The Meaning Of Forever

Hi P____,

Thank you for sharing this with me. You are exactly right when you say:

This becomes exceptionally clear when we come to understand that Christ meant what He said in these verses:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Luk 4:4  And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

The fire of Mar 9 is the exact same ‘fire’ spoken of throughout the New Testament as it regards God’s dealings with His creatures.

Mar 9:47  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
Mar 9:48  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Mar 9:49  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

How is that men cannot see verse 49, but by a miracle of God in blinding the multitudes who come to Him? Who is to experience this fire? The answer right from the mouth of our Lord Himself is: “For every one shall be salted with fire,”
To which all the New Testament writers agree. It is every man who will endure this ‘fire.’

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.

It is through the fire that we are all saved. Peter confirms the words of Christ and the words of Paul:

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.

When Christ plainly tell us in Mar 9 that “Every one will be salted with fire,” why would the fire that tries every man’s works be any different? Why would the fiery trials of 1Pe 4 upon God’s elect be any different?
The answer is, of course, that it is not a different fire, and God is not the monster the orthodox church worships. The God we believe in is what we all become, and that explains why the orthodox Christians cannot believe that Christ told us to love our enemies. Most Christians want the bombers of the world trade towers to burn in hell for all eternity because that is the kind of ‘heavenly Father’ they serve. But that is not the Christ of scripture, and that is not the ‘fire’ of scripture, and that is not Christ’s Father.
“God is love”, and love cannot be associated with a blasphemous eternal torment doctrine of demons.
But that being said, it is still true that “our God is a consuming fire who will figuratively burn out all that will burn up in us.

Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

That is the “fire” of the word of God, and that is why we are told in this same chapter:

Heb 12:28  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb 12:29  For our God is a consuming fire.

To answer your question directly, the fiery trials and chastening of Isa 34, are the judgment that produces the conciliation and welfare and gladness and rejoicing of chapter 35.
But no one will ever understand this until they are given eyes to see the real meaning of the Hebrew word ‘olam’ and the Greek word ‘aion’, both translated forever, eternal, eternity, everlasting, forever, etc.

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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