Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Lake of Fire - Part 2


In my Last Post (The Lake of Fire - Part1) I briefly showed how the book of Revelation with all its imagery is Symbolic and NOT Literal. In fact this is one of the very first things that John mentions, that the things written in this book are disclosures about Jesus and are made known using Symbolism (Greek: Semaino).

However, many English translations over look this greek word and hence we have a seriously scewed view of the Gospel that somehow announces that Jesus took our judgement and the "full weight of our sin" and we have been Justified by His Faithfulness...... But ..... Dont get too excited just yet because its all gonna happen again at the end of this age.... another judgement!!!

(Please bare with me here, I'm pointing out the ludicrousy of looking at this from a traditional Western Churchianity view...)
So somehow, the innocence of ALL, that Jesus' resurrection is proof of (Rom 4:25), is no longer taken into account and there is going to be yet another Judgement...
Please take the time to think about that:
That our Just Father is going to discount the Justifying and Redeeming work of Jesus, and will again accredit the sins of the world back to the world, and then RE-judge everyone. But this time the criteria of our Justification is not NOT Jesus' Faith (as the scriptures declare time and time again), no, this time He will Judge a guilty world based on their own faith they managed to muster up.
(Never-mind that fact that He is the Originator and Conclusion of Faith - Heb 12 - and that NOBODY can come to God unless the Father Draw him...and that Scripture declares over and over again that He is the SAVIOR of the world or that Romans tells us that mans unbelief could NEVER nullify Gods Faithfulness to Save and that even if we are Faithless HE REMAINS Faithful or that ALL things have ALREADY been reconciled to Him.....
Perhaps His Arm actually IS to short to save??  Perhaps His Mercy does not endure for all ages?? Maybe every knee will not bow and every tongue will not confess his Lordship to His glory?? Maybe, just maybe, when He said "IT IS FINISHED" and gave up his spirit, he actually died before He could finish that sentence and he meant to add on.... "...Except, its not really finished because there is still another judgement coming.."   Hmmmmm.....

But, as I pointed out in Part 1, with the correct translation of Revelation, we see clearly that this Book is All about Jesus and the revelation that God gave Him, to share with His disciples regarding the things that must shortly take place. (In Jesus' day.)

This "Disclosure" (Revelation) is about Jesus.... what his life/Death and resurrection accomplished.
God makes this all known to John using Signs and symbols - many of which God or "an angel" describes the meaning of.

So, what is "The Lake of Fire" about then if the book Revelation is all about Cross and the Good News of Jesus Christ? What is it Symbolic of?

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
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 gatherd 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.
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: (there is a lot more to say here, but for the sake of the topic at hand I will restrain myself - LOL!)
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 place. Heaven 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, the book of revelation is about Jesus. Its 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: "...Great is my distress until this is accomplished".)

Q: Did 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 does 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 (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...."
I will post a blog on all the comparatives like this one to show that Revelation is all about what Jesus has ALREADY accomplished through the cross and is not a future series of events).

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.
Then God said, "It is Finished" (Rev 21:6)
Remember, Jesus only did and said what the Father was doing and saying?
That's why on the cross Jesus said, "It is Finished"

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 work of Cross!!!

Hope this helps?