Monday, December 28, 2015

The Beautiful Letdown - Part 5

In Part 4 we looked at what is to be "Born Again" and how this was the Work of Jesus on the Cross.
We also looked at Revelation 21 at the "New Jerusalem" and what it symbolically represents.

In this Part we look at:

  • The Lake of Fire in Revelation, 
  • All the Separation parables Jesus told and when it took place
  • When was "It Finished"

here we go:
Rev 19:20
Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone

Ok, so we know that Revelation is revealed using signs (Semaino)as this is what the very first verse of Revelation tells us (that is often mistranslated or overlooked)
Lets quickly look at other Fire symbols used in Scripture:

Mathew 3:10-12"(John the Baptist speaking about Jesus)
And even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier that I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and Fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Very clearly from this we see that John believed this was about to take place.
He says Jesus will Baptise them with fire
Baptisms in those days usually took place in bodies of water: rivers, streams..... lakes!
He also says that Jesus will be doing some separating. He says the Wheat and the Chaff will be separated and the chaff burned up.

As we understand this, John was talking about the Day of Judgement. From Johns wording he seemed to believe that this was about to happen. "Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees..."

Mathew 13:37-43
He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed the is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all the things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" - this means there is something more to what has been plainly stated.
Did you notice how similar this sounds to what John spoke about?
Q: When would this take place?
A: At the end of this age. Which, when Jesus said it was "That" age that he was currently in.
The pattern is the same: there is a separation of the good from the bad, the wheat from the tears, the fruit trees from the bad trees, the sheep from the goats etc.

Lets quickly look at when the end of that age was: (This was covered in Part 3 more extensively)
In Mat 24:3 the disciples ask Jesus, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age?"
In Jesus response he says that the sun will be darkened, and the moon will turn blood red. then He says "Now when you see these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
Then he continues to say, "Truly, I say to you, THIS GENERATION will not pass away until these things take placeHeaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Then Peter Quotes Joel in Acts 2 talking about a new day ("The last days") he speaks about Blood, and FIRE, that the Moon turned to blood (symbolic of Jesus on the cross), the Sun turns to darkness, signs on the earth below (earthquake,), on that Great and Glorious day  - All these happened on the Day Jesus was crucified!!!

Compare now: Rev 6:12-13
I looked when he opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth....
(very interesting!! - again, Remember the book of revelation is about Jesus. It's about what was Already accomplished. Rev 6 is describing the events surrounding the Cross. Its the Disclosure regarding the Savior of the World. Not some future cataclysmic event).

(stick with me here...)

Luke 12:49-51
I came to cast fire on the earth, and how i wish it was already kindled?
But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how i am straightened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Yet again Jesus is taking about Fire and Division.
He says here that the reason he was there was to bring fire upon the earth and he wished it was already burning, but it wasnt yet. He said that He still needed to go through a Baptism and he is determined that He will accomplish it (and He did. By the time he said "It is Finished" he had accomplished all he was sent to do).

You have to agree that it sounds like Jesus is saying that this Fire and Baptism was about to happen at that time?
He says he is determined (Straightened) to accomplish this. (NIV put it like this: "...Great is my distress until this is accomplished".)

Q: By the Time Jesus says the words, "It is Finished" had he accomplish bringing Fire on the earth, and did He accomplish going through a Baptism?
A: Yes. He did. 

So lets clarify:
Traditional Churchianity says that despite what Jesus went through, there is still another Judgement to come. (mostly based on a futuristic interpretation of Revelation and some bad translation by translators with this self same futuristic view)
When is/was the Judgement of the World?
What did Jesus say?

John 12: 23-33
But Jesus answered them saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but it it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for (all the coming ages). If anyone serves me, let him follow me; and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honor. "Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour?" 
But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name."
Then a voice came from heaven saying, " I have both glorified it and will glorify it again."
Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Jesus answered and said, "this voice did not come because of me, but for your sake. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." This he said signifying by what death he would die.

Q: When did Jesus say that the Judgement of the world was going to happen?
A: "Now" - which is "Back then" to us here in this present day.
Q: How/when would this Judgement of the world happen?
A: The word would be Judged IN HIM. He said that ALL men would be drawn (Gr: Dragged) to himself when he was on the cross.

(Side note: he also said, "Now the ruler of this world will be cast out"
Compare: Rev 12:9 "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan....")

Also note that God said he (Jesus) will be glorified.
*Remember, as mentioned above in John 13, Jesus said that at the end of THAT age, he would send out his angles and they would gather out of his kingdom all the things that offend.... those that practice lawlessness... and they would be cast into the fire, then the righteousness will shine forth like the sun...

Mathew 25:31-34,
When the Son of Man comes in Glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the  throne of His glory. ALL the Nations will be gathered before him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. then the King will say to those on His right hand. Come, you are blessed of My father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from before the foundation of the world:

Then he will also say to those on the left hand, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the (age-during) fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

Notice that this happens when Christ comes in His Glory.
He will separate the sheep from the goats, just like the wheat from the tares, the good from the bad and He will burn up the bad side and grant (Age-during) life to the good side.

This is the same division he said that he came to bring... along with Fire that would burn it all up.
All of these separations Jesus spoke about are clearly the Judgement of All mankind (as mentioned plainly in this passage, "All Nations gathered before him")
Remember just before he went to the Cross - as mentioned earlier - that Jesus said, "NOW is the hour here for the Judgement of the world." (again, "now" being back then for us reading it 2000 years later).

So, if the judgement of the world happened at the cross, then who was it that was burned up in the fires of judgement?

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolators, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Quick important  side note: In 1st Adam we ALL died - this was the 1st death of mankind.
On the cross, in Christ,  we ALL Died (old self) again... Paul says, "We have concluded that if One died for ALL then ALL Died" - This is the 2nd Death of mankind. Just as we had no choice to be included into First Adams death, in the exact same way we ALL had no choice to be included into Last Adams death - When he was lifted up he drew ( greek: dragged) ALL men to Himself.

Romans 11:32 tells us plainly that God has counted EVERYONE in UNBELIEF, that he could have MERCY on EVERYONE.

Jesus' death symbolized the death of Everyone! The Fire that Jesus came to bring was the consuming of the sins of the world. Romans 6 tells us that we were ALL Baptized into His Death.
Jesus said he came to bring Division and Fire. 
When we ("all the nations", "all men") were Baptized into Him on the Cross, a separation took place: Sheep from Goat, Wheat from Tare, Good tree from Bad tree, Good fish from Bad fish, Chaff from wheat etc...
The Sin that separated us from God was REMOVED!! (Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has he REMOVED our transgressions from us)

The separating parables are NOT some additional future event, but rather are symbolic of the separation of us from our transgressions.
We were all baptized in the baptism of Fire that Jesus said he came to bring in a symbolic Lake of Fire. Baptism was always symbolic of a releasing of the OLD and arising as the NEW.

Paul writes that the Old has gone and behold ALL THINGS are made new - 2 Cor 5
John writes in Rev 21 (Just after the Lake of Fire), he sees a NEW earth and a New heaven for the old ones had passed away and God says, 'Now is the dwelling place of God with man"(Christ in you the Hope of Glory! - This is NOW, not in some confusing future).
I will wipe away every tear (the Comforter is with us NOW). I am making all things NEW.
"I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more" - Thank Jesus for the Lake of Fire at the Cross that obliterated everything that caused us to feel separated from God and to forget that God is for us and not against us!

It IS Finished
In Revelation 21:6 - After the Lake of Fire, John records God as saying: "It is Finished" 
Remember, Jesus only did and said what the Father was doing and saying?
That's why ON THE CROSS Jesus said, "It is Finished" The Separation of us from our sins in the Symbolic Lake of Fire had by that time Already Happened!!  
The Book of Revelation is ALL ABOUT THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS!! - Good News!!

Q: Why is it important to know that?
A: So that we can understand that IT IS FINISHED. God is with us NOW, He lives in us!!!
We can feed off His comfort when we need to. 
We can feed it to others as he leads.

We can gladly forget about the horrific theory of another future Judgement and a literal Lake of Fire where God was going to throw people into "forever". What a abysmal view of God and the finished work of Cross!!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Much Love!

the Beautiful Letdown - Part 4

In Part 3 we looked at the New Heavens and the the New earth being symbolic of the New Covenant.
This happened when Jesus was crucified and resurrected. His death also ended the Law.

In Rev 21 John records God saying, "Now is the dwelling place of God with Man,...I am making all things NEW"
Jesus said also in john, " My Fathers house has many rooms..."
Meaning that Gods dwelling place is IN us - all His People.
"the mystery of the Gospel has been hidden for ages and Generations but has now been made clear, that is: Christ IN YOU, the hope of Glory" Col 1.

God announcing in Rev 21 regarding Him now being with Man is a Declaration of the New Covenant and that the Old Order of things had passed away and now ALL things are made New.
Paul says the same thing in 2 Cor 5: " The OLD has gone, Behold, ALL THINGS ARE MADE NEW"
The Writer of Hebrews also quotes writing regarding the NEW COVENANT from the Old Testament in HEB 13: "I will never leave you nor Forsake you.."

Again, the implication of all this is that GOD IS WITH US NOW!
However, If we still have a future tense view of the Book of Revelation, this would make no sense as God only says, "Now is the dwelling of God with man" at the end of Revelation. This Implies that HE is NOT currently with us. - This is NOT GOOD NEWS!

In This Part we will look at:

  •  Being BORN Again
  • the significance of the Golden City being called the "NEW Jerusalem"

Lets have a look at this:

Col 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature
Col 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 
Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist
Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 
Col 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; (Also remember Jesus' words that when he was lifted up, he would "drag" ALL MEN to himself)
Col 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 

Did you catch that?:  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;
Q: If all fullness dwelled in him, What would happen if He died?
A: All things would Die too, right?

That's exactly how Paul puts in in Corinthians: 2Co 5:14  For the love of Christ compels us, having concluded this: that if One died for all, then all died
When He Died, All things died too - the Old earth and Old Heaven, The Law and the OLD covenant, ALL of mankind...
BUT, when he Rose again, so too was Everything made NEW again.
When HE Died, ALL OF CREATION symbolically died with Him. When HE Rose again ALL OF CREATION was BORN AGAIN!!

In John 3 when Jesus tells Nicodemus that he cannot enter the kingdom unless he is "BORN AGAIN".
Nowhere in scripture is anyone told how to get "born again"
Jesus did not tell Nicodemus how to do this because it was not something Nicodemus had to do. It was something that Jesus would do through His Death and Resurrection.

Think about it: What hand did you play in your natural Birth? 
Did you have to make a choice in order to get Born the first time around?
Of course not! It had nothing to do with you. 
In the same way the Death of your Old Adamic nature and your Being co-crucified, co-burred and co-raised with Jesus at the Ressurection unto Newness of Life had absolutely NOTHING to do with you! But Everything to do with Him! (your believing the Gospel didnt create or change the fact that you were Crucified WITH Christ back when Christ was Crucified. rather, your belief in the Good News merely allowed you to actively participate in your New Life now, in this age.) 
That's why HE is called the author of Salvation and the Savior of the WORLD. This is NOT of yourself lest any man boast!

We have already shown that the the Dwelling Place of God is us. He lives in us. We are His Dwelling Place.
John records that the Dwelling Place of God (in Revelation 21) is now called the NEW Jerusalem. Why?

What Happened at the Cross that caused God to call his dwelling place "NEW"?

In the Old Testament when God was addressing His people he would say, for example:
Isaiha 52:1  Awake! Awake! Put on your strength, Zion; put on your beautiful robes, O Jerusalem, the holy city. For never again shall uncircumcised and unclean ones come to you. 

God is not talking to a literal City ie: the streets and buildings... He is speaking symbolically to the People of that City.
The NEW Jerusalem in Revelation 21 is a reference to ALL of Man, not just the Jews.
In the OLD Testament the Jews only were known as "Gods people". But that Old order of things has become obsolete. On the Cross Jesus made ALL THINGS NEW and he has Reconciled "ALL THINGS" to Himself.
Romans 11 explains that through the Cross the Gentiles are now also apart of Gods Kingdom/Covenant.
The Good News announcement right from the beginning by the Angels, on the night of Jesus' birth was one of Peace and Joy to ALL MEN.

So in Revelation 21 John sees this unfolding as he sees the accomplishments of the Cross unfolding and after he sees the OLD heaven and earth pass away,  he hears the announcement of "ALL THINGS have been made NEW".  He then gets shown the Bride of the Lamb - The NEW JERUSALEM. The Bride and the Groom are now in UNION. They are ONE. there is no longer any separation between God and the object of His affection - US (Mankind, not just believers)
Paul also talks about this in Ephesians 5 when he uses that analogy of a husband and a wife being joined together in marriage and the two become ONE.

In this part we have looked at 
  • We were all BORN AGAIN when Christ made ALL THINGS NEW at his Resurrection.
  • We have seen that the NEW Jerusalem is ALL OF MANKIND and not a Litteral City and not just made up of the Jews. It is the dwelling place of God. He lives in us... NOW.

In the next Part we will look at how the dreaded "Lake of Fire" in Revelations 20 factors into THE FINISHED WORK and is NOT a future tense event. It Really is Finished!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Beautiful Letdown - Part 3

In Part 2 we spoke about how the imagery that John sees as written about in the book of Revelation is symbolic and not literal as most have been taught in modern churchianity today.
(If John had not written to the readers regarding whether or not these should be taken literally or figuratively then there would certainly be room for a literal interpretation of the images in the book. However, it was in the very FIRST verse that we are told that the things he was shown are signs and symbols.)

The other thing we began to look at is that the book of Revelation is about Jesus and the cross. It is about what happened and what was accomplished through his life, death and Resurrection. It is NOT depicting a future grand apocalyptic event. Jesus is, was and will always be that event.

In Part 2 we also looked at Matthew 24 where Jesus tells his disciples what the end of the age will look like. Jesus then goes on to describe the same events written by John in Revelation 6.
These events in Revelation have recently (last 500 years) been viewed by modern Christianity to paint a literal picture of the end of our world as the catastrophic ending of man - where the good guys will go and live in a literal glorious city with streets of gold and the bad guys will go to a lake of fire and fry.

However we saw that those events in Rev 6 were actually talking about the Day of the Lord that John was taken back in the Spirit to see. It was about the Crucifixion of Jesus.

In this Part we will look at:

  • The end of the age that Jesus spoke about - when was it?
  • The City with streets of gold - literal or Symbolic of something else?

In Mat 24 Jesus said that his death and resurrection signified the end of that age.... (as he had responded with these signs - see Part 2  -to his disciples question regarding when the end of the age would be)

Q: So, what is the significance that Jesus' death and resurrection signified the end of that age?
A: It means that we are now, already, living in the Good News age - we are not still waiting for God to come and live with us. HE IS ALREADY HERE WITH US NOW. When we begin to believe the Good News, we will begin to change the world we live in starting with ourselves. We can know the secret of living in contentment as Paul spoke about.

Track with me here:
Mat 5:18  For verily (firmly and surely) I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the LAW, till ALL THINGS be accomplished.

Did you get that? Jesus said that NOTHING... not even the smallest jot or tittle (punctuation mark) shall be changed in Law until heaven and earth pass away... and this will only happen when ALL THINGS are fulfilled.

Q: Has Heaven and Earth passed away according to current tradition?
A: No, according to current tradition that will only happen at the end of the age as per Rev 21
(Rev 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.)

Q: According to current tradition, have all things been accomplished by God?
A: According to current tradition: No, only at the end of Revelation (which is seen as a future tense event), plus, heaven and earth have not passed away - and this will only happen once all things are accomplished according to Jesus. 

Q: According to the LAW, was eating an unclean animal allowed?
A: No, definitely not!

Q: Is God a liar?
A: Uhmm.... No!

Now, lets look at this - Post the Cross and Resurrection:
Act 10:9  The next day, as they were on their way and coming near Joppa, Peter went up on the roof of the house about noon in order to pray. 
Act 10:10  He became hungry and wanted something to eat; while the food was being prepared, he had a vision. 
Act 10:11  He saw heaven opened and something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners to the earth. 
Act 10:12  In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and wild birds. 
Act 10:13  A voice said to him, "Get up, Peter; kill and eat!" 
Act 10:14  But Peter said, "Certainly not, Lord! I have never eaten anything ritually unclean or defiled." 
Act 10:15  The voice spoke to him again, "Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean." 
Act 10:16  This happened three times, and then the thing was taken back up into heaven.

Very clearly Peter has seen animals in there that he knows without doubt were against the LAW to eat.  Agreed?
But here we have Jesus telling him that God has declared them to be clean!!

Q: What has happened?

But didn't Jesus say that not even the smallest jot or tittle (punctuation mark) would be changed in the LAW until HEAVEN AND EARTH  have PASSED AWAY and ALL HAD BEEN ACCOMPLISHED?

Q: What happened between Jesus saying, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the LAW, till ALL THINGS be accomplished."  and "Peter, kill and eat. Do not call unclean what God has declared clean" ?

A: "It is Finished" happened!! The Glorious Cross changed everything.

By virtue of the Law having been changed by God post Jesus' death and resurrection, we have to then concede that somehow in his death,  heaven and earth also passed away as well because  "all had been accomplished".  Jesus said in Mat 24 that his death would mark the end of that age. 

Now, remember that Revelation is the Disclosure (to make known something that was previously hidden) that the Father gave Jesus, to share with his disciples, the things that were to soon take place. This was then shared with John via symbols, signs and pictures. (Rev 1:1)
Well, the thing that was to soon take place in Jesus's ministry was THE CROSS and the resulting accomplishments of it:

Back to the fact that Heaven and Earth passed away at Jesus' Death and Revelation being about Jesus' death:
look here: John was taken in the Spirit back to the Day that belonged to the Lord - The Cross:
Rev 21:1  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea vanished. (Notice he says "first" heaven and "first" earth - this puts to rest any argument that this could somehow be another heaven and earth that was different from what Jesus spoke about in Mat 24)
Rev 21:2  And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared and ready, like a bride dressed to meet her husband. 
Rev 21:3  I heard a loud voice speaking from the throne: "Now God's home is with men! He will live with them, and they shall be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. 
Rev 21:4  He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have passed away." 
Rev 21:5  Then the one who sits on the throne said, "And now I make all things new!"

John observes that the first earth and heaven have passed away. According to Jesus, this would only happen when everything had been accomplished
The LAW was also now made Obsolete - as per Jesus this would happen when heaven and earth passed away.
The writer of Hebrews quotes Jeremiah regarding the NEW COVENANT which we are now in. 
Note he uses the same words as John wrote down in Revelation. He was talking about the SAME covenant. This was done at the Cross. If there as another covenant still to come - another future institution - then this would imply that the new covenant that we are in now is still faulty.... 

Heb 8:6  But now He (Jesus) has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted upon better promises. 
Heb 8:7  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 
Heb 8:8  For finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 
Heb 8:9  not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day when I took their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. Because they did not persevere in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. (Talking about the LAW)
Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant which I shall covenant with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind, and I shall inscribe them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 
Heb 8:11  And by no means will they teach each one his fellow citizen, and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 
Heb 8:12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I shall by no means remember anymore." 
Heb 8:13  By the saying "new ," He has made the first (covenant) obsolete. And the one becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish. 

The OLD COVENANT, the OLD ORDER of things was made OBSOLETE when Jesus died and rose again.
The NEW HEAVEN and the NEW EARTH which John saw are symbolic of the NEW COVENANT which replaced the Old one.
When Jesus died, the Old covenant died with him, but when he rose again, EVERYTHING was made new with the confirmation of the New Covenant.

We have believed a confusing Gospel.... we say, "God lives in us", and then read Revelation 21  -which we were taught is a future event after the Judgement of the world - and see that God says. "NOW, is the dwelling place of God with man... NOW he will be with us and we will be His people..."
Can you see how, if we wrongly place Revelation as a future tense event, then our current gospel makes no sense? Because if God is already living with us then it would not make sense for Him to say in the future, "Now i will live with you... " 
(we MUST BE HONEST with our theology. Don't be afraid to ask questions).

The OLD order has passed away, we are NOW living in the reality of what John saw in Revelation, because Revelation is all about the Cross and what was accomplished through it.

Paul says it like this:
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, *if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, ALL THINGS have become new. 
(*note: the preceding verses explain that ALL ARE IN CHRIST and died  with him).

So, if this New Jerusalem, this beautiful golden city that John sees is a Representation of the New Covenant, and not a literal city  that Christians will go to live in when we die - as we had all been led to believe - then, can we find more evidence to prove this in scripture? Yes....

Rev 21:9  Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls being full with the seven last plagues came to me and spoke with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the wife, the bride of the Lamb."

OK, so this angel is about to show John Jesus' Bride?  Agreed?

But look what he does in the next verse:
Rev 21:10  And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain, and he showed to me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 

What?!! The angel says, come, I'll show you the Bride of Jesus..... and then proceeds to show John a city with beautiful streets of gold and other amazing features....

Note: Remember the first verse of Revelation tells us that this Disclosure is revealed to John by an Angel using SYMBOLS (semaino: To reveal using signs and symbols). But modern Christian tradition has made this vision a literal city and also completely ignored that what the angel told John before showing him this City.... that he was about to show him the bride of the Lamb. 

The City represents Gods Bride, His dwelling place, the exquisite scenery that John sees: Golden streets, valuable Gems are all symbolic of purity and innocence and perfection that Gods Dwelling place has become. WE ARE HIS DWELLING PLACE!!! HE is in Union with MANKIND, NOT A PHYSICAL CITY!

Remember Paul said:
Col 1:26  the truth which has been kept secret from all ages and generations, but has now been revealed to His people, 
Col 1:27  to whom it was His will to make known how vast a wealth of glory for the Gentile world is implied in this truth--the truth that 'Christ is IN YOU, the hope of glory.' 

The Good News that Christ lives IN YOU NOW, just as John saw God announce in Revelation 21.
The Book of Revelation is all about JESUS's work of Reconciliation of humankind.

Jesus also plainly said this:
Joh 14:2  In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 
Joh 14:3  And if I go  and prepare a place for you, I will come again and I will receive you unto Myself; so that where I am, there you may be also.

Can you see this now? Rev 21: "NOW IS THE DWELLING PLACE OF GOD WITH MAN"
this is NOT a future event, its the Gospel of Peace and Joy for ALL Men. 
Its the Gospel of Reconciliation. Its the Good News of Grace and the Kingdom of God.
We are the City of God!! His Home.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Beautiful Letdown - Part 2

In Part 2 we will look at these few things:
(see Part 1 here:The Beautiful Letdown - Part 1)
  • Is The Book of Revelation pointing to a Future Time?
  • Are the things that John sees in Revelation Symbolic or Literal?

Through out the book of Revelation we see some descriptions from John of some really mind blowing things like Dragons, creatures covered with eyes, a spectacular floating Golden City, lamp-stands, Slain Lambs, a Lake of fire, Horses riding across the sky and other things.

The questions often asked on these things is, "are these images real or only symbolic?", "When will all this happen?"

lets jump in:
Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, is the first part of this verse and is also the subject of the book. "Revelation"(apokalupsis) means "disclosure" - To reveal or make known something that has not been realized.
then: "which God gave unto him,"
So the book of Revelation reveals the Disclosure that Jesus received from the Father.

" to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;"
This is the next part and is often read to mean that the things contained in the Book are still needing to take place based on the phrase "which must shortly come to pass" as in "Shortly" meaning shortly after John had written the Book.
We do this because we do not see a world of Peace with our eyes currently, so we conclude that the events shown in Revelation are still to come. (But scripture says:  "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he..." If we still believing an unfinished work, we will still be living it.)

However, this is incorrect. it  says God gave this "Disclosure" to JESUS in order for Him to share it with his disciples regarding the things which were to take place shortly  - from their point of view in time, not ours - ie: The things that were to shortly take place BACK THEN.

"and he did SIGNIFY it , having sent through his messenger to his servant John,"
Q: who had this Revelation/Disclosure first? Jesus or John?
A: Clearly Jesus was given this Disclosure first from the Father.
John is now about to receive better clarity of the Disclosure the Father gave to Jesus. It says here that John will receive this Disclosure from an Angel/messenger and it will be SIGNIFIED to him: ie: the Angel will use SIGNS/Symbols to show John.
The word used for "Signify" here is sēmainō . It means "To make known using a Sign or a Symbol" 

So, lets get back to the other often asked question about the Book of Revelation:
Q: Is the vision John sees in this Book literal or Symbolic?
A: Without a doubt, it is Symbolic. 
(Like I mentioned in Part 1, this is a Beautiful Letdown for those who wholly embraced a Fantastical Dramatic future for the earth and her inhabitants, ie: Giant multi-headed creatures, flying horses, Lake of Fire, A woman clothed with the sun and the moon under his feet... and much more. We will cover these things as we go.)
Lets ReCap: We see in very first verse of this famous book, that which John is about to make known to us is the Revelation that the Father gave to Jesus, to share with his disciples, regarding the events that were about to happen, back then in Jesus' days
An angel was going to make these things known to John by way of signs and symbols - sēmainō.

Regarding how John came to receive this Revelation,, the 1912 Weymouth Translation puts it like this:
Rev 1:10 "In the Spirit I found myself present on the day of the Lord,.."

"The Day of the Lord" is more specifically translated as  "The day that belongs to the Lord". So John, by the power of the Spirit is taken back to the Cross, the Day that belonged to the Lord, and is given a revelation/disclosure of events by an Angel (and Jesus himself) by using symbols. and most of the time the meaning of these symbols is actually explained to John - this is something that modern Churchianity has completely overlooked and concocted up a fantastical "end times" theology theory.
We will get into these things in the next part.

Ok, so now that we can see that the Book of Revelation is about historic events, and NOT future events, lets look at a couple scriptures that further prove this:

In Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked Jesus, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age? (Note: "Age", Gr: "aion " - means a time frame with a beginning and an end.)

Jesus answers them by describing some of the events that are also described in the Book of Revelation:
Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 
Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven (Gr: ouranos - as in the sky, as a mountain lifted above the plain.... Like Jesus on the cross, "When I am lifted up.." ): and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming (Gr: erchomai - to find place of influence, be established, become known.) in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 
Mat 24:31  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the heavens to their ends.
Mat 24:32  But learn the parable of the fig tree: When its branch becomes tender and it puts out leaves, you know that the summer is near;
Mat 24:33  so also you, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Check Rev 6 talking about the same events!
Rev 6:12  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood
Rev 6:13  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Also, Peter,  at Pentecost, stands up and quotes the Prophet Joel about all the recent events regarding JESUS (not some future sequence of events, but events that had by that time already happened). He describes the same events that Jesus did in Matthew 24 and John did in Rev 6.  He says:

"Act 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days,(the end of that age) saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (this is already happening in our time..)
Act 2:18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (this is already happening in our time..)
Act 2:19  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 
Act 2:20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: (this already happened on the day Jesus was crucified..)

So we have - among many others in the Old Testament -  Joel, Jesus, Peter and John (in Revelation) writing about the same event.... The Crucifixion of Jesus and events surrounding his life and death.
Lets take a look at the recorded events of the Crucifixion of Jesus:

Mat 27:45  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
Mat 27:51  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 
Mat 27:52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 
Mat 27:53  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 
Mat 27:54  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. 

Side Note: Interesting that the moon has no light of its own, but it's light is a reflection only of the sun's light.
Jesus said that he only did and said what he saw the Father do and said - just as the moon only reflects the sun, in the same way Jesus only reflects the Father.
Some believe -as I do -that the moon being turned to blood was Jesus on the cross covered in blood.
(FYI: There are a few written accounts recorded in history of this event which say that the moon had an actual red hue at that time - possibly as a result of a dusty atmosphere after the earth quake.)

So we can see that the events described in Revelation 6 are the same events were described by Jesus in Mat 24 as being signs of the end of that age.
Q: According to Jesus, when were these events that were the signs of the end of that age supposed to happen?
In 2000-3000 years time from then  - as per modern Christianity?
A: Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 

That's right, Jesus believed that the end of the age would happen when they saw all those signs (Earth Quake, The sky going dark, Moon turned to blood, resurrection from the death - as in "signs in the earth below").
These things all happened surrounding the events of the Cross!!!

Q: Did Jesus get it wrong?
Q: Was Jesus' announcement of "It is Finished" a bit premature?

Perhaps, rather, the events of the Cross are a lot bigger than modern Christianity has believed?
I believe it really is Finished as Jesus said and that the Book of Revelation reveals this Disclosure.
I hope you can begin to at least question the modern traditional view of the book of Revelation which points to another future judgement, which, can only then cast doubt on the finished work of Jesus.

So far, we have seen that according to the first verse of Revalation, that the book is about the revelation that Jesus received from the Father, that he shared with his disciples regarding the accomplishment of the Cross. - its a Past tense event.
John was taken by the Spirit to the day Jesus was crucified and is shown the finished work through Symbolic scenes. - the depictions in the Book are symbolic, not literal.

In the next few parts I hope to convince you further that the Book of Revelation is all really about Jesus and the Good News of the Finished work.

The Beautiful Letdown  - Part 3 (Click Here)

Much love

The Beautiful Letdown - Part1

One of the greatest sentences in scripture must surely be the line Jesus said on the Cross, "It is Finished." (tetelestai)
He had now completed all that he had been sent to do by the Father. Nothing was left unfinished. Everything was complete. Right? Tetelestai literally means the work in complete.

To the Father Jesus even said this out loud just before his Crucifixion just in case anyone wasn't sure, "I have finished the work you gave me to do" (John 17:4), and part of that work was that the WORLD would be judged (a decision to be made).
Jesus announces this plainly, shortly before the Cross. He said, "Now is the time for this world to be judged..." and then in the next verse he describes exactly when and how this will happen: "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me." (John 12:32)

So, a decision (Judgement) was made over the WORLD - that's everyone - when Jesus was "lifted up" (Crucified).
This was why Jesus came - To reconcile ALL THINGS to God.
Col 1:19-20 "For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fullness dwell; and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; "
(Side note: Peace was made through the blood of his cross, not your decision to choose Him. It had NOTHING to do with you. In First Adam, the World was made unrighteous. This also had NOTHING to do with your decision. Well, in the same way that First Adam's action affected mankind, so too the action of Last Adam also affected Mankind. This is the "Good news of Joy and peace on earth for ALL MEN" as was announced by the Angels at the birth of Jesus).

again: 2 Cor 5:18 "But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ,"
Q: How were we reconciled?
A: Through Christ - this is not of yourselves.

again: 2 Cor 5:19 "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not counting their sins against them. 
There is so much Good News here!!!!!

So by the time Jesus said "It is Finished", we can be confident that this includes all the work that the Father sent him to do. Right?
This would include the WORLD having been Judged (a Decision having been made). (Remember in John 12 literally hours before his Crucifixion Jesus said, "Now is the hour of the Judgement of the World.... When I am lifted up I will draw all men to myself" ?

Q: Was Jesus lying about the Judgement of the World about to take place in himself on the cross?
Q: By the time Jesus said "It is Finished" and gave up his spirit, had he really completed everything the Father had sent him to do?
Q: Did God really reconcile the World to himself through Christ on the Cross, no longer counting their sins against them?

Romans 4:25 explains that the Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead is proof of our Justification (Innocence)
"He was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised up because of our being declared righteous."

Jesus would not have been Resurrected from the Dead if the Judgement made over ALL MEN (Remember, He drew ALL MEN to Himself at the Cross), was anything other than JUSTIFIED!!

Sadly modern Churchianity demands that we cant possibly fully embrace this Good News because of its modern view of the Book of Revelation....
We simply can not embrace the Good News that shouts out the Judgement of "Justified, Innocent, Reconciled!!" for All men because Revelation speaks of "ANOTHER" Judgement still to come.

Basically we have become prisoners to an interpretation of the book of Revelation that keeps the Finished work UNfinished.

But for all those "End times" guru's out there, and those people that have been hyped up or held captive by spectacular cinematography depicting a wild and NON "Good News for all men" view of Revelations, Here is a Beautiful Letdown for you: The book of Revelation is all about Jesus and the glorious Gospel of Reconciliation that was made manifest 2000 years ago for our sake.

Here we go: The Beautiful Letdown - Part 2

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The beautiful Wrath of God

The traditional understanding of The wrath of God is a huge stumbling block to believers all around the world. Because, when you boil it down to its essence, it essentially means that God is going to judge sin ...... again! (which obviously creates doubt as to the finality of Jesus work: Was it really   "finished?")

So, what do we do?
1) Well, we could just avoid all the texts that seem to refer to another future judgement and coming wrath from God
2) We could make up some stuff about "truth being in tension".. So, we can tell people, "Yes! it is finished.... BUT, well... it also is not completely finished yet - and then revert back to response No.1
3)  We could just become more comfortable with having a schizophrenic god and make sure our gospel stays very "reformed". (You don't need to ask any real questions because your reformed theological suitcase was neatly packed for you over the last 400 hundreds so you never have to ruffle through it again.)
4) Lets start with who God is.

Scripture tells us that God loves the whole world (all people), and that nothing could ever separate mankind from His love - not even death!!(despite popular "christian" teaching)
But even further to the idea of Gods unconditional love for man is the reason this is so..... Because God IS Love! (1John 4:8)

Just as it is the nature of birds to sing, and dogs to bark, so too is it the nature of God to Love. Its who He is. Everything that He does is love flavored. He can do nothing that does not have love as its motive!

So, looking at "wrath" in scripture, when we start with who God is instead of our inherited traditions, bad bible translations and myths about "hell", we will reach a far different conclusion than what is mostly understood about Gods wrath. We will in actual fact reach a conclusion that God is for us and not against us.

These days if some Christians were asked to define or describe to what "wrath" is, they would probably say something like.... "It is fierce anger", or in a religious context, "Its how God will act towards sinners at the end of time when he displays his anger at them - ultimately expressed by allowing them to burn in a place called hell, forever and ever.... that's God expressing his wrath"

Well, that is what we have been led to believe about what wrath is by Tradition. However, what does the word that's been translated as "wrath" in our English bibles actually mean?

The Greek word used for Wrath is "Orge'"  - it is defined as any expression of intense emotion or Desire
In fact this self same word, "Orge" (wrath) is where we get our English word, "Orgy" from as well as "Orgasm"  - yes that's right!
Continuing: The root of "Orge" is defined as "straining or reaching out in an intense or violent way for the object of one's desire. (In Gods case - thats mankind!!)

(side note: Some brothers - including me -  have historically misunderstood Gods wrath. They love to quote John 3:36 "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them." - I wrote specifically on this verse a few years back: click here to read: Gods Wrath on unbelievers)

Q: So, from the modern traditional view of Gods wrath, when will God "pour our his wrath"
A: (from a modern traditional stand-point) At the end of time - when there will be YET ANOTHER JUDGEMENT. God will then Judge the world again and pour out his wrath on sinners...
(this common view is based on a very confusing view of the Revelation, which hopefully ill write about in a post soon: Update: its here)

Well, here's a thought. Scripture actually tells us what Gods "wrath" being poured out looks like, and that it also seems to be happening now - in this age as well:
Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel (Good News): for it is the power of God unto salvation (Understand Sozo: the Zoe life of God in and through you - NOT an 'in' or 'out' of heaven issue.) to everyone that believeth (Read, "Trusts the Good News" ); to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 1:17  For therein is *revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith. (the Good News *uncovers the reality of your position of Right Standing with God. We can participate in that Freedom when we Believe/Trust that its true)

Rom 1:18  For (Therefore) the wrath (intense Agape Love desire) of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; 
(His Desire is to see Man - the object of his affection -  free from that which harms him. The goal of his wrath is to SEPARATE man from the things that prevent him from seeing who God truely is - His Lover.)

What does His wrath look like? How is this outworked? 
Paul continues:

Rom 1:24  Because of this, God gave them up (read: "entrusted" them to) to impurity in the lusts of their hearts, their bodies to be dishonored among themselves,

Rom 1:26  Because of this, God gave them up (read: "entrusted" them to) to dishonorable passions, for even their females changed the natural use to that contrary to nature.
Gods wrath, his intense love and desire for them, causes Him to "entrust them over" to encounter the consequences of sin and ultimately reach the conclusion on their own - that He is the True Love. The True Life.

In Fact, Jesus himself gives us this exact same scenario when He was explaining what God is like: 
In Luke 15 Jesus tells a parable of a son who wanted his inheritance early from his father. He didn't want to stay in His fathers house. 
So, what did his loving Father do? 
He gave him what he wanted... he entrusted him over to worldly riches and his selfish desires so that he would reach the end of himself and realize his Fathers Goodness.
Q: Did the Father's love and desire for his son diminish towards his son at any stage?
A: Nope, in fact the Fathers desire to have his son back with him remained relentless as evidenced by his continuous searching for him - "even while he was a long way off, his Father saw him" Luke15:20

This is what Gods wrath does! It remains on those who do not believe (which is to Trust the Good news). His INTENSE Love for them (his wrath) will graciously allow them to reach the end of themselves, then when they turn around, there is - running towards them with arms wide open and kisses of unconditional forgiveness!

How perverted has modern western churchianity  made this beautiful parable that Jesus told?
To the unbeliever churchianity says, "Repent!! Come to the Father and then He will be Good to you" (This is Crazy!! ... and NOT THE GOOD NEWS, this is religious crap!)

Scripture tells us that it is His Goodness that comes first and then repentance:
" you despise the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the GOODNESS of God leads you to repentance"
(It certainly seems as if most modern believers today actually DO despise Gods goodness towards ALL men.....)

Continuing: So Gods wrath - His intense Desire and love for mankind -  will often allow unbelievers to reach the end of themselves. Remember, God is Love.....Love is patient, Love is kind, ......does not dishonour others, is not self seeking, Love keeps no record of wrongs. 
(In fact God has made an oath to remember mans sins no more - Isaiah 43:25, Hebrew 8:12, Hebrews 10:17)
 Gods wrath is LOVE flavored because God is love.

All instances in Scripture of seemingly future "wrath"and "judgement" MUST be seen through the lenses of the *FINISHED work of Jesus and the Nature of God.

There can be no future judgement that in anyway dishonors the judgement that Jesus endured. 

*On the Cross, when Jesus said "it is finished" he wasn't talking about the wine he was offered on the sponge!! 
He was talking about completing what he was sent to do. He uses the word "Tetelestai" which means that nothing further can be added to the work. It is absolutely complete. As a master painter would stand back after painting a masterpiece and say, "It is finished". Not one additional brush stroke needs to be added. The work is perfect.

Now, with "Tetelestai" in mind: 

1) Remember that just before Jesus went to the cross he said, "Now is the hour of the Judgement of the world..." 

Q: So, is there another judgement of the world to come? 
A: No, the judgement of the world is Tetelestai) * Of course this raises questions about "future Jugement"in Revelation. Once again, i will go through the book of Revelation soon, and point out how its all about Jesus and what was ALREADY accomplished through him. (UPDATE: its here)

2) John, "Behold! the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" 
Q: Did the Lamb of God TAKE AWAY the sin OF THE WORLD? 
A: Yes.
Q: Is there still sin that separates Man from God?
A: NO! The worlds sin has been taken away. It is 
Tetelestai  - "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed or sin from us". - Ps 103:12)

So, will God really pour out His anger on unbelievers (as commonly understood), or will he pursue the very last one because he sees the intense value in all his creation?

Lets continue:
In Luke 15, while talking about the prodigal son, he also tells of a Shepard who had 100 sheep and one goes astray. He relentlessly tracks it down until he finds it and brings it back home. The parable ends with a party over the found sheep and Jesus says that in just the same way there is great joy over one sinner who "changes his mind!" (repents)
Q: What made the one stray sheep (sinner) change his mind (repent)?
A: The goodness of God.
Scripture says, "we ALL like sheep have gone astray, each has turned to his own way..." Isa 53:6
and then that text in Isaiah carry's on to say that he will not count our sin against us....

Then immediately after this  - same sitting - Jesus tells a parable of a lady who looses a valuable coin and how she relentlessly searches for it until she finds it. The point Jesus was making is that this is what God is like!
Then again he says there is much rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who changes his mind (repents).
Again,  here Jesus is comparing the lost coin to a lost sinner. And the owner searches and searches until it is found. This is what God is like.
He has WRATH towards the lost sheep, lost coin, lost son.
His Wrath is his Intense love and desire to see ALL the sheep in one flock, All the valuable coins together again, All the lost sons come home again. He is NOT angry at the lost object. He loves them and he Saves them!
Q: What causes them to be saved?
A: The relentless Goodness of God
In fact Jesus actually said that the very reason He came was to seek and save (sozo) the lost!!
Q: Did Jesus accomplish all he came to do?
A: Yes. He even said, Father i have accomplished all you sent me to do (John17:4).
So when he said "It is Finished", it really was finished.
If he said that He came to seek and save the lost, then it is Finished/complete.
If, like John said, he is the Lamb of God that takes away the Sin OF THE World, then, it is Finished!!

Is God counting sin against man still OR has Sin been removed as far as the east is from the west?
So, is God's wrath to punish sinners OR is it to rescue them from the detrimental effects of living as a sinner so instead they can live in the freedom he always intended?
If sin has been removed by God himself and he "remembers it no more", then having "wrath"(as wrongly interpreted) against unbelievers is the height of hippocracy. - LOL!!, unless you make up some stuff about truth being in tension....
It IS finished.... already. The Good News of this reality, when we trust (believe/have faith) it causes us to partake in His freedom.

But Andrew!! People have to make a decision to follow God  (who, by the way, scripture calls "The Great Shepard")
Well, that's not what Jesus himself explained as mentioned above. He said the Shepard (God) went looking for the one who chose NOT to follow him (unbeliever).... and found it and brought it home to be with the rest of the followers.
LOL - i can hear some already... Am i saying now that nobody need follow Jesus because he is just going to save everybody anyway?
I am saying that according to scripture some will choose Him in this age as they hear the GOOD NEWS and some wont hear the Good News in this age (Or perhaps they will hear but have too much baggage or indoctrinated minds about who God REALLY is and reject him out of ignorance).
The Great Shepard will bring in every last one! This we can be assured of.

We don't need to try to force a decision out of them by fear-mongering. If people believe and  "choose" to follow God out of fear of torment (bad interpretation of wrath) then its NOT the Gospel they have believed - and it is NOT freedom they are living in, it IS BONDAGE.
Friends, we MUST see that the Gospel message is one of LOVE, not Fear. There is NO fear in love.

Paul quotes Isaiah 65:1 in Rom 10:20 when he says that Isaiah said BOLDLY about God, "I will be found by those who were NOT looking for me and i will reveal myself to those who DID NOT ask for me".
It seems to me that God loves people more than our modern western fickle "gospel" will allow for.
We want "WRATH" (bad def.) and judgement on unbelievers and so we have developed - over time - a doctrine to make room for this.
Meanwhile, God desires MERCY over Judgement.
(Remember when the disciples wanted to call down fire on the unbelieving Samaritans.... and Jesus rebuked them saying they are of the wrong spirit?)

So to conclude: Gods wrath upon people is a Good thing!! - It's His full commitment to see them free from the ravages of sin - and be fully who they were made to be. (God will continue to reveal the riches of his Grace to us through Christ Jesus in ALL the AGES TO COME (Eph 2).
God will continue to have his wrath rest on unbelievers until they finally see who He really is, that God is LOVE. Trust/Faith works through LOVE.

We really need to toss the vile doctrine of  Gods Wrath involving punishment and torment of unbelievers!!
Perfect love casts out all fear because fear has to do with torment - 1 john 4:18

Thanks for reading. It is for freedom that you have been set free, so do not go back under a yoke of slavery again. God is GOOD. God is LOVE. It IS Finished.

PS: I am fully aware that for some reading this, the playing field (or lenses through which you read this) may not be even and you may have hundreds of questions.
1) If you believe in the modern western traditional of "hell" where God throws people into fire for all eternity this blog post will make no sense to you.

2) If you are unaware that the word "eternity" and "forever" are not actually in the original language of scripture, but rather the word "aeon" refers to an age - a space of time with a starting and ending point, then this post might not make any sense to you. read here
3) If you believe that God only loves Christians, then this post might not make sense to you.
4) If you believe that the book of Revelation is a future tense event and not the revelation of Jesus and what he accomplished, then this might not make sense to you. read here