Now back to this flesh age: Remember, Jesus is the "Bread of Life". Are you eating "The Word of God" daily? If you are not, expect discipline in your life. Do you recognize discipline when you receive it? Or do you believe you just have bad luck sometimes? Or blame your punishment on whatever you can think may have caused it, at the time, but don't recognize it as God's discipline?[Revelation 20:12] 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.
[Revelation 20:12] 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.
Take note, once you are reborn into your new celestial body, your memory of the first earth age is restored!
You must use your eyes to see and understand what Jesus teaches in John chapter 3, especially in verse 3!
If you do not understand, go to John 3:3 and go over it again until you do! You need to understand this!
Now we are going to read some of the most quoted verses in all the Bible. And you know what? Most people who read them believe they say something which they don't. Ironically, what they believe one of them says is actually a true statement, though that verse doesn't actually speak of it. The second one is in direct conflict with one of the traditional beliefs of mainstream Christianity, but in full accord with the rest of the scriptures.
So before we begin, let's think about the magnitude of what was just said, and in doing so consider an excerpt from one of the great Christian scholars of all time, E.W. Bullinger, from his book titled, "How to Enjoy the Bible", American Christian Press, Knoxville, OH.
"If any think they know all, or that they have exhausted the Divine Word; or that what they set out to learn is only to be in addition to what they already know, instead of sometimes substitution for it, then we shall be of little service to them: and they need not follow us any further.
When we come to ask ourselves, and say, "Where did I learn this?" it is astonishing to find how much we have imbibed from man, and from tradition; and not directly and for ourselves, from the Word of God.
All that we have learned from our youth up must be tested and proved by the Word of God. Where we find it is true we must learn it over again, from God. And where it will not stand the test of His Word we must be not only content, but thankful to give it up; and receive Divine revelation in the place of man's imagination. ("How to Enjoy the Bible", E. W. Bullinger, pg.6)
The word "Pharisees" means a separatist, i.e. exclusively religious.John 3:1
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
And the name "Nicodemus" means "victorious among his people". He was a wealthy ruler in the Sanhedrin and a friend of the shipping magnate, Joseph of Arimathaea, Jesus' Uncle. It would be this Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea who would be Jesus' legal defense team at the illegally held trial of the council preceding the crucifixion, and they would be victorious in obtaining His acquittal.
Nicodemus had no doubts whatsoever that Jesus was a teacher sent from God. You see, the witnessing of divine miracles by a person with common sense is conclusive evidence itself of the presence of God. 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.
For the benefit of those who haven't studied with us long let's do a little recapping:
In order to fully understand the next few verses one must be familiar with the 3 World Ages (II Pet. 3) and the overall plan of salvation. We read at beginning of this Gospel of John about the Light that came into the world of darkness, a world that had been destroyed and made tohu va bohu (Gen 1:2) because of the rebellion of Satan and his drawing away from God one third of His sons (Rev. 12:4). God held judgment for Satan at that time and sentenced him to "perish", but suspended the judgment of the rest of His sons until the plan to "salvage" [save] them and bring them back to Him is completed. The actual perishing of all that are wicked, including Satan, will occur at the lake of fire following the Final Judgment of the rest of the sons of God. And so it is written they will be either sentenced to "perish" or receive eternal life.
There is, however, one exception. There were 7,000 sons of God who came to earth in the days of Noah and took to wife the daughters of Adam. You can read about them in the 6th chapter of Genesis. The union between these "fallen angels", who Jude records as having left their first estate, i.e. their abode in heaven, and the daughters of Adam produced giants, who roamed the earth, the evidence of which can easily be found. So pervasive were these supernatural beings, angels, that all of Adams descendants except Noah and his family had corrupted their bloodline. You see, the Messiah would be born through the seed of Adam and Eve and it came down to only 8 people who were left in the land through which God's Word could be fulfilled. So God brought about the flood of Noah to destroy these giants.
Understand then that these fallen angels were not born of woman.They did not enter into the womb of woman, the bag of water, and become born of water, which is to say born in the flesh.They came directly to earth, bypassing the decree that all the sons of God should dwell in the flesh, for as it is written, it is given unto all the sons of God to die once [the first death, which is of the flesh] and then the judgment will occur which will determine whether or not they will die the "second death", the one in which their souls will "perish".Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
Yes, we were all with God before we came to earth to be placed in the embryo at conception, at our appointed time for the journey. To be born in the flesh is to be born innocent without any prior knowledge of the world that then was (II Pet. 3) and therefore with the opportunity to choose to love God or follow after Satan.
And once we die, or are changed instantly back into our spiritual bodies if we happen to be alive in the flesh at the second advent (I Cor. 50:51), we return to the Father from whence we came.
These are Hebrew expressions which have somewhat lost their "punch" in English, but they mean to die, just like we would say "Kick the Bucket".Eccles. 12:6
Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Cremated, buried, blown apart or vaporized by a nuclear bomb, even if aborted prior to your birth in the flesh, it doesn't matter. When you are through with the flesh body, you are through with it forever. For as Paul documents in I Cor. 15 there are two bodies, one is of flesh and one is of spirit. So when you die in the flesh you are raised, shall we even say born, into your spiritual body. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
He goes on to say that unless you are in your spiritual body, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God.1 Cor. 15:44
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
This same Paul would also make it crystal clear in 1 Thes. 4:13-17 that the dead are not sleeping in graves but rather they are with Jesus NOW! So when He returns they will come with Him. You can read those verses for yourself.1 Cor. 15:50
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Now, remember the excerpt from "How to Enjoy the the Bible" that we just read? Most of Christianity believes that in this next verse Jesus is merely telling Nicodemus that a person must be "begotten" by the Holy Spirit, else he cannot be saved. But is that really what He is saying?
Let's return to John and see what Jesus has to say to Nicodemus.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Look up the Greek word for "again". It is anothen, Strong's #509, and it means from above which is how it is most often translated. Dr. Moffat's translation of the Bible has it so:
You must first come down from heaven and be born of woman, in the sack of water.John 3:3 Jesus replied, Truly, truly I tell you, no one can see God's Realm unless he is born from above. (Moffat)
However, either way you look at it, the next verse shows that Nicodemus is thinking about another birth.
Nicodemus was a smart man and he understood what "born" means, but he couldn't get his mind off the flesh and it is obvious by his reply that he didn't understand about the spiritual body (which Paul so simply explained to us). Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Unless you come down and be born of woman, and then go into, be born, into your spiritual body, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Got it? Bodies/ First of water, of flesh, and then of spirit. The fallen angels did not do this and so as it is written in Rev. 11, they shall perish at Christ's return at the 7th Trump. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
And again, we've already documented that flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom. You must be born of woman first and then be born in the spirit.
As Paul said "There is a natural body (terrestrial), and there is a spiritual body (celestial)." So when you are born in the flesh body you are flesh and when you die and are born into your spiritual body you are spirit. Let's continue with Christ's explanation to Nicodemus:
If you've followed along to this point then this verse is really quite simple, though tradition struggles with it and the next few verses.John 3:6
That (body) which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that (body) which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Do you marvel at the Words of Christ? Here's Dr. Moffat's translation of this verse: Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
There's no need to wonder. The next verse gives us some further detail about those who are born of the spirit: Do not wonder at me telling you, "You must all be born from above."
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Yeah, how can these things be? Good question! Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
American Wisdom Series note: Allow us to try to make this clearer in your mind. When you truly repent of your sins and invite Jesus Christ into your heart; At that moment you receive a new "inner man", spiritual nature that dwells in your heart, although your old "inner man" still dwells in your flesh body. You now have life eternal, but still being alive in the flesh, you are still living in your terrestrial body. You also, still have your old nature living within in your flesh body, and may still sin from time to time. (For that reason you should confess our known sin and ask forgiveness for that sin in Jesus name.)
Now when Christ returns all of us who are still alive and living in terrestrial bodies, both the saved and the unsaved will instantly be changed (reborn) back into our celestial bodies, very similar to the body we had in the first earth age.
If you were saved (welcomed Christ into your life, repented of your sins, were begotten by the Holy Spirit) at some point during your flesh and blood life, (THIS PERIOD OF GRACE) you still needed some work done, by "The Holy Spirit" in your life, to make you perfect and acceptable to God before the Millennium, to be granted eternal life at "The First Resurrection", during Christ's return. If you are not yet acceptable at Christ's return, but you truly did invite Christ into your heart He will surely make the necessary changes. It may just take a little longer!
This is only speculation on my part, but, I believe the reason for Christ's Millennial reign here on earth before He actually ends this earth age and prior to the "Great White Throne of Judgment" is to allow all of the non-believers an opportunity to rethink their position, while in their new non-corruptible bodies but with still mortal souls, having full knowledge of both earth ages and what Satan's ways result in.
If you were one who entered the Millennium, not yet being awarded eternal life, you have now become "a real piece of work". After 1000 years of teaching and discipline, by our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, while back here on earth in person as "Lord of lords and King of kings", and with full memory restored, you will now be able to know and appreciate the difference between what is holy (Jesus) and what is profane (Satan).
Satan will again be released from the pit to, test you, for a short while, at the end of these 1000 years, after which you be will judged by your works and may, also be granted eternal life at (The Second Resurrection), but by works, not by grace, although it will still be because of Christ's shed blood on the cross.But, ALWAYS REMEMBER SATAN WILL COME TO EARTH FOR FIVE MONTHS PRIOR TO THE REAL CHRIST'S RETURN at the start of the Millennium, CLAIMING HE IS CHRIST! When that happens, IF YOU ARE STILL IN YOUR FLESH AND BLOOD BODY, i.e. HAVE NOT BEEN REBORN INTO YOUR NEW SPIRITUAL BODY, (If you still bleed when pricked with a pin or if grandma still looks older than you.) it ain't the real Christ you're seeing! IT'S SATAN CLAIMING TO BE CHRIST!
Let's talk about The Millennium one more time. The true Jesus Christ has returned with great power and glory, bringing with Him His army of saints. (We'll take most of this discussion from Revelation chapter 20, "The Millennium Chapter") Babylon the Great, i.e. the one world political system and the great whore along with Satan's role as the false-christ, i.e. the spurious messiah, has been destroyed forever and ever. And as we learned earlier, ALL flesh has been "changed" and everyone, both the good and the bad are in their spiritual bodies.So it is the first day of the Millennium and John, who you remember in Rev. 1:16 was taken there for an eye witness account, gives us another advanced news report, this time concerning the fate of Satan during the Millennium. Can't you just visualize the headlines?
THE MILLENNIUM PRESSHere's John description of the first thing he saw:
"SATAN IMPRISONED, BEGINS SERVING 1000 YEAR SENTENCE" John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was present today as Michael came down from heaven and appeared on Satan's doorstep with a warrant from the King of kings for his arrest. Satan has been residing in the temple for the last 5 months (ever since Michael cast him from heaven) where he has been impersonating Jesus Christ and claiming he is the Messiah come. He also is being held responsible for orchestrating the murder of God's two witnesses, a despicable crime, which he has been actually celebrating with his cronies for the last 3 1/2 days.It must have been pretty obvious to John when he saw the equipment, with the "BP" label on it, which the angel had with him, that Satan was about to be shackled and locked back up in the Bottomless Pit.Rev. 20:1
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
John continues:It would seem that Michael needed no assistance as he apparently just grabbed the evil crook by the shoulders, threw him mercilessly up against the wall and shackled him with the binding chain. It has also been reported that because of the manhandling of Satan by this very powerful angel that some folks are referring to him as the "Pit Bull". And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years
Also, we were not able to determine from John's report whether he was close enough to hear what the angel said to Satan, but we believe it was something like "OK chump, the party's over! Let's go!" John did not report that the angel read Satan his rights because having already been judged and sentenced to die, he has none.
John then gives this account of the actual incarceration:
 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.So as John reports, for the next 1000 years Satan will be imprisoned and not permitted to have any contact whatsoever, either by person or by spirit, with anyone outside his confines. However, we know from a related article submitted thousands of years ago by reporting agent Isaiah that Satan will be visible throughout the Millennium as a reminder to all of what can happen. Here's part of Isaiah's transcript concerning Satan's casting into the pit:Isaiah 14:13
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.And so it shall be that people will walk by the "pit" during the Millennium, on their way to Discipline Classes, and shake their heads in unbelief to think that this poor slob could have perpetrated worldwide religious deception and political control. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;End of article.
Yes, it's fun to imagine how it might happen, but happen it will! We already knew who the dragon and that old serpent was. We also knew from 2 Pet. 3:8 that 1000 years to the Lord is a one day, so that the Day of the Lord is 1000 years.
But the one thing we didn't discuss is "why will Satan be released at the end of the Millennium"? I'm sure you realize if you've studied this Book of Revelation from the beginning that Satan is coming to this earth disguised as Jesus Christ (and I'll bet you know that he comes before the true Christ). This final generation then will be tested by the false messiah, right? Those who fail, who do not overcome and who don't partake of the first resurrection, will go through the Millennium and be taught of and with discipline for 1000 years, which is how much time they have to get their act together. After they have been taught there will be another test, a final exam if you will, which they must pass before they can receive their diploma of eternal life. That test is Satan's release once again upon the world, but this time without the political beast and the role of spurious messiah. And no, it is not a second chance because they never came to a full knowledge of the truth in this generation because of the "famine" (Amos 8:11), and as such never had a prayer of a first chance.
Live Link to->>> The Famine
Next we will learn what reward comes with being part of the first resurrection.Thrones, you know, are where rulers, the ones who wear crowns, i.e. the ones in authority who exercise judgment, sit. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
And there are two groups in this verse who sit upon them.
(1) The first group are the martyrs down through the ages, those who have been beheaded, i.e. killed or executed for the (a) the witness of Jesus, and (b) for the Word of God. It would include the two witnesses also.
(2) The second group are those of this final generation who had the seal of God in their foreheads and who overcame the beast.Note: In our previous studies we've covered in great detail the beast (Satan), his image (role as Jesus), his mark upon their foreheads(deception), and his mark in their hands (doing his work).
Now, did you read the last phrase in verse 4, "and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years"? What an honor and a privilege! If you ever are in want of some encouragement to continue to fight the good fight, then just refer to Rev. 20:4. For if you are one of God's elect then you will be part of the first resurrection at His coming, and you will reign with Jesus Christ for the entire 1000 years during the Millennium.But if you are not part of the first resurrection then you are part of "the remainder" who are called "the dead" and you must wait until the end of the Millennium. You will then be tested that short season by Satan who will be released temporarily, and then you will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment when the books are opened (vs. 12). Only then can you be part of the Second Resurrection and receive eternal life. Until then you are called "dead" because you are still subject to the second death, which is the destruction of your soul in the lake of fire (vs. 14). But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Here is Christ documenting that there are two deaths, one of the flesh, and one of the soul in the lake of fire:And of course to have your soul "destroyed" is to "perish", which is taught in the most quoted verse in God's Word, John 3:16.Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.John 3:16
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.So you'll either receive eternal life at the first or second
resurrection, or you'll suffer the second death, i.e. perish in the lake of fire and YOU WILL BE NO MORE!
Let's now go back to Rev. 20:5. Understand that we are now in the Millennium! There are no more flesh people! Everyone has been changed. And John is telling us what's going on! The first death (of the flesh) and the first resurrection (to eternal life) is over! So the "dead" (who are still alive in their spiritual bodies) in the Millennium means those who are "spiritually dead", i.e. still liable to die the second death (the death of their soul). To "live" then is to receive "eternal life". So the "dead" cannot "live" until the thousand years are finished, i.e. none of them can receive the gift of eternal life until judgment day following the Millennium, which is the second resurrection! If you don't quite understand yet, wait until we finish this and it should become clear in your mind regarding the "dead".
Rev. 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6. 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.To be part of that first resurrection is a truly an Unfathomable Blessing! If you have SEEN the PICTURES of heaven and of the glory of our Father and His throne described so far, and if you will follow with us to the end of this great Book of Revelation and SEE the beauty of the NEW JERUSALEM coming down out of heaven, then you still cannot fathom the blessing of being part of the first resurrection. Our feeble brains just cannot imagine how wonderful it is!Now read again chapter 20 verse 6. Since eternal life is granted to those who are part of the First Resurrection, then the second death, the lake of fire, does not apply to them! Their souls cannot be destroyed because they have already received the gift of eternal life. And they shall be PRIESTS and REIGN with Christ throughout the MillenniumNext we will document from the Old Testament and see in greater detail the reign of these Priests of God and of Christ. But for now, just stop everything and take a deep breath and consider the following:If you have eyes to see and ears to hear then you have been and will be reading about YOU, a participant in the first resurrection!
And if you can only even briefly comprehend the enormous reality of all this, that it WILL HAPPEN TO YOU as it is written, then your faith will be greatly increased, your fears and anxieties will be greatly decreased, and you will be overcome with love and thankfulness for our Father who loves His children so much.Now we continue in what is often called the Millennium Chapter, because the events that are being described are happening during and after the 1000 year reign of Christ and His saints which commences with the sound of the 7th Trump.We learned in Rev. 20:6 that those who are part of the first resurrection will be Priests of God and shall reign with Christ during the 1000 years. But once again, as we have seen throughout Revelation, this is not new knowledge if you are familiar with all of God's Word.
You see, the last 8 chapters of the Book of Ezekiel contain more information about the Millennium than does the Book of Revelation. And so we can read even more detail about the 1000 year reign of God's elect, who are called the "zadok" in Hebrew, which means the "just" or "justified ones" (Rom. 8).
Here's Ezekiel's account in chapter 44 concerning the Priests during the Millennium:Live Links belowto- Ezekiel Chapters 40-44 Within The Millennial Temple
and Ezekiel Chapters 45-48 Without The Millennial TempleEzekiel 44:23
And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.Those being taught by priests and ministers obviously couldn't discern between the false messiah and the true Messiah, the profane and the holy, before the 7th Trump sounded, could they? And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.AMAZING! We just read of this:Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.But here's some detail that we didn't learn of in Revelation. And it answers a very common question often asked: "Will we recognize our loved ones during the Millenium?" The answer is yes, of course. (After all, we were created after the image of God and the angels, the host of heaven, the sons of God, i.e. ourselves. So we will all look like "ourselves" after which we were created in the image of.) And they shall come at no dead person to defile themselves: but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves.Again, how many times must we realize that these "dead" people are alive and going to discernment classes during the Millennium?They are "spiritually dead".Even your loved ones if you are unfortunate enough to have some who don't make the "first cut" at the 7th Trump, are called "dead", again, because they have still mortal souls and are still liable to die the second death. Even pro-claiming Christians who never really believed, or truly repented or invited Christ to come live in their heart.
You probably call some of them "dead beats" now, though hopefully not to their faces. Well...? Be nice.Let's continue with chapter 20 of the Book of the Unveiling, the book that let's us SEE behind the VEIL!
We are now going to be taken behind that veil to the End of the Millennium, and we must "transport" our minds to that time with the understanding of those things which have been revealed to us thus so far. Remember, everyone is now in an incorruptible, spiritual body. Christ and His zadok have been reigning for the 1000 years during which time Satan has been imprisoned. Everyone now fully understands God's Word and they have been taught the "difference" and how to "discern" between the unclean (Satan's ways) and the clean (God's way). They have all seen many times the video replays of this flesh age and the results of following the unclean path.So you would think that most everyone would SEE and desire in their hearts to follow God and love Him and live the clean way of life that produces happiness and joy. That is our Father's desire, but there is some sad news in the next two verses.Rev. 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,It is soon time for the Great White Throne judgment of God. Christ now lets Satan loose to test those who followed after him before, in the flesh age. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.And so Satan shall once again run "to and fro" and "up and down" in the earth gathering together all who will still follow him, although as you will recall he will not be afforded the one world political system or his former role as the false-christ. This beast and false prophet were destroyed for ever and ever (Rev. 19:20).But as incredible as it may seem, and as sad as it is, the reality is that there will still be a lot of people who will still follow Satan, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. So this verse documents the justification and the reason for the release of Satan and the "testing". All one can say is that the heart of the wicked and the Kenite is a very hard thing to change.The statements "in the four corners" and "Gog and Magog" simply mean all those nations outside the Holy City. Remember we are at the end of the Millennium and this Gog and Magog is not to be confused with the pre-millennial Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38 and 39. Here it means in both directions, East and West, from Jerusalem into all the earth, i.e. into all four corners. (For further documentation see notes in the Companion Bible on Rev. 20:8 and Ezek. 38:2) And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.When Satan has gathered all who will join him and they have compassed Jerusalem then it's lake of fire time for them. No need to even open up the book of works on these folks for they have totally and completely failed the final exam.
They will not graduate into eternity. Bye! And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.Here we come to the favorite verse of Dante, who gave us graphic descriptions, complete with illustrations, of an everlasting Burning Inferno, known as Dante's Inferno, where poor souls who didn't repent weep and wail and writhe in pain and agony and torment forever and ever while the saints sitting on the clouds with their harps look upon them and sing the refrain "Burn, suckers, burn, we told you so, we told you so"!Some concept of heaven, eh?Well it ain't so!First of all, it is documented time after time after time in the Bible that the fate of the wicked is to PERISH, to die the second death, which is the DESTRUCTION OF THE SOUL! We've already quoted John 3:16 as well as Christ's own words in Mat. 10.
But let's read again His words:Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.And how about Satan's soul? Did we just read that Satan will be tormented for ever and ever? No we did not, because we read an idiom of another language translated into our English which completely lost the meaning. It would be like translating the English expression "She got cold feet", meaning "She lost her nerve" to do something, into French. But in the French language there is no such expression and so the best the readers of the expression can determine is that the actual temperature of her feet much approach that of ice!The root of the word "torment" in verse 10 is the Greek word basanos from where we get our word "basis", and it means (through the notion of going to the bottom). But the whole expression together simply means that Satan will be consumed, debased, gone, day and night (for all eternity), forever and ever (to be no more).For further documentation, let's look at a second witness, another account of Satan's ultimate fate, found in the 28th chapter of Ezekiel.
Here's how he DIES! He perishes by fire!Ezekiel 28:18 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.Always remember from the last verse in Hebrews chapter 12 that our Father is a consuming fire. He will destroy Satan and turn him into ashes forever and ever.Does that mean he'll burn for ever and ever? Of course not. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.Satan will BE NO MORE! You just read it! His very name in Greek is "Apollyon" which means PERISH. That is why he is called the "Son of Perdition", i.e. the son who will perish!The same fate that awaits all of us who don't have part in the first nor the second resurrections.Do you realize that Satan has succeeded in taking a few mistranslated verses and created an almost universally accepted Christian doctrine so heinous that it even defies the nature of human love. We have laws in human society against torturing both animals and people. Even a parent of a child who became a despicable evil murderer could not imagine nor accept and would certainly never decree that the child be heinously singed with fire, poked with hot coals, and roasted in an oven. What parent, brother or sister could look upon one of their own being treated as such? They could perhaps accept the humane execution of the child, to put him or her out their torment for ever and ever, for the protection and good of society. And guess what? God says in Jer. 32:35 that He never ever thought of torturing children in fire! Such is the doctrine of Molech! NEVER EVER! And yet today it is a doctrine in most Christian churches.But it is a tradition of men like Dante
and not of God's Word!And as it is written, Death is exactly the punishment God decrees for the murderer in the flesh body, and as it is written, Death is also exactly the punishment God decrees for the wicked in the spirit body.
And just as we don't have to put up with the evil (flesh) person anymore on earth when they are executed (the first death), so we will not have to put up with the wicked anymore for all eternity when they are executed (the second death).Rev. 20:11 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.This is the last day of this earth age (this earth age which ends after the Millennium), (NOT to be confused with the FLESH and BLOOD AGE - which ENDED AT CHRIST'S RETURN). Now the full God head comes to earth. You can read of it in detail in Revelation chapter 21. And this verse should remind us of that which we read in Rev. 6:14 "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." It is the end of this present heaven and earth age, the 2nd heaven and earth age, and the beginning of the 3rd which is for all eternity. 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.Do dead people stand? This is not talking about resurrection, this is the coming before the Judge! Stand up and approach the bench please!
Remember where we are? We are at the end of the Millennium. There are no people in flesh bodies nor are there any souls in the ground. The "dead" referred to here are the spiritually dead who are about to be judged from the books and receive their rewards according to their actions! Even though many of them claimed to be Christians; Their last actions recorded in the books just before the Millennium were to worship the beast and his image! God will pick it up from there.
And so it is more than obvious that these books that are opened are the Books of Works. You see, Almighty God keeps perfect records of all His children's activities? Thank God for this dispensation of grace and for repentance (provided our repentance was sincere) whereby we can have our "activities", our sins, deleted from the books. Also, remember that those of the first resurrection are not subject to the judgment of the second resurrection and/or the second death.
We read that in verse 6.Notice too that the Book of Life was also opened. This book already has the names of God's elect in this generation written in it. In fact, their names were written in that Book of Life a long time ago, before the foundation of this world. Remember we read of it in Rev. 13:8? All those of this generation whose names are not written in it will worship Satan as Jesus.Rev. 13:8
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.Let's return to the judgment.Rev. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.This verse simply says what the last phrase makes obvious. That every single person on earth who is spiritually dead, i.e. has a mortal soul and is still subject to the judgment, will be brought forth and judged according to their works. There will be no "plea bargaining" and no "defense attorneys" will be permitted in the courtroom except when it is their turn to stand before the Judge to defend themselves! (That ought to be really something when they try to parse and redefine the Word). NEXT! And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.That's right. It's all over, all death and dying, and all the evil rudiments and wicked people will be consumed by the consuming fire, and they will be gone forever and ever. As Paul would say:1 Cor. 15:55
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?The only victory comes from having your name written in the Book of Life!Rev. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.They will be no more!
As for the rest of God's children whose names were written in the Book of Life? They lived happily ever after!The Millennium is over. The final period, the final time of salvation has come to an end. The great white throne judgment has been concluded and the books have been closed. Our Father has destroyed all evil rudiments and souls in the lake of fire and we shall begin the wonderful, peaceful eternity.And so the question is often asked "Can anything or anyone rebel again as did Satan in the 1st earth age? In other words, how do we know there won't be another Satan?" The answer is contained in understanding the plan of God itself. No, it can never happen again. Why? Because all freewill souls will have now exercised their freewill, i.e. made their decisions as to who they will follow, and will have been thoroughly tested to the point of irreversibility. The wicked will have proven they won't repent and the saints will have proven to always be faithful. Have you not read of the testing of all the saints from Noah to Abraham to Christ Himself to You (well maybe you keep a diary)? So you now know why James says in chapter 1 verse 2 of his book, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations."
Uh oh, Nicodemus was a teacher of Israel and he didn't know about these things?
You know what? We can say the same of many Christian ministers today, they do not know these things? I'm not bashing them. Many of them mean well, but the traditions of men have overridden the Word of God and have made it of non effect.
Now before Jesus puts the finishing touch on this precious knowledge He's giving to Nicodemus, and so to you and me, here's one more excerpt from "How to Enjoy the Bible":
"The cloud that now rests over its [God Word] intelligent study arises from the fact that it is with us to-day as with the Jews of old - "The Word of God has been made of none effect by the traditions of men" (Mat. 15:1-9).Come out of the desert and drink some of the new wine of truth.
Hence it is that on some of the most important questions... we are, still, in what the great Lord Bacon calls "a desert". He alludes to those "deserts" in history, where discovery or research comes to a stand-still, and we get school men instead of philosophers; and clerics instead of discoverers.
The Reformation came as an oasis after one of these deserts. Men were sent from the stagnant pools of tradition to the fountain-head of truth. But within two or three generations the Church entered the desert again; Creeds, Confessions, and Catechisms took the place of the open Bible; the inductive method of study was abandoned, and to day it is scarcely understood." ("How to Enjoy the Bible", E.W. Bullinger, pg. xv.)
 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
If you can't believe the literal things, how can you believe that which is spiritual? If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Now get this next verse.
So no man [son of God] has ascended [or entered into] heaven [the kingdom] except he that came down from heaven [and was born of water]. Even Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of the Living God came down from heaven and was born of water!! IT'S THE GOOD NEWS!John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
you use your eyes to see and understand what Jesus just taught?
If not go back to John 3:3 and go over it again!
You need to understand this!
Next, Jesus will tell us "WHY" He came down, even as required of all the sons of God, to dwell in the flesh, to tabernacle among men.
It's the most precious and important thing you'll ever read!
So far in John Chapter three we learned that just as all the children of God must come down and dwell in the flesh, so did the Son of man, the Word of God, who was from the beginning with God, for He was God (Jn. 1:1).
And there was a very special reason why the Son of God went through that process of being born in the flesh. We read about in the opening chapter of this Gospel. It was to be the Lamb of God, the sacrificial Lamb Who would pay the price and atone for the sins of the world.
And just how difficult do you suppose it is to accept that sacrifice and be "saved" from death and receive eternal life?
Well, Jesus is about to give to us an example, a type set forth, of the Simple Salvation Message which will then be expressed in one famous verse in John 3:16. He draws the analogy to the serpent in the wilderness.
You should go back to Numbers and read the whole account of what happened. (We are expected by our Lord to know these scriptures.) The Children of Israel were murmuring and complaining and speaking against God, Who had provided for their safety and nourishment with numerous miracles in the wilderness. So much for the thought that seeing a miracle will give you the faith to keep you on track for the rest of your life. These folks saw multiple miracles!John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
So God sent a bunch of fiery serpents to the ungrateful Children of Israel to bite them! Ouch!
Assuming that you know a little bit about the Bible you should be able to draw the analogy to that old serpent, the devil, Satan. If you get bitten by him you will surely die!Numbers 21:6
And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
So here we see in the wilderness [the world], that unless something is done to "save" the people, they will surely die. And there's no doubt about it, they were dying!
The sinners make their plea for salvation from the fiery serpents. (Isn't it wonderful that today we have the Gospel Armor (Eph. 6) to protect us from the fiery darts of the serpent?)Numbers 21:7
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
ALL THEY HAD TO DO was to look to the serpent on the pole and LIVE! And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
Note: Don't try to make any more out of this than the lesson Christ is teaching here in John. God could have put a frog or a door knob on the pole as the savior of the people. But the point is HE HIMSELF would become the One on the pole [cross] Who would ultimately be the SAVIOR. And all we have to do is look upon Him and believe!!
Let's continue in John now that we have filled in some of the details between John 3:14 and 3:15.
Seems simple enough, doesn't it?John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
And now for the most quoted verse in all the Bible which will explain WHY Jesus Chirst became the sacrificial Lamb.
It is Because God Loves His Children so much! 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.
Yes, He loves you and me and all His precious children and desires so much in His heart that they would all turn to Him and love Him. And He showed forth His love by allowing His only begotten Son to be placed on the cross [by guess who?... the serpent], and as it was in the wilderness, all we have to do is BELIEVE in HIM and receive ETERNAL life.
It doesn't get any better than that! There is no greater love!
So the question is, "What must a person do to receive eternal life?" John 3:16 says it all.
Now for a couple of notes on this verse:
1.) The word "everlasting" in John 3:16 is the same word as "eternal" in the prior verse (15) and should be rendered as such, i.e. "eternal life" not "everlasting life". There is a difference in the Greek between "eternal" and "everlasting". "Eternal" means "from the beginning", even continuous for ever and ever from the creation of your very soul in the first earth age.
2.) If you recall earlier we mentioned that one of the well known and often quoted verses we would be covering is misunderstood and conflicts with a main "tradition of men", which is an un scriptural doctrine of Christianity, of which there are many! And that verse happens to be John 3:16.
You see, the opposite of Eternal Life is Eternal Death. And the word "perish" in John 3:16 means just that, to cease existing, which is for ever and ever. Traditionalists teach that our Father is going to torture His unrepentant children in an everlasting burning hell fire, when He Himself said that hideous thought NEVER even crossed His mind.
It's amazing how that we have laws that protect even dumb animals from being tortured and yet we will allow someone who claims to be a representative of Christ and teach the love of God, tell us that our Father is going to torture His children for ever and ever. Don't allow it! Stick to and believe the Word of God.
Even the very fate of Satan, whose name by the way is also the "son of perdition", which means the "son who will perish", is well documented in Ezekiel 28. Read the entire chapter of how iniquity was found in this once beautiful son of God and how he will ultimately be "destroyed" and cease to exist. We pick it up in verse 18, speaking about Satan:
God is a consuming fire as Hebrews 12:29 shows: "For our God is a consuming fire."Ezekiel 28:18
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.
Note:That is what eternal death is. "never shalt thou be any more." Yes, you perish! All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
When Satan, whose name is also death [because he's as good as dead having been sentenced by God already] is cast into the lake of fire, he will cease to exist, perish, along with everyone else who is cast in with him. That is why the lake of fire is called the second death. It kills, destroys, the soul!
Can your soul be killed, i.e. DESTROYED? Yes it can. Here are the very words of Jesus Christ:Rev. 20:14
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
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.
The first death is the death of your flesh. (Which Psalms 23 calls "the shadow of death") The second death is the killing of, the destruction of, the perishing of your soul. Only God can do that, because He is a consuming fire.Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
So the question is, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" Do you know Him? John has already gone to great lengths to document that He is the Word of God.
Then I've got great news! You will be raised to immortal status at Christ's second coming and therefore the second death doesn't even apply to you!
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.
"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).
So you see, it was because of the love our Father has for His children that Christ was sent from above to dwell in the flesh, to pay the price once and for all for the sins of the world.
Now we are going to be given a little more detail and learn the status of those who choose not to believe in Jesus Christ, but rather prefer darkness.
The word "condemn" is often translated "judge". Remember, Jesus came to pay the price as the Lamb of God, not to hold judgment which has been postponed until after the Millennium. Again, the reason Jesus was sent so that the world, through Him and through Him only, might be saved. There is no other way, as the next verse declares.John 3:17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
We just read that if you believe in Him then you will be in the "first resurrection", the first raising to eternal life, and therefore the "second death" does not apply to you. In other words you will not be judged at the great white throne judgment.You are exempt, having already received eternal life. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And since the only way to receive eternal life, and therefore not ultimately PERISH, is to believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, and since we have all broken the laws of God which condemn us as sinners, then "he that believeth not" is in Big Trouble, for he is as good as dead already.
Yet it is so simple to receive eternal life. Just as the serpents bit the children of Israel in the wilderness, and the deadly venom was injected into their bodies ready to kill them, all they had to do was look to the serpent on the pole and live. And now that Jesus has paid the price, all we need to do is look to the son of God and believe in Him and receive Eternal Life!
But if you choose not to believe in Jesus Christ, you are a dead man (or woman).
Christ is the Light and Satan is the darkness, and even though it is hard to imagine, the next verse speaks for itself. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Now here is a verse that could easily refer to the current political climate. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
People always try to hide their evil deeds and keep the truth, the light, from exposing them. Even the thief comes in darkness, which can easily be the ignorance of those victims who are being robbed even in the broad daylight (I speak of the hidden dynasty of the economy). Too bad they won't come to the Light, which is Jesus Christ, which is the Word of God and be reproved. If they just believed in Him they could receive eternal life. Then they could be doers of the Word!
And let it shine, baby!John 3:21
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
We hear a great deal today about one's "self esteem" and "self image". Well, each and every Christian is to be a reflection of the Light, and shine forth. Of course it goes without saying that we all sin and fall short of that Glory. But when we do, it is not our "self image" that needs to be improved.Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
You see, if we've never been to the Light, or if we move away from the Light, it won't matter how much we polish our self image and try to boost our self esteem. We will still be dimly lit. But when we come to the light or move back into the Light, that Light is so brilliant that you won't be able to even see those smudges and blemishes on your self image. So it's not one's "image of self" that improves their quality of life and brings peace of mind. It's their image of God.
It was the disciples who were doing the baptizing. And of course old John the Baptist, he's still out there baptizing folks in Aenon, near to Salim, because there were a lot of natural springs and water pools there. John's motto was "Have Water, Will Baptize". After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there He tarried with them, and baptized.
Of course John hadn't been cast in prison yet for being politically incorrect. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
You see, those who are in power who do immoral things, don't like the light of truth to shine on them. They certainly don't like the "right" imposing their moral values upon them. Here's how old John got himself tossed into the slammer: For John was not yet cast into prison.
Attacking the accuser did not originate in the 21st century. Here we see that the Commander in Chief, Herod himself, laid hold of John and bound him in prison. Why? Here's what the man of God had the guts to say:Mark 6:17
For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.
Of course Herod was above the law and would ultimately have John beheaded for bringing forth the truth. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.
Meanwhile, while John still had his head on, he was out there baptizing.
Note: If you have a Companion Bible you will notice that the Greek word "Iou" is used here and is singular meaning "a Jew", not "Jews" plural. Iou was also used as an abbreviation for Jesus. But either way there was a controversy which arose, an attempt by Satan to cause division, perhaps create a new denomination or two. Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
Here's their "dig" into John:
"Hey John", they goaded, "Jesus and His disciples got a bigger ministry going than you do you know?" And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him.
John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
"Of course, if you guys will recall, you've heard me say this before! Remember I specifically told you that I was not the Messiah, but that He would come after me! Perhaps you did not understand what I was saying, so here's a little analogy for you:" Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
John, like the best man and friend of the Bridegroom, helped make the preparations for the Bridegroom's entrance. He was that voice in the wilderness crying "Make ye ready". He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
You see, it is the bridegroom that weds the bride, not the best man who goes forth and helps make the preparations. And once the bridegroom comes the best man stands by His side and rejoices greatly as the Bridegroom makes a New Covenant with His bride.
So at this point John the Baptist has basically fulfilled his commission, his ministry, as one the who cried in the wilderness saying, "Get ready, here He comes"! He must increase, but I must decrease.
The Greek word for "above" in "He that cometh [down] from above" is anothen, exactly the same word translated "again" used in verse 7, "ye must be born again", meaning "from above". To be "born again" means to be born from above as in "cometh [down] from above". He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
Now, what John the Baptist is saying is that Christ, Who came from above [heaven,] is above all that is earthly in that He speaks the words directly from heaven, directly from God (verse 34 coming up), for He is God.
Not only has no man seen or heard the revelations that Christ has seen and heard and testifies to, but even though His testimony is directly from God, the world will not receive it. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
But he that does receive His testimony "sets to his seal" that God is true, and that God is true to His Word. Now isn't it interesting that in this generation of the fig tree you must have the "seal of God" in your forehead, else you have the seal [mark] of Satan [the beast] in your forehead. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
So which will it be, the Light or the Darkness, the Truth or Deception, the Word of God or the words of man [traditions of men], the True Jesus or the Instead of Jesus [Satan as the spurious messiah]? Are you familiar with the 7 seals given in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and the book of Revelation?
This verse should read "For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God, for the Spirit gives not (the Words of God) by measure unto Him.John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
And the Father has given Him everything!
Everything! The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
That is why He is the ONLY WAY and there is no other. This same John, who wrote this Gospel of John also wrote the three epistles of John, and he documents several times that if you don't have the Son you don't have the Father either!
That's right! If you don't have the Son you don't have the Father either! And John will say the same thing again when we get to chapter 5.1 John 2:23
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
Is their another path to Eternal Life other than through Jesus Christ? There is not!John 5:23
That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
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