After the Counsel of His Own Will – parts 11-20

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Part 11 – Twelve Examples of God’s Modus Operandi

Example #7 – Samson and His Philistine Wife

Only five chapters later we find the second blatant, straightforward statement in the book of Judges revealing to us that evil is “of the Lord.”

Judges 13 is the story of Samson’s parents and the birth of Samson. Samson’s father was a man of the tribe of Dan. “His name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and bare not” (Jdg 13:2). The angel of the Lord appears to Samson’s mother and informs her she will conceive and bare a son. He tells her “no razor shall come on his head; for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (vs 5).

So we now know that God had determined before he was even conceived, that Samson would “begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines”. But how had He determined to accomplish this?

This chapter concludes: “and the woman bare a son and called his name Samson: and the child grew and the Lord blessed him. And the spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Estaol” (Jdg 13:24, 25).

How had “the Lord blessed him?” Exactly what does “the spirit of the Lord began to move him at times” mean? Had God written His laws on Samson’s heart? Was Samson blessed with an indwelling of God’s Spirit? Is that what “the Lord blessed him” means? Is that how “the spirit of the Lord began to move him at times”? Hardly! The Lord worked evil even in Samson after the counsel of His own will.

The very next few verses tell us what Samson did that “was of the Lord” (Jdg 14:4). Immediately after telling us “And the spirit of the Lord began to move him…” the very next verse tells us: “And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up and told his father and his mother and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath, of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore get her for me to wife” (Jdg 14:1, 2).

God had told Israel “take heed to thyself, lest thou…take of their daughters unto thy sons…” (Exo 34:12 & 16). Yet this is what we are told Samson did immediately after telling us “…the Lord blessed him. And the spirit of the Lord began to move him…”

Are we being told that God was responsible for Samson’s disregard for the laws God had given Moses forbidding the sons of Israel to marry the daughters of the people of the land? Samson’s parents knew this would displease God: “Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me for she pleaseth me well” (Jdg 14:3).

Does this sound like Samson had the Spirit of God? Yet we are told “the Lord blessed him. And the spirit of the Lord began to move him…”

It should begin to become obvious that “Put forth thy hand” and “the spirit of the Lord…mov[ing] him” in the old covenant is a far cry from the “walk in the Spirit” of the new covenant.

But was Samson’s self-centered, rebellious decision to marry a ‘daughter of the Philistines’ really “after the counsel of [God’s] own will?” (Eph 1:11). Here is the brazen, explicit answer of the word of God: “But his father and his mother knew not that it [Samson’s self-centered disobedience to God] WAS OF THE LORD, THAT HE SOUGHT AN OCCASION AGAINST THE PHILISTINES…” (Jdg 14:4).

The workings and the mind of God are both once again revealed in stark contrast to the workings and the mind of man and of the flesh. In spiritual terms, Samson was as carnal and self-centered as the day is long. Yet he is God’s instrument in “seeking an occasion against the Philistines”. Even his motivation for the greatest act of his Philistine slaying career was not one of repentance. His disregard for the need of obedience to the source of his strength and might persisted to the bitter end.

  • After slaying a lion with his bare hands,
  • After slaying thirty Philistines for their garments,
  • After catching 300 foxes and releasing them with firebrands into the crops of the Philistines,
  • After slaying the Philistines who had burned his Philistine wife and father-in-law,
  • After slaying one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass,
  • After carrying the gates of Gaza “and the two posts…bar and all…to the top of a hill before Hebron”,

After performing all these mighty works THROUGH “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD…MOV[ING] HIM” (Jdg 13:25), Samson still could not see that God was using A CARNAL MAN OF GOD to accomplish his goal of destroying his enemies.

While Samson was alive he never conquered either the beast within himself or the enemy without.

It was only “THROUGH DEATH” that both of these were accomplished: “…So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life” (Jdg 16:30). “…That THROUGH DEATH He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb 2:14). “In the body of His flesh THROUGH DEATH, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight” (Col 1:22).

This story of the life and death of Samson demonstrates that the ultimate work of God is never accomplished through the works of the flesh. More abundant life, the ultimate work of God, is performed THROUGH DEATH.

To be one of the “blessed and holy” who has part in the first resurrection (Rev 20:6), we must DIE TO THE FLESH NOW and “bring forth much fruit” (Joh 12:24). But being in either resurrection still requires the death of literal physical flesh for “flesh and blood CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD…” (1Co 15:50): “So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life” (Jdg 16:30). “Let me die with the Philistines” was Samson’s last prayer (same verse). Carnal Samson, like the carnal Corinthians, “came behind in no gift” (1Co 1:7). But like gifted Samson, denominational tendencies proved the Corinthians were “yet carnal and walk[ed] as men” (1Co 3:3).

The message of Judges 13-16 is the same as the message of the book of Revelation: “I will come unto you quickly and will remove your candlestick out of his place except you repent” (Rev 2:5). This is the exhortation of all of God’s word from Genesis to Revelation.

The function of grace is to “teach [chasten]… us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world” (Tit 2:11-12).

Samson is a type of those who want only to hear of the ultimate outcome but never the process. That’s because the process is a fiery trial: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial WHICH IS TO TRY YOU…(1Pe 4:12). This is the chastening Paul speaks about in Tit 2:11, 12; this is the “fire [that] shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1Co 3:13-15); this is the “everyone shall be salted with fire” that Christ tells us about (Mar 9:49); this is the “flaming sword which turned every way, to keep THE WAY of the tree of life” (Gen 3:24). That ‘way’ is Christ: “I am the way, the truth and the [tree of] life: no man cometh to the Father but by me” (Joh 14:6).

Christ is a “consuming fire” (Heb 12:29), and being consumed by a fire is a “chastening and scourging” that is not pleasurable. “Get her for me to wife…for she pleaseth me well” and one should “be rich and increased with goods and [in] need of nothing” sounds so much more appealing that “deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mat 16:24).

It is not the vocalized name of Christ that is denied in the last days. The enemies of Christ love to use His name: “Many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Mat 24:5). It is not the use of the name they despise; it is the mention of the cross, the mention of the process that is so despised: “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies [not of the name but] of the CROSS of Christ” (Php 3:18). But Samson and the churches of God see no need for this process. They are the called, the people of God. And they say if there is any doubt about that, witness the supernatural gifts we have. We “come behind in no gift”; we can slay a thousand Philistines in a day”; “…have we not…in thy name done many wonderful works” (Mat 7:22).

Yet both the church of Laodecia and Samson must come to see that they are “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”

Samson was a man “moved” by the spirit of God. He was led by the spirit and he knew nothing of the fruits of the Spirit. Indeed, contrary to what many believe, the Spirit had not yet been given to anyone, for Christ had not yet died and “…If I go not away [die] the Comforter will not come unto you…” (Joh 16:7). It is important that we understand that so long as we are living for the flesh, the Spirit cannot dwell in us. Christ did not die to the flesh so we could live in it. He died to the flesh so He could live in us, and then we, since He is living in us, can also die to the flesh: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me…” (Gal 2:20).

Those who want only to hear of the ultimate outcome of grace and want to hear nothing of the process must still endure the process, for the flaming sword turns “EVERY way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Gen 3:24). Teaching salvation by grace without teaching the burning out process of grace is nothing less than deception and darkness.

Let us ask the Father to give us the spiritual discernment to be able to distinguish the moving of the Spirit from the fruits of the Spirit. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but as Samson, the carnal Corinthians and the church of Laodecia all demonstrate, gifts and the moving of the Spirit do not necessarily produce the fruits of the Spirit. We do not know them by their gifts. We know them [God’s true called ones] only by their fruits (Mat 7:16, 20).

An evil tree is very often gifted by God even as Samson, the prophet Balaam, King Saul, Solomon and many other men of God demonstrate. But an evil tree can NEVER bring forth good fruit, therefore we know them ONLY by their fruits. That fruit is described in Gal 5:22: “…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…” etc. God quite frequently gives gifts of the Spirit without the gift of an indwelling Holy Spirit as Christ’s own yet unconverted disciples demonstrated (Luk 10:20). The deception we face is not obvious and would deceive the elect if possible. Let us try the spirits. Gifts are good in their place, but don’t try spirits by gifts. “Ye shall know them by their fruits ” (Mat 7:16 & 20).

Part 12 – Twelve Examples of God’s Modus Operandi

Example #8 – “An Evil Spirit from the Lord Troubled [Saul]” 1Sa 16:14

There are two prominent Sauls in scripture. Both were God’s rejected anointed. Both were popular with the rejected people of God. Both persecuted the true people of God, and both were predestinated to destruction. That’s right – King Saul and Saul of Tarshish were destined for destruction. There is, of course, one major difference. King Saul died in the flesh, while Saul of Tarshish died ‘to the flesh’. But once again both by God’s sovereign design and for our admonition.

Four times in this one chapter we are told:

•  The spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and AN EVIL SPIRIT FROM THE LORD troubled him” (1Sa 16:14).

• “And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit FROM GOD troubleth thee [the extent of God’s sovereignty apparently used to be common knowledge.

•  “…and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit FROM GOD is upon thee, that he [David] shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well” (1Sa 16:16).

•  “And it came to pass when the evil spirit FROM GOD was upon Saul, that David took an harp and played with his hand” (1Sa 16:23).

Twice more in I Samuel we are clearly and straightforwardly told “the evil spirit from God came upon Saul” (1Sa 18:10) and “the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul as he sat in his house…” (1Sa are told the function of evil spirits is to work the counsels and the purpose of God. Maybe we really don’t wrestle against flesh and blood! (Eph 6:12)

Part 13 – Twelve Examples of God’s Modus Operandi

Example #9 – David Numbers the People

“And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and HE moved David against them to say, Go number Israel and Judah: (2Sa 24:1).

In Exo 30:12-16, God had instructed Moses never to number the people without collecting a “ransom for his soul”: “When thou takest the sum of the children after their number then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; THAT THERE BE NO PLAGUE AMONG THEM WHEN THOU NUMBEREST THEM” (Exo 30:12).

This census of Israel was for one reason only: “And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation…”

Apparently Joab and his captains were aware of this warning: “And Joab said unto the king, now the Lord thy God add unto the people how many so ever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing” (2Sa 24:2)?

The story goes on. Though Joab finds this a repugnant assignment which he and his captains try to talk David out of doing, David is insistent. The people are numbered and as a result seventy thousand are slain in one day by “a pestilence” (2Sa 24:15).

Notice who we are told “moved” David against them to say, go number Israel and Judah.” “…the Lord…HE moved David.” Now my KJV Bible margin tells me the ‘he’ in this verse is Satan. They refer us to 1Ch 21:1 to prove their point: “And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number the people.”

Those bible scholars were so uncomfortable with the idea of God using Satan as an instrument to fulfill His preordained plan and purpose, that they were willing to violate the rules of grammar rather than admit to doctrinal error. “…the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel and HE [not Satan] moved David…” The subject of this sentence is “the Lord” not Satan. The pronoun ‘he’ refers back to the subject, the Lord.

Now, let us go on over to I Chronicles 21 and see if here at last we can say we have a scripture which does not show God to be responsible for evil: “and Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel” (1Ch 21:1).

Is there anything in this verse which tells us that Satan was doing something contrary to the sovereign will of God? Is there anything here which would contradict Paul’s numerous assertions that “all is of God”? Does this contradict Paul’s statement” “…according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will”? (Eph 1:11).

Let us see if the writer of I Chron. 21 thought this was all really Satan’s idea: “And God was displeased with this thing, therefore He smote Israel” (1Ch 21:7).

Why, if God is more powerful than Satan, and we all agree He is, why does He hold Israel accountable for what Satan tempted David to do? Why is Satan never punished for all the misery for which he is supposedly responsible.

The answer is that “the crooked serpent” is simply “an evil spirit from God” doing what he is commissioned to do. He can do no more, and he can do no less than what he is sent to do by the only sovereign power of the universe: “God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem…” (Jdg 9:23); “an evil spirit from the Lord troubled” [king Saul] (1Sa 16:14). “The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof…” (Isa 19:14). When the Lord mingles a perverse spirit, man’s presumed freedom of choice doesn’t deter “Him who worketh all thing after the counsel of his own will” (Eph 1:11).

Part 14 – Twelve Examples of God’s Modus Operandi

Example #10 – Ahab Goes to Ramoth-Gilead

2 Chronicles 18 is the story of Jehoshaphat the king of the southern kingdom of Judah ‘joining affinity’ with Ahab the king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Ahab is a very wicked king married to Jezebel, a very wicked queen, responsible for the death of many of the true prophets of God.

Once again we are given a glimpse into the spiritual realm. Once again it is revealed that evil spirits are daily sent by God to accomplish His purpose. Truly…

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

To the carnal mind, Ahab seems of his own ‘free will’ to have decided to go to war with the Syrians at Ramothgilead. He has given a feast in honor of Jehoshaphat and asks Jehoshaphat to go to war with him. Jehoshaphat “answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war” (2Ch 18:3).

But Jehoshphat had one request to make of Ahab before they go to war: “And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire I pray you, at the word of the Lord today” (vs 4). So Ahab rounds up four hundred prophets who dutifully tell Ahab, “go up for God will deliver it into the king’s hand” (vs 5).

There must have been something about these prophets that made Jehoshaphat recognize them for the hirelings and money hungry men of God they were, because he turns to Ahab and asks him: “…is there not a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might inquire of him? (vs 6).

“And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, there is yet one man by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he never prophesies good unto me but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so” (vs 7).

So Ahab, wanting to appear as an objective seeker of truth before Jehoshaphat sends a messenger for Micaiah. The messenger tells Micaiah that four hundred prophets had prophesied in favor of the king’s desire of his own ‘free’ will to go to war. “Let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good” the messenger urges Micaiah (vs 12).

“Even what my God saith, that will I speak” was Micaiah’s response. So the messenger places Micaiah before the two kings, between the kings before him and four hundred paid prophets behind him. “And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-Gilead to battle or shall I forebear? And he [Micaiah] said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand.” (vs 14).

Now Micaiah had just told the messenger sent to fetch him that he would speak only “what my God saith.” That being the case the Lord must have told Micaiah that Ahab had told Jehoshaphat that Micaiah never prophesies good unto me but always evil. The Lord apparently wanted the truth to be given to Ahab at his own request. “And the king said unto him, [still feigning as an objective truth seeker]. How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the Lord.” (vs 15).

So Ahab asked for nothing but the unvarnished truth, which he is about to receive. Ahab was the old covenant equivalent of the leader of modern day Protestants because Israel broke away from the house of David and started a ‘new church’ over the extortion of money from the people. Jehoshephat was the old testament type of ‘a good pope’ whose fathers had extorted money from the fathers of the Protestants.

The modern day equivalent of this scene would be a summit of the leaders of every European nation whether Catholic or Protestant; every leader of the Western Hemisphere whether Catholic or Protestant; the leaders of any nation which mentions the name of Christ, along with about four thousand of the religious leaders from all these nations.

One leader of these “Christian” nations is particularly intent upon going to war against the perennial enemy of the ‘people of God’. He is willing to go it alone if necessary, for this is a clear-cut case of good versus evil. We know this is a case of ‘the people of the true God’ versus those who don’t even profess the name of Christ. But this leader of the greatest “Christian” nation on earth would really rather form a coalition to ‘go up to Ramoth-Gilead.’ The four thousand Christian leaders operating under a carnal understanding of a biblical principle, “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas 4:7), tell the political leaders of this imaginary summit that God is on their side. While they are obviously a group of groveling men-pleasers, they think they are operating and speaking of their own “free will”.

But what is the truth about the choices we make. Micaiah is about to give us a lesson in ‘spirit realm civics 101’. This lesson is “written for our admonition.” It is not a tale of the extraordinary as our stubborn flesh wants us to believe. If this tale is an unusual event, then it is of no value for the admonition of the believer, but this is NOT an unusual event, any more than the events related in Job 1. “These things were our examples…and they are written for our admonition” (1 Corinthians 6 & 11). These are “examples” FOR US. This is how the universe is run every day: “Then [after Ahab insisted on hearing the truth] he [Micaiah] said, I did see all Israel, scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace. And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, did I not tell thee that he would not prophecy good unto me, but evil?” (vs 17).

Ahab must have known his four hundred prophets were lying, for when Micaiah agreed with them, Ahab insisted on hearing the truth. But Ahab did not have a love of the truth anymore than the religious leaders of our day who are ridiculing the advice of our Lord to Peter: “then said Jesus unto him, put up again thy sword into his place: for ALL they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Mat 25:52).

If ever there appeared to be a worthy cause to fight for, Peter had chosen the most worthy. He was fighting for the Son of God and against the forces of evil. Or at least it appeared so to a yet unconverted Peter (Luk 22:32). Yes, right after telling Peter he wasn’t yet converted, Christ did say :…he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one” (vs 36). But for what purpose? “For…this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, and he was reckoned among the transgressors” (vs 37). That was the only reason given by Christ to buy [not take up] a sword. It was only for the purpose of fulfilling the prophecy that Christ was to be “reckoned among the transgressors”.

The four thousand modern day prophets of ‘Ahab and Jezebel’ who are beating the war drums today, often remind us that Christ said “sell you cloak and buy a sword”, but how many remind us of what the Lord told Peter when Peter took up the sword and cut off the right ear of the high priest’s servant? “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword?”

But “all things are of God” (2Co 5:18) and this is especially true of deceived prophets (Eze 14:9).

But Micaiah was only getting started on spirit realm civics versus ‘free will’, when Ahab interrupted him complaining, then as now, “did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil?” (2Ch 18:17). The truth of God is always negative concerning fornicating religious and political leaders of God’s people.. Yes, the truth of God always has been negative concerning the rejected firstborn like Cain, Ishmael and Esau and the rejected anointed like Eli, King Saul and Ahab. These are all types of the flesh, and “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

“…therefore hear the word of the Lord; I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. [These are the “powers and principalities” including the “spiritual wickedness in the heavens” of Eph 6:12]

2Ch 18:19 And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.
2Ch 18:20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?
2Ch 18:21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And [the LORD] said, Thou shalt entice [him], and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do [even] so.

“All the host of heaven” no doubt included righteous spirits who no doubt suggested Ahab’s conversion. But the hosts of heaven are not privy to the knowledge God reveals to those who seek to know his mind.

I have attended numerous funerals in my sixty years on this earth. Invariably the ministers will read:

1Co 2:9 – “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” And that is where they always stop.

Why do they stop here? Because God has not opened their eyes to see the next verse: “But God has revealed them unto us by His spirit; for the spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1Co 2:10).

Do the angels understand the deep things of God? “…which things the angels desire to look into” is a statement made by Peter concerning the salvation of those in Christ.

1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

“To the intent that now unto the principalities and power in heavenly places might be known BY THE CHURCH the manifold wisdom of God.” This phrase ‘principalities and powers in heavenly places” is the exact thought and words translated spiritual wickedness in high places in Ephesians 6:12. High places and heavenly places are both the Greek word epouranios, [Strong’s # 2032]. No, the angels do not know the “deep things of God.” They will in due time learn the manifold wisdom of God BY THE CHURCH.

Understanding the sovereignty of God is one of “the deep things of God”. It is one thing to say ‘yes, I believe God is sovereign.’ It is quite another to understand the depth of God’s sovereignty.

•Mat 13:11 – “…He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.”

•Mat 13:17 – “…many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”

‘Freedom of choice’ is not a scriptural phrase and is in fact an unscriptural doctrine. “having made known unto us the mystery of HIS will, according to HIS GOOD PLEASURE which HE hath purposed in HIMSELF” (Eph 1:9) is a scriptural statement and is in fact a scriptural doctrine. “All things are of God” (2Co 5:;18) and are “predestined according to the purpose of HIM who worketh all things after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL” (Eph 1:11) is the exact opposite of man’s free will. Yet it is accomplished through the choices men make because, as we have demonstrated, it is God who “moves” men (2Sa 24:1) to make the choices they make.

So what is “His good pleasure which HE hat purposed in HIMSELF? Here is the answer. Believe your Bible! “No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the LAST DAY” (Joh 6:44). Does that sound like God wants us to believe that ‘no one can come to me except he chooses to by his own free will?’

Who will be drawn to Christ? What does the Bible teach? “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME. This He said signifying what death [crucifixion] He should die” (Joh 12:32-33).

Was Christ lifted up in crucifixion?

Who do the scriptures [not the prophets of Ahab and Jezebel] teach will be “made alive in Christ”? “AS in Adam ALL die, [it wasn’t by our own ‘free will’ we were born in Adam] SO in Christ will ALL be made alive” (1Co 15:22).

The entire fifth chapter of Romans makes this same statement five times in a row. If all were made sinners and subject to death in the first Adam then ALL will be made righteous and given life in the second Adam. Notice Rom 5:18 says “ALL MEN” receive justification “AS” all received condemnation. Five is the number of grace, and grace chastens us until we overcome our ‘idols of the heart’ (Eze 14:7).

Getting back to Micaiah’s class on spirit realm civics, someone might ask why did God allow “all the host of heaven” to participate in this discussion of His predetermined fate of King Ahab and then choose a “lying spirit in the mouths of all of his [Ahab’s] prophets” to accomplish this end? Why did He not deal with Ahab as He did with Jonah or as He dealt with David when David numbered the people or with Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus? Are some people simply too evil for God, with all the powers and principalities at His disposal; are they simply too evil for Him to convert? Hardly! “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump [this is Adam] to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonor?” (Rom 9:21). God did not make us ‘robots’ as some contend this doctrine signifies. We are simply a lump of clay in HIS HANDS: “as the clay in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel” (Jer 18:6). Even when we turn the world upside down as Ahab and Jezebel, this “turning of things upside down [is to be] esteemed as the potter’s clay” (Jer 29:16).

How clear! “All is of God” (2Co 5:18). Oh, yes, we think WE have chosen God of our own free will, but the truth straight from the mouth of our Savior Himself as “ye have not chosen me [or your own ‘free will’] but I have chosen you…” (Joh 15:16). We think evil men are evil because THEY have chosen to be evil, but Paul says it is “the Potter” who has made them to be “vessels of dishonor”. If “the thing formed” does not have the right to ask “why had YOU made me thus”, what right has a ‘vessel of honor’ to say “I chose to live for God”? Or, “I may not have contributed much to my own salvation, but I did contribute the faith to choose God.” This is what many of us have been taught. We simply did not understand Romans 9, and our eyes were blinded to Ephesians 2:8 which says “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [that faith] NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God.”

Part 15 – Twelve Examples of God’s Modus Operandi

Example #11 – Judas and the Murder of Christ

If the very faith to be saved is “not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”; if “ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (Joh 15:16); if God simply has “mercy on whom HE will have mercy” (Rom 9:18) and if He truly “works all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph 1:11), then He must also indeed “create evil” (Isa 45:7) and “hate” people before they are even born (Rom 9:11-113), “harden hearts” (Rom 9:18), blind eyes, keep from understanding, keep from being converted and keep from being healed (Joh 12:40).

Is this true? Is God really the one who is responsible for all the evil in the world?

Ask yourself, what is the most evil action of men of all time? Because you are “of the earth, earthy”, you may think it was the burning of witches at the stake, pulling men apart with horses, sawing men in two, etc. You might think that certain men ordering the deaths of so many people make those men the most evil men of all time. If you think any of these things, you are wrong. There has been one death that was worth more than all deaths of all kinds, of all time in the eyes of God. This was the death of the only sinless human being whoever lived – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Whom are we told to hold responsible for this most heinous crime of all time? Are we told that our sins killed Christ? No, we are not! We are not told that we loved and therefore chose Christ, but rather that we did NOT choose Christ (Joh 15:16). We are told “not that we loved God, but that HE loved us and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins” (1Jn 4:10). Propitiation means “atonement, that is, (concretely) an expiation” (Strong’s Concordance #2434). Anyone for whom sins are atoned is saved from the penalty of sin, which penalty is death (Rom 6:23).

But those who have been ‘dragged’ to God and saved by the fiery chastening and cleansing of grace in this age, are not the only ones to be saved by this ‘propitiation’ of Christ: “…if ANY man sin, we have an advocate [parakletos – Strong’s #3875 – “COMFORTER WHICH IS THE HOLY SPIRIT” Joh 14:26] with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous” (1Jn 2:1).

We are not the only ones this propitiation covers. We are simply “…a kind of FIRST fruits of his creatures…[begotten] of HIS OWN [not our] will” (Jas 1:18). Since we are only “a kind of first fruits”, “he is the propitiation of our sins; and not for ours only, BUT ALSO FOR THE WHOLE WORLD” (1Jn 2:3). Christ did not die for our sins only, but for all sin of all time, “THE WHOLE WORLD” “…specially [but not limited to] of those that believe” (1Ti 4:10).

We still haven’t discovered who the scriptures say was responsible for the death of Christ. Was it the Jews who knew that his parables spoke of them (Mat 21:45)? No, we are told by Christ Himself that it was not given to them to understand who He was, nor to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God (Mat 13:11-16). Therefore, while hanging on the cross, Christ admitted “they know not what they do” (Luk 23:34).

Was Judas responsible for the death of Christ? He felt so guilty that he hanged himself shortly after the death of Christ (Mat 27:5). But Judas could never have carried through with this deed if Satan himself had not been sent to “enter…into Judas” (Luk 22:3), hardening him to carry through with the task that Christ Himself had told Judas “that thou do, do quickly” (Joh 13:27). Christ in no way discouraged Judas. It took both Christ and Satan to get Judas to commit this dastardly act.

Who then was responsible for the greatest crime and evil of all time? Peter tells us who was really responsible for the death of Christ. We are told twice, so we cannot possibly misunderstand, even though the whole world is blinded: “…Him [Christ] BEING DELIVERED BY THE DETERMINATE COUNSEL AND FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Act 2:23). Was Christ slain by the Jews? NO! He was “delivered [to death] BY THE DETERMINATE COUNSEL AND FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD.”

Did the other disciples see it this way? “Against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, FOR TO DO WHATSOEVER [crucify Christ] THY HAND AND THY COUNSEL DETERMINED BEFORE [the world began – 1Ti 1:9] TO BE DONE” (Act 4:27 & 28).

There it is! Who killed Christ? “…the Gentiles and the people of Israel” (pretty much covers EVERYBODY). Were they responsible for this the worst crime of all time? Absolutely not! “They know not what they do.” Who did know what He was doing? Who is responsible for the death of Christ? “Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done.”

Will Judas or the Jews be caused to give an accounting of their deeds even though they can truthfully plead “why has thou made me thus?” Yes, they will give an account for their deeds even though they are not responsible: “that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth…” (Mat 23:35).

Will the Gentiles be caused to give an account of their evil deeds? Certainly: “the wages of sin is death…” (Rom 6:23).

The truth will always remain the same: “HE WORKETH ALL THINGS AFTER THE COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL” (Eph 1:11).

Part 16 – Twelve Examples of God’s Modus Operandi

Example #12 – Saul of Tarsus


We have one final example which should dispel any doubts about the foolishness of a doctrine which teaches that man’s will is free from the hand of the Potter. IT IS TRUE GOD DOES NOT FORCE US TO DO ANYTHING: “…the goodness of God LEADETH thee to repentance” (Rom 2:4). God is the potter and we, mankind, are all the lump of clay (Rom 9:21). A potter does not force the clay to do anything; he ‘leads’ it, he forms it. Since salvation is of the Jews, we must all, Jew or Gentile, be formed as Gentiles first: it is God who leads and forms us this way first: “Ye know that ye were [past tense] Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, EVEN AS YE WERE LED” [formed by the Potter] (1Co 12:2). Before Adam ever ate of the tree, he was formed by the Creator “of the earth, earthy” flesh and blood and therefore corruptible (1Co 15:50).

Thus David tells us: “I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psa 51:5). David was a man “after God’s own heart”, yet he made this statement concerning our original state. Do we dare to disagree? We are all born naked, composed of clay, dust, ‘shapen in iniquity’, ‘conceived in sin’.

Saul of Tarsus was no exception. He was first formed a vessel of dishonor, “marred in the Potter’s hand” (Jer 18:6). Notice how God led Saul to repentance. If only God will give us eyes to see that these twelve examples are NOT exceptions to God’s way of working. If only God will let us see that all these things are for our examples and are written for OUR admonition. Then we can give Him His due credit and recognition. Then we can rest in His assured love knowing that “He worketh ALL THINGS after the counsel of HIS OWN will” (Eph 1:11).

Saul as a zealous young church leader had consented to the stoning of righteous Stephen. He was constantly “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Act 9:1). Let us observe how God reforms this “marred vessel”. Observe how the goodness of God led Saul to repentance. Is Saul’s own will free of the forming and leading of the Potter? Of course not.

Saul went to the high priest “and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way [following Christ], whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem” (Act 9:1 & 2). He ‘freely’ chose to slaughter the disciples of ‘this way’. This Saul was a marred vessel in the hand of the Potter: “and the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the Potter” (Jer 18:6). The Potter does not make mistakes. He deliberately makes vessels to honor and vessels of dishonor.

The vessels of dishonor are endured “with much longsuffering” so God can “demonstrate His wrath and make His power known” (Rom 9:22). These vessels of wrath are “fitted to destruction that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He hath AFORE prepared unto glory. Even us whom He hath called not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.” Saul’s experience demonstrates how God “destroys” a vessel of wrath.

“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, who art thou Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Act 9:3-6). At this point Saul’s highly esteemed ‘freedom of choice’ was looking very much like a pile of dung. “Kick against the pricks” is scriptural lingo for pitting our ‘free will’ against the will of the Potter.

“And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: and they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and did neither eat nor drink” (Act 9:7-9). God didn’t force Saul to do anything. He forms and leads Saul to willingly ask the very man he was moments before threatening to slaughter, “Lord what wilt thou have me to do?” One moment Saul is asserting his ‘own free will’, and the next moment he is conscious of how blind he was. He is now seeking to know the will of Him who worketh ALL THINGS AFTER THE COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL. He did this willingly. God didn’t need to force him to ask “what wilt THOU have me to do?” God simply destroyed the marred vessel and “he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the Potter to make it…as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in my hand…” (Jer 18:44-6).

Are we so spiritually blind that we think this account of Saul is just an interesting segment of early church history? No, this too, is for our admonition.

Jesus said “…I am come into this world that they which see not might see; AND THAT THEY WHICH SEE MIGHT BE MADE BLIND” (Joh 9:39). Saul of Tarsus certainly thought he could see: “Touching the righteousness which is in the law, [Saul was] blameless” (Php 3:6). Saul had to be shown just how blind he had been. “He was three days without sight…”

After three days of total darkness, a disciple named Ananias, who lived on a street called Straight, prays for Saul. “And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith…” (Act 9:18). This was written for our admonition. Saul’s ‘road to Damascus experience’ once again is NOT an exception to the ways of God. It may be unusually dramatic, but that is for the purpose of making the truth an open door for those to whom “it is given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom” of God, while hiding the truth from those to whom “it is not given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God.”

Saul of Tarsus had more than any other man “…whereof he might trust in the flesh” (Php 3:4). He thought he had need of nothing, yet he was brought to see AGAINST his own fabled ‘free will’ that in reality he was naked and blind (Rev 3:17).

Until we are chastened and scourged as was Saul (Heb 12:6), we will not be received by God. We will continue in our blind, naked condition thinking we have need of nothing. Christ will tell us “you have not chosen me” and we will maintain we still have freedom of choice. He will say we are “predestinated” and “he worketh all things after the counsel of HIS OWN will” we will yet take the credit for accepting Him as our savior.

Such is the reluctance of the beast of Ecc 3:18 to vacate and relinquish its claim to the temple of the Holy Ghost [Spirit] (1Co 6:19). Through the false, deceptive doctrine of free moral agency, the abomination that maketh desolate is “standing where it ought not (let him that readeth understand)…”

It takes no spiritual vision to see a physical man standing in a physical temple in a physical nation called Israel. It takes no spiritual vision to see a physical number stamped in a physical right hand and a physical forehead. So while the whole deceived, blinded Christian world allows Jezebel and those who say they are Jews but are not to cause them to commit fornication, He causeth ALL, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond to receive a mark in the [spiritual] right hand and in their [spiritual] foreheads. He that hath understanding counts the number of the beast and understands that it is [spiritually] the number of ‘a’ [any one in Adam] man. For Adam, along with all the other beasts, was created on the sixth day. It is ‘Adam’ who stands in the temple demanding our worship.

And all those to whom it is not given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God will and do worship this beast in themselves and will gladly kill any who dare suggest that we love our enemies, or put up our sword, or in any way suggest that ‘Adam’ is poor, miserable, blind and naked. To propose that it is those who name the name of Christ who need to repent is considered the same as giving aid and comfort to the enemy. In reality, of course, it is those who want to fight a physical fight who are giving aid and comfort to old unrepentant Adam.

“The weapons of our warfare ARE NOT CARNAL, but mighty through God to the pulling down of [spiritual] strongholds” (2Co 10:4). “For we WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, AGAINST SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS in high places [heaven]” (Eph 6:12).

Though the opposite may appear to Adam to be so, those who know Christ, and see things through the eyes of Christ, will not let the “things which do appear” to deceive them into thinking that the weapons of our warfare are physical and carnal.

Part 17 – What About Eternal Life and Eternal Torment?

Now if anything in these pages has had any effect on your understanding of the sovereignty of God in all things, then what lies ahead will be a struggle to understand how the Bible can say “as in Adam all die, so in Christ will all be made alive” and at the same time, teach that “the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever” (Rev 14:11). “Lying spirits”, which are nothing more than false doctrines which have set up their abode in us, are loath to leave their dwelling to which they are so accustomed. Lying spirits teach that God is a monster who through either eternal torment or eternal annihilation will destroy most of His creation. Ridding the temple of God of these spirits will take a mighty spiritual struggle. It has always been so for anyone coming out of the Babylon of the apostate people of God. An in-depth investigation of the word translated eternal, eternity, forever, forever and ever, everlasting, etc. will be the next step. What one will discover is that the Greek word behind these five English words, plus about thirteen other words and phrases, including phrases such as ‘world without end’, ‘courses of time’, ‘end of the world’, ‘before the world began’, are ALL translated from the same little Greek word. That word is aion [Strong’s #165] in its noun form or aionios [Strong’s #166] in its adjective form.

To this day, it seems incredible that the leaders of every Christian denomination on earth would agree the best translation for the question the disciples asked in Mat 24:3 – “What shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world” should really read “end of the age“. Yet these same leaders would rather condemn most of mankind either to eternal torment or eternal death rather than to acknowledge how little the flesh, with its fabled ‘freedom of choice’ has to do either with salvation or the affairs of this world. They are blinded to the other places in scripture where this same little word is used. To have the blinders removed would be to destroy at least one of their huge idols of the heart.

There are many ‘idols of the heart’ which deceive the masses of humanity. Some have a stronger grip on us that others. The “immortality of the soul”, “eternal torment” or “eternal death”, “salvation by works”, or “no works are needed whatsoever” and thousands of other ‘lying spirits’ are “idols of the heart”. The most ingrained idol of all is that of man’s ‘free will’. To give up this idol amounts to nothing less than casting the beast (Ecc 3:18) out of the temple of God (1Co 3:16). The beast in each of us will not go without a mighty spiritual struggle.

Acknowledging that God really is the creator of the good AND the evil gives the flesh NOTHING to claim lordship over, not even evil. It leaves the flesh feeling desperate. The flesh will not accept this the most completely dramatized and blatantly stated of all doctrines: “That they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west that there is none beside me. I am the Lord and there is none beside me” (Isa 45:6)

So what does that mean? Simply: “I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil: I THE LORD DO ALL THESE THINGS” (Isa 45:7).

We can cling to this idol and argue that God only brings evil on those who choose evil, that Cain chose to be the ‘seed’ of the serpent instead of the ‘seed’ of the woman. Such statements deny that God knew in advance what Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, the serpent and each of us would be before He ever created man, or that He made provision for it all “before the world began” (2Ti 1:9) and Titu1:2). It denies James’ teaching that God knows “what shall be on the morrow” (Jas 4:14). Whether good or evil, circumstances will be what “the Lord wills” (Jas 4:15), because they will ALL be “according to the purpose of Him who worketh ALL THINGS after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL” (Eph 1:11).

Part 18 – The New Testament on the Subject of ALL IN ADAM

We have already covered Christ’s teaching to his disciples that He would DRAG all men to himself (Joh 12:32). We have mentioned Paul’s statement that “AS in Adam all die SO in Christ will all be made alive” (1Co 15:22).

We have shown that no one can come to Christ except the Father draw [drag] him (Joh 6:44). We have demonstrated that it is only those to whom it is GIVEN to understand the mysteries of the kingdom who will do so, and the rest are blinded by God Himself (Mat 13:11, 17; Mat 20:16; Mat 22:14). These are New Testament scriptures which are ignored, denied and contradicted by the idols of our hearts.


“Who will have ALL MEN TO BE saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1Ti 2:4).

“God is the Savior of ALL MEN, specially [because they are the FIRST FRUITS, not the only fruits] of those that believe” (1Ti 4:10).

What does Paul teach will become of you if you have evil works? “Every man’s work shall be made manifest” for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try EVERY MANS WORK OF WHAT SORT IT IS” (1Co 3:13).

Peter tells us not to think it strange concerning the fiery trial that “IS TO TRY YOU… For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of GOD…” (1Pe 4:12, 17). These scriptures tell us the purpose of ‘fire’. So let’s go back to I Corinthians 3 and let Paul finish his thought. “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereon [on the foundation of Christ] he shall receive a reward” (1Co 3:14). Now this is commonly taught, but the next verse isn’t. What does Paul teach will happen to those who do not produce good works?: “If any man’s work shall be burned he shall suffer loss: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; YET SO AS BY FIRE” (1Co 3:15).

What Paul is saying is that anything that cannot endure the fire (gold, silver and precious stones) will be burned up (wood, hay, stubble 1Co 3:12).

This theme is repeated in Hebrews 6:8 “But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”

The Great White Throne Judgment and the Lake of Fire

So there is no way to avoid the fire that guards the ‘tree of life’, Christ. The only way to get to Him is through burning out of us everything that offends God.

There are two times when this will be done. There are two judgments: “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 be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?” (1Pe 4:17, 18).

What is the end of those “that obey not the gospel of God” and where do the “ungodly and the sinner appear?” When is the “fulness of the Gentiles” accomplished? (Rom 11:25). (See the Law of Moses Versus the Law of the Spirit article on web page listed below, PDF version pages 20 and 92.)

They appear at the next judgment. They appear at the Great White Throne Judgment of Rev 20:11. And what happens there? Do the scriptures really teach us that the wicked dead, those whose works were “wood, hay and stubble”, “nigh unto cursing whose end is to be burned”; “death and hell were cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:14); are these scriptures telling us that all these wicked dead will either be tormented in literal fire for all eternity or else be literally burned up and be dead for all eternity? No, of course it doesn’t. It is only an ‘idol of the heart’ false doctrine that makes our loving Father out to be so heartless.

This is not a black throne judgment, it is the white throne judgment. And what do the scriptures teach us judgment is?: “When we are judged we are chastened of the Lord…” (1Co 11:32), not killed forever or tortured forever.

There, now we know the purpose of judgment. “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Heb 6:12) because “judgment must BEGIN [NOT END] at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17).

Now if judgment “BEGINS with the house of God” and “we are chastened of the Lord” why would we think the second judgment would do anything else? What do the scriptures teach will happen to those who are in Adam as the outcome of God’s judgments? “When thy judgments are in the EARTH [the great white throne judgment; the chastening that befits a white throne] THE INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD will learn righteousness” (Isa 26:9).

So at the end, in the end of the book of Revelation, the story is the same as at the end of the book of Genesis: “God meant it [evil] unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this [white throne judgment] day, to save much people alive” (Gen 50:20). The parallel to this scripture in the New Testament is “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev 21:4).

You may ask: ‘How can you possibly say “much people are saved alive” when we were just told they were cast into the Lake of Fire which “is the second death”?’

The answer is that you cannot separate verse 14 from verse 15. The “whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire” of verse 15 is for the destruction of “death and hell” in verse 14. The second death is the death or destruction of ‘death’ itself. We know this is so because we now know that judgment is chastening (1Co 11:32), and verse 13 of Revelation 20 tell us “they were judged every man according to his works”. “There is nor more death” is only five verses below this statement. As long as even one person is dead, death has not been destroyed.

Now Paul’s statements in 1Co 3:15 “if any man’s [sinful] works shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; YET SO AS BY [the lake of] FIRE,” makes perfect sense.

Now it makes sense for Paul to tell the Corinthians “…deliver such an one [the Corinthians’ fornicator] unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh [death] THAT THE SPIRIT MIGHT BE SAVED IN THE [great white throne judgment] DAY OF THE LORD JESUS” (1Co 5:5).

Joseph’s brothers were in total ‘outer darkness’, weeping and gnashing their teeth until Joseph revealed himself to them.

Part 19 – The ‘Fire’ of the Lake of Fire

“I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood [hay and stubble], and it [Gods word] shall devour them” (Jer 5:14). It is a tormenting experience to have the spirit of God to burn out all of our sins and shortcomings, but it is not an eternal experience. It is the goal and purpose of the lake of fire. The lake of fire is a chastening and scourging experience.

There, that is the fire that devours the wood, the hay and the stubble which are all the evil deeds of all mankind of all time. It is the Word of God. And the Word of God is Christ (Joh 1:1), the “One Seed” of Gal 3:16. Therefore the ‘fire’ that ‘devours the wood’ is also those who are in the One Seed, those who are in Christ. Do you doubt this? Read Isa 33:14, 15: “… Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”

The answer is not what any of the churches teach; not the eternal death crowd, and not the eternal torment crowd.

Both camps refuse to give up the idols of their heart, ‘their’ stumbling blocks of iniquity (Eze 14:7).

The answer is not Satan and his angels nor the wicked dead. The answer is “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly…”(Isa 33:15). The lake of fire IS those who are in Christ for we will be like him (1Jn 3:2) and He “is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29), which will purge all wickedness including “the devil and his angels (Mat 25:41).

Part 20 – ‘Eternal’ Is Not a Scriptural Word

Both the ‘eternal death’ and ‘eternal torment’ camps refuse to admit that the Hebrew word ‘olawm‘ and the Greek word ‘aion‘ simply mean a period of time, long or short, with a definite beginning and a definite end.

These words, the Hebrew word olawm and the Greek word aion, are the words that God sent an evil spirit to have translated with 18 different English words and phrases to hide their meaning.

“What will be the sign of the coming and the END of the aion” proves this word has nothing to do with eternity. It does have something to do with a period of time that ‘ENDS with the ‘coming’ of Christ.’

The fact that our calling “was given us in Christ Jesus before times aionios” proves once again that this word has nothing to do with the English word ‘eternity’ because our calling was “pro chronos aionios“, “before times eonian” (2Ti 1:9 and Tit 1:2).

Were we called ‘before’ eternity? No. Will eternity end when Christ returns? No. Does aion have anything to do with eternity? A thousand times, no! The word eternity by its very definition does not have a beginning nor an ending.

“The smoke of their torment ascendeth up for the aions of the aions” (Rev 14:11), not for eternities of the eternities.

This white throne judgment and the lake of fire is simply a later, less desirable judgment, but it is still A CHASTENING (1Co 11:32) to burn up the wood, hay and stubble works of the wicked dead. Nevertheless, he himself shall be saved yet though as by fire” (1Co 3:15), THE LAKE OF FIRE. “… some having put away [a good conscience] concerning faith have made shipwreck. Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander: whom I have delivered unto Satan, THAT THEY MAY LEARN NOT TO BLASPHEME” (1Ti 1:20).

How will Satan teach Hymeneus and Alexander not to blaspheme? The same way he taught David not to number the people.

If “the potter has mercy (Rom 9:18) and gives Hymeneus and Alexander a spirit of repentance, they may return to God as David did. If ‘the potter hardeneth’ (Rom 9:18) they will die in their sins as Esau and Pharaoh and King Saul and Ahab did. They will be resurrected at the great white throne judgment. ‘Their works will be burned and they will suffer loss, BUT THEY THEMSELVES SHALL BE SAVED, YET THOUGH AS BY THE LAKE OF FIRE’ (1Co 3:15).

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