"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

And the Smoke of Their Torment Will Rise Forever

Rachelle and I are supposed to go to northern California in November. My cousin runs a Bed and Breakfast in Napa, and we are to spend a few days at the Inn on First.

We might not go.

The Napa fires are horrible. One reporter last night said, "The fires are apocalyptic."

Though impressed with the vocabulary of the reporter, I couldn't help but wonder how many listeners new what apocalyptic meant.

Here's a modern definition.

Apocalyptic [adj.] - "describing or prophesying the complete destruction of the world."

Most Americans think of apocalyptic as a synonym for "the end of the world."

Unfortunately, our modern American definition doesn't do justice to the actual meaning of the Greek word αποκάλυψη, which is the English word apocalypse

The Greek word apocalypse means "to unveil, or to reveal." Anytime you come across this word in the Bible, you should translate it with this meaning.

The Book of Revelation is called The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is revealed as the King of kings and Lord of lords, the One whose Kingdom is eternal.  Jesus is revealed, not destroyed, and that's why the last book of the Bible is called the Apocalypse (Revelation) of Jesus Christ.

In the Bible, names for books often come from the first word or phrase used at the beginning of the book. For example, "In the beginning..." translates the Hebrew word בְּרֵאשִׁית‎ (bereshit), which is Genesis in English. Thus, the first book of the Bible is called Genesis.

Likewise, the first words of the book of Revelation are:

αποκαλυψις ιησου χριστου
The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ

The Apocalypse is a revelation of Jesus Christ! With apologies to Leonardo DiCaprio, the last book of the Bible reveals Jesus as the King of the World.

The NBC reporter's story about Napa was indeed revealing (apocalyptic). Our hearts go out to the people who live in and around Napa, including my cousin Jamie.

What the reporter revealed about Napa is why we may not go to Napa in November.

The Napa wineries are destroyed.

The fires in Napa may be out by November, and the smoke may dissipate by the time of our trip, but what the fire destroyed is gone. Six wineries. Millions of wine bottles. All around Napa.

That was a revelation to us!

Don't tell anybody (I'm a Baptist preacher remember), but the reason my wife and I were going to Napa with friends was for the wine tours around Napa.

But the wineries are gone.

The revelation about Napa affects my future decision about going to California.

The Biblical Revelation of God Destroying the Wicked

God reveals in Scripture the end of the wicked. He does so with precise apocalyptic (revelation)  language.

In the book of Isaiah, the people of Edom made a terrible mistake. Edom, a country south of Judah, had within its borders a people the Jews called Edomites. The Edomites sided with wicked King Nebuchadnezzar in Isaiah's day and entered Jerusalem with the Babylonians to plunder the capital city and capture and kill God's people, the Jews (586 B.C.).

God spoke to the prophet (Isaiah 34:5, 8, 9-10) and revealed (there's that word again) the end of the nation of Edom.

"For My sword is satiated in heaven,
Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom
And upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction.

For the Lord has a day of vengeance.

Edom's streams will be turned into pitch,
And its loose earth into brimstone,
And its land will become burning pitch.
The fire will not be quenched night or day;
Its smoke will go up forever.
"

Last March, Rachelle and I were in southern Israel, standing south of the Dead Sea, at the very border of the ancient land of Edom. 

Folks, there were no burning fires in the land of Edom, neither during the night nor in the day. There was no smoke rising in the sky

When the Bible uses apocalyptic language like "the fire of their torment will not be quenched, and the smoke of their torment will rise forever," it is a revelation of the end of the wicked.

It's not God's act of punishing that endures forever. It's the effect of God's judgment is eternal. The Edomites were destroyed. 

Have you shaken hands with an Edomite? There are none. There is no national identity. Edomites have no museums to their legacy. Edomites have no national holidays celebrating Edom.

The Edomites are gone. They are destroyed. Just as God said to Isaiah. "The fire will not be quenched night or day, and its smoke will rise forever." 


The Biblical Revelation of the Ultimate End of All the Wicked

The same language God used with Isaiah about the destruction of the Edomites is used by the Apostle John to reveal (there's that word again) in the book Revelation the ultimate end of the wicked.

The wicked will be destroyed.

Pay close attention. The Bible clearly and consistently speaks that God will destroy the wicked, beginning in Genesis and throughout the final book of Revelation. God's holy and righteous removal of the wicked from existence is a prominent theme of Scripture. It is the just and righteous end for sin. "But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked" (Psalm 37:38).

An even more prominent theme in Scripture is God's eternal love and grace for death-deserving sinners in Jesus Christ.  He gave us His Son to die and rise again from the dead, conquering sin and death, to take away "the sting of death" (I Cor. 15:56-57), and gift sinners who "kiss the Son" (Ps. 2:12) with a changed life here and immortal life then. 

Salvation for the righteous in Christ. Destruction for the wicked outside of Christ. No future life for the wicked. Eternal life for the righteous.

Both salvation and destruction are acts of God. However, there are two places in the New Testament where the Apostle John quotes from Isaiah 34 and God's destruction of the Edomites (Revelation 14:11 and Revelation 20:10). Many Christians read these two passages, ignoring all the other verses throughout the Bible that speak of the wicked's destruction, and then wrongly conclude that the process of destroying continues forever, rather than the more biblical teaching that the end result of God's destroying the wicked (e.g., destruction) is eternal.

"A little while and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found." (Psalm 37:10).

Let me show you this truth from more Scriptures. 

The Bible speaks of  "eternal salvation" (Hebrews 5:9), and "eternal redemption" (Hebrews 9:12), and "eternal judgment" (Hebrews 6:2), and "eternal punishment" (Matthew 25:46), and "eternal destruction" (II Thessalonians 1:9). These activities of God represent both His love and grace as well as His righteousness and justice

There is something very interesting about these eternal activities of God involving His grace and His justice.

(1). Eternal salvation is the result of saving
(2). Eternal redemption is the result of redeeming.
(3). Eternal judgment is the result of judging.
(4). Eternal punishment is the result of punishing.
(5). Eternal destruction is the result of destroying.

God's act of punishing the wicked ends. The effect of His punishment for the wicked, which is death through the destruction, is forever. So too, God's gracious act of redeeming sinners comes to an end, but the effect of the act of redeeming is forever - immortal life!

"For God So loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever believes in Him will not perish, but have immortal life"  (John 3:16). 

Why is it that we Christians comfortably and correctly point out that the Bible teaches the process of God saving us is not eternal, but the results of salvation are eternal; while at the same time we eagerly contradict Scripture and logic itself by proclaiming the process of  God punishing the wicked is eternal, instead of the results of God's punishment (death) being eternal? 

What does Jesus tell us about the ultimate end of the wicked? 

None of us should be amazed that Jesus said that all the wicked who perish in this life, like the people of Edom, will one day "hear My voice" and "and I will raise from the dead (John 5:28). Christ is the one who tells us this.  He tells us not to be astonished at the truth of the resurrection (John 5:28-29). Resurrection is a fact. It's the heart of the Christian faith.

Christ is the first fruits of the resurrection (I Cor. 15:23), and all that He has created in His image, both the righteous and the unrighteous in this life, He will one day raise from death, some (the righteous) to the resurrection of immortal life, and some (the wicked) to the resurrection of judgment, which is the second death (John 5:29).

In the resurrection, sinner apart from Christ will give a specific account to their Creator for the "deeds done in the body" (II Cor. 5:10).

For example, the Edomite standing before God at the judgment, the one who raped and tortured a Jew in 586 B.C. will be judged. The Edomite, the who threw rocks at the Hebrew stragglers as they made their way to Canaan in the early 15th century B.C. will also be judged. The Edomite who died of "natural causes," maybe not as a rapist or murderer, but one who died in a state of selfish independence from God, suppressing any knowledge of His Creator and the natural law to be kind, generous and loving to his fellow man, will also be judged.

Each Edomite will be appropriately and justly judged by God, and then each will eventually be cast "into the lake of fire" where they "shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed with the full strength of the cup of His anger" (Revelation 14:10). 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is immortal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 3:23). 

All the wicked will die a second time (Revelation 20:14). 

"And the smoke of their torment rises forever."  (Revelation 14:11). 

Get it? 

They will be no more. It's not the process of their punishing that continues, it's the result of their punishment that is forever.

The Wineries and the Bottles of Wine in Napa Are Gone, but the Smoke and Fire Ends

We may not go to Napa in November. 

It's not because the smoke isn't gone or the fires won't be put out. No, we expect the process of burning will be over

We may not go to Napa because the wineries and the wine bottles are destroyed

In a future post, I will show you how the greatest enticement for surrendering your life to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, turning yourself over to Him as your King, is the knowledge that it is only through Him you will have immortal life. 

Death is the wages of your sins. 

You may think that torture from God is the wages of your sin. The Bible never portrays God as a torturer.

God destroys. 

Nothing evil will be present in the eternal Kingdom.

May God show us the power of the Good News.

God, in His love for dying sinners, gave us His only Son to die as a substitute for sinners, "that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). 

___________________

These October posts are written in honor of Martin Luther and the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (October 31, 1517). Whether you believe what is written here is biblical or not, my goal is to show you that men like Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and others all held to what is called conditional immortality. 

26 comments:

Charles R said...

Annihilationists are correct that the dead are dead. But death is not the end. It is quite impossible that the Lord of Life, Jesus Christ, would be satisfied with some or most of mankind forever being ruled over by death. Death ruled over Jesus Christ for three days while He was in the tomb (Rom 6:9, 10). Will Jesus Christ have his thousands while death has it's tens of thousands? Death will be abolished(2Tim 1:10). "For even as in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in their own class...The last enemy is being abolished: death...that God may be All in all. (1Cor 15:22-28).

why7 said...

//It is quite impossible that the Lord of Life, Jesus Christ, would be satisfied with some or most of mankind forever being ruled over by death.// What?

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

“Born once; die twice. Born twice; die once.”

Yes, hell is hot: “Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.” (Luke 16:24)

Was the “parable of Lazarus” a parable or a prophesy?

No parable of Jesus ever had real names of people in the Bible (Lazarus), nor did a parable ever described in detail facts that fit people in the Bible.

“Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple…” (Luke 16:19)

Who was “splendidly clothed in purple” during the time of Lazarus? These beautiful clothes started in (Exodus 28:15-43) for clothing Priest:

“Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and beautiful…using linen…with blue, purple…This is a permanent law for Aaron and ALL his descendants after him.”

I’m sure Caiaphas the High Priest obeyed the law of wearing “splendidly clothed in purple”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caiaphas gives the names of the five ‘brothers’ of the High Priest Caiaphas.

“Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “Its better that one man should die for the people.” (John 18:14)

I believe Lazarus and Caiaphas are NOT in their graves waiting for this to happen.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

You ask an excellent question.

The Rich Man and Lazarus is a parable - "a story that parallels real life." You are spot on about it being the ONLY parable using REAL names - but that's because Lazarus was "raised from the dead" and the High Priest of Israel who put him to death had five brothers.

See http://www.wadeburleson.org/2014/06/the-rich-man-and-lazarus-warning-to.html

I do not believe the parable is a prophecy of hell.

I believe it was a story that paralleled real life to bring shame and judgment on the men who put Lazarus to death and refused to believe Lazarus about the Person of Christ - EVEN THOUGH LAZARUS HAD BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD.

It's a parable about the Person of Christ, the hard hearts of the reprobates and the power of Christ to raise the dead.

But if one gets his or her theology of hell from this parable, I completely understand why the biblical view of the destruction of the wicked is so difficult to accept.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Good one! Having read the article, I went on to read another blog from Scotland (The Wee Flea)and couldn't help but see the truth of what the writer said as applying to much of the teaching we see today:

"‘Did God really say?’ has always been the favourite trick of the devil. In todays post-modern ‘truth is what you want it to be, love is all you need’ culture, his old trick is proving as effective as it has ever done since it was first used in the Garden.

In this year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation we are faced with a clear and present danger – an anti-Reformation movement from within the evangelical church. Sola Scriptura is being turned on its head. Rather than the Scriptures being inspired by the Holy Spirit – we are. Rather then the Scriptures being clear they are confused and open to any individual interpretation. Rather than Scripture being our master, we are its. Rather than the Scriptures being the fullness of God’s revelation they are not sufficient. We need something more, something extra. Special teachers? Special feelings? New revelations? The insights of modern culture which is so much more enlightened than the Bible? This is where far too many of our Christian leaders, publishers and churches are going.

Thats why we must be determined to continue to face up to and challenge this ‘evangelical’ attack on the inspiration, perspicuity and sufficiency of the Scripture. Even if we are accused of being unloving Pharisees. To do anything else would be unloving and a betrayal of Christ. As someone once said…”Here I stand, I can do no other…so help me God”."

Wade Burleson said...

“We must be determined to continue to face up to and challenge this ‘evangelical’ attack on the inspiration, perspicacity and sufficiency of the Scripture.”

Amen - and Amen!

RRR said...

Wade,

You wrote: "God's act of punishing the wicked ends. The effect of His punishment for the wicked, which is death through destruction, is forever. So too, God's gracious act of redeeming sinners comes to an end, but the effect of redeeming is forever-immortal life."

Which seems to contradict, to me, anyway, so many passages like:

“And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul, but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

As I see it, one aspect of determining the validity of an interpretation is:

1. Being able to apply one rule or premise for interpretation across the board rather than using one presupposition for one case and then using a different presupposition for a passage that contradicts the first one.

2. Being able to apply a presupposition/doctrinal application/rule of interpretation/ or whatever we wish to call it, to a preponderance of cases with the least amount of difficulty/resistance in terms of application.

To illustrate;

You wrote; "God's act of punishing the wicked ends. The effect of His punishment for the wicked, which is death through the destruction, is forever." and "The Edomites are gone. They are destroyed. Just as God said to Isaiah. "The fire will not be quenched night or day, and its smoke will rise forever."

and then write with what seems to be a contradictory presumption,

"The Edomite who died of natural causes maybe not as a rapist or murderer, but one who died in a state of selfish independence from God, suppressing any knowledge of His Creator and the natural law to be kind, generous and loving to his fellow man, will also be judged."

and;

"In the resurrection, sinner apart from Christ will give a specific account to their Creator for the "deeds done in the body."( 2 Cor. 5:10))

To me, this seems to inject and withdraw one's presupposition as a means of supporting a conclusion that is inconsistent with the way the passage is literally written and to use a presupposition that does not apply to conclusions.

There seems to be a consistent struggle to apply the same basic presupposition presented in this blog, across the board.

First, you interpret using the presupposition that "God's act of punishing the wicked ends. The effect of His punishment for the wicked, which is death through destruction, is forever." In other words, as I understand this statement to say, "The punishment of the wicked is that they die and no longer exist and the eternal nature of this is that they "no longer exist, forever. They are not punished forever." You use the Edomite as an illustration, whose eternal punishment is that they are destroyed and no longer exist for eternity.

Yet the same presupposition is not used in other instances, for example, for the redeemed; if it was, then one would say, "The redeemed cease to exist when they die but the effects of their redemption will be forever in that they would have been known to have been redeemed. They are thereby saved forever!" In other words, "The redeemed have eternal life in the sense that they are known for eternity to have had life before they died."

Another absence of applying the same presupposition seems to be when you write saying that the eternal punishment of the Edomite, i.e., that they no longer exist for eternity, yet they will be resurrected to be judged. Given this basis for logical interpretation; How can the Edomite, who no longer exists in any form, be resurrected? That's not "resurrection", that is "creation" from nothing. Resurrection is when the existing spirit joins with the new physical body, not a re-creation of the non-existent spirit to then join with a new body.

I am no doubt missing something in your intent. Should I go back and re-read the post?

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I enjoyed your response, but disappointed with the conclusion. :)

Before I get started, why is your latest post with a colored background? I’ve always copy-pasted them, but because it takes so much ink I don’t anymore.

I remembered your previous post that you referenced. It covered the account of the rich man and Lazarus very well.

Let’s look at this as a case of murder. The victim was Jesus.

In murder cases the most important question: “Was the victim an enemy?

1. “…priest and elders were meeting at the residence of CAIAPHAS, the high priest, plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.” (Matthew 26:3-4)

2. “CAIAPHAS was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “Its better that one man should die for the people.” (John 18:14)

3. “Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.” (Matthew 12:14)

4. “…leading priest…met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death.” (Matthew 27:1)

5. “…leading priest…began planning how to kill him.” (Luke 19:47)

I believe the event of the rich man and Lazarus was prophesying the “payback” for the rich man, Caiaphas.

Rex Ray said...

“You must not have any other god but me.” Exodus 20:3

Can the Bible be made a god?

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth…the Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.” (John 16:13-15)

Of course I’m quoting the Bible to make a point, but Jesus did not say the Bible would guide us into all truth.

The Bible is full of men with ‘white hats’ and ‘black hats’ and sometimes the ‘white hats’ fall off their horses.

I hope the battle of “inerrancy of the Scripture” doesn’t start up again. I’ve said it before that due to the broken fellowship, firing of Christians, and heartache that “inerrancy” caused; I wish “inerrancy” would go back to where it came from; the smiling lips of the devil.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

Not sure about the “colored” background. I haven’t changed anything, so not sure what happened.

I always appreciate your comment and insight. I also appreciate the fact that you think through things and never jump to believe something “just because somebody says it.” The Bereans listened to Paul and searched the Scriptures for themselves. That’s how we all ought to be.

Wade Burleson said...

RRR,

You ask some great questions. Thank you.

First, you quote: “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul, but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28) and suggest my post is inconsistent with this verse.

I see complete consistency. The body and soul (e.g. the person) is destroyed in hell.

Then you mention “the Edomites” and suggest that the destruction of the Edomites in Isaiah can’t be the same as the eternal judgment through destruction in hell of all the wicked because the Edomites are judged twice - on earth and then at the Judgment Seat, so “how can that happen if they have already been destroyed?”

Excellent question.

Answer: THE RESURRECTION

God raises the dead. The first death is not permanent. It is temporary. The question is “what happens to the wicked person between the first death and the second death.” I don’t like calling it “sleep” though that is the word that the Bible uses. I much prefer to call it death. The wicked die - and remember nothing. Until the RESURRECTION - which is immediate to them because “they close their eyes in death, and open their eyes in the Judgment” - though time has passed (as man measures time, but God is outside of time, creating it for man). So, at the Judgment, which is the RESURRECTION of the whole man (body and soul), the wicked are judged and given the SECOND DEATH which is eternal, BECAUSE there is no second resurrection. “Fear Him who destroys both body and soul in hell.”

Finally, I fellowship with all Christians who believe in eternal conscious torment (which is the majority of Christians today), and I fellowship with all Christians who believe in universal reconcilation (which is a small minority of Christians like Paul Young), but I believe the Bible is the source of truth, and the Bible indicates that God will “grant immortal life to the righteous, and He will sentence the wicked to eternal death” - which means destruction. Could I be wrong? Of course.

But the Baptists of 1644 who wrote the First London Confession of Faith agreed with me. (Read it). It was fifty years later, under pressure from Cromwell’s supporters, the Baptists added a lengthy treatise on the time between death and the resurrection in the 1689 London Confession, a section almost copied from the Westminster Confession.

I love what the 1644 Confession says about the authority of Christ:

“If any man shall impose upon us anything that we see not to be commanded by out Lord Jesus Christ, we should in His strength, rather embrace all reproaches and tortures of men, to be stript of all outward comforts, and if it were possible, to die a thousand deaths, rather than to do anything against the least tittle of the truth of God, or against the light of our own consciences.”

Amen.

Confessions are not infalllible. The Scriptures are.

Again, thanks for the comments!

RRR said...

Wade, thank you a LOT for responding and for presenting these important topics for discussion and reflection. I too would always fellowshipping with you and any fellow-follower regardless of our differences on these issues.

You said, "I believe the Bible is the source of truth, and the Bible indicates that God will “grant immortal life to the righteous, and He will sentence the wicked to eternal death” - which means destruction. Could I be wrong? Of course."

I say, "Right on!" Perhaps the basic issue is "What is life? and "What is death?"

I would say that Adam and Eve were "alive" prior to their sin. They were "dead" following their sin, being separated from God. Had their soul ceased to exist following their sin?
No, but the life of having the presence of God's Living Spirit in them had. My soul never experienced "life" until I received Christ, at which time, the Holy Spirit of God overshadowed me and injected Himself into my dead soul so as to give it "life", as it has been created to contain.

Anyway, I sure don't mean to be argumentative. I am learning and better understanding your perspective more as you continue on with your series. Thanks a lot.

Wade Burleson said...

RRR,

Excellent point about Adam and Eve.

I think if you will research the Hebrew, you'll find that God said to them "In the day you eat thereof, dying you shall die" - in other words, the verb tense seems to indicate that the PROCESS of dying would begin on the day of rebellion (e.g. "dying") - for on that day they were barred from the Tree of Life which sustains life, but the end result of the process of dying would eventually come "you shall die" (death).

By the way, they had communion with God while in the process of dying. So they weren't dead, just dying. That's my opinion! :)

Thanks for the discussion!

Rex Ray said...

Wade and RRR

The tree of life had no meaning or purpose if Adam and Eve were going to live forever.

Therefore, they were going to die someday. So, what was God talking about when he said, “You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die. (Genesis 3:3 NLT)

Actions speak louder than words. “At that moment, their eyes were opened and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. …So, they hid from the Lord God among the trees.” (Genesis 3:7-8 NLT)

That was the day they died a spiritual death. Spiritual death is hiding and being separated from God.

It’s a good subject and that’s my humble opinion of course. :)

Victorious said...

Hi Rex,

God said this in Gen. 3:22...

and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"— 

I'm of the opinion that Adam had neglected to partake of the tree of life that was made available to him.

Mary Ann

RRR said...

Rex Ray,

I obviously lean on the side of taking things in a more literal manner when dealing with Scripture. I've expressed my view on Adam, Eve, eternal, unseparated, life with our Father when redeemed, eternal, separated existence in punishment in hell when rejecting our Creator and His exclusive path to redemption, Jesus Christ. I do not put as much weight on Luther and others, figuring they were fallible, and in his case, continually influenced by his Catholic culture, although he did bless us by pointing us toward having a more literal pursuit of The Word.

Rex Ray said...

Mary Ann,

Yes, Adam never ate from the tree of life, and God prevented him from eating its fruit in Genesis 3:24.


RRR,

Previously you had said, “I would say that Adam and Eve were "alive" prior to their sin. They were "dead" following their sin, being separated from God.”

That statement would indicate (and I agree) they died a SPITURAL death after they sinned.

RRR said...

Rex Ray, I know you have heard of "purgatory". A Catholic concept putting souls into a state similar to "limbo", neither in heaven or hell, more like unconscious souls wandering around in a fog or sleep until such time someone or something executes an awakening, punishment or heaven. Although I'm grateful for Luther's break from the Catholic traditions of selling relics, strong papacy hierarchy, common man being able to pray and read Scripture, etc., I believe the Catholic ideology is well embedded in his thinking and surfaces in his theological analysis; how could it not? One can see it.

So personally, I don't give much credence to his proposals, as I would not that of a Catholic priest, but if others do, their choice.

It's not surprising to me to read some responses here by those saying they are glad to have something other than what has been passed down to us from generations and "tradition". I guess they like having something "new". That's a trend today, I think. Sorry, I prefer the ancient words of Christ saying ridiculous things like. "Today, you will be with me.", or, "I will not leave you as orphans.", or "Those will go where there is wailing an gnashing of teeth forever." Not new, just speaking the Truth.

"What IS TRUTH?"

Rex Ray said...

RRR,

Ahhhhhhh…you ask “What is truth.” Yes, I’ve heard of “purgatory”. I believe Catholics may get “purgatory” from (1 Samuel 28) but we ‘Baptist’ more or less removed that chapter from the Bible. :)

Throughout the ages there have been volumes written about the medium (witch) that lived at Endor.

Even Rudyard Kipling in 1919 wrote about communicating with the dead in a poem he named: “En-Dor”. The last part read:

Oh the road to En-dor is the oldest road
And the craziest road of all!
Straight it runs to the Witch’s abode,
As it did in the days of Saul,
And nothing has changed of the sorrow in store
For such as go down on the road to En-dor!

RRR said...

Wow! Rex Ray, you never cease to amaze me! Rudyard Kipling, huh? Wonder how you ran across this poem connected to engaging the spirits of the other realm? I bet there's another "Rex Ray" story there.

Rex Ray said...

RRR,

You make me smile. No big story about the poem; just two hours on the internet.

Hey! Does (1 Samuel 28) blow Wade’s belief out of the water that ‘everyone sleeps in their graves until the resurrection’?

Oh, I forgot; he’s a Baptist. :)

RRR said...

Not necessarily, in my estimation, at least. One could have Wade's position on the matter of our status following physical death and say that, for whatever reason. Samuel was temporarily brought out of his state of unconsciousness in order to perform this task, and then he returned. Using that presumption, one could say that when Samuel said Saul and his boys would be "with him" the next day, he was saying that they too would enter that same "Sheoul" state of sleep, or unconsciousness awaiting the resurrection. Samuel said, "He came up" which normally we don't find in references to someone coming or going to heaven, usually, I think, referenced to "going up or coming down".

Personally, I don't find this particular reference to be as convincing one way or the other as is a lot of others, but that's just me.

I think, for me, and maybe for Rex Ray, the determination of how we hold to a proposed interpretation or position on a doctrine is not very influenced by any Biblical scholar or theologian. I may be presumptuous on including you in this position, but I don't think so. U have seen you challenge Wade too many times.

Neither do I believe you or I put a whole lot of emphasis on what has traditionally been taught or passed down through theological positions in history or the church. We study Scripture, pray over it, discuss it in Bible studies with other believers who hold to sound doctrine, we consider various perspectives and thoughts, then we carry on, perhaps considering different ideas, but only as being credible as allowed by the literal form of passage.

I am probably speaking too naively in saying that I am not influenced by these sources, but honestly, though I find Luther's position on such matters interesting and admire him for what he went through, I don't ascribe to him as being a theologian worthy of leading me to such radical conclusions as are being proposed.

Rex Ray said...

RRR,

After death, where was Samuel? He was not unhappy where he was.

“Why have you disturbed me…?” (1 Samuel 28:15) indicates he was not ‘asleep’ in a grave but was conscious and preferred being there than being with the living.

Rex Ray said...

RRR,

It’s more reasonable to believe Samuel was in heaven than asleep in his grave.

It would be very disturbing to be ‘summoned’ from heaven back to earth.

I’ll bet Paul would have preferred to stay in the “third heaven” as he reported being there in (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).

“…I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.”

RRR said...

Rex Ray,

I totally agree with you. I was just saying that a person who adheres to the "asleep until Christ returns" rather than immediately transcending into heaven, might argue that Sam came from the "sleep" rather than heaven. Personally, I have no doubt that believers immediately open their eyes in heaven when they close their eyes here. Death has no sting or victory and certainly can't separate us from our Father and His love, or attention.

Rex Ray said...

RRR,

AMEN