Guest Blog by John Dean: First Impressions on the Mission Field

Guest Blog by John Dean: First Impressions on the Mission Field

This is a guest blog by my dad, John Dean, now a Columbian missionary.  I hope that he will continue to write guest posts, sharing the stories of his adventures in Kingdom of God.

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Puerto Inirida is a small town located in the jungles of Colombia.  The only way to get there is either by air or boat.  It is located near the border with Venezuela.  In the middle 1940’s a young woman named Sophie Mueller, a missionary with New Tribes Missions came to the area to evangelize the indigenous peoples who lived along the many rivers in the region known a Guiana.  The rivers were populated with 14 different ethnic groups, who all had their own unique languages.

Sophie was originally a reporter for the New York Times and a gifted artist.  She was converted when she stopped to listen to street preachers as she was walking along the streets of New York.  She eventually dedicated her life to God and felt the call to missions.  She wanted to go where no missionary had ever gone before and decided that God wanted her in South America.  She traveled to Bogota, Colombia and departed there for the jungle.

When she arrived in the Guiana area she met up with the Curipaco tribe.  The indigenous were animists and were led by witch doctors and witches.  The tribes often went to battle with each other over territory, and their religion involved getting highly intoxicated and dancing wildly.  Sophie met these people and told them about Jesus.  The witch doctor decided to test her and evaluate her god against his gods.  He put a poison into her soup and decided to wait to see what would happen.  She took the soup and eventually vomited through the night, but she survived.  A couple of dogs and a few chickens licked and pecked at the vomit and they all died.  The witch doctor immediately wanted to know about her God and she communicated as best she could about Jesus.  He was her first convert.

Over the years Sophie Mueller traversed the rivers of Colombia and helped to start hundreds of churches.  She translated the New Testament into 14 different native languages.  She taught the tribal people how to read and write and gave them pride in the fact that they were the indigenous people of Colombia and Valenzuela.  Today, she is revered by the various indigenous tribes in Guiana and Venezuela.  Sophie died in the late 1980’s, but her influence on the people continues.

A missionary from our fellowship met with one of the indigenous people while he was ministering in Puerto Lopez.  The man was from the Puinave tribe and told the missionary, Jim Gage, about the need for someone to come to the rivers and teach the people.  After hearing Jim preach, he said that he taught like Sophie Mueller, and that the indigenous leaders would be anxious to talk to him.  Jim made the trip to the jungle and met with the indigenous leaders and they told him that they would like to start a bible institute to educate their young pastors.  Along the various rivers of Colombia there are about 1,000 churches and many of the young pastors need a solid theological education.  Jim presented this need to his sponsoring church, Westwood Missionary Baptist Church of Winter Haven, Florida, and the leadership and people immediately responded to the need.  That is where I come into the story.  I surrendered to the call of the Lord to go to Colombia as a missionary.

I traveled to Colombia in February of this year and met with Jim Gage.  A week later, Jim and I traveled to Guiana and met with the tribal leaders from the four largest indigenous ethnic groups. We started the planning stages for the Bible institute.  My pastor and our missions director had made previous trips to initiate things.  We arranged a Bible conference, and the church printed out 1,000 New Testaments in the four major languages.  When we presented a few of these bibles to the leaders, they wept for joy at having the New Testament in their own language.

Meeting with these people and spending time in the jungle in the town of Puerto Inirida has been a wonderful and unique experience for me.  I have learned that you can live very simply and still be happy.  My little apartment there was very basic.  I had a bed with a rock hard mattress with mosquito netting.  We had plastic chairs and a plastic table.  The kitchen consisted of a sink, counter, and a portable gas grill.  It was not unusual to hear rats moving around the kitchen at night looking for food scraps.  I had to hand wash my clothes and hang them in the living room to dry. Life was good despite the lack of modern comforts and conveniences.

I came to Colombia with little knowledge of Spanish, so in Puerto Inirida I had to learn as I became involved in daily activities.  I became acquainted with my landlord, who was very helpful in my language development.  The lady at the little restaurant down the way was also helpful and taught me how to order food.  I like my coffee black and the Colombians like it with sugar, so it is important for me to order it “tinto sin asuca” which is black coffee without sugar.  Eggs are “huevos,” and if you want them fried you order “huevos fritos.”  I have not mastered Spanish by any means, but in the three months I have been in Colombia, I have made some good progress.

I had to return to the States because I do not yet have a visa.  I am only allowed to stay for three months without a visa.  I write this in Maryland at a Bible Conference, and I will return to Florida at the end of the week to visit my family and report to my church.  I’ll make a trip to Detroit to visit my brothers, and then on July 9th, I will return to Colombia to focus my attention wholly to learning Spanish.  I am going to hire a tutor.  I hope that within a year I will master the language enough to preach and teach.  Once I have mastered the language, I will be making quarterly trips to the jungle to teach in the Bible institute.  We start our first classes this August, and I would covet your prayers for the success of this work.  We Americans cannot traverse the rivers because of the risk of kidnapping by the FARC guerillas. The indigenous people can travel the rivers without risk or fear from them, so it is vital that we train these pastors in both Bible and evangelization so they can go back to their people and spread the gospel.  We found out that the various tribes who do not live near the rivers have yet to hear about Jesus, and these dedicated indigenous pastors can go there and share the good news of the gospel to their brethren who still live in darkness.

I would appreciate your prayers for me personally and for the work that we are doing to help these people.  I would also appreciate prayer that our church can receive the finances needed to keep this worthy project going.  God has given us a unique opportunity that most missionaries do not have.  We have thousands of people just waiting to learn more about Jesus.  Our church meetings in the various indigenous churches surrounding Puerto Inirida have been packed to capacity with people and others crowded around the outside anxious to hear the word of God preached.

Comments
  • Mary Vanderplas May 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    The mission you’re a part of sounds tremendous. What an incredible person Sophie Mueller must have been – a totally-sold-out disciple of Jesus Christ – to do what she did in getting the work there going. I was impressed especially by what you said about her respecting the culture of the people with whom she ministered – instead of arrogantly trying to change them to become like she was. No wonder the people loved and respected her. She evidently shared the gospel as much by embodying it in her interactions with people as by preaching it. I would imagine that she was open to receiving help from the people, too, rather than seeing herself as the only one with something to give.

    I was struck by your description of the hunger for God among the tribal people as evidenced by their coming in droves to hear the word preached. (How different this is from what we often experience here: indifference or even hostility toward the proclamation of the gospel.) Your experience underscores the universality of the quest for something as the fulfillment of life. How wonderful that you and your group are able to announce that what they are searching for is the God who has revealed himself definitively in Jesus Christ.

    It sounds as though you are adapting well to the environment, in spite of the challenges of learning a new language and of doing without many of the luxuries we have here. (I’m more than a little impressed that you are tackling learning a new language at this stage of your life – a feat that I’m not sure I would be up to accomplishing.) I think it’s neat that you’re developing relationships with people who are helping you learn the language – acknowledging your dependence upon the people, as well as your serving and helping them in ways that they need.

    Thanks, John, for sharing about the mission and about your experiences. What you describe definitely sounds like an exciting opportunity for serving God among people who are open and ready to hear the message of God’s saving love in Christ and to grow in their faith and knowledge of God’s grace. We will continue to pray for you and your team – and for the resources needed to continue this work among people whom God deeply loves.

  • Mary Vanderplas May 21, 2013 at 6:30 am

    How amazing that Sophie Mueller was able to love and forgive the people who had attempted to do her in. Yes, indeed, the God we serve is a powerful God (Ephesians 3:20)!

  • Lanny A. Eichert May 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Mary, Edy, Alice, have you researched John’s sending church, the Westwood Missionary Baptist Church of Winter Haven, on line since they have a web site defining what they believe and the message they proclaim?

    We believe … The Millennium will be followed by the resurrection of the unrighteous unto eternal punishment in the lake of fire and that the righteous shall enter into the heaven age. ( … 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19; Rev. 20:4-6; Rev. 20:11-15; Rev. 21:8)

    The indigenous were animists and were led by witch doctors and witches to whom Sophie Mueller preached Christ; and they knew Satanic spirits were fearful and not to triffle with them. They know what we here try to deny and you wonder why they respond better to the Gospel than we? Get your heads screwed on correctly: John’s report is trying to tell you the truth, which is physical death IS INDEED the cutoff of the salvation offer, otherwise he’d not be there. Go to http://www.westwoodmbc.org and see what you should believe if you wish to be saved.

    Either John’s Gospel is the true one or he is doing as much harm to those indigenous people as his church is doing to people in Florida and the rest of the United States of America and the world. Which is it, dear people: is John a LIAR preaching a false gospel or is he a good person with God’s message?

    the resurrection of the unrighteous unto eternal punishment in the lake of fire

    • admin May 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      My dad is not Westwood church. He’s a human being, doing what God has called him to do. Other than that, I’ll let my dad speak for himself, Lanny.

      • Mary Vanderplas May 22, 2013 at 6:13 am

        Actually, I’d be interested to know what your dad’s beliefs about eschatology are. It’s a valid question to ask, I think, of someone who has been called by God and commissioned by a particular church to teach in a Bible institute.

        • admin May 22, 2013 at 11:52 am

          Valid question, yes, but the manner in which it is posed sets up a false dichotomy and forced choice of two options when there could be more. For example, Lanny writes, “John a LIAR preaching a false gospel or is he a good person with God’s message.” Here are all the options I can think of, off the top of my head. And there could be more:

          a person intentionally preaching a false gospel (what Lanny calls LIAR)

          a person unintentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching God’s message

          a person unintentionally preaching God’s message

          a person intentionally preaching a false gospel representing an organization intentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching a false gospel representing an organization unintentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching a false gospel representing an organization intentionally preaching God’s message

          a person intentionally preaching a false gospel representing an organization unintentionally preaching God’s message

          a person unintentionally preaching a false gospel representing an organization intentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching a false gospel representing an organization unintentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching a false gospel representing an organization intentionally preaching God’s message

          a person unintentionally preaching a false gospel representing an organization unintentionally preaching God’s message

          a person intentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization intentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization unintentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization intentionally preaching God’s message

          a person intentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization unintentionally preaching God’s message

          a person unintentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization intentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization unintentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization intentionally preaching God’s message

          a person unintentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization unintentionally preaching God’s message

          a person intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization intentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization unintentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization intentionally preaching God’s message

          a person intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization unintentionally preaching God’s message

          a person unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization intentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization unintentionally preaching a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization intentionally preaching God’s message

          a person unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization unintentionally preaching God’s message

          a person intentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching God’s message representing an organization unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel

          a person intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization intentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel

          a person unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel representing an organization unintentionally preaching a combination of God’s message and a false gospel

          • Mary Vanderplas May 22, 2013 at 5:35 pm

            I wasn’t affirming what Lanny was saying. I was simply expressing curiosity regarding your dad’s beliefs about eschatology – not to judge him, but simply to know where he stands. Indeed, I don’t do as Lanny does: judge the legitimacy of someone’s faith by whether or not the person’s doctrine agrees with mine. I don’t have to agree with someone’s theology in order to accept him/her as a fellow disciple of Jesus Christ and to affirm his/her ministry. That your dad is part of a mission that is sharing the good news of God’s love in Christ for all people – which seems to me to be the case – is enough to prompt me to give thanks and to pray for its success and for the participants in it, notwithstanding any theological differences I have with him/them.

            • Lanny A. Eichert May 22, 2013 at 10:30 pm

              Mary, go to http://www.westwoodmbc.org where you will find John’s eschatology, not under his name, but what his church declares is what he had already held and signed his agreement.

              • Mary Vanderplas May 23, 2013 at 6:27 am

                Thanks for the link. I wasn’t asking to read a church’s belief statement, though; I was expressing interest in hearing directly from John what he believes. It is at least possible, I would think – but maybe not, I don’t know (admittedly, I’m a complete stranger to the world of fundamentalist Baptists) – that John Dean doesn’t subscribe to everything this church teaches. At any rate, as much as I disagree with what this church teaches (and the points of disagreement are many), I can’t reject anyone who confesses Christ and who proclaims his name for the salvation of those God loves and wills to save (which, I believe, includes everyone).

          • Patrick Strickland May 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm

            Alice, for all those reasons and many more we cannot judge a person by what we see. We must all come to the place where we judge no man by what we see or hear about them in the flesh, unless God shows us what their true condition is, simply because we don’t know which category they may truly fall under. Judging just by sight can lead us to put a person in the wrong category and our actions will change towards them accordingly. We must each learn to allow the holy ghost to teach everyone and give them all a revelation of HIS truth. I do know that you know and understand this but there are many readers that do not understand this truth.

            As you know God has not ordained all men to come into this understanding at this exact time. Many men will live a normal life and never come into this truth till later. Many can be born again and become baptists , or spirit filled Pentecostals or join any number of denominational names and never during their lifetime enter into this truth. God has ordained each man to accomplish certain things and I believe that you father and even Lanny are doing just what the father has ordained for them to do. However in God’s time may he grant all men including your Father and even Lanny the spirit of wisdom and revelation in Him, so they may fully come into his truth and be totally set free from all that binds them from fully seeing the fullness of HIS truth .

            Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
            (Joh 8:31-32 KJV)

            Grace and Peace Patrick

        • Lanny A. Eichert May 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm

          Mary, please forgive Alice’s outburst for not answering your question, but Fundamental Baptist churches lack the tolerance necessary to employ anybody with significant differences in doctrine. “Soul liberty” is a Baptist distinctive that allows theoretical and practical differences to be tolerated in non-essentials, while the fundamentals are absolutes and are defined by a doctrinal statement such as may be found at http://www.westwoodmbc.org where you will find John’s eschatology.

          Us Bible-thumpers don’t see there’s much value in intellectually understanding other points of view that are incorrect. We focus on keeping our minds uncluttered by the false and fully occupied with the truth we proclaim. We are simple-minded folks living simple lives and are wrongly accused of being ignorant. We just don’t want the complicated life of the world’s intellect.

          Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. {2 Timothy 2: 3 & 4} Also see 1 John 2: 15 & 16

          Oh, Mary, since I have your attention, Edy’s referenced site on the Luke 16 parable argued about heaping coals of fire on a person’s head; what have you learned culturally about such a thing? {Romans 12: 20} I heard culturally it is carrying live burning coals from a friend’s fire pit to your own fire pit to restart your own fire after it accidentally extinguished and typically carried in a vessel of some sort atop of the head rather than holding it in outstretched arms in front of you. Such an explanation reenforces the good intent of 12: 20 and removes the evil intent some suggest.

    • Lanny A. Eichert May 22, 2013 at 12:14 am

      Alice, use your head instead of your emotions to learn the truth. Your dad is vitally linked to Westwood Missionary Baptist Church and as a missionary representative of that church he is responsible to promote everything it states in Our Doctrinal Statement whole-heartedly without any reservation whatsoever. You cannot divorce your dad from the Westwood Missionary Baptist Church to which he is wed. He loves that church and all it represents more than he loves even your mother and you because it is Christ’s church. Your dad knows Luke 14: 26 and has paid the heart-tearing price while the rest of ALL of you “ditched out” on Christ perferring your own version of your gospel.

      If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

      • admin May 22, 2013 at 12:45 am

        And you are vitally linked to Utah. You carry a Utah driver’s license, pay Utah taxes, etc. That doesn’t mean you ARE Utah. Believers may organize and meet in buildings and call it “church,” but the real church is not in one geographical location with a label like “Westwood Missionary Baptist.” Believers are vitally linked to Christ and each other, no matter what institutional church they do (or don’t) attend.

        “God …does not live in temples built by human hands.”

        • Lanny A. Eichert May 22, 2013 at 12:52 am

          Alice, institutionally your dad is Westwood no matter how you want to deny it.

          • Lanny A. Eichert May 22, 2013 at 1:02 am

            Alice, perhaps you might better understand Westwood as a local organization of like-minded people joined in common efforts. Maybe in that way it would be more acceptable to then say John is Westwood.

          • Lanny A. Eichert May 22, 2013 at 1:55 am

            Alice, Westwood states: We believe a missionary is and scripturally should be a member of his sending church; he should submit to the authority of that church ….

            Your dad is sent by Westwood which holds authority over him to which he must submit.

            If he will not submit, they will not own him and he must unite elsewhere. At present your dad owns them and they own him.

            Westwood states: We believe Jesus Christ established His church during His ministry on earth and that it is always a local, visible assembly of scripturally baptized believers in covenant relationship to carry out the Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, and each church is an independent, self-governing body, and no other ecclesiastical body may exercise authority over it.

            Westwood’s statement clearly identifies organized congregations residing in distinct geographical locations, hence the terms “local” and “visible”. You seem to want to deny the local/visible actually are the “real” churches. Tell me how you have a real church NOT comprised of local visible congregations? Aren’t you throwing out the baby with the bathwater? Don’t you see that many local visible congregations comprise the invisible catholic {universal} church which is Christ’s body spanning from the first century’s Day of Pentecost to the Rapture? Must I remind you congregations are locally gathered together visible PEOPLE and it is the people that comprise the church not their many independent forms of organization? You promote on your site an incomplete and wrong view of Christ’s church and you’d do better to heed the statements of Fundamentalist Baptist churches to get it correct according to Scriptural use of the term.

            • admin May 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm

              The real church is comprised of people within the local/visable “church” buildings and/or “church” organizations as well as people NOT within the local/visable “church” buildings and/or “church” organizations – the reason you can know that the local/visable “church” buildings and/or “church” organizations are NOT the same thing as the real church is that if all the “church” organizations were dissolved and all the “church” buildings bulldozed or repurposed for other uses, the real church would remain alive and strong. One is made by God; the other is made by human hands and human ideas.

              • Patrick Strickland May 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm

                This fact has already been proved in china’s history When the communists took over every building was seized by the government and used for other purposes; and every pastor who taught in those buildings was arrested and many were executed as enemies of the state. Yet the church that Watchman Nee helped to set up survived because they did not have a regular building to meet in and no single man could be arrested because they had a body ministry functioning instead of just a few men over the congregation.

                There is a vast difference between the church men have built and the church God is truly building.

                • admin May 23, 2013 at 7:03 pm

                  That’s a great story.

                  • Lanny A. Eichert May 24, 2013 at 12:39 am

                    Alice, it is foolish for Patrick to speak of “body ministry” without a head. There’s no coordination without the head. What does a chicken do immediately after its head is chopped off. Unlike the headless chicken, body ministry means another assumes headship when there’s an unexpected vacancy.

                    You lacked insight and that’s why you responded with: That’s a great story.

                    • admin May 25, 2013 at 12:31 am

                      Just because you can’t see the Head, this doesn’t mean there is no Head.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert May 25, 2013 at 3:05 am

                      Alice, leaders were EVENTUALLY found out and arrested. It was only a matter of time and observation. You still lack insight. You still live in fantasy rather than in reality. Greater than ninety percent of the world dies without Christ while your god tries to save everybody and fails to display any convincing track record indicative of a global yield.

                      Please understand when Jesus said “ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” He clearly proclaimed salvation’s offer does NOT extend beyond this life. Procrastination is not an option. You must be rid of your sins BEFORE you die.

                      I told you previously that you did your sins IN THIS LIFE and it must be IN THIS LIFE you get rid of them. Otherwise you carry them to judgment and then eternal damnation.

                      Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. {1 Timothy 5: 24} (after to judgment) The Christian has no sins because Jesus took them away the moment they believed. The Christian has no sins: no past sins, no present sins, no future sins. Therefore they are neither beforehand nor after. The “some men” are unbelievers.

                      I guess since Alice ditched out of church attendance for the last three years, her sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment. I hope she read Low Carb first.

                    • Patrick Strickland May 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm

                      Lanny Who is the head of the church the body of Christ?
                      Eph 1:22, 4:15, 5:23, col 1:18

                      Where is He located at?
                      Rom 8:9-11, Gal 4:19, Col1:27

                      So how can you even imagine that I am speaking about a body ministry without a head?

                      Some of your answers just make me realize how blind religion has made you to the reality of Christ the head in you.

                      The five fold ministry is the hand of Christ, not the head. Christ is the head of every man. when you chop off the hand the head still exists. Your analogy of the chicken as the head for the body of Christ is completely scripturally incorrect.

                • Lanny A. Eichert May 24, 2013 at 12:29 am

                  Patrick, the body cannot function without a head. The underground church in China still had physical leadership, headship. 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, and Acts 6 require by God pastors, elders, bishops, and deacons. Didn’t you see my May 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm below?

            • Lanny A. Eichert May 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm

              Alice, are not the three Pastoral Epistle and Acts 6 still in your Bible? That Volume, God’s love letter to His saints and His Owner’s Manual, requires organizing Jesus’ local visible congregations with pastors, elders, bishops, and deacons to maintain the order of the ministries of the body’s members. God mandated the organization and institution, so you cannot dismiss them and say the church still exists mystically. The mystical church exists only so long as the institutional organizations exist to comprise the mystical catholic body of Christ.

              For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee {Titus 1: 5}

              For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak {1 Corinthians 14: 33 & 34}

              Your view lacks practical reality.

      • Lanny A. Eichert May 22, 2013 at 12:48 am

        Alice, I’m not saying the rest of you didn’t go through some heart-tearing, but your dad’s was more intense because he had once thought he had a family united in Christ who would sacrifice their lives for the truth of the Gospel. You all deceived him and God had to tear you all away from John and separate him out from you unto His Fundamental service. Then you dad ridded himself of everything to serve the true Christ as a testimony of the truth for all of you, and what a testimony it is. He may die in the effort since it is dangerous, so all of you better heed his testimony ASAP that he might know with regard to his family his labor is not in vain. He already knows before Christ his labor is never in vain. Please don’t leave him with the permanence of 1 John 2: 19 speaking of his family.

        They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

        • Lanny A. Eichert May 22, 2013 at 1:11 am

          Please, Alice, get the whole family together over your dad’s missions testimony to regularly attend fundamental Baptist churches, and each one of you all get properly saved. Then each one tell John when and how it happened they came to the truth.

  • John Dean May 23, 2013 at 10:13 am

    My eschatology is pretty much in line with my home church. I differ with them in a few things, but I do agree with them in the fundamentals of the faith, which makes me by definition a fundamentalist. I am probably a little more liberal than some of my contemporaries, but I am solidly in agreement with them when it comes to the basic fundamentals of the faith. I may differ theologically with some of the positions my children have taken, but I still love them. I taught them to think for themselves and some of them now think differently than I do on some things. I am continuing with the beliefs I once held. There was a period when circumstances made me question my beliefs, but the Lord intervened with my heart and conscience and I feel that I am back on the right track and where God wants me to be. I feel confident that I am in God’s will and therefore am very happy with my life as it now is. My children who differ from my thinking may have been influenced with incidents in the past which may have made them question the church, their beliefs, and my beliefs. I would call myself a Christian who believes in the fundamentals of the faith, and therefore a Fundamentalist as well.

    • Mary Vanderplas May 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Of course not all believers are in agreement about what constitutes the essential tenets of the faith.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Mary Vanderplas May 24, 2013 at 5:20 am

      So, do you subscribe to the doctrine of eternal punishment of the unrighteous in the lake of fire? Do you count this doctrine among the “fundamentals of the faith”?

  • Patrick Strickland May 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    I enjoyed reading your father’s testimony. I found it very informative and highly interesting.
    Thank you Alice for having him as a guest blogger.

    Keep up the good work.

    God has a very interesting way of killing the old man by using others to kill us spiritually by the words they speak against us. God does use them to continually kill us and every time he kills us he then raises us up in him in a new realm we have never walked in before. This is never easy on us but when we love and trust God enough so that we can be led as a lamb to the slaughter and act like he did at the cross and keep silent to our crucifiers then we grow in him when we are raised in him. This is a spiritual process that can happen over and over again in our lives.

    We have come to mount Zion where we have come to a blood that is better then Abel’s blood which cried out for vengeance against his brother Cain who killed him…we have come to the blood of Christ which said Father forgive them for they do not know what they do. Heb 12

    Grace and peace Alice you are in my prayers.

    • admin May 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      That’s funny you mention the “killing” process, because Dad and I were just talking about that today, how God takes us through certain situations to bring to attention what He is getting rid of or what He is developing in us.

      • Patrick Strickland May 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        God has a wonderful way of witnessing out of the mouth of two or three witnesses when he wants us to understand a glorious truth he is bringing us into.

        The funny thing is that I almost did not put it into the post until His peace overrode my will. and I just knew that I needed to add it.
        Grace and peace

    • Lanny A. Eichert May 24, 2013 at 12:18 am

      Patrick, Christ and His Father forgive ONLY those who call upon the Lord for salvation while they still live here on this earth in their mortal existence. Don’t go exporting words from their context. You have a bad habit that you excuse by saying your god revealled that meaning to you.

      {Luke 23: 34} Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. That is a statement that His Father did NOT grant to everybody involved in the death of Christ. If you call that Jesus’ prayer, it is one prayer God did NOT answer, not even for Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t get what He wanted. God did NOT get what He wanted.

      Think about it. Everybodies’ sins put Jesus on that cross, not just those historical persons involved in getting Him crucified; and everybody didn’t know what they were doing in sinning since sins blind individuals to righteousness. If Jesus’ prayer got everybody forgiven by His Father at the moment He asked for their forgiveness, there’d be no sinners getting converted to Christ because nobody would have sins from which to be saved. Don’t you see, people do NOT get forgiven because they didn’t know what they were doing. Jesus asked His Father to forgive them affirming the reason to forgive is that they don’t know what they are doing.

      Forgiveness is granted by God solely on the merit of Christ’s death on the cross. For a person to be granted forgiveness, that person must plead to God Christ’s death for his sins. Such a plea cannot be made unless the person knows that death was accomplished for him. At that point knowing and believing become one and the same thing. That knowledge is attained by reading the perfect literal Holy Bible. That reading is encouraged by somebody else who preached the Biblical Gospel to the person. The preacher and the Holy Bible are only found on this earth in this mortal life. Therefore persons are saved only during mortality.

      Greater than 90 percent of the current world’s population do NOT claim to believe the Biblical Gospel and less than 10 percent even claim some connection to Christianity and few of them are genuinely saved. So has it been for the last two thousand years. Jesus told us few find the narrow way and most are content to travel the broad way. Why, then, will you not believe Jesus and reality?

  • Lanny A. Eichert May 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Luke 23: 34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

    What His immediate disciples preached thereafter:

    Acts 3: 13 – 15 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom YE DELIVERED UP, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But YE DENIED the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and KILLED the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

    Acts 4: 10 & 11 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom YE CRUCIFIED, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was SET AT NOUGHT OF YOU builders, which is become the head of the corner.

    Acts 5: 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom YE SLEW AND HANGED ON A TREE.

    Acts 7: 52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom YE HAVE BEEN NOW THE BETRAYERS AND MURDERERS

    Did Jesus disciples believe Jesus’ prayer to His Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do? If they were forgiven, why is there remembrance of their sins again {Hebrews 8: 12 & 10: 17} preached by the disciples?

    Do you think Jesus’ prayer to His Father went unanswered as demonstrated by His disciples’ preaching? Is God able to forgive sins of ignorance ONLY because they were committed in ignorance? WHAT IS REQUIRED TO BE FORGIVEN? Why does the majority of the world’s population die unforgiven?

    • Lanny A. Eichert May 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      What must a person DO to be forgiven by God?

      • Patrick Strickland May 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm

        Hi Lanny

        How Are you dear sir?

        I will respond to all these three posts later but I must go to work soon and do not have time to deal with them today. Grace and Peace Patrick.

      • Patrick Strickland June 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm

        Hi Lanny:

        If Jesus asked the father to forgive all his enemies, and God did not forgive all of them then what hope do we have that God will actually forgive us when we ask him for forgiveness us?

        God demands that we forgive our enemies 70 * 7 for the same thing in one day if we ask for forgiveness.

        Mat 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (22) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

        Remember dear sir Jesus only spoke what he heard his Father teach him to say.

        Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

        Jesus was the express image of God and showed forth the true heart of the Father towards all men.

        Now according to the new testament those who teach among us must live what they are teaching, or they are being a hypocrite.

        Rom 2:21-22 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? (22) Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

        This is something God himself lives by. He is not demanding of us to do something He will or cannot do. He commands us to forgive our enemies because he truly does forgive all of his. Anything less is a mockery of the cross of Christ.

        The Father not only heard Jesus concerning forgiveness but he judged all of their sins on the cross that very day. God was not mad at the Jews but that does not mean that they will not reap what they are sowing.

        A man commits a murder, and comes to the lord and asks for forgiveness He is forgiven by God but then is arrested for His crime and sentenced to the electric chair, for what he has done. Now did he lose his forgiveness No but he must still face the consequences of what he has done.

        At the cross of Christ, when Jesus died for all men, all men died in him. Jesus not only took their sins to the cross but he took all mankind’s sin nature there. As far as God is concerned Jesus met the appointment of death for everyone and has already judged sin at the cross. There is not a SECOND JUDGMENT FOR OUR SIN THAT WILL SEND ANY MAN TO AN ETERNAL TORMENT IN HELL.

        Heb 9:26-28 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath HE HATH APPEARED TO PUT AWAY SIN BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF. (27) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (28) SO CHRIST WAS ONCE OFFERED TO BEAR THE SINS OF MANY; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

        In a relationship there are two sided that need to be reconciled: GOD AND MAN. From God’s side He has already reconciled himself and is no longer holding anyone accountable for the sins that they have done.

        2Co 5:19-21 How that, God, was in Christ, reconciling, a world, unto himself, not reckoning, unto them, their offences,—and hath put, in us, the reconciling discourse. (20) In behalf of Christ, therefore, are we ambassadors,—as if God were beseeching through us: we entreat, in behalf of Christ,—be reconciled unto God! (21) Him who knew not sin, in our behalf, he made to be, sin, that we might become God’s righteousness in him.

        2Co 5:18-21 and all things are of the God who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and given to us the ministry of that reconciliation: (19) how that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their offences; and putting in us the word of that reconciliation. (20) We are ambassadors therefore for Christ, God as it were beseeching by us, we entreat for Christ, Be reconciled to God. (21) Him who knew not sin he has made sin for us, that *we* might become God’s righteousness in him.

        We need to be reconciled back to God and the way we do that is by asking God for forgiveness this is the beginning of the process of being conciliated back to him. When we ask for forgiveness we are beginning to admit that we need help and are learning to humble ourselves before Him. God has commanded all men to repent and there will be a time that all men get to follow that command whether in this life or after in their resurrection.

        Death does not stop disannul or cancel the forgiveness that God has given to all men, because of the cross of Christ. God’s forgiveness is once for all. And no matter how many times you need to ask for forgiveness from Him Know this he has already forgiven you completely for all your sins. But not only you but all men everywhere, and everywhen!!!

        I have never found one scripture that says His forgiveness is only available during this lifetime. That is nothing but the opinion of your religion you have been taught by men. You need to provide the scripture, or scriptures that clearly states our lifetime is the only time we have available for forgiveness.

        I think you will have the same result as your search for God predestinating most to hell. As you know there is absolutely no scripture that says that God predestined anyone for Hell. yet you still believe the doctrine of men. There is no scripture that states that Death disannuls the covenant of God or that death cause your opportunity to be forgiven by God to cease.

        The wonderful thing about truth is: it is true whether you believe it or not. Does not matter what you or I believe Truth remains the same.

        Good luck finding that verse Looking forward to reading any that say clearly that forgiveness of God ceases after death.

        • Lanny A. Eichert June 3, 2013 at 2:27 am

          Patrick, I have often quoted or referenced John 8: 21 & 24 of Jesus saying ye shall die in your sins. His point is that there is no forgiveness after physical death. When you physically die outside of the faith your sins remain forever with you. The only salvation is here and now. If you miss it, you are forever doomed. All Scripture must be determined strictly according to whether a person has Christ by faith or not in this life as his possession.

          God does hold us to a higher standard than Himself with regard to forgiveness otherwise He is not able to judge the world. Keep in mind the believers’ sins are judge in Christ, but not so the unbelievers’ and that’s why the Great White Throne Judgment of the Revelation 20 is ONLY unbelievers, hence their names never found written in the Book of Life and they are thrown into the eternal Lake of Fire. You see, without faith Christ profits nothing, in other words, their sins are not forgiven because they laid no claim to His cross, death, and resurrection.

          The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard {Hebrews 4: 2}

          The text does not say that some day in hell it will profit them, so they are doomed forever because when they heard they didn’t receive it with faith. They are dead, buried, and in hell awaiting the Judgment and the eternal Lake of Fire because their names were never written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world, meaning God never had any intention of saving them since Adam and Eve sinned. Now since we are instructed of these we know the same is true of the world minus the Elect whom God has chosen to give saving faith such that when they hear they all receive it by faith.

          • Patrick Strickland June 20, 2013 at 7:20 pm

            Lanny has said
            “Patrick, I have often quoted or referenced John 8: 21 & 24 of Jesus saying ye shall die in your sins. His point is that there is no forgiveness after physical death”

            Actually dying in your sins is a statement of fact there is no added material that says clearly that forgiveness of sins is not available after you die in that verse. You are again adding to scripture what is not there trying to prove a point not supported by that scripture. There is no mention of hell fire torture or anything but death because of sins a person may do.

            In Genesis God told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because in the day you eat of it you shall die. The tense in the Hebrew actually makes that statement to read “in dying you shall die” and describes a continuous process going on in anyone who eats of that tree until finally they die. No future torture mentioned, just death. No mention that god will not forgive because they died.

            Paul said in the book of Romans that in Adam all die; but in Christ all shall be made alive. rom 5

            Rom 5:12-21 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, MUCH MORE the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; MUCH MORE they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did MUCH MORE abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

            Much more is stated three times in that section when telling us how Christ will benefit much more then what Adam sin affected. Adam’s sin affected all men and how can Christ’s much more be much more if it only affects much less then what Adam did that speaks to the fact?

            Scripture testifies that all men have a greater future then you believe.

            By the way I am still looking for you to provide a verse that clearly declares that there is no forgiveness after death.

            I truly hope you are not building your doctrine on only the opinion of men without any scripture to back it up. If there is no forgiveness for men after death then scripture should clearly say it and it should not be hard to find it at all.

            Grace and Peace Patrick

            • Lanny A. Eichert June 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm

              Patrick: MUCH MORE

              Not much more people, but much more glorious the extent of the salvation of only His Elect.

              Regarding Adam and Eve you in that context ignore the progressive nature of revelation, yet immediately resort to Romans 5.

              Your unequal violation of the context again proves your heresy.

              • Patrick Strickland June 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm

                Sorry Lanny read the context of romans again it does not say just believers and much more in your statement becomes much less since in your opinion what Adam did affects more men then what Jesus did at the cross. the same “all” that Adam sin affected is the same “all” that Christ cross affected. the same “many” that Adams sin affected is the same “many” that Christ’s obedience affects. Anything less is just a mockery of Jesus cross. Face it Lanny your interpretation that religion has taught you concerning much more becomes much less then the glorious truth clearly seen in scripture.

                On a side note Why are you avoiding presenting a verse that says that God’s forgiveness ceases after a man dies. Is it because you can’t find one?

                When I say God will have all men saved and come to the knowledge of the truth I can provide a word for word verse in the bible that says just that. Why is it you cannot find a word for word verse that says what you claim. You can’t find a single verse that declares that God will not have all men saved and come to the truth. This is not the first time you have been unable to find any verse that backs up what you are claiming.

                You do realize that if you don’t provide a verse then all you are believing is nothing but a lie that men have told you and that you believe to be true. Now deep down you know this is true but you are unwilling to face the ramifications of this fact . So you continue to avoid providing any verse that declares what you claim. and continue to claim a victory without any verses to back up your claim.

                You failed to provide one verse that says that any are foreknown to burn in hell and now you are failing to provide any verse that says that the forgiveness of God is only available till you physically die.

                If they were actually there you would have already have provided them. But we both know that you are believing concepts that are not found in scripture. And that there are no word for word verses in the bible that remotely proclaim what you declare. If they are there then it should be no problem for you to show me them.

                Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established. you need to find at least two scriptures that speak the same thing in order for it to be established as truth. Without any verses then what you are declaring is nothing but the opinion of man.

              • Lanny A. Eichert June 26, 2013 at 10:25 pm

                Patrick, actually dying in your sins is a statement of fact that there is no added material that says clearly that forgiveness of sins is available after you die in those verses. Likewise the “all’s and “many”s in Romans 5 also are not required to be the same.

                You must bring your interpretations in line with Matthew 7: 13 & 14 or you continue to call Jesus a Liar as you have been doing to date. Also John 17: 12 Jesus’ prophetical prayer and the remedy-less Lake of Fire in Jesus’ Revelation which concludes the Holy Bible.

                You don’t have a single Biblical record of any one saved after physically dying in unbelief, while you do have Jesus standing at God’s right hand in heaven as well as exalted and seated on His throne. You have the rich man and Lazarus, but never a saved rich man. You even have martyred souls under the altar, but nobody plucked from hell by grace through faith. There is NO Biblical evidence to support your false salvation of everybody. No example of hope.

                • Patrick Strickland June 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm

                  “Patrick, actually dying in your sins is a statement of fact that there is no added material that says clearly that forgiveness of sins is available after you die in those verses.”

                  Yes there is absolutely no added material either to support your assumption or what I claim just in that one verse. I agree completely that neither of us can use that verse to prove anything but that the soul that sins dies.

                  However your entire argument falls or stands on your premise that once you die the forgiveness of God is no longer available to the persons who does not accept salvation before death. Well since you cannot provide a single verse that even remotely says that, then the tradition of men your are teaching which makes the word of God of none effect is nothing but your opinion . Without that proof then your entire doctrine you demand to be true falls apart as the lie that it really is.

                  It is vital for your argument that you come up with a verse that actually says that after death the forgiveness of God ceases. Without it your entire argument falls completely apart and does not stand like a house of cards in the wind. and every argument you have made falls apart without it.

                  But there are other verses where God swares (covenant swears by repeating seven times) by his own name that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that in him they have righteousness and strength- Jesus Christ is lord. or just a few verses before Where his word has gone forth in righteousness and shall not return unto him void but shall accomplish what he sent it to do that all the ends of the earth are commanded to look and be saved. Death does not stop that verse from coming to pass. There is even a verse in scripture Where God says that HE IS the saviour of ALL men especially those that believe. I can find many scriptures that state exactly what I am saying yet the lack of verses that state what you claim is astonishing to say the very least.

                  Now concerning after death repentance and your claim that there are no verses in scripture that declare it.

                  You do remember I have previously stated at least four sets of passages of scripture that declare that Sodom will be restored to it’s former estate. Samaria will be restored to it’s former estate BEFORE Jerusalem will be restored TO HER FORMER ESTATE: and All Israel will be saved. Also that every branch that is broken off the natural olive tree will be grafted back in after they repent. Now once a branch is broken off it is dead, so how can that which is dead repent and be grafted back in if there is no after death repentance? Check out Ezekiel 16 and Romans 9-11.

                  As you can tell I have scripturally already proved this point that there is after death repentance. But you did not believe it then and you still do not believe it now even though they are in the scripture for you to read.

                  Why are you believing some things that cannot be proven by any scripture? And not believing what is actually there? More importantly why are you insisting that I must believe those same things you have no scripture for or I am not saved?

                  My salvation is not based on your approval of what I believe but is only based upon God’s approval of me and what he has given me to believe.

                  Now as far as Romans 5 is concerned we can go over the entire context word for word and you will see that the “all” and the “many” are the same. You just want to make them different because of what you believe.

                  I still would like to see that verse that proves that after death there is no more forgiveness available to any man.

                  • Lanny A. Eichert July 1, 2013 at 6:41 pm

                    Patrick: but that the soul that sins dies. John 8: 21 & 24 does NOT prove “the soul that sins dies.” It proves without faith in Christ the dying person RETAINS his sins in his death. Just as he is clothed in his sins and wears them throughout his mortal life, so also he wears his sins in death and the after-life. He remains dressed in his sinful nature after physical death. That’s why there is no salvation after physical death. I just disclosed to Alice under her Alan Chambers blog Lanny A. Eichert says: July 1, 2013 at 12:34 am that the impute righteousness is that of Jesus perfect earthly human mortal life. The perfections of His immortality are not imputed to any human. Once a person enters immortality immediately upon physical death retaining his sinful nature by which he continues in sin and sins, there is no exchange available. Jesus did not die for sin or sins committed in the after-life.

                    I can’t understand how Alice can view the Lake of Fire as a purifying for sins held and committed by the sinner in that after-life Lake of Fire. Atonement was not made for after-life sins. Jesus didn’t burn in the Lake of Fire. He died on an earthly cross and bore our sins in His earthly body, not His immortal body. It was His mortal body and His mortal soul that took our sins upon Him. Therefore there can be no salvation after mortal life. Also Alice can read nowhere that Jesus bare devils’ sins in his own body on the tree. Satan and his angels sinned long before Adam and Eve before this world existed. The “our” and “we” of 1 Peter 2: 24 is only humans.

                    Patrick, you miss the Biblical point of the restoration of Sodom, which is “fat chance!” It is a sarcastic statement you are trying to make literal. I’ve told you two that previously when Alice first introduced it. You both set aside Jude 7 by redefining the vengeance of eternal fire.

                    Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

                    • Patrick Strickland July 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm

                      “Patrick, you miss the Biblical point of the restoration of Sodom, which is “fat chance!” It is a sarcastic statement you are trying to make literal. I’ve told you two that previously when Alice first introduced it. You both set aside Jude 7 by redefining the vengeance of eternal fire.”

                      Well then Jerusalem’s restoration is a “big sarcastic fat chance” then too if we are to believe your interpretation of what he said. Thank God we don’t have to rely on your opinion of what you think the scriptures declare. Since Paul also declared that all Israel is going to be saved.

                      And I suggest you read carefully what Ezekiel wrote in chapter 16 especially this verse in the whole context of the chapter.

                      Eze 16:55 When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.

                      No Lanny if you have ears to hear what the spirit is actually saying to you it is a promise of a future restoration before Jerusalem if fully restored.

                      And as to an example of eternal fire the fire that fell on Sodom was a literal fire was it not? but can you go to the area where the city used to stand and find a fire still burning? We both know that there is no literal fire still burning there. They were not destroyed by a spiritual hell fire. So for you to assume that is what it means is to selectively misinterpret what you read to fit a tradition that men have taught concerning the word of God. The fire is not eternal but it is aionios. And pertained to an age which is the actual meaning of aionions and has long ago gone out. Otherwise if it was eternal then that literally fire that destroyed them would still be burning even today and could not be put out by any means at our disposal.

                      The lake of fire burned with brimstone have you looked up the definition of the very word brimstone it literally means to purify with fire.

                      Original: θεῖον
                      – Transliteration: theion
                      – Phonetic: thi’-on
                      – Definition:
                      1. brimstone
                      a. divine incense, because burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify, and to ward off disease

                      and was directly related to another word

                      Original: θεῖος
                      – Transliteration: theios
                      – Phonetic: thi’-os
                      – Definition:
                      1. a general name of deities or divinities as used by the Greeks
                      2. spoken of the only and true God, trinity
                      a. of christ
                      b. Holy spirit
                      c. the father
                      – Origin: from G2316
                      – TDNT entry: 05:02,3
                      – Part(s) of speech: Adjective

                      – Strong’s: From G2316; Godlike (neuter as noun divinity): – divine godhead.
                      Scripture clearly declares that our God is a consuming fire. So if he is the fire then the fire is clearly for the purpose of purification and not torture as you and many others falsely assume.

                      The very words that define what is actually going on tell us all the truth of the matter no matter how loud many will protest. The lake of fire is a divine fire for purification.

                      But as I have said before you are free to continue to believe what you do even in spite of what scripture actually says.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 9, 2013 at 3:05 am

                      Patrick, Jude 7, PEOPLE suffering the vengeance of eternal fire, NOT geography.

                      John 8: 21 & 24 does NOT prove “the soul that sins dies.” It proves without faith in Christ the dying person RETAINS his sins in his death. Just as he is clothed in his sins and wears them throughout his mortal life, so also he wears his sins in death and the after-life. He remains dressed in his sinful nature after physical death. That’s why there is no salvation after physical death. Once a person enters immortality immediately upon physical death retaining his sinful nature by which he continues in sin and sins, there is no remedy available. Jesus did not die for sin or sins committed in the after-life. Atonement was not made for after-life sins. Jesus didn’t burn in the Lake of Fire. He died on an earthly cross and bore our sins in His earthly body, not His immortal body. It was His mortal body and His mortal soul that took our sins upon Him. Therefore there can be no salvation after mortal life.

                      Your idea, and Alice’s, presents a protestant purgatory of human purging one’s self based ONLY on supposed choice word definitions and nothing else. Again you resort to only God knows how it works when I ask what the order of events are regarding the resurrections. No one gets into the Lake of Fire without first being resurrected and then standing before the Great White Throne Judgment by which he is judged worthy of the Lake of Fire which is called the Second Death {Revelation 21: 8}. All that is what Jesus said in John 5: 29 shall come forth; … they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. That’s distinctly DIFFERENT from shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life such that these are NOT before the Great White Throne and never get into the Lake of Fire for purging. I know Alice thinks wrongly that EVERYBODY goes through the Lake of Fire, yet Jesus’ two resurrections disprove her fantasy, as does Revelation 21: 8 itself defining who’s in there: not a single saint.

                    • Patrick Strickland July 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

                      John 8: 21 & 24 does NOT prove “the soul that sins dies.” It proves without faith in Christ the dying person RETAINS his sins in his death.

                      Sorry Lanny it does not say retains sin in his death. it says the soul that sins dies. Now scripture declares that in adam all die and in Christ all shall be made alive.

                      1Co_15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

                      So for you to consider that they retain their sin in death and even after death is rather foolish since Jesus is the lamb of God that took away the sin of the world.

                      If Jesus took away the sins of the world at his death how is it possible for any man to retain their sins after death?

                      Jesus forgave all men of all their sins and does not hold them accountable. but they will reap what they have sown in their bodies, and they will die.

                      2Co 5:19 CLV how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of the conciliation.”

                      2Co 5:19 Murdock For God was in the Messiah, who hath reconciled the world with his majesty, and did not reckon to them their sins; and who hath placed in us the word of reconciliation.

                      (ASV) to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

                      (BBE) That is, that God was in Christ making peace between the world and himself, not putting their sins to their account, and having given to us the preaching of this news of peace.

                      (ERV) I mean that God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold people guilty for their sins. And he gave us this message of peace to tell people.

                      Now since Jesus is not holding and retaining their sins against them and I follow his example and forgive them and do not retain their sins against them will God retain their sins against them? Absolutely not.

                      Now here is an interesting question you should ponder If I am asking for god to forgive them and not retain their sins according to the pattern Jesus laid down and you are asking god to retain their sins in spite of what Jesus did at the cross who do you think God will listen to. Will god forgive them or will he retain their sins? Now remember Jesus said that if you don’t forgive a man for his trespasses against you then God will not forgive you of your trespasses.

                      Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
                      Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

                      Now we know Jesus forgave all men their trespasses and expects us to do the very same thing. When are you going to learn from his example?

                      “Jesus did not die for sin or sins committed in the after-life. ”

                      Sorry Lanny this is just a straw man argument to divert the attention of the reader away from the fact that we are not dealing with any sins committed after death but with sins committed before a person died, which sins Jesus died to take away.

                      Rom_5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

                      Rom_5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

                      Rom_6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

                      1Co_15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

                      2Co 5:18-21 KJV And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

                      Gal 1:3-4 KJV Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, (4) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

                      Heb 10:11-14 KJV And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

                      Joh 1:29 KJV The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

                      Now the question you have to answer is did he take away the sins of the world or not? I believe he absolutely did as scripture clearly declares.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 14, 2013 at 2:14 am

                      Patrick, again you leave Jesus with no meaning to His words “shall die in your sins” since you think they are gone at physical death. Mark 9 proves in the figure of body parts that sins are retained in death.

  • John Dean May 25, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Mary, the answer is yes. I am not in agreement with the idea of a universal salvation. Jesus came so that we could be saved. We are saved from that condemnation when we trust in the finished work of Christ. John 3:16 is a wonderful verse, but it is also followed by 3:17 and 18. Verse 18 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son.” Those without Christ are condemned already, though most don’t know it. That is what Jesus is saving us from. If you reject Christ, you are still in the condemned state. I would consider this teaching a fundamental of the faith. I hope that answers your question. God is not willing that anyone should perish, but he gives us the free choice to make that decision for ourselves.

  • Mary Vanderplas May 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for your response. I agree that John 3:16 and 18 are among the biblical texts that are suggestive of limited salvation. John 3:17, though, strikes a universalistic chord, picturing as it does the world being saved through Jesus the Son. I agree that salvation is accomplished in God’s act in Christ, in his life, death, and resurrection, and that the response of faith is needed to receive God’s gift. However, I don’t think that the human act of trusting what God has done for us is as important as God’s saving act in Christ; I don’t think it can be said, in other words, that not all can or will be saved because not all will respond in faith. I don’t agree with what you say about our being given “the free choice to make that decision for ourselves.” Such an affirmation is, in my view, flawed on at least two counts: it overlooks the fact that, apart from God’s grace setting us free, we are incapable of deciding for God; and it makes salvation ultimately dependent not on God but on us – on our decision to receive or reject God’s gift. Salvation thus becomes another do-it-yourself project. I also think that the stance you articulate underestimates the significance of the finished work of Christ: that in the cross of Christ, God’s wrath against sin was completely worked out, that the cross spelled the death of sin and condemnation.

    Yes, your response answered my question. Thank you. I’m assuming that, like Lanny and like the church you belong to, you hold a literal view of the lake of fire.

  • Lanny A. Eichert May 28, 2013 at 3:54 am

    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. {John 3:17}

    Alice, note that the text reads “might be saved” from σωθῇ which is Aorist Passive Subjunctive. So do you remember what the Subjunctive mood means? The Indicative is the mood of reality, but not the Subjunctive mood. God sent Christ to make salvation POSSIBLE. That’s a far cry from saving everybody.

    Mary, the Aorist is not used here as a past tense, but rather as emphatic of action happening in a point of time. Salvation occurs instantaneously the moment a person first believes. Since faith is required of the person being saved and “all [men] have not faith” {2 Thessalonians 3: 2} it is impossible to save everybody. Your suggestion is defeated by both tense and mood of the verb to save and its requirement of faith.

    • Lanny A. Eichert May 28, 2013 at 4:14 am

      Please notice sent into the world in order to save the world means the saving is done during the time of the world, in other words, while the person being saved is living IN THE WORLD. The world is the people of the world, worldlings. There is therefore no salvation after a person has departed this world. The departed person is no longer a worldling. Physical death is the cut-off for salvation’s offer.

      sent into the world in order to save worldlings

    • Mary Vanderplas May 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      God’s purpose in sending the Son, as stated here, was that the world be saved through him. That God can finally bring about what he purposed cannot be denied.

      • Lanny A. Eichert May 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm

        Mary, I am not ignoring ἵνα , but you seem to be ignoring the Subjunctive σωθῇ

        The Subjunctive is ALSO as much a part of the purpose statement as is ἵνα hina, in order that.
        that the world MIGHT be saved through him
        Why are you unable to include the “might” as the meaning of the Subjunctive?
        It would change your intended meaning of the purpose of God, wouldn’t it?
        Do you subtract from the Word of God for the sake of universal salvation?
        Why are you ignoring the Subjunctive?
        The Subjunctive of to save disproves universal salvation, doesn’t it?
        The verse you wish for universal actually proves particular, doesn’t it?

        • Mary Vanderplas May 29, 2013 at 6:21 pm

          The plain meaning of the text is that God’s purpose in sending the Son is to save, not to condemn, the world. The emphasis is on the contrast between saving and judging/condemning. It is not on any contingency in what God purposes to do. The text is plainly universalistic.

          • Lanny A. Eichert May 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm

            Mary, just three verses forward: For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. {John 3: 20} Interpret according to context and verse seventeen is impossible to be universal and verse eighteen proves the word “might” {17} is particular salvation. In verse 20 the hater NEVER comes to Christ, so dying IN HIS SINS he has no forgiveness and no salvation.

            Again, Mary, He was sent into the WORLD to provide salvation in this WORLD not the next where they go when they physically die. People are sheep or goats depending on what they do or fail to do in THIS world only. The contingency still remains faith during this mortal existence. Believers are saved and unbelievers await eternal torment.

            The Subjunctive in verse seventeen prevents any attempt to make it universal. If God had meant universal salvation He’d have used the future tense in the Indicative mood while keeping the passive voice: that the world through him WILL be saved. God chose to inspire the Subjunctive to inform you without mortal faith, salvation is impossible.

  • Mary Vanderplas June 1, 2013 at 6:56 am

    God gave the Son for the world’s salvation, not for its condemnation. Such was God’s purpose: the salvation of all people through the Son. That’s was this text is saying – plainly, in my view. “In order that the world might be saved through him” doesn’t necessitate understanding a contingency in God’s purpose, any more than saying “I’m reading [title of a book] in order that I might learn something about [a certain subject]” means that I might not learn what I’m planning on learning.

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