY WORKS OF UNRIGHTIOUSNESS, BUT BY GRACE, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD,THE GIFT TO MANKIND”who wants ALL>MEN to be saved and to come to a KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH”). (1 Timothy 2:4) 21that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.( THE WORLD IS GOING TO BELIEVE: HE WILL POUR HIS SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH (Acts 2:17,18) “‘In the LAST DAYS , God says, I will pour out my Spirit on ALL PEOPLE. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams .Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.(SPEAK THE WORD LOGOS> JESUS> SAVIOR< FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD)(THE WORLD) so that the world may know(KNOW!!!) that You sent Me, and loved them (LOVED THE WORLD>SO THE WORLD WOULD KNOW), even as You have loved Me. 24“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am,( WE HAVE BEEN TRANSLATED INTO THE KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON) so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”(PURPOSE OF A PEOPLE OF GOD? LOVE)

            Love in Chris,t stephen

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

            To say Jesus will eventually reconcile Judas Iscariot is to call Jesus a Liar at John 17: 12.

            To accept Judas as eternally lost is to accept eternal pinishment for all unbelievers.

            To this you offer me great swelling words that lift yourself to heights sublime, of which I am so familiar here in Utah among Mormons and historic Seventh Day Adventists. You are right within the traditions of Joseph Smith and Ellen White.

            For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. {2 Peter 2: 18 & Jude 1: 16} These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

            You present youself as a false teacher/prophet, Stephen, and I expose you to yourself that you might repent and be saved. You suggest John 17: 12 is among the lies faithfully recorded in Scripture, but you don’t define what/where exactly is the lie and to adding credibility you affirm Judas fulfilled prophecy. You’re running in unconnected circles so as to avoid the truth.

            To say Jesus will eventually reconcile Judas Iscariot is to call Jesus a Liar at John 17: 12.

            This is the corner you are in because of the setting: the omniscient Son of God is praying in the omniscient Holy Spirit to the omniscient God the Father saying in acceptable simplicity that the son of perdition, Judas Iscariot, is lost. You don’t believe that, wrongfully thinking he’ll be ultimately reconciled by Jesus. That’s antichristian and you are an antichrist, Stephen. Wake up and face reality. Are you that much in love with the “spiritual” feeling you have worked for yourself that you can’t see truth any more? Your feelings don’t subplant truth, Stephen, but truth overcomes everything. Look what you’ve done: Jesus is a Liar if Judas is to be reconciled.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm

            Omniscient Son of God is praying in the omniscient Holy Spirit to the omniscient God the Father saying in acceptable simplicity that the son of perdition, Judas Iscariot, is lost. {John 17: 12} If the plan was t eventually reconcile Judas why didn’t one of the omniscient members of the Godhead object to Jesus’ statement? All Three become Liars by Their silence in allowing Jesus to make a statement that was not entirely true.

            The fact is there never was a plan to reconcile Judas, so no objection is warranted and Jesus needs to make no apology for His statement of truth: Judas is lost. Lost forever. These are the facts of the case: no objections and no apology: proof positive that Judas is eternally lost. The resultant conclusion is that eternal torment for all unbelievers is God’s true plan.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 19, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Stephen, I’m not a fast thinker or speaker and I don’t have a free long distance phone package. Some times I copy and paste to my email as a draft to check spelling before I submit, but proof-reading still remains necessary and therefore short posts are easier to handle, yet extra and incomplete and wrong words still occur and ALL of us are guilty as I have noticed. It is STILL necessary to be as careful as possible to maintain respectability.

    The redemption/reconciliation comment is about your dividing what is and isn’t complete. If one is complete, so is the other. If one is incomplete, so is the other. God’s saints are no less complete than they will be. Colossians 2: 10 and Romans 8: 30 His saints are fully equipped for their eternal estate the moment they believed. Remember this salvation is God’s work not a partnership with man.

    God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. {Hebrews 11: 40} They without us means they were not OF us: not part of our inheritance; excluded from the New Covenant fullness; excluded from the (dispensational) church, the body of Christ, the mystery that hadn’t been revealed before God made it known through the Apostle and Prophet Paul. The statement declares they continue to be deficient and different from New Covenant saints. Your NIV is wrong having no support for the word “together” while there is wholey support for the word “without” and I am surprised you hadn’t checked that.

    Here is where you are like Alice: way off the wall. I asked that question with a purpose. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. {Hebrews 3: 11} It is incredible to me that you can make this sworn oath void and say “Yes they are partakers with us!” You are saying they to whom God swore no rest are now saved and resting with the saints of God? If that’s true, then everybody before the cross are now saved by the cross? There wasn’t anybody in hell at the moment of His death?

    I don’t think you really understood my question. Taking it purely historically, the particular people having exited Egypt of whom God swore would not enter His rest: are they still prohibited from entering God’s rest and will they never be allowed to enter God’s rest because of that specific oath?

    You said that sworn statement God made was only good for as long as the Old Covenant was effectual. Upon the implementation of the New Covenant in Christ’s blood that sworn statement is voided and “Yes they are partakers with us!” you wrote. None of God’s Old Covenant oaths and promises are then valid, which makes God an Old Testament Liar and neither God’s words nor God Himself is immutable. Welcome to the world of Mormonism where God is hampered by the failures of men to keep theirs and His covenants. All the quotes of Moses and the Prophets Jesus used in His earthly ministry are also null and void by His death and blood of the New Covenant. I think you have a huge problem to explain, Stephen, how Jesus also is not a Liar.

    I think it would be a whole lot safer and better to abandon your heresy and return to orthodoxy.

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 19, 2012 at 4:44 am

      So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. {Hebrews 3: 11}

      Tell me, Stephen, if the writer of this epistle to the Hebrews didn’t think this oath was effectual and relevant at the time of his penmenship of chapters three and four.

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 19, 2012 at 4:58 am

      I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. {Jude 1: 5} Because of the New Covenant they are no longer destroyed, but rather “Yes they are partakers with us!” ??? Where is Jude on this subject???

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 19, 2012 at 5:10 am

      So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. {Hebrews 3: 11}

      I’m very convinced they shall never enter God’s rest and God’s sworn statement applies to all who die in unbelief, who always err in their heart having not known God’s ways. It remains a prophetic statement with constant fulfillment because there are constant unbelievers without shortage until God finishes human birthing.

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 19, 2012 at 8:34 am

      The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. {Psalm 110: 4}

      What happens to this oath? Christ looses His priesthood at His death and Hebrews 7 is made a Liar and the Atonement is destroyed?

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Judas Iscariot lost to Jesus Christ? Is this Judas eternally lost never to be reconciled?

    {John 17: 12} While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

    {Luke 22:3} Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      Judas lost? Yes or no? Is Jesus a Liar also when praying to His Father? Will Judas be ultimately reconciled?

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Liar Jesus says Judas is lost {John 17: 12} to the Father while He knows He will reconcile all things in heaven and earth. God the Son distorts the truth to God the Father and becomes the Ultimate Liar.

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 23, 2012 at 4:51 am

        Plain and simply:

        To say Jesus will eventually reconcile Judas Iscariot is to call Jesus a Liar at John 17: 12.

        To accept Judas as eternally lost is to accept eternal pinishment for all unbelievers.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Balak the son of Zippor hired Balaam the son of Beor in Pethor to curse the Israelites. {Numbers 22} Balaam hoped and prayed that he could, but to no avail. Mary is a Balaamite: “we ought to do no less than to hope and pray that God does.” See Mary Vanderplas says: January 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm I conceded that the

    To say Jesus will eventually reconcile Judas Iscariot is to call Jesus a Liar at John 17: 12.

    To accept Judas as eternally lost is to accept eternal pinishment for all unbelievers.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Perdition, son of. Was Judas Iscariot the only son of perdition, Mary? What about Antiochus IV Epiphanes the Illustrious? What about Nero or Titus? What about {2 Thessalonians 2: 3} Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. Have you looked up the word perdition and seen how many times it is used in the Holy Bible? Do you think this distinction is unique to Judas Iscariot?

    • Mary Vanderplas January 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      What difference does it make how many times “perdition/destruction” is used in the Holy Bible? What’s your point – that the whole world, with the exception of you, is destined for hell? Pity the person who needs the reassurance that the majority of humanity is hell-bound in order to find meaning in his own salvation.

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm

        You mean it doesn’t matter whether Jesus would save you from one millisecond in hell or forever in hell? Why so?

        I have heard many people say they’d not mind a few minutes in hell if they can have their fill of the pleasures of sin in this lifetime. There are many folks who expect to live it up in sin now and as soon as they get to hell they’ll repent and be saved. Anything wrong with that, Mary?

  • Stephen Helbig January 24, 2012 at 10:18 am

    <>

    King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    <>

    New International Version (©1984)
    He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

    King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    International Standard Version (©2008)
    He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship. As a result, he seats himself in the sanctuary of God and himself declares that he is God.

    Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
    He who opposes and exalts himself against everything that is called God and religion, just as he will sit in the Temple of God, as God, and will show concerning himself as if he is God.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    He opposes every so-called god or anything that is worshiped and places himself above them, sitting in God’s temple and claiming to be God.

    King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
    Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

    American King James Version
    Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

    American Standard Version
    he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.

    Darby Bible Translation
    who opposes and exalts himself on high against all called God, or object of veneration; so that he himself sits down in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    English Revised Version
    he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

    Weymouth New Testament
    and exalts himself above, every so-called ‘god’ or object of worship, and goes the length of taking his seat in the very temple of God, giving it out that he himself is God.

    World English Bible
    he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    who is opposing and is raising himself up above all called God or worshipped, so that he in the sanctuary of God as God hath sat down, shewing himself off that he is God — the day doth not come.

    Lanny asks; > Do you think this distinction is unique to Judas Iscariot?

    stephen answers; > Not at all, I’ve seen this daily,… “who opposeth”? … sound familiar?

    Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
    Who opposeth – That is, he is distinguished as an opposer of the great system which God has revealed for human salvation, and of those who would serve God in purity in the gospel of his Son.

    (¯`’•.¸ //(*_*)\\ ¸.•’´¯)
    *`• .…* ♥ * ♥ *… •´*…Angel Card for today is ; [PURITY IN THE GOSPEL OF HIS SON] THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS ♥*.*♥ THIS IS WHAT I SEE, “swelling words”, YOU BET Lanny

    • Stephen Helbig January 24, 2012 at 10:49 am

      <>
      New American Standard Bible

      And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”; 20and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.” So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.

      who is paul, appolo, cephas; lanny, alice. john, mary, stephen, michelle, rachel,… Looking unto JESUS THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER

      we see –> JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS JESUS …

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 24, 2012 at 11:07 am

        each man must be careful how he builds on it

        Your great swelling words cause me to miss your point. What is it? I assume it has something to do with the son of perdition? You don’t appear to be a careful builder of this conversation; you certainly aren’t a builder of the Church when you call the triune God a Liar by supposing Jesus will reconcile Judas, a charge you haven’t answered by your great words so proudly displayed.

        Mary came close to an answer, but slipped backward again.

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

        AGAIN Plain and simply:

        To say Jesus will eventually reconcile Judas Iscariot is to call Jesus a Liar at John 17: 12.

        To accept Judas as eternally lost is to accept eternal pinishment for all unbelievers

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

        The all-knowing (omniscient) Son of God is praying in the all-knowing (omniscient) Holy Spirit to the all knowing (omniscient) God the Father saying in acceptable simplicity that the son of perdition, Judas Iscariot, is lost. {John 17: 12} If the plan was to eventually reconcile Judas why didn’t one of the all-knowing (omniscient) members of the Godhead object to Jesus’ statement? All Three become Liars by Their silence in allowing Jesus to make a statement that was not entirely true.

        The Triune God certainly knows and agrees that Judas is lost beyond recovery and have planned an eternal place for him in the Lake of Fire they have intentionally planned for Satan and his angels as their eternal abode. If it had been otherwise, the Father would have scolded the Son for making such and erroneous statement in the presence of humanity and the Son would have vowed to correct the problem ASAP. You see, such a simple statement could not have stood unless it is actually true in its simplicity. The silence of the Father and the Holy Ghost proves the accuracy and simplicity of Jesus’ statement of losing the son of perdition. Jesus has nothing for which to apologize concerning His simplistic declaration that Judas is lost forever. Once anyone concedes Judas is eternally lost, then the way is open to concede all the rest of unbelieving humanity is eternally lost as well, even those who came from Egypt with Moses to whom God swore they’d not enter His rest. The omniscient God speaks what He knows.

        Prove otherwise, Stephen, without making God a Liar in John 17: 12. Prove how your “otherwise” preserves God’s integrity at John 17: 12. Since God is Truth, He cannot make a statement that is not entirely true.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    The norm for interpreting all other Scripture on the subject of eternal torment is John 17: 12 because it is the testimony of the all-knowing omniscient Three Members of the Triune Godhead that Judas is lost very simply and finally without any remedy. The word, is lost, is perished, destroyed, ruined, just the opposite of eternal life in John 3: 16 where the same word at the end of the verse is perish.

    Just look at everything else you suppose is universal salvation texts since they can be otherwise explained by men’s opinions; but Judas cannot be otherwise explained since the testimony is God’s declaration unquestioned by God Himself. There is no surer foundation for eternal torment than the simple words of God Himself here found in John 17: 12.

    Universal salvation is proved false by God’s statement of Judas Iscariot being lost. Since he is lost, so many are lost and they all go into eternal punishment.

    Plain and simply:

    To say Jesus will eventually reconcile Judas Iscariot is to call Jesus a Liar at John 17: 12.

    To accept Judas as eternally lost is to accept eternal pinishment for all unbelievers

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. {John 8: 24; & 17: 12}; none of them is lost, but the son of perdition means Jesus said physical death ends your chances of being saved. Either you get rid of your sins in this life or you keep them forever. There is NO way around that whatsoever. Judas Iscariot is proof positive of that as is the populated Lake of Fire without remedy at the end of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. If you die in your sins, your destiny is “set in stone” but literally brimstone and fire. Since you’ll never get rid of your sins, it is punitive, not remedial. Jesus is NOT a Liar. So, dear people, why will you burn?

    To say Jesus will eventually reconcile Judas Iscariot is to call Jesus a Liar at John 17: 12.
    To accept Judas as eternally lost is to accept eternal pinishment for all unbelievers.

    Why will you burn?

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