Is Conversion Difficult for Those In the Lake of Fire?

Hi M____,

Thank you for your very good question. In order to answer your question we must believe what the scriptures tell us about how to understand the realm of the spirit or we will understand nothing at all. Here is how we are told that we can indeed understand “the invisible things of God”:

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

It does indeed seem that a resurrected individual would be much more receptive to the truth after being raised up from the dead in a spiritual body.

1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

But according to the scriptures, such is simply not the case, because we are told that “Though one came to them from the dead [ came to those who “are made” and are still in bodies of flesh] , they would not believe. So if we are to understand “the invisible things of God by the things that are made”, then it is clear that those who are raised from the dead as invisible spirits, will not believe even though they are raised from the dead.

Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one [ including themselves] rose from the dead.

If you are thinking that being raised from the dead and believing someone who is raised from the dead are different, then consider the case of Joseph and his brothers.
Joseph is widely understood, even in many of the churches of Babylon, to typify the resurrected Christ who is given the rulership of this whole earth. Since that is indeed what Joseph’s ascension to the throne of Egypt foreshadows, then it is only logical that Joseph himself signifies Christ and His Christ who are promised to rule the nations of this world, beginning at the time of the first resurrection, which is at the beginning of the thousand years:

Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

So when Joseph saves Egypt by preparing in advance of the seven years of famine, in the process of saving Egypt, he also brings salvation to his ten brothers and their families. After all, Joseph’s ten brothers would typify those who sold Christ for thirty pieces of silver, like Judas and the priests with whom he conspired.

Gen 37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
Gen 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
Gen 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
Mat 26:14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
Mat 26:15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
Mat 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

So when Joseph saved Egypt, he also eventually saved his own apostate family. But no Egyptian lived in fear of Joseph like his own apostate brothers did, even after Joseph assured them that he had no intention of taking vengeance against them. He even explained to his brothers that their evil deeds against him were not really their own works at all but were instead the work of God:

Gen 45:4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Gen 45:6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
Gen 45:7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Gen 45:8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Look now at their judgment in the Joseph’s presence, which typifies the judgment of all who are in the great white throne judgment, the second resurrection. Here is the Old Testament type and shadow of being judged in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. Just consider the months and eventually the years of torment which was endured by these men, simply because they were not given to believe what they had been told by their own savior, their brother Joseph:

Gen 42:17 And he put them all together into ward three days.
Gen 42:18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:
Gen 42:19 If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses:
Gen 42:20 But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.
Gen 42:21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.
Gen 42:22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
Gen 42:23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.

Joseph’s words are the fire which constitutes a lake of fire, into which all the dead of all time are cast, following the destruction of all “the nations in the four quarters of the earth” by the fire that comes down from God out of heaven and devours them, just as they imagine that they can destroy and cast off the rod of iron rule of God’s elect.

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, [ For what reason is Satan released after being imprisoned within for a thousand year? Here is the answer to that question]
Rev 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone [ those in whose mouth is the fire of God’s word (Jer 5:14)], where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. [ Greek – ages of the ages]
Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. , br> Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

There it is again, “every man… according to his work”.

1Co 3:13 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 man’s work of what sort it is.

“The beloved city, and the camp of the saints” is just Bible- speak for God’s ruling, overcomer elect, who have the name “new Jerusalem upon [ them]” and who have been “ruling with a rod of iron” for the past thousand years.

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

So Joseph symbolizes Christ and His overcoming saints, and Joseph’s brothers symbolize those who are raised up in the second resurrection, who, just as the elect are doing now, they too, will be “tormented in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb”:

Gen 42:21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.
Gen 42:22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
Gen 42:23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.

Here is the anti- type of this Old Testament type and shadow:

Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

The twenty pieces of silver for which Joseph was sold are a multiple of two, signifying that Joseph’s story is designed to be a witness to the story of Christ, while Christ’s price of thirty pieces of silver indicates the process of the judgment of all flesh which is exactly what Christ came to accomplish.

Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

See the studies on the Num 2 and 3 to understand the spiritual significance of those numbers.

http:// www. iswasandwillbe. com/ witness. php This is for the number two http:// www. iswasandwillbe. com/ completion. php This is for the number three

In the story of Joseph, we have a type and shadow which shows us that those people who died while still hating the doctrine of Christ are raised up as spirits who still have within themselves those “idols of their hearts” with which they died, and they are still in need of being purified along with their father the devil, who is also a spirit which needs to be purified:

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting [ Greek – aionian, age lasting] fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

The phrase “a more difficult spiritual conversion process” is not a scriptural concept. It is true that the harlot of Rev 17 and 18 is told that she will receive “double according to her works”:

Rev 18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
Rev 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

If any of us read these words and we think these words apply only to those who will be in the second resurrection, then that just might be where we will end up. These words, as the words of Christ, “are near, even at the door”, and are primarily and foremost for those who right now “listen diligently to the voice of the Lord” (Exo 15:26), and “read… hear… and keep the things written [ here] in [ knowing that] the time is at hand” to do so.

Mat 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Do either of those verses in any way imply a far distant event? It is scripturally true that “the whole creation groans and travails in pain together”, in this age, and it is also true that very few are granted to “suffer for [ Christ’s] sake [ and endure to the end” in this age. But neither of those truths necessitate a “more difficult conversion process” for those who are cast into the lake of fire.

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

So “the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now”, including God’s firstfruits who will come up in the first resurrection. What this is telling us is that the firstfruits go through the same fire that “the whole creation endures. The only difference between these two groups of those who are in Adam, is that the first group gets through the fire first, while the second group endures the fire later.

Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

The “good things” received by the rich man are his righteousness, his good health and his good vision “enjoyed by the ninety and nine sheep which need no repentance”.

Mat 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
Mat 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
Mat 9:12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
Mat 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luk 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
Luk 15:5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
Luk 15:6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Of course the Truth is that we are all born spiritually blind. The Truth is that “joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents” because “there is none righteous, no not one”, and there are no “ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance”. And finally, there are no “whole [ who] need not a physician”, because again, “there is none righteous, no not one”, and we are all by nature spiritually sick and in need of a spiritual physician, the Great Physician, Christ.
So we are plainly told that God will “each in his own order” give life to “all [ who are] in Adam”, by means of the very same fiery judgment in both cases. There is not a difficult judgment and a more difficult judgment. Rather this is the truth of both the first, and the last judgments:

1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 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 man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

So the process of conversion is the same process for everyone. There is not a human who has ever lived, other than Christ Himself, who did not first have works of “wood, hay, and stubble”. So “every man’s work” will be tried by the very same fire, and that fire is the Word of God, which will burn up all the wood, hay, and stubble of the false, lying doctrines within our hearts. Here is that process for all who are granted to be in that “blessed and holy first resurrection” (Rev 20:6):

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Why must we endure these “fiery trial[ s]? Here is why:

1Pe 4:17 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?
Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

There is no one who is not burned up by this ‘fire’. This ‘fire’ will destroy the old man within every man.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Peter tells us that “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God”, but he also tells us that we too, must be tried by the very same fire which will “try every man’s work what sort it is”.
So the Truth is that there is no difference between the degree of difficulty for those being saved through the judgments of the first resurrection, and those who are saved through the “great white throne” second resurrection.
The experience is exactly the same for those who are raised from the dead after the millennium as spirit, and for all who are enduring the “fiery trials” which we now experience in this age. It may indeed seem “strange” to us, but we are clearly told that while the details may vary, the event and the experience is the same for all, both the righteous and the wicked. The only difference is a matter of timing:

Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

That “one event” is the judgment of the old man within all men of all time. That “old man” is the “first man Adam” who we must all be before any of us will be granted to put on “the last Adam”, and gain the life we were willing to forfeit for Christ’s name’s sake.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

There is no more sea at the time of the second resurrection, so we know that is telling us “it is raised a spiritual body”:

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

  Here is the “one event to the righteous and to the wicked”:

1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

I hope all these verses of scripture help you to see that all men of all time must first bear the image of the earthy before they will be granted to bear the image of the heavenly, and that the process is the same “one event to the righteous and to the wicked” of all ages of mankind.

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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