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The End of All Things
The Lake of Fire That God Built
The Harbor of Fire
A New Heaven And A New Earth
No More Sea
We saw that hell, translated from the the Hebrew, sheol and the Greek, hades, is a realm that is unseen. It is a dimension that is covered or hidden. It is an obscure, imperceptible realm beyond that of natural man's perception. The scriptures generally speak of it as the realm of all whose natural bodies die, whether saint or sinner. Although it has been purported to be a physical place where the devil gleefully and sadistically tortures sinners and non-Christians throughout eternity, it is not!
As it has been with so many things in our culture, society, and languages, the meaning of hell has also taken on drastic changes over the past two thousand years. And Benjamin Wilson's Emphatic Diaglott sheds some significant light on this greatly misrepresented word. In the book's appendix, it says this of hades:
"It is the word used in the Septuagint as a translation of the Hebrew word sheol, denoting the abode or world of the dead, and means literally that which is in darkness, hidden, invisible, or obscure....In order to properly define its meaning, recourse must be had to the various passages where it is found. The Hebrew word sheol is translated as hades in the Septuagint 60 times out of 63; and though sheol in many places...may signify the grave as the common receptacle of the dead, yet it has the more general meaning of death; state of death; the dominion of death. To translate hades by the word hell, as is done ten times out of eleven in the New Testament is very improper, unless it has the Saxon meaning of helan, to cover, attached to it. The primitive signification of hell only denoting what was SECRET OR CONCEALED, perfectly corresponds with the Greek term hades and its Hebrew equivalent sheol, but the theological definition to it as the present day by no means expresses it."
The expression, or meaning of the word, then and now, has no similarity. It has (1) devolved into something entirely different. It meant an unseen realm then; but for some ideological reason, it now means eternal damnation! What a change! The gods of this world have gone crazy, to say the least!
The expression of flames of the Lake of Fire has also devolved. It is now imagined to be a natural fire; but as we saw previously, the flames are not literal. Burning brimstone is this Lake. The Greek for brimstone is theion, meaning sulfur, which was used to burn the sacrifices while under the Old Covenant. Theion comes from Theios which means Godlike, and the root of Theios is Theos which is the word used for God in the New Testament. Therefore, it is easily seen that the substance of the Lake of Fire is Godfire, and with the following we can see why: 1) God's word which is fire, 2) God's angels (His messengers) are fire, 3) God's ministers are flames of fire, and 4) God is fire. This the Lake of Fire into which death and hell and everyone who is not found written in the book of life is cast is the very substance of God, Fire! And this is a good thing; because it will bring to pass the end of all pain, sorrow, suffering, and death that had plagued mankind throughout the ages.
We presented twenty-one scriptures that clearly tell us what fire is in the sense of spiritual language. From what was gleaned, there is no way the Lake of Fire can be burning with natural fire that consumes wood and coal, but is the Lake of GOD Fire. It is the Body of Christ, the Son's of God! It is the Holy Flames of Fire assembled together as one Spirit wherein all death and hell, and everything in them, are cast for the purpose of being destroyed, consumed, saved, and transformed. The question might arise, how can something be saved after it is destroyed? Will there be nothing left to save? Many examples could be given, but I believe one will suffice: When a man's mind is transformed, his evil thoughts become good thoughts. The evil thoughts are destroyed. They vanish as his mind thinks good thoughts. So does the Fire of Christ Jesus' Spirit transform all minds, brings forth good, destroys all evil, and saves them all.
Notwithstanding, the twenty-one (21) scriptures we presented were certainly enough to establish the true identity of the Lake of Fire; but there was one more that must be added. A longtime friend of ours, Ward Eister, brought number 22 to my attention, which is Malachi 3:2, "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire...." And with that, number 23 comes to mind. "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire." Daniel 7:9. And one more for good measure to make an even two dozen (24): "And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God." Revelation 4:5.
There are more that could be added to the list; but we will not belabor the point more than we already have, and we will make due with this ample number of twenty-four (24), which will, hopefully, enable everyone who reads these few pages to see that the holy Spirit is, in fact, the holy Fire of God, and whatsoever that Holy Fire touches will either be burned up or refined. It will either destroy or change it, usually both. First, by changing the sinner, which by default destroys sin.
So many things about God have to do with Fire. His Presence is fire, His word is fire, and His ministers are flames of fire. And we know that a song that is sung in the Spirit is a song of fire. An act of His love is a passion of fire. There can be nothing said, sung, nor done in the Spirit that does not transform or destroy something inwardly or outwardly. When the Spirit of Fire rains upon the dust of man, every dry seed will break open, bud, and live. Everything that fire touches is effected one way or the other. It consumes the wood, hay, and stubble of man while refining the precious metals and stones of the Lord.
The Lake of GOD Fire will burn fervently with the Word. It will rise in anthems of celestial flames. It will rise in swells of glory, in wave after wave of His blazing word. His ministers of fire will move across the land as the breath of God. Its final flood of passion for every member of His creation destroys all death as He changes every man.
Religious men of the old order have told such horrid stories and lies about God's beautiful works and plans that it is very difficult for most to know what is truth, including, of course, the subject of the Lake of Fire. Men, women, and even children claim to have been carried down to hell by Jesus and shown the tormented lost sinners in a vast, endless lake of fire that surmounts the most vivid imagination. Most of these people's stories line up with the erroneous doctrines they embrace, which are generally in harmony with their pastor's views, as well as what is received from televangelists, books, tapes, and CDs that espouse these errors. With such a faulty premise as their foundation, they believe the scriptures confirm what they say; but their stories are not based on truth at all. They are nothing more than reproductions of what they have heard or read from spurious sources. It is not known by them, as well as many of their sources, that they have not only embellished on fables, but have twisted the scriptures and used age-old lies to shore up what they claim to have been shown to them while on personal tours with Jesus. This is nothing more than additions to the lake of fire that men have built; for it did not come from God nor from the scriptures!
The Harbor of Fire
In contrast to such an horrible, endless expanse of literal molten brimstone and searing flames of fire, we will note a word that sheds more light upon the matter. It is the word lake. The Greek word is limneo, which means, a pond large or small. A pond doesn't really describe the awesome majesty or the enormity of a thing wherein most of the world will be cast. With a little understanding, however, we can see that this little pond is of great significance! For you see, limneo comes from limeon and means, a harbor. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance recommends comparing it to G2568 Kaloi Limenes, which means, "a Good harbor, or Fairhaven." Whether the word is translated lake, pond, harbor, or haven, we must keep in mind that neither of the terms suggest a physical size; for this body of fire is a spiritual realm as sure as hell, hades, or sheol is a spiritual realm. Hell happens to be the realm of the dead, while the Lake of Fire is the realm of the living. It is hell's opposite. It is its counterpart. It is the realm of the Living wherein all death and hell are destroyed.
Good harbor, or Fairhaven was use in Acts 27:8. "And hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens..." This in reference to the ship that was transporting Paul to Rome and found a good harbor while sailing with unfavorable winds and rough waters. Fairhaven was one of the ports the captain docked for safety. This, of course, was before the captain continued on to Rome against the advice of Paul, and later on the ship broke up in the storm.
So again, what is the Lake of Fire? We know it is 1) God's word which is fire, 2) God's angels (His messengers) who are fire, 3) God's ministers who are flames of fire, and 4) God who is fire; but what else is it? Although contrary to the flesh, abhorrent to religion, and the absolute death to every thing that wreaks with death -- it is the Pond of Fire, the Good Harbor of Safety, or even the Firehaven of Life. This is a Lake, Pond, Harbor, Haven that burns steadily and passionately with the Lamb's wrath, which is God's flaming love. We must stress, however, this Fairhaven is not a welcomed port to death or any part of the carnal man; for such realms love darkness, turmoil, and strife, and although a good harbor, it is the last harbor for the last enemy to dock. This is the harbor that brings the end of a long night of sailing through the fierce seas of hell and death, ending all things human. At first it is the tormenting Lake of Fire, but then the Harbor of Life.
That journey began ages ago when the first death entered the world by the first man. He brought an end to life. It ends with the second death, this death is by the Second Man, which is comprised of His corporate body. He ends death forever. They who are cast into the fire of the second death will surely suffer great loss, but this is good. For this will be the loss of every carnal, selfish, dead thing about them; but they will in turn gain much, which is Christ Jesus and His name forever.
I realize this comes as a foreign language to some; for how can a person immediately grasp any thought he or she had never considered, and especially when the old is rooted so deeply. Nevertheless, even if what is being said sounds strange and incomprehensible, how could anyone malign the truths of God's judgments that are so clear throughout the Bible, especially that of the blazing glory of the Harbor of Fire? How could people who go by the name of Jesus Christ demean such Divine wonders and call them something they are not, even so opposite to His very nature that only the demented could do? And how could they deny His ability to save to the uttermost? Could they possibly believe His ultimate sacrifice was not sufficient for the ultimate salvation for all? Surely, no one could be guilty of such atrocities except, of course, the blind, those who are genuinely deceived, the willingly ignorant, or worse, religious leaders who know the truth but have so much to lose by teaching it, as it was with the Pharisees.
The latter are those who called the works of Jesus that of Beelzebub, even knowing that He was sent from God. This we know because of the confession of one of them: "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." John 3:1-2.
So there is little wonder why Jesus responded in no kind words when they knew better. They knew He was sent from God, and brazenly claimed that his power to cast out devils was from the dung god, the lord of the flies. Jesus was hard on the scribes and Pharisees; for they were the devil incarnate, and so are the ones today! They know the truth but war against it. Nothing has changed. They are clouds without water, heavens without rain, trees and earth without fruit. They are twice dead, plucked up from the Kingdom of God, raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame of contempt for the truth. They are wandering stars, held captive by their own chains of age-abiding darkness, having no sense of righteousness whatsoever, as Jude so graphically spoke of them!
Everything about the Pharisees, old and new, is of the lowest order of the first heaven and earth -- twice dead -- dead in their religious heaven of authority and dead in their earthly works. But praise God, the Lake of Fire will bring an end to death, even their spiritual death. It will all be swallowed up in victory to be no more. A new heaven and a new earth will emerge from the flames, and there will be no more sea!
A New Heaven And A New Earth
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Revelation 21:1.
We tend to overlook common words in scripture; but the first word of the first verse of Chapter 21 is a word we don't want to miss. It is the word, and. This is significant for one reason. This small, but informative conjunction tells us that chapter 21 is a continuation of chapter 20, and that which follows is connected and is in addition to the Lake of Fire. Therefore, the New Heaven and the New Earth are the results of the Lake of Fire. That which had been a place of torment to the carnal man can now be truly seen as the Fairhaven of Life, and this is also by everyone who had been cast therein. And everything down to verse six are results of the holy fires of God as they are applied to people's lives who were not in the first resurrection, those whose names were not found written in the book of Life.
We do not expect everyone to embrace this good news, and some will surely denounce it. However, it matters not if 100 percent of the church leaders band together all over the world, make a covenant with death and hell, and swear that their lies are true, such will not make it so, and they will not stand when it is time for it all to end. Isaiah said something of this:
"Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. 15Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 17Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 18And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. Isaiah 28:14-28:18. The prophet did not use fire as an analogy of their judgment by the hand of God, but it was no different than using hail, hail mingled with fire, waters or fire, the point is made clear. When it is time for man's rebellion to end, it will end!
This fire brings humanity to its ultimate destiny of salvation. It delivers every soul from every particle and fragment that could possibly prevent them from the joy of life! For "...God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death...." You see, death had been cast into the lake of fire and destroyed. The darkness of death and everything associated with it is swallowed up by the light of Life while leaving creation with "... neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain..." and "...the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, behold, I make all things new..." Revelation 21:4-5. Can it be any more clear than this?
It has been said before by others, as well as by myself, but let us hear it again: He did not say, I make all new things. But He did say I will make all things new! God is not going to do away with the old and then create new things to take their place. He will take everyone He has already made and make them a new creature, or new creation, if you please. The new creation is of a new nature, and a new nature comes from being born of God rather than formed of God, as was the old creation. And the harbor of Godfire is an essential part of destroying the horrors of death and bringing this new creation into being.
While John laid out some metaphorical details of the plan of the end of all things pertaining to the first Adam and death, it was Paul who seemed to have had the greatest revelation of the outcome of God's infinite grace. At least, he wrote more about it than the other writers of the New Testament. Other than perhaps his letters to the Thessalonians, the one to Timothy, and another to Philemon, He spoke of it in every letter he wrote. For instance, he outlined man's journey from the beginning to the end in these verses:
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order (differing ranks and not every rank at the same time or age): Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming (even His coming as the Lake of Fire). Then cometh the end (of the end rank and all things of the first Adam), when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power (no more contrary kingdoms and powers inwardly or outwardly). For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is (2)death." 1 Corinthians 15:21-26. (parenthesis supplied for emphasis).
Paul's shortened version of those verses is Romans 11:36, which says, "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:36. Or, as it is in the Greek text, "For out of (Grk. ek) Him, and through (Grk. dia) Him, and into (Grk. eis) Him all things...." A full circle from the beginning to the end any way you slice it. In the first Adam was the beginning of the end of all living, and in the last Adam is the Beginning of the End of all death. That which the first man killed, the second makes alive in the great Harbor of Fire, which could be said that it is the old man's last pit stop. His predestined port! It is his ultimate end!
"And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. Revelation 21:6.
With Jesus being the Alpha and the Omega, everything that was in Him in the beginning, which was (3)all things, will be in Him at the end of all things. He will finish what He was sent to do, that is to be the Savior of the world. And surely we know that whatever He starts, He finishes. Whatever it is that began in Him, which is all, ends in Him, plain and simple. And the all who end in Him will be given to drink freely from the fountain of the water of life, as Revelation 21:6 promises. Moreover, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 21:7-8.
At first glance the two verses may cause some to think that this is saying that all who are cast into the lake fire will be there forever; but this is not speaking of an eternal condition of unsaved sinners. It is a recap of the previous chapter. The voice that John heard from the throne starting in verse 21:3 was reinforcing what he had previously seen in the vision (Revelation 20:11-15).
Those of Revelation 21:7 "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son," sounds very much like the ones of Revelation 20:4 "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them...." and as well as those of verse six, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." You see, all the highlighted topics have to do with the sons of God. Children do not inherit from their Father. Inheritance is for mature (huios) sons alone. No one but God's sons sit on His throne with Him. The power of judgment is given to no one but the sons of God. Only the sons of God have overcome death and are in the first resurrection, and being flames of fire themselves can suffer no loss in the Lake of Fire. And lastly, only the sons of God can be priests who reign with God and His Christ. With the first word of Revelation 21:1 being and, the two chapters are tied together, and the subjects of the previous chapter are still propounded, yet it is the results of the great work of the Fires of God. And after laying it out before us, the voice then reflects back to the Lake of Fire and those who have their places therein before they have a new heaven and new earth.
With the book of Revelation being a book of signs and symbols, it is easily understood that the heaven, the earth, and the sea are not physical places. We cannot touch and see them with our natural hands and eyes. They are realms higher than the natural eye can scan or the human mind can grasp. They are spiritual and not physical. People try to unlock God's spiritual mysteries by the intellect of their brilliant minds. But to seek understanding of spiritual matters apart from the Spirit would be no different than an earthworm trying to understand the kingdom of man. It can't be done! The first kingdom cannot relate to the New Kingdom, and neither can the carnal mind of the first heaven and earth discern or know anything about the New Heaven and Earth.
There is no argument that heavens in the scriptures are synonymous to kingdoms, and we had noted earlier in this series that the kingdom of Israel passed away in 70 A.D. which was an example of what we are saying. That was the the end of their heaven as Jesus foretold. When their old heaven melted with fervent heat, it passed away along with its manifestation in the old earth of their religious works, rituals, public prayers, to name a few.
"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," and "Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away" Matthew 24:21-22, 29, 34-35.
Every word He declared came to pass as He said it would. The powers in Israel's heavens were shaken with cosmic proportions that had never been. Everything was destroyed of that world. Jerusalem and the temple ceased from being the spiritual center of the world, and the New Center took its place; namely, the New Heaven, i.e., the New Jerusalem from above (Gal. 4:6, Heb. 12:22, Rev. 3:12, & 21:2).
Immediately afterwards the sun was darkened -- the light of the law diminished. The moon ceased to give her light -- The office of the priesthood that reflected the law instantly faded away. And the stars of heaven fell -- the luminaries of those heavens, individual priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and Sanhedrins fell from their high positions of authority to be no more. That heaven and earth passed away, taking with them the inhabitants thereof! The heavenly kingdom and dominion of Israel, as well as their powers and glory in the earth, ceased to be. Their glory ended. Every light that the Jewish nation knew was forever extinguished. The Old Covenant came to an end and was replaced by the New. A New Heaven and New Earth replaced the old. Both the heaven of their spiritual authority, and the manifestation of that authority in the earth passed away. The kingdom of Israel melted like mount Sinai in the presence of the Lord! "The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel" Judges 5:5. Their glory vanished, fulfilling the words of Jesus to the letter! That nation will never rise again; for God does not redo ages and kingdoms. He ushers in new ones that are waiting in the wings. And please remember, that generation lived to see the passing of the old and the ushering in of the New.
When we imagine heaven and earth as being natural places we miss major factors of spiritual truths. The simple fact is, heaven and earth are spiritual realms, not literal locations, and they are found within individual believers as well as a many membered body. This especially applies to the body of Christ as well as to the whole of humanity, and when we grasp this basic premise, truth will illumine many areas of darkness and light the way to understanding.
After the Lake of Fire works its refining purpose in every individual, and throughout the adamic body of humanity, the old heaven and earth will surely pass way, giving place to the New. The old heaven, of course, is the realm of everything religiously minded in the natural sense: the power and wit of the human mind, the authority of man's governments, and especially the power and authority of the Law of Moses that is in all Christian religions and every religious person. The carnal heavens of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life that rules over the flesh of man must also be noted as a part of the first heavens that passes away. Among the countless things of those realms of the first heaven that are manifestations in the first earth are: wars; oppressions; taxation; law breakers, their prosecutions and imprisonments; religious works, taxation of church members (tithes), church programs, and their innumerable activities, preaching and teaching doctrines of lies and dead dogma, not to mention all the horrors and evils seen in the world. However, prior to all of this, those very things must be dealt with by fire in every believer, every overcomer, in every son of God, in every soul who will be in the first resurrection. Everything of the first heaven and earth must be made new before there can be any effect on anyone else.
This is the first heaven and first earth that passes away in the face of the Lamb whose passion kindles every son of God with burning brimstone. During the day of the Lake of Fire, "the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10. The habitat and manifestation of every lie and all the dead laws of heaven and earth will give way to the New Heaven and the New Earth. As it was with the old, natural Jerusalem that was destroyed by fire and gave way to New Jerusalem, the mother of us all, so shall the old Jerusalem of present day religion give way to the New Jerusalem, the City of God, that descends from heaven and is manifested in the earth. There will be no holy city seen coming out of that invisible realm as long as the first heaven is ruling over our lives. If there is any fragment of that old adamic heaven and earth remaining, the New will not be seen until the Lake of Fire has burned up and melted it all. It is then that the New Heaven and New Earth will come down, and there will be no more sea!
No More Sea
The sea is typical of a world filled with restless, driven, unsettled people. It is in the sea of humanity that innumerable things are hidden. This sea is of itself as much a hell as any; for it conceals, covers, and hides its deadly things deep within, but they do not remain under the surface for very long. And on a daily basis we see its waves heaving upon the beaches. This sea of people also overflows with raging waves of passions, billowing emotions, surging anger, unrelenting storms of war, unsatiated desires. It is a sea foaming out its turmoil and naked shame of the adamic nature. This sea, like the heaven and the earth, is not only seen as the corporate body of Adam, but it is in each person whose first heaven and earth remain intact. And as long the old remains, including the sea, there will be no expression of heaven's Christ in the earth. For do we not know that whenever flesh is present and is in charge, Christ will not be seen? That is just a simple fact.
However, once the Lake of Fire works its refining purpose, there will be no more sea, there will be nothing within that can prevent the pure expression of Christ in our earth, and eventually with the earth of humanity. The reason there is a new heaven and a new earth is not because there is coming a great fire-storm in the sky and the natural earth, but rather, all the walls and barriers that religion have built up in us, that have separated God from the earth, are to be consumed by fire so that there shall be an expression of God's Spirit out from us to creation.
Religion that has its roots in the first heaven teaches that people have to embrace the enemy of death to gain the fullness of God. Others who teach from the same heaven, say that the saved will fly away to some far away natural heaven in outer space, and this while the world suffers the horrors of the damned. They maintain that abounding billions of hapless souls will be committed to eternal torture in the unquenchable fires of hell. So goes the ravings of the first heaven while the sea foams out such shame.
People have been told lies upon lies and more lies. They have been used, abused, beaten down, threatened, controlled, bled of their money, robbed of their time and peace, brainwashed, and deceived by those ruling from the first heaven and earth. And that carnal, religious dragon in that old, legalistic heaven proudly calls itself the church. Such lying wonders have tossed people of the sea to and fro upon its foaming waves of creeds, deceptions, doctrines, frauds, gimmicks, laws, methods, schemes, and out-right foolishness of those religious systems! The day is coming, however, that they will all find their place in the Lake of Fire, and there will be no more sea! No more sea of human carnality; no more sea that harbors sin, sickness and death; no more sea of churning waters of envy, lusts, hatred, murder, and spite; no more sea of foaming shame; but a sea of glass, crystal clear.
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Revelation 15:2.
Elwin R. Roach
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