Search This Blog

Monday, October 29, 2018

Deconstructing Don Perkins' Introduction to "Hell" - Part 2

We continue our series on Don Perkins and his message on "Hell"

"The word 'hell' carries the connotation of 'doom,' 'hopelessness,' and "futility.' Its meaning is clear. It represents the place of future retribution, the abode of the wicked, a place of punishment. Hell is a real place. Hell is a place you don't want to go."
-Don Perkins

Trying to list all the uses of "hell" (Sheol) in the Old Testament would take too much space. But let's look at a couple of uses and see if Perkins' description fits (note: some translations play with "hell" and "Sheol" when Sheol is used). "Sheol" is used in these verses.

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
-Psalm 16:10


I said, “In the prime of my life must I go through the gates of death
and be robbed of the rest of my years?”
-Isaiah 38:10

 Both these verses are used in the New Testament. The Isaiah 38:10 use is quoted by the Lord and translated "gates of hell" in the KJV. But in the Greek it is truly "Gate of Hades," that is "the gates of the abode of the dead."

The verse in Psalm 16 is quoted by both Peter and Paul in the Acts, referring to the resurrection of the Lord. But David used it in reference to himself.

Before we apply Perkins' description, let's look at "hell" as applied to believers (which we referenced in our last study). As noted, Paul uses "hell" but once in his epistles. Let's look at Paul's use (quoting the Prophets and applying it to believers) and  The Lord's use in Luke 16.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death [Hades], where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? -1 Cor 15:54-55
 
I will ransom them from the power of the grave [Sheol]; I will redeem them from death [mâveth]: O death [mâveth], I will be thy plagues; O grave [Sheol], I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. -Hosea 13:14

Paul applies this future promise to believers. This is a picture of resurrection. I note both verses because one is from before the cross and the other after. Both speak of a future resurrection and both speak of believers and blessed of God in "Sheol." We must note that, in the Greek, there are some manuscripts which read "thanatos" and some "Hades." "Thanatos" is used some 119 times. We see it referring to "the Lord's death" and "the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" in 1 Corinthians.

If some want to grasp onto thanatos, then they have Sheol meaning simply "death" and Paul never referring to "Hades" in his epistles (we noted he quotes Ps 16:10 in the Acts, which refers to the Lord).

In any case, let's look again at Perkins' connotations:
"The word 'hell' carries the connotation of 'doom,' 'hopelessness,' and "futility.' Its meaning is clear. It represents the place of future retribution, the abode of the wicked, a place of punishment. Hell is a real place. Hell is a place you don't want to go."
-Don Perkins
Well, no one wants to die, but do we see anything like this in our examples? Whether we like it or not, if we die, we're going there. But it is not a "place of punishment" for believers. In regard to unbelievers, since "the payment for sin is death [thanatos]" that is the sum of their punishment. Is it "eternal punishment?" Sure. It is a sentence which is never undone.

In the case of believers, we will see "death," but we will be rescued (saved) from death in the resurrection. It is at that time that "death is swallowed up in victory." The lost and the redeemed both still go to Hades. It is merely the state of the dead. Believers are said the be "asleep" in death, for we will one day awaken into new, resurrection life!
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. -1 Thess 4:13-14
Believers die, yet they do not die, for our lives are hid in God (Col 3:3).

A living Christian is "dead in Christ" having died to self, yet we live. The deceased Christian is dead, yet he has not died.

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. -Col 3:2-3
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” -John 11:25-26

Though the believer DIE, he shall LIVE; yet he shall NEVER DIE. Dead while we live, alive though we're dead. The great uniter will be the resurrection of 1 Cor 15!

Today, "the dead know nothing" (Eccl 9:5) and "the dead do not praise" (Ps 115:17). We await the day when those asleep in Christ shall rise!

 The defense using Luke 16 (Lazarus and the Rich Man) merely complicates things. It tries to create a "good, restful. blissful" side of "hell." This is a convenient way of ignoring one definition of hell and temporarily using another. Applying Perkins' descriptions, we must reconsider the common traditions.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Evil Fruit of Replacement Theology Explodes in Pittsburgh

In light of recent events, let me say this...

Replacement theology, held by the majority of Christendom and taught in most seminaries, has been a Satanic lie which has led to centuries of cruelty. Israel has a hope and a future.

The Jews are the Lord's "brethren" (according to the flesh).
  • When the Lord walked the earth, he restricted the gospel of the Kingdom to Israel alone (Matt 10)
  • He came to minister to Israel and to affirm the promises made to them alone (Rom 15)
  • He was sent to Israel alone (Matt 15). He declared salvation is of the Jews (John 4)
  • His disciples went "to Jews only" (Acts 11; Gal 2)
  • In the Acts Age, the Jew was first (Rom 1)
  • In any town with Jews, Paul went to them first ("as was his practice" Acts 17)
  • Paul was in chains "for the hope of Israel" (Acts 28).

Gentiles were without a covenant, without a hope, and without God in the world (Eph). In the Acts Age, Gentiles were "grafted in" to the root (Rom 11) and they could be "cut off" from that root if they acted haughtily toward Israel (Rom 11).

Israel has a future. Israel shall have its New Covenant. It is theirs alone (Jer 31; Heb 8). Christians have robbed them of it. Even the historic stalwarts of dispensationalism have largely abandoned this truth and have grasped the New Covenant for themselves. You may have never considered the implications of this teaching (for it is ubiquitous), but I encourage you to reconsider for whom the New Covenant is promised and "rightly divide the word of truth."

"The first covenant was made with Israel; the second must be so likewise, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah... Although there is no difficulty here, it is important to have light with regard to these two covenants, because some have very vague ideas on this point, and many souls, putting themselves under covenants, that is, in relationship with God under conditions in which He has not placed them-lose their simplicity, and do not hold fast grace and the fullness of the work of Christ, and the position He has acquired for them in heaven."
-J.N. Darby (Commentary on Hebrews 8) 
“To take from Israel what is hers is only to diminish her and not enrich ourselves; nay, what has been called in this way the spiritualizing of the promises has led most surely and emphatically to the carnalizing, and the legalizing, of the Church.”
-F.W. Grant 
"All traditional Dispensationalists believe and teach that Israel alone will be under the New Covenant of Jeremiah and Ezekiel in the future Messianic Kingdom. Yet they all, almost without exception, forsake this exclusiveness of the rightly divided Word by maintaining that the Church shares in the 'spiritual' blessings of Israel’s New Covenant!
-Miles J. Stanford (Pauline Dispensationalism)

The Catholic Church spent centuries demeaning and oppressing the Jews as part of its official doctrine and dogma. The Reformed Churches have spread that evil through their ranks. The dispensational churches have abandoned rightly dividing the word of truth and have stolen the New Covenant from Israel. But God's word is everlasting. 

Israel will have its promised kingdom. The kingdom shall be restored to Israel (Acts 1). They shall have their temple, their priesthood, and their king. Gentiles will beg them to take them to God (Zech 8:23).

He will be their God once again, and they shall be His people.

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
-Hebrews 8:10
"Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you."
-Revelation 3:9
"Their [Israel's] sins and their iniquities will I remember no more"
-Heb 8:12

If your church teaches the church replaced Israel or is Israel, get out. If your dispensational church has embraced the New Covenant, call them back to the truth.

REJECT ANTISEMITISM.
REJECT REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Deconstructing Don Perkins' Introduction to "Hell" - Part 1

HisChannel  [click for link] (which I like) recently ran Don Perkins' series on "hell." 

The first thing he says is misleading, "Hell isn't real. Have you heard that?" Well, as we've covered on this blog several times, we very much believe "hell" is real, it's just not the fiery torture chamber of human tradition. He sets up a straw man to knock down.

Don starts us off with Psalm 9:17
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all nations that forget God. (NKJV)
No surprises here. God told Adam if he sinned he'd be punished. But what is that punishment and what is God telling us in Psalm 9?
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
-Gen 2:16
Any threat there of fiery torture? No. Was God being dishonest? No. Can we get "spiritual death" out of that passage? Well, not directly. God is very specific. Sin = Physical Death.
For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.
-Gen 3:19b
Let's look back at Psalm 9:17 in a literal translation.
The wicked do turn back to Sheol, All nations forgetting God.
-Young's Literal Translation
What does scripture tell us about activity in "Sheol?" Nothing.
All that thy hand findeth to do, with thy power do, for there is no work, and device, and knowledge, and wisdom in Sheol whither thou art going.-Eccl 9:10 (YLT)
Ironically, Dr. Perkins continues his introduction by referencing God's demand for a just balance (Prov 11:1). We, of course agree with this. But what is the gift of God? "Eternal Life" (Rom 6:23). So the "balance" would be "Eternal death." And death is the cessation of being.

He goes on to break down "hell" into 5 "compartments," which we will address in future posts.

  1. Abraham's Bosom
  2. Hades or Sheol
  3. Tartarus
  4. The Bottomless Pit (The Abyss)
  5. The Lake of Fire (Gehenna)

We've looked at most of these in previous blog entries. You can either search them or wait until I link them in our next study (no need to retread).

He goes on to quote Albert Mohler who refers to the traditional doctrine of hell as "a doctrine... centrally enshrined in a system of theology..." Well, that's the problem. The true doctrine of hell, should be centrally enshrined, not the popular doctrine of God torturing people with fire for eternity. That doctrine of man's tradition is a blasphemy against the God of the Bible.

Looking back at where we started, with God warning Adam (the head of the human race) that "Sin = Physical Death," what is the immediate response of the Evil One? "You shall not surely die." This a lie that permeates the doctrine of eternal, fiery torture. The wages of sin is DEATH. And the death of a sinner is, indeed, "eternal." That is, the judgement, when meted out, is irrevocable. Death cannot mean "alive forevermore." God alone is immortal. Only in resurrection life can men become immortal.

You shall surely die versus You shall NOT surely die.

This foundational, creation truth is central to understanding scriptures concerning death.




Monday, October 15, 2018

2 Thess Clarifies 1 Thess (More on the Rapture Doctrine)

Some additional thoughts to our studies on the traditional "Rapture."

After Paul sent his first epistle to the Thessalonians, he quickly sent a second to correct false teachers and those misrepresenting his teaching. So, when the passage in 1 Thessalonians 4 is used to teach the "Rapture," we need to check 2 Thessalonians to see where Paul is pointing those believers.

Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and concerning our gathering together unto Him, we ask you  not to let your mind be quickly shaken or be troubled, neither in spirit nor by word, nor by letter coming as though from us, as if the day of Christ is already here.  Do not let anyone deceive you in any way. For that Day will not come unless a falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself as God. 

When we are looking at the Acts Age epistles, we must see them in light of all that "Moses and the prophets said would happen" (Acts 22:26; 28:23). 1 And 2 Thessalonians point us back to Daniel (and its corresponding Book, The Revelation).

He shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods. -Daniel 11:36
[Antichrist] shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
-Daniel 7:25
And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it... -Rev 13:5-8a

We also make a connection with the great millennium chapter in Isaiah (plus Romans, another Acts Age epistle, for context):

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.-2 Thess 2:8
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit...
and he shall strike the [oppressor] with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

-Isaiah 11:1,4
And again Isaiah says,The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” -Romans 15:12-13

These all point to the Lord coming to establish his righteous kingdom on earth. 2 Thessalonians 2 refers back 1 Thessalonians 4 ("Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and concerning our gathering together unto Him...). Paul is correcting false ideas which crept in since his first epistle.

The connection of the two epistles is here exampled by an article at heavendwellers.com:

FIRST EPISTLE- "The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints" (1 Thess. 3:13). (A reference to Deut. 33:2, Psa. 68:17 and Zech. 14:5 will show that the "saints" here are the "holy angels" and not the church).
SECOND EPISTLE- "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire" (2 Thess.1:7, 8).
We see this is the Lord coming "in flaming fire." 

And all of this takes us back to the parables of Matthew (where "fire" occurs 12 times) and the judgments therein. We especially point to Matthew 24-25 which specifically addresses the questions:

  1. Tell us, when will these things be?
  2. What will be the sign of Your coming
  3. and of the end of the age?
So, at the Lord's coming, in light of "the gospel of the kingdom" (Matthew) and the establishment of "the promises made unto the fathers [Israel's]" (Romans) and the judgments of fire, we have the destruction of the antichrist and the establishment of the earthly kingdom ("that which Moses and the prophets said would come").

Does that then make me a "post-Tribber?" Well, no. Since the current present age and the church of the Mystery dispensation is distinct in its promises and hope (in the "far above the heavens" not on the earth) and independent of Israel, the events of the Tribulation are not for us. We do not look for the "coming" of 1 Thess 4 (etc.). That is the "parousía" of the Lord. We look for the "epiphaneia" (appearing) of the Lord.

[D]enying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ...
-Titus 2:12-13
The "rapture" passage in 1 Thessalonians 4 is now seen more clearly in light of the witness of scripture. We've covered this passage more fully elsewhere, so let me just note some items in this context.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
-1 Thess 4:15-18
 
  • Paul expected this "coming" in his lifetime. 
  • This fits the pattern of the Acts Age. This "coming" (Gk: parousía) was common and specific to the Acts Age.
  • It is connected to the "Archangel" which is connected to Israel in Daniel.
  • The trump of God points us to the Revelation and to 1 Cor 15:52 
  • As with 1 Cor 15:52, we are pointed to resurrection (no bodiless existence)
  • This coming is in the clouds which points us to the promise in Acts 1:9-11 and Matt 25

When we understand that there are different hopes for different companies (churches) during different administrations (dispensations) according to different gospel, we can see things more clearly.

This is why we must "compare things that differ" and "rightly divide the Word of Truth." When we see things in the right context, the confusion starts to disappear.