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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

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um... im suprised this hasn't come up yet... but God doesn't want anyone to go to hell. (maybe i just didn't see it) Christ doesn't want anyone to go to hell. Why would Christ do what He did? so that people would still go to hell? no.


Very good point brother!

[b]John 3:16[/b] - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall [i]not perish[/i] but have eternal life.

[b]2 Peter 3:9[/b] - The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, [i]not wanting anyone to perish[/i], but everyone to come to repentance.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/1/28 19:18Profile
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 Re: Isaiah 14 & Ezekial 28

This is really a continuation of my post on this thread on 26 Jan 2004, where I said’
In developing a concept of 'what hell is like' and seeing that the rebels must share the Rebel's destiny, we can begin to get a feel for things. The title of this thread is perfect. Satan and hell; they are inextricably connected.

The second of these extraordinary passages is in Ezekiel 28. In Ezekiel 28 we have a prophecy which begins on the earthly level but moves to other levels. Some of this certainly applied to the Prince of Tyrus, but most of it applies to the power behind the throne. We can see that in the way it begins to speak of one who had been in Eden v13. If you check your memory for a head count of people who had been in Eden, you’ll find in narrows the suspects down considerably. ;-)

This passage of scripture seems to describe someone of amazing beauty. Surely this must be the greatest creature in the creation. It speaks of every precious stone being thy covering and then goes on to list 9 of them. This list is identical to the list of stones that the Levitical high-priest wore on his breastplate; except that the high-priest had 3 extra ones. It then goes on to describe his musical instruments and then says that God appointed him as The Anointed Cherub, the Covering One. This is very mysterious and we need to be cautious in our interpretation. The world of angelic beings and the world of human beings intersect like two circles. The Bible is really the true story of the human race, and all we are told about the angelic race is from that intersection where our worlds touch. We are quite ignorant of the angels’ story. I would not even like to guess at the percentage of truth that we are given about them; I suspect it is tiny.

But this passage of prophecy has been kept safe for us for over 2500 years so God must want us to understand something from it. The language used may give us some clues. We usually call Israel’s chief priest, the high priest, but the scripture frequently called him the anointed one; Lev 4:3, Num 35:25. This is a reference to the appointment of a high-priest. Lev 8 shows us that only the high-priest was truly anointed; the other priests shared his anointing with oil that was not poured (anointed) but sprinkled. The Anointed Cherub with a covering of precious stones seems to hint at a creature who is at the very heart of the worship of God; the leader.

Here is another interesting link. In Israel’s priesthood there were originally 5 priests; one anointed priest and 4 who served under his direction (under Aaron’s eye). Ezekiel and Revelation speak of an angelic order of beings called Cherubs (or Hebrew Cherubim). I think they are the same as the ‘burning ones’ – Seraphim of Isaiah 6) From Ezekiel, Isaiah and Revelation we discover there are 4 of them. From Ezekiel 28 it appears there were once 5, and their leader was the Anointed Cherub, the one who ‘covered’ the others. This begins to sound like some angelic priesthood.

Satan's rebellion is captured in Isaiah 14, in which the thoughts of his heart were revealed. Here in Ezekiel we are taken back even further to events which preceded his rebellion. Isaiah 6 shows the cherubim lost in worship. In the presence of God they have very little to say, but they say it continuously. It is not a ritual, it is their continuing reaction at being in the presence of the Holy God. One cries to another; Holy, Holy, Holy, and the next one conscious of God’s presence worships using the same words. Rev 4 shows us that 800 years later they were still saying the same words. This is still their reaction; they can never become ‘used to being in His presence’. (aren’t you looking forward to joining them?)

The Bible refers to ‘holy angels’ but these most ‘holy’ of the holy angels are oblivious to their own holiness, they are overwhelmed with His. This is always the way with genuine holiness; genuinely holy people will never think or talk about their own holiness. There is no self-consciousness in this worship, only God-consciousness. And here is an amazing revelation. At a point in time one of these cherubim, the anointed one, became self-conscious. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty. Ezek 28:17. How did he ever notice it? To what would we compare this? It is like someone attending the most lavish banquet possible with vast arrays and varieties of perfect provision and a glorious and generous host at the head of the table, who in the midst of it all says “boy, have you seen my peanut? Oh I know that some good stuff here, but just look at this peanut. I think this peanut deserves some recognition.” Everybody else is overwhelmed with the Host and the banquet, and this one becomes obsesses with his peanut. He didn't even stop to consider who gave him the peanut in the first place!

It’s a poor illustration, but I wanted to get some sense of the enormity of Satan’s presumption. He has separated himself from God and His provision and the slide has started.

This post is far too long. My apologies, I’ll give a day or two to digest it and then return to this rank wickedness and its ultimate consequences.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/1/30 2:12Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
This post is far too long.


I emphatically diagree!
Feels like watching a rare but good program on t.v., you become fully absorbed, then out of nowhere...."To be continued....." "Ah, man..."

Quote:
This is still their reaction; they can never become ‘used to being in His presence’. (aren’t you looking forward to joining them?)

Can't wait!


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Mike Balog

 2004/1/30 3:51Profile
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 Re:

A little more to consider…

The underlying principle of these comments on Satan and Hell is that these two subjects are irrevocably connected. The ‘ultimate state’ of punishment and separation from God is said to have be Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Matt 25:41

This sentence has several ideas built into it.
a. depart: this is separation from God
b. ye cursed: this a solemn sentence and not merely ‘get out of my sight’.
c. the destination: is age-lasting fire.
d. its targey audience: it ‘has been’ (perfect tense) made ready for the devil and his angels.

This future was never intended or designed for human beings; it was specifically ‘made ready’ for the devil and his angels. But the sentence in Matt 25 is not declared against angels but against human beings. Satan’s rebellion is much older than that of the human race; Sin entered through Adam’s treachery but had existed outside the human race long before that.

There is a special feature of the Bible’s teaching about ‘hell’ which we should not miss. Most of what we know about ‘hell’ came from the lips of our Lord. The most solemn and terrifying warnings do not come from angry prophets or street corner fanatics but from someone who was the perfect expression of the Godhead. Christ made a unique claim for his teaching; He claimed that the ‘words’ He was speaking were not His own but had been given to Him by His Father. John 14:10 Some claim that Christ accommodated His teaching to the common beliefs of His day, but His revelation that He was speaking only the words His Father gave Him undermine this claim. There is another disturbing feature about the Bible’s revelation on ‘hell’; it teaches that the final decisions are made by Christ Himself. If He is the Judge and He filled His teaching with such terrible imagery, what will the reality be like?

Ezekiel 28 makes a link between Satan’s ultimate destiny and fire. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. This is an intriguing verse that speaks of Satan defiling his ‘holy places’, his sanctuaries and goes on to speak of his judgement bursting out from within him; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee. It seems as though in some way Satan will be the source of his own punishment. The punishment seems to be that what has grown within him is drawn to the surface, by God, and bursts through and becomes his permanent environment. His punishment is of his own making. God has merely taken off the restraint and brought forth what was within into terrible harvest.

We are at the edge of revelation here, and I will push it no further. The above however, has a counterpart in Romans 1 where mankind’s punishment for sin is that God gives ‘them over’ [Rom 3:24, 26, 28] to its consequences. Those consequences are discovered to be ‘freedom’ for even greater acts of foulness and depravity, which in turn power the next cycle of this sin and judgment. It is a terrifying concept. Let me illustrate with a poor illustration. Most public speakers will have experienced ‘acoustic feedback’. The speaker and his microphone get in front of the audio speakers. The sound from the speakers then goes back into the microphone and through the amplification system only to re-emerge and re-enter the system again through the same microphone. This cycle is repeated very quickly in an endless loop which produces that characteristic, ear splitting, howl. If the cycles are not restrained they will tear the equipment to pieces with a sound that ‘comes forth from the midst of thee’.

Is this then the fuel of hell? The fires of passions, lusts and rebellions which come forth from the midst only to recycle again and again because God no longer constrains? Is hell then genuinely ‘of my own making’? And is the fearful picture of hell, in part, the image of beings whose wickedness now knows no restraint? A solitary confinement in which beings achieve what they always wanted; freedom, at last, from all God’s loving restraint and interference? And a continuing consciousness of what might have been.

If it is true that God ‘has no pleasure in the death of the wicked’ why has be ordained such a terrible eternity for anyone, devil or man? I’ll leave some time for comments and then come back to this question.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/2/2 3:26Profile
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 Re:

Tough questions Ron,

For a number of months I have had this thought bouncing around in my head, that of [i]God as a spurned lover[/i].
For all that He has done throughout the course of history. Israel being the notably example, time and again rejecting Him to go after [i]'other lovers'[/i]. Other examples would be endless, but ultimately the Cross being the greatest extent to which He Has gone. What more can be done? Not only His justice being appropiated, but that He took it upon HIMSELF, for us...amazing? It's [i][color=000000]Outlandish![/color][/i].

I am in a perpetual state of amusement why and for how long [i]suffering[/i] is our God. If we pause to dwell on what it is for us in our own expeience to be spurned when someone we love rejects us over and over again, what is our patience threshold? A usual response would be "Fine", "I have had it!" "Go right on ahead, see if [i]I care[/i]" all the while we [i][b]do[/b][/i] care, thus the hurt. If we expand that to a perspective of the mutiplied billions that have rejected the love of God...it's unfathomable.

Sin grieves the heart of God because it is the continued destruction of all that is good, right and true. It is other than the intention of God, the 'well being' of His creation.

Somewhere in all this is a big lie that has been bought into, that God "hate's" for hate's sake.
In a sense the essence is:

[i]Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, [b]how often would I have gathered thy children together[/b], even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and [b] ye would not![/b][/i]

The most dangerous atribute given to man is the ability to choose. In the end the spurned lover of our souls will finally say 'enough', "I will not be where I AM not wanted, I have given you every opportunity to come to ME. Nor will I drag you into my Presence against your will, it gives Me no pleasure that you must be kept out of My Kingdom, but this is the decision you have made and I will honor it, nothing that defiles will be in My Presence."


Surely there is a multitude of aspects that haven't been touched yet..Oh, but the grieving heart of God.
How long till it breaks forth?


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Mike Balog

 2004/2/2 6:48Profile
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 Re:

HI Mike
you wrote...
The most dangerous atribute given to man is the ability to choose. In the end the spurned lover of our souls will finally say 'enough', "I will not be where I AM not wanted, I have given you every opportunity to come to ME. Nor will I drag you into my Presence against your will, it gives Me no pleasure that you must be kept out of My Kingdom, but this is the decision you have made and I will honor it, nothing that defiles will be in My Presence."

I know some of our company will be uncomfortable with the way I express this, but the most terrifying power in the cosmos is the power that God has given to a man to say 'No' to God.

I am sure that when the time comes it will not be because God has run out of patience, but because the time has come. His patience is inexaustable but His is a Holy Love and one day it must be demonstrated to the whole cosmos. This undignified God who dies in blood and sweat and tears must reign and be seen to reign in glory. And righteousness will be the sceptre of His Kingdom.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/2/2 8:25Profile
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 Re:

Thanks Ron,
Knew you would come to my rescue :-)

Quote:
I know some of our company will be uncomfortable with the way I express this, but the most terrifying power in the cosmos is the power that God has given to a man to say 'No' to God.



Still a choice, no?
By the way, that doesn't make me uncomfortable at all.


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Mike Balog

 2004/2/2 18:05Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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By the way, that doesn't make me uncomfortable at all.


hmm most things said on this site doesn't make me comfortable either... :-P but I will believe the truth even if it at first makes me uncomfortable.. open all our eyes Lord so that we can be used to the utmost on this earth for you. Let us be a sacrifice to you, burn flame divine till all is consumed we take nothing back but lay down all before you. Holy Spirit guide into all truth. AMEN

[b]Ephesians 5:14-15[/b] - for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." [b]Be very careful[/b], then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise.

Quote:
I know some of our company will be uncomfortable with the way I express this, but the most terrifying power in the cosmos is the power that God has given to a man to say 'No' to God.



[b]Genesis 6:5a[/b] - Then the Lord said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal;"

[b]Genesis 6:5-6[/b] - The LORD saw how great [b]man's wickedness[/b] on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

What an awful picture of men taking no regard for God but become godless and carnal, sensual and selfish. The evil of the masses is contrasted with the righteousness of one man: Noah.

[b]Genesis 6:9[/b] - Noah was a [b]righteous man[/b], blameless among the people of his time, and [b]he[/b] walked with God.

Did God desire to lead all the peoples hearts to evil continually? NO. 'The Lord was grieved' and even beyond that 'his heart was filled with pain'!! God felt pain over the people he loved that choose to disobey him and the clear witness of Him in nature and in revelation. Noah alone followed, and no one would listen or follow this man that by 'his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith."


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/2/2 18:49Profile
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 Re: The Church v Hades - Matt 16:18

Here's a request for some help. I have been meditating on this theme and posting a few comments of my thoughts. I have a puzzle. I think all the folks posting on this forum would agree that Satan is not lord of hell but will ultimately be its chief prisoner; the Ace of Spades? The Looney Tunes version of Satan in control is rejected by Bible readers. However, there is one reference which could possibly support the idea that Hell is Satan's territory.

Let me switch to the word Hades, so that I don't start a feeding frenzy among those who want to tell me that there is a difference. I know, I was just starting off simply.

Matthew 16:18 has in mind some kind of conflict (see how vague I am being) between The Church and the Gates of Hades. Gates,in scripture, doesn't always mean physcial barriers; it can mean the seats of authority occupied by those who ruled a city.

This seems to portray Hades not as a prison, but as a fortress. Why would there be any kind of conflict between the Church and God's Prison (or Departure Lounge/Holding Cell if you want to divide Hades into compartments). Who is 'manning the walls' of this fortress? Who controls it?

If it had said Christ and Hades were in conflict, we could have interpreted it to mean Hades in the sense of the grave or death. But it clearly shows that the conflict is between the Church and Hades.

I have some thoughts on the back burner, but I would appreciate any thoughts or comments that folks might have.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/2/2 23:35Profile
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 Re:

What I have always interpreted that to be is the devil's stronhold, however, it is very clear that the devil's eternal position shall be in burning sulphur and we are told that we war not with flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and I think given that Christ holds the keysL:

rev1vs18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Then there is really no cause to worry as the enemies stronghold is not going to be his forever.

but could it be that there is an assault upon that eternal destiny as there is regularly upon ours and that is the thing that will not prevail?


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Jonathan Ferguson

 2004/2/3 2:41Profile





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