Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Jesus, Lord of Distance

Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Jesus, Lord of Distance

But the foolish children of men do miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in their confidence in their own strength and wisdom; they trust to nothing but a shadow. The bigger part of those that heretofore have lived under the same means of grace, and are now dead, are undoubtedly gone to hell: and it was not because they were not as wise as those that are now alive; it was not because they did not lay out matters as well for themselves to secure their own escape. – Jonathan Edwards

When I read Francis Chan’s book, Erasing Hell, I experienced grief over how many people would read the title and the back cover and think that there might actually be some good news in the book.  Instead, what they get is a repackaged and modernized version of Jonathan Edward’s infamous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”  Chan is very careful with his word choices, and he does a good job of being at least minimally respectful toward those who may disagree with him, but his message boils down to the same fundamental fear as that of Edwards.  Chan writes,

The thought of hell is paralyzing for most people, which is why we often ignore its existence – at least in practice.  After all, how can we possibly carry on with life if we are constantly mindful of a fiery place of torment?  Yet that’s the whole point – we shouldn’t just go on with life as usual.  A sense of urgency over the reality of hell should recharge our passion for the gospel […] We should not just try to cope with hell, but be compelled – as with all doctrine – to live differently in light of it.

Many Christians mistakenly believe that Jesus talks about hell more than any other subject in scripture, because they heard this from a trusted friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another you’ve been messin’ around… no, wait, that’s an REO Speedwagon song.  My point is that if one has studied the etymology of the word “hell”, then one ought to be embarrassed to make such a claim, since the word “hell” did not even exist in the first century.  But that’s another blog for another day.  Today I would like to take a look at one particular claim Chan makes at the beginning of chapter two of Erasing Hell:

The only way we’re going to understand what Jesus said about hell is to soak ourselves in the Bible’s own culture.  Breathe its air.  Feel its dirt.  […]  So to this world we turn.  What we find in this context is that hell was seen as a place of punishment for those who don’t follow God.  In fact, so ingrained was the belief in hell among first century Jews that Jesus would have had to go out of His way to distance Himself from these beliefs if He didn’t hold them.

The obvious question is, did Jesus “go out of His way to distance Himself” from the beliefs of the Jewish religious leaders in the first century?  Instead of offering peripherals and conjectures, I’ll let Jesus speak for Himself.

When Jesus healed a paralytic, He prefaced the healing with the words, “Child, thy sins have been forgiven.”  This did not rest well with the scribes, who asked, “Who is able to forgive sins except one – God?”  Jesus replied, not to them, but to the paralytic, “[…]the Son of Man hath authority on the earth to forgive sins.”  His reassurance was not given to the religious leaders, but to the common sinner.  To me, Jesus is saying that the scribes have totally underestimated Him.

When the Pharisees saw Jesus having a friendly sit-down dinner with sinners, they asked the disciples, “Why – that with the tax-gatherers and sinners he doth eat and drink?”  Jesus overheard and replied, “[…] I came not to call righteous men, but sinners to reformation.”  To me, Jesus is saying that the Pharisees have no idea who “qualifies” to sit at His table.

As Jesus and His disciples were traveling through some cornfields on Sabbath Day, the disciples were picking and nibbling along the way.  The Pharisees took note and accused, “Lo, why do they on the sabbaths that which is not lawful?”  Jesus came to their defense by reminding them of a story from their own scriptures, about David.  The modern-day equivalent of this story would be that David and his buddies have the munchies and decide to raid the church-room where the bread (or those little wafer things) and wine (or grape juice) is stored for communion or mass!  Jesus’s concluding remarks shut them right up, “The Sabbath for man was made, not man for the Sabbath, so that the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.”  To me, Jesus is saying that the Pharisees have misinterpreted/mistranslated the scriptures.

Jesus went to the synagog, where there was a man with a deformed hand, and Jesus knew that the religious leaders were watching to see if He would heal the man on the Sabbath Day (break the rules).  Notice that Jesus is the one to pick the fight, so-to-speak, by saying to the man with the hand, “Rise up in the midst.”  He didn’t say, “Come over here, where we can meet privately.”  He didn’t do His dealings behind closed doors with the good ole’ boys, smoking and joking in the safety of anonymity – He made a point to distinguish Himself and His Truth from the teachings of the Pharisees.  He said, while everyone was watching and listening, “Is it lawful on the sabbaths to do good, or to do evil? life to save, or to kill?”  I am totally pumped about what happens next:

And having looked round upon them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their heart, He saith to the man, “Stretch forth thy hand;” and he stretched forth, and his hand was restored whole as the other; and the Pharisees having gone forth, immediately, with the Herodians, were taking counsel against him how they might destroy him.

Jesus clearly threw down the gauntlet, and the Pharisees reacted accordingly.  To me, Jesus is demonstrating that the Pharisees see the true power of God as a threat to their current understanding and practice.

Some scribes and Pharisees found fault with the disciples because they didn’t do the regular ceremonious hand-washing.  The modern-day equivalent might be that someone goes to church and asks the pastor a question in the middle of the sermon instead of calling the church office to make an appointment with the pastor.  Basically, the disciples didn’t bother with religious protocol, and it really annoyed the religious elite, who asked, “Wherefore do thy disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but with unwashed hands do eat the bread?”  Jesus called them hypocrites and gave them a painfully honest answer, saying among other things, “[You are] setting aside the word of God for your tradition that ye delivered […]”  To me, Jesus is teaching the onlookers (and us) that through religious protocol and practice, hypocrites deliver a different message than the one that comes from God.

When the Pharisees picked a fight with Jesus, demanding He perform a miraculous sign for them, Jesus, “having sighed deeply in His spirit” turned them down, flat.  He then warned His disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.”  To me, Jesus was warning that many of the decision-makers in religion and politics use their positions of prestige and authority to spread corruption.

I could go on and give many other examples of Jesus butting heads with the first century Jewish religious leaders, beliefs, and practices, but instead I will offer some anticipated opposition to this blog, that is, Jesus never explicitly addresses “eternal torment” or “hell” in any of these examples.  If I may speak for the person who holds this perspective, it is likely that he or she might say, “Show me, in a very specific way, how Jesus distances Himself from the first-century Jewish view of hell.”  And to this I respond, all in good time.  Chan delves into this in chapter three, and since I’m on chapter two right now, I’ll conclude this blog with this final observation:

What are the reasons for Churchians’ rejection of the Glorious Truth of the Amazing Hope we have in the Victorious Savior of the all mankind? How do they justify their mistreatment of those who have Amazing Hope?  By totally underestimating Jesus Christ, by selfishly and judgmentally deciding who “qualifies” to sit at His table, by misinterpreting/mistranslating scripture, and by seeing the true power of God as a threat to their current understanding and practice.  Through religious protocol and practice (all the while breaking their own moral boundaries), they deliver a different message than the one that comes from God concerning His intentions toward mankind, namely, eternal torment in Hell.

Next blog subject matter is NOT: What did the first-century Jews believe? since Chan covers this in his book, but the next blog asks: What is the source of and the result (fruits) of first-century Jewish beliefs?

*Scripture references are from the gospel of Mark.

Next blog in this series: Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Abomination

Comments
  • Lanny A. Eichert January 27, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Lost Judas proves your Amazing Hope false beyond any shadow of doubt. None of them is lost, but the son of perdition {John 17: 12} apollymi (perished, lost, ruined, destroyed) as reported by none other than the all-knowing omniscient Son of God in the power of the all-knowing omniscient Holy Spirit to the all-knowing omniscient Holy Father. The verb He used is Aorist Middle Indicative: the Aorist tense is a past action viewed in a point of time and the Indicative is the mood of reality, not possibility for which the Subjunctive is used. He made a simplistic statement with no qualifiers. Being Himself God, He cannot be a Liar, not can He tell a partial truth. He is also the Prophet and as such was qualified to prophetically declare Judas’ condition even before Judas died. As such he also said, “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} closing the opportunity of forgiveness of sins at physical death. Only in this life can sinners be rid of their sins, otherwise they carry them for all eternity without remedy in the eternal Lake of Fire in eternal torment.

    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.

    • admin January 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Demonstrate to me how it is that “only in this life can sinners be rid of their sins” – as if death is the limitation of Jesus Christ, who conquered both sin and death and holds the keys to Hades (the realm of death). “You shall die in your sins” is not the same as saying you will burn forever in the Lake of Fire. In the conclusion of the age of the law, Jesus kept His eleven, just as God had purposed from the beginning of time. The age(s) of the law saw many who died in their sins, just as in the age(s) of grace, but in the age(s) of judgment, the outcome/result/end is righteousness:

      “for the judgment indeed is of one to condemnation, but the gift is of many offences to a declaration of ‘Righteous…'”

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 27, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Alice, your underlined concluding statement is cultish. My tiny violin plays, “my heart bleeds for you.” You deserve severe denunciation for calling the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Liars.

    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?

    • admin January 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      I’m curious as to if your highly debatable theory on the Lake of Fire is your one and only defense for “physical death ends your chances of being saved”. Death as the cut-off for salvation is an erroneous concept with no biblical support. It is the classic example of what Jesus said, “[You are] setting aside the word of God for your tradition that ye delivered […]” You are setting aside a solemn oath which God swore to Himself and said CANNOT be revoked (every knee will bow, every tongue will confess) in exchange for the idea that the power of sin and death is too much for Jesus Christ to overcome. You are saying that His redemptive work is limited by death.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 27, 2012 at 5:30 am

    And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. {John 5: 27} Jesus judged Judas perished in His prayer to His Father {John 17: 12} in a past tense sense and NO qualifiers. That’s one man surely in unquenched fire pestered by maggots/flies beyond doubt and since that was certainly possible in Jesus’ day, there is no reason why it wasn’t possible BEFORE and AFTER Jesus’ day for MANY other perished (lost) souls. Jesus affirms eternal damnation by judging Judas to His Father in the might and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Jesus affirmed many other sinners in eternal damnation, also. {Luke 13: 1 – 5}

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 27, 2012 at 5:48 am

    the same fundamental fear as that of Edwards
    Poor Alice doesn’t like it that Jesus said in Matthew 10: 28 “fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
    Destroy “SOUL” and body in hell.
    NO reconciliation of destroyed SOULS.

  • John Fincher January 27, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Is it the soul or the spirit that’s immortal?

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 29, 2012 at 6:10 am

      John, Matthew 10: 28 speaks of soul and body in a ruined state in hell, but no mention of the spirit. Didn’t you wonder why? The destruction of the soul and body is also called death so putting that together with “the body without the spirit is dead” in James 2: 26, both soul and body have existence in hell’s torment without a spirit.

      God’s saints, being regenerated, on the other hand, were born again at conversion and have a new living spirit that communicates with God and that spirit is eternal.

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 29, 2012 at 6:16 am

        See here, Alice & Mary & all the rest of you heretics, Matthew 10: 28 “fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” leaves those in the Lake of Fire withOUT a spirit to respond to the spiritual Gospel of salvation invitation: another proof your heresy doesn’t work.

        • Lanny A. Eichert January 29, 2012 at 6:18 am

          PS
          No Gospel invitation is ever given in the Lake of Fire anyway.

  • admin January 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Your Matt. quote is taken out of context, and I believe we have already exhausted that conversation in the past. How is it that you concluded, “No reconciliation of destroyed SOULS”? Is it because of your view – the populated Lake of Fire without remedy? Do you have any other support for your conclusion than this one?

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    The unremedied populated Lake of Fire at the end of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is sufficient to prove your Amazing Hope is a fraud. Add to it Judas Iscariot as per Jesus John 17: 12 “perished” (lost) statement plus: 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} and the lid on your Hope coffin is nailed tight. Jesus gave only this life as the place to have your sins removed by faith in Him. 8: 24 is an if, then text, Alice. You have NO text saying forgiveness of sins granted after physical death. When you died without forgiveness, your soul has all your sins sticking to it for all eternity because there is no other way disclosed by the all-knowing omniscient God for it to be. That’s what that little preposition “in” means, Alice. You die in the realm of your sins and you are in them and they are in you.

  • Mary Vanderplas January 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I think you’re right about Jesus going out of his way to distance himself from the beliefs and practices of the Jewish religious authorities, though this isn’t the same as saying that he distanced himself from the beliefs of first-century Jews. As the stories you consider indicate, his conflicts with the leaders center for the most part on their different understandings of the law as well as on Jesus’ authority as God’s unique representative. I think it’s important to note, too, that while these conflict stories undoubtedly reflect events and experiences that occurred in Jesus’ ministry, they also almost certainly reflect the conflict that occurred later in the first century between Christians and non-Christian Jews. I agree with those who point out that in writing his Gospel, Mark used the opponents of Jesus to give voice to objections that were raised against his Christian readers – particularly in regard to their relationship to the biblical law.

    I think you’re right on in your interpretation of these conflict stories. I like what you say about the scribes underestimating Jesus. I think it’s significant, too, here that the authority of God which Jesus has as God’s unique representative is used not to judge and condemn, but to forgive. I agree with what you say about the leaders’ judgmental exclusivity which Jesus challenged by his barrier-breaking behavior of eating with those whom the leaders disdained. I think you’re right on, too, about their misinterpretation of the Sabbath laws. I would add that Mark almost certainly had in mind here the situation of his readers, in which they were being challenged for having relaxed the rules concerning Sabbath observance. I like your point about Jesus going out of his way to separate himself from their teaching, which placed Sabbath observance above concern for human well-being. I would add here that the note about him “looking around at them with anger” is not only a natural human response but also an expression of God’s wrath on the part of the One who definitively reveals God. It is significant, too, I think, that his opponents decided to destroy him even though he hadn’t done anything that would count as work on the Sabbath – revealing the depth of their hostility and hard-heartedness. I like what you say about religious formalism subverting the word of God. And while I agree that religious leaders are too often guilty of using their power to spread corruption, I think the message of this passage has more to do with the blindness and hard-heartedness of the religious leaders to Jesus, against which the disciples are warned.

    I can appreciate your application of these stories to the teachings and practices of contemporary ecclesiastical power-brokers – and particularly to those who oppose Christian Universalism. However, I think it’s important to distinguish between those who simply don’t agree with the doctrine and those who actively oppose it, denouncing its adherents. I would argue, too, that these texts of conflict apply to all disciples, that in particular the barrier-breaking behavior of Jesus and his disciples is a call to all of us who believe to engage in the work of social transformation, tearing down barriers and obstacles to true community between groups of human beings and between human beings and God.

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 28, 2012 at 3:18 am

      If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. {Levitcus 20: 13} To engage in the work of social transformation, tearing down barriers and obstacles to true community between groups of human beings and between human beings and God will be accomplished when homosexuality is taken seriously as the abomination it truly is and the state stops ignoring this fact and starts rehabilitating them to “straight” folks. Those who don’t go “straight” are then executed. This is your Christian responsibility to help the state accomplish this social transformation: “straight” or dead.

      STRAIGHT OR DEAD is a great moto for social transformation, don’t you think? I’m ready if you are to pitch this campaign slogan, Mary. When do we start? How do we get it rolling? What’s your campaign ideas? Can we make it part of a SAVE AMERICA emphasis?

    • Lanny A. Eichert January 28, 2012 at 3:46 am

      No, Mary, social transformation is NOT the answer. Eating and drinking with sinners is for the purpose of letting them know God hates their hopeless sinful guts, but has died in their place to save them FROM their sins unto a holy life: the message they must first know in order to believe and be saved. God hates them perfectly to condemn them to eternal death for their sinfulness and He also loves them perfectly to get this message to them. From there it is their choice.

      Nevertheless America needs to make homosexuality as much a punishable crime as bigamy, polygamy, and adultry and enforce the laws against all abusive sexual crimes.

      • Mary Vanderplas January 28, 2012 at 8:06 am

        Did I say that social transformation is “the answer”? I didn’t say that social transformation is a substitute for spiritual conversion and the renewal of life that flows from conversion. What I said is that disciples of Jesus are called to demonstrate the same kind of transformative behavior that Jesus did in eating with sinners, revealing that God’s love is for everyone and breaking down barriers that keep classes of people in the role of outcasts. It is precisely your unloving, judgmental, exclusive attitude toward “sinners” that the moral and religious establishment of Jesus’ day held – and that Jesus confronted with the words “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

        • Lanny A. Eichert January 29, 2012 at 5:41 am

          Jesus: “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” That’s right, Mary, only sinners know they need Jesus, and since the (self-) righteous don’t it, they need to be made sinners by the preaching just like Jonathan Edward’s famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Poor Alice doesn’t see that and neither do you and the others because you’re so full of your heresy you’re blind and cannot see.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 29, 2012 at 7:54 am

            What the self-righteous need to be made aware of is that God doesn’t work on a system of rewards and punishments/retribution, as the world works, but that his grace is freely given to those who are undeserving and who recognize themselves as such. This is the heart of the gospel – the great good news that the Protestant Reformers insisted on. The proudly self-sufficient need to see God for who he truly is, which is not an angry tyrant out to crush his human creatures but a loving Parent who cares for all of his children and treats them with kindness even when they don’t deserve it.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

            You sterilize sin by calling it mere proud self-sufficiency, Mary. Lying, cheating, stealing, fornication, incest, rape, murder, jesting, slandering, and so on deprives people of heavenly bliss and lands them in hell, fire, and brimstone. That’s what they need to hear, including for your sake heresies.

            Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, HERESIES, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. {Galatians 5: 19 – 21}

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 29, 2012 at 9:16 am

            They need to know God is holy pure, they are stinking dirty, and no amount of reformation will make God feel good about them. The doctrine is called total depravity, Mary.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm

            The issue under discussion is the self-righteous – i.e., the proudly self-sufficient – who are constantly keeping score to determine who will be admitted into the kingdom and who will be shut out. What they need to hear is that being accepted by God isn’t about being rewarded for being morally good and that in fact the essence of sin is living as though one doesn’t need God or other people, cutting oneself off from fellowship with God and others, the very fellowship for which we were created. They need to hear that by relating to God on a rewards basis and by viewing and treating other people as inferiors, they have cut themselves off from the life they were created to live.

            Salvation isn’t just about “going to heaven when I die.” And it isn’t about going to heaven if I avoid all the sins on the lists you cite. Yes, it involves the sure hope of eternal life beyond this world, but it is also about being put in right relationship with God and other human beings and being set free to love God and others. Your obsession with avoiding hell reveals just how impoverished your understanding of salvation (and of sin) is.

            God’s holiness/justice is not incompatible with his love. The fact is that, sinful and undeserving of his grace though we are, God still loves us. He loves us so much that he gave his Son in order to put us in right relationship with himself. “Stinking dirty,” yes, we are because of sin, although the doctrine of total depravity does not mean that we are thoroughly corrupt. It means that nothing we do is free from sinful self-interest. But the God of holy love loves us nonetheless, even as in Christ he took upon himself the just judgment that our sins deserved. This is the gospel, Lanny, not your “turn,-or-burn,” reward-and-punishment perversion of the Bible’s message.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm

            Deny the Galatians 5: 19 – 21 list and you call God a Liar, Mary, but I knew that about you all along and no liar goes to heaven, but is thrown into the Lake of Fire to be eternally tormented. You need to believe every written word including its spelling and placement in the text of the Holy Bible.

            You’d think that as many people discredit the Holy Bible, they’d not have taken it to the ACLU to have either the word Holy removed or changed to Unholy.

          • Mary Vanderplas January 30, 2012 at 5:39 am

            I don’t deny that sin is disobedience to the law of God which is manifested in the ways that Paul and other New Testament writers describe. What I deny is your reduction of sin to concrete acts alone, as though by simply avoiding these acts we would be free of sin. The fact is that we do not just do bad things; we are sinners. We are disposed to sin, which in its essence is not loving and not letting ourselves be loved by God and by our fellow human beings. And it is what we do, not just what those evil, immoral people “out there” do. I deny, too, your belief that the list in Galatians 5 is a checklist that God will use to decide who makes the cut and who doesn’t – a notion that flies in the face of the gospel of God’s free grace in Christ as the only grounds for salvation.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 30, 2012 at 9:58 am

            Jonathan Edward’s famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” didn’t limit the Galatians 5: 19 – 21 list “to concrete acts alone.”

          • Mary Vanderplas January 30, 2012 at 9:44 pm

            If heaven and hell are about God rewarding the morally good and punishing the morally bad (as determined by the vice lists in the New Testament), respectively, then salvation is not by God’s grace alone but by our good works.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 30, 2012 at 11:44 pm

            Hell is about God punishing the morally bad as determined by the vice lists in the Old and New Testaments. Punishment is applied justice and mercy attends justice, but grace is nowhere to be found in justice and punishment.

            Rattle on Alice since her punishment is grace and that’s why she calls it remedial; but that’s foolish nonsense.

            There is mercy in hell, but no grace. No acquitals {Job 10: 14 & Nahum 1: 3}
            In heaven there is grace, but no mercy. Jesus paid it ALL.

            • admin February 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm

              Do you sing the hymn with the lyrics “grace that is greater than all our sins”? If so, do you actually believe what you sing? Or is the sin of unbelief the one sin that the grace of God is unable to overcome?

          • Mary Vanderplas January 31, 2012 at 7:22 am

            There is mercy in eternal torment???? Talk about utter nonsense.

            If heaven is for all the good people and hell is for all the bad ones, then God’s grace is nullified.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 31, 2012 at 11:26 am

            You really think there’s grace in hell?

            What is your definition of grace?

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 31, 2012 at 11:30 am

            Mercy is when you don’t get all you deserve. Refers to punishment.

            Grace is when you get what you don’t deserve. Refers to blessing.

          • Lanny A. Eichert January 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm

            For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. {James 2: 13}

            κρίσις krisis translated in KJV — judgment 41, damnation 3, accusation 2, condemnation 2

            • admin February 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm

              mercy shall triumph over judgment

          • Mary Vanderplas February 1, 2012 at 5:36 am

            How can it be reasonably said that eternal torment is a withholding of the full extent of deserved punishment?

            What do you mean do I think there’s grace in hell? What I think is that because of the universalistic texts in the Bible, it cannot be ruled out that hell means a purification, that there are limits to the judgment of God against those who persist in unbelief and rebellion against him. There are texts that say as much, including Romans 11:32. To say that God is gracious toward sinners and that he is merciful toward sinners is to say the same thing. Through his saving act in Christ, we receive his favor, which we don’t deserve; instead of the death sentence, which we deserve, we receive acquittal and life.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm

            “To say that God is gracious toward sinners and that he is merciful toward sinners is to say the same thing”, you say. Why don’t you make a distinction between the two words? You reference: For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. {Romans 11:32} Only mercy is used and mercy, not grace, is meant by God. That’s why there’s mercy in hell, but not grace. {James 2: 13} There’s no grace to be saved in hell because Judas is perished according to Jesus’ prayer to the all-knowing omniscient Three in One in {John 17: 12} none of them is lost, but the son of perdition. You make the Three in One Liars when you state “because of the universalistic texts in the Bible, it cannot be ruled out that hell means a purification.” Hell means eternal torment. You ask the devil’s question, “Yea, hath God said ….?” with his intended meaning, “Ye shall not surely die.” {Genesis 3: 1 & 4} The result to you is as per 3: 6 the idea is pleasant and wise, yet in your stupidity you invalidate Jesus’ prayer {John 17: 12} and call all Three Liars. There is also the matter at the end of the Revelation of Jesus Christ which He gave to His servant John, namely the populated Lake of Fire that has NO remedy associated with it in that revelation or elsewhere. You’re still trying to straddle the fence, Mary, but you need to make a decision which way you will be: a liar or a person of integrity. Have you noticed {John 17: 12} gets nearly no attention by any one else and the Lake of Fire is only subjected to disconnected texts. You let “them” force an “all” upon texts that are limited in scope and misuse idiomatic language concerning “ages” and eternal to discredit the eternality of the final punishmant. Give Jesus the credit He deserves {John 17: 12} calling Judas “perished.”

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm

            You ask, How can it be reasonably said that eternal torment is a withholding of the full extent of deserved punishment?

            For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. {James 2: 13}

            Only the lost are judged, because the saints’ judgment was taken upon Jesus Christ at the cross. By yours and Alice’s logic, if there are some here spoken as having judgment without mercy, there are also then those having judgment with mercy. Both classes end in the Lake of Fire. Therefore there is mercy in the Lake of Fire.

            You lack discernment when you see the Revelation 20 judgment as “universal” incuding saints and sinners alike. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God {Revelation 20: 12} are spiritually dead sinners, not saints. Saints are spiritually alive, not dead. There are NO saints at all at this judgment. The clue is also the end result: no one goes anywhere but the Lake of Fire. None are written in the Book of Life, but all are judged from all the “other” books of works. When a person is saved his name is blotted from the books of works and written in the Book of Life. The Book of Life is there to prove their names are NOT there. The books of works are there to prove their reliance on their deeds and NOT upon the Christ of God. They had established their own righteousness and not the righteousness that is by faith alone in Christ.

            {Philippians 3: 9} And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm

            And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God {Revelation 20: 12}

            All of you would save yourselves a lot of energy if only you’d KNOW all “the dead” are SPIRITUALLY dead ones, not physically dead ones in this judgment. They stand before God in their corrupt bodies that were resurrected in order for them to “stand” in biologically alive bodies before the Throne. These bodies are not described in 1 Corinthians 15: 50 – 54 because 1 Corinthians 15: 50 – 54 is not a universal resurrection.

            Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

            1 Corinthians 15: 50 – 54 ends in victory over death through the resurrection and Revelation 20: 11- 15 is the Second Death so the two passages of Scripture do NOT link together. The idea of a general resurrection and a general judgment at the end of the ages doesn’t work together using these two texts.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm

            admin says: February 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm refers to the hymn “grace that is greater than all our sins”?

            The sin of unbelief IS the one sin that the grace of God is unable to overcome, because the sovereign God made that His rule.

            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}

            If you’d just think about that, don’t you want people to believe you? Isn’t that a remnant of the image of God?

            • admin February 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm

              Is His grace not strong enough to overcome the unbelieving heart and produce faith?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 2, 2012 at 12:56 am

            Mary, you can’t say February 1, 2012 at 5:36 am: instead of the death sentence, which we deserve, we receive acquittal and life. God acquits NOBODY.

            If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity. {Job 10: 14 & Nahum 1: 3} The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 2, 2012 at 5:47 am

            “There is mercy in hell.” Eternal torment is, by definition, punishment without limit. It is a complete contradiction to say that there is punishment that has been limited in punishment without limit.

            Lanny’s fallacious reasoning: “Romans 11:32 cannot mean that God has mercy on all, saving everyone. Therefore it must mean that there is mercy in hell. There is mercy in hell because this text says there is.”

            I don’t make a distinction between “mercy” and “grace” because, when it comes to the texts mentioned, there is none. Both words refer to the gift of God in Jesus Christ in reaching out to us in our need and saving us.

            I’m not straddling any fence. I’m refusing to put myself in the place of God, making judgments about anyone’s eternal destiny that only God has the authority to make and that God will make on the last day without our help. And I’m refusing to exclude even the most recalcitrant sinners from the embrace of God’s saving love.

            The last judgment will include everyone, not just unbelievers. All will have to give an account before the Judge who is our Savior and Advocate.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm

            Romans 11:32 cannot mean that God has mercy on all, saving everyone. Therefore it must mean that there is mercy in hell. There is mercy in hell because this text says there is. That is perfectly good reasoning with respect to hell, Mary, because you can’t get better than “the Bible tells me so” and that’s where your problem lies because you don’t believe the Holy Bible.

            1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 20 do NOT work together as I showed you above February 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm therefore Revelation 20’s judgment is ONLY unbelievers. Your idea of salvation that does not remove God’s saints from every chance of condemnation {Romans 8: 1} is antichristian and you are thereby made an antichrist. God’s saints are blameless from the moment they first believed and were converted to Christ. See, you have not only a low view of the Holy Bible, you also have a low view of salvation.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm

            ANYONE of you who say: The last judgment will include everyone, not just unbelievers. All will have to give an account before the Judge who is our Savior and Advocate.

            ANYONE of you please tell me:
            #1) Does the Resurrection immediately precede the Last Judgment?
            #2) Does the Last Judgment result in people cast into the Lake of Fire?
            #3) Is the Lake of Fire experientially the Second Death?
            #4) Is the Resurrection victorious over death?
            #5) Explain it.

            • admin February 4, 2012 at 12:17 am

              death + Hades / thrown into the Lake of Fire = the Second Death

              God’s means for destroying death is through death itself. The cross is the perfect example of how He takes the most injurious and seemingly hopeless situation and turns it on its head. He uses evil as a weapon against itself, praise His magnificent brilliance!!! The law kills us, yet it is the very thing that leads us to recognize our need for Him.

              How can anyone give a point by point explanation of the exact method, timing, severity, etc of the judgments of God when “His judgments are deep”? – too deep for us! He gives us what we need to know – there is an appointed time when God will judge the world. His judgment results in righteousness. You ask, “Is the Resurrection victorious over death?” I ask, is Jesus Christ victorious over death? Haven’t you heard, He is making all things new? Haven’t you heard that He leads a train of captives, a parade of victory over death? Haven’t you heard that those who ALL THEIR LIVES have feared death will one day join together to praise Him for His glorious works?

              Oh wait, that can’t be true, because they are forever locked tight under the curse of disobedience. I guess Jesus just couldn’t pull it off. Never mind all that stuff in scripture about God being all in all, no more sin, no more death, etc. There’s just a little tiny trophy case full of righteous people for Jesus (who was supposed to inherit all things), and a giant trophy case of tormented people for the enemy. Sin and death wins. I was so foolish to think otherwise. Thanks for setting me straight, Lanny.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 3, 2012 at 5:46 am

            Baloney. The text is clearly a universalistic text, speaking of God’s saving mercy extended to all. You read the text from the biased perspective of your damnation theology, importing your own ludicrous, self-contradictory meaning into it, which you subsequently extract from it. The lengths to which you go and the contradictions you embrace in order to explain away the indisputably universalistic texts in scripture are beyond mind-boggling.

            Your distortions of the Revelation text are equally egregious. You twist what is clearly a picture of all the dead being raised and judged into a judgment only of unbelievers in order to fit the “information” into your own self-serving end-times program. Moreover, you twist the words themselves to fit your false “majority-of-humanity-thrown-into-the-lake-of-fire” theology. The text plainly does not say that “no one goes anywhere but the Lake of Fire” nor does it say that “none are (sic) written in the Book of Life…” What it says is, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (verse 15). Did you read that: “if”? It’s a conditional statement, expressing the possibility, not the reality, of anyone’s name not being found in the book of life, of anyone being damned. You say, “The Book of Life is there to prove their names are not there. The books of works are there to prove their reliance on their deeds…” The text says nothing of the kind. What it says is only that the dead were judged by their works and that another book was there, the book of life. That is all it says. This is another instance of paradox in Revelation (and in the New Testament generally): our deeds matter ultimately, on the one hand, and it’s all grace, on the other. Your comments are yet another instance of your flagrant abuse of the biblical text, making it say what you need it to say to support your perverse doctrine.

            Only someone who has no understanding of who the Judge is – namely, not a vindictive, condemning tyrant, but the One who has taken the judgment of God on himself for the sake of the world – would talk about the last judgment in terms of God’s saints not being removed from every chance of condemnation. In the words of the Heidelberg Catechism, “What comfort does the return of Christ to judge the quick and the dead give you? That in all affliction and persecution I may await with head held high the very Judge from heaven who has already submitted himself to the judgment of God for me and has removed all curse from me.”

            I am an antichrist and you are blameless?? Why, of course. You twist the biblical text to suit your theology. You assume the role of judge of humanity. You paint God as a mean, revenge-seeking tyrant. You reduce salvation to escape from fiery torment. You castigate everyone who doesn’t buy into your twisted, ridiculous system. See the light.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 3, 2012 at 6:15 am

            Mary, answer please:

            #1) Does the Resurrection immediately precede the Last Judgment?
            #2) Does the Last Judgment result in people cast into the Lake of Fire?
            #3) Is the Lake of Fire experientially the Second Death?
            #4) Is the Resurrection victorious over death?
            #5) Explain it.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 3, 2012 at 6:37 am

            εἴ τις ei tis Makes for a first class conditional statement, Mary, which means “if and it is true” in Revelation 20: 15

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 3, 2012 at 9:00 am

            Since his name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

            The above is the force of the first class conditional statement {εἴ with Indicative verb} putting into your translation. All the “he’s” and “she’s” are not found by name in the Book of Life by virtue of the first class conditional statement. That covers all the anyones. IT IS TRUE that all of the anyones are not found named in the Book of Life. Each person’s name that was searched in the Book of Life was NOT found is the true result of the search and everyone’s name was searched, Mary, and not a single one was found written there. What then happened to everyone? Everybody goes through the Lake of Fire all because of that one small Greek particle εἰ for not having their name written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

            How is death swallowed up in victory {1 Corinthians 15: 54} if everybody is in the Second Death after the Resurrection? Please tell me:

            #1) Does the Resurrection immediately precede the Last Judgment?
            #2) Does the Last Judgment result in people cast into the Lake of Fire?
            #3) Is the Lake of Fire experientially the Second Death?
            #4) Is the Resurrection victorious over death?
            #5) Explain it.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 4, 2012 at 6:29 am

            If John had intended to say here that not a single name was found written in the book of life, he would have said it. The fact is that he did not. He used a conditional construction, the force of which is to convey the (real) possibility of some being finally rejected. Even if the verse is translated without the particle (as many translations, including the KJV, do), that it does not say that not a single name was found written in the book of life is clear. What is implied in these translations is that there are some whose names are not found written therein and who therefore are damned. But the verse in its original construction does not even say this – it expresses real possibility, not foregone conclusion. True to form, you twist the text in order to get everyone into the lake of fire – even though it is clear from John’s construction that he intended to say nothing of the kind.

            I can’t give precise answers to your end-times questions. We aren’t told details or precise chronology. What we are told – what the New Testament teaches – is the reality of a final judgment and separation, preceded by restoration to life of those who are dead, with two kinds of future life. According to some pictures, not everyone will be saved. Some will live in a state of separation from God—forever. This is hell. It is not a place anyone is sent to or cast into. The apocalyptic language of the New Testament is symbolic – pointing to realities that are beyond spatial-temporal categories. Images of hell describe what it means to be cut off from God; they do not describe a place with physical characteristics. To interpret the non-literal language and images of Revelation and other apocalyptic writings literally is to misinterpret them. Alongside the pictures of final judgment and separation are pictures of universal salvation. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that in the end God will act to bring everyone to himself, that everyone will be finally saved. It cannot be ruled out that the reality of hell will be judgment of limited duration – purification, not eternal damnation. The New Testament teaches also that there will be a “new heaven and a new earth”—the renewal and fulfillment of this world. The transcendent power of death will be judged and finally destroyed. The whole creation will be redeemed. In the future eternal life, believers will have resurrected bodies – unimaginably different from our present physical bodies but with some continuity between the two.

            This is all I can say based on my understanding of what the New Testament writers tell us. Importantly, Christian hope is hope for the whole created world, for its freedom from all corruptions and inhumanities and fears. That this includes the salvation of every lost person I don’t think can be known for certain. However, I do think that there is a more than a good possibility that it does.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm

            The presence of the particle with an indicative verb need not mean that the condition is true in fact. It may simply state a supposition, implying nothing as to whether the condition is fulfilled. Conditional clauses of the first class may even be used when what is referred to is considered an unfulfilled condition. In every case, the context is the key in determining whether the condition is true. It is illegitimate to assert that the particle plus indicative verb itself means that the condition is true and that it should be translated “since” instead of “if.” Considered in context, the conditional construction of Revelation 20:15 expresses the possibility and threat that some will be finally rejected. There is a contrast here between Death and Hades, which are pictured as being thrown into the lake of fire, and humans, for whom final rejection is only a possibility, albeit a real one. There are no grounds whatsoever for your assertion that “everybody goes through the Second Death which is in the Lake of Fire.” Even translators and commentators who see the conditional construction as conveying something that is true in fact (as opposed to only possible) understand that the text is about some not having their names written in the book of life, not about everyone being finally damned. You twist the meaning of the text to fit your presupposition that the judgment pictured here is only for unbelievers – which it clearly is not. Your translation and interpretation are driven by your need to populate the lake of fire with everyone in the text, not by what John was actually saying. And you violate your own hermeneutical principle of the “plain sense” of scripture, seeing here “If, and it is true, all the anyones had not gotten their names written in the book of life, they were thrown into the lake of fire.” Plain nonsense.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm

            Mary brilliantly anticipates me, but both of you refuse using the unfathomable, deep nature of this subject as your excuse of not reconciling Resurrection to Second Death so as to gain victory over the last enemy. You cannot explain using victorious resurrection as the means of populating the Second Death. The terms are contradictory so you admit satisfaction and expect that to be okay. Even metaphorical language would requires logic in the metaphor, right?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

            Mary has to discredit the {εἴ with Indicative verb} first class conditional useage in the Revelation 20: 15 to hold her view together and she must also retreate to classing the whole scene as beyond human comprehension along with Alice. You just can’t populate the Second Death with Resurrected people if Resurrection means victory over death.

            The first class condition fits perfectly when the dead {20:12} are the spiritually dead and their resurrection is not the victorious variety that happened 1000 years earilier. So the method of interpretation is the source of disagreement which is impossible to reconcile as Mary has long ago stated. Discussion remains profitable to the realization of system deficiencies and one of yours I pointed out above: people resurrected into the Second Death. Plus there’s nowhere stated in the immediate context for any saints you suppose stand in Judgment.

            What will Alice do with this {εἴ with Indicative verb} first class conditional useage in the Revelation 20: 15 having given her answer to the contradiction of resurrecting people into the Second Death.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 4, 2012 at 10:34 pm

            John used by the direction of the Holy Spirit the correct particle, ἐάν with the Subjunctive verb, the third class conditional construction, for the possible/probable in the Revelation four times: see 3: 20, 11: 6, 22: 18 & 19. SINCE he was able to do that, I know in Revelation 20: 15 he used the first class conditional construction by the deliberate guidance of the Holy Spirit to make the point that the first class is famous to make: since this is true. Thayer’s Lexicon {εἴ}: with the Indicative of all tenses, when anything is simply and generally assumed to be, or to be done, or to have been done, or about to be. Revelation 20: 15 is included in Thayer’s under this heading. “To have been done” is the mode of reality, Mary, meaning their names are not found there. If anyone’s name is not there and their name really is forever not there. That is the deliberate meaning God the Holy Spirit inspired John, who knows his Greek language, to put in proper Greek grammar, language, wording, and spelling.

            Now you and Alice will have to discuss why John didn’t use the more appropriate third class condition since that’s what you think he essentially meant.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 5, 2012 at 4:51 am

            Mary: Even translators and commentators who see the conditional construction as conveying something that is true in fact (as opposed to only possible) understand that the text is about some …. Mary, they are mesmerized by the indefinite pronoun τις translated who and haven’t identified it correctly as each individual person OF ALL OF “the dead {that} were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” {20: 12} It is a Nominative Singular Masculine and Feminine subject of the Aorist Passive Indicative Third Person Singular verb εὑρέθη εὑρίσκω heuriskō. When it is seen that each one of the entire crowd judged is an anyone who is not found in the Book of Life, then the conclusion that none of them are in that Book is easy as A,B,C. Everyone judged from the books is also checked in the Book of Life to see if they are there and truly they are not found. The first class conditional construction assures the reality of “not found” in the Book for each individual of the everybody judged. When you substitute a definite pronoun and use since to express the true in fact concept the translation can properly be: and since he was not found written in the book of life he was cast into the lake of fire.

            You folks still have another problem in that you refuse to recognize all of God’s saints have already been judged in Jesus Christ when He bore all of their sins in His own body on the cross. God doesn’t do double jeopardy judgments. 2 Corinthians 5: 10 βῆμα bēma, the judgment seat, is not the same as the great white throne θρόνον λευκὸν μέγαν ; θρόνος thronos throne, λευκός leukos white, μέγας megas great. MUST BE the saints are elsewhere judged for a different reason. I wish you could see the necessity.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 5, 2012 at 6:50 am

            No, it isn’t the case that “Mary has to discredit” the first class conditional construction. The truth is that your claim about this construction implying the truth of the proposition has been proven false by scholars – people who study such incidental things as historical languages and specifically ancient Greek grammar. Do your homework. The issue of whether or not this construction implies the truth of the proposition and should therefore be translated using “since” rather than “if” has been debated for at least a century, with modern scholars offering compelling evidence based on detailed analysis of Greek texts (and confirmed by the testimony of ancient Greek grammarians) that the claim is erroneous. Their conclusion is that the construction does not imply the truth of the proposition and that even in instances when the proposition is true, the implication of its truth comes from the context and not from the conditional construction itself. (For two instances of this construction when the proposition is plainly not true, see Matthew 12:27 and Galatians 5:11.)

            No, I don’t have to discuss why John didn’t use the third class condition. The first class conditional construction he used does not imply the truth of the proposition that anyone’s name (much less “all the anyone’s”) is not written in the book of life. The construction works perfectly well to convey the meaning that the final rejection of human beings is a possibility. In contrast to the fate of the powers Death and Hades, which is sealed, the fate of human beings remains open – and the deciding factor is whether their names are written in the book of life, i.e., the book of God’s grace.

            Neither Paul nor John was interested giving a detailed chronology of end-time events. They were interested rather in painting pictures of the final end and the restoration of God’s purpose for the creation. Paul was interested particularly in the future existence of resurrected believers in God’s eternal world. To try to fit their pictures together into one logically consistent scheme, or to try to make John’s visionary scenes fit into a grand, consistent eschatological chronology, is to completely miss the messages they communicate, distorting the meaning of the pictures they present.

            That the judgment pictured in Revelation 20:11-15 is universal couldn’t be clearer: “the earth and the heaven”… “great and small”… “the sea gave up the dead”… “Death and Hades gave up the dead”… “and all were judged.” Nothing whatsoever is said about the dead here being the “spiritually dead.” It is only your need to construct a consistent picture to fit your invented dispensational program by which you and your buddies escape the final judgment completely unscathed that reads this judgment as being reserved for unbelievers.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 5, 2012 at 7:52 am

            The issue isn’t why John didn’t use the third class over the first class. It’s why he used the conditional construction at all. Why didn’t he just say, “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire and all those sorry humans whose names weren’t written in the book of life were thrown in right after them”? Here is why: he is drawing a contrast between the fate of the transcendent powers D&H, which is sealed, and the fate of God’s human creatures, which remains a matter of possibility – with the key factor being the grace of God.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

            You folks still have another problem in that you refuse to recognize all of God’s saints have already been judged in Jesus Christ when He bore all of their sins in His own body on the cross. God doesn’t do double jeopardy judgments. 2 Corinthians 5: 10 βῆμα bēma, the judgment seat, is not the same as the great white throne θρόνον λευκὸν μέγαν ; θρόνος thronos throne, λευκός leukos white, μέγας megas great. MUST BE the saints are elsewhere judged for a different reason. I wish you could see the necessity.

            Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. {Romans 6: 3 & 4; Galatians 2: 20} I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

            When Christ died because of His saints’ sins in Judgment His saints died with Him in that condemnation. They were judged guilty in Christ and sentenced in Christ and died the Second Death in Christ.

            There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. {Romans 8: 1} No longer do His saints expect to be so judged. Your General Resurrection and Final Judgment defeats the work of Christ on the cross by again bringing His saints into judgment. The historical literal interpretation solves this problem and the resurrection into the Second Death contradiction.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm

            Mary, regarding Matthew 12:27 and Galatians 5:11, both are the SECOND use Thayer’s lists for εἴ being the interrogative. “if a question is asked about anything, whether it is or is not so, and that about which the question is put is uttered as it were conditionally.” So, Mary, these two don’t qualify as discrediting examples of the truth of the if clause of the First Class.

            You two still must answer why not the Third Class Conditional as the norm for the possible/probable. Your discrediting claim is suspiciously linked to you desire to support your doctrine, I say.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 6, 2012 at 5:28 am

            God in Christ has taken on himself the just judgment for our sin, yes. But this doesn’t mean that we are no longer sinners. We are, and as such we stand to be judged along with everyone else. The last judgment is not something to be feared, though, precisely because the Judge before whom we will stand is the Savior, the one who loved us and gave his life for us. He is no vengeful, condemning tyrant who is out to destroy us but a loving Parent who punishes in order to help us. The truth is stated nowhere better than in the words of the Heidelberg Catechism: “What comfort does the return of Christ to judge the quick and the dead give you? That in all affliction and persecution I may await with head held high the very Judge from heaven who has already submitted himself to the judgment of God for me and has removed all curse from me.”

            Exactly what the last judgment will be like the Bible doesn’t say. What it does say is that it will include everyone. There are no grounds for arguing that there are two separate judgments for two different purposes or that the last judgment is only for unbelievers. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:10 aren’t about a separate judgment for believers. They’re about the last judgment, which will include believers. Like some of the other texts on the subject (including Revelation 20:11-15), this one presents a picture of the last judgment as being oriented to our works. This is in contrast to other pictures which present salvation as entirely the gift of God’s grace. It is a paradox that I think needs to be lived with rather than superficially resolved by harmonizing the contrasting pictures. We aren’t told what will actually happen. Perhaps there will be degrees of bliss in the afterlife, depending on how we have lived. I think it can be said that our salvation is secure, but this doesn’t give room for casual self-assurance when it comes to our destiny (see 1 Corinthians 9:27). Regarding what will happen to unbelievers, it hasn’t been given to us to know. We can be assured, though, that the God who has demonstrated his mercy toward us, drawing us to himself, will treat with mercy these enemies. Whether this means that they will be finally saved I don’t think we can know for certain. But if there is hope for me, there is hope also for them – every lost one of them. And it can be said that the God who acted in Christ for the sake of the whole world loves them and wills their reconciliation and salvation. It may be, as Alice has argued, that God will draw these enemies to himself in stages or ages, that after enduring a period of purification – hell – they will be redeemed and restored. It can’t be ruled out. It is consistent with the biblical picture of the redemption and reconciliation of all things and with the picture of God’s fierce love for his sinful children.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 6, 2012 at 5:31 am

            The interrogative has nothing to do with the proposition in the protasis and whether or not this proposition is true because of the first class conditional form. Clearly, in both instances, the proposition is untrue in fact. See also 1 Corinthian 15:13, 20. The larger issue is that detailed analysis of large numbers of ancient Greek texts has disproved your claim.

            I don’t have to answer why John didn’t use the third class conditional because the first class conditional is a perfectly acceptable way of communicating what he intended. The issue is why he used the conditional construction at all.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

            Mary, this is a very important question I need to ask you and get your answer. It may appear trivial, but it is very important that I not be assuming and neither YOU be assuming, so answer carefully.

            Did Jesus endure the whole condemnation of the sins you will have committed TOMORROW???

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2012 at 4:16 am

            Mary, did Jesus already endure the whole condemnation of the sins you will have committed between tomorrow and 14February @ 11: 59pm?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2012 at 6:36 am

            Mary, has Jesus already endured the whole condemnation of all the sins you will have committed during ALL your tomorrows of this life?

          • Mary Vanderplas February 7, 2012 at 6:53 am

            Yes, he did, which means that I am accepted completely and need not fear condemnation. It doesn’t mean, though, that I’ve arrived, that the process of my being saved is complete. I’m a work in progress, dependent upon God’s sanctifying and justifying grace to get me to the goal of becoming like Christ and to forgive me for all of the ways I daily fall short of that goal by not loving and letting myself be loved by God and by my fellow human beings. While it is true that I am saved with a salvation which cannot be lost, it is also the case that I am saved for a life of obedient action in response to God’s command – which I will not achieve perfectly this side of glory. And while I do not have to pay for my sins, I need to confess them and receive God’s forgiveness.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2012 at 7:13 am

            I need to confess them and receive God’s forgiveness. Mary says.

            So, Mary, your forgiveness is dependant upon you? I didn’t think that’s grace.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2012 at 7:17 am

            From your (Mary) referenced Heidelberg Catechism (1576 A.D.)

            56. Q. What do you believe concerning the forgiveness of sins?
            A. I believe that God, because of Christ’s satisfaction, will no more remember my sins,[1] nor my sinful nature, against which I have to struggle all my life,[2] but He will graciously grant me the righteousness of Christ, that I may NEVER come into CONDEMNATION.[3]
            [1] Ps. 103:3, 4, 10, 12; Mic. 7:18, 19; II Cor. 5:18-21; I John 1:7; 2:2. [2] Rom. 7:21-25. [3] John 3:17, 18; 5:24; Rom. 8:1, 2.

            Q&A 56
            Q. What do you believe concerning “the forgiveness of sins”?
            A. I believe that God, because of Christ’s satisfaction, will no longer remember any of my sins1 or my sinful nature which I need to struggle against all my life.2
            Rather, by grace God grants me the righteousness of Christ to FREE me forever FROM JUDGMENT.3
            1 Ps. 103:3-4, 10, 12; Mic. 7:18-19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; 1 John 1:7; 2:2
            2 Rom. 7:21-25
            3 John 3:17-18; Rom. 8:1-2

            Mary, if you’re going to be free, you must be free from judgment, ever coming into judgment; don’t you see that in the Catechism?

          • Mary Vanderplas February 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm

            What I see in the Catechism is the affirmation that because of God’s saving act in Christ, we are set free from the penalty of sin and enabled and empowered to become free – free to love God and others as God in Christ has loved us. I do not see here any hint that we are free from being judged and chastened by the God who loves us too much to leave us as we are – i.e., that we are children of a Parent whose permissive, sentimental love encourages us to adopt a complacent attitude toward our sinfulness. I do not see here any hint that we have arrived and are no longer in need of receiving God’s forgiveness.

            The scriptures attest to the truth that we are still sinners, that we still need God’s mercy and grace (see 1 John 1:8-10, Matthew 6:12, Hebrews 4:16). Likewise, the Heidelberg Catechism – yes, that’s right, the Heidelberg Catechism – affirms the reality of our sinfulness and need for forgiveness and renewal: Q. 115. “Why, then, does God have the ten commandments preached so strictly since no one can keep them in this life? A. First, that all our life long we may become increasingly aware of our sinfulness, and therefore more eagerly seek forgiveness of sins and righteousness in Christ. Second, that we may constantly and diligently pray to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, so that more and more we may be renewed in the image of God, until we attain the goal of full perfection after this life.” To argue, as you do, that God’s love for us is other than a just love, a love that confronts and judges our sinfulness, is to distort the plain teaching of scripture.

            I was weaned on the Heidelberg Catechism, by the way. Throwing it in my face in an effort to prove my theology false simply won’t work.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2012 at 11:09 pm

            Mary, don’t you see the dords I capitalized?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 8, 2012 at 12:11 am

            Mary, I wish you to embrace that freedom that exists for God’s saints, a freedom from the fear that being subject to any judgment brings, namely threatened condemnation. The Heidelberg Catechism that you reference and seem to value mentions it and I highlighted it for you and have been trying to tell you that you are MISSING having it as you should. Now you are offended because I tell you what you should have from you own beloved document. You will not hear me, so why not listen to you own beloved Catechism? Better yet listen to the referenced Scriptures, which I’ve even tried to quote to you at times, because now having referenced them from the Catechism, maybe you will heed them.

            I don’t like saying this, but your taking offense more or less convinces me you haven’t been born again even though you might sware you think you have been.

            Really, Mary, get yourself a copy of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and read it especially heeding Pilgrims climb up Calvary’s mountain to the cross and see his burden of sin roll off his back and tumble down the hill until in fell into the grave. You like allegory and it is an excellent allegory of conversion and Christian living. Bunyan is known for other allegorical stories about Christian living as well. I can equate my Christian experience every step of the way along Pilgrim’s path of life. This seventeenth century classic might help you understand true conversion. The story starts long before conversion with life’s lessons that lead up to conversion and that’s very important.

            I know for me having read it after I was converted, it means so very much more to me, but it is possible it might do you no good at all, but it is worth a try anyway.

            My experience with folks of the “Reformed” distinction is that they are often too burdened down with the emphasis on holiness to taste the ecstasy of liberty: freed from the Law and Judgments though they might know it intellectually, but not experientially. Your Catechism may be limiting you to intellectualism without experientualism. Now, by no means do I think your Catechism is faultless, especially since it is deemed ecumenical and of course points to a general ressurrection and general final judgment as well as you noted to the necessity of concern over enduring holiness struggles related to the Law.

            Again I stress you can’t get there from here if you haven’t truly been born again. The Holy Bible is written NOT TO UNBELIEVERS, but to believers, so it is an otherworldly book to unbelievers which they cannot fully understand: That’s why I have so often accused you of being lost since you don’t seem to speak my language of faith. Those who come to the faith immediately know that God is real and the Holy Bible is truth as clearly and literally written, though it was hidden to them before they believed. The newly converted sinner’s Christian cry is a loud, “It is really real, God, Jesus, the cross, forgiveness, the earth, the stars, heaven, and hell; all so very real. Yes, I know it is really real!!!”

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm

            ALL, Mary, really mean all to you in this context?

            Heidelberg Catechism: “What comfort does the return of Christ to judge the QUICK and the dead give you? That in all affliction and persecution I may await with head held high the very Judge from heaven who has already submitted himself to the judgment of God for me and has removed ALL CURSE from me.” {Mary Vanderplas says: February 6, 2012 at 5:28 am}

            If there’s anything after you physically die that needs remedial attention, you really don’t believe ALL curse has been removed from you and you believe in a Christian Purgatory and Christ profits you nothing: you die IN your sins. In fact, even in this life if you live like ALL curse has not been removed from you, you live NOT in the Holy Spirit, but in the flesh attempting to fix it by your own works. Isn’t this Alice’s error as she has all saints go through a remedial second death? Flee this heretical blog, Mary, and return to orthodoxy: that’s where salvation is, not here.

            The return of Christ to judge the QUICK and the dead, since the Quick are not mentioned in the Revelation 20: 11 – 15, are there not two judgments and two resurrections? Isn’t there more to that statement than meets the eye, more meant by the original authors? Await my very Judge from Heaven with my head held high in full faith that He took away all curse from me and bore it on the cross taking away even my very appearance at the final judgment of sinners because in His judgment He stood there in my stead two milleniums ago while He hung lifted up before the whole earth. My head held high not just then, but my whole life through because He took away all my curse for even this life on this earth for me that I might Live in His Spirit in my here-and-now.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 8, 2012 at 10:02 pm

            Your image of me is a false image. Listen well: I have no fear of condemnation, no life-squelching burden of guilt, no enslaving sense of having to live up to demands that I cannot fulfill. I am free in Christ. But the freedom I have is not a complacent attitude that allows me to settle down comfortably in my sinfulness, assuming that God will forgive me simply because it’s his business to forgive. The freedom I have is not a sense that, since I have experienced conversion and received the gift of the Holy Spirit, I am no longer dependent on God to forgive me for the wrong that I do and the good that I fail to do by my lack of love for God and others. The freedom I have is not a sense that I have arrived spiritually. The freedom I have does not rest on the unbiblical view that God treats me and “us” with only justice-less love, while treating “them” with loveless justice. The freedom I have does not rest on a view of God’s love as sentimental and permissive, demanding nothing and confronting/judging never. (Think about it. What kind of father never disciplines his children? Arguably, such a dad is scarcely better than one who “hates the guts” of his kids and abuses/neglects them. Indeed, a case can be made that failure to discipline is a form of neglect, reflecting indifference to the greater well-being of the child.)

            Your comment about Reformed believers being “burdened down with the emphasis on holiness” reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be saved. To trust in Christ and receive his gift of freedom is not simply about basking in the ecstasy of being forgiven and freed from the penalty and burden of sin. It is about being freed to become a different person, a person who lives in holiness (rightly defined by the standard of Jesus’ life of self-giving love and his sacrificial death) – by the grace that he gives. Far from being a terrible burden, the Christian life is a joyful endeavor enabled by the God who is always at work in and through us to accomplish his gracious purposes.

            I am spiritually lost because I don’t speak your language of faith??? Your arrogant folly, coupled with your lack of understanding of even the basics (“by grace you have been saved through faith…”), never cease to dumbfound.

            Do yourself a favor: don’t waste another second worrying about my experience of the reality of freedom in Christ. Instead, focus on doing what people who have been made free by God’s grace are called to do, which is to serve and love in Christ’s name.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 9, 2012 at 6:38 am

            Seeking God’s justifying grace is hardly “attempting to fix it by [my] own works.” To acknowledge that I have not yet arrived at the goal is not to “die in [my] sins.” It is to acknowledge what the Bible plainly teaches: that Jesus’ return will complete our transformation into his likeness (1 John 3:2).

            We await the last judgment with head held high because we know, based on the fact that the Judge is our Savior, that we will be finally saved. Neither the Catechism nor Revelation says that believers will be exempt from appearing at the “final judgment of sinners.” It is only your need to support your invented eschatological scheme that imports this into the Catechism and into the biblical text. The fact is that there is not a shred of evidence to support your view that there are two judgments and two resurrections. (Nor is there any evidence to support your view that conversion and life in the Spirit removes us from the need to seek God’s forgiveness.)

            If I should flee anything, it shouldn’t be the Christian Universalism advanced on this website, but the perverse and self-serving doctrines you regularly spew.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm

            Mary, #1 Are not those standing in judgment specifically called “the dead?” #2 HOW did God’s saints BECOME “DEAD?” #3 How CAN God’s saints become “dead?” #4 Does not the text specifically tell us from WHERE “the dead” come? #5 Does the text tell us from where God’s saints come? #6 Is it not true that God’s saints are not specifically stated as being there? #7 WHY are you concluding God’s saints are there if there is no evidence in this Revelation 20: 11 – 15 vision?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm

            Mary, have you noticed “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are” in verse ten. That is a reference back to 19: 20 having occurred before 20: 10. There is a linear chronology in the Revelation 19 & 20. That being the case “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection” {verse 5} The First Resurrection occurs “a thousand years” BEFORE “the dead” stand before God’s Great White Throne in judgment. Whatever that “thousand years” is, these “dead” are not “living” during it and therefore have no benefit of it: AFTER it is all over they “live” again to be judged. Since the saints live and reign with Christ “a thousand years” and the Final Judgment is AFTER the end of the “thousand years” why are they made dead since all those in the Final Judgment are “the dead?”

            Answer my seven questions above February 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm

            ———————————————————————————–
            February 7, 2012 at 10:20 am
            … the Revelation says in 20: 11 – 15, especially 11 & 13

            from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. … And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them

            Where does it say HEAVEN gave up the dead which were in it? Where does it say THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS {20: 9} gave up the dead which were in it? For what reason do the saints become dead in order to stand before God in judgment?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

            Just in case you missed my point at 7:18 pm above:

            When the devil is cast into the Lake of Fire in verse 10, the beast and the false prophet are ALREADY there. Here we have a running linear chronology not isolated visions..

          • Mary Vanderplas February 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

            Saints “become dead” the same way everyone else becomes dead: they die, as in they stop breathing and their other vital functions cease. It is totally nonsensical to contend that the fact that the text doesn’t specifically state that the saints are there is proof that they aren’t there. The fact is that “the dead” here is neither spiritualized nor qualified. The words that are used to talk about those who are restored to life – “great and small,” “the sea gave up the dead,” “Death and Hades (the realm of the dead) gave up the dead,” “all were judged” – communicate the message that all humans who have ever lived are included. That the final judgment pictured here is universal in scope is clear (see also verse 11 – “the earth and the heaven,” i.e., the whole created universe).

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 12:30 am

            “the dead” here is neither spiritualized nor qualified..

            It is both spiritualized and thus qualified. I gave you the thirteen uses of “the dead” in the Revelation showing you four of the first seven were spiritual death and no stranger to the Holy Spirit’s and John’s usage and that there is no reason to disallow the remaining six from being spiritually dead since it fits the contexts, especially because 11: 18 is a reference to 20: 12. I also gave you verse ten to show you chapters nineteen and twenty are a running linear chronology because the devil arrives in the Lake of Fire AFTER the beast and the false prophet are ALREADY there {got there from 19: 20}. That means the First Resurrection occurred a thousand years BEFORE the Final Judgment. the saints have lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years before the Final Judgment.

            You want to take the reigning saints {verse 4}, make them die again, resurrect them again, and make them stand in judgment? Really?

            Then there are the saints {verse 9} in the camp of the saints about the beloved city whom before the Final Judgment God delivered from the seige of the released Satan, Gog, and Magog whom you want to die, resurrect, and stand in judgment? Really?

            How many resurrections you going to have to make a General Final Judgment work chronologically? Certainly NOT just one. Isolated visions don’t fit the context, Mary, and verse ten is concrete proof.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 12:53 am

            (see also verse 11 – “the earth and the heaven,” i.e., the whole created universe).

            But not the eternal Heaven of God’s throne, Mary, and there are saints there also. You want to take saints from the Throne of God, make them die so they can be resurrected to stand in Final Judgment? Really?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 1:10 am

            Mary, it doesn’t matter what the thousand years are, what does matter is that the thousand years occurs BEFORE the Final Judgment. Since the First Resurrection occurs BEFORE the thousand years starts, there are saints that cannot die BEFORE the Final Judgment. These saints cannot be therefore called “the dead” who are judged. Simple, isn’t it?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 1:16 am

            Mary, once resurrected saints are not able to die ever again. Simple, isn’t it?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 3:28 am

            For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. {1 Thessalonians 4: 14} is important to the Revelation 20: 11 – 15 discussion in that I asked the question from where do the saints come that you suppose are here judged. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven {verse 16} bringing those who died “in Christ” and so from this verse we see that the New Covenant saints since the Acts 2 Day of Penetcost that have physically died reside in heaven with their Lord and His Father until this resurrection which concludes “so shall we ever be with the Lord” in verse 17 and being with the Lord is eternal life and no way they be described as “the dead.” (The First Resurrection followed by the thousand years must be completed before the Final Judgment even begins.)

            Since you must say this resurrection immediately precedes the Final Judgment, then heaven must give up “the dead” in it. The text of 20: 11 – 15 says NOTHING about God’s Heaven giving up the dead in it. God’s Heaven is the place of the LIVING, not the dead. There are NO “the dead” in God’s Heaven.

            So don’t you see, this resurrection is not the giving up Heaven’s dead? No words can make that sense of the persons in God’s Heaven. It would be contrary to the nature of God’s Heaven. It is nonsense to get “the dead” from God’s Heaven to partially populate the Final Judgment.

            So, Mary and the rest of you, the only way it might work is if nobody between physical death and the Final Judgment goes to God’s Heaven, but everybody goes to hell. Then you will have a place from which to get “the dead” to stand in judgment. There’s where some form of Alice’s soul sleep might be handy. Of course, you have to deny 1 Thessalonians 4, but what’s a little denial work to you who accuse Jesus and the Triune God of being Liars about Judas’ final end in His prayer {John 17: 12} lost, perished.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 10, 2012 at 5:48 am

            There is no indication whatsoever that John is here referring to the “spiritually dead.” On the contrary, there is every indication that he is referring to every human who has ever lived. It is only your need to force this text into a strict “linear chronology” that John never intended that makes you interpret what is clearly a universal judgment into one that is restricted to unbelievers.

            I discussed in responses to previous blogs these pictures that John presents of the final victory of God. Apparently, you didn’t hear what I said back then. If you had, you wouldn’t be asking me how I am going to harmonize the different pictures to make them “work chronologically.” Here is what I said: “These are pictures, not literal descriptions of events in a strict chronological order. To try to press the pictures into a strict chronology or to come up with a logically consistent way to make the details of the different pictures fit together is to miss the message that each is intended to communicate.” Also: “The picture he gives in 20:4-6 conveys the message that at the end the saints will be raised to share Christ’s reign. In 20:11-15, John gives a picture of the final judgment, in which all people are resurrected and judged. The two pictures are intended to communicate two different messages. To try to fit them together into one logically consistent picture from which a chronology of end-time events can be constructed is to miss John’s message and distort the meaning of the text.”

            What will the final judgment actually be like? I don’t know. I can only say that in this picture, the only judgment scene that John gives, everyone is present. And the judgment is pictured, paradoxically, as being based on both works and God’s grace. As I’ve said before, perhaps there will be degrees of bliss in the transcendent world of God, depending on how we have lived. I don’t know. In any event, there is no indication here or elsewhere (1 Corinthians 4:5, Romans 2:16) that believers are not included in this judgment.

            It’s clear that you and I don’t agree at all on this. I don’t have either the time or the inclination to continue on this subject.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 7:18 am

            Mary, you sacrifice 20: 10 to your interpretation and call God a Liar again. So what’s new about being inconsistent about what you admit you don’t even know how it fits? Misfit Scriptures you make and expect acceptance. You want metaphors where you want them and reject metaphors where you don’t want them. You do whatever you want: it doesn’t matter.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 10, 2012 at 7:27 am

            For a case in point that John’s pictures of the final victory of God are not meant to be taken literally or fit into a strict chronology, consider the fate of the kings of the earth in 19:21, 20:9, and 21:24.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 7:30 am

            Mary verse 1 – 3; and verses 4 – 6; and verses 7 – 10 ALL make reference to a thousand years, therefore you cannot separate them from each other, but must keep them connected and related with all the “and”s continuing the linear chronology all the way through verse 15. Besides verse 10 also take the chronology back to 19: 20.

            Did you flunk English Literature?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 7:36 am

            the kings of the earth in 19:21, 20:9, and 21:24.

            And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

            And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

            And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 7:41 am

            The kings of the earth in 21:24 were save BEFORE the Judgment and the rest of the kings of the earth in 19:21, 20:9 were cast into the Lake of Fire to eternally perish.

            Two different groups of the kings of the earth. Simple, isn’t it?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 8:13 am

            Mary, All you do is parrot the false intellectual ecumenical interpretation of liberal Christendom. You have no inerrant Bible and no spiritual understanding. 1 John 5: 20 “we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding” is true of the born again believer, God’s church saint, and you’re not one. Your theology discredits you and so does Alice’s.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm

            “For now we see in a mirror, dimly…….except for Lanny Eichert, who is privy to all knowledge of things in God’s eternal world and things to come, including the eternal destiny of everyone who has ever lived…..”

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 11, 2012 at 12:08 am

            It only take a spark to get a fire going
            And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing
            That’s how it is with God’s love once you’ve experienced it
            You spread His love to every one, You want to pass it on.

            I wish for you, my friend, this happiness that I’ve found
            You can depend on Him, it matters not where you’re bound
            I’ll shout it from the mountain top — I want my world to know
            The Lord of love has come to me, I want to pass it on.

            Kurt Kaiser 1969

            What love does Lanny preach, you’ll be saying, but bad theology left to stand unchallenged is not love. The Gospel must be clearly and accurately preached with conversion through repentance the goal in order to be the preaching of God’s love.

            Alice’s blog is designed to challenge tradition. Challenge tradition.

    • admin February 1, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      “it’s important to distinguish between those who simply don’t agree with the doctrine and those who actively oppose it, denouncing its adherents” – we agree on this. Thanks for reminding me to make that distinction clear. Sometimes I take for granted that people will assume this is what I mean, without actually stating it. For people who have been reading the blog for a while, they get it, but the people who are new readers might think I’m lumping everyone who disagrees with me into one big negative stereotype.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 28, 2012 at 2:54 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.

    • admin February 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      A comparable statement could be made to contrast your statement regarding Judas: “To say Jesus will [NOT] eventually reconcile Judas Iscariot is to call [God] a Liar [and Jesus a failure] at [Col.1:20].
      To accept Judas as [redeemable] is to accept [reconciliation] for all […].”

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm

        Wishful thinking, Alice, because you have no grounds to dispute Jesus’ words: Judas is perished. You continue to follow the devil’s lead in calling God a Plural Liar. Jesus made a clear statement. Alice perverts Scripture just like the devil does.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 2, 2012 at 12:26 am

        Jesus:
        Those given to me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition.

        Alice:
        Wrong, Jesus, don’t You remember the Plan is that You will reconcile all things in heaven and earth at the end of the ages? That’s Your Plan, how can You forget that? Maybe You just meant to say Judas is perished for only a short season? I wish you would have told the whole truth. Oh well, Your revelation at that point was only progressive and not yet complete and I see that Your Plan included me: that I’d share in the Enlightenment of the twenty-first century and be Your prophetess to proclaim Amazing Hope to the world along with others. I praise Your surpassing wisdom in not really losing Judas after all and I’m willing to take the abuse heaped upon prophets throughout the ages to proclaim this Hope. Praise You, Jesus.

        • admin February 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm

          How many times are you going to copy and paste that same paragraph? Why should I spend time responding to a cut-and-paste generic response?

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 28, 2012 at 4:16 am

    FYI Alice, reconciliation chronologically is AFTER redemption. The only “all” that Jesus reconciles is the all that have already believed. Jesus cannot reconcile unregenerate unbelievers. Regeneration precedes reconciliation. Again your Amazing Hope is proven false beyond any shadow of doubt.

    • admin January 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

      “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

      • Lanny A. Eichert January 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm

        You are NOT thinking, Alice. You had distinguished between redemption and reconciliation when you had spoken of bringing a person into an unfearful friendly relationship with God. That is a separate work from His death. His death paid the ransom and that is redemption. His resurrection life is the base for friendly union. The above text summarizes the whole rather than distinguishing the parts. Be specific, Alice. Notice also the we are saints, not unregenerate sinners, who are addressed.

        • admin February 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

          Lanny, it says God’s enemies WERE (past tense) reconciled to him through the death of His Son. Does it say that only those enemies who possess resurrection life were reconciled to him through the death of His Son? You are adding special qualifications to the text that are not there.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 2, 2012 at 12:21 am

            when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him

            WHO are the “we” in the text, Alice? It is limited in the context to the believers who are justified by faith and now already reconciled.

            You have always been wrong by your extreme forcing of words that invalidate so many Scripture texts and make you invent fancy explanations to revalidate them another way. You “complicate” the simple Gospel:

            But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. {2 Corinthians 11: 3}

            • admin February 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm

              The “we” is believers, as you have said. But the text does not refer to these believers in their present “now” state, as is evidenced by the “were” in the phrase “we WERE reconciled”. It refers to the believers in their past state, that is, as “enemies”. This is talking about the believers, in the past tense, in a time when they were unbelievers, in fact, enemies of God. Yet, they WERE reconciled to Him THEN. When? “When [they] were God’s enemies”. It is clearly stated. By the grace of God and the gift of faith, they discover that they are no longer God’s enemies. They believe what is revealed to them. Here is the kicker question, and if you can provide an adequate answer, maintaining your current beliefs, then I will truly be astounded. If one is supposed to believe something is true, then shouldn’t the thing they are supposed to believe ACTUALLY BE TRUE, whether they end up believing it or not? In this case, Paul makes a claim of truth, “when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled”. It doesn’t say, when we believed we were reconciled, as if the believing were the thing that made it true. They believe because they are reconciled. How am I complicating this? I am making a simple claim – God’s enemies were reconciled through the death of Christ. This is exactly what the text says. Just because it is being said from one believer to another, this does not discredit the truth that is being communicated. WHEN they were God’s enemies, they WERE reconciled. If you want to talk about “now already reconciled” (your words), then I’ll agree that’s true, because they are still reconciled and nothing changed since the moment Christ died for all the enemies of God, but you must remember that in using the words “now already reconciled” as a means of disqualifying the majority of God’s enemies from the reconciling work of Christ, you are appealing to your own words and ideas, and not Paul’s.

    • admin February 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Prove it.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 2, 2012 at 1:21 am

        Prove what? That you Amazing Hope is a fraud? That I’ve been proving all along. Judas Iscariot and the Lake of Fire. You will die in your sins John 8: 24 without remedy. No forgiveness after death. Jesus doesn’t lie, but you do.

        Like I told Mary, you’d all save yourself a lot of effort if you’d only know the dead standing before the Great White Throne in the Revelation 20 are only all spiritually dead resurrected unbelievers, not a saint among them. No victory over death there since they all land in the Lake of Fire, which is the second death. 1 Corinthians 15 is nowhere to be seen at that throne judgment.

        Tell me: is the covenant God made “to” Abraham or “with” Abraham? Unconditional or Conditional? Who walked between the pieces?

        • Lanny A. Eichert February 3, 2012 at 10:08 am

          Alice, everybody 2nd death because of Revelation 20: 15 “if” are you aware?

          “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”

          The “if” is εἴ with Indicative verb: First Class Conditional Sentence affirming reality, truth. An “if, then” sentence where the “if” part is true. Here the “if” part that is true is their name is not found. The “then” part is thrown into the Lake of Fire.

          Everybody judged at the Great White Throne can’t be found in the Lamb’s Book of Life and gets thrown into the Lake of Fire. Alice, wow, do you see what that means? I agree EVERYBODY goes through the Second Death which is in the Lake of Fire. Verse 15 PROVES it.

          NOBODY is in the Book of Life, not a single person has gotten their name in the Book of Life. Isn’t that SOMETHING? Have you seen this before?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2012 at 7:08 am

            20: 15 NOBODY judged is in the Book of Life because
            13 times “dead” is used in the Revelation: 1: 5; 1: 17; 1: 18; 2: 8; 3: 1; 11: 18; 14: 13; 16: 3; 20: 5; 20: 12; 20: 12; 20: 13; 20: 13.

            {3: 1} “that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” is a metaphorical usage meaning spiritually dead, not literally physical dead.
            {1: 5} “the first begotten of the dead” speaks of Jesus Christ’s resurrection “out from” the metaphorical dead (spiritual) as well as physical dead otherwise His death was not spiritual.
            {1: 18} “he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore” speaks of the metaphorical dead (spiritual) as well as physical dead again of Jesus Christ.
            {2: 8} “the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive” speaks of the metaphorical dead (spiritual) as well as physical dead again of Jesus Christ.

            {1: 17} “fell at his feet as dead” speaks of physical death.
            {14: 13} “the dead which die in the Lord” speaks of saints’ physically dead.
            {16: 3} “as the blood of a dead” speaks of physically dead.

            That leaves six uses that CAN BE, and must be, understood as the metaphorical dead (spiritual) according to the Holy Spirit’s previous inspiration of John.
            {11: 18} “the time of the dead, that they should be judged” speaks of the judgment of unbelievers in chapter 20 confirming the five metaphorical uses in that chapter.

            From your (Mary) referenced Heidelberg Catechism (1576 A.D.)
            I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the LIVING and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (See also questions 46 & 52.)

            Do you really believe He will come to judge the LIVING and the dead? If so where then are the LIVING in the Revelation 20: 11 – 15 Final Judgment? I only see the dead mentioned in the vision, Alice and Mary and Stephen. None of the LIVING are judge there, only the dead as far as I can see. Show me the LIVING in those verses, please. Show me the LIVING among the dead, the dead, the dead, the dead, the dead, the dead.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2012 at 7:46 am

            Revelation 11: 18 by itself proves only the unbelieving dead stand in judgment before the Great White Throne and only the unbelieving dead are searched in the Book of Life where they are never found.

            {11: 18} “the time of the dead, that they should be judged” speaks of the judgment of unbelievers in chapter 20 confirming the five metaphorical uses in that chapter: once in verse five, twice in verse twelve, and twice in verse thirteen.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2012 at 7:49 am

            Everybody judged before the Great White Throne is not found in the Book of Life and everybody there judged are violently thrown into the Lake of Fire for eternal punishment. Nothing remedial about that.

          • admin February 10, 2012 at 9:24 am

            The operative word in “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” is “thrown”. It is a word that indicates resistance on the part of the object, which in this case, would be the person whose name is not in the book. Remember, “death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire” and this is by definition, the “second death”. The scripture says that believers who overcome are “not hurt” (offended) by the second death. It does not say that believers in no way experience the second death. Look at Daniel 23 for a similar concept or “type” of this, in which Daniel and his buddies are “not hurt” by the fire. In the first death, we die because of sin. In the second death, we die to sin. Believers who overcome are not offended by and don’t need to be “thrown” into the second death, because believers “die daily” or lay down their lives, willing to be put to death, so to speak, in this lifetime (age/aion) by the grace of God. It is in no manner “torment” to them to be in the presence of the Lamb, but cause for celebration. People who do not believe, and even some believers who do not “overcome” and have “their portion with unbelievers” (Luke 12) are, indeed, “offended” when God, in His grace, puts them in a situation where they are inevitably going to experience the second death after this life (age/aion). They are “tormented” in the His presence, just as the demons were tormented by being in the presence of Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm

            In the first death, we die because of sin. In the second death, we die to sin. Really, Alice? Haven’t you read and understood Romans 6? No, I don’t suppose you understand since you’re still lost and perishing. At the moment of conversion God’s saint died with Christ TO sin 2000 years ago.

            How shall we, that are dead TO sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? … For in that he died, he died UNTO sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed UNTO sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. {Romans 6: 2, 3, 10, 11}

            Because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God {Mark 12: 24} you wrestle the Scriptures to make God’s saints endure the Second Death, which is a sure evidence of your unregenerate, lost, and perishing condition. What greater evidence could you have offered than insisting God will reconcile Judas Iscariot, thus calling all Three persons of the Godhead Liars {none of them is lost, but the son of perdition John 17: 12}. You abuse God’s words. His saints have already died to sin ONCE, just like Christ died only once to sin. The commandment in verse 11 is to RECKON it now, not experience it anew after the First Resurrection. I remember telling you this before, but you are not able to yet learn it.

            • admin February 11, 2012 at 2:29 am

              note the word “reckon”

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 11, 2012 at 2:39 am

            Alice, what’s your point? Reckoning is to be done now in this life not in the next. I cannot anticipate your meaning.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 11, 2012 at 2:45 am

            If you should mean Romans 6: 11 is the Second Death you’re sadly mistaken. The Holy Bible never so defines it. The Second Death is unique to the Revelation and the Lake of Fire. Here is where your vocabulary becomes cultish and non-Biblical.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 11, 2012 at 3:35 am

            I’ll continue your tease.

            Reckon is something saints do. Cast into the Lake of Fire is something God does by the hands of His angels.

            Reckon is Present Middle Imperative meaning continuous action by oneself and a command to action. Cast is Aorist Passive Indicative meaning completed action in a point in the past by other than the subject and a fact of real action.

            On six counts they cannot be even metaphorically related.

            • admin February 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm

              RECKON (logizesthe) – “reason to a logical conclusion”, “estimate”, “suppose”, “credited”, “to be considered as”

              UNTO sin (hamartia) – “the brand of sin that emphasizes its self-originated (self-empowered) nature”

              In context, the scripture you quote can be taken as such – “For in that he died, he died UNTO sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon [think of, suppose, consider] ye also yourselves to be dead [crucified with Christ, to die to self] indeed UNTO sin [self-empowered nature], but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

              You said, “His saints have already died to sin ONCE, just like Christ died only once to sin. The commandment in verse 11 is to RECKON it now, not experience it anew after the First Resurrection.” I say that the word “reckon” indicates that we are to live AS IF our self-empowered nature has already been put to death in every way, even though it remains. The reason we “reckon” or “suppose” ourselves to be dead to sin is that the work of Christ, which cannot be undone, . The same self-empowered nature that frustrated Paul (…”for the good that I will, I do not; but the evil that I do not will, this I practice. And if what I do not will, this I do, it is no longer I that work it, but the sin that is dwelling in me”…) will continue to frustrate us until we no longer inhabit. From an eternal perspective, we are already “seated with Him in the heavenly realms” as perfect, sinless, incorruptible, immortal creatures, but from a linear perspective, we are imperfect, corruptible, mortal creatures seated in front of a computer screen in bodies that fail (die physically). When Christ said, “It is finished”, He was speaking from an eternal perspective, because “God, who is quickening the dead, and is calling the things that be not as being.” By definition, “reckon” implies that we, like God, are “calling the things that be not [a work-in-progress from a linear perspective] as being [fully accomplished in an eternal perspective].”

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 11, 2012 at 3:56 am

            Eight Counts

            Reckon Cast
            1) by saints 1) by God/angels
            2) present continuous 2) past point action
            3) by oneself 3) by another
            4) commanded 4) factual real completed action

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

            Alice, “that we are to live AS IF” {February 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm} reduces the saint’s death with Christ to less than a reality to be had NOW which is contrary to the text of Romans 6: 11. Don’t you see as you quoted, “it is no longer I that work it” {7: 20} meaning Paul IS dead to sin.

            You use the terms eternal perspective and linear perspective, but we use position truth and conditional truth, or standing and state. Our state is not the subject of our faith, only our standing is. In our state we prove defeated, but in our standing we are always victorious. We live in our standing and ignore our state. That’s what reckoning is all about. There is no Second Death for God’s saints. Christ died so that we might live, not that we should die again.

            Again, you complicate things so much because you lack the understanding given to God’s saints, meaning you are not yet saved. You try to figure these spiritual things from your own natural human logic. How long will it be before you really seek God’s conversion out of your frustrations?

            • admin February 18, 2012 at 1:40 am

              Ignore our state? I think ignore is too passive a word. Our state needs more attention than that. Jesus said a person should 1 deny himself, 2 take up his cross DAILY, and 3 follow. The first has to do with state, and how we are to respond to our state, that is we should “deny” it. I can see where “ignore” might seem accurate, but it doesn’t do justice to the Greek “arheo”, which is a negative (“a”) along with “command” (“rheo”). In other words, we should not be commanding ourselves. Obviously, Jesus as “Lord” is in command. We can’t serve two masters. But this is something we need to continually do, as is evidenced in the second part, to take up the cross DAILY. If you purposefully direct your attention to something on a daily basis, then you are engaged in an activity that is apparently the opposite of “ignore”. So, we acknowledge our state (that we are not the commander of our lives), we submit ourselves to whatever plans He has for us, and then we do our best to stick with the His plan (follow Him). If we screw up, we should not simply ignore it, we should see it for what it is – that sin in us causes us to do/say/think things that we no longer approve of or agree with, according to His will, which is in command of us. Fortunately, God gives us the victory over sin through Jesus Christ, in that while we remain in corruptible bodies that are prone to depravity, we are also born of the spirit and living the life He gives. We were made alive, while we were “dead in trespasses” that, for practical purposes, is a kind of death that is active or “living” for lack of a better word. It is a life without regard for Jesus as commander, a death-life that is “gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts”. Using your word, our “standing” or victory begins to evidence itself BEFORE we are fully rid of the sin nature. There is a death, in which the heartbeat ceases. There is another death, too. The death of death in all its forms. The death of the sinful nature, for the believer, is supposed to be an ongoing thing, happening daily – an agreement between the believer and the commander that the commander’s way is the right way. Whether the believer actually succeeds in following is irrelevant to our “eternal destiny” (as you might see it), because the victory that God gives us through Jesus Christ is accomplished. But success/failure in “arheo” remains relevant to believers in other matters. And I am not going to get into all that right now, not with you. Too often I address you spiritually when I ought to address you according to the flesh. I’m not saying you are not a believer or that you are not intelligent. I know you put a lot of thought into your comments and that they seem reasoned through entirely to you. But you view God and His intentions toward mankind, in many ways, according to the flesh. Sometimes you speak truth, although it is hard to recognize hidden among insults and judgmental declarations.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

            “God, who is quickening the dead, and is calling the things that be not as being.” {Romans 4: 17} is exactly how God’s saints live as states Hebrews 11: 1 & 6 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. … 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. {2 Corinthians 5: 7} For we walk by faith, not by sight. You see, sight sees how bad we are, but faith sees how divinely good God’s saints are: as good as God is: saints have been imputed Christ’s righteousness. With Christ’s righteousness saints have NOTHING that needs purging by a Second Death.

            Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. {Titus 1: 15, 16}

            • admin February 13, 2012 at 2:17 am

              What, then, is your take on dying “daily”?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 13, 2012 at 3:08 am

            I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. {1 Corinthians 15: 31} The context is a favorite among the Mormons. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? {15: 29} I should ask you why don’t Christians continue baptisms for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? {15: 30} In what jeopardy was Paul continually? So who were being baptized for the dead? Who were the dead ones for which some one was baptized? What happened to the one who was baptized? You answer the questions.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 13, 2012 at 3:14 am

            Oh, don’t forget: If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. {15: 32} because it should help with your answers.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 13, 2012 at 3:18 am

            For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: {2 Corinthians 1: 8 & 9}

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 13, 2012 at 3:30 am

            I’m serious, Alice, that I want to know #1) what you thought die daily meant before I asked my questions; #2) what you thought 15: 29 – 32 meant before I asked my questions; #3) what you now understand 15: 29 – 32 to mean after answering my questions; and #4) what you now understand die daily means after answering my questions. Also 2 Corinthians 1: 8 & 9 helps in what way?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 16, 2012 at 5:46 am

            Die daily???

            Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. {1 Corinthians 15: 29 – 32}

            Questions:
            #1) In what jeopardy was Paul continually?
            #2) Who were the dead ones for which some ones were baptized?
            #3) So who were being baptized for the dead?
            #4) What happened to the ones who were baptized?

            Answers:
            #1) Paul was in danger of physical death by Jews and Romans for preaching the Gospel, just like the rest of the saints.
            #2) Ministering evangelical saints were already being put to death for preaching the Gospel.
            #3) Surviving saints were baptized, identifying to a particular deceased saint’s ministry.
            #4) Those surviving baptized saints fulfilled the ministry of the ones who were put to death.

            Conclusion: “die daily” as used and meant by Paul was that that he expected to physically die each and every day of his life.

            Alice,
            #1) what did you think die daily meant before I answered my questions
            #2) what did you think 15: 29 – 32 meant before I answered my questions
            #3) what do you now understand 15: 29 – 32 to mean after my answers
            #4) what do you now understand die daily means after my answers
            #5) 2 Corinthians 1: 8 & 9 helps in what way?

            • admin February 18, 2012 at 12:20 am

              1.I’ll let Jesus answer that one for me – “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” That’s what “die daily” means. For Paul, it involves those nasties he mentioned. For others, different trials. God knows what we are able to bear.

              2-3. It means that there was a practice in early Christianity (be it accurate or faulty – God knows) in which believers were baptized in behalf of loved ones who passed away before the good news was revealed to them. That is my view, both before and after your Q&A.

              4. Refer to #1.

              5. 2 Cor. means exactly what it says. They thought they were going to die. This caused them to remember their confidence is not in themselves, but God, who raises people from the dead. In reference to dying daily, all believers ought to consider themselves as potential candidates for this kind of hardship. You never know what God has planned. Ultimately good, but sometimes a bunch of bad in order to arrive at the good. Our confidence is not in the heartbeat or respiration, which could end at any moment; our confidence is in God Who is able to outperform the second law of thermodynamics.

              Sorry my reply took so long. I’ve been busy working on a scholarship application.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 18, 2012 at 1:02 am

            Join the Mormons, then: you’re no Bible student, since you violate any text you please and interpret them any way you please.

            • admin February 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

              No thanks. I like Mormons, but the organization is corrupt, as are all institutionalized religions. I’m sure there are some believers among the Mormons, as there are believers among Baptists, Presbyterians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. Misguided? Yes. Living as if they were still slaves of the curse of sin and death? Yes. But only God knows the heart, and He has given us enough post-death information (the first will be last and the last will be first) to know that in His Kingdom, those who think they have figured out who is “in” and who is “out” will be very, very surprised once they realize the true spiritual condition of their earthly lives.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 18, 2012 at 1:10 am

            You didn’t get “baptized in behalf of loved ones who passed away before the good news was revealed to them” from the Bible, so WHERE did you get that?

            • admin February 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm

              I “get” it from/because Paul cites this practice in reference to the resurrection – why do they bother with baptism for the dead if the dead are not raised? Paul never says whether he agrees with the practice, but he cites it nonetheless, because it demonstrates that the living people are practically applying their knowledge of resurrection (in that they expect to see the dead raised to life again at some point) in a tangible way, a demonstration. Furthermore, Paul’s baptism comment is just a tag on the end of a huge concept that puts the whole thing into perspective, that is:

              But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

              If you don’t understand that, then it is no wonder you don’t understand why Paul adds this tag about baptism for the dead. Just read what it says, Lanny, because I am not making it up. Paul writes, “Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?” People were baptized for the dead because they believed the dead would be raised. It is a simple and clear concept that I have not doctored in any way. Perhaps you can’t see it, because you can’t fathom the idea that the dead will actually be raised as part of the process Paul described in verses prior, in which Jesus reigns (after, until) bringing everything in subjection to Himself. Do you believe that God will be all in all? Or do you believe that God is some in all? Or all in some?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 18, 2012 at 3:55 am

            Alice, your “the death of the sinful nature, for the believer, is supposed to be an ongoing thing, happening daily” is all wrong because Jesus died ONCE to sin and His saints don’t die to sin any more times than Christ does. The pride of your enlightenment is too obvious, meaning you’re certainly not a regenerated one. Your “believers were baptized in behalf of loved ones who passed away before the good news was revealed to them” solidifies your lack of Biblical understanding as does linking 1 Corinthians 15: 31 with Matthew 16: 24; Mark 8: 34; & Luke 9: 23. You claim to be enlightened and yet you write (be it accurate or faulty – God knows) admitting you don’t know. Why do you write as though you know when you admit you don’t know. Admit, Alice, that you’re without understanding and a novice without the Holy Spirit trying to make sense of the Holy Bible that you really don’t understand. I know because I’ve been there, done that before I was saved, too.

            The gospel passages are spoken to persons who haven’t yet become regenerated disciples so that they might be brought to the despair of knowing the God-pleasing life is an impossibility. The Corinthian epistle passage is written to saints engaged in living the Christian warfare in the presence of impending physical death by persecution.

            Alice, maybe your “believers were baptized in behalf of loved ones who passed away before the good news was revealed to them” is your twisted heresy of salvation after physical death. Yet even at that what good is their baptism if you know it has nothing to do with being saved? Maybe it has something to do with infant baptism, that is, making them part of God’s covenant of grace which holds them in some kind of favor of effectual calling? I just cannot imagine any reasonable cause you would think they were baptized for unbelievers. In this you make total nonsense without reason. I gave you a reasonable explanation that you didn’t even give the light of day even after three days and nights worth of time. You run with a tradition on this one and don’t even take a challenge seriously. You prove to be the opposite of the purpose of your blog.

            Regarding the saint ignoring his state, just read the Psalms and watch David move from crying over his state to praising over his standing. He was crippled by his state, but empowered unto accomplishment in his standing. Where was his living: in his standing. Saints don’t need to go through that agony when they see what distraction it wrought in David. {Philippians 3: 13 – 15} forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

        • admin February 3, 2012 at 11:40 pm

          The covenant question is pointless regarding salvation, because Jesus Christ, the Mediator, perfectly fulfilled all conditions, Mosaic, or otherwise.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 5, 2012 at 5:06 am

            Alice, That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. {Galatians 3: 14} written years after Christ’s ascention and you think pointless? Where have you been? Rash answer, Alice, can’t have that blessing without the covenant still operating.

            But tell me first about the Revelation 20: 15 first class conditional statement and EVERYBODY thrown into the Second Death after being victoriously resurrected because nobody got found in the Book of Life..

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

        So, Alice, Mary, Stephen, the Revelation says in 20: 11 – 15, especially 11 & 13

        from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. … And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them

        Where does it say HEAVEN gave up the dead which were in it? Where does it say THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS {20: 9} gave up the dead which were in it? For what reason do the saints become dead in order to stand before God in judgment?

        It does NOT say saints appear in this judgment, therefore there is not a single saint judged at the Great White Throne. Only unbelievers are judged at the Great White Throne.

        Your Amazing Hope is again proven a fraud.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2012 at 10:47 am

        Without heaven delivering up the dead in it and without the camp of the saints delivering up the dead in it, the Great White Throne Judgment is proven SPECIFIC to only unbelievers and is disproven as a General Final Judgment, which opens wide the credibility door to literal dispensational interpretation as the best explanation.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 29, 2012 at 5:19 am

    To say Jesus will at the end of the ages reconcile Judas Iscariot whom He by the power of the all-knowng omniscient Holy Ghost reported {John 17: 12} in prayer to the all-knowing omniscient Holy Father that the son of perdition, Judas, was the only disciple that was lost, perished, ruined, destroyed, for that’s what ἀπόλλυμι apollymi means; you call the all-knowing omniscient Son of God a Liar. You would call His simple unqualified statement an incomplete report? You think the One who is the Truth doesn’t tell the whole truth? How can you “trust” some one like that? Keep Jesus the Truth, let Judas perish forever in eternal torment in the Lake of Fire, and discard you Amazing Hope; and you’ll preserve the integrity of the Son of God, the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Father, because all Three are agreed that Judas is perished in hell. I am reminding you again that lost and perished Judas prohibits and discredits your foolish doctrine and marks you as people who haven’t yet really believed Jesus Christ leaving you still in your sins, lost, and perishing without the hope that is true; in other words, you will burn in hell if you don’t repent this foolishness and really believe the Savior’s words including their spelling and placement in the text.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Jesus:
    Those given to me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition.

    Alice:
    Wrong, Jesus, don’t You remember the Plan is that You will reconcile all things in heaven and earth at the end of the ages? That’s Your Plan, how can You forget that? Maybe You just meant to say Judas is perished for only a short season? I wish you would have told the whole truth. Oh well, Your revelation at that point was only progressive and not yet complete and I see that Your Plan included me: that I’d share in the Enlightenment of the twenty-first century and be Your prophetess to proclaim Amazing Hope to the world along with others. I praise Your surpassing wisdom in not really losing Judas after all and I’m willing to take the abuse heaped upon prophets throughout the ages to proclaim this Hope. Praise You, Jesus.

  • Lanny A. Eichert January 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Stephen, too, must be included.

    Jesus:
    Those given to me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition.

    Stephen:
    Wrong, Jesus, don’t You remember the Plan is that You will reconcile all things in heaven and earth at the end of the ages? That’s Your Plan, how can You forget that? Maybe You just meant to say Judas is perished for only a short season? I wish you would have told the whole truth. Oh well, Your revelation at that point was only progressive and not yet complete and I see that Your Plan included me: that I’d share in the Enlightenment of the twenty-first century and be Your prophet to proclaim Amazing Hope to the world along with others. I praise Your surpassing wisdom in not really losing Judas after all. Praise You, Jesus.

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 4, 2012 at 1:54 am

      BECAUSE NO ONE ANSWERS IT SUBSTANTIALLY.
      admin says: February 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm How many times are you going to copy and paste that same paragraph? Why should I spend time responding to a cut-and-paste generic response?

      Jesus:
      Those given to me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition.

      Alice:
      Wrong, Jesus, don’t You remember the Plan is that You will reconcile all things in heaven and earth at the end of the ages? That’s Your Plan, how can You forget that? Maybe You just meant to say Judas is perished for only a short season? I wish you would have told the whole truth. Oh well, Your revelation at that point was only progressive and not yet complete and I see that Your Plan included me: that I’d share in the Enlightenment of the twenty-first century and be Your prophetess to proclaim Amazing Hope to the world along with others. I praise Your surpassing wisdom in not really losing Judas after all and I’m willing to take the abuse heaped upon prophets throughout the ages to proclaim this Hope. Praise You, Jesus.

      While you’re at it you haven’t touched this one either:

      Lanny A. Eichert says: February 3, 2012 at 10:08 am
      Alice, everybody 2nd death because of Revelation 20: 15 “if” are you aware?

      “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”

      The “if” is εἴ with Indicative verb: First Class Conditional Sentence affirming reality, truth. An “if, then” sentence where the “if” part is true. Here the “if” part that is true is their name is not found. The “then” part is thrown into the Lake of Fire.

      Everybody judged at the Great White Throne can’t be found in the Lamb’s Book of Life and gets thrown into the Lake of Fire. Alice, wow, do you see what that means? I agree EVERYBODY goes through the Second Death which is in the Lake of Fire. Verse 15 PROVES it.

      NOBODY is in the Book of Life, not a single person has gotten their name in the Book of Life. Isn’t that SOMETHING? Have you seen this before?

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

        Alice, I am just as serious about the first class conditional statement {εἴ with Indicative verb} issue in the Revelation 29: 15 with you as with Mary. She addressed it, but since I have noticed some differences of opinion between the two of you I want your response after hers as well.

        This especially has been a REAL learning experience and I will likely expand on that a little later.

  • Collision of Souls February 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Larry,

    ‘It is a terrible thing for a (carnal) man to fall into the hands of the living God.’ Hebrews 10:31

    I remember a bumper sticker I once read that needs to be applied here:

    “Jesus loves you but everyone else thinks your an asshole. ”

    You’re a carnal man and do not know or see the things of the Kingdom of righteous, peace and joy. It is that man that is an asshole.

    You epitomize the religious mind that Jesus rebuked and you have the son of perdition, the carnal man, living within you. We all have this and we cover it with human behaviours and religious doctrines but it is this man of lawlessness that must be revealed WITHIN all of us before the light of Christ’s coming within can consume that carnal man. (see 2 Thess. 2:1) Unfortunately, you spew your destructive thinking of the carnal, religious man, within, to the outer world of us all. Your tongue should not speak such things and this son is calling you out.

    I have suffered in the fires of God for over 2 decades and 4 years ago I was subjected to the loss over my entire past life: my wife of 40, my genetic mother was buried on my birthday just 50 weeks prior) I lost both my homes, my vehicles, my business, all of my possessions, my dog, my reputation and my mind. I ended up homeless with my three daughters living on a remote island in a foreign country. From millionaire to penniless. The fires of God and Christ’s passion in me has qualified me to discern the spirit and mind I am speaking to.

    Consider that mind speaking to you!

    You have the mind of Romans 8: 6-7. Jesus loves all men but he will not tolerate the carnal soul of man, the son of perdition, to rule the sons.

    That quantity of your soul is indeed even now being subjected to the Lake of Fire. We all read daily of your torment and hatred for the things of Christ and His spiritual truth. You reveal your Adamic mind of destruction and death by your thoughts. You do not believe in CHrist and His cross but have become an enemy of the cross as spoken of in 1 Timothy 4:1. You are part of the apostasy at the end of the age as Paul cited. You believe in the first-born Adam, the man who dragged us all into death without consent (For as in Adam all die), but do not believe the last Adam who rose from the death of the first Adam is taking us all back to the Father. Your mind believes in the first son, Adam, for only that mind could see such destruction and run and hide from our Father.

    The purifying fire and brimstone will burn off this part of you, just as it is doing to me and the rest of us and we will come forth in love and purity. But not before we are subjected to trials, sufferings and fire. We are perfected through trials and suffering. Maturity and the mature son (Grk. Huios) comes no other way. You refuse to change your thinking (repent) about who God is and what He does and you exemplify the truths Hebrews 6:4-8.

    “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto (into) repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
    But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”

    John said his baptism was (Grk. eis) INTO repentance. John stated his water baptism would be the initiating process of changing their thinking from the immature and first-born carnal and religious mind, to the second born spiritual mind and kingdom of God.

    The first born son of Adam was Cain (carnal)
    The second born son of Adam is Abel (a spiritual man)
    The first born son of Abraham was Ishmael (carnal)
    The second born son of Abraham was Isaac (the promised spiritual son)
    The first born son of Isaac was Esau (carnal)
    The second born son of Isaac was Jacob (who became spiritual Israel)

    But John looked and said of Jesus ‘he will baptize you into (Grk eis) fire’.

    You are not seeing God in Christ as he is and your religious exposure has not changed your thinking about God. You continue to stand in the outer court of religion and God has not allowed you discern the sacrifice. Your carnal mind has determined that most will be destroyed. Your carnal mind inherited from Adam has you running and hiding from an angry God and covering yourself with all measure of religious doctrines and attire.

    And Jesus called him ‘Our Father’.

    Religion has sold you a legal God and you bought him. You therefore have a legal mind. You do not know ‘Our Father’.

    You will therefore be subjected to a baptism of fire in Christ. You are even now being placed in the furnace of God’s passion and love, just like Daniel, everyone else and me, (but each man in his own order) and the fire of God’s passion to change your mind and your thinking from the carnal man, first-born of Adam, to the spiritual second born of Christ, this process will not burn you up forever but will be for an age(aion) or as long as it takes to loose the bonds upon your thinking and mind.

    Hebrews 6: 4-8 discusses this process and if your mind is not changed by delivering into repentance that mind will then proceed to the next phase of Christ’s refining fire and purging. You will be a second born son, Larry, and you can fight Christ all you want, but you can not thwart His passionate wrath (Greek orge or passion) to change you.

    I am a son being refined in the fires of God’s passion and the very passion my Father has to consume the carnal man in all of us (Adam), this is the same passion that now must address the first-born son that is spewing such hatred and destruction from within you. This is a rebuke of the first-born son and my intercession for you is now on.

    Again, it is a terrible thing for a (carnal) man to fall into the hands of the living God.

    I will include a blog entry that you should read because you will be broken. I have requested this of Father as an intercessor and if it is not done now, it has been planned for the carnal man living in you.

    http://isleofexile.blogspot.com/2012/01/importance-of-brokenness.html

    http://isleofexile.blogspot.com/2011/12/according-to-purpose.html

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 11, 2012 at 12:58 am

      Collision of Souls, I’m sorry for not seeing your post until now. More power to you if it works for you, but it is false what you speak. To me it sounds much like what I’d imagine of the ’60s flower power children love scene theology. Cultish with its own “vocabulary” and if you are representative of Alice’s “thing” then you further solidify my conclusion that she’s most likely into a cult. You’re really spaced out, man, on this Jesus thing.

  • Lamont February 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Collision of souls said:

    “I have suffered in the fires of God for over 2 decades and 4 years ago I was subjected to the loss over my entire past life: my wife of 40, my genetic mother was buried on my birthday just 50 weeks prior) I lost both my homes, my vehicles, my business, all of my possessions, my dog, my reputation and my mind. I ended up homeless with my three daughters living on a remote island in a foreign country. From millionaire to penniless. The fires of God and Christ’s passion in me has qualified me to discern the spirit and mind I am speaking to.”

    Sorry for your sufferings, it is nothing to make light of. Like Christ, you would be a hope to those who have suffered as you have, because you have suffered lose.

    Heb 5:12-14 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

    You see, Discernment according to Hebrews has to do with the partaking and applying “solid food” (i.e. The Word of God, the Bible) not suffering.

    Therefore, you have failed to discern, and confuse the gift of compassion, with the gift discernment.
    Moreover, you have sinned in attempting to judge the heart of one who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord. That is not the place of a Christian. Ever read the parables of the Wheat and the Tares? Matthew 13:24-30.

    Grace.
    Lamont.

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 13, 2012 at 3:37 am

      Lamont, the major problem facing Collision of Souls is cultish false teaching and he must be warned sternly.

  • Collision of Souls February 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Larry:

    There is a Lamb in the midst of the Throne!

    There is no bogeyman. lol

    Maturing in Christ means that we take off the inherited, Adamic prescription glasses that paint the face of God with human brushstrokes of horror and perverted understanding, and we grow up to see our Father for who He is.

    You will see this in eventuality. You can not escape it.

    http://isleofexile.blogspot.com/2011/08/there-is-no-bogeyman.html

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      His eyes were as a flame of fire {Revelation 1: 14}
      In Collision with your Soul, He, the Lamb, will torch you and your falsehoods.
      He will NOT compromise because of your sufferings, when He comes to judge you.

      You’ve gotten a false gospel, man. You haveN’T found the truth yet. Look again more carefully.

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Bible interpretation, how?

    Irenaeus of Lyons 175-185 A.D. seems to have a literal linear chronology very nearly the same, if not the same, as Dispensationalism. See Against Heresies: Book V Chapter XXXIII through Chapter XXXVI.

    The predicted blessing, therefore, belongs unquestionably to the times of the kingdom, when the righteous shall bear rule upon their rising from the dead; when also the creation, having been renovated and set free, shall fructify with an abundance of all kinds of food, from the dew of heaven, and from the fertility of the earth: as the elders who saw John, the disciple of the Lord, related that they had heard from him how the Lord used to teach in regard to these times,

    nevertheless in the resurrection of the just [the words shall also apply] to those animals mentioned. For God is rich in all things. And it is right that when the creation is restored, all the animals should obey and be in subjection to man, and revert to the food originally given by God (for they had been originally subjected in obedience to Adam), that is, the productions of the earth. But some other occasion, and not the present, is [to be sought] for showing that the lion shall [then] feed on straw. And this indicates the large size and rich quality of the fruits. For if that animal, the lion, feeds upon straw [at that period], of what a quality must the wheat itself be whose straw shall serve as suitable food for lions?

    {notice: For AFTER the times of the Kingdom}

    For after the times of the kingdom, he says, “I saw a great white throne, and Him who sat upon it, from whose face the earth fled away, and the heavens; and there was no more place for them.” And he sets forth, too, the things connected with the general resurrection and the judgment, mentioning “the dead, great and small.” “The sea,” he says, “gave up the dead which it had in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead that they contained; and the books were opened. Moreover,” he says, “the book of life was opened, and the dead were judged out of those things that were written in the books, according to their works; and death and hell were sent into the lake of fire, the second death.” Now this is what is called Gehenna, which the Lord styled eternal fire. “And if any one,” it is said, “was not found written in the book of life, he was sent into the lake of fire.”

    John, therefore, did distinctly foresee the first “resurrection of the just,” and the inheritance in the kingdom of the earth; and what the prophets have prophesied concerning it harmonize [with his vision]. For the Lord also taught these things, when He promised that He would have the mixed cup new with His disciples in the kingdom. The apostle, too, has confessed that the creation shall be free from the bondage of corruption, [so as to pass] into the liberty of the sons of God. And in all these things, and by them all, the same God the Father is manifested, who fashioned man, and gave promise of the inheritance of the earth to the fathers, who brought it (the creature) forth [from bondage] at the resurrection of the just, and fulfils the promises for the kingdom of His Son; subsequently bestowing in a paternal manner those things which neither the eye has seen, nor the ear has heard, nor has [thought concerning them] arisen within the heart of man,

    If, however, any shall endeavour to allegorize [prophecies] of this kind, they shall not be found consistent with themselves in all points, and shall be confuted by the teaching of the very expressions [in question].

    {When did Irenaeus warn against the way you all are trying to understand Scripture?}

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      So Irenaeus warns that allegorizing Scripture will make more problems than it solves. It is plainly obvious Irenaeus understands the blessings of the thousand year reign of Messiah to be literal in every detail and that Kingdom occurs before the Great White Throne judgment. Also Irenaeus clearly places the first resurrection of the saints before the Kingdom reign. These are the time line events of a literal chronological view of the Revelation 20 as held during the last quarter of the second century and any other interpretation is deemed heresy and problematic. Mary take heed.

      • Mary Vanderplas February 17, 2012 at 5:45 am

        It is hardly a news flash that a form of premillennial teaching has had adherents throughout the history of the church – a fact which in itself proves exactly nothing. The relevant question is whether this teaching has the support of the Bible – which, in my view, it plainly does not. In the first place, the doctrine is based on the supposed teaching of only two biblical texts and not on the general teaching of scripture regarding the return of Christ being the consummation of God’s purpose for history. In the second place, as I have argued repeatedly, the interpretation of Revelation 19-20 on which the doctrine rests is a gross misinterpretation of the visions John presents as a prophecy of future events in their exact chronological order. Moreover, it rests on a literal interpretation of the text, when it is clear that much of the book of Revelation is written in symbolic language. (And there are no other passages in scripture to support the claim of a literal millennium.) That a number of the early church teachers and defenders of the faith, including Justin Martyr and Ireneaus, held this view cannot be denied. That there were many others throughout the church’s history who staunchly rejected it is also undeniable. “Take heed” is right – to what the biblical authors were saying about the final victory of God. And be aware, too, that the classical premillennialism adopted by Ireneaus and others, while being similar in some respects to modern Dispensationalism, is also different from it in significant respects.

        • Lanny A. Eichert February 17, 2012 at 6:50 am

          Mary, there’s NOTHING in the Old Testament about the “Church” either, since Jesus spoke of it in terms of what He WILL BUILD. The Thousand Years was the last detail God gave His saints. Allegory is not the all consuming solution to prophecy and too much of it brings foolishness. In fact it ends in flat outright unbelief, which is where you are.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm

            Mary,7days creation account: literal 24hr. days?

          • Mary Vanderplas February 18, 2012 at 6:27 am

            John’s language in these texts in Revelation is pictorial, non-objectifying language – not allegory. He is presenting pictures of the final triumph of God, pictures which carry theological messages concerning the character of the end. To interpret the texts as though they were objectifying predictions intended to satisfy curiosity about the end-times program is to completely distort their meaning and miss the messages John intended to communicate.

            There are no legitimate grounds whatsoever for arguing that there are two distinct peoples of God, Israel and the church. On the contrary, the scriptures are clear: God is gathering to himself only one people, consisting of both Jew and Gentile.

            • admin February 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm

              By “pictures” I assume that you are referring to what John saw while he was “in the Spirit”.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 18, 2012 at 6:31 am

            What does my understanding of the opening creation narrative have to do with the subject at hand – namely, how to interpret John’s eschatological language in Revelation 20? Can you say “red herring”?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 1:09 am

            Alice, when Mary answers your question: By “pictures” I assume that you are referring to what John saw while he was “in the Spirit”.; please explain her answer to me. I suspect you women understand each other, but I don’t understand womanese. I greatly appreciate your question to her, but I think it might take follow-up questions to get from what he saw to what he wrote in her opinion.

        • Lanny A. Eichert February 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

          Mary,70yrsDan9:24 What do you do with “seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks” from the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem unto the first advent. Do you acknowledge or deny 463 years fits the Jewish history?

          • Mary Vanderplas February 18, 2012 at 6:32 am

            Again, what does this have to do with the premillennial teaching of a literal millennial period inaugurated by the return of Christ and with the larger issue of how to interpret John’s language in Revelation 20?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

            Mary, do you really not see any connection between Daniel 9: 24 – 27 and the Revelation? Or the seven day creation account? Both involve numbers relating to time as does the thousand years of the Revelation. How consistant are you interpreting numbers in the Holy Bible? So what do you do with seven days and what do you with the prophetic seventy weeks? What is the difference, if any, with the thousand years?

          • Mary Vanderplas February 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm

            Only someone who makes a habit of running around the Bible plundering texts for “information” to piece together into a grand eschatological scenario – thereby distorting the meaning of the texts while reconstructing an end-times calendar that is entirely one’s own invention – would “see connections” in the way that you mean. How consistent am I in interpreting numbers in the Bible? you ask. I read biblical texts according to the rules of language and grammar (and according to the historical circumstances) – which, by the way, is the true meaning of the “literal sense,” the sensus literalis. To speak as though there is a rule for “interpreting numbers” apart from any consideration of what the authors intended to say in the texts which contain them is utter nonsense.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm

            So then, Mary, are the sixty-nine weeks the 463 literal years before the first advent?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm

            7 + 62 = 69 weeks of years. 69 X 7 = 483 years of Jewish history from the commandment to the cut off of Messiah.

            483 is correct, I errored with 463. Do you agree, Mary, to 483 years of Jewish history as prophetically accurate?

  • Collision of Souls February 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I desire the fires of God upon the carnal mind. Not my will, but Thine be done. I trust my Father to finish the work in me He started. And I won’t any longer slay any Egyptians who aren’t ready to hear.

  • Collision of Souls February 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Lamont:

    Why the sin consciousness?

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 18, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Alice wrote: Too often I address you spiritually when I ought to address you according to the flesh. I’m not saying you are not a believer or that you are not intelligent. I know you put a lot of thought into your comments and that they seem reasoned through entirely to you. But you view God and His intentions toward mankind, in many ways, according to the flesh.

    Alice’s words are cultish as from one who has risen to some esteem in an enlightenment cult. I’ve read this same mentality in other contributors on this site who addressed my writings. I warn all of you like thinkers that you are molded to think alike: (1) you are not independent thinkers and (2) you have a distinct vocabulary. {Mary is not yet included.}

    • admin February 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Tell me how there can be a cult if the only leader is Jesus Christ, we have no building, budget, agenda (other than the agenda given to all believers by God – to be ministers of reconciliation). Louis Jolyon West wrote, “A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g. isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of [consequences of] leaving it, etc.) designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.” If there is dedication, it is to Jesus Christ. If there is excessive devotion to an idea, it is that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. I do not, nor to my knowledge does anyone who has commented on this blog, use unethical tactics like shunning, group pressure, certainly not information management (otherwise you and your comments would be blocked, friend), etc. I encourage critical judgment. Don’t you live in cult-land, geographically? Aren’t you surrounded by such behavior, in the truest sense? How is it that you do not see a contrast between the intentions in this blog and the intentions of true cult behavior? I just don’t understand how you have any grounds to make such a ridiculous accusation. Perhaps your definition/understanding of cult is different than mine.

      • admin February 18, 2012 at 11:56 pm

        Furthermore, in reference to your comment that my words are “as from one who has risen to some esteem” – you take a Lewis Sperry Chafer view, where one is either enlightened by the Spirit or by a false enlightenment. That is why you conclude that I am not a believer. What if I “think of [myself] with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to [me?] For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, [Lanny, Alice, Mary, and others] form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” What if “to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it [?]” I speak/write according to the faith He has given me, and that faith is HUGE, considering the fact that Christians actually get really bothered with me for expecting so much out of God, or thinking TOO HIGHLY of Him and His intentions toward mankind. The faith He has given me is this (I write, in agreement with Beth Moore’s statements about faith):

        1. God is who He says He is.

        2. God can do what He says He can do.

        3. I am who God says I am.

        4. I can do all things in Christ.

        5. God’s word is alive and active in me.

        I believe God!!!

        • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 12:51 am

          Alice writes in agreement with Beth Moore’s statements about faith. That’s very telling and I’m NOT a part of that body.

          • admin February 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

            I don’t agree with everything Beth Moore says, either. Her 5 point statement is powerful and true, nonetheless. Do you disagree with one of the five points?

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Beth Moore is just another ecumenist according to her “burden – to be part of a new acceptance and appreciation of Believers of all Christian denominations and colors…Technicolor Vision.” Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. {2 Corinthians 6: 17 & 18} is the warning given to God’s saints and they will heed it. She will fail to include them in the end. Her colors have already been showing. Fundamentalists/Separatists are not easily deceived.

    Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. {1 John 2: 18 & 19}

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