The Judgment of the World by the Cross (Part 1)
All mankind will be saved through the judgment of the world by Jesus Christ. By the end of this two-part paper you will understand God's judgments on a much deeper level than the church is teaching about today. You will know all about salvation, Christ's parables, the lake of fire, the great white throne of judgment, and what they all have to do the ultimate restoration of all mankind - not according to conjecture or speculation - but by the scripture alone. You might encounter scriptures you have never seen before, because the churches are not teaching them, and that's why many Christians (some smugly and others humbly) believe the salvation of the world is unthinkable.
I am here to tell you that God has provided - throughout the whole council of scripture - everything we need to know to understand the symbols of Revelation and the parables etc, so we don't have to speculate, but let God define the terms for us. He lays his own mysteries bare in his own scripture. We just need to take the time to look. Maybe by the end of this paper, you will see that it is Orthodox Christianity that has historically laid assumptions upon the parables and Revelation.
We have all been taught that only a select few Christians will be saved, and the rest of the world, billions, even trillions, will be consigned to a most horrifying punishment in literal fire, without redemption. But, the Bible teaches otherwise. God tells us what the symbols mean, and the churches have either willfully ignored the scriptures, or not noticed them. The Bible demonstrates that God's judgments are good for mankind and that they result in his good purpose. Yes, the Bible says so unambiguously, as you will witness.
Being a Christian comes with some unique struggles. For many people with a sincere love for the Lord, and for their own enemies as required by Jesus, it can be torturous to be a Christian. Anyone who loves a person should be deeply troubled by the thought of eternal torment, not for a moment but constantly. Some Christians may no mind to that. As long as they are well fed by their own churches, feeling good, and getting their own spiritual buzz on Sundays. Meanwhile the torture of God's enemies commences below the soles of their feet, and they stay happy, shed no tears, give no thought. Some care, but force it out of their minds and learn to live with the weight of it.
Others aren't so blessed. They weep, sometimes every night. Their hearts yearn for the hemorrhaging to stop. They worry about people, because the Bible tells them to love people. They worry about their family members who have passed away, and about even the average person on the street. Secretly, they beseech God to have mercy upon the world. But they live without hope, and the church says it's impossible.
What a heavy sacrifice Jesus' death was, an innocent man beaten, bloodied, mocked, hated, and ultimately murdered in cold blood. All for what? For love, because he loved you and me, and this whole world of careless sinners. What does it all mean? What does it count for? Let's find out.
In Part One, we will study these things:
- The Biblical meaning and purpose of salvation in the Gospel
- What it really means to be "saved by grace though faith"
- WhyJesus says his own crucifixion is the judgment of the world
- Why Peter says that the time has come for judgment to begin with God's house.
- Why God judges people, and what judgment is meant to produce according to the Bible.
Then, in Part 2, we will see from scripture how the judgment of the world will be realized for the rest of the world including God's wrath, Christ's parables, the Great White Throne, the Lake of Fire, and the final restoration of all things. We're going to get into some of the deep things of God in this two part paper.
How could the church be so wrong about salvation for all these years, objectors ask. Surely, it's not possible for a large group of people to believe wrongly for so long. Really? What about Rome and Israel? Didn't they come together as a large group to sanction the murder of Christ, an innocent man?
This is not only a basic logical fallacy called "Argumentum ad Populem" or "appeal to the masses," it also disregards Biblical history. According to God, the Israelites were frequently misguided, and certainly, when they put their Messiah to death, as prophesied in their scriptures, they demonstrated how easily mob mentality can result in error. Mass opinion counts for nothing. The argument you will witness today is from scripture, casting aside all other appeals.
The typical Christian rationale for eternal hell is that God must separate himself from sinners, unless they repent. So, right away, they have him in a corner, as though he has no choices. Biblically, we know that God can bring anyone to repentance if he so desires. More than a few times, he has done this very thing, in fact all through the Bible. Jesus Christ supernaturally intervened on Apostle Paul's behalf when he was on his way to persecute more Christians. There, we see a Lord in calm and complete control over Paul's repentance (Acts 9 1:19).
Christians have many allegories to rationalize eternal torment in literal fire from a loving God, but they must inevitably reduce the argument to two alternatives:
Jesus cannot save all people, or Jesus will not save all people.
It's one or the other. Choose. Yet, both are wrong, and the Bible proves it. Nevertheless, here is how Christians deal with this issue of why the Savior of all apparently cannot save all:
"If a boat is sinking and the Coast Guard tosses a life vest to a drowning man. The Coast Guard officer is the savior, but it is up to the drowning man to accept the vest."
"If someone is in a burning building, and the fireman wants to save the person, but the person doesn't want to be saved."
"Supposing a parent leaves money on the table for his kid to get his haircut. But the kid doesn't accept the money and so does not get the haircut. The parent tried."
All these allegories fail on a fundamental level.
- If a boat is sinking, the Coast Guard does not simply throw a vest into the water, then give up if the victim refuses the vest. He will dive into the water and drag the drowning man to safety!
- Any fireman worth his salt does not wait for approval. He drags every living thing out of the burning building before they have time to think about why they might not want to be rescued!
- And if a parent wants their
child to get a haircut, a parent drags the child to the car, drives
them to the barber, and sits there while the child gets it done.
Doesn't Jesus have much more authority and strength in heaven and earth than anyone else? Wait until you see how he uses that authority. You might have cause to rejoice! What would it be like to believe that Jesus is able to do all this? What if he was able to complete his plan of salvation of the world? Would you like that to be true? Let's connect the dots together, and untangle the confusion of orthodox theology.
How to Spiritually Discern the Things of God with Scripture
Going forward I want to explain how we will understand the meaning of spiritual symbolism in the Bible. Even the most hardcore Biblical literalist will concede that there is an abundance of symbolism there. They deal with it by proposing a literal interpretation where an explanation is not provided in the immediate context.
By necessity, this approach hastily invalidates the likelihood that Christ's parables in the New Testament might be evoking Old Testament symbolism. If the parables and Revelation are referencing the Old Testament, maybe those scriptures could provide insight. They do. But we cannot hope to find a more Biblical interpretation if we don't even look, if we rely on our own understanding.
Do you ever think that maybe Jesus is testing us? Maybe he is testing our willingness to search the scriptures for meaning, rather than relying on the easy way, leaning on our own understanding.
The Bible is a very big book. Literalism forced upon verses clearly intended to be symbolic (such as parables) simply because the answer isn't immediately available is inherently flawed because it does not require Biblical justification. The literalist would never know if Christ's meaning could be illuminated through other parts of the Bible, because he already derives the meaning from his own wisdom, without checking whether a more scriptural understanding exists. He has already renounced the following method:1 Cor 2:14
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God. Why? Because they are spiritually discerned, not naturally discerned. That's complete foolishness to the natural man. To spiritually discern, we must make comparisons between spiritual things. In other words, if you are not comparing, then you are not spiritually discerning. If we come across a parable brimming with spiritual symbolism, like "sheep" and "goats" and "fish" and "leaven" and "vineyards" and "talents" and "wheat" and "tares" and we come across "fire" but fail to compare "spiritual to spiritual" then we cannot think we are spiritually discerning the things of God.
Therefore, if we want to spiritually discern we need to do a bit more work than none at all. We need to go beyond reading and ASSUMING, but we must read and COMPARE. That is what we will do in this paper. The question, of course, is how do we do this?
Let me give you an example of spiritual discernment: Apostle Paul said that "the Law is spiritual" (Romans 7:14) so in Romans 6, the way Paul "compared spiritual to spiritual" is that he took the sacrifices of the Law and explained how they represented what Jesus did on the cross, and then he compared what Jesus did on the cross to how man dies to sin and is resurrected to a new man, through baptism of the Spirit. He compared the spiritual Law to things which were fulfilled spiritually.
His Jewish contemporaries (for the most part) rejected this interpretation which had been revealed to him by the Lord. They weren't comparing spiritual to spiritual. Therefore, the idea that the sacrifices represented anything fulfilled spiritually was foolishness to them and they would not accept it. They couldn't accept it, for the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit. Now that the Apostles have declared the council of God in the New Testament, we do not need to rely on personal revelation to compare spiritual to spiritual.
Jesus said, "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 3:63). Given that all scripture is Spirit breathed, we have access to an entire Bible FILLED with spiritual words. Not only is the Law spiritual, but all the scripture is spiritual, including the prophets and the New Testament. Comparing "spiritual to spiritual" is done by comparing scripture to scripture. Many Christians don't even read the Bible at all. So, not only do they not compare spiritual words to spiritual words themselves, they just rely on what a preacher tells them. But, how do they know if their preacher is comparing spiritual to spiritual himself?
Anyone can own a Bible, whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or atheist. Anyone can read a Bible too. As I said, some atheists know more about what the Bible says than many Christians. But are atheists comparing spiritual words to spiritual words? Of course not. That requires a bit of extra work than simply reading the Bible. We must read, but also compare. Because the scriptures provide better explanation of God's meaning than someone who sees the parables and symbolism at face value - like an atheist would do - what we are going to do in this paper is lay aside our own understanding, and check the Bible to see if we can compare scripture to scripture. By doing that, we will arrive at a much better explanation than those who assume the meaning without deriving it from the scripture itself.
The Pharisees supposed themselves quite learned in the scriptures, having large portions of the Holy Scripture memorized. Yet Jesus told them straight to their faces: "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." (Matt 22:29) Oops. All those years of study and memorization, only to have the Lord tell them in one breath that they didn't know squat. Can you imagine the hurt pride?
They had a major problem they didn't yet understand. They were missing one simple Biblical ingredient. God provides ONE way to know him and understand him without which, nobody can understand God's will.Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve (dokimazo - examine) what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The word "transformed" suggests that we ought to be moving from one thing to another. The fact that Paul encourages the believers to do that, shows that such a thing is an ongoing process. He is saying, now that we believe in Christ, let us move away from the pattern of the world from which we were so accustomed. How does the rest of the world interpret the Bible? Do they "compare spiritual to spiritual?" If so, then why did Paul say that spiritual discernment is foolishness to the natural man? Obviously, he saw a difference in methods of discernment, and went through the trouble of pointing it out. Should we not heed his words?
When Jesus speaks about "fire," yes, he is speaking about something spiritual. Don't worry, I will prove that from the scriptures. According to Websters dictionary, the word "spiritual" means "of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit." Spiritual discernment, therefore, is in knowing that the things of God relate to, consist of, and affect the spirit.
In this paper, we are going to it God's way and see what happens. Here's the great part about spiritually discerning God's word: the heavy lifting has already been done for us. God has already provided the answers, so we don't have to guess. He wants spiritual discernment, so he gives it to us on a silver platter. I will not show you how I spiritually discern, no. I will show you how the Apostles and prophets did it. It's all there, on a silver platter, waiting for us to see it. And when you see it, it could actually change your life.
The Apostles Never Taught Salvation from Hell
Did you know that Apostle Paul never said the word "hell" in any of his writings? Nope. Not once. You don't believe me, right? Check it out for yourself. Have a look at this word study on "hell" in all Paul's writing from the King James Version.
What did you see? "No results found." This was the same man who said to the Ephesians, "I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). This is the man who said,Acts 20:20
I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house
But, if you were a member of the Roman church, the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, or Thessalonians, or by reading his letters to Timothy or Titus, you would have NO exposure to "hell" by reading his Gospel message. Paul did not shun to declare the counsel of God, but he certainly shunned to declare anything about "hell."
Is this an argument from silence? No, this is not proof alone that hell does not exist; but since the Bible is, for many Christians, the sole written authority by which to establish doctrinal truth, the absence of hell teaching from Paul's theology is a glaring omission. Also, you will soon see that Jesus didn't preach about "hell" either. I will show throughout this segment and Part 2 that the concept of hell originates not from Christ's literal teachings, but from human interpretations of his scriptural metaphors. This is a simple and indisputable fact.
You don't believe me on that either, right? You may have been told that Jesus spoke more about hell than any other? Nope. At least not literally. For example, he said this to the Pharisees:Matt 23:33
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the
If speaking literally, Jesus asked how the Pharisees could escape the "judgment of the Valley of Hinnom." The Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) was - and today remains - a literal valley on the southwest side of Jerusalem. Do you want to see what Gehenna looks like today? Click here to have a look at this valley on a map. It's on the lower left corner, called "Hinnom Valley." According to Bible translators and Christians, that is "hell." You can visit this valley today, populated as a suburb of Jerusalem. In fact, you can actually drive down "Gehenna Rd." You can take a drive down Gehenna Rd. via Google Maps. Enjoy your trip, even with all the graffiti, the sun is shining down on Gehenna!
There you go: proof positive that Jesus never spoke LITERALLY about "hell." You see, if every Christian awoke this morning to find every instance of "Gehenna" translated as "Valley of Hinnom" the first thing they would probably say is "what happened to hell?" "What is the valley of Hinnom?" "What did Jesus mean?"
Questions can be dangerous. And, what the Christian church wants, above all else, is unity. The problem is, there can be no unity without truth. And sometimes getting to the truth requires questioning authority and preconceived ideas. Rather than referring to a place called hell, Jesus is referrencing the scripture, as he always did.
This Valley goes way back, deep into Israel's history:Jeremiah 7:31–32
They (Judah) built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom (Gehenna) to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I (God) had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
First, did you notice how literal burning of children didn't enter into God's mind? As you will see later, though, Christianity has historically taught that children will be burned in Hell, a 180 degree contradiction. We see that Israel sacrificed their children in physical fire as a form of idolatry. Could it be that Jesus is using this fact metaphorically, comparing the idolatry of Israel in this valley to the spiritual idolatry of sin? Physical fire destroys physical things, and spiritual idolatry destroys man in a spiritual way. We don't have to guess about that, and will examine those connections scripturally in Part 2 to a larger degree.
Most Christians are uninformed about this valley metaphor, in part because while it was translated as "hell" in the New Testament, in the Old Testament it was not. In the Old Testament we get a literal translation, then a hypothesized (and debatable) translation in the New, which placed a veil over a potential debate, since Christians would need to study this out, and most rarely do. Christians see "hell" in the New Testament, and they just move on, without the opportunity to examine the scriptural connections throughout the whole body of scripture.
When they recognize the truth that Jesus spoke symbolically, their first reaction may be to quickly offer that while Hinnom Valley is not hell itself, certainly "it represents hell." Let's slow down there. First, they thought that Gehenna was hell, but now it represents hell, and all that without scripture? After all, Jesus did explain some symbols. For the "Parable of the Sower," he says, "The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear." (Luke 8:12-13)
We have no need to hypothesize or interpret what the seed represents. The Bible plainly states that it "is the word of God." But, where are such scriptures that declare, "Gehenna represents hell?" There are none. So, the premise that the Jerusalem valley represents hell is man's interpretation, not scriptural teaching. Are you beholden to that no matter how steeped in tradition it might be? It's almost like they want us to accept their conclusions by sheer force of will, because questioning long-held beliefs can be scary, uncharted territory. But, scriptural truth doesn't work that way. Scriptural truth requires scriptures.
Sometimes, we must interpret scripture draw conclusions about something not explicitely stated, but that doesn't mean such conclusions are infallible, so you are allowed to approach their dogma with a grain of salt. The seed represents the word of God because the Bible says so. The Jerusalem valley only represents hell because MAN says so. As it happens, there are scriptures that can help us come to an interpretation of what Christ meant with his use of the Old Testament referrence to the Hinnom Valley, but it doesn't lead to anything close to the Dante's Inferno vision of hell.
We were taught to believe doctrines before reading the Bible, so that when we opened one, everything we read appeared to uphold what we presupposed. To place such confidence in men to the point of refusing to listen to others is a dangerous place to be. If that's you, then you might as well stop wasting your time reading this, because I will give you scriptures direct from the Bible that will cast more than a shadow of a doubt on what Christians have hypothesized.
The Apostles never taught about Hell, and never even used the word, and that ought to give hell believers some pause, but it rarely does.
A detractor may assert that while Apostle Paul never used the word "hell" he implied it by preaching about God's wrath and judgment. Yet, even a superficial Bible reading reveals that God judges people in diversified ways all throughout, having nothing to do with "hell." For example, God took wrath upon King David for murdering Uriah by taking away his son. He didn't send David to hell. God has many ways of judging people.
Paul says that we have "been saved from wrath, through him (Christ)." (Romans 5:9). Most Christians might assume Paul is talking about Hell, right? But did they overlook what he said just one chapter previous? "The Law worketh wrath." (Romans 4:15). Why should we assume that Paul was not talking about the Law in Romans 5:9 when the context demands it? You see, the literalist's assumptions about Gehenna as "hell" results in abandoning the very rules they set forth, ignoring the most immediate context about wrath being worked forth by the Law. Ironic, right?
Paul wasn't talking about Hell. He was talking about salvation from being under the weight of the Law of Moses with its sacrifice-based remembrance of sin and harsh punishments.
Any Christian who claims that Paul was teaching about "hell" by making reference to God's wrath or judgment is on their own, with no scripture to prove it. Are we to believe that hell is such awful place but that Paul never actually says so and does nothing but IMPLY its existence? Give us a break already! There is only so much doctrinal chicanery we can take. If "hell" is supposedly so central to Biblical salvation it's shocking that Paul never so much as utters the word even ONCE. He shuns it. If I thought people were going to hell, I would not imply it, I would SCREAM about it over and over.
Yet, Paul said, "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (Greek - anathema - cut off)." (Galatians 1:8). Clearly, Paul took the gospel very seriously, and had nothing but strong words against anyone who preached a different one. Because I don't want to be cut off from anything good God has for me, I would want my Gospel message to match his, which is why you won't see promotion of "hell" on this website either. Many in orthodox Christianity are cut off from the true powerful message of the Gospel that Paul brought. Today, God willing, you will see what they will not see.
In fact, if we widen our word search into ALL Apostle letters, you can see hell only appears twice! Wow. That's very little attention paid to such an allegedly pivotal doctrine. Among the scant two occasions the word "hell," appears in the non-Pauline epistles, it comes by way of James and Peter (never in John). In the book of James, they translated "hell" from "geena," or Gehenna, which was a literal Valley outside Jerusalem which Jesus used as a metaphor in his parables.
The other instance of "hell" we get by way of 2 Peter 2:4, translated from "tartarus" in reference to the holding place of sinning angels (See the the origin of hell on his website for more info). The Bible never says any human is in danger of "tartarus." So, the Apostles at large never described "hell", and, more remarkably, never warned about "hell." They provide absolutely no systematic teaching, as a that from which mankind needs salvation.
Very simply put: If the Apostles did not teach what WE think Jesus taught, then WE are wrong and the Apostles are right. There should be no controversy on that. We must match up what the Apostles taught to what Jesus taught and find the harmony between their messages. If our assumptions about what Jesus taught in his ministry are not supported by the Apostles, then we need to "lean not on our own understanding."
No Apostle provides a plain, methodical, systematic, floor-to-ceiling teaching to establish the hell concept (apart from the assumptions of the reader). They provide NO sound pattern of words surrounding the simple term "hell," since it only appears twice - as translated - in all the epistles. They give precisely no detail on what hell would look like, feel like, smell like, or be like, in any way, shape or form.
And, for the two appearances of "hell" - as translated - in their letters, they direct neither at anyone in the church by way of a warning of a literal place of conscious eternal torment. And, these are the men to whom Christ sent out to establish his Gospel in the nations. You would think that if the Apostles cared about saving people from "hell," that they might actually want TO TALK ABOUT IT!
It's just not there, folks, apart from the conjectures, musings, speculations and private interpretations of Christians, picking little scriptures here and there, who were given their doctrine before they so much as opened a Bible. So, if Jesus never preached about "hell" and neither did his Apostles, what did they preach salvation from? What is this "Valley of Hinnom." It all has to do with SIN as you will see.
All About Salvation (Saved From What?)
When we do a word comparison in the Apostle's Gospel epistles to the early church, we get interesting, and telling results:
- Occurrence of "saved/salvation" in the epistles: 55
- Occurrence of "sin/sinner" in the epistles: 165
- Occurrence of "hell" as translated in the epistles: 2
While the Apostles had precious nothing to say about "hell," they much to say about both "salvation" and "sin." The word "saved" comes from the Greek "sozo" which contains the idea of being "healed." In fact they translated sozo into both "healed" and "made whole" a total of 14 times in the King James Version.Matt 9:20-21
And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole (sozo). Acts 14:8-9
In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed (sozo).
These people had diseases, or defects, within their bodies and reached out for sozo/healing/wholeness - or salvation - from their physical ailments. Yet, while Jesus healed physically, he preached of an inward healing as well.Matthew 1:20-21
An angel from the Lord came to (Joseph) in a dream. The angel said, "Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save (sozo - heal) his people from (Greek apo - to separate from) their SIN."
The angel told Joseph to name the child Jesus, meaning "Jehovah saves," which makes this scripture the very thesis statement of salvation in the Bible. This scripture is interesting not only for what it says, but what it does not say.
- It does NOT say: The child will be named Jesus, "because he will save his people from from punishment for their SIN."
- It DOES say: The child will be named Jesus, "because he will save his people FROM their SIN."
Since Jesus came to save us from sin, it would help to know what sin is. As always, the Bible is very helpful.
1 John 3:4 says, "Sin is lawlessness." So, Jesus came to save us from sin, and sin is lawlessness. Does that mean Christians are under the Law of Moses? No. Let's let John finish his thought.1 John 3:22-24
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
Jesus died to save us from sin. Sin is lawlessness. God's commandment for mankind is to believe in Jesus and love one another. Therefore, Jesus came to save us from...(drumroll please)...NOT believing in Jesus and NOT loving our neighbor.
Notice in Matthew 1:20-21 the use of the word "apo" Jesus came to save us from (apo) sin.The Strong's Dictionary for the word reads this way:
Apo: a primary particle; "off", that is, away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literally or figuratively) . . . In composition (as a prefix) it usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc.
In other words, God named the Savior "Jesus" because he came to save people AWAY from their sin to snatch them out of its grip. This target of salvation is the express reason for Christ's birth, and even the reason for his name, "Jehovah Saves!"
The next perfectly reasonable question is: HOW does God save us from not loving eachother? The simple answer: by grace. Meaning, by giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit. First understand that sin does not begin outwardly. It begins inwardly.James 4:1
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?
The origin of sin is inwardly before it becomes an outward manifestation through what Apostle Paul called "wicked works." (Colossians 1:21) The Law of Moses touched only the outward things, the physical things like lamb blood. This made it "weak through the flesh." (Romans 8:3), therefore affecting no salvation. It was not able to make man believe in Jesus or love his neighbor.Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance (aphesis) to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty (aphesis) them that are bruised
By the inward Spirit, however, we can be saved from the inward cause of sin, as the Spirit breaks the slave-minded connection between the sin in our flesh, and the ability for it to negatively affect the human will, and produce evil works. Once anyone has experienced this "saving away" from sin, Paul has this instruction:Phi 2:12
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation (sozo) with fear and trembling.
The term "work out" is translated from the Greek katergazomai (kat-er-gad-zom-ahee) which, according to Strong's Concordance, means "cause, do (deed), perform, work (out)." For example:
In other words, the inward salvation should naturally produce an outward salvation, that which is to be worked outwardly. Paul always said: "if we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit"(Galatians 5:25) This means that salvation begins inwardly, but should also be walked outwardly. It should present itself through our actions.
You may have heard the phrase: "sin in act, versus sin in fact." The "sin in fact" is the internal condition within man which sets him at variance with the righteousness of God. In theology, they refer to that as "The Adamic Nature" (man's disobedient nature according to the sin which entered the world through Adam).
Non-Christians and atheists comprehend this condition also, even if they disagree with Christianity. What we know as "sin in the flesh," they might label it "the lizard brain." The lizard brain is that ancient part of our subconscious which is regressive, fearful and selfish, dedicated only to self-preservation. They would probably assert that the only solution is continuous social evolution.
Indeed, modern society is adept at controlling the impulses of the carnal mind through laws and social mores, essentially through fear. But that doesn't mean the condition is washed clean internally. Christ compared the Pharisees to whited sepulchers, dead on the inside, but clean and white on the outside. They were able to appear righteous in society, while inwardly they were ravenous wolves.Romans 8:13
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.Colossians 3:5
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry
How does good fruit literally develop on a tree? The water goes to the inward parts, through the roots, and it permeates and feeds the sprout. Then, when grown, the tree naturally bears it. It does not struggle to bear fruit; such a thing occurs NATURALLY. Going forward, keep that in mind, the natural, almost automatic quality of a tree bearing fruit, starting with internal growth.
By Grace Ye Are Saved (Healed)
For the believer, grace through faith saves man from sin. However, Biblical grace is one of Christendom's most misconceived concepts. Doctrines of grace in Christianity tend to narrow its saving power to one thing: forgiveness of sin and therefore salvation from "hell." Once more, Paul and the remaining Apostles never remark on hell, but they have much to teach about salvation from sin, and how "grace" generates this. While forgiveness of sin is essential to the Gospel, salvation by grace goes even deeper, and has nothing to do with hell.
The word "grace" is derived from the Greek "charis," meaning "good will, favor, benefit" etc and the Bible says that "we have access into grace by faith" (Romans 5:2). Are you ready for a revelation? Here is HOW grace saves a man from his sin:Titus 2:11-14
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation (healing) hath appeared to all men, Teaching (Greek - paiduo - chastening) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Did you notice that this would be a fine place for Paul to mention "hell" since he is about to teach on the manner by which grace brings salvation? Once again, nothing.
The grace of God brings salvation from sin, to "redeem us from" ...(hell?)..."redeem us from all iniquity," so that by denying worldliness we should live righteously, which is something that the Israelites under the Law, which was not of Grace, found impossible to accomplish. That is because Grace is how that God promised the Holy Spirit, then he gave it to those who had faith. He does this to purify to himself a people who will be...(saved from hell?)... "zealous of good works," who will "work out our own salvation" from sin.
Paideuo, translated as "teaching" in the above verse, actually means "to chasten." In fact, Strong's Dictionary even appends the term, "discipline by punishment." I'd wager you've never correlated God's grace with punishment, have you? You probably only learned that grace was a way to escape punishment. Not so. What God actually does is punish with a purpose, with positive results unto sanctification of the mind. This is not the sanctification cultivated under the Law. The Law only punished and reminded man about his sin, but could not heal it.
Theologically, in our church education, we got off on the wrong foot immediately with regard to Biblical grace and its role in salvation (healing). Christendom teaches a passive future-bound salvation, but Paul taught a very active HEALING from sin through the inward working of grace by the Spirit. Titus 2:11 probably never comes up when educating God's people on God's grace, and this has led to all manner of doctrinal incongruity. We were indoctrinated to associate "grace" primarily - or worse - solely with God's forgiveness.
Forgiveness is essential to the Gospel, but not in favor of downplaying the role grace has in sanctification of the mind, especially with chastisement, or even punishment. God says, not to despise his chastening.Hebrews 12:5-7
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth (paiduo), and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
That's what Grace does every day in the life of a believer, not just partially, but predominantly. The mercy comes, therefore, in saving/healing you from your sin.Hebrews 12:11
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
You see? The "peaceable fruit of righteousness" gained through chastening. In the moment of chastening, it may not feel like mercy at all, but in the sense that such chastening delivers man from sin and "yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness" that's exactly what is so merciful about God chastening believers. That's saving grace at work and without the grace through faith, no salvation occurs.
That probably doesn't sound too nice, and not in keeping with the traditional concept of "grace." This is because the carnal man sees "mercy" in God leaving him alone (not "seeing his sin"). Contrarily, God sees mercy from Above, meaning that he knows without chastisement, man is consigned to the flesh, and if he leaves his followers dead in sin without chastising them, that would be showing a lack of mercy.
When you hear the famous phrase from the Bible: "By grace ye are saved through faith" you probably assumed that Paul was talking about hell. No, again, Paul never mentions hell in the Bible, ever. Take a look at the wider context.Ephesians 2:1-10
And you hath he quickened (brought to life), who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (brought us to life) together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Notice the context here:
SALVATION: from being "dead in sin"
BY GRACE: being "brought to life together with Christ"
Grace is much more than being forgiven for past sins. Being saved from sin by grace is being joined together with Christ, of course by becoming one with him in SPIRIT. Did you see anything about "hell" in there? No. Just one word about it? Not one word. Paul says that we were once children of wrath. God showed wrath against Israel for their sins many times, and in fact, the Law itself was a mediator of wrath.
Since Paul was talking about salvation by grace through faith, this would have been a PERFECT opportunity to talk about "hell" and really lay it out systematically. You didn't see "hell" there ONCE. Nothing! But, you did see a whole lot about being saved from "transgressions and sin."
Salvation from sin is not of your works, either works of the Law of Moses, or anything you did on your own. Being joined together with Christ is a gift of grace according to faith. However, once one is joined together with Christ, the good works should necessarily follow. If God is within you, you are HIS workmanship. Nobody is healed from sin by their OWN works because salvation from sin requires INWARD salvation first. Man cannot do that. Only grace through faith brings the Spirit.
In case we didn't get it, Paul continues says elsewhere in Titus:Titus 3:3-7
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved (healed) us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Notice these two aspects of the above scripture:
1) He saved us from disobedience not by our own works, rather
2) He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Spirit
In other words, nobody can earn the Holy Spirit by their own works. It's a gift of grace, not a wage. That's where works cannot save man from sin, such as works of the Law, like circumcision etc. However, once the "washing of regeneration and renewing of the Spirit" comes into play, that's where works do come into the picture. Being saved from disobedience by the Spirit means to be brought into alignment with the character of Christ inwardly and outwardly. So, good works become the natural result of recieving the Spirit: being saved from disobedience itself.
What did he save us from? Hell? No. Again, Paul never even speaks the word "hell."According to Paul, God saved them from "foolishness, disobedience, deception, enslavement and all kinds of passions and pleasures, malice, envy, and hatred." How did he save them? Not according their own works. No, he saved them through the WASHING OF REGENERATION AND RENEWING of the Holy Spirit. See? Righteousness by grace through faith, not of our own works but by God's work within.
In this manner, Jesus Christ substitutes his own righteousness for us, for here's how Paul completed his thought from an earlier scripture:Phi 2:12
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works IN you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Being saved/healed from sin requires substitutionary righteousness, Jesus Christ living within the believers, working his own righteousness through them, so that it is not by their own works, but by his righteousness to attain that salvation. This does not mean believers are perfect instantly, however. For, John says "If we say we are without sin, we are liars and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8). If we were perfect, God would find no need for chastisement. But, the Gospel is about daily deliverance from slavery to a carnal mind according to a walk of grace in the Spirit. The Gospel is about freedom.
Paul declared "Christ's righteousness for the remission of sins past. (Romans 3:25)" How do we get "delivered" from those past sins? Again, not by works of the Law, for that is our own righteousness (Philippians 3:9). No, we are healed from sin by Christ's righteousness within: "For it is GOD in you, both to will and to work to fulfill his good purpose." If God is in us, both to work and will of his good pleasure, we are thus being delivered from that which harmed us.1 John 3:5-9
But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.
Do you see how John is talking about salvation from sin, NOT by man's works of the Law of Moses, but by the "seed of God" living in his people? Jesus is the Lamb "which taketh away the sin of the world. (1 John 2:9). That scripture is John carefully explaining HOW Jesus does that. He destroys the works of the devil by causing those who are "born of him" - not to be instantly perfect - but to stop abiding in sin, continuing in it.
When the "seed of God" is within man, then GRACE chastises his people to live Godly lives, and work outwardly their salvation with fear and trembling in the knowledge that GOD is doing the willing and working, not according to our own works of the Law. God lives within his people, and that seed causes them to be healed of sin.
Do you see how the Bible can be reconciled quite easily when one starts from the correct foundation of salvation? Watch this:James 2:14-16
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
That's obviously not the most popular scripture in the Bible, partly because it is so misunderstood. Now, friends, remember what Paul said in Titus 3. We are saved from disobedience not by our own works, but by the washing and renewing of the Spirit. Once that occurs is where James' words come into play. What if someone says they have faith, but remain disobedient, failing to love his neighbor? Can he say that his faith alone saved him from disobedience...if he remains disobedient?
If Jesus says,
Christians have a difficult time reconciling Jame's statement with the idea of salvation from hell. They teach that salvation from hell requires no works at all, but that's not what James was talking about. Let's look at the context of his scripture from one chapter previous:James 1:19-21
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save (sozo - heal) you.
According to James, what does the word "planted in you" save you from? Hell? No, that's not the context of this verse or the entire book of James. We are to be saved from "all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent" in the world. So, observe James' example: if a brother is naked and starving, but you say be warmed and filled, but do not give them the needful things, how can you say you have been saved from disobedience itself, when Jesus said to love eachother? How can a person who does that say they "got saved" from disobedience, when that person is continuing in disobedience?
This is James' point: be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to be come angry. Those are all works, behavior modifications. Why? To save yourself from hell? No! To produce the righteousness that God desires. The implanted word saves us from the immorality of our generations. His given example about feeding the hungry and clothing the poor is not a work of the Law, such as circumcision, or tithing, or sabbath keeping. He is talking about loving our neighbors in every day life. That's something New Testament believers were commanded by Jesus to do.
Apostle John said, "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:18). So, how can we say that we are saved (healed) from disobedience itself if we fail to love in deed and truth? Is this making any sense to you? James is simply telling us that if we say we are saved from disobedience, then we should stop being disobedient, and love eachother in deed and truth. How is this not logical? But, because the Christian church has taught that James is referring to salvation from "hell" that man is saved by faith alone, and it makes total confusion out of what the Apostles were talking about.
Are we saved from disobedience by faith alone? Of course not. Obedience requires "deed and truth" not just "word and tongue" or a personal belief system. You know this from Apostle Paul, who said we are saved "by grace through faith," not faith alone. GRACE is what chastises us to abandon ungodliness so that we can be, "created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10).
What happens when Jesus Christ places his own righteousness into us by faith and purifies our hearts to do good works? If we are working for Christ, what are we NOT busy doing? Being dead in trespasses in sin. Doesn't that make sense? But, if someone is in slavery to a drug addiction, and claims to have faith but doesn't stop doing drugs and ends up with a destroyed life? Was he saved from destruction? No!
Both Paul and Peter agreed with James' approach to being saved from moral filth by "the word planted in you." Please observe:1 Peter 3:21
Baptism now saves (sozo - heals) you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience— through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Peter is not talking about water baptism, but of the indwelling "resurrection of Jesus Christ." He is talking about baptism in the Spirit, of which physical water symbolized. He is talking about "the word planted in you" saving us from "all moral filth." It starts with "an appeal to God" as Peter put it. Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Then, they are saved by receiving the Spirit, the "word planted in you which is able to save you from all moral filth." Now Paul:Romans 5:10
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Do you see that? Do you see what is happening here? We are not saved by "faith alone" but we are saved "by his life" as the scripture plainly says. We are saved from sin by the Holy Spirit. Paul is making the exact claim that Peter just made, and that James made, all about the indwelling of the word, the life of Jesus Christ to save man from sin. Faith leads to receiving the Spirit; the Spirit sanctifies the believer and causes salvation from moral filth by the power of his Life. The drug user is inspired to cease using drugs and is saved from that destructive sin.
That is what it means to be saved by grace. It has nothing to do with salvation by works of the Law. It has to do with salvation by the indwelling Life. Christian theology teaches that man is saved only by belief in Christ's death and resurrection. But no, that is not what the Apostles taught, clearly. Paul taught that man is saved from sin by "His life." Peter taught that we are saved by "baptism" in the "resurrection of Jesus Christ" James taught that we are saved by "the word planted in you." They taught that we access that grace by faith, but that the true saving power is in the Spirit.
This is exactly what Paul meant when he talked about:Romans 15:
(Christ) through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake
Paul did not simply bring faith to the Gentiles. He brought the "obedience of faith" to them, made possible by the power of the Spirit to cleanse us from sin. That is what James was talking about with "the word planted in you" which is able to save you.
Why does Christendom fail to follow their own rules of checking context? Christian theologians have been wrangling over these scriptures for years, but they are quite easy to understand when you start from the right foundation of salvation and grace, and if you just look at what they are really talking about, you don't have to rely on theological mumbo-jumbo to make sense out of senselessness and contradictory doctrines.
Taking everything altogether so far - faith toward grace, grace toward chastening, chastening toward the fruit of righteousness - even one of the most difficult verses in all the New Testament can be clearly understood:1 Tim 2:15
(Women) shall be saved (sozo - healed) in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity (Gk agape - love) and holiness with sobriety.
Many Christians have no idea what to do with this verse. It flies in the face of everything they are taught in church about salvation. According to Paul, women shall be saved/healed in bearing children - if they continue in faith. Is that it? No. If they continue in faith...and love....and holiness...with sobriety. Healing from sin is absent without those traits. If you have laid hold of the role that GRACE has in chastising God's people unto holiness, you have your answer.
God will use childbearing as a tool to heal women from sin by that chastising grace. He will use childbearing to teach them whatever they need, unto healing from sin. By doing that, God will have saved them from sin, but they must continue in charity, holiness (Greek hagiasmos - purity/sanctification) and sobriety to stay saved from sin.
Many people say that Paul wrote, "Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth and you are saved." No, he doesn't say that. Look closely at what he actually says concerning this pathway to salvation:Romans 10:9-10
If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved .
For (because) with the heart man believeth unto (Greek - eis - toward) righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto (Greek - eis - toward) salvation.
Paul never said that faith makes salvation complete. If so, GRACE would have nothing to do with healing from sin. Paul said that if people believe and confess, they shall be saved/healed, because (key word there, as Paul is about to explain what he means by that) the heart believes and the mouth confesses toward salvation, toward healing from sin.Luke 13:22
And (Jesus) went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward (Greek - eis) Jerusalem.
Just as Jesus journeyed toward Jerusalem, from faith we journey toward salvation from sin. According to Paul, the next step beyond faith is the promise: "After that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13)
Belief and confession lead toward salvation, but the Spirit does the actual saving work. In Galatians 3:10, Paul says that "the righteous/just shall live by faith." What does it mean to "live by faith?" How does faith bring Life? Watch what he says four verses down. He's about to explain what he means:Galatians 3:14
In Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation (sozo - made whole, healed) through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
There it is again. "salvation through sanctification." Does the Christian church teach salvation through sanctification of the Spirit? No. They teach that salvation from hell comes first, and sanctification happens after. Yet, we see so very clearly from Paul here, that God has chosen the elect unto salvation (healing) through faith together with sanctification. In other words, there is no salvation without sanctification, which happens by grace through faith.
Suppose John Doe is hooked on heroin. And those drugs are killing him and his relationship to his friends and family. Suppose John hears a Gospel message and believes in Jesus Christ, but rejects the Spirit's sanctifying work and stays on drugs. He dies leaving his family and friends behind. Did his faith alone save him? No.
Jesus Christ: In the Likeness of a Sinful You
What does this have to do with Gehenna? I'll get to that. It's all interconnected, so please be patient and allow me to present the scriptures about it. Gehenna is a symbol for something and it will be explained in light of the overwhelming evidence that the Apostles preached salvation from sin, rather than salvation from "hell."
People will say that the concept of universal salvation is a deception of the Devil. And here I am speaking out against sin, and proclaiming a Gospel of salvation from sin with Jesus Christ as its sole author. Does the Devil, who Jesus says, "sinneth from the beginning" teach a Gospel of salvation from sin? Can the Devil preach salvation from "all moral filth" even as he is the author of such things? I assure you, he wants no part of what I am saying here. What fellowship does darkness have with light? Can demons cast out demons? Beware your own slander.
People will claim that universal salvation says, "You can live how you want and be saved anyway." People who say that may not have had an encounter with the destruction that sin itself causes. Anyone who knows about genocide knows how sin can destroy. Anyone who knows how families can be torn apart by adultery, knows how sin can destroy.
Anyone who knows about envy and how can lead to armed robbery knows how sin can destroy. Sin is a destroyer unto itself. You can see it play out on the pulpit too. How many priests and preachers from either Catholicism and Protestantism have seen themselves destroyed by their own sin? Live how you want and be saved anyway? Please. Maybe what we need most in Christian culture is a healthier respect for the dangers of sin itself.
From the scriptures provided here in Part 1, you know that Jesus does not save anyone IN sin. He saves people FROM sin. The Gospel is about healing from sin, and nobody is healed from that which still injures them. Jesus said: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." (Matt 5:6). And, we are told not to "despise the chastening of the Lord."
Let us compare two doctrines:
- One doctrine, which I proclaim, which says that through God's judgment, he will bring all mankind into salvation from "all moral filth" of the Devil, and everyone will be made alive to God through repentance.
- The other doctrine, from Orthodox Christianity, which says that Satan's deception of the world will result in God confining most all creation into a pit of "moral filth," sin, hatred and torture, where repentance from sin is ineffectual.
Which end game bears the most fruit for God and robs the Devil of his fruit?
This paper is about the Judgment of the World. So, what does salvation from sin by God's chastening grace have to do with that? Everything. Everything you have read to this point concerns the judgment of the world, because everything up to this point has dealt with the crucifixion of the flesh. That is what grace does within the believers.John 12:31
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (Greek helkuo - drag) all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Jesus' death, his crucifixion, is the judgment of the world which occurred 2,000 years ago. But the question is, does Christ relegate this judgment to a past event? No. As we go further, you will see that when God's grace chastens his people to be healed from sin, that is a spiritual expression of Christ's physical crucifixion. That is the manner by which Christ draws the elect to his death, the death of their flesh.
Jesus gives us three facets to the crucifixion:
- His death is the judgment of the world
- The prince of this world shall be cast out
- Jesus will draw all men to him.
First, to accomplish this great goal, this "drawing" of all men to his death, the Word became flesh to pass a condemning judgment against sin itself, with the intention that the righteousness contained within the Law of Moses (Love), could be fulfilled in the Elect. He entered the world through Mary, lived his life, and ministered to the people. Then he died for the world for this reason:Romans 8:3
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the LIKENESS of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Jesus died so that, among many other things, he could be resurrected, and send the Spirit to accomplish what the Law of Moses could not: give Spiritual Life to those who believe. He did exactly what the angel of God said he would do: save his people from their sin. Having come in the "likeness of sinful flesh," (i.e. in the likeness of a sinner, without being a sinner) Jesus shows the fate of sin in the physical picture of his crucifixion. In his physical death, he revealed salvation from sin by the putting away of the flesh spiritually.
Spiritual Baptism into the Crucifixion
According to the church, Jesus died so we would not have to. But Jesus himself said: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." (Matt: 16:24) If you take up your cross, to follow him, where are you going? Where was Jesus going? To his death. Jesus wants you to follow him into death, but in a powerful, spiritual way:
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the LIKENESS of his death, we shall be also in the LIKENESS of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is...freed...from...sin.
I will say it as clearly and simply as possible: Jesus Christ - while in the flesh and being without sin himself - nevertheless became a symbol of sinners dying to sin, through the crucifixion of sin by the Spirit.
We are talking about "the judgment of the world," the crucifixion of the flesh, which Jesus himself said, if he be lifted up, he will draw all men to him regarding the death that he would die. In Part Two of this paper, we will discuss how this judgment will be completed in all the rest of creation.
Paul clearly grasped the symbolism of Christ's flesh dying on the cross. He saw how the chastising power of grace - which brings salvation (healing) from sin - factored into the spiritually realized crucifixion of the flesh becoming "freed from sin." Whoever is dead to the flesh is free from sin.
When we are baptized "into Jesus Christ" we enter both his death and resurrection simultaneously in this spiritual way.Romans 6:10
The death he (Jesus) died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
Since we know that Jesus was without sin in his earthly ministry, how did Jesus die to sin? He was already dead to sin through the Spirit during his earthly ministry. Jesus Christ was crucified to his flesh at his birth, by the Spirit, long before his flesh was physically crucified on the cross. He died physically so that through his resurrection Life, his followers could be given the same gift of spiritual crucifixion: dying to sin. This is the genius of the Father at work.
Some people believe that water baptism is necessary for salvation. A whole paper could be written on that, and the debate rages even today. Rather than debating the necessity for water baptism, notice that Jesus differentiated between water and spirit.Acts 1:5
For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
John the Baptist himself said:Luke 3:16
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
So, the question is are we "baptized into Jesus Christ" via John's baptism of water, or Christ's baptism of Spirit? How do we become one with Christ? Of course, by the Spirit for Paul himself says, "he (Jesus) saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of ... (river water?)...the Holy Ghost." Peter confirms this:1 Peter 3:20-23
In it (Noah's Ark) only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
The water symbolizes the resurrection Life of Christ which saves us. That resurrection life is the Spirit, for Jesus died in the flesh and was raised a life giving Spirit. But the question is how and from what was Noah saved by this symbolic water and this ark. In other words, was Noah saved from "hell" by water? Of course not.
As long as Peter is preaching about Noah here, let his own words in Acts 2 explain what Noah was saved from, in application today.Acts 2:38-40
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”
Now, hold on a second here. Let's just stop for a moment and look at the words. He says he wants them to "recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit," The water of Life. He believed that the physical water of Noah represented a clean conscious toward God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And he uses "many other words" to say what? Be saved from "this perverse generation." That is the core Gospel message that Peter is preaching: "Repent and be baptized and you will recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit. Be saved from this perverse generation."
That is what baptism in the Spirit saves us from: SIN. How? God gives us a "a clear conscious" by the resurrection Life of Christ. In type and shadow, Noah was saved from his wicked generation by water which symbolizes the living water, the Holy Spirit.
Remember what James said? The "WORD implanted" can save us from "all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent". Where is it prevalent? Look around you. Remember Rwanda? Remember Auschwitz? Remember the little girl that is abused by her stepfather and ends stuck in prostitution and the filth of pornography? The Word, the Living Water, can save us from the evil that is prevalent here and now, in "this corrupt generation."
Physical water cannot save anyone from sin anymore than flesh can save itself from flesh. Think about it: The Bible says we are saved from sin by "grace through faith" not by "river water through faith." Grace is what does the chastening work unto a clear conscious of salvation from sin by the resurrection life of Christ which is through the Spirit.
Whether anyone believes that water baptism is necessary to prepare the way for the baptism of the Spirit is not the point. The point is that it is not John's baptism of water that does the true saving/healing work. It's Christ's baptism of the Spirit which does that.1 Cor 12:13
By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
The corporate body of Christ has been baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ in which he died on the Cross unto crucifixion of the flesh. So, truly, when Paul says that we are baptized into Christ's death, you can know that Paul is talking spiritually about baptism of the Spirit unto salvation from sin, for whoever is dead to sin is "freed from sin."
Seeing that Jesus claims "the death that he would die" to be "the judgment of the world" and that Paul says that "the death he died" was dying to sin, you can see what the judgment of the world will result in for "all men" who are drawn to Christ in judgment. All men will be drawn to be put to death in Christ. All men will be drawn to their flesh crucified. All men will be drawn unto death to sin.
But, God says that he gives "grace to the humble, but resists the proud." (1 Peter 5:5). As we have seen, Christ's faithful receive the crucifixion of the flesh, the likeness of Christ's death, through chastening grace which comes by faith.
For the proud? They must be humbled. In Part Two of this paper, you will see how Jesus Christ will draw all men unto the likeness of his death, by humbling them through judgment. For now, judgment begins with the house of God.
Judgment Begins With the House of God (2 Fires For Mankind)
Again, there are two ways man may be judged by God: chastening grace for the humble and resistance for the proud. As you will see, both aspects fit into the ONE judgment Jesus declared: "NOW is the judgment of the world. NOW shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I if I be lifted up from the earth will draw ALL men to me. He said this to signify the death that he would die."
Two methods in one judgment: the crucifixion. And there are two forms of spiritual FIRE which achieve this simple statement from Christ:Matthew 23:23
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
From this you can understand that ALL will be humbled, yet those who humble themselves now will be exalted, and for them God has a fire to bring glory to God. For the rest of the world, there is another fire which will destroy their pride and bring them low. We will cover that fire in Part 2.
Fire for the House of God:1 Peter 4:12-14
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
The fire for the house of God is for the humble, unlike the fire which shall try the prideful. The humble count it JOY to walk through this fire, to be counted partakers of Christ's suffering. Any fire, any ordeal, that God puts his faithful through, is to bring the character of Christ through them, to reveal himself in the humble. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God.1 Peter 4:16-18
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment MUST BEGIN at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely (Gk: molis - with difficulty) be saved (sozo - healed), where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
The judgment of the world began with Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. He died on the cross physically as symbol for the spiritual crucifixion of the flesh in them who received the Spirit. Jesus didn't have any sin to spiritually crucify, so he became the PICTURE of that crucifixion in actual sinners.
The judgment of the world begins with the house of God, in which Christ is the head. With DIFFICULTIES the house of God is judged unto salvation/healing from sin. The "difficulties" Peter is talking about is "suffering as a Christian." The suffering for Christians was a method by which God humbled his servants to make them Christ-like. The more they were persecuted, the more they showed their salvation from sin, by not fighting back, by loving their enemies, just like Jesus did when he was crucified in the flesh.
Peter says: "if the righteous shall - with difficulties - be saved/healed, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" With this line theologians abandon their well-established rule of interpreting scriptures in context. Here they let the assumptions fly. When they see the word "saved" they can only think "saved from eternal torment."
Peter was referencing Proverbs 11:31:Proverbs 11:31
Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.
Christian doctrine says that the righteous are instantly saved from sin by "faith alone." Nope, you have to have the chastening power of GRACE unto salvation. Faith is the kickstarter. That is why Peter says that the righteous are saved "with difficulty." He is talking about how God uses the church's enemies as a tool of GRACE. He is talking about what Paul declared: Salvation (healing) from sin through sanctification and faith, much like how Paul says that women will be saved in childbearing. These "sufferings as Christians" are the method unto the humbling of the flesh.
Peter establishes this a few verses back:1 Peter 4:6
For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
He is talking about the "fiery trials" of our faith. Do you see what is happening here? God is using "men in the flesh" to judge "the house of God," because through trials, they were being built in the character of Christ, saved from sin through chastisement of the flesh.1 Peter 1:6-7
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
This is the work, the "difficulty" that the righteous experience in being saved from sin, from the proud posturing of sinful flesh.
We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty (molis) off Cnidus, and as the wind did not allow us to go farther, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone.
So, If the righteous are saved from sin "with difficulty," how much more so with the ungodly and sinners? The crucifixion of the flesh awaits them, but not through Grace. God gives grace to the humble but resists the proud.Heb 10:26
For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
While the manner of judgment of the world may be experienced differently, the end result is the same: crucifixion. There is no other sacrifice for sins. If man will sin willfully, there is another way to draw them into the crucifixion of the flesh, through a "devouring of the adversaries."
As Peter declared, "judgment must begin with the house of God." It will follow to the rest of the world eventually, but those who do not receive grace must FIRST be humbled. No other sacrifice, and therefore, no other judgment exists. What will become of them that do not obey? The judgment of the world awaits them. The crucifixion of their flesh by fiery indignation rather than Grace.
The Grievous Whirlwind
God is love. Don't mock that by rolling your eyes. It's scripture. God has special purpose in his fiery indignations that have alot to do with his very being associated with LOVE:
With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.
He does not show favor to the wicked, the way the world does. That only stokes their pride. Rather, he wants the inhabitants of the world to learn righteousness, through necessary judgment so that they WILL behold the majesty of the Lord. For this, he has prepared a grievous whirlwind.Jeremaiah 23:19-20
Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in FURY, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
The Bible is clear that the anger of the lord will return, but only WHEN and UNTIL it accomplishes the thoughts of his heart. You just saw how "the thoughts of his heart" is for the world to learn righteousness. That's why God does not show favor to the wicked. He would rather them to learn righteousness. So, even the whirlwind of his anger is forged in Love (which we will look at in more detail in Part Two.)
Jesus condemned (katakrino - judged down) SIN in his flesh at the cross (Romans 8:3). The Cross says: The flesh must die. Therefore, everyone must die TO the flesh and live for God. Nobody can escape this judgment of the world. Some will crucify the flesh through GRACE, and some must be humbled unto grace.
Paul said that we, in the house of God, should judge ourselves that we would not be judged, saying that "when we are judged (krino) we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be judged (katakrino - judged down) with the world." (1 Cor 11:32). Seeing, therefore, that nobody will escape the Cross, there are two ways of going about this.
We saw, through Peter, how God was using his own enemies as a tool to bring about the beginnings of this judgment on the house of God so that they could "live according to God in the spirit." But there is another enemy at God's disposal for those who RESIST God's chastening grace.
Apostle Paul had special advice for those in the church who stubbornly persist in sin and fail to be saved from it by chastening GRACE.1 Corinthians 5:5
Deliver such a one unto Satan for destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved (sozo - healed, made whole) in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Destruction of the flesh. That's what the Cross did. Even the rebellious will be drawn unto the crucifixion of the flesh, for THAT is the judgment of the world. One way or another all flesh will be drawn to be crucified. Because God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud, God uses certain tools to prepare the proud to receive Grace.Ecclesiastes 1:13
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore (Hebrew - ra - EVIL) travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised (Hebrew - anah - brought low, humbled) therewith.
The same word - "ra" - is the same "ra" as in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and EVIL ("ra"). Yes, God even uses "evil" travails to humble man, who is proud and boastful by nature. This is the fiery indignation upon those who continue to sin after receiving knowledge of the truth. And when they are freshly humbled, destroyed by Satan, the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. They will have been prepared in humility, to receive a different kind of chastening, one that brings Life.
You see how the end result is the same as with the house of God, for which judgment had begun?
Peter said that the house of God is being judged by "men in the flesh" - enemies of the church - so that God's people may "live according to God in the spirit." Yet, even those who resist and are turned over to Satan - another enemy of God's church - for "destruction of the flesh" that "the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
All throughout the Old Testament, in the same way, God uses his own enemies to unveil and compete his purposes. When the prophet Jeremiah spoke to Israel and prophesied that they would be delivered into captivity in Babylon over their failure to uphold his Law, he referred to Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar as his "servant." (Jeremiah 25:9) in this punishment.
When Israel's own judgment is complete, God turns around and says: "when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians for their guilt." (Jeremiah 25:12)
Everybody gets judged. For some people he has a "grievous whirlwind" which will not be turned back until it accomplishes the desires of his heart. For others, he has grace.
While God allowed Israel to reject him through their sin, he certainly did not allow himself to STAY rejected. But, he displayed a loving purpose. He says that in the consummation of the seventy years they would repent. They would say:Jeremiah 31: 18-19
You disciplined me like an unruly calf and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are the Lord my God. After I strayed, I repented. After I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
Israel repented and God restored them, but don't overlook the fact that God caused their repentance through judgment. He didn't just stand on the sidelines, crossing his fingers and hoping for them to mend their ways. He made it happen. The prophecy said that Israel would be in captivity for 70 years, no less! So, it was no coincidence that Israel repented at the end of those 70 years.
If God wants repentance, he knows how to get it. He knows how much pressure to apply, and the exact time needed in judgment get what he desires, so that his works bear the fruit of his heart, having great compassion even upon on the wicked, that even his anger bears fruit unto salvation.
In case anyone assumes that God's judgments for repentance were reserved for the Israelites alone, have a look at Nebuchadnezzar's own judgment. Truly, "when God's judgments are in the earth the people of THE WORLD learn righteousness." God's prophet Daniel had urged the Gentile king to repent of his sins, and that Babylon would only be restored to him when he repented and acknowledged God's sovereignty (Daniel 4:27).
But the king was proud, and claimed that Babylon was great by his own actions (Daniel 4:29). We know what happens to the proud: God resists them. So he took away Nebuchadnezzar's sanity.Daniel 4:33
He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
Truly, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands the Living God (Hebrews 10:31). The results? The mighty King of Babylon repents, and praises God saying:Daniel 4:35,37
All the people of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does what he pleases with powers of heaven and peoples of earth, no one may hold back his hand or say to him "what have you done?"….Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the king of heaven because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk with pride, he is able to humble.
If God gives grace to the humble, Nebbuchadnezzar sure wasn't that. This Gentile king of Babylon, conqueror of God's chosen people, had to be brought down, down, down, to the same repentance to which Israel was brought. Thereafter, in the midst of his rapturous praise of God, the King of Babylon admits that humans are NOTHING compared to God. The Lord can get whatever repentance he desires through his judgments and nobody can stop him.Isaiah 55:11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth. It shall NOT return unto me void but it SHALL accomplish that which I please and it SHALL prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
So how does that apply to Jesus - God's word made flesh - the Word sent forth to the Cross to accomplish the judgment of the world by dying FOR the world? Will that Word return void? If God wants the world to be saved through Jesus, can he make it happen?
When Jesus' disciples asked him if they should bring down fire on the Samaritans for not receiving him, Jesus replied: " Ye know not what manner of Spirit ye are of, for the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." (Luke 9:55). That spirit which takes retribution to satisfy revenge, without accomplishing God's desire, is not God's own Spirit.
As the judgment of the world begins with the house of God, it will not return void until God's purpose is achieved for the world for which Jesus died. Everyone must pass through the Cross for salvation, which means the flesh must die. The Cross cannot, and will not stand ignored or fruitless.
So we come right back around to Apostle Paul. He never talked about hell, but he talked about God's judgment. King Nebbuchadnezzar was an enemy to God's chosen people and he learned all about God's judgments and.....tadah!.....it resulted in repentance and most importantly HUMILITY.
Let the Earth Be Glad to be Judged By God
Rejoice! Let the whole earth be glad! For God comes to judge it in truth and righteousness! That's not a common outlook on God's judgment for the whole world among Christians, but I assure you, God tells us to rejoice and gives us good reason to do so, as you will soon witness. In fact, in the Bible, God tells the WHOLE EARTH to be glad in God coming to be its judge.John 12:31
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (Greek - helkuo - drag) all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Jesus did not die for Christians alone. If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ. He is the propitiation for our sins, but not ours only, but for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2), and by his own words, he will draw all men to his death if he is lifted up (on the cross). As judgment has begun with the house of God, so that the crucifixion of the flesh may be displayed in their walk, the time is coming for this judgment to expand worldwide.
The Greek word for "draw" in the above scripture is helkuo.
According to Thayer Bible Dictionary the word means "to draw, drag
off." In order for Christ to submerge all men in the death of the
sinful flesh, is there any doubt that he must drag them (even if kicking
and screaming) to him, to the death that he died? Look at some other
And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew (helkuo - dragged) him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut. Acts 21:30
And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew (helkuo - dragged) them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
Clearly the implication here is of a greater force dragging the lesser force to a new place. EVERY TIME the word helkuo is used in the scripture it is used
to describe an action requiring such force.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw (helkuo - drag) him: and I will raise him up at the last day. James 2:6
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw (helkuo - drag) you before the judgment seats?
Does not the sinful flesh resist being DRAGGED to the Cross? I love this next one.John 21:11
Simon Peter went up, and (helkuo - dragged) the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
I love that because Jesus compared men to fish, and we know that fish do nothing but flip-flop helplessly when the Fisherman drags them into his boat. Yes, speaking about his own death, Christ said I will DRAG ALL MEN TO ME! The flesh hates this message. The flesh will scratch, claw and bite like a feral cat from a bath, to get away from dying on the cross. Man has to be DRAGGED to be crucified, but it is nevertheless the judgment of the world, so it's inevitable.
If Jesus Christ says, that NO MAN may come to Him unless it is given by God, we may find a good example of that in maybe the most famous conversion account recorded in the Bible, which is Saul, who would later become Apostle Paul:Acts 9:1-6
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
Everything about this passage reveals that Saul of Tarsus was dragged to God. He was the enemy of the church, persecuting and murdering Christians. He didn't make a choice to follow Christ, before Christ revealed himself, and all indications were, he had no intention to do that. Paul was being DRAGGED to the crucifixion of his flesh. He found out the hard way that his own will was subordinate to the will of the Supreme and Most High God.
So, what about the people who do not have faith now? Do they render the Cross moot, and all it's intended effectiveness? When God intends to do something, can His purpose and plan be reversed by man's weakness of faith?Acts 17:31
He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained (Jesus Christ); whereof he hath given assurance (PROOF) unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
The proof that Jesus will judge the world...(in literal fire?)...in righteousness is that he has raised him from the dead. All men have this proof in that Jesus conquered death and was resurrected to life. How is this proof? Because Jesus SAID he would drag all men unto his judgment! He conquered death! So being, he is now able to conquer death for EVERY man even in his judgment.
That alone is cause for rejoicing in his judgment of the world.Psalm 96:11-13
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD, for He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness (Hb - enumah).
Sadly, there seems to be no rejoicing about God's judgment, only warning. Warning is appropriate as you will see, but not absent of rejoicing. Jesus died FOR mankind, not against him. Therefore, the judgment of the world is intended to be FOR mankind not against him. So, why aren't Christians rejoicing about the judgments of the world?
Because, as you will see in the following sections about "hell" and Christ's parables, they think God's judgments nullify the purpose of His Son's Cross! They have no idea that God judges the earth BY the Cross rather than being counter-productive to it. Most Christians have no faith that that when God's judgments are in the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness. We saw this earlier:Isaiah 26:9-10
With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.
Here is where warning comes in. God has no intention to show favor to the wicked. He would rather them "learn righteousness." According to this scripture, the way for the wicked to learn righteousness and "behold the majesty of the lord" is through judgment. This is why the Bible both warns people about judgment and tells us to rejoice in his judgment.
Christ is not dual-minded. The judgment upon his literal flesh will come upon the world spiritually, and for some people, that will not be too pleasant. You will see what the scripture has to say about that soon enough. Nevertheless, God claims ultimate superiority over man in his ability to realize everything he has planned for the world.Isaiah 46:9-11
Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that...will...I...do.
What God plans and purposes, he will make it happen. Do Christians believe that? Actually, no. They reason that God WANTS to have the world saved, but must bend to the will of stubborn sinners who refuse to believe in him. Really? Is that what you get in reading the above scripture? He says his purpose will stand and he will do ALL that he pleases. Do you agree?
Such simple statements like those above should give those Christians pause about their doctrines. Who is in charge here? God or man? The Bible proves that EVERY TONGUE will swear an oath to God that in him alone they have righteousness. Read it for yourself.Isaiah 45:22-25
Turn to me and be saved, all ye ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none else. I have sworn by myself and the word has gone out of my mouth and shall not return, that unto me, that every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear (Hebrew - shaba - take an oath). Surely shall
The word "one" in the King James Version of this scripture is absent in the translation, which is why it's crossed out above. The New International Version (NIV) takes account of this and translates it this way: "Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, 'In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength."
That's right, regarding the phrase "turn to me and be saved all ye ends of the earth," everyone is going to make this oath. This simple prophecy says it all, but it certainly doesn't jibe with what Christianity teaches. The resulting teaching on a verse like this will be to square a circle. To force it not to say what it plainly says.
Here is where the warning comes in: those who are incensed against him shall come and be...(eternally tortured?)....be ashamed. Oh, they will swear the oath. Every tongue will. But they will have to be humbled first. Every Christian ought to know that salvation goes hand in hand with being humbled. The very idea of confessing that Jesus is Lord is a humble response to belief in Christ.
As you saw, King Nebuchadnezzar knew all about being humbled by a grievous whirlwind, and it ground him to powder in God's hands. He knew all about being judged by God, and ashamed, bowing his knees and confessing with his tongue God's supremacy over mankind. Grace for the humble. Resistance for the proud. Both will produce God's purpose in the Cross for the world. Watch how Paul understood this great event.Romans 14 10-11
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
The judgment seat of God will accomplish the humbling, and bowing of knees, and swearing of oaths to God for every human being. Think about that Great White Throne. By the time you finish reading this paper, you will understand how that great day of judgment will produce this response in people, especially considering that crucifixion of the flesh is the judgment of the world.
For more detail on how the world will be judged, and why the world should rejoice, continue reading The Judgment of the World by the Cross (Part 2)