Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Abomination

Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Abomination

 

 

 

What did the first-century Jews believe?  This is a question I did not intend to address, since Francis Chan uses an entire chapter of his book, Erasing Hell, to address the first-century view of Hell.  But, when I considered the information Chan omitted from this chapter, the question became a speedbump in the road.  Consequently, I must slow down a bit.  In a lengthy introduction to what would otherwise be a very concise blog, let me tell you what Chan did not include in chapter two.

 

His bullet points about the first-century Jewish view of Hell are:

1. Hell is a place of punishment after judgment.

2. Hell is described in images of fire, darkness, and lament.

3. Hell is a place of annihilation.

4. Hell is a place of never-ending punishment.

Food for thought: Of these four views, which one is the most horrifying?  I’d pick number four, for sure.  Of these four views, to which do most Christians believe/adhere as “orthodox”?  I’d guess numbers one, two, and four.  But you probably won’t get shunned out of church for believing number three, unless, of course, you bring it up too much in Sunday school (aka, “causing division”).  Are these four views of Hell the only views among first-century Jews?  No!

WARNING: The following information is very relevant, and I am surprised and disappointed that Chan did not expound upon it in chapter two of his book. There was a large sect of Jews, mentioned many times in the New Testament, who did not believe in Hell at all.  In fact, according to the first-century historian, Josephus, Sadducees believed that “souls die with the bodies.”  They did not believe in the immortality of the soul, the afterlife, or rewards or penalties after death.  That’s why the Sadducees posed particular questions to Jesus, in an attempt to stump Him.  For example, they posed a hypothetical situation to Jesus in which a woman’s first husband dies, she remarries, then he dies, and so on, until the wife goes to her grave, having been married seven times.  The Sadducees asked, “At the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”  Rather than mumbling and fumbling absurdity, Jesus replies, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage.”

Furthermore, among first-century Jews were the ordinary people, the crowds that congregated to hear Jesus, but were not included among (and even shunned by) the Sadducees or Pharisees.  The New Testament and other non-biblical records give us glimpses of them from time to time, but their beliefs are not as explicitly explained.  This people-group that outnumbers all the religious sects combined, are not represented at all in Chan’s argument.  I’m not blaming Chan, because he would have to rely on assumption and conjecture to explain their beliefs, but I do think that it is worth mentioning that the majority of the Jewish population in the first century is not included in Chan’s summary of the first-century Jewish view of Hell.

Now that I’ve cleared the bump in the road, let me pick up where I left off in the previous blog, “Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Jesus, Lord of Distance“.  Considering the fact that we only have enough information about first-century Jewish views on Hell to give a Swiss cheese answer (i.e. chapter two of Erasing Hell), I asked a different question, one that we actually have enough information to answer accurately and fairly:

“What is the source of and the result (fruits) of first-century Jewish beliefs?”  

The source of first-century Jewish beliefs, obviously, is debatable.  A knee-jerk answer is “the Old Testament”. But the Old Testament is silent about Hell.  And the Sadducees only believed portions of the Old Testament.  Plus, there were likely those who did not believe any of it but played along with the social-religious formalities.  Maybe if we narrow the question a bit, we might actually be able to find an answer.

What is the source of first-century beliefs in Hell?

Chan asks, “Is Hell a garbage dump?”  The reason Chan asks this question is that Rob Bell, in his book, Love Wins, addresses the subject of the Greek word, “Gehenna”, often (mis)translated, “Hell”.  Bell asserts Gehenna is a valley outside Jerusalem, where people used to burn their trash.  He concludes, “Gehenna, the town garbage pile. And that’s it.”  Instantly, Jesus’ references to Gehenna seem less horrifying.  A less horrifying hell means less fear.  For those who use fear as a tool to influence or control the beliefs or behaviors of church members or potential church members, a less horrifying hell means less influence and control.  Less influence and control could lead to declining church attendance.  Consequently, the offering plate would be lighter, and clergy or support staff might actually have to take pay cuts or lose their jobs altogether.  We can’t have that now, can we?

In response to Bell, Chan writes,

The whole theory [of Gehenna as a garbage dump] actually stands on very shaky evidence.  Some commentaries and pastors still promote the idea, but there’s no evidence from the time of Jesus that the Hinnom Valley […] was the town dump.  […] In fact, the first reference we have to the Hinnom Valley, or gehenna, as a town dump is made by a rabbi named David Kimhi in a commentary, which was written in AD 1200.

First, I must applaud Chan for doing his homework.  Great job.  Let’s suppose that Kimhi was very wrong when he wrote about the origins of the analogy that compares the judgment of the wicked to Gehenna.  Let’s suppose that Gehenna was never used as a garbage dump.  Let’s suppose, as Chan suggests, that for first-century Jews, Gehenna references were “a fitting analogy for God punishing the wicked in hell.”  If this is true, then do we, by default, have to assume that when Jesus references Gehenna that He speaks in agreement with such a view?  Does Jesus use the word as a “fitting analogy” for eternal torment in the flames of Hell?  Is this really what Jesus teaches?

First, we need to consider what Jesus explains about Himself to the Jews:

The works that the Father gave me, that I might finish them, the works themselves that I do, they testify concerning me, that the Father hath sent me.

What kind of works did Jesus do?  What did it look like when Jesus performed His Father’s work?  He healed people.  He brought dead people back to life.  He made a point to spend time with religious outcasts.  He exhausted Himself traveling and teaching about the Reign of God.  In obedience to the Father, Jesus allowed Himself to be put to death for being the King of the Jews.

Jesus also said:

And the Father who sent me Himself hath testified concerning me; ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor His appearance have ye seen; and His word ye have not remaining in you, because whom He sent, him ye do not believe. Ye search the Writings, because ye think in them to have life age-during, and these are they that are testifying concerning me; and ye do not will to come unto me, that ye may have life; glory from man I do not receive, but I have known you, that the love of God ye have not in yourselves. I have come in the name of my Father, and ye do not receive me; if another may come in his own name, him ye will receive; how are ye able – ye – to believe, glory from one another receiving, and the glory that [is] from God alone ye seek not? Do not think that I will accuse you unto the Father; there is who is accusing you, Moses – in whom ye have hoped; for if ye were believing Moses, ye would have been believing me, for he wrote concerning me; but if his writings ye believe not, how shall ye believe my sayings?

As I mentioned in the previous blog, Jesus went out of his way to distance Himself from the behavior and teaching of the Jewish religious leaders.  He called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites and said, “[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.

Let’s get this straight.

1.  Jesus tells the Jews that they “are in error because [they] do not know the Scriptures or the power of God”, the same power that He demonstrated through healing the sick and raising the dead (not setting them on fire).

2. Jesus pointed out that the Jews spend a lot of time studying scripture, thinking that they have all the answers, but without understanding the love of God, they can’t understand what they are reading.  That’s why they would not believe what Jesus said.

3. Jesus specifically warned people that the Jewish religious leaders were teaching their own inaccurate ideas about God.

With this in mind, let’s read what God (the Father who sent Jesus to do what He does and say what He says) has to say about the practice of people throwing other people (their own children) into the fire of Gehenna.  Keep in mind that this was written at least 600 years before Christ spoke of Gehenna and at least 1800 years before Kimhi’s commentary:

They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of [Gehenna] to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Notice that God defines the practice of burning people in Gehenna as sin.  Also notice that God does not make such commands, nor does He conjure up such horrifying ideas.  He calls the burning of people in Gehenna an abomination.

If Chan is right, that Jesus taught eternal torment in Hell, the implication is that God commits sinful acts and abominations by sending people to Hell (Gehenna).  In fact, He uses His power to take the sinful acts and abominations to a whole new level in that He is able to make the torment of His victims continue eternally, not just for a short time as was the case in Judah’s sin. Does that sound accurate to you?

Isn’t it possible that one who holds to the doctrine of eternal torment “search the writings” but don’t understand God’s love, therefore, don’t understand the writings?  Jesus asked, if the “writings ye believe not, how shall ye believe my sayings“?  Here we have writings that tell us the intentions of God and God’s very negative reaction to the idea of burning people in Gehenna fire.  Are we to discard or “believe not” the teaching of the Father in exchange for our own traditions?  Are we to assume that Jesus taught something that completely contradicts the will of His Father?  Jesus demonstrated the work and words of the Father to us, directly, in flesh and blood.  Let’s set Chan’s and traditional Christianity’s version of God (think eternal torment in Hell, angry, vengeful) next to the version of God Jesus demonstrated to us (healing the sick, raising the dead, selfless sacrifice, love).  Do the two versions seem at odds?  Which one should we keep?  Remember, Jesus specifically warned people that the Jewish religious leaders were teaching their own inaccurate ideas about God.  Isn’t it possible that the religious leaders of our day are also teaching inaccurate ideas about Jesus and the message He was giving us about the Father, about the Reign of God in which He will “reconcile all things to Himself, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross”?

 

 

*Because of the length of this blog, the next blog will answer the second part of the question, “What is the source of and the result (fruits) of first-century Jewish beliefs?”

**Francis Chan includes this small note in the notes section following chapter two: The Sadducees, who didn’t believe in an afterlife, certainly wouldn’t have believed in hell. Why not include this in the body of the chapter, since not everyone reads the notes sections of books?  It reminds me of “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Next blog in this series: Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Fear Not
Comments
  • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Does that sound accurate to you?

    You are playing on peoples’ emotions, Alice, or rather “logic” misconstrued. Really, dear girl? Still pitching the religious power thing, too, I see.

    Execute all murders, because they killed people made in the image of God. Does that sound like a loving God’s commandment? Does it sound accurate to you? Is that the way an all wise Parent God deals with His children? Kill them if they murder somebody? No, if you knew what God does, you’d know that is NOT right.

    Play their emotions, Alice, I cheer you on right into hell itself. Judge God and make Him into your own image. You’ll find out too late.

    God’s ways are HIGHER than man’s. He has the sovereign right to perfectly execute justice by eternal punishment just as He reveals in the Holy Bible He does and He answers to no mans’ logic or emotions.

    • admin February 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      God created emotions for a reason – not so we can be mastered by them or rely on them in an intellectual or spiritual sense, but good for “red flags” when it comes to injustice and other matters of conscience. Nevertheless, my questions were not emotional questions, they were logical questions, seeking to reconcile an apparent contradiction in the revelation of God’s character through Jeremiah’s account, then later through the religious leaders in the early first century, through His Son, and finally through the modern-day revelation of God’s character according to proponents of eternal torment. The revelations are not consistent with each other – they can’t all be right unless God has multiple personality disorder.

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 4:42 am

    The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked {Nahum 1: 3} Never does God acquit a sinner.

    Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. {Ezekiel 18: 4} Second Death is God’s right to inflict eternally according to God’s own law which He has the sovereign right to determine and has revealled it to humanity.

    Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? {Romans 9: 20}

    • admin February 19, 2012 at 11:08 am

      If there are no sinners to acquit, then God is still true to His word. If there are no souls that sin, then the death of sinful souls is swallowed up in victory. If you keep reading in Romans 9, you see this – “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one, and, in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’” Continuing in Romans 10, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”, and “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” And keep reading as Paul is not finished making his point, “Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!” And, “God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” Especially applicable to you, Lanny, who “cheer[s me] right into hell itself”, “You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” How can this be? Because, “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 4:55 am

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ nears its end with a populated Lake of Fire without an escape provision and none ever leaving that place: eternal torment prevails to the end of all God reveals to mankind of His love and justice.

    • admin February 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

      How is God’s love revealed through eternal torment?

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Since it is stated that God never acquits the wicked, there will always be wicked that God will never acquit.

      Since the righteous God loves His saints, therefore He will never acquit the wicked.

      Since He never acquits the wicked, the Lake of Fire is eternal punishment.

      Simple isn’t it?

      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}

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Judas Iscariot is “perished” according to Jesus’ words and you would make that Person a Liar, and not just that Person, but also the One who accepted His word “perished” and not just those Two, but the Holy One who inspired Him to so speak the word “perished.” According to Alice and her gang all Three Lairs are God because supposedly all Three will some day participate in reconciling Judas. Meanwhile he burns in a sulfur fire until he changes his mind. A loving God makes him burn for as long as it takes to change his mind. Does that sound accurate to you?

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 5:56 am

    Don’t you know what the culture’s view of hell is nowhere as important as Jesus’ declarations of it and the Apostles’ declarations of it? You major on the minors establishing whatever Jesus and the Apostles did not affirm. Truth of the subject is founded on the authority of the words of Christ and His Apostles.

    In Luke 16 Jesus affirms the dead sinners leave their physical bodies in the grave and immediately are found in some kind of a literal body in a place of flames that torment the body unto extremely unquenchable thirst. And in Mark 9 Jesus affirms the fire never quits and there are worms discomforting the body that never quit either, meaning eternal punishment.

    Peter and Jude also affirm the eternality of the sinners’ punishment and condemnation and so does John in the Revelation. Their affirmations agree with Christ’s.

    However, you make everybody liars by denying eternal punishment. You are all antichrists.

  • Mary Vanderplas February 19, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I think you make a good point in asserting the implausibility of Jesus teaching eternal torment on the grounds that in the Hebrew scriptures the practice of child sacrifice was categorically condemned as a violation of God’s will. And I agree that the doctrine of eternal torment (and the view of God that underlies it) is wholly at odds with the character of the God definitively revealed in Jesus Christ. However, I don’t think that the text from John 5 can be legitimately used to argue that those who embrace teachings such as this one are guilty of failing to understand the scriptures and of misrepresenting the message of Jesus. In the John 5 text, Jesus is talking about the fact that the scriptures testify to the truth of his claims. Taken in context, it is part of John’s presentation of five witnesses to Jesus, whereby the truth of his identity as the Christ of God is sustained. The criticism is against religious leaders who study the Bible thinking that in the Bible is eternal life while failing to believe in the One to whom the Bible testifies, namely, the living Word of God, Jesus himself.

    It seems hard to argue, though, that Jesus meant something entirely other than final rejection/condemnation in referring to Gehenna, given that by the first century the word was used as a metaphor of the eschatological judgment of God. I would emphasize that the descriptions of hell as fire and darkness are not to be interpreted literally, but as images pointing to the reality of the horror of being separated from God. Whether Jesus intended to say that this separation will in fact be eternal or whether he was simply giving a strong warning to the complacent and the self-sufficient I don’t know. I only hope and pray that the alienation will turn out to be of limited duration.

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Since Jesus said their worm does NOT die and He also said you shall die IN your sins: it is all over when you die, your fate is sealed to eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire from which there has been given no means of escape. You all make God, even Jesus, a Liar just like your father, the devil, is always doing.

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Since the First Resurrection occurs before the Thousand Years Kingdom and the dead lived not again until the Thousand Years were finished, death is swallowed up in victory before the dead live again to be judged at the Great White Throne and cast into the Second Death in the eternal Lake of Fire.

    So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption {1 Corinthians 15: 54} then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

    The First Resurrection proves Death is swallowed up in victory only for God’s saints, while the dead still abide in death and furthermore are cast into the eternal Second Death. The Thousand Years Kingdom is not the final state of bliss and the “sheep” enter it while the “goats” live not again until the end of the Thousand Years. For the “sheep” Death is swallowed up in victory! For the “goats” there never is victory, only the despair of eternal doom.

    Since the beast and the false prophet are already in the Lake of Fire when the devil is cast into it, a “picture” interpretation doesn’t work, but a literal chronology is demanded even by the fact that the dead lived not again until the Thousand Years were finished. Scripture declares Death is swallowed up in victory while death still is present and destroyed all together even when it is in the Lake of Fire. It doesn’t make any difference if you can’t understand that, it only makes a difference that God said it is that way. God leaves it that way when He ended the Revelation of Jesus Christ, so why don’t you do the same?

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 20, 2012 at 3:24 am

    But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. {Revelation 20: 5 & 6} Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    Mary, how can the First Resurrection be a one time instantaneous event including both saints and sinners? Don’t you see those resurrected are blessed to reign with Christ a thousand years while the dead lived not until those same thousand years were finished? So don’t you see that during the thousand years both the resurrected reign while the dead are not allowed to live? It really doesn’t matter about interpretations because that’s what the text puts together before you even try to interpret the text. Those are the observed elements of the written text. A resurrection occurs that leaves dead persons still not alive. All in the same immediate context of verses four through six. The scene contains (#1) a thousand years, (#2) resurrected blessed ones, and (#3) dead ones not allowed to live; all three elements existing simultaneously. Whatever your interpretation, it must maintain all three elements in a simultaneous relationship. Does yours?

    Keep in mind that since this is the last revelation given to humanity, it should be given the highest weight and the final authority.

    • Mary Vanderplas February 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Only if one sees John’s language as objectifying and the function of the visionary scenes he presents as providing information with which to construct a logically consistent calendar for the end, will one say that a “literal chronology is demanded.” If, in contrast, one recognizes that the nature of his language is pictorial and non-objectifying and that the function of these scenes is to communicate theological messages concerning the character of the final victory of God, there is no need to force the pictures into a strict chronology that John never intended.

      The picture of the resurrected martyrs in 20:4-6 conveys the message that at the eschaton the martyr church will be raised to share Christ’s reign. One way of reading the text is that the martyrs will be resurrected first, with other Christians following later. Another (and, I think, better) way of reading it is that the whole church is envisioned and that the reference to the “first resurrection” is intended as a corrective to a view circulating in John’s churches that the resurrection had already happened. On this view, John is here saying that the resurrection had not yet happened, that it is a future hope to which the church looks forward, not a present reality experienced by Christians. This seems to be supported by the fact that there is no reference to a “second resurrection.” In any event, the message that the imagery communicates is a message of hope: the church is raised to reign with Christ in the final victory of God. And the picture of Christ reigning with his people on earth for a millennial period communicates that in the final coming of God’s kingdom, this earth will be freed from its bondage and will enjoy the bliss that God intended for it from the beginning.

      To claim that your interpretation is correct because “God said it that way” reveals the extent of your arrogant folly. Your interpretation is just that: your interpretation, which is neither infallible nor unbiased.

      The book of Revelation deserves to be given “the highest weight and the final authority” because of its position as last in the corpus??? Hogwash. There are no legitimate grounds for arguing that it is any more authoritative that any of the other New Testament writings. If anything, because of the symbolic nature of much of the language, making its meaning more difficult to understand, a case could be made that it ought to be considered in light of other books that offer a clearer presentation of the good news of God’s acting in Christ for the sake of the whole cosmos. And in any case, your doctrine is hardly proven right by the fact that it is based entirely on the supposed teaching of Revelation 20. Not only does your dispensationalist doctrine reflect a major misunderstanding of John’s eschatological language, it also violates the structure of the book, giving undue weight to what in John’s writing is only briefly referred to.

      I’m done on this subject, Lanny. Everything I’ve said here I’ve said at least once, if not a dozen times, before. The horse is deader than a doornail. That our views are poles apart couldn’t be clearer.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm

        It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. {Matthew 4: 4}

        Mary refuses to be held to “every word” even before applying her interpretations. That’s called the devil’s methodology of ubelief. That’s why I know you’re in the broad way leading to destruction and why Mary will burn in the Lake of Fire unless she repents unto full trust in God’s individual words. Mary mocks the words of the Holy Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit because she is too educated to believe the simplicity that is in Christ {2 Corinthians 11: 3} and why she tends toward Alice’s complex ideas. Yet there is something of a God-given conscience in both these women that holds back with some sort of reserve. Both are straining out their particular gnats while swallowing their own camels. If only you ladies would release your camels that prevent your sight.

        Mary, there’s no need to “construct” a chronology when it is already point blank literally stated in the texts with words such as and, until, after, again, finished, and expired. You’re living in denial to say the text is “non-objectifying.” You have three things happening at the same time in 20: 5 & 6 that you refuse to handle a resurrection that leaves dead persons still not living for a thousand more years dismissing it to no mention of a “second” resurrection. Doesn’t the Holy Bible teach a First Advent of Christ and a Second Advent of Christ although those very words are not used and a Trinity of the Godhead although that word is not used. Why are you then tripped up by no “second” applied to the resurrection? What do you with Isaiah 61: 1 – 3 prophesying of both advents? Are you stupidly handling it as non-objectifying or worse yet, partly objectifying (the historical literal first advent) and partly non-objectifying (the future prophetic second advent)?

        Then you don’t attach any significance to the Holy Scriptures as progressive revelation that later Scripture provides God’s saints with fuller understand by building precept upon precept? You would justify taking a New Testament text and interpret it with an Old Testament understanding? Even in the New Testament, the Epistle of James was written before the Epistle to the Romans. James is better understood by Romans than is Romans understood by James. Do you know what I am saying? If so, then apply it to the Revelation as God’s final word: you and Alice, too.

        Maybe you are an expert in figurative language, but Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith {James 2: 5; & 1 Corinthians 1: 27} But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. You can be saved by one letter (m) in the English: For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: in verse 26 any verses many, Mary, but you’ll have to repent of your unbelief and come to the true faith of a literal Holy Bible. I tell you that you can trust every word of it and stop making up your own private interpretations. Your fancy ideas don’t fit the text of the Revelation 20 as well as the literal reading does. So the horse doesn’t need to be deader than a doornail if only you’d recognize you fancy stuff doesn’t really work.

        Have you also noticed {Revelation 20: 6}: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection” which means that everyone taking part in this first resurrection is blessed and holy. That means, doesn’t it, that this first resurrection is limited to only saints. But if this were a resurrection of all saints and all sinners, then both, even sinners, are made holy by the act of the resurrection itself. Then the second death has no power on everyone that is holy and everyone is holy and blessed to reign as priest to God with Christ. What, though, about the dead that are not allowed to live until the thousand years are finished; they aren’t even in here some how? Taking a clue from “lived not again until the thousand years were finished” to see two resurrections, one at the very beginning and one after the end of the thousand years, is the way to simplify the scene and make sense of it with two separately distinctly different resurrections. Now remember three paragraphs above what I wrote about the Advents, so don’t get stuck on no mention of a second resurrection. It works, doesn’t it? And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. {John 5: 29} Jesus’ teaching had two resurrections by different names. Now maybe you can see why.

        • Mary Vanderplas February 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm

          Even if your hermeneutic of literalism were valid, which it plainly is not, the fact is that you violate your own “plain sense” principle whenever it suits your self-serving purposes to do so – as, for instance, in your interpreting of “the dead” in Revelation 20:12ff. as the spiritually dead and in your interpreting of “all” in texts that state or imply universal salvation as “all believers.”

          It is beyond dispute that the book of Revelation belongs to the literary type of first-century apocalyptic, one feature of which is the use of symbolic language to express what transcends the categories of ordinary language and thought. To interpret the symbols and images John uses as literal descriptions of objective reality, instead of as the pictures that convey something about the ultimate future and the transcendent world of God that they are, is to misconstrue his language and misinterpret the texts.

          It is ridiculous beyond words to claim that the end-times chronology you “see” in Revelation is stated plainly in the text. The fact is that it is entirely the product of your own work of combining references from the different visionary scenes John presents and drawing (false) inferences in order to come up with a logically consistent calendar for the eschaton – a chronology that John never intended.

          Both the coming of Christ as Savior and his return to judge all people are clearly attested to in the scriptures. The same cannot be said of two resurrections. While Revelation 20:4-5 makes reference to a “first resurrection,” and while another picture is given in which the dead are restored to life and stand before God (20:11-15), it is most likely, in my view, that John is saying here that there is no resurrection experienced in the present – i.e., that the first resurrection will occur in the eschatological future. In the rest of the New Testament, no mention is made of two resurrections. What is implied is that there will be one resurrection of all the dead, both the just and the unjust, preceding the final judgment.

          The “progressive revelation” of God is expressed in the opening verses of Hebrews. Jesus, the Son, is the unique and definitive revelation of God, the fulfillment of God’s purposes for the world. There are no grounds for arguing for a “canon within the canon” of the New Testament.

          You shamelessly wrench Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 1 out of context, using them condemn serious study – study that takes into account the literary genre of the text, the literary and historical contexts, the author’s purpose, and the rules that obtain for the kind of language being used. If anything warrants condemnation, it is your practice of “finding” in the biblical text what you need to find to support your preconceived doctrines about what will happen to the “good” people like you and the “bad” people whom, in your twisted system, God hates. You abuse the very word of God you profess to uphold.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 22, 2012 at 1:00 am

        Mary, Irenaeus of Lyons 175-185 A.D warned: 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]. The literal understanding of the Holy Bible does not originate in my own fancy, but is testified by this one who conversed with those immediately before him who were taught by the Apostle John. Also, it just always amazes me that so many people that get genuinely born again immediately testify to the truth of the literal words of the Holy Bible because they had never understood it that way before they were saved. It was that way with me, too, and none of us ever changed our minds as we mature in the knowledge of Christ’s words including prophecy. Our hermeneutic remains historical literalism as was the tradition of the first century Apostles. Irenaeus viewed your hermeneutic as heresy by the title of Against Heresies and wrote heavily opposed to it trying to protect the Church from its evil demonic influence that promoted the human imagination of ideas to excell above God’s literal words.

        You write: the book of Revelation belongs to the literary type of first-century apocalyptic. Mary, in that it is the only one of its class, you have nothing against which to judge it, so you have no authority for anything you claim. Besides you place more emphasis on what you suppose is John’s purpose than the Holy Spirit’s, again minimizing the true Author’s intent. Even in that you supposed incorrectly. Who (Hymenaeus and Philetus) concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. {2 Timothy 2: 18} was handled by the Holy Spirit inspiring Apostle Paul before John would have any need to address it.

        That Christ judges all is not destroyed by two or more resurrections since many judgments have already happened throughout the entire Holy Bible as analogous testimonies of multiple last judgments, last for each “people group” as Alice is prone to call them; and that each last judgment has its own unique purpose is furthered by multiple resurrections. Just because only one resurrection you think is declared, you might try considering the one resurrection happens in different phases at differing times but all together comprises the whole resurrection. That’s the way it is concerning the Coming of Christ: at least two comings and of course I have a third being a believer in the pretribulation rapture isolating out 1 Thessalonians 4: 13 – 18 with John 14: 1 – 3 because the Church is conspicuously absent from the earth in the Revelation beyond chapter three, just as it is conspicuously absent on the earth prior to the first advent when Jesus stated in the future tense that He would in the future build that which hadn’t yet been built {Matthew 16: 18}, the mystery the Holy Spirit revealled only to the Apostle (and prophet) Paul to minister.

        Your retreat to Hebrews 1: 1 – 3 is a good one on progressive revelation, but it includes the entire New Testament collection and furthers my point that more of Christ is expounded by each historically new inspired writing as they were produced by the Holy Spirit to the final penning of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John. Do you see the stated purpose in the words: to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass? That is not the same as: Wherefore comfort one another with these words. {1 Thessalonians 4: 18} nor: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren. {verse 13} But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. {2 Peter 3: 8} as regard “shortly come to pass.” Be careful: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts. {verse 3} Don’t be one, but seek to believe a literal Holy Bible.

        • Mary Vanderplas February 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm

          My approach to interpreting Revelation can hardly be described as “allegorizing prophecies.” In the first place, John’s writing is not prophecy in the sense of predictions about historical events in the distant future. It is prophecy in the sense of an announcement of the word of the Lord to the church for the crisis they were facing in the first century and of the final victory of God at the end of history. In the second place, taking into account that John’s language is symbolic in nature in interpreting the text is not allegorizing. On the contrary, it is the “literal sense” in the true meaning of the expression: reading the text according to the rules and norms that obtain for the kind of language being used.

          Revelation is “the only one of its class”?? Try reading 2 Esdras or any one of a number of apocalyptic writings dating from John’s time. The fact is that it was a popular genre in some streams of Judaism in the first century. And in John’s scriptures, there were apocalyptic writings (e.g., Isaiah 24-27; Daniel 7-12). John’s language and imagery is largely adopted from his Bible and from the traditions, both Jewish and Christian, that were part of his background.

          The “true author” of Revelation is the prophet John inspired by the Holy Spirit. To imply that God’s intent is different from, even opposed to, the intent of the human author is ridiculous, revealing a total misunderstanding of the divine-human character of the Bible.

          No, the issue concerning the resurrection hadn’t been resolved. While there were some in the later Pauline tradition who rejected it, as attested by the text you cite, there were others both in the Pauline tradition and in the Johannine tradition who taught that the resurrection was a present reality (Colossians 2:12; 3:1; Ephesians 2:1-7; John 11:25-26). It is perfectly plausible that in Revelation 20 John was addressing the issue, offering a corrective to the spiritualizing of the resurrection.

          The fact that there are multiple judgments mentioned in the Bible does not mean that there will be more than one “last judgment.” The biblical witness pictures only one final judgment in which all people are included. There are no texts to support the view that there will be more than one final judgment, nor are there any that state that there will be more than one resurrection or that the resurrection will happen in “different phases at different times.”

          Hebrews 1:1-3 does not support your contention that “more of Christ is expounded by each historically new inspired writing…” The point of this text is that Jesus, the Son, is the definitive revelation of God, the living Word of God, not that the Bible gives a progressive revelation of him. John’s writing in Revelation, which delivers the revelation of Jesus Christ to his church in the first century, is no more inspired or authoritative than the other writings in the New Testament. That the revelation concerns the fulfillment of God’s purpose for history, which John believed would happen soon, means only that it is a fitting ending to the canon, not that it carries special weight.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm

            Mary, is this a literal list, or does this exhaustive list of words mean something else?
            The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. {Revelation 18: 12 – 14}

        • Lanny A. Eichert February 23, 2012 at 12:17 am

          Mary does not call “of the final victory of God at the end of history” prophecy, is that true, Mary? God is not telling how He will do it, only that He will do it, so that only means announcing it not prophesying it, is that how you are thinking that the Revelation doesn’t qualify as end time prophecy?

          It seems to me that your pictorial and non-objectifying use of the words of the Revelation makes the meaning of each word “other” than its literal meaning. Thousand years has therefore no concrete time restrictions at all and I wonder if you are required to even restrict it to time at all. Does the devil as the spirit being named Satan literally exits as a person? Why isn’t Satan just a figure for the concept of evil and nothing more? What requires you to retain him as an individual? Satan is just a name that can be used for whatever association might be related to that name. Do you maintain him as a literal personal spirit being and why? What in the Revelation is literal and real in the temporal and physical sense, Mary?

          When John was in the spirit and told: Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. {4: 1 – 3} did he see a literal person seated on a literal throne surrounded by a literal rainbow? Your pictorial and non-objectifying language would say that he actually saw nothing of the kind, but he did see something so undescribable that he had no words in his human vocabulary that could do what he saw justice. How could he then in all his God-given honesty write this description if it wasn’t true, since he saw nothing of the kind? Did the Holy Spirit of God give him these words to write, since he had no words of his own to describe it? But aren’t these words from John’s vocabulary? If they are words given by God, is God giving him insufficient words and thus being a Liar regarding what John really saw?

          This is what I see your pictorial and non-objectifying language doing, Mary: making God a Liar which you and Alice and her gang are so proficient in doing.

          Certainly there are symbols in the Revelation and John saw those symbols first as literal things. So he did see literal things and he saw literal things. The interpretive difficulty lies in what is meant to stay literal and what is meant to be symbolic as well as literal and what is meant to be symbolic only.

          Your insistence on pictorial and non-objectifying language prevents anything from being literal regardless of the context, yet you insisted on “the dead” of 20: 12 being literal physically dead people of all the literal ages and still “the dead” of 20: 5 pictorial and non-objectifying of the final victory of God.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm

            Revelation is prophecy, but it is prophecy rightly understood. It is not a prediction of historical events in the distant future, but an announcement of the word of the Lord (the essence of prophecy) and a prediction of the future that directly affected John’s hearer-readers. To interpret Revelation as though John was predicting particular historical events in the distant future is to misunderstand its prophetic character and function.

            For the Protestant Reformers, the “literal sense” meant interpreting the biblical text according to the rules and norms that apply to the kind of language being used. In the case of Revelation, this entails taking into account the symbolic nature of much of the language. To insist, as you do, that the literal meaning must always be the most plain and concrete meaning is not the “literal sense” in the true meaning of the expression. Indeed, by insisting on the “plain sense,” you prejudge the text before actually reading it in the “literal sense.”

            What John “saw” while he was “in the Spirit” was a vision of things in the transcendent world, which he expressed using metaphorical language. His descriptions are not literal descriptions of what “really” is, but pictures that point to transcendent reality – reality that cannot be expressed using ordinary categories of language and thought. To ask whether John saw a literal person, etc., is to misconstrue the nature of John’s “seeing.” And to ask how he could “write this description if it wasn’t true” is to misunderstand the nature of his language in communicating the meaning of his visionary experiences.

            I’ve already discussed at length the reference to a millennial period in Revelation 20. This is a picture – one of several pictures – of the final victory of God. John adopts from his Jewish background the tradition of an intermediate period of the Messiah’s rule. (In the tradition, the intermediate period was given various lengths.) Again, this is not a literal description of what will really be in the eschaton, but a picture conveying a theological message about what the final victory of God will be like: the church will be raised to reign with Christ on this earth, which will enjoy the bliss for which it was created.

            The picture in 20:11-15 is likewise just a picture, not a literal description of objective reality. What it conveys is that in the eschaton the dead will be restored to life and judged. There are no qualifications given here about the dead being only the spiritually dead – i.e., unbelievers. What is pictured is a universal judgment. Your comment that I see here a literal description is untrue. Like the other scenes John presents, this is a picture – a picture that conveys the message of universal judgment as part of the final victory of God.

            Whether the devil is to be understood as a personal devil or as a symbol of the reality of evil is a separate issue that goes beyond the book of Revelation. I will discuss it only if Alice writes a blog on it. In the context of Revelation, the pictures John gives of Satan being bound and thrown into the abyss and the picture of Satan deceiving Gog and Magog and being thrown in the lake of fire communicate that in the eschaton, evil will be finally defeated and destroyed.

  • admin February 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

    That they are priests and reign indicates that there is another people group being ministered to – who are they?

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Since the thousand years is populated at its beginning by both resurrected saints and unresurrected saints that survived the Great Tribulation (no unsaved sinner survived), the saints still in their natural bodies (who had gotten saved during the Great Tribulation) have natural children who need to hear the Gospel and be saved. Priests also minister to each other you ought not forget, Alice, and the unresurrected saints certainly need ministering during the thousand years. Simple, isn’t it?

      So what of the First Resurrection leaving the dead still unliving during the thousand years in the same context?

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 21, 2012 at 3:21 am

      So Dear Alice, what of all of the participants of the first resurrection being “Blessed and holy” and there still being dead not allowed to live until the thousand years are finished? Doesn’t that beg the question why are they not raised from the dead in the first resurrection? Why is their resurrection postponed a thousand years? Is it really possible “the dead” means more definitely spiritually dead as well as physically dead? Is it possible “the dead” that stand in judgment has this same intended meaning and its meaning is intentionally supported by this very Johnny-come-lately people group, so that only the truly spiritually dead people group are the only ones meant to be in judgment? Aren’t these elements all possibly intended to be included by the Author even before an interpretation is attempted by human readers?

      • admin February 23, 2012 at 2:38 am

        Sorry Lanny, but the kind of response this blog comment deserves takes more than a few minutes, which is all I have right now (I need to go to bed!), but I’ll respond when I can…

        • Lanny A. Eichert February 24, 2012 at 3:39 am

          If it is an excellent question, then spend more time on it.

      • admin February 24, 2012 at 1:21 am

        This is an excellent question, in reference to your theological position on Revelation. To be honest with you, I have been able to pull nuggets of truth from Revelation and feel pretty confident about what I actually understand. However, I also recognize that a lot of Revelation goes right over my head. I agree with Mary’s comment about Revelation being one book among many apocalyptic writings of the time. I also know that basing one’s entire belief system on an apocalyptic writing is foolish at worst, careless at best. To interpret the rest of scripture through the lens of a book loaded with symbolic imagery is a complete waste of time – it should go the other way around, that is, let scripture interpret Revelation. Anyhow, to answer your specific questions, “why are they not raised from the dead in the first resurrection?” My best guess is based on the immediate context, that they are not part of the “beheaded” group. I do think it is noteworthy that John specifies seeing “souls”, not bodies. It sheds some doubt on a literal interpretation. It is also noteworthy that “judgment” is “given to them”. And human beings have been instructed regarding judgment, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” And “One is the Lawgiver, Who is able to save and to destroy; thou – who art thou that dost judge the other?” I have my suspicions about what this might really mean. The bottom line is that you have your ideas about what this means, based on a literal, linear, eschatological, traditional view, and there is little I can do for you to convince you otherwise. Even when I give you the most concise, irrefutable answers, you reason your way back into your religious rut, so I don’t expect you to give any genuine consideration to the idea that, when in doubt about apocalyptic language and symbolic imagery, it is better to believe that God has it all figured out and doesn’t expect us to have a point-by-point linear understanding of the ages to come. We can trust Him. He knows what He is doing. Some food for thought – the book of Revelation (prologue) is described as “the revelation of Jesus Christ.” So the main thing readers should take from Revelation is not distant future prophecy, but a revelation of Jesus Christ. It was written “to show his servants what must SOON take place”. 2000+ years is NOT SOON. Sure, there are concepts which are still applicable, and there are some obvious parts that describe a culmination of the ages, but the book in its entirety is written for people in John’s time, to reveal the person of Jesus Christ, in reference to things which were going to happen in their lifetimes.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 24, 2012 at 3:27 am

        Alice, you identify “the dead” incorrectly and need to refer to Matthew 25: 31 – 46. Only the righteous enter the Kingdom for a thousand years. The rest are told in 41 “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” and it takes a thousand years in hell before they get to the eternal Lake of Fire.

        Neither one of you “let scripture interpret Revelation” unless you mean the Revelation being one book among many apocalyptic writings of the time that you include among the Scriptures. They have not been accepted by the primitive Church as equal with the Revelation. They are actually examples of people trying to write scriptures like God’s by the inspiration of the devil just so you and Mary might have an excuse for your wild interpretations. Satan provides ample opportune reasons to pervert God’s Word. Irenaeus of Lyons 175-185 A.D didn’t buy into it and he held to a literal interpretation. So the Revelation is still only one of its kind when isolating it from Old Testament prophecy. When grouped with the Old Testament prophets and allowing comparisons, the literal is still perferred for most of it as Irenaeus demonstrated eighteen and a quarter centuries ago and hardly one century removed from the Apostle John. Irenaeus’ interpretation carries a thousand times more weight than does Alice’s and Mary’s.

        Alice, your best guess that the dead were not of the “beheaded” group is hardly the most concise, irrefutable answer and when you write: It is also noteworthy that “judgment” is “given to them”, I wonder where you find “the dead” become responsible judges by God’s appointment. Alice, they are dead, don’t you know that, lived not again until the thousand years were finished. How can the dead judge anybody? Judgment is given in 20: 4 to those that lived to reign with Christ a thousand years. I hope you read and wrote carelessly and not with serious intent, however it does show your careless approach to Bible interpretation which also discredits your Amazing Hope no matter what.

        Irenaeus does not justify your first century only expectations for the Revelation and puts the eschatology even future to himself. After all, he should know having lived after the first century expired and the second century well underway in his life.

        So, Alice, you are really guessing all around, meaning you have no foundation. Neither does Mary. You are working on myths and dreams, having deceived yourselves into thinking it is Biblical. Inescapable eternal torment does not depend only on the Revelation: the last I gave you was {Galatians 4: 27} the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Before that {Genesis 9: 6} Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed. Both are analogous of eternal torment for the masses as I explained.

        • Mary Vanderplas February 25, 2012 at 7:06 am

          The fact that Revelation is the only apocalyptic writing in the New Testament (however, see Mark 13) doesn’t legitimize treating it as something other than it is. To say that it is “one of its kind” and therefore it ought to be interpreted literally makes no sense whatsoever. Besides, while Revelation is the only New Testament book in this class, it isn’t the case that there is no influence of apocalyptic writing in the rest of the canon. On the contrary, apocalyptic thought permeates much of it. A dualistic view of reality, an expectation of the near end of history, a pattern of “Messianic woes” preceding the coming of the Messiah and the new age, a progression from historical catastrophes through persecution to the dissolution of the cosmos as a prelude to its renewal – these were all features of first-century apocalyptic thought that are present in the New Testament, not just in Revelation. It simply is not true that reading Revelation as apocalyptic writing gives birth to “wild interpretations.” Quite the contrary, reading it without taking into account the apocalyptic language and thought that characterize it leads to misinterpretations of the text – as you aptly demonstrate in your literalistic understandings.

          Ireneaus’ “literal” interpretation of Revelation 20 and his premillennialist view carry more weight than does my view, you say. Does his view also carry more weight than the view(s) espoused by other early church fathers – the ones who didn’t agree with him? What about the view of St. Augustine, which differed from his? And later theologians, many of whom denounced the premillennialist view as a Jewish heresy? And most of the Protestant Reformers, who went with Augustine’s view and rejected the view of premillennialism? The point is that Ireneaus’ view wasn’t the only one, nor was it the most widely accepted one throughout the church’s history. Even among the early church fathers, it is questionable that the premillennialist view was the predominant one. To imply, as you do, that the fact that Ireneaus espoused this view proves that it is the correct one (and that your hermeneutic of literalism is legitimate) is plainly ridiculous. The only thing your appeal to this early church teacher shows is your selective reading of historical theology for the purpose of finding support for your dispensationalist doctrine.

        • Lanny A. Eichert February 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm

          Ireneaus was a Fundamentalist and as Fundamentalists know apostacy makes short work of the truth as testified in Scripture. The first century Church was warned about the quick appearance of false teachers and antichrists gaining footholds in the local assemblies and from there the greater organization. Church history verifies the continuing trend of the liberalization of denominations. Nothing better demonstrates the difficulty of the struggle to keep the Church doctrinally pure than the writings of the Church Fathers. Today’s liberalizing trend revolves around making the Church “seeker-friendly” with an excessive emphasis on love that ignores truth. It began in our generation by the continuing misapplication of civil rights to include female clergy and now homosexual clergy, which requires the denial of the Scriptures forbidding both such perversions. Long standing denominations are splitting into new denominations over these issues. The further the Church History gets from the first century the more liberal and apostate the Church gets. The Reformation proved that long ago as it tried to recover some of the basics.

          The writings of Ireneaus are proof of the primitive theology and hermeneutic of the Apostolic Church to which true Christians are held. Your liberal theology and hermeneutic are Satanic conterfeits of God’s truth and that Word upon which He will judge the world in righteousness. Your liberal “christainity” is a wicked perversion of God’s righteousness and thereby it is no righteousness. Your liberal “christainity” is open wickedness, rebellion, and witchcraft. It is openly so yet practised by well-meaning people who have been unknowingly deceived by the devil. Their only hope is that God would grant them repentance, yet they are so satisfied in their “lovely” religion that they don’t see their danger.

          There is only one salvation that God planned for the saving of souls and that is Fundamental Christianity, so Mary, hang on every word of God as spelt and placed in the text of the Holy Bible. Jesus promised not a single word changes until all be fulfilled. Alice, since He said “until” you think then when all is fulfilled single words will be changed then, right? I mean, you like reading the other side of the statements. Alice also needs to find the fundamental Holy Bible in order to believe correctly unto true salvation. Both of you have differring false salvations as does Stephen; and none of you know it.

        • Lanny A. Eichert February 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm

          Mary, the apocalyptic references in the New Testament (excluding the Revelation) derive from the Old Testament Prophets and display a literal understanding and expectation, just as was meant to be communicated by the Holy Spirit of God that inspired those Prophets to write. There is no need at all to go outside the Holy Bible to use rejected apocalyptic writing as tools to interpret the Holy Bible. In fact such an exercise is rebellion against God and therefore the sin of witchcraft that you seem so proficient to use. You are a rebel, Mary and so is Alice and her clan of Amazing Hopers who will all perish in the Lake of Fire unless they repent and believe sound doctrine.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 25, 2012 at 10:47 pm

            Baloney. The apocalyptic way of thinking that permeates the New Testament and that is present especially in Revelation reflects the influence of this tradition on John and the other authors. By John’s time, this literary genre had become popular is several streams of Judaism. John evidently recognized its value in communicating the message of God and drew upon the imagery and language of apocalyptic writing to express the meaning of his visionary experiences. One of the features of apocalyptic writing is the use of symbols to express what can be expressed in no other way.

            If you want to have a serious discussion of Revelation or of any other book of the Bible, I suggest that you get your head out of the sand and learn something about its background in the world of the author and original readers.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 25, 2012 at 11:51 pm

            Mary, you need to give the Old Testament quotes in the Gospel of Matthew more importance and significence than you do, as well as those in the remaining Gospels, Acts, and Epistles.

            Jesus, Himself, showed that He needed no ministerial help from the devil’s demons when He commanded them to be silent, so why should God need to use disapproved outside source writings as a background for His Revelation? The Exodus is analogous to God separating {isolating} His people from the world meaning all outside “revelations” allowing only those produced by God Himself. Jesus fought against the traditional writings of the Jews, and so in like manner God provides a new thing for His people devoid of error even by association.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm

            The 2 Corinthians 5 text says nothing at all about the saints’ ministries being “judged for rewards and promotion in both the millennial Kingdom and the eternal kingdom.” What it says is that at the last judgment all Christians will be judged by their deeds. The 1 Corinthians 3 text says that at the last judgment the work of Christian ministers will be judged, with rewards or penalties assigned based on the quality of the ministry performed. In both cases, Christians are pictured as being included in the last judgment. It cannot be legitimately argued that Christians will not have to stand before God on the last day. In typical fashion, you ignore or explain away the texts that don’t agree with your doctrine. And you read into texts what isn’t there – e.g., “millennial kingdom” – in order to make the Bible fit your preconceived ideas.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 28, 2012 at 11:14 pm

            Last Judgment? No, Mary, there is no such word as “last” in those two texts. You cannot force last upon those judgments. You are the one forcing an interpretation.

            FYI there are also many different last trumpets in the Bible occurrin at different chronological times in human history.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 29, 2012 at 12:20 am

            I’m trying to paste this where the response are.

            Lanny A. Eichert says: February 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm

            Mary says: we will be judged. What exactly this will be like the Bible doesn’t say.

            In other words Mary is talking about what she doesn’t know and thinks saints will be judged because she cannot actually believe their judgment was completely had by Christ. Alice is the same way having no ability to actually believe it is finished as Christ said.

            Neither womaan seems to be able to discern 2 Corinthians 5: 10 with 1 Corinthians 3: 13 – 15 as the saints’ ministries are judged for rewards and promotion in both the millennial Kingdom and the eternal kingdom.

            Saints are left by God’s design still with the the law of sin which is in their members, the body of this death; and because they are, they are chastened as per Hebrews 12: 5 – 11 meaning that God judges their sins in this life as a matter of maximizing their walking in the light now.

            So saints are continously being judged for fellowship with God and other saints; and later their ministries will be judged for promotions. Both judgments are for positive reasons and neither judgments require any after-life remedial action by God or themselves.

            Mary Vanderplas says: February 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm

            I posted another comment in response to your post on 2 Corinthians 5 and 1 Corinthians 3. I accidentally posted it in the wrong place.

            • admin February 29, 2012 at 2:24 am

              What do you do with Luke 12 then?

          • Mary Vanderplas February 29, 2012 at 5:44 am

            The references to the Day and to apppearing before the judgment seat of Christ mean the final judgment at the end of history. Where in these texts is anything said about a millennial kingdom?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 29, 2012 at 7:31 am

            Where in these texts is anything said about the final judgment at the end of history?

            The Millennial Kingdom is where the ministry rewards are pressed into use (as well as in the eternal Kingdom) seeing this judgment under discussion is that of Church saints who are the ones addressed at Corinth. These saints are taken up to heaven as per John 14: 2 & 3 and 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 & 17 in the Rapture phaze of the First Resurrection before the Tibulation and the Great Tribulation and they return from heaven with Christ at His Glorious Appearing, the Second Avent, when He comes to reign a thousand years with the First Resurrection Tribulation Martyrs and the Tribulation surviving saints. In order for the Raptured Church saints to reign with Him, they must first have their Christian ministries judged to be rewarded their new Millennial tasks. That judgment is either immediately before or immediately after the marriage supper of the Lamb {Revelation 19: 9}, probably after.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 29, 2012 at 7:55 am

            Now, Mary, you like “pictures” in Scripture and the Jewish marriage feast is what is pictured in John 14: 2 & 3 and since it is a week long affair the seven year Tribulation and Great Tribulation period fits the time frame as viewed from Daniel’s 70th week of years. Christ takes His bride, the Church, to His Father’s house for the “week” and then returns with her presenting her with Him in the Second Advent as His wife. Remember the distinction I tried to make to you all between the bride and the wife of Christ some time ago in the Revelation because the Church is absent during chapters six through eighteen and chapter twenty-two brings us back to John’s day in the Church Age of Grace. {22: 17} the Spirit and the bride say, Come. All because she is called the bride. (In 19: 7 at the Marriage Supper she becomes the wife just prior to the Second Advent.) The invitation to “Come” is given by the Church now (not in the new earth) is the written intent of the use of that word “bride” as opposed to “wife” not being used.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm

            In Paul’s writings and elsewhere, the day of the Lord and standing before the judgment seat of Christ are clearly references to the final judgment at the end of history. See Romans 14:10. At the eschaton, all will stand before the judgment seat of God. And in this picture, all will be accepted. The Judge is the Savior – of everyone. In light of this reality, we (which includes me) should stop judging and despising one another and instead accept one another across differences.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm

            all will be accepted? Really Mary? Then why is there a Lake of Fire if everybody is written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world? You can’t be serious? When is this last judgment you’re imagining? After they repent in the Lake of Fire?

            The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. {Revelation 17: 8 & 13: 8} And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

            Both references to the foundation of the world indicateds that from day one God never intended to save them and hasn’t changed His mind.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

            Romans 14: 10 is for God’s saints who are called brothers and sisters because they have been born again, only that time into the family of God {John 1: 12 & 13}. You have not been born into God’s family, Mary, because it is evident you cannot talk like God’s children. You are all messed up: Christ doesn’t save everybody He created because He created the vast majority to be vessels of wrath to be destroyed. He created only a few to be His called elect saints. He told you so when He spoke of the many in the broad way and the few in the strait way.

            But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. {Romans 14: 10} {τῷ βήματι τοῦ Χριστοῦ, βῆμα bēma. Same as 2 Corinthians 5: 10 and not the Great White Throne of Revelation 20: 11}

            But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. {John 1: 12 & 13}.

        • Lanny A. Eichert February 25, 2012 at 11:10 pm

          Mary, if the prophecies of the First Advent of Christ were fulfilled in multiple literal chronological events, then why do you deny the prophecies of the Second Advent of Christ will be fulfilled in multiple literal chronological events? Since the one, then why not the other?

          And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? {Luke 9: 54} James and John in the presence of the Messiah expecting His Kingdom to be immediately set up also expected literal miraculous events to occur as had happened in the days of the Prophets, here the specific reference is 2 Kings 1: 10 & 12 that James and John understood as a literal event.

          Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? {2 Peter 3: 3, 4a}

          Aren’t you a scoffer using “apocalyptic writing” and “pictorial and non-objectifying language” as your intellectual reasons or excuses for your unbelief in the literal expectation of God’s chosen remnant saints?

          • Mary Vanderplas February 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm

            Completely clueless on this subject is what you are. It is indisputably true that the imagery and language John uses in Revelation are drawn from a conventional set of imagery present in both the apocalyptic writings found in the Old Testament and in the apocalyptic writings that were in circulation in John’s late-first-century world. Whether you acknowledge it or not, whether you like it or not, the prophet John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote in the style of apocalyptic writing, which used symbols to express transcendent reality. It is likewise indisputably true that themes of first-century apocalyptic writings, not just of Old Testament prophecy, are integral to the teaching of Jesus and the New Testament writings.

            “Jesus fought against the traditional writings of the Jews,” you say. What Jesus protested were not the traditions of his Jewish background as such, but those traditions in Judaism that perverted his message of God’s love for all people and that reflected a hypocritical commitment to ritual observance above care for other human beings – traditions that, not incidentally, bear a striking resemblance to your judgmental, exclusive damnation doctrine and practice.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm

            Because there is not a shred of biblical evidence to support the chronology you have conveniently constructed to get yourself into the pearly gates completely unscathed.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm

            Mary=clueless regarding the isolation of God’s people. They were required to not marry outside their religion and ethnicity, and everything about their religion was to maintain their uniqueness and separation from the world. Their monotheism was a testimony to their obedience and so was their religious and social exclusivism. Sure, there was a religious liberal element, but the faithful remnant excluded themselves from them. The conduct of Peter demonstrates what caution God found necessary to get Peter to preach the Gospel to Cornelius in Acts 10. The Jews were a closed protected society and God needed no outside or liberal lies to teach His people His course for the ages. To teach otherwise, Mary, is to expose yourself as a witch. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD {1 Samuel 15: 23}

            Now that was Israel of the past when Jesus came, but since, He has built His church and it, too, is a closed society that doesn’t need the intellectualism that destroys faith. Rudolf Karl Bultmann sought to make the Bible more compatible to his currect scientific knowledge by moving the supernatural things into the realm of mythology and the liberal church followed him there, but the remnant faithful church didn’t, just like it kept a tight hold on the literal understanding of Scripture from the first century.

            Mary, you’re listening to the devil’s lies. God doen’t need them and doesn’t build upon them in His revelations to men as was the testimony of Jesus when He silenced the demons and unclean spirits. Why don’t you build that as an analogy? Because you’re in darkness even unto now: intellectualism has pulled the wool over your eyes and Alice’s too and every one following you two. Childlike faith saves, not intellectualism. How many times do I need to tell all of you that?

            Alice, when I write to all of you, is all inclusive of the entire human race or is all limited to just Alice’s group?

            Mary, if the prophecies of the First Advent of Christ were fulfilled in multiple literal chronological events, then why do you deny the prophecies of the Second Advent of Christ will be fulfilled in multiple literal chronological events? Since the one, then why not the other? You’re clueless aren’t you? Why the sixty-nine weeks of Daniel 9 or 483 years to the cross? Why is Isaiah 11 literal and Irenaeus insisted upon it? Because the First Advent was literal in prophecy is why. Learn, Mary, learn.

            • admin February 29, 2012 at 2:40 am

              As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. The entire human race is specified in that there is no one who is not subject to the second law of thermodynamics.

              Regarding your rhetorical question, “all OF YOU” begs the question, who is YOU? When you tell me who the YOU is, then maybe I can answer your question, but I don’t think you really meant for me to answer that question, did you?

              Another example – ALL have sinned, ALL fall short, ALL are declared righteous freely through His grace… the ALL is specifically defined as anyone who has sinned, which includes the entire human race.

              These are two among many scriptures, if God gives you the eyes to see and the ears to hear them.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 26, 2012 at 9:52 pm

            into the pearly gates completely unscathed, Mary? Don’t you believe Romans 8: 1? No, you can’t. You haven’t been born again. You don’t have the equipment to understand the Holy Bible. Romans 8: 1 is basic Bible doctrine regarding salvation, Mary, and you don’t understand even the starting point of faith. I’ll tell it to you again, Mary, that the moment a sinner has faith in the death of Christ on the cross for his sins, his sins are all forgiven, past, present, and future. None can lay anything to the charge of God’s elect because Christ died that particular sinner’s eternal death once for all time and eternity. {Romans 8: 33 & 34} You hear that, Alice? And all the rest of you readers? Read it for youself and pray that you might actually believe it. You don’t really believe it until you know you are free from all sin and sins and will enter heaven unscathed at your physical death. {John 8: 32 & 36}

          • Mary Vanderplas February 27, 2012 at 7:32 pm

            The fact, which you choose to deny, is that the book of Revelation belongs to a class of writing known as apocalyptic writing, which was popular in John’s world. The fact, which you choose to deny, is that John borrowed from the imagery that was common in apocalyptic writing in expressing the meaning of the visions he was given. The fact, which you choose to deny, is that Jesus the Christ was a first-century Jew, who was part of the Jewish culture of his day and who practiced the religion of Judaism, deviating from it and from the culture when it violated the will of God. Jesus didn’t live above the world, as you seem to believe, nor was the Bible written in a vacuum. The negative, world-denying spirituality that you espouse is not affirmed by the biblical witness. The holy God is holy in his choosing to come among us in Jesus, in his choosing to enter the world in order to deliver us from our sin and restore us to the life for which we were created.

            Why do I deny that the prophecies of the second advent of Christ will be fulfilled in multiple literal chronological events? As I’ve said repeatedly, John in Revelation was not giving literal descriptions of events that can be plotted on a calendar. He was not prophesying the historical future of people living generations after his time. You distort the meaning of Revelation by piecing together the visionary scenes – which are not meant to be interpreted literally – into a strict chronology that John never intended. Your end-times program is entirely of your own making.

            I’m done on this – done, done. It’s as plain as Revelation’s character as apocalyptic literature that, when it comes to this issue, you and I inhabit two different universes. Moreover, the texts that you cite in supposed support of your view that Revelation dropped out of the sky into John’s empty head demonstrate only one thing: that your capacity for wrenching texts from their context and distorting their meaning knows no limits.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm

            Don’t you believe Romans 2:16? Or 1 Corinthians 4:5? Or Revelation 20:12, 13, rightly interpreted as inclusive of all the dead? There is no condemnation now, nor any threat of condemnation later, for those who are in Christ, I agree. But this does not mean that we will not be judged. Insofar as we are still sinners (1 John 1:8, 10), we will be judged. What exactly this will be like the Bible doesn’t say. But it does indicate that believers will be included.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm

            Mary says: we will be judged. What exactly this will be like the Bible doesn’t say.

            In other words Mary is talking about what she doesn’t know and thinks saints will be judged because she cannot actually believe their judgment was completely had by Christ. Alice is the same way having no ability to actually believe it is finished as Christ said.

            Neither womaan seems to be able to discern 2 Corinthians 5: 10 with 1 Corinthians 3: 13 – 15 as the saints’ ministries are judged for rewards and promotion in both the millennial Kingdom and the eternal kingdom.

            Saints are left by God’s design still with the the law of sin which is in their members, the body of this death; and because they are, they are chastened as per Hebrews 12: 5 – 11 meaning that God judges their sins in this life as a matter of maximizing their walking in the light now.

            So saints are continously being judged for fellowship with God and other saints; and later their ministries will be judged for promotions. Both judgments are for positive reasons and neither judgments require any after-life remedial action by God or themselves.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm

            ? Mary, what do you call The Seals, the Trumpets, the Bowls, the First Resurrection, The Thousand Year Reign of Christ, the Final Judgment, the New Heaven and New Earth if as you wrote: “As I’ve said repeatedly, John in Revelation was not giving literal descriptions of events that can be plotted on a calendar. He was not prophesying the historical future of people living generations after his time.” {February 27, 2012 at 7:32 pm middle paragraph} What, Mary? You meant to say there is no order of occurances meant at all in the Revelation and the Lake of Fire does not make its appearance near the end of everything? Where is the New Earth now a days, Mary? When did the Resurrection occur? According to you, you have been left behind. You better get the Left Behind book series and start reading it and learn what you missed.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm

            Armageddon ? When, Mary, and where? Could it have already occurred? Why could it not have occurred at the flood of Noah’s day or wasn’t there even a flood? Did Armageddon occur at the Babylonian Captivity? Or at the Assyrian Captivity? What prevents Armageddon from occurring multiple times?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm

            Mary, the Revelation is God’s story of the end times and as any other story it moves to various scenes updating each scene as it moves from the beginning through successive periods of time until it finally reaches the conclusion and like any other story it also has parenthetical sections that add more necessary detail. The same is true of the Prophets telling of the consummation of the ages as well as their “near” future events. Your “apocalyptic writing” and “pictorial and non-objectifying language” is just a myth designed to devalue the Scriptures and enable you to deny Biblical truth which you have done so well along with Alice and her crowd. God has condescended to the human intellect to reveal His transcendental Self in terms even a little child can understand. You seek to take that away. There is a chronology intentionally expressed in the Revelation that is paramount to man’s salvation otherwise there’d be no reason for prophecy. That blessing is promised in verse three at the beginning. All of you are void of that blessing because you don’t have the necessary understanding that comes from being born again enabling faith in each literal Word of God as written and spelt and placed in its certain position in the text of His entire Holy Bible. God has a reason for ending the book with a populated Lake of Fire without remedy and that’s to tell you that you will join, albeit in isolation and solitary confinement, the majority of people in eternal torment, unless you repent of your nonsense and turn to true faith in His individual words if perchance God will make you one of His elect. You are not one of His elect because you still cannot believe His words. Agonize over that. It is the first step toward repentance. Just know, though, that Esau agonized, but was not able to come to repentance. {Hebrews 12: 17} There’s an analogy that even in the Lake of Fire he’ll not be able to repent. Alice looses.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 28, 2012 at 11:11 pm

            Revelation is a letter that John wrote to Christians living in the first century. He was announcing the future that directly affected his readers, including the ultimate future, which he believed would happen soon. He was not predicting historical events centuries later than his own time. And he was not giving a strict chronology of end-times events.

            From a theological perspective, the Left Behind series is patent garbage, not worth the cost of the paper it’s printed on.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm

            I posted another comment in response to your post on 2 Corinthians 5 and 1 Corinthians 3. I accidentally posted it in the wrong place.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm

            Mary, you plainly ignore that the last judgment hasn’t even occurred yet and that’s in the Revelation. Don’t blow it off, you have to account for each event mentioned, and they haven’t yet occorred, so that makes it a vision of events future to even John’s generation. Get your head out of the sand.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm

            Mary, certainly I believe from John’s perspective the next prophetic event he and the rest of the disciples anticipated was the Messianic Kingdom on earth, but God had to reteach them that the Church Age of Grace intervenes followed by Daniel’s 70th week before the Kingdom will actually happen and that 70th week is given in detail via the seals, trumpet, and vials or bowls and then comes Armageddon. That’s chronology, Mary, just as Daniel requested it God also gave it to John.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 29, 2012 at 5:39 am

            Here is a brief summary of what I believe about Revelation:
            Revelation is first and foremost a letter written to Christians in the first century for the purpose of announcing the word of the risen Christ to them in the crisis they were facing. John sets their present suffering in the context of the eschatological victory of God at the end of history.

            John uses metaphorical language to express the meaning of the visionary scenes he was given of the eschatological future.

            In announcing the final victory of God, John gives a series of pictures which tell something about the character of the End. These pictures are not literal descriptions of what will really happen, from which a calendar of end-time events may be constructed. They are pictures that convey messages about what the end will be like.

            This is all I have to say.

          • Mary Vanderplas February 29, 2012 at 6:21 am

            The biggest problem with the Jenkins/LaHaye series is its false portrayal of the power of God as the power to destroy, the power of death, instead of as the power of life that it really is.

            • admin March 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm

              That series was good gripping FICTION. I’m glad I read the series.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 29, 2012 at 8:06 am

            Mary’s view of the Revelation totally violates Matthew 4: 4 It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Jesus said it, but she will not believe it.

            Mary says nothing is literal and fabricates a high sounding falsehood.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 2, 2012 at 5:54 pm

            I don’t disagree that it’s good fiction. What I said is that from a theological perspective, it is, in my view, garbage, perpetuating a false theology of the end times and a false portrait of God’s power.

        • admin February 29, 2012 at 2:50 am

          I’ll admit to a certain measure of ignorance in interpreting Revelation, and maybe you should do the same. I don’t have all the answers, but I have the answers that matter – Jesus is the Savior of the world. He is the author and finisher of our faith. This is what matters, not precisely predicting the future. The future belongs to Him, and this is why I have no fear, even if your interpretation of end time chronology turns out to be correct.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 29, 2012 at 4:39 am

            “all OF YOU” begs the question who are your loyal participants in this Amazing Hope doctrinal blog, that’s the “all OF YOU” that begs that question. All is limited by the context and Christ only makes those few alive who put their full trust in Him and all the rest go to hell perishing is clears as can be in the Holy Bible, but you’re blind to it because you’re not saved and want to believe otherwise. “Perish” and “lost” means go to hell, Alice, total ruination forever and that in itself is eternal torment. Just as all means only all those who believe in this life, all of you means that small minority that rallies around Alice: two distinctly different groups of “all” where all is used several times in even the same sentence.

            And so all Israel shall be saved. But when, Alice? The thousand year Messianic reign of Christ is when “as it is written.” Meanwhile all but the remnant have already perished without Christ and stay perished and so will always be fired up. All Israel means only those living when Jesus comes back to be their King. There will be a tremendous evangelistic effort to convert Jews immediately before He comes and separates the sheep and goats; and the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel will again be united around a single King and Kingdom land of Israel as given them when God brought them out of Egypt through the hand of Moses. Don’t you see the Matthew 25 judgment that separates sheep and goats is not the Great White Throne Final Judgment of the Revelation 20. There are many judgments occurring in the Holy Bible that have to be discerned and that’s why 1 Corinthians 3 and 2 Corinthians 5: 10 is a single judgment other than the Final Judgment despite Mary’s objection. Besides, since the First Resurrection occurs with the dead not living again until the thousand years are finished, the Final Judgment is reserved for them and those slaughtered in the devil’s deception: no saints at all. You never did get back to that problem of identifying correctly the dead prevented from living again during the thousand years instead of being resurrected and why they were not resurrected. Remember I rebuked you for mistakenly thinking that God commissioned them with judgment responsibilities while they were dead and not allowed to live? Foolish girl.

            Luke 12 has about nine paragraphs in fifty-nine verses, so would you like to be more specific what you’re asking?

            • admin March 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm

              I’m referencing this section:

              The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

              47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

              Specifically, these phrases:

              “whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time” – I take this to mean those who Jesus has called as ministers of reconciliation, those who disciple others, and/or those who have been gifted with spiritual authority for specific purposes. And in language that you might use, they are “born again Christians” or believers.

              “He will cut [the servant] to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers” – Notice how the servant treats others. (I imagine he talks to them the way you talk to anyone who disagrees with you.) How noteworthy it is that the born-again-Christian-believer is assigned “a place with unbelievers.” The literal translation says, “the lord of that servant […] will cut him off, and his portion with the unfaithful he will appoint.” What place/portion is this?

              “beaten with many blows” and “beaten with few blows” – The chastisement is in accordance with what the servant knew or did not know. It is measured, and consequently, it is not eternal.

              You would do well to spend some time meditating on the part that says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Since you are a believer who is gifted with zeal for the righteousness and truth, more will be required of you. As of right now, you are using your gifts to bash people over the head with your words and your judgment.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm

            Since my interpretation of the Last Days is correct, your salvation rests on false doctrines and you have everything to fear, Alice, don’t you see that? Your Christ is not the Christ of the Holy Bible and is proved a Liar in His own prayer to His Father, which also makes His Holy Spirit a Liar as well as His Father a Liar for their parts in inspiring your Amazing Hope and not exposing it. Judas Iscariot is “lost” and perishing in hell forever, the same perishing God so loved the world to overcome in those who would believe now before they die in their sins.

            Judas is eternally perishing and will be cast into the eternal Lake of Fire that the Bible reveals at its last revelation to humanity without any escape remedy. To say otherwise is to testify you don’t believe God. You don’t believe God, so therefore you go the hell. Simple, isn’t it? Even a child can understand what you educated fools cannot.

            • admin March 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

              My salvation rests on Jesus Christ, Who has instructed me “do not fear”.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

            Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. {Mark 9: 44, 46, 48} Three time He told you, so when will you believe it? When they are wiggling inside you eating your flesh while you sweat in tormenting flames with flies in your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and between your legs and buttocks boring holes in your flesh and depositing more eggs?

            Fools, believe it now and escape hell fire. Physical death ends your opportunity: you must believe now or perish eternally.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm

            Alice writes March 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm My salvation rests on Jesus Christ, Who has instructed me “do not fear”.

            You, Alice, have a “Bad” Jesus Christ who is a LIAR for having told His Father by the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit that Judas Iscariot is the only “lost” one among the twelve His Father gave Him. Since He fibbed to His Father by inspiration, He also fibbed to you when He instructed you “do not fear”.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm

            Neither God the Holy Spirit nor God the Father objected to Jesus’ prayer {John 17: 12} those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

            LOST, perished, ἀπώλετο, ἀπόλλυμι apollymi. the same perish ἀπόληται, ἀπόλλυμι apollymi as in John 3: 16. Pay attention, Alice.

            Once God the Son pronounces Judas Iscariot “lost” he is eternally damned without remedy.

            Don’t you see that your Amazing Hope makes your God the Son a LIAR and your God the Holy Spirit a LIAR and your God the Father a LIAR? How can you believe a thrice LIAR, Alice? I guess since you yourself are a liar, birds of a feather flock together. Your God is not the God of the Holy Bible because the God of the Bible cannot lie. Your god is a flase god that cannot save you, Alice. If you were smart, you’d fear greatly.

            • admin March 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

              Also the same Greek word as in the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost (prodigal) son. And Jesus came to seek and save the apollymi. “Eternally damned without remedy” is simply your commentary/opinion imposed upon a text that does not express such an idea. For more on this, see “http://www.whatgoddoes.com/?p=190”.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 2, 2012 at 12:17 am

            Alice writes March 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm about Luke 12: 42 – 48 intending to rebuke me with these words: You would do well to spend some time meditating on the part that says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Since you are a believer who is gifted with zeal for the righteousness and truth, more will be required of you. As of right now, you are using your gifts to bash people over the head with your words and your judgment.

            Your efforts are to give people that false assurance you call Amazing Hope and it is an outright lie from the devil’s mouth to you. Certainly if more is required of me, then I must not leave this go unopposed and I must expose you and yours for what they are. You all are liars when you say Judas Iscariot will be reconciled to God by faith in Christ. Jesus Himself concluded him “lost” and you by now must know that means eternal damnation and torment. If it were otherwise He could not have prayed that way {John 17: 12} to the Father by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost without making all Three of Them Liars. So by your insistence of Amazing Hope you make God thrice a LIAR. Now is your God the Liar or are you that liar? Which is it, Alice?

            • admin March 4, 2012 at 10:30 am

              There’s a difference between challenging doctrines or teachings you believe to be false and making character judgments of those who hold to said doctrines or teachings. No one knows the heart but God. Believers have been specifically instructed to treat those who claim to be a part of the body of Christ, but perhaps are not, as we would treat unbelievers. And how are we to treat unbeliever’s? By demonizing me and others, you justify your words/actions. But what if you are wrong? Then your words/actions against me/us/them are destructive and produce death – the exact opposite of the salt and light you have been called to be in this world. You present me with an either this or that scenario and then demand an answer, “Which is it, Alice?”, as if there are only two possibilities. What if there are more than two possibilities? I could ask you, “So have you stopped doing illegal drugs yet, Lanny?” and the question answered with a “yes” would imply that you have been in the habit of using illegal drugs. The answer “no” would imply that you are still doing illegal drugs. What if you have never done illegal drugs in the first place? Where is there room for this possibility in the question “So have you stopped doing illegal drugs yet, Lanny?” – there is no room for a viable revelation of truth in the question. So it is with your question. And that is why I am not answering it.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 4, 2012 at 6:35 pm

            Alice, your sample question is not parallel, but rather should be: are you taking drugs or aren’t you?

            There is no way God can save Judas Iscariot after having declared him lost to the Father without being a Liar. So either you who says Jesus will save Judas makes God a Liar or you, yourself, are the liar by making that false statement.

            Either God is true and you are a liar or you are true and God is a Liar. Take your pick, Alice.

  • Stephen Helbig February 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Stephen gladly proclaims; the wicked are acquitted by the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, slain before the foundation of the world (cosmos). For by GRACE have I been saved. It is a GIFT OF GOD, GOD’S MERCY TRIUMPS OVER JUDGEMENT.

    Jesus states in this passage quoted ,

    “ At the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”

    “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage.”

    “But about the resurrection of the dead–have you not read what God said to you,”
    ‘I AM THE LIVING GOD, The God of Abraham, The God of Isaaq, and The God of Jaqob?’ He is The God, not of the dead, but of the living.”

    He that boasts let Him boast in the goodness of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. Thanks once again Alice for expressing that God IS Love and that He came to give “LIFE”, and that more abundantly.

    I greatly appreciate this short video on youtube; http://youtu.be/yl-6wLFCshY

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; but not Pharaoh and the rest of the worldlings who perish in the flames and torments of the Lake of Fire. Use your head, man: God is the God of only believers. Unbelievers, the likes of you, are trash to be discarded in God’s trash bin, the Lake of Fire. It is a trash bin not a recycle bin. Wake up, will you? You’re listening to the devil’s trashy gospel, but oh how good it sounds, right?

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    In the above Abomination blog Alice describes Francis Chan’s report of the first-century Jewish view of Hell as 2. Hell is described in images of fire, darkness, and lament.

    Some one laughed when I described it having fire without light.

    Also she once concludes: If Chan is right, that Jesus taught eternal torment in Hell, the implication is that God commits sinful acts and abominations by sending people to Hell (Gehenna). God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? Hasn’t she comprehended the first eight verses of Romans 3? For what if some did not believe {eternal damnation}? shall their unbelief make the faith of God {eternal damnation} without effect? Certainly not, it still stands whether or not you all believe it. God never acquits the guilty. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. No exceptions at all. The saints’ sinful souls died in Christ once, but the sinners’ souls forever die time after time in the eternally black Lake of Fire without remedy, exactly like God left it in His last revelation to men.

    It amazes me that people without understanding think that putting murders to death is itself murder commited by the establishment. God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? Don’t you see that just by this God-given precept God has the sovereign privilege of administering eternal punishment to sinners? See the analogy, you who are into analogies? Judge righteously, you people without understand, not according to your warped sense of justice perverted by love. Execute murders and let God eternally destroy sinners.

    • Stephen Helbig February 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      <>
      King James Version

      ——————————————————————————–
      1Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to THE FAITH OF GOD’S ELECT, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 2In hope of ETERNAL LIFE, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 3But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
      4To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

      OR

      The faith of God {eternal damnation}

      • Stephen Helbig February 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm

        ………./–)
        ………/…/
        ……../….(__ ____
        ▓▓ ……….((_I_ __) ▓▓………((_I____)
        ▓▓……….((_ I___)♥♥◕¸.•°*”˜˜”*°• ❤❤ perverted by love

        “perverted by love”

        perverted (deviating greatly from what is accepted as right, normal, or proper) by love… OK I can like this!

        • Stephen Helbig February 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm

          ………./–)
          ………/…/
          ……../….(__ ____
          ▓▓ ……….((_I_ __)♥♥♥◕¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•❤
          ▓▓……….((_ I___)♥♥◕¸.•°*”˜˜”*°• ❤❤
          ▓▓……….((_ I___)♥♥◕¸.•°*”˜˜”*°• ❤❤

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 21, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. {2 Thessalonians 3: 2} I pray, “Deliver me from Stephen Helbig.” The unpopularizing of the death penalty has affected even his brain and turned it into mush.

      Just as society is to destroy murderers, kidnappers, rapists, adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, disrespectful children by public execution; even so God shows this as an analogy that He will publically destroy all sinners by eternal death and punishment in the Lake of Fire without remedy. When you’re dead, you’re dead without remedy and you stay dead. Jesus said there is only one resurrection to life and that is only had by good people. {John 5: 29} And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. Damnation is judgment to which only evil persons are reserved: don’t you notice He said good people go immediately to “life” without first going to judgment. The result of judgment is being cast into the Lake of Fire without remedy; no acquital is ever possible in that judgment. {Nahum 1: 3} The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.

      Now just in case you are objecting on the fact that every saint is also judged, be it known to you that the saints judgment is not a judgment involving his sins, or the work of his sins, since their penalty is satisfied in Christ, but he is judged involving his stewardship and ministry of the Gospel as to its goodness and effectiveness; the purpose being his degree of rewards. He has already been guarranteed eternal life in the presence of God from the very moment he believed during his earthly life, so what remains to be demonstrated to him is the reason of his promotion in the eternal kingdom of God. 2 Corinthians 5: 10 puts this judgment elsewhere than the Great White Throne of the Revelation 20 by stating “the judgment seat of Christ” translated from the Greek words τοῦ βήματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, or βῆμα bēma; a lesser formal throne than the Great White Throne. Now why don’t you rightly use your allegorical skills to work out the obvious significance of the difference, because it is certainly there by the Author’s intention?

    • admin February 23, 2012 at 2:36 am

      Execute would be more humane than eternal torment. If you believe they are executed, then you believe in annihilation. I know that you don’t believe that, so use the words (ET) that suits your doctrine, not the “just”-sounding word execute.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 23, 2012 at 4:27 am

        If you already know my proper use of destroy results in eternal torment so be it, but I wish you’d convince yourself it is so according to God’s use of perish/lost/destroy. I agree with God, but you don’t seem to. You want God to be more humane? That’s a joke, isn’t it? God is not human, Alice, and He isn’t humane either. He said you kill murderers and I’ll eternally destroy sinners. Governmental execution of criminals destroys their physical life, but doesn’t annihilate their soul, but it does begin their eternal torment that God finalizes.

        (You don’t kill murderers and I will not eternally torment sinners?) = food for thought.

        I’ll be waiting with anticipation in the above blog comment for you answers to “blessed and holy” limitation of 20: 6 as well as “the dead” not allowed to live in the first resurrection in verse 5, especially since there are some differences between your view and Mary’s.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm

        Humane, Alice, … Mary puts it more that their torment is a function of their own plight of alienation from God. God is not tormenting them, but their own thoughts and environment are tormenting them. God is not holding a flaming blow torch waving it against their feet or face. Why it has to be a place of literal flames, thirst, maggots, flies, darkness, and solitary wandering aimlessly is the wisdom of God that we don’t understand, just like we don’t understand why the only way to save the world was by means of the incarnation and death of God. If man can believe God unto eternal salvation, then man can trust God for the righteousness of eternal torment. You and yours want the one without the other. I’m sorry for you and yours because you have neither and don’t know it.

  • Stephen Helbig February 22, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I couldn’t say this any better so here it is, “The Lord Jesus Christ is the JUDGE” (“Bema”, judgement seat of Christ, or White Throne. Jesus Christ is the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.(see John 1:9)

    Quote~ “The Judge is within you because the Christ is within you! It takes no extraordinary intelligence nor any exceptional spirituality to figure that out. Let us stop putting the judgment day out beyond the cemetery and believe what God’s Word really says about it. To all who wait for a judgment day in some future time or age I now say, as our blessed Lord has said, “N-O-W is the judgment of this world: N-O-W shall the prince of this world be cast out” (Jn. 12:31). According to Genesis 1:26 Adam is the prince (ruler) of this world – and is it not old Adam in you, precious friend of mine, and in every other man on the face of the earth that is now cast out by the Christ? Far too many Christians want to put it out at some final end, but either satan is being bound and chained in your life today or he will never be eradicated from this planet (earth realm of which you are)! NOW shall the prince of this world be cast out! Jesus accomplished it judicially upon the cross two thousand years ago, and is accomplishing it experientially within men’s lives today by the power of His Holy Spirit. It is happening now and shall continue to happen in God’s progressive unfolding of His judgments through the ages until that wonderful consummation when God becomes ALL-IN-ALL!
    What a judgment seat! What a Judge! What reality! Oh! what an unspeakably glorious and awe-inspiring scene. John the beloved beheld as from his vantage point in the Spirit, notice, “a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the heaven and the earth fled away; and there was found no place for them” (Rev. 20:11). Who is it that sits there? It is clearly the Lord Jesus Christ. The One who fills that throne is without doubt the Son of man. And how does He sit there? In and through His body, the saints, unto whom judgment is given (Dan. 7:22). A throne is a seat of authority. The throne is called “great” because of its vast magnitude, its awful sovereignty, and the majesty of the One who fills it. It is called “great” because it is a many-membered one. It is called “white” because of the absolute purity and righteousness of its Judge and His judgment. White denotes light – that which reveals. So we see a seat of authority and great majesty, power, purity and revelation.” End Quote ~ by Preston Eby; El Paso TX.

    “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son” (Jn. 5:22).

    “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world” (Jn. 9:39). “NOW is the judgment of this world: NOW shall the prince of this world be cast out” (Jn. 12:31).

    I really desire people to know this, God is not interested in you learning all the “right doctrine” – that’s the letter. Believe this God looks upon the heart of the matter. It’s not as important to know the right doctrine as it is to have the right spirit. It is vastly more important to have the right spirit than to know all the doctrines correctly. I have known many a people who have all their theology down pat, they had a brilliant grasp of all the doctrines and could articulate them masterfully, but their lives were full of death. Their walk was void of life, joy, victory, wisdom, peace and the image of God. In their presence they had no ability to bless, strengthen or encourage you – all they could do was spout doctrines and quote chapter and verse to prove their ignorant views of God, (myself included). They were always looking for an argument and condemning everyone who did not agree with them. But that is not what is important! KNOWING THE LORD JESUS CHRIST “personally” is what is IMPORTANT!
    If I’m around you I want to edify you, I want to lift you, I want to bless you, I want to impart to you, I want to encourage you, I want to help you, I want to assist you to grow and develop into the nature and character of God. So my life in CHRIST is to be an instrument to write upon the fleshy tables of your heart, not in dead letter, by rules and laws and commandments, but in HIS SPIRIT, so that your life is transformed. Look at David, a man after God’s Heart, he sang and rejoiced with the judgements of God in his life, “the judgments of the Lord are true, and RIGHTEOUS altogether” (Ps. 19:9).
    “Yea, in the way of Your judgments, O Lord, have we waited for Thee. With my soul have I desired You in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek You early: for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world WILL LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Isa. 26:8-9). Please notice this here, Isaiah also assures us that the day when God’s judgments are in the earth, this will be a most glorious and desirable day, a day in which the inhabitants of the world WILL LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS! How opposite to the idea entertained by many that when God’s judgments come into the earth the inhabitants of the world will “get what they deserve” and be sent into oblivion or eternal damnation. If the desire of your heart is anything like the desire of my heart, this is a blessed thought and a wonderful assurance: the inhabitants of the world WILL LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS!

    I pray ya’ll, (Southern for you all), are edified by this as much as I have been! Thanks again to one and ALL! ~ Love in CHRIST ~ “Behold, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU!”

    ╔═══╗────╔╗╔══╗╔╗──────────╔╗──╔╗
    ║╔═╗║────║║║╔╗║║║──────────║╚╗╔╝║
    ║║─╚╬══╦═╝║║╚╝╚╣║╔══╦══╦══╗╚╗╚╝╔╩═╦╗╔╗
    ║║╔═╣╔╗║╔╗║║╔═╗║║║║═╣══╣══╣─╚╗╔╣╔╗║║║║
    ║╚╩═║╚╝║╚╝║║╚═╝║╚╣║═╬══╠══║──║║║╚╝║╚╝║
    ╚═══╩══╩══╝╚═══╩═╩══╩══╩══╝──╚╝╚══╩══╝

    • Lanny A. Eichert February 22, 2012 at 1:27 am

      I pray, “Deliver me from Stephen Helbig” who’s carried away again by great swelling words of men’s wisdom and who thinks some right imagined spirit is better than real correct doctrine. Stop this flirtation, Stephen, and engage a sound mind, not mush brains. Come on, man, the Judge is in you, weird, and get serious about sound doctrine: you’re running on subjective emotions, not objective intelligence. Is there anybody out there that can put “a straight jacket on this man and detox him?” He really needs in-person help right now before he really flips way out. Please, some one sit with him a while. He needs one-on-one help. You’re way way out there Stephen and you need to get real professional help, and I’m serious, Stephen: do it. Get help ASAP.

      Alice, I’m seriously concerned about Stephen.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 22, 2012 at 2:58 am

        Alice, the more I think about it the more I remember Stephen being like this.

        Stephen, I apologize for so characterizing you wrongly. You aren’t any more “way out” than you’ve always been.

        • admin February 23, 2012 at 2:41 am

          Do you want me to remove your 1:27 am comment?

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 23, 2012 at 3:35 am

            yes, thank you

      • Stephen Helbig February 23, 2012 at 4:11 am

        Lanny A. Eichert says:
        February 22, 2012 at 1:27 am
        “I pray, “Deliver me from Stephen Helbig” who’s carried away again by great swelling words of men’s wisdom and who thinks some right imagined spirit is better than real correct doctrine.”

        Lanny, I believe you may have misunderstood me, I love Doctrine, and the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ , By His Grace I have studied to show MYSELF, “approved onto God”, a workman that needeth NOT BE ASHAMED, rightly dividing His word of truth, accomplished by HIM, and not of my WORKS, but truly by HIS GRACE. To HIM only be THE GLORY!

        The point I tried to make known above where I stated the following;
        “I really desire people to know this; God is not interested in you learning all the “right doctrine” ~ that’s the letter. Believe this, God looks upon the heart of the matter. It’s not as important to know the right doctrine as it is to have the right spirit. It is vastly more important to have the right spirit than to know all the doctrines correctly. I have known many a people who have all their theology down pat, they had a brilliant grasp of all the doctrines and could articulate them masterfully, but their lives were full of death. Their walk was void of life, joy, victory, wisdom, peace and the image of God. In their presence they had no ability to bless, strengthen or encourage you – all they could do was spout doctrines and quote chapter and verse to prove their ignorant views of God, (myself included). “… “But that is not what is important! KNOWING THE LORD JESUS CHRIST “personally” is what is IMPORTANT!”

        The point of interest I wished above is this: Lanny, to follow Jesus is a lifestyle, and not just a doctrine. Anywhere that men have doctrine and external forms of religion, but not the Life and the Love God, Jesus states they are “whited sepulchers full of dead men’s bones”, and according to Jesus statement, “religion” or the “form of religion without the substance” is the congregation of the “dead”. Without the Life and the Love of God, the Word of God also states, “For If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”

        So Lanny ” For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant us, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith; that we, being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God.” … An awesome prayer for you and me.

        Lanny,Thanks for being here.

        • Lanny A. Eichert February 23, 2012 at 5:21 am

          Fine, Stephen, but we are not on the same page. Darkness verses light. I’ll not even pretend to be in “the Body” that you think you’re in, nor Alice, nor Mary. You can’t call God a Liar and be a brother of mine. The bottom line is: if you deny eternal punishment/torment, you call God a Liar. When you do that you fashion God the way you want Him to be, not the way He shows Himself to be. It doesn’t matter that you include the cardinal doctrines of grace salvation, you still have mixed truth with error according to the devil’s fashion, by which he seeks to deceive even God’s elect if that were possible.

          You see: whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world {Revelation 17: 8} means God chose not to write their names in His Book before the world began and He hasn’t changed His mind. His intention is to keep their names from being written in the Book of Life. He intends to destroy them in the Lake of Fire. He intended eternal torment for them before He even created them. It says they are: the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction {Romans 9: 22} and destruction is not annihilation, but results in eternal torment.

    • admin February 23, 2012 at 2:42 am

      Your comments are always so uplifting.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm

        Stephen’s uplifting? Alice with his “The Judge is within you” comment about final judgment, he eliminates and destroys the whole scene of the Revelation 20: 11 – 15 and you call that uplifting? That amounts to both of you denying the final judgment and distorting it beyond recognition. It fits your pattern of unbelief.

        Alice, let stand of my 1: 27am comment:
        I pray, “Deliver me from Stephen Helbig” who’s carried away again by great swelling words of men’s wisdom and who thinks some right imagined spirit is better than real correct doctrine. Stop this flirtation, Stephen, and engage a sound mind, not mush brains. Come on, man, the Judge is in you, weird, and get serious about sound doctrine: you’re running on subjective emotions, not objective intelligence.

        My word, Alice, to you and yours, is also stop this flirtation and engage a sound mind, not mush brains.

        • Stephen Helbig February 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm

          Lanny: the Holy Spirit that writes upon the very heart and mind, is not {“some right IMAGINED spirit”}. He is God in you the Hope of Glory.

          Jesus stated in John’s gospel chapter16

          <>
          King James Version
          ________________________________________
          1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
          5But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? 6But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
          12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

          Please note verses 7-11 above

          This is the baptism that John the Baptist spoke of “”I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

          Our God is indeed a consuming Fire, and this Fire cleanses and purifies and is Life giving. It is a fire of Love. Notice COMFORTER~ (a) an advocate, intercessor, (b) a consoler, comforter, helper, (c) Paraclete.

          “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”(1Jn. 2:27)(NIV)

          Lest the above verse be taken wrongly read entire letter of 1Jn. chapter 2

          • Stephen Helbig February 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

            p.s. you may say not all have this “Christ in you”
            p.s.s. I say (Romans 14:11)
            “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.”

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm

            The ungodly praise God when they say, “God, I rightly got this eternal torment because Your judgments are holy and true.” Remember even the devil makes some true statements while remaing in unbelief, so why not the ungodly? They even today some times make true statements about God which, though they don’t intend it, praises God.

            • admin February 24, 2012 at 12:40 am

              The part about people who don’t believe in God sometimes unintentionally praising Him is very true. My Physics instructor was very passionately describing the order and power at work in the universe, and he actually said, “It’s almost as if it were intentional,” even though he professed to be an agnostic. I think he was praising God that day. If the rocks could cry out, why not those who don’t believe yet? I look forward with much joy to the day that we can share a mutual understanding of God’s glory.

          • Stephen Helbig February 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

            Psalm 69 :34 Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein. 35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. 36 The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

          • Stephen Helbig February 24, 2012 at 10:00 am

            Psalm 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. 90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 91 They for all are thy servants.

            Who declares God’s righteousness? THY SERVANTS

            Psalm 50:4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. 5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. 6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.
            Psalm 97:6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.
            Psalm 22:31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

        • Stephen Helbig February 24, 2012 at 10:06 am

          Hosea 2:18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. 19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; 22 And the earth shall hearthe corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. 23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

          • Lanny A. Eichert February 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

            Your quote Stephen {Hosea 2} is that of a literal renewal of the earth to the Eden paradise that will exist during the literal thousand year reign of Messiah beginning with the salvation of all literal Israelites alive on the earth who have physically survived the Great Tribulation of Daniel 9 and 12 as also recorded in the Revelation 6 – 19. Put it together, Stephen, and escape these so called christian universalists’ heresy.

            Mary, that is why I insistently asked you about the literal 483 years, because his apocalyptic writing helps the understanding of the Revelation in its literal presentation.

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Strait the gate, and narrow the way. Few find to life. Wide the gate, and broad the way. Many go to destruction. {Matthew 7: 13 & 14}

    The focus here is:
    Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. {Galatians 4: 27}

    This is an allegory according to 4: 24 and Sarah is the barren one and Hagar is the desolate one. Hagar’s children are after the flesh, but Sarah’s children are after the Holy Spirit and are the saints of God according to 4: 28 & 29 and Abraham’s seed according to 3: 29. Notice, however, who has the most children: the abandoned Hagar, not the barren Sarah. The world of the abandoned ungodly far outnumber the saints of God. She, even at the writing of this epistle, is still labelled “desolate” and shall always be desolate with her children. This is further evidence that “the desolate” {abandoned} are never saved, but perish in eternal torment as the rest of Scripture declares.

    God said it: “the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband” and now it is your responsibility to believe this eternal factual declaration from God or burn with the rest of Hagar’s children in the eternal Lake of Fire. It is your choice.

    • Stephen Helbig February 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      OH LORD GOD THOU HAST MADE THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH BY THY GREAT POWER. I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes. Bring forth thy Word and declare Your Glorious light, FOR GREAT ART THOU OH LORD

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