Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ransom Paid

"...when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power." (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 NLT)

Dang Robert, what's that "eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord" all about? I
 thought you said God will save all people, not eternally destroy and separated some of them from Him.

I did not say it, God said He is "the Savior of all people"...

"This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people..." (1 Timothy 4:9-10 NLT)

OK, so how are we supposed to reconcile the two passages. They seem to contradict each other?  You are right, the above English New Living Translation (NLT) of 2 Thessalonians 2:7-9 does contradict its translation of 1 Timothy 4:9-10.

But there is a mistranslation of one Greek word, which is mistranslated in many places in well known English translations. It is the word "ETERNAL" in the 2 Thessalonians passage above. The Greek word is "ai┼Źnion" and does not mean "eternal". It means "age-during", or "eonian". Note Young's Literal Translation (YLT), and the Concordant Literal New Testament (CLNT), two of the few translations that get it right...

"...who shall suffer justice -- destruction age-during -- from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength..." (YLT)

"...who shall incur the justice of eonian extermination from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength..." (CLNT)

NOTE:  The "eonian extermination" is a reference to the fact that during the 1000 year future reign of Christ on earth those Jews who rejected Jesus as their Messiah will not be raised to reign with him during that Millennial Age. They will be raised to life afterwards.  (See Revelation 20:4-5)

So why do most versions refuse to correct the mistranslation?

Because, as I have said before, "age-during" - or "eonian" does not fit into the man-made dogma of the Church which was well established before Tyndale completed the first English translation of the New Testament in the year 1526.

The Jews had done the same with the Scriptures which had been around for decades when Jesus walked the earth.  In referring to the dogma of the Jewish religious leaders Jesus said...

“in vain are they revering Me, teaching for teachings the directions of men” (Matthew 15:9 CLNT)

Why do I continue to bring this up from time to time? 
Good question, I ask myself this often considering few seem to care, especially among those who think of themselves as teachers and preachers of the Word of God. 

Nevertheless, I want my family, and anyone else who may care to read this blog, to have a place to go when they have a question about the "directions of men" and perhaps it will encourage them to start their own study of the Scripture for the truth...the glorious truth of the eventual salvation of mankind and the reconciliation of all creation to God, the secret truth that, at the proper time, was revealed to the Apostle Paul.

"...for this is ideal and welcome in the sight of our Savior, God, who WILLS THAT ALL MANKIND BE SAVED and to come into a realization of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator of God and mankind, a man, Christ Jesus, who is giving himself as a correspondent RANSOM FOR ALL (the testimony in its own eras), for which I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) a teacher of the nations in knowledge and truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-7)

One day all mankind will come to know that God "wills all mankind be saved" and that Christ Jesus gave himself as a "ransom for all".

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Only One Way

There is only one way this wicked world of sinners gets saved, and that is by the grace of God through the faith of Jesus Christ, as a free gift from God.

"For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God's approach present, not of works...for the ration of sin is death, yet the gracious gift of God is life eonian, in Christ Jesus, our Lord."(Ephesians 2:8; Romans 6:23 CLNT)

There are no Scriptural exceptions. But the good news its that God "wills that all mankind be saved" and so they all will be. The Scripture says it this way -

"...our Savior, God, Who wills that all mankind be saved, and to come unto a realization of the truth; for there is one God, and one mediator of God and mankind, a man, Christ Jesus, who is giving himself a correspondent ransom for all, (the testimony in its own eras)..." (I Timothy 2:3-6 CLNT).

Do the most wicked among us deserve to be saved?  Not from my perspective, but that is what God "wills"... so my will just doesn't matter. "All mankind" will be saved, not as a merit badge, but because God "wills" it so. Fortunately, the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked brings with it a "new" creation which leaves behind all the bad things done by the wicked people of this creation...

"Thus also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is roused in incorruption.  It is sown in dishonor, it is roused in glory.  It is  sown in infirmity, it is roused in power.  It is sown a soulish body, it is roused a spiritual body." (1 Corinthians 15:42-46 CLNT)

I wouldn't do it that way, I would not change the wicked, I would exterminate them, but then I didn't create them - God did, and he can recreate them into His image. He certainly appears from mankind's view to have failed in His first attempt.

"For behold me creating new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered nor shall they come up on the heart...for to vanity was the creation subjected, not voluntarily, but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation that the whole creation itself also shall be freed from its slavery of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God... yet we according to His promises, are hoping for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness is dwelling."  (Isaiah 65:17; Romans 8:21; 2 Peter 3:13 CLNT)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bewitched - Biblical Error - Foolish!

“O foolish Galatians! Who bewitches you…”

Some Scripture translated into English from the oldest Greek texts have errors …and no one seems to care as long it fits church dogma predating the translation.

One EXAMPLE from Galatians 2:16 reads in the King James Version...

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but BY the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

This is a place where the King James Version was right. But look at the New American Standard Version, one of the modern versions of the same verse.

“…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but THROUGH faith IN Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith IN Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”

So, you tell me, is there a difference between "BY the faith OF Jesus Christ” and "THROUGH (our) faith IN Jesus Christ”. Obviously, so why did modern versions make this change?

Because “THROUGH faith IN Jesus” fits the dogma of the Church, and “BY the faith OF Christ” does not…so they changed it to fit the "directions of men". They are not the first to do so, the religious leaders were doing so when Jesus walked among them...

“in vain are they revering Me, teaching for teachings the directions of men” (Matthew 15:9 CLNT)

The “directions of men” say a person is justified through the faith of men, Scripture says it is by "the faith of Jesus Christ". The wise choice of trusting Jesus is the right thing do and is the way to have peace toward God in this present age, but justification and salvation is not the choice of men, it was the plan of God carried out by the faith of His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus.

Mankind cannot save itself, nor will it ever produce a savior, but God “dispatched” His Son Jesus so that mankind could “gaze upon him" and then start "testifying" that Jesus is “the Savior of the world”

“...for we ourselves have heard him, and we are aware that this truely is the Savior of the world...and we have gazed upon him, and are testifying that the Father has dispatched the Son, the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14 CLNT)

The "directions of men" teach that all will end up in hell who, after they reach the age of accountability, do not choose, in this life, to repent of their sin and accept Jesus as their Savior.  That is a doctrine of religious men who were bewitched...thus ending up, like the blind and "foolish Galatians" the proverbial pit.

"Leave them! Blind guides are they of the blind! Now if the blind should be guiding the blind, both shall be falling into the pit." 
(Matthew 15:14 CLNT)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Fear of God

“God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31)

There have been thousands of men, women and children who have ran down the isle of the church after hearing a version of the 1741 sermon of Jonathon Edwards entitled “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” based in part on the above verse in the book of Hebrews. It may be the most famous sermon ever preached – and the most heretical blasphemy against God ever preached.

It is not that fearing God is not commanded in the Bible. Mankind has forfeited the blessings which come from keeping His commandments because he did not fear God, but our eternal salvation is not “in the hands of an ANGRY God”, but in the hands of “the LIVING God”, Who has righteously judged sinful mankind to chastening and eventually death for our sins, but Who is also “God our Savior”.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him…This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who WILL ALL MEN TO BE SAVED and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a RANSOM FOR ALL, the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
(Romans 5:8-9; 1 Timothy 2:3-7) 

God loves us and gave His Son Jesus as a “ransom for ALL”, not just a few evangelists of unsound mind like Jonathon Edwards and those who respond to their blasphemy. 

And it is not that the Apostle Paul did not mention the “fear of the Lord”, he did, but it was reminding his listeners that all of us “must appear before the judgment seat of Christ” and have our works here on earth (including the sermons we preach) clearly revealed as either good or bad…to be chastened for the bad and praised for the good…NOT condemned to eternal conscience torment formed in an unsound mind.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men…the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for ALL, therefore ALL died; and He died FOR ALL, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
(2 Corinthians 5:10-15)

I used to fear God for the wrong reason.  I was baptized three times from the age of 7 to 12, each time after being told I may not be saved and would go to hell if I died. This coming from those who I trusted to know such things - pastors and evangelists.  After 45 years of personal study of the Scripture I now consider those folks, as sincere as they were, as...

"...false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  Therefore, it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds." (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

Most all of them that I have known had and have good intentions, and actually seem to believe what they teach, just lazy in their study of Scripture, preferring the commentaries of men.  They are unaware of whose "light" they are shining.  But all will be exposed at the "judgment seat of Christ".  They themselves are saved as all mankind will be, but much of what they taught will be burnt up in the fire...and I am sure at that time they will thank the Lord for doing so.

"For other foundation can no man lay beside that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone is building on this foundation gold and silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, each man's work will become apparent, for the day will make it evident, for it is being revealed by fire.  And the fire, it will be testing each one's work - what kind it is.  If anyone's work will be remaining which he builds on it, he will get wages.  If anyone's work shall be burned up, he will forfeit it, yet he shall be saved, yet thus, as through fire..." (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

Do you still fear God? 

Well start praising God for your salvation, start cleaning up your works here on earth, and do your best to love your fellow man. And in time that fear of God will just evaporate into faith in the glorious truth that “God is love” and in his perfect love, all fear is "cast out".

“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” (1 John 4:16-21)

One last thing.  Stop listening to the heresy of Jonathon Edwards and those who sit at his
 feet…they are NOT “of a sound mind”.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Lake Of Fire

The Lake of Fire – My Random Thoughts

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever… And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire…And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death...” (Revelation 20:10, 14,15)

The phrase “the lake of fire” is an obvious metaphor. But what is it to consume?

It will consume our enemies which are the the adversary (devil), the governments of men (beast) and the religions of men (false prophet), death and the grave (hell -grave).  They will all experience "the lake of fire".

What about those not found in the book of life? 

Two things to remember, first, both the "righteous and the wicked" are to be resurrected, and second, death, including "the second death", is to be abolished.

"...there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. In this hope, I strive always to maintain a clear conscience before God and man...The last enemy to be destroyed is death...that God may be all in all. (Acts 24:15-16; 1 Corinthians 15:26,28)

So how does "fire and brimstone", "tormented" and "forever and ever" fit into the picture?

Note that “fire", "brimstone” and "tormented" are translations into English of Greek words.  What those words represent can be good things, not evil! They test what is cast into them to destroy the bad in those things. The word "brimstone” is the Greek word "theion" which is essentially sulfur which has the power to purify.  The word “tormented” is the Greek word “basanizo” and has to do with examining and testing by a touchstone. It exposes what is fake or lacking in what is being tested. When the disciples were “tossed with waves” (same Greek word “basanizo”) on the lake, their "faith" was being tested.

“But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed (basanizo) with waves…You of little faith, He said, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:24,31)

Only a man-made religion trying to scare people into it would translate the word “basanizo” as “tormented” it seems to me. 

So the Lake of Fire and its torment is to test that cast into it.  It will destroy what is false, and purify and refine what remains.  The devil, the beast, the false prophet, death and hell are destroyed.  Those of mankind not found in the book of life are cast there for purifying and refining - this is the second death where works of mankind are tested - the works of "wood, grass and straw" are destroyed and the works of "gold and silver, precious stones" will be purified and refined... 

"For other foundation can no man lay beside that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone is building on this foundation gold and silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, each man's work will become apparent, for the day will make it evident, for it is being revealed by fire.  And the fire, it will be testing each one's work - what kind it is.  If anyone's work will be remaining which he builds on it, he will get wages.  If anyone's work shall be burned up, he will forfeit it, yet he shall be saved, yet thus, as through fire..." 
(1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

All those people cast into it also come out of it saved and declaring "The LORD is our God"!

"the third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, they are my people, and they will say, The LORD is our God.” (Zechariah 13:9)

Lastly, “forever and ever” is translated from the Greek phrase “aionas ton aionon” and should be translated “ages of the ages”.

Part of God's plan included creating evil. Evil was necessary to reveal the difference between good and evil, and to display God’s love. It is God who “has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all”, not just a few religious folks.

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things…For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.” (Isaiah 45:7; Romans 11:32)

The ages of the ages had a beginning and will have an end when "the corruptible puts on incorruption and the mortal puts on immortality".  

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality. Now, whenever this corruptible should be putting on incorruption and this mortal should be putting on immortality, then shall come to pass the word which is written, Swallowed up was Death by Victory..." (1 Corinthians 15:53-55)

The ages were made by God to demonstrate His love, grace and “mercy”. All mankind have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God by His design.  There would be no need for "grace" or "mercy" unless mankind had become sinners. Even though God's plan included mankind becoming sinners and suffer the resulting evil and the punishment of death,  God also “predestined” that all sinners be saved through Christ Jesus bringing “unity to all things in heaven and on earth” when “according to His good pleasure” the ages reach “their fulfillment”.

“Christ Jesus came into the world  to save sinners...This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved...we trust in the living God who is the Savior of all mankind, especially believers.  Command and teach these things..." "In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” (1 Timothy 1:15, 2:3-4, 4:9-11;Ephesians 1:4-10)

The lake of fire will destroy all of mankind's enemies, and will test, purify and refine all mankind cast into it during the "ages of the ages".  Out of the ash heap of the failures of mortal humans will be born a new, immortal and victorious spiritual creation...praising and loving it gracious God, without sin which has made humanity in this present evil age into a race of cowards, unbelievers, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars...

"So it is with the resurrection of the dead.  Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raided a spiritual body...Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed...Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away...The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and the will be My son. But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; Revelation 21:1-8)

When Scripture is viewed from the standpoint of God's love and justice, all its difficult passages are easily harmonized with His goal of saving and reconciling all of His groaning "creation" to Himself. We who are able to comprehend this good news are to wait for it in faith with "patience"... 

"For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." (Romans 8:22-25)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Secrets Revealed!

"Lo! a secret to you am I telling! We all, indeed, shall not be put to repose, yet we all shall be changed, in an instant, in the twinkle of an eye, at the last trump. For He will be trumpeting, and the dead will be roused incorruptible, and we shall be changed..." (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

Secrets, or mysteries, are not unknowable, but are things left unrevealed until the proper time. The "secret" revealed above was that all "the dead will be roused incorruptible" by the "grace" of God. The Apostle Paul received the above "secret" and other secrets that were hidden from all others that went before him...

"...since you surely hear of the administration of the grace of God that is given to me for you, for by revelation the secret is made known to me according as I write before, in brief, by which you who are reading are able to apprehend my understanding in the secret of the Christ, which, in other generations, is not made known to the sons of humanity..." (Ephesians 3:2-5)

The above "secret" was that all mankind are "joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus".

" spirit the nations are to be joint enjoyers of an allotment, and a joint body, and joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus, through the evangel." (Ephesians 3:6)

Paul revealed the "secret" that all Israel and the other nations will be saved...

"For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this secret, brethren, lest you may be passing for prudent among yourselves, that callousness, in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be entering. And thus all Israel shall be saved, according as it is written, Arriving out of Zion shall be the Rescuer. He will be turning away irreverence from Jacob." (Romans 11:25-26)

Paul was "reproached" by the religious system of his day for sharing these secrets - nothing has changed in the last 2000 years. Nevertheless, these secrets are still the true gospel we are to be "charging and teaching" our children and grandchildren. They are "faithful" sayings and bring reproach from those who don't believe them.

"Faithful is the saying and worthy of all welcome (for for this are we toiling and being reproached), that we rely on the living God, Who is the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers. These things be charging and teaching." (1 Timothy 4:9-11)

One day all will be glad about it, and those of you sharing the "secret" will see that your "toiling" was not not in vain, when all mankind have "put on incorruption" and "immortality" at the coming of Jesus to swallow up "Death by Victory".

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality. Now, whenever this corruptible should be putting on incorruption and this mortal should be putting on immortality, then shall come to pass the word which is written, Swallowed up was Death by Victory. Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting? Now the sting of Death is sin, yet the power of sin is the law. Now thanks be to God, Who is giving us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ. So that, my beloved brethren, become settled, unmovable, superabounding in the work of the Lord always, being aware that your toil is not for naught in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 15:53-58)

Secrets Revealed!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book Of Life - What Is It? - Whose In It?

I once heard an evangelist ask this question at a revival meeting.

Is your name written in the Lamb’s book of life?

At the time I did not know or have an opinion.  And it turned out, he did not know either, but he did have an opinion.  He said that we are entered in the book when we make a decision for Christ, and those who do not make that decision are left out, or blotted out, to be eternally condemned to hell.  Then he appealed to the crowd to repent and accept Jesus so that your name could be written in the book of life. So up to the alter I went, an act in which I would repeat almost every time revival services came to town...until I started studying the Bible for myself.

Here is what I think about the book of life after reading all Scriptures, including those which reference that book.

Anyone who is born and is alive is in the book of life (they’re alive).
And anyone who dies is blotted out (they’re dead).

Well that is a bummer isn't it?

Well yes, if it were not for the good news that God is not willing that any should “perish” (stay dead-totally destroyed).

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish (stay dead) but have everlasting life…The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9 KJV)

And so, we have been given the good news to share…
“And I make known to you, brethren, the good news that I proclaimed to you…that Christ died for our sins, according to the Writings, and that he was buried, and that he hath risen on the third day, according to the Writings…Christ hath risen out of the dead -- the first-fruits of those sleeping he became, for since through man [is] the death, also through man [is] a rising again of the dead,  for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive...the mortal must put on immortality…then shall be brought to pass the word that hath been written, The Death was swallowed up – to Victory” (1 Corinthians 15 YLT)
All mankind started out as mortals written in the book of life, and all mankind are blotted out because all mortals sin.  However, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, after he took upon himself the sin of the world, guarantees us that mankind will not “perish”.  He is “the first-fruits of those sleeping” and all others will be raised and inscribed in the Lamb’s book of life, this time righteous, and immortal, so that death can never again blot them out.
God was in Christ — a world reconciling to Himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses…him who did not know sin, in our behalf He did make sin, that we may become the righteousness of God in him… he is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world, (2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 1 John 2:2 YLT)