Lazarus and the rich man: A story of “eternal torment” or “the salvation of the world”?

A lot of people use the story of Lazarus and the rich man to support their belief in hell and eternal torment but the story teaches nothing of the sort. It doesn’t even have anything to do with physical death; therefore, has nothing to do with the “afterlife” and where one might spend it.

I guess the first thing we need to do is establish that the story is, indeed, a parable that is meant to be spiritually discerned, rather than the story of the fate of two literal men after physical death.

Some will say that this is not a parable because it is not introduced as a parable. However, not all parables are explicitly identified as such, not even several of the other parables which Jesus tells in this same text, a series of which begins in Luke 15:3, in which the introduction is made only at the beginning of the first story:

Luke 15:3 And He spoke this parable to them, saying:

There are several stories/parables which follow this introduction in Luke 15:3 and the story of Lazarus and the rich man is only one of them. There is the parable of the Lost Sheep starting at Luke 15:4; there is the parable of the Prodigal Son starting at Luke 15:11; there is the parable of the Unjust Steward starting at Luke 16:1; then after a brief exchange with the Pharisees and Jesus telling them that they are they which justify themselves before men and tells them: “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery” (which many seem to skip over as even being a part of or relevant to the series of stories). Then we come to the story of Lazarus and the rich man at Luke 16:19. Then Jesus speaks of faith as a grain of mustard seed, forgiveness and those who serve a master. He then heads into Jerusalem and heals the ten lepers, etc.

So what about the story of Lazarus and the rich man? What does it mean and how does it fit into the other stories? Let’s start with just a high-level overview:

What do we know about the rich man?

1. He was clothed in purple and fine linen.

2. He has good things in his life.

3. He died and was buried and he found himself “tormented in this flame” while looking up from “hell”.

4. He, looking up from hell, sees Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom.

5. He calls Abraham “Father”.

6. He begs Abraham to send Lazarus to his house to save his five brothers, lest they come unto the same torment.

What do we know about Lazarus?

1. He was laid at the gate, full of sore, desiring to be fed crumbs from the rich man’s table.

2. He has “dogs” licking his sores.

3. He had evil things in his life.

4. He died and was carried into Abraham’s bosom.

So what does all of that mean? Let’s look at the story:

Luk 16:19  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

Luk 16:20  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Luk 16:21  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

Who is this “rich man”?

Others, like L Ray Smith and Bryan T. Huie, who have written on this story as a parable maintain that the rich man represents “Judah” and, therefore, all Israel. The reason being is that the color “purple” is symbolic of royalty and Judah carried the royal line of Israel and “fine linen” is symbolic of the priesthood. Also because Judah had 5 (full) brothers.

I think a good case can be made for that interpretation, but whether or not that evidence is sufficient enough to prove that this “rich man” represents “Judah” and therefore, all Israel, I do believe that this “rich man” represents Israel, or God’s chosen people, to whom Christ was addressing (and deriding) in this series of parables. Even Paul points out that the Jews had “an advantage” in that it was to them that the oracles of God were committed; therefore, “salvation is of the Jews” through “the faith of Abraham”.

Rom 3:1-2  What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

So who is Lazarus?

Again, some believe that Lazarus represents Eliezer of Damascus, Abraham’s faithful servant and, as such, represents the Gentiles.

A case can certainly be made for that, but what I see as the main ‘identifier’ in this story of Lazarus are (1) his name, which means “whom God helps” and (2) his relationship to the “dogs” who are also mentioned in the story. This because the “Gentiles” were considered and identified as “dogs” in the scriptures, even by the Lord himself:

Refer to Mark:

Mar 7:24-30 And He arose from there and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered into a house and desired no one to know it. But He could not be hidden. For a woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of Him and came and fell at His feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syro-phoenician by race [a Gentile]. And she BEGGED Him that He would cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, LET THE CHILDREN [the Jews, whom He came to] FIRST BE FILLED. For it is not right to take the children’s loaves [take the ‘bread’ from their table] and to throw it TO THE DOGS [the Gentiles, those not chosen]. And she answered and said to Him, Yes, Lord, yet THE DOGS UNDER THE TABLE eat of the children’s CRUMBS. And He said to her, For this saying go [because of her faith and desire to have any crumbs that might fall from the table], the demon has gone out of your daughter. And when she had come to her house, she found the demon had gone out, and her daughter lay on the couch.

Here, we even see “dogs under the table” begging to eat “the children’s crumbs”. Shall we believe that this is mentioned for nothing?

So, as I see it, this parable depicts Lazarus [the Gentile nations] who is laid at the gate, full of sores, desiring to be fed by the crumbs from the table of the rich man [God’s chosen people].

Luke 16:22  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Luke 16:23 And IN HELL [hades] he lifted up his eyes, BEING IN TORMENTS, and saw Abraham AFAR OFF, and Lazarus in his bosom.

So what happens next is not that Lazarus is fed, or not, but that both men die.

Though both men died, Lazarus was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom while the rich man was buried and found himself looking up from ‘hell’ [hades] being in torment in a flame and seeing Lazarus, afar off, in the bosom of Abraham.

Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, FATHER Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water AND COOL MY TONGUE, for I am tormented in this flame.

This “rich man” recognizes Abraham and even calls him “father”, further supporting the idea that the rich man in this story represents Israel or the Jews. But what is really worth noting is what it is that this rich man wants cooled. HIS TONGUE!!

What do we know about the tongue?

Jam 3:6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell [gehenna].

Here we see the tongue, a fire, and hell all mentioned together again!!

Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things [the wealth and riches of God; bless of God; God’s chosen], and likewise Lazarus evil things [not chosen of God]. But now he is COMFORTED [having been made a partaker of the commonwealth of Israel] and you are TORMENTED [having been judged unworthy and cast off].

Luke 16:26 And besides all this, there is a great chasm fixed between you and us; so that they desiring to pass from here to you CANNOT, nor can they pass over to us from there.

Here we see that there is “a great chasm” between the rich man and Abraham/Lazarus, one that is “fixed” and cannot be crossed.

Those who use this story to teach the doctrine of eternal torment, see this as a permanent condition for those who end up in hell/hades after death. However, Abraham did not say that this was a permanent condition, only that it was their present condition. Nor does this parable have anything to do with the physical death of any man.

If this story is, indeed, about the Jews and the Gentiles then what is this “great chasm” that is fixed between these two men?

Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Israel did not stumble that they should fall, but that salvation could come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. (Rom 11)

Luke 16:27-28 And he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Luke 16:29 Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them. [They have the Words of God through Moses and the prophets, let them hear THEM and listen so that they do not come under the same condemnation.]

Luke 16:30 And he said, No, father Abraham, but if one should go to them from the dead, they would repent.

Luke 16:31 And he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even though one rose from the dead.

Here we have the rich man asking for Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers so that on the testimony of one who was risen from the dead they might not come into this place of torment. However tells him that “they have Moses and the Prophets” and “if they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even though one rose from the dead”. And how true those words are!! They are even reminiscent of what Jesus, himself, said to the Jews:

Joh 5:45-47 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

And neither were they persuaded when He rose from the dead!!!

This story is not one of “eternal torment” in hell for the wicked dead. It has nothing to do with the eternal fate of the wicked after they physically die. It is about the gospel and how it was brought to the Jews, wherein it was rejected so that the Gentiles could be grafted in, resulting in “the riches of the world”.

In order for that to happen ALL MEN (both Jew and Gentile) had to be gathered together IN ONE BODY, by being baptized INTO THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST (both ‘men’ died)!

The gospel has been given to the Gentiles, who now find themselves in the place of God’s chosen people, in the bosom of Abraham. So it is no longer the Gentiles begging for crumbs [perhaps ‘bread’ crumbs?] from the table of the Jews; but the Jews begging for a drop of water [living water, no doubt] from the Gentiles (spiritually speaking).

And it is not by calling on the name of “father Abraham” that the “great chasm” that is fixed between the two can be bridged. It is BY THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM that we are “carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom”:

Mat 8:10-12 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

When comparing spiritual things with spiritual, how can we not see that this is exactly what the parable of Lazarus and the rich man is all about? Not about the physical death of two men and what awaits them on the other side of a physical grave in eternity but about the gathering together of two nations, wherein the one that was “afar off” and “without God in the world” is “carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom” and those who were nigh, who rejected their Savior due to the veil of the flesh, have been “cast out of the kingdom”?

Not permanently!!

2Co 3:15-16 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

Turn to the Lord!! Not Abraham! Believe Moses and the prophets who testified of Jesus Christ!! And walk in the same faith that Abraham walked in!

Pro 15:24  THE WAY of LIFE is ABOVE to the wise, that he may DEPART FROM HELL BENEATH.

The Greek word “hades” means “unseen” and those who are “dead and buried” are UNSEEN (because their life IS HID with Christ in God, until he who is there life SHALL APPEAR). They are prisoners of “the body of this death” that is “full of dead’s men’s bones” (likened to “a whited sepulcher”) whose THROAT is “an open sepulcher” and whose TONGUE is “set on fire of hell”

There is a spiritual truth to this, as it applies to those who are “dead” after a spiritual truth.

God was in Christ reconciling THE WORLD unto himself, making IN HIMSELF – ONE NEW MAN:

Eph 2:13-18 But NOW IN CHRIST JESUS ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, WHO HATH MADE BOTH ONE, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make IN HIMSELF of twain ONE NEW MAN, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God IN ONE BODY by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we BOTH have access BY ONE SPIRIT unto the Father.

So then it seems reasonable to assume that ALL have been baptized into His death, but not all have been resurrected into His life.

Rom 6:3-8 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. Now if we BE DEAD with Christ, we believe that we SHALL ALSO LIVE with him:

We have to remember how the Lord works:

Jud 1:5  I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, ~AFTERWARD~ destroyed them that believed not.

Which is exactly the way it is reflected in the parables about the kingdom of heaven:

Mat 13:47-50 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. ((So shall it be at the end of the world)): the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

We see it again in the parable of the wedding feast:

Mat 22:8-14 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.

Jesus seems to indicate a connection or a common theme among “all parables”:

Mar 4:13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

And do we not see those similarities?

The tares and the wheat are growing together until harvest; there is TREASURE HIDDEN in the FIELD; that which is LOST is FOUND; that which is SOWN falls on different ground with different results; laborers are hired to work in the field and they ALL receive the SAME PAY/REWARD no matter what time “of the day” they were hired.

When it comes to THE END OF THE WORLD and THE HARVEST, Christ made it very clear that THE FIELD WAS “WHITE, ALREADY TO HARVEST” and that “in the end of the world” he would send forth his angels TO REAP:

John 4:34-38

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. SAY NOT YE, THERE ARE YET FOUR MONTHS, AND THEN COMETH HARVEST?

BEHOLD, I say unto you, LIFT UP YOU EYES AND LOOK ON THE FIELDS; FOR THEY ARE WHITE ALREADY TO HARVEST.

And HE THAT REAPETH receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit UNTO LIFE ETERNAL: that both HE THAT SOWETH AND HE THAT REAPETH may rejoice TOGETHER.

And herein is that saying true, ONE SOWETH, and ANOTHER REAPETH.

I SENT YOU TO REAP

that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and YE ARE ENTERING INTO THEIR LABOURS.

So then THE FIELD IS WHITE, ALREADY TO HARVEST and Christ sent THEM (HIS DISCIPLES; THE ANGELS OF THE LORD) TO REAP to be LABORERS in the field and GATHER FRUIT UNTO LIFE ETERNAL. AMEN!!!!!!

THE REAPERS are THE ANGELS!

All blessings in Christ!

Christine

Advertisements

About Christine

My name is Christine and since my favorite past-time, the one that I find the most fulfilling, is studying the scriptures and seeking to know and understand "the deep things of God", I have created this blog as a place to not only post my own bible studies but as a way to connect with others who are are also seeking the Lord and the Truth. I've posted some of my studies on other websites and haven't yet decided if I will post them here, as well, or if I will just post future blogs/studies here. We'll see. Thanks for stopping by and please do so again... maybe after I get something posted. :) ALL BLESSINGS IN CHRIST!!
This entry was posted in Christian Universalism, Christianity, Religion & Philosophy, Universal Salvation and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Lazarus and the rich man: A story of “eternal torment” or “the salvation of the world”?

  1. muzacmercer says:

    I recently wrote a song about the Prodigal Son. This is my testimony of God’s amazing grace in my life. If you have a sec here it is. Thanks for listening

  2. Christine says:

    Very nice!! Has the contest been decided? Best of luck to you!!

  3. muzacmercer says:

    Thanks so much! The contest is not over yet. Its over on the 20th of this month. This is my first time doing anything like this and I did not expect to be so close to the top. Again thanks for your kind words!

  4. Blaine says:

    When the rich man from the parable of ‘the rich man and the poor Lazarus’ dies and opens up his eyes in the realm of the dead, he says: I am in agony in this fire (Luke 16:24). Jesus compares the spiritual situation of this man, who finds himself in the abyss – under the rule of Death and Apollyon – to being in a flame.
    In the story of Lazarus and the rich man we read of an unbridgeable chasm. It is impossible to go from one side to the other. This situation remains unchanged until the last judgment. From the great white throne it will be said to those who remain united with the demons even in the realm of the dead: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41). Although man is not intended for the eternal fire or the second death, these cursed will be sent there. God never cursed man, but only said that for man’s sake the earth was relinquished to the ruler of this world. Cursed are those who love iniquity, who refuse to relinquish the evil spirits, who rake themselves available to Satan and his kingdom of their own free will.

    Here is a quote from an article titled: “Paradise”

    ” The True Garden of Eden
    In Genesis 2:8 it says: “And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden.” This garden was an image of the true garden of delight God intended to plant in the heavenlies. At the start of the new covenant the Lord God began to plant His true paradise. The first tree to be planted there was Jesus Christ, the tree of life. he bore precious fruits and the wide crown of this tree had an abundance of leaves in the shade of which protection and healing were to be had for all who came to Him. This tree and its foliage are a picture of the fullness of spiritual abilities with which Jesus made Himself the servant of man, to restore him and to form a congregation without spot or wrinkle. When our Lord had risen from the dead, the Father planted Him in the paradise of God as the Tree of Life. All who believed in Him and were born again, people such as the disciples and the women, were immediately planted in the unseen garden when Jesus was resurrected. The more people were cleansed in the blood of the Lamb and became children of God, the more plants were transferred from the realm of darkness to the light of the heavenly garden of Eden, and the more varied and numerous became the planting of the Lord. Only the righteous have a place there, given them by God.

    People who try to enter the Eden of God’s Kingdom apart from Jesus, by means of a false religion, will see these words of Jesus applied to them: ” Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up”, for “there shall be no more anything accursed”, that is, nothing shall be found there which belongs to the devil, but only the righteous who belong to God. (Matt 15:13 and Rev 22:3).

    The following question arises; what is the condition of those who lived before Jesus came? The answer is that all these people went to the realm of death, to Sheol, the righteous as well as the unrighteous, the believers as well as the unbelievers. The rich man was there, but also Abraham and Lazarus the beggar, although there was a deep gulf between them.

    Among the righteous in Sheol, however, there were. also those who during their lives had looked forward to the spiritual world, who always thought about this world and who by the ‘testimony’ they received from God also obtained some insight into the Kingdom of heaven. Abel comes to mind, a man who must have thought about the forgiveness of his sins and reached the conclusion that this could only be brought about by the shedding of blood. Also Enoch, who considered another part of the foundation of the faith, that of the eternal judgment between good and evil. Then there is Abraham, who sought an unseen city, built on the foundation of faith, whose builder and maker is God. The prophets also searched and inquired who these spiritual people might be, the Spirit in them was speaking of. For by these people the final purpose of the faith would be reached, that is the salvation of the souls. (lPet 1:9,10). All these seekers for the Kingdom of God would be the first to take up their place in the heavenly paradise. These spiritually inclined saints were taken out of Sheol at the resurrection of Jesus and replanted in the garden of God.

    This insight is derived from Matthew 27:52, among others, where this migration of the saints is mentioned. When Jesus died, many signs took place on earth, but also in the heavenly places. When the veil of the sanctuary was torn from top to bottom this, as we saw before, was an expression of the removal of the garment of sin and guilt which separated man from God. This heavenly act took place when the veil of Jesus’ body, in which he carried away the guilt of the world, was ‘torn’: in His death, that means, when it was separated from His inner man. The opening of the tombs was another image, just as the tearing of the veil. It means to picture the things taking place with many of the saints who had fallen asleep. After their inner men, that is with their spiritual bodies, these saints were in Sheol, the realm of the dead. They were raised, that is, they received a sign that the time had come to rise and start a new period of life. After Jesus’ resurrection they left Sheol and went to ‘the holy city’ which according to Rev 2:12 is the new Jerusalem. Here they appeared to many. This should not be taken to mean the earthly Jerusalem. Being inhabitants of the new Jerusalem these saints manifested themselves on earth in a resurrection body in the same way Jesus did. The holy city is a collective name for the people of God, just as the paradise is a parable or an image of the Kingdom of the Father.

    Thus after Jesus’ resurrection there was a tree of life in the spiritual garden together with a great many other plants. As a member of the people of God of the old dispensation, Jesus stood out by His perfect glory, for the Holy Spirit dwelled in Him, the perfectly righteous. He therefore was a tree growing on the bank of the river of the water of life, bright as crystal. (Rev 22:1).

    At Pentecost, the holy Spirit descended and also took up a dwelling place in the hearts of the many righteous believers of the new covenant. All who later believed in Jesus, and gave testimony of their faith and pressed on for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, received the Spirit. They were the people of whom Jesus said to the Father: “Thine they were, and thou gavest them to me.’ (John 17:6). Now they also have their place beside the river of living water. To continue in the same metaphor: those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit are replanted by the heavenly Husbandman to the banks of the river of life. There they keep growing and developing after the image of Jesus Christ. They are the trees of life, or as it says literally, the ‘timber’ of life which produces the same fruit as the first tree of life and also serves for the protection and healing of the nations.

    Healing Is For Now
    In a parable, the last chapter of the bible pictures the nature and the work of the congregation of Jesus Christ for the present and for the age to come. In Rev 22:1 we read: “Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of-the street of the city; also on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” This is a description of the duties of the church, to which end the power of the holy Spirit is now developing.

    In his last vision John saw the paradise of God, and ‘in the middle’ stands the, tree of life. There, from the centre of God’s authority, the throne of God and of the Lamb, flows the river of the water of life. This river is an image of the Holy Spirit who goes forth from the Father and the Son. Along its sides are the trees of life which take their power from the water of this river. It is as if the Holy Spirit is saying to us: take your bible and open it until the-first pages touch the last: the visible is fulfilled in the unseen, the shadow in the reality.
    The first and most important of these trees is a picture of Jesus Christ. Then on both sides of the river we see long ranks of ‘drinkers of water’ and their numbers keep increasing. In them the clear water becomes a fountain, full of joy and full of life. In them the words are fulfilled that they are conformed to the image of the Son. In good seasons or bad, in every month they produce their fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal 5:22).

    Here for the last time the bible mentions the tremendous task the congregation of Jesus Christ has in this world as the bearer of salvation and healing. All grace, all blessings, all restoration and all victory over the kingdom of darkness are brought about by these oaks of righteousness, these sons of God become manifest for whom the groaning creation was looking with eager longing. Through the exclusive means of the church of Jesus Christ the creation will produce that which God intended from before the beginning of time. Through her, His plan and counsel are brought about. Saved to save, that is the deepest and greatest expression of the calling of the congregation.

    The angel of Jesus, the most important among the angels of the churches, says: “The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations.” Under the shadow of their leaves the times of refreshment will come, of which Peter spoke in his sermon in the forecourt of the temple when God glorified ‘his servant Jesus’ by healing the lame man at the Gate Beautiful. In Ephesians 3:10 Paul wrote about this joyful and exalted commission of the church: “That through the church the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It takes a great deal of knowledge and heavenly wisdom to change a person bound by the devil, dead, in his trespasses and sins, into a righteous man or woman. It also takes a lot of wisdom to make this renewed person into a king who sits with Jesus on the throne of the Father to reign over all the works of God’s hands. This saving wisdom and power were first revealed in the man Jesus and are now made known by the congregation which continues “all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up.” (Acts 1:1-2).

    The restoration of all things first reaches completion in the true congregation of God. The victory will come through ordinary men and women for they have been called to destroy the works of the devil, first in their own lives and then in the lives of those who call on them for help. In doing this they use the method of their Master, for His method is the only right one: it is the same yesterday, to4ay and for ever. They resist the attacks of the Evil One in the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in them and in the name of Jesus these believers cast out the evil spirits; they set free those who are bound, and lay hands on the sick for healing. Thus the demons are conquered in a lawful manner with the weapons of righteousness and the equipment of the abilities of the Holy Spirit. In the congregation we grow towards the mature manhood in Christ, under the ministry of the true pastors teachers and prophets who persevere in sound doctrine, that is, in the truth. Only the doctrine of Jesus Christ, a gospel of the Kingdom of God, is able to renew the mind to the extent that victory is achieved in the Christian’s lifetime. Why does the Lord mention the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and the Scribes who have become disciples in the spiritual world? Simply because the way of the Kingdom of heaven leads to full maturity, making the ideal of perfection an obtainable goal. We know that the earth is the domain of the ruler of this world. He and his powers of sin infiltrate man through the senses and by making use of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Powers of sickness also bind man’s attention to the earth. For these reasons, Romans 8:10 says, the body is dead because of sin, for it has to function in the domain of the ruler of this world. But when Jesus dwells in us by His Spirit the spirit is alive because of righteousness, and has fellowship with God. When a man in a white suit enters a coalmine, he cannot avoid getting his clothes dirty. In the same way a Christian who believes teachings which do not remove him from the earth will fall in sin again, even though his sins had been forgiven. All his efforts, his mortification of the flesh, his fasts, his nightly prayers, his struggles and his retreat behind the thick walls of a monastery are useless and without value. As for many centuries Christianity has not understood the teaching of Jesus about the Kingdom of heaven, it has not been able to solve the problem of sin. They lived and still live in the profound conviction that a Christian remains a sinner until he dies, and they say: “We still have our carnal nature, brother!” The answer which the new covenant gives to the problems of sin is this. “Seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is bid with Christ in God.” (Col 3:1-3). In our baptism in water we confessed to the fact that we have died. A person who is buried is put outside the atmosphere of this world, he has left it behind. Paul said: “While we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.” Baptism is a clear picture of a burial; it means that a Christian has to detach himself from the influence and the domain of the Evil One. The outward man remains in the sphere of influence of the Evil One, but he keeps himself dead for sin in faith. How can he now enter the heavenly places Of the Kingdom of God where Christ is? By the renewal of his mind! In his thoughts he rises upward and removes himself from the presence of the serpent. Provided he stays there, he will become invulnerable and unassailable. Only is his outward man, that is, in his life on earth will the devil be able to attack him, and for that reason this outward man is wasting away. (2Cor 4:16). Also his honor among men, his prestige and influence, will soon disappear, but his inner man, his soul and spirit are free. That is why he ‘has ceased from sin’ in this way.

    Restorers of the Earth
    For all who belong to the congregation of Jesus Christ it is a certainty and a great consolation that not the grave but the throne of God will be their final destination. For by them the eternal purpose of the Creator is to be carried out. When the devil has been thrown into the Pit, it is locked and sealed above him, as a sign that he has been made powerless, unable to tempt or devour any more, until his isolation is ended with the permission of God.

    During the Millennium it will therefore not be possible for the Evil One to seduce in heaven or on earth, nor to exert any pressure on anybody. The outward assault of falsehood on man will then have stopped. Yet on earth there remain those evil powers who are hiding inside men and in the rest of the living creation. however, during the Reign of Peace these powers will not be able to manifest themselves with impurity. As soon as they make use of the person they dwell in and make him sin in the visible world, this person, who failed to have himself set free, will be surrendered to the curse, that is, to the powers of death. (Is 65:20). It will thus no longer be possible for man to exert evil influences.

    After the battle of Armageddon, many millions of people remain on earth. Although bound and overpowered by demons, these people will not have been baptized in the spirit of Antichrist. They did not form a spiritual army which consciously did battle in the heavenly places against the Lord and his anointed. Those who remain behind are merely victims, occupied territory, but no valiant warriors whom Satan could use to fight his war. In Rev 20:4 we read about the beginning of the Millennium: “Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed.” We note the large number of thrones that after the first resurrection and after the battle of Armageddon, the congregation of Jesus Christ receives authority on earth. The judgment is committed to her, that means that she has discernment of spirits and is able to separate good from evil. In the name of the Lord and by the power of the Holy Spirit, by means of the time-tested method of Jesus, the congregation delivers those who are injured and damaged. Together, the members of the congregation form a festal gathering and assembly of first-born who are registered in the heavens; they are the parliament by which Jesus governs; this parliament consists only of kings and priests. (Heb 12:23). When they deliver the groaning creation, when they remove the lawless spirits which oppress it, the words of 1Cor 6:3 apply: “Do you not know that we are to judge the angels?” In the Millennium the congregation of Jesus Christ, the ‘timber’ of life will again fulfill its duty of healing the sick and delivering and restoring that which is damaged and oppressed. instead of being limited to a small part of mankind, however, her duty will then be towards the whole world.

    It is clear that only those who have used the ‘powers of the age to come’ in the present dispensation will then be engaged in the higher calling of liberating the earth of the curse. Then it will be fulfilled: “Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion (image of the Spirit-filled congregation of Jesus Christ) to rule Mount Esau (image of the enemy powers); and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” (Obadiah 21). Only those who now follow the example of Jesus will then be engaged in this task. Only those who now fight the struggle against the unseen evil spirits in the heavenly places will be regarded fit for the high calling of kingship on earth. In the present dispensation the believers manifest themselves as kings and priests in a humiliated and mortal body. In the Millennium they will reign with Christ in immortal and glorified bodies during a period set by God to restore the whole creation. For with His congregation Christ must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. (ICor 15:25). This holy nation of priests will carry out its work of purification, reconciliation and instruction; this nation of kings, this people of God, will lead the whole creation. Everything that was subjected to futility will then be restored to its original condition. Thus the conquerors remove the curse which man’s Fall had introduced on earth. Then mankind will again be the ‘ruler of this world’. The Old Testament sees the Millennium as an era of universal peace. The prophet said: “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with the joy of singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmen and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.” (Is 35:1-2). Isaiah 11:6-10 is another beautiful prophecy about the reign of peace, which I advise you to read. From Zion the restored church of Jesus Christ then will reign with Him on earth. She will preach the ‘eternal’ gospel of salvation and fullness. However, it is logical to assume that those who reach perfection during the Millennium will be given a place in the heavenly paradise, yet without belonging to the select group of conquerors who form the trees of life, for there will be no more battles in the spiritual world. Only in our present dispensation is God forming an army from among the people of God who know how to do battle and win victory in the same way as Jesus. Only to us apply the words of Rev 3:22: “He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Only those who have grown strong in war will reign as kings with Christ those ‘thousand years’.

    Those who belong to the congregation could be called vicars or governors of God. They will lead the nations and rule them in his place. By the end of the thousand years, the whole earth will be in a paradise condition for man and animal, yet without the subjection to mortality having been taken away. Death is the last enemy and only at last judgment will it be thrown into the lake of fire.

    Man’s salvation and deliverance during the Millennium do not really differ from the way of salvation in our dispensation. Neither will anybody be saved against his will, and it will even be possible that the Holy Spirit is blasphemed, for Jesus said: “Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matt 12:32). Faith in the work of the Holy Spirit, therefore will always be needed. The gifts of the Spirit already functioning in the congregation are an ‘earnest’, a guarantee, of our inheritance in the future. Then they will function freely and in full power. These gifts are called the powers of the age to come.. (Heb 6:5). God has subjected the world to come only to those who imitate the work of Jesus. (Heb 2:5). Ruling, instruction, liberating, and controlling the areas allotted to them will be made easy for the kings and priests, for they will have spiritual bodies which are not limited in time and place, similar to Jesus’ body after his resurrection.

    The Last Judgment
    In his description of the last judgment in Rev 20, John mentions a great glittering throne, which is an image of authority and judgment. Apart from the eternal God, no doubt the Lamb will also sit on this throne. The Lord Himself mentioned this authority of his in Matt 28:18 : “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” About the judgment He also. said: “The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:22). In Acts 17:31 it says: “Because God has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed, and of this He has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.” Our Lord sits on the throne, “for He must reign until He has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1Cor 15:25-26). This means that our Lord takes part in the last judgment, for there Death will be thrown into the lake of fire.

    The white throne is a very large throne, for besides Jesus, the congregation is also involved in the judgment, as Paul said: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” The sons of God will judge the visible as well as the unseen world, for the apostle continued as follows: “Do you not know that we are to judge angels?” (ICor 6:2-3). Those who have fought the good fight will be able to pass a righteous and merciful judgment, just as it says about Jesus that He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. (Heb 4:15).

    John saw how the dead of all ages, except those who shared in the first resurrection and those who were transplanted into the heavenly paradise, now rise from Hades. Then it is fulfilled: “The hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28-29). Daniel said this about the second resurrection: “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Dan 12:2). The verse speaks of ‘many’, not of ‘all’, for many dead were to share in the first resurrection and never see death. (John 8:51). Please note the contrast between I everlasting life’ on the one hand and ‘everlasting shame and contempt’ on the other. Jesus used the same expression of endlessness when lie said: “They will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt 25:46).

    Hades, the realm of the dead, then, contains several categories of dead:
    a). The godless whose consciences are seared and who therefore are for ever connected with the evil spirits they served.
    b). Those of the old covenant who were not transferred to the heavenly paradise when Jesus rose from the dead, although they had served God.
    c). Those who never had the opportunity to know the true God and never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet did righteousness and sought for good.

    In Revelation 20:12 we see that books will be opened at the last judgment, and also that there is a book of life. The dead will then be judged by what wag written in the books, by what they had done. The book of life shows that not all will be sent to the lake of fire.

    When at the end of the Millennium the devil is thrown into the second death, he leaves behind a legacy, namely his bookkeeping. Until his very end he kept a record of all who had worked for him during their life on earth. The devil has to pay the wages for every lawless act done for him on earth. The ‘wages’ paid by the devil will bring man into death. It says: “The wages of sin is death”, and “Sin when it is full grown brings forth death”. The heavenly Father does not keep these records of sin, for there is not a single reason for Him to do so. Why would He keep the wage list of those people who did evil and therefore worked for His enemy? Job knew of the bookkeeping of the Evil One, but he also knew himself to be righteous, for which reason his works could not have been recorded on the wage list of the Evil One. He said confidently: “Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary. Surely I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me as a crown. I would give him (the devil) account of all my steps; like a prince I would approach him.” (Job 31:35-37). The ‘him’ of these verses is not the Almighty, as the New English Bible seems to assume. It would not be fit even for the righteous to approach God as princes.

    What will happen with the categories of dead I mentioned before?
    a). The bible speaks of those who have consciously chosen the side of the Evil One, as it says for instance in John 3:19 “This is the judgment that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” In the day of judgment these godless people will flee away from the presence of the Lord, together with the spirits they are united with. They will throw themselves into the lake of fire, in the outer darkness of the concentration of all the powers of hell.
    b). Then there are the righteous of the old covenant who did serve God, yet without paying attention to the unseen world. Their lack of knowledge is expressed by the Preacher when he said: “For the fate of the sons of man and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knows (or: observes) that the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?” (Eccl 3:19-21).
    The Preacher was a man who believed only what he could observe with his senses. He served God for this life only, that he might prosper and have a long life, and his children might share in his blessing. He was not righteous as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets were righteous, for he was not interested in the things of heaven. For him there was no unseen world to focus his attention on. Those who lived and thought , as he did would not receive a place in the heavenly paradise. They are put in the same category with the last group.
    c). In the vision of the last judgment we read of ‘the book of life’ in which are recorded the names of those who will not be thrown into the lake of fire but will share in the life that is from God. Even before the birth of Jesus this book was mentioned in the Old Testament. When Moses interceded for his disobedient people, he said: ” Forgive their sin and if riot, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” (Ex 32:32). David prayed this prayer about his wicked enemies: “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.” (Ps 69:28). So here we already have an indication that man is cut off by the sins he does and not by the condition he is in at the time of his birth. The New Testament follows the same line of thought where it says that those who conquer evil will not be blotted out of the book of life. (Rev 3:5).

    The book of life therefore contains the names of those who have done deeds of righteousness. It should of course be clear that this is not the perfect righteousness as it is given by Jesus. The dead will be judged ‘according to what they have done’. As for the perfectly righteous, they are in the new Jerusalem and will not come in Hades or in death. About them the bible says , that their names are written in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain, (Rev 13:8 and 21:27), while to those who do see death it simply applies that a number from among them are recorded in the book of life.

    Many Christians believe that all who-do not believe in Christ will perish for ever. Clearly, this view can hardly be maintained of those who were born before the coming of our Lord. And about those who did believe ‘in Jesus’ we immediately have to ask the question: to what extent did Jesus preached to them, conform to the Christ of Scripture? What kind of Jesus did the people believe in during the Dark Ages? And what of the vast differences between Roman Catholics, Reformed, Methodists, and Full Gospel Christians, not to mention the Jehovah Witnesses, Adventists, and Mormons? Surely, we are not dealing with a magic name by which we are saved, but rather with meaningful faith in the name of Jesus! How many. people really know Jesus the Savior, the Healer, the Restorer and the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit?

    The last Judgment is for this third category of people who never heard the pure “Word of God” preached to them. Yet they did what the law of God commanded, and their conscience often functioned quite adequately despite its shortcomings. In this context Paul mentioned the Gentiles who do by nature what the law requires. (Rom 2:14). These Gentiles show a great difference with those mentioned in Romans 1, about whom lie said that God had given them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity and a base mind. These people had been surrendered and become a prey of the unclean demons. John 3:36 says: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.” This verse is about the people who hear the true gospel and accept or reject it, as the case may be. I can understand that a rational person rejects a certain way of representation of the gospel, simply because it is contrary to tile most basic rules of justice. A case in point is the doctrine of predestination which relegates certain people to eternal perdition even before they have done either good or evil. The people who teach this doctrine have twisted to their own destruction certain things which Paul said, as Peter knew it would happen.

    In the last paragraph of Matthew 25 we read about the people who share in the blessings of the heavenly Father, even though they knew little or nothing of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. In their lives these people showed divine qualities, namely compassion and loving kindness. When the book of life is opened, judgment is passed upon those in whom the image of God has not completely vanished. Their mind had functioned correctly and their conscience had not been seared. Their hearts were full of love of their fellow men, and they sought for the things God seeks for: salvation and restoration. They were not connected with the pitiless demons, and in the judgment they are therefore not surrendered to the lake of fire. James the apostle-said about them: “Mercy triumphs over judgment”, or as the Amplified Bible puts it: “Mercy full of glad confidence exults victoriously over judgment.” (James 2:13). Mercy shown to the least of men is regarded by the Lord as having been shown to Himself. His gospel is founded on the love and mercy of God, and Paul said that God will judge the secrets of men according to His gospel. (Rom 2:16). An example of this type of person is Ebed Melech the Ethiopian who showed mercy to Jeremiah by carefully lifting him out of the pit he had been thrown in. Another is the Samaritan who showed mercy to his ‘fellow man’, ‘one of the least of these’, and helped him on his way.’ His compassion was not an outward compulsion but an inner need which was part of his inner make-up.

    Why did the rich man lift up his eyes in Hades being in torment? Simply because he had failed to comfort and feed Lazarus; he had not paid attention to ‘one of the least’ among the children of man. Those who show compassion and mercy live in, the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus is preached that the followers of the Master should show mercy in the visible as well as in the unseen world. True compassion and mercy can only be shown by those who are filled with the Holy Spirit, for the love of God and the gifts of the Spirit enable them to have compassion on their fellow men in the natural as well as in the spiritual world. When the book of life is opened, the people recorded there are unable to see a connection between their good works and Jesus Christ. They ask: “Why did we see you?” The ‘blessed of the Father’ as well as the ‘cursed’ ask this question. Here we therefore have the separation among those who lived before the coming of the Lord and among those who never heard the true gospel.

    There have always been good people among the ‘Gentiles’ who did not know Jesus. Before he had been converted, the following, testimony was given of a certain Roman soldier: “Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, giving alms liberally to the people, and prayed constantly to God.” (Acts 10:1-2). He was a good example of a ‘blessed of the Father’, a man of good repute among those who knew him. A ‘pious’ Jew was allowed to remove with his finger a dirty fly from his cup of wine, but had the cup been held by this Roman, he would not have been allowed to drink it, for that meant real contamination! There also was the centurion at Capernaum, of whom the people said that he was worthy to have Jesus do something for him, And the Lord was able to do a great work of salvation there!

    The last verse of Matthew 25 clearly refers to the final destination of those who were merciful and just in the natural world. They received eternal life. This salvation is possible for them because Jesus, the Lamb of God, died for the sins of the whole world. At the last judgment we see the far horizons of the limitless mercy of our God, who does not wish a single man to perish if lie is hungry and thirsty for righteousness.

    Does this mean that man has a second chance of salvation? No, for the people who stand before God here have never had a single chance, because the true gospel had never been preached to them. What did our parents know of the glory of the full gospel, seeking for truth and righteousness though they were? If they had heard the real true gospel of Jesus they would have accepted it wholeheartedly, for, this message would have offered them the opportunity to do well not only in the natural world but also in the spiritual realm. Thus they would have been set free from their unseen enemies themselves, and would also have delivered others from their sins, sicknesses and bondages.

    After the last judgment those who are written in the book of life and judged according to their works will find their destination on a new earth. With the little children who were unable to distinguish good from evil they form the great category of which the bible says that the glory of the nations has to be brought into the gates of the new Jerusalem.

    Restorers of the Holy City
    When John the apostle concludes the Revelation, he uses two very beautiful images: the trees of life and the holy city. In Revelation these two collectives are both images of the people of God from the old as well as from the new covenant. Chapter 21 describes the descent of the new Jerusalem from heaven to earth. This city should not be localized in any one place, for it consists of purely spiritual people who can be compared to stones of which the city is built.

    Citizenship of this city is obtained by being recorded in the book of life of the Lamb. This book contains the names of those who are perfectly righteous by faith in the atoning blood of Jesus.

    In the new Jerusalem we are able to distinguish three categories of citizens:
    The righteous of the old covenant who were transferred from Sheol to the holy city when Jesus was resurrected. At that stage they still lacked indwelling of the Holy Spirit, for the old covenant did not have the baptism in the Spirit.
    All who obtained true righteousness by accepting the message of the cross of Jesus Christ, yet were not baptized in the Holy Spirit and had no knowledge of the gospel of the Kingdom of heaven. They are in the same condition as the Old Testament ‘saints’.
    Those who are cleansed in the blood of Jesus and are baptized in the Holy Spirit, allowing the Spirit to develop His gifts in them, that they should be able to use the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. In the image of the new Jerusalem this category is the temple of God. In the image of the paradise they are the trees of life.

    Once again I want to stress that the holy city or the paradise of God should not be taken to be a particular place in the universe, no more than the realm of the dead. These ‘places’ are made up of purely spiritual beings who are not located in time or space. The city of God does not consist of dead people but of living, for all who belong to it have gone from death into life. I wrote before that at the death of a born-again Christian his body returns to dust, that is, is surrendered to lawlessness, but his inner man goes on living in the unseen world in a spiritual body. He receives this spiritual habitation now, not only at the second coming of the Lord, and he develops it by the good works he does. The apostle wrote: “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands. eternal in the heavens.” (2Cor 5:1). Whereas Paul wrote: ‘we know’ many people of our days will have to admit they know-little or nothing about this spiritual house.

    There is no death in the city of God but only life, and where there is life, there will be development, activity and growth. What could be the duties of those who died ‘in Christ’, of those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit and belong to the temple, of those who continued on earth the work Jesus had begun? Will they have something to do after they have died? Doesn’t the bible say that they will rest from their labors? No, for in Rev. 14:13 John writes: “That they may rest from their labors (their toils and trials), for their deeds follow them”. Their ‘labors’ were the resistance and attacks of the powers of darkness, who tried to oppress, injure and torment them under the leadership of the ‘ruler of this world’. When they die this struggle is past, for the Evil One will not come within the walls of the holy city and he cannot touch the believer who is in the city.

    His works or deeds, however, will follow the Christian to the heavenly Jerusalem. There he may continue what he started on earth. In the holy City it will of course no longer be necessary to deliver souls from the power of the evil spirits, but there still is the job of leading many to the baptism in the Holy Spirit, that they too may share in the glory of God. Hebrews 11:40 says that the faithful of the old covenant did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

    Thus we see that the congregation of Jesus Christ again is the instrument of God to help the creation, to restore and perfect it, this time, however, not merely on earth but purely in the spiritual world. They will also have to lead to the baptism in the Holy Spirit those believers of the new covenant who have not been baptized in the Spirit, be it because of ignorance or because they had been told the lie that a Christian receives the Holy Spirit automatically when he is converted. In this respect too, the congregation continues the work she began on earth, for in-our dispensation she had the duty-to urge the faithful of all churches and groups to experience their individual Pentecost and to become active in the heavenly places.

    The trees of life therefore remain active, for they go on bearing fruit and they unceasingly produce the leaves by which the nations will be protected and healed. Although the entire new Jerusalem is made perfect and filled with the Holy Spirit by means of the congregation in it, the body of Christ keeps having a special position. Since there is no struggle in the city of God, no new kings and conquerors can develop. The privilege of spiritual suffering, battle and victory, and thus the forming of a royal priesthood, is only for those who tread in the Master’s steps in this dispensation. Those who are baptized in the holy Spirit in the new Jerusalem and reach perfection there by means of the congregation will never become pillars in the temple of God, even though their development will cause the majesty of God to fill the entire city, as John said about her: ” She was having the glory of God.” In this glory he descends from heaven to earth, to fulfill her glorious calling there. “

  5. Christine says:

    Hello again, Blaine! Your comment is longer than my blog. I have not read it yet so I can’t reply. I’ll try to do so tomorrow, if I have more time. Are all of your comments going to be like this? LOL

  6. Blaine says:

    Hi! Christine
    I’m happy to promise not to submit such lengthy comments again. 🙂
    I jus’ got a bit too enthused.
    I was trying to single out the interwoven concepts which you had addressed in your original Post; namely: Hades & eternal judgement.(which is not an easy task).
    Ummm, jus’ so yuh know:
    I hardly ever visit WebSites and leave comments. Why? Mostly because alot of WebSites are much too preoccupied with a boastful pretense of having duh-truth-an-nuddin-but-duh-truth. But your WebSite was very much different than that.Your content/discussions read much more inviting and sincere.
    My comments are merely that: comments … my opinions. They were not submitted to challenge you nor your scriptural posture. Like yourself, I too am diligently searching. Like you too, I’m learning.
    I find a quiet joy when sharing each other’s thought-world about scriptures.
    Anyways, yer right. My comments were rather lengthy. My apologies.

  7. Christine says:

    Hi Blaine
    No need to worry. Anyone who’s seen me in coversation knows I better be the last one to talk when it comes to being ‘long-winded’. 🙂

  8. google says:

    Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but
    after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.

    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it
    and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  9. Christine says:

    Thanks for stopping by. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s