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The Beginning

of

The End of All Things


Part 12

#191.06


The Lake of Fire That God Built


The Great White Throne

 

"And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:11-12, 15.

When the terms, the great white throne, and the great white throne judgment, are heard, people generally envision a rather grim picture in their minds, often of a fearful, foreboding judgment of all the unsaved people of the world, which is almost everyone, according to most religions. The presiding Judge is seen as a white haired, old man who is detached from all human feelings, such as physical pain, sorrow, and suffering. This image portrays Him as one Who either cannot relate to the anguish of the creation He loves so much, or He is simply not concerned enough about it to consider other options. Others see the Judge as being Jesus, and like His Father, neither does He seem to be over-wrought with empathy or compassion. Even though He always called Himself the son of man, it is as if He had never been afflicted with the disease called human, or adam.

The Day of Judgment, or Doomsday, by which it is often called, has Jesus, God, or both Jesus and God upon an intimidating throne, surrounded by tens of thousands of their holy angels who stand at the ready to execute His final decrees, whether good or bad. Sadly, the vast majority of those decrees are supposed to mean eternal torment for so many. Although it is said that His love for the lost is so great that He sacrificed His first born Son for them, the same voices say that after the sinner’s heart stops beating, His love, like man’s heart, stops and vengeance begins.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the artists, poets, and preachers alike, ancient and modern, small and great, have pictured the great white throne judgment as being so dreadful that it defies every human precedence. For instance, it is not uncommon to see the unlucky sinners falling and thrown into the clutches of tormenting demons, snakes, and caverns of boiling fire. There are, of course, no scriptures in the Bible that remotely support such a universal ruin, but it is believed and taught just the same.

Another fabled scenario has Jesus upon a cloud in mid-heaven surrounded by millions of angels. Before Him stands the naked masses of humanity who are brought from every realm. They are brought from hell, from the sea, and from the graves. The dead who are in heaven are also brought to this great judgment where He is pictured on a great white throne in the clouds, with the earth turning upon its axis so every eye can see His “righteous” judgment.

Such judgment, of course, would be nothing more than taking care of legal paperwork; for the Judge would say to those who had come from heaven, “Go back to your mansions, My good and faithful servants. For your names are written in My Lamb’s book of Life. Keep your crowns and harps. Continue walking upon the streets of gold. I will come to you after I finish damning all the others.”

He then examines the record of each trembling sinner summoned from hell, and declares to them, “Go back to your eternal torment and wait for rest of the living-dead who are yet to be judged and, like you, have their names written in the book of death and damnation.”

I realize my words are slightly caustic; but I am not the author of such stories nor have I painted these pictures. I am merely drawing our attention to the absurdity of the serpent’s religious mind-set, and we see a good example of this in the fresco of Jesus in Michelangelo's "The Last Judgment." The Son of God who died for the world was certainly not painted as the loving Christ we know and read about in the Bible. Although more picturesque, Jesus is the grim reaper of a sinful world. He appears as an intimidating giant whose mighty right arm is lifted in a gesture of damnation so broad and fierce as to suggest He might destroy all of creation.

Frankly, with such miscarriages of the Great White Throne Judgment, it is amazing that today’s Christian churches have any members at all, and to gain new converts is simply amazing. The fact is, these ingenious caricatures, and other misrepresentations of the Great White Throne Judgment, have so repulsed many that it has turned their hearts and minds totally away from God and toward atheism, agnosticism, and new age mysticism of self-attained human godhood. It is no small wonder that the thought of God’s great judgment and refining lake of fire have turned them away; for God’s holy acts of salvation have been so twisted by the spirit of religion’s serpent that they appear intolerably horrible, unreal, unbelievable, and scripturally insane.

We were very brief in our previous article about the infamous lake of fire that men built, but hopefully, it was enough that we were able to grasp fairly well how grotesquely they have defamed and disfigured our Father and His judgments to unprecedented measures. Hopefully, we will be able to open in plain view the truth of this matter, as well as the true character of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, who are truly the God and Lord of LOVE and LIFE. We also hope to unfold the truth about the Great White Throne Judgment and THE LAKE OF FIRE THAT GOD BUILT, and to do so, it will be good to see how the resurrection of damnation fits into this beautiful picture of God’s lake.

Resurrection of Damnation

And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:29.

The resurrection of damnation, as with the Great White Throne Judgment, strikes a certain amount of foreboding angst in many minds, and rightly so; for with the plethora of sermons, broadcasts, books, and literature depicting the horror of its flames for the lost sinners, it would be unusual for the average person to react otherwise.

However, there is no just reason for that false projection to remain in anyone’s mind. The truth is, rather than the lake of fire being a foreboding dread, creation groans for that glorious day of damnation. Damnation, of course, is the word the King James Version uses. If it were only known, the judgment day of damnation is the fiery day of the manifestation of the sons of God, the redeeming day. That day is when Christ Jesus sits upon that great throne of righteousness and judges all things in justice, as He hears every soul’s cry for life.

Have we not known that imprisoned in every man is a seed that cries for the release of its life? And the key to this release comes in the form Jesus Christ who made it possible by three testimonies: his death, resurrection, and ascension.

There is a spark in every man that begs release, and this seed yearns for the time to be freed from the bondage of corruption and death. Mortal affliction came upon all, not willingly on their part, yet by reason of God who subjected them to this stroke of death, but in hope. And this latent desire will not remain a hope forever. It will become a fulfilled reality by the fire that God kindles together with that spark.

We are blessed beyond measure to know that God’s assured hope of healing was much greater than the temporal wound of death. If it had not been, He would certainly have never subjected creation to sin and death. And we rejoice that the Life of the ages for every man is that indefinable hope. This is the liberty for which every soul longs, the liberty of release from the passions of the flesh and its bitter fruit of death (ref. Romans 8:19-21). From the depth of their yearning souls they echo the anointed words of Paul: "Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” Acts 17:31.

When Jesus sits upon the Great White Throne, it is not a day of gloom and eternal torment for the teeming billions of unlucky sinners, but a blessed day of assurance for all men! And this, dear friends, is not a potential assurance. It is an absolute assurance for all men, and there is good reason for this. He who sits upon this throne is the same one who not only paid the ultimate price for every man by His death, but He was victoriously raised from death on behalf of every man. We are assured of this; for as our forerunner said, “ I am He that lives. I was dead, and behold I am alive” Revelation 1:18. No other sage or prophet can say the same. For myself, I will remain with the One Who made good on what He claimed.

Since Jesus overcame and transcended sin and death, He was able assure all men that they too would live. He made a way for every soul for which He died by laying down His life, and then taking it up again. Among the many assurances of this fact, here are some additional words of promise: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16. And Paul assured us that all will believe, saying that God, “...will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:4. He also wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:8 that love never fails. In other words, there will always be assured success in whatever is the passion of God's Love, and the lost world is one of those passions. For God so loved the world, and His love will not fail to draw all back into Himself from where every soul came. (ref. Romans 11:36.)

Simply put, if God wills it, God will do it! And did He not will for all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth? Indeed, He did, and He sent His love to the world in the form of His Son. He placed all that was lost in the scope of that triumphant love. It was, no doubt, the virtue and passion of heaven’s love that moved Jesus to take upon Himself the sin and death of the whole world. That is why it could be said that He was the Savior of not just a few, but the world (ref. John 4:41, & 1 John 4:14).

His death testified that the whole of humanity was forgiven. Salvation, which is deliverance from sin and death, would be for all. His resurrection sealed every man's destiny, declaring that they too would live. Paul also spoke of this truth in the 5th chapter of Romans. He said that in the death of the first Adam all died; even so, in the life of the last Adam, all shall be made alive! (ref. Rom. 5:7-20). The first man lived and then died, taking the living world with him. The last Man died and then lived, and He is taking the dead world with Him. His love will not fail. It always prevails! It prevails not only over sin but also over death. With the love of God permeating the universe, it is impossible for death to grip anyone forever. It will eventually give way to the higher power.

During the three hours prior to the death of the Lord of Life, the world’s darkness of sin and death hovered over the cross and the land. It was the last vestige of the last enemy, death, rising victoriously over life, so it seemed. There was a great earthquake that dark day, so dark and heavy that the veil of the Temple was rent. Humanity's veil of separation was torn that day, and a way was made into the sanctuary of holiness, of joy, of peace, and of righteousness. Man's heaven and earth were judged, and no place was to ever be found again for them in the presence of Christ.

The glory of the Lord was engulfed forever that day by the gross darkness of man's death. However, this “forever” was like the three days and three nights Jonah spent in the belly of the great fish that he called hell, which he said was forever. (ref. Jonah 1:17, 2:1, & 2:6). You see, in the Bible, forever, doesn’t always mean forever. In fact, it never does. Forever is however long it takes for a work to be finished. In the scriptures, the time from the beginning to the end of a work is forever, whether it is three hours, three days, three years, or three thousand years.

Notwithstanding, as it was with Jonah, with whom He identified Himself, Jesus was in hell forever, and at the end of that time, three days later, the Dawn of life came when He rose from the dead. The dread of that darkness, of death, and the earthquake vanished at His rising from the tomb. That was the declaration to the world that He, indeed, was the Son of God (ref. -- Pathfinder - Sonship - Kingdom of God Romans 1:4). It meant life and liberty to all for which He died, which was ALL! His appearing announced the end of the old world and the beginning of the New.

This Declaration was an assurance that as it was with Him, all would be raised from Adam’s horrid death to His glorious life. Some, of course, as overcomers, would be resurrected on this side of the grave, while others would be raised at the second resurrection, which is the resurrection of damnation.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live" John 5:25. The words of Jesus are true, that all who hear the quickening Voice of the Son are lifted from their appointment of death and live, even as many of us came alive upon hearing His call; but "Marvel not at this," He went on to say, "for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" John 5:28-29.

The resurrection of damnation, as the King James Bible has it, is a very promising subject and merits closer examination. Although this translation is classified as a work of literary art, it is not noted for its inerrant accuracy. It certainly has the beauty and flare of that day, and many assume that it is a more sacred way of speaking than the way our modern languages sound. However, the King James English was not the language the Bible was written in, and its poetic style of writing does not constitute infallibility.

That form of English makes it difficult at times to grasp what is being said. To compound the problem, a large number of the words carried a different thought than what they do today. The king’s loyal translators can certainly be given credit for the wonderful truths contained therein, for there are many, but we should also know that there are a significant number of errors as well, and this is so with all the other translations as well. Only the original manuscripts can be said to be flawless, and to my knowledge, there are none in existence. Notwithstanding, DAMNATION is one of the words that needs to be addressed.

Rather than the resurrection of damnation, it is more accurately translated the resurrection of crisis, the resurrection of judgment, the resurrection of turning, or the resurrection of decision. The Greek word is krisis, from which we get our English word crisis. The word in the truest sense means a turning point. For example, when a person's body is racked with fever, and its highest temperature is reached, this is called the crisis. It is the turning point!

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance says the primary meaning for krisis is a decision. Damnation is very misleading; but turning point, decision, or judgment are words much closer to what krisis means. When we understand what judgment in the truest sense means, we will know that it is a good thing. It is good to make decisions. The truth is, we all make many decisions every day, some good and some bad, and these decisions are judgments. When we analyze a situation and make a decision due to the information we have, we have judged the matter and acted upon it. A good example of this is when we buy a new car, or anything else. Decisions are a part of our daily life, and we never call them damnations.

Judgment, whether in the Greek, Hebrew, or English, carries the thought of a decision for or against, and when its action is applied, it brings about a turning point. When a judgment is in a person's favor, rewards are generally given due to their good works; but it can be to the contrary.

Upon looking at the evidence of an accused man, judgment can come as an acquittal, and the turning point frees him. But when the situation constitutes it, judgment is levied against a person in the form of remedial (corrective) punishment. After the time of refining incarceration has worked its purpose, the man is also freed. It is in this context that the word is most often used in the New Testament. The other translators of the Bible commonly used judgment for the word krisis, depending on the degree they were influenced by church dogma or how daring they might have been to stray from the Authorized King James Version.

The King James Version is not the only Bible containing discrepancies. The fact is, there are errors in all the translations of the Bible, and the masses of Christianity are basing their lives on their supposed infallibility. Even though it is true our Bibles contain errors, should we stop reading them? Not at all! It is good to read the Bible, for it is the greatest book ever written, including the errors, which are a part of the mysterious veil over its hidden truths. And without changing anything, we can find countless treasures of truth recorded in the Bible. Generally most translations are sufficient, and treasures are to be found in all of them, with golden nuggets and precious gems scattered over the surface of its pages, such as, “For God so loved the world,” and, “The son of man came to save that which was lost.” Such words of truth are plain and easily grasped by those whose minds have not been blinded by the god of this world. Other parts of these treasures are buried deep within and must be sought out, as it states in Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.” And hopefully, we can stand honorably today and search out this matter of the lake of fire that God built.

Another verse where krisis is used is Hebrews 9:27: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (krisis)." If we stand on the premise that krisis means damnation, and damnation speaks of eternal punishment, all mankind would be in serious trouble. For the above verse would be translated: "It is appointed unto men (humanity) once to die, but after this damnation." It would be deplorable to even think that God would do such a thing to the whole of mankind; but religion continues to declare it, nonetheless.

The translators, of course, could see there was no way they could translate the krisis in this verse as damnation . It just wouldn’t work, and they, no doubt, knew it, so they rendered the word properly. However, with damnation being a substantial part of the Church of England’s doctrine, they used damnation in reference to the resurrection of which Jesus spoke. Apparently, when those to be judged seemed to be the more hardened sinners, such as the scribes and Pharisees, the translators took their liberty and used the harsher damnation as the word for krisis.

The Church of England may have been delivered from the womb of Roman Catholicism; but like the others, this church kept many of her old doctrines, especially that of eternal hellfire and damnation of the lost. Sadly, this has been erroneously carried down to our day and said to be the nature of the God of love and the Great White Throne Judgment. Moreover, this perception will remain until the enlightening word comes down from the throne and chains this dragon, revealing the lie for what it is, and setting men free from that which has never had a foundation, except for when it is believed.

When the shroud of man’s darkness is lifted from this lake of fire that burns with brimstone, a breath of fresh air fills one’s sense of being and brings overflowing joy to the heart. It is such a wonder that the dark facade of the lake of fire that men built could stand for so long and be portrayed as the final act of a loving God. Although it has remained an integral part of man’s religion, it will not stand when the true lake of fire, the lake of fire God has built is seen blazing brightly upon the horizon of reality. If you cannot see it, keep looking to the east within yourself, eastward in Eden, from paradise where the Truth of Jesus rises moment by moment and brings the Day. When the light of His day awakens and opens the eyes that the god of the world (religion par excellence) had blinded, they too will rejoice and praise God that there is a true lake of fire, a lake that blazes with redemption and everlasting deliverance — the Lake of Fire that God built!

To be continued...

Elwin R. Roach

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