Mark of the Beast–“They Have No Rest, Day Nor Night”

By admin On April 12th, 2012

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THIS ARTICLE IS QUITE LENGTHY (ABOUT 12 PAGES, MORE OR LESS). PLEASE ALLOW A THOUGHTFUL HOUR TO READ AND CONTEMPLATE THESE BIBLE CONCEPTS.

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“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:11 

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devil Polyptyque de la Vanité terrestre et de la Rédemption céleste-Hans Memling wikimedia share-alike license

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NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT

 

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This above verse is pretty frightening, wouldn’t you agree? Listen again… “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night.” It’s frightening, at least, for those of us who reverence God’s Word! But does this picture to the right, really give an accurate  portrayal of this above verse (“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever…”)? Many people think so.

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Does God have a netherworld cavern in which He endlessly torments human beings in the Lake of Fire? After all, it says… “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15.

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And also, scientists do tell us that the center of the Earth is intensely hot. Well, if these two verses are true, then the only conclusion one could arrive at is…this picture to the right is indeed an accurate portrayal of Hell.  

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However, by taking a closer look at this subject, one might be surprised to discover that this doctrine must be understood much differently than what it looks like at first blush.

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G. Dore Wikipedia Public Domain

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PAST LESSON REVEALS FUTURE…

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An entire book could be penned on this subject of The Mark of the Beast, as many already have done. But for the sake of brevity, let the focus be on just one aspect of this solemn warning from Revelation Ch. 14. 

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Look at this following passage… “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:11.

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There indeed is coming a day, in which these words will receive a dramatic fulfillment. The Hour of Judgment is at hand (see Luke 21:25-28). 

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However, God has written His Word in such a way, so as to apply to His Church throughout time. So it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just explore how this prophecy has applied to God’s people throughout time. And afterwards, perhaps a better understanding may emerge of just how they will apply to those living in the coming days, just before us. 

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As a matter of fact, just focus for now on the phrase… “and they have no rest, day nor night”. 

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Mark of the Beast wikipedia public domain

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“THEY HAVE NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT”

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This word for “rest” in the above passage is the same Greek word (“anapausis”) found in the following passage… “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST (“anapausis”). Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find REST  (“anapausis”) unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

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In Greek, this word “rest” (“anapausis”) means to “rejuvenate” or “recreate”. Or simply put, it means “to rest”.

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But the important thing is, it is exactly the same Greek word (“anapausis”) found in the Mark of the Beast warning in Revelation Ch. 14, (“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest  (“anapausis”), day nor night”).

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Bernhard Plockhorst – 1825-1907 – The Good Shephard – Wikipedia – Public Domain

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WHO ARE THE WEARY?

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Christ in the above passage from Matthew 11:28-30 (“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST (“anapausis”). Take My yoke http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aurlandsveien_sheep.jpgupon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find REST (“anapausis”) unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”)

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Jesus here, is making a plea to the whole Human Family. God knows how weary and heavy laden we can get. He sees our struggles, and secret sorrows and private fears. And Jesus bids us come and enter into His “Rest (“anapausis”) unto your souls”.

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Yes, Rest is something that only God can give. And only those who have taken upon themselves, the yoke of Jesus, will experience this Rest unto the soul.

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Aurlandsveien sheep – Wikimedia Commons – Share-alike License & GNU free license

 

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“WICKED LIKE THE TROUBLED SEA”

Isaiah 57:20

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Look at a similar passage from Isaiah… “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” Isaiah 57:20, 21.

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This verse is not speaking about some Hellish afterlife-existence. It’s talking about now! It’s speaking of you and me, and every one of us who has sin in our lives. It speaks to everyone who has not fully entered into God’s Spiritual Rest.

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Jesus bids each and every one of us to… “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest(“anapausis”) …unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30 (condensed).  

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Depressionen.jpgSIN ROBS PEACE

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Sin brings unrest. Sin steals away our peace. It makes us weary. Sin causes illness, misery and ultimately, Death.

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Yes, we must agree with Isaiah’s confession… “But the wicked (the unsaved) are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” Isaiah 57:20, 21.

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When it says, “There is no peace…to the wicked”, this word “peace” is also translated as, “rest”. You could scripturally say here… “There is no REST…to the wicked (unsaved).” But either word, “peace” or “rest”, works very well.

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Girl – Depression by Danielzanetti for Wikimedia – C.C. Share-alike License 3.0

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WORLD CANNOT FIND THAT “PEACE…

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WHICH SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING”

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The point is, all this unsaved world cannot enjoy the peace and rest which the abiding child of God enjoys. Oh http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Braet_von_%C3%9Cberfeldt_woman_with_bible_1866.jpgyes, Mankind sleeps at night. Oh yes, they enjoy recreation, and get their “R & R’s”, as they say. But there is an inner-turmoil and vexation of spirit, which underlies Mankind’s existence. This inner torment will remain with each member of Humanity until at last, they cease from troubling in the grave (see Job 3:11-26).

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But should one turn away from this world of sin and confusion, and turn to Jesus, then the following verse may be said concerning them… “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7.

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What an incredible promise! Peace that surpasses all understanding!  

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De Windstoot A ship in need in a raging storm (Willem van de Velde II, 1707)

Braet_von_Überfeldt_woman_with_bible_1866 wikipedia  US public domain

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“THE PEACE OF GOD 

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WHICH SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING”

Philippians 4:7

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“The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.” Isaiah 59:8

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Now, for a proper perspective on this subject, look at those who do have rest.

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Listen to this verse… “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3. Here is the ingredient necessary for the achievement of “Perfect Peace” in one’s life. To keep every thought upon Christ is the remedy for sin and unrest.

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Is such a state of mind possible? Listen to Paul…

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“…and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2nd Corinthians 10:5. Would God command us to do something impossible?

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Listen“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the Power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3;20.

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So now it begins to appear that we’ve been deceived by those who have taught us in the past that we must remain in our semi-diseased spiritual condition. This passage plainly tells us that God is able to do more than we ask or think. No, it actually says that God is able to do, “EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY MORE THAN WE ASK OR THINK, according to His Power which works in us!”   

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Picture on Christian Bible Devotion- wikipedia US public domain

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“IF GOD PERADVENTURE, WILL GIVE THEM REPENTANCE”

2nd Timothy 2:25

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Now such a Perfect Peace may not come all at once. Many have found it a struggle to fix their thoughts on Christ. There are so many distractions in the world! So many temptations! So many duties!

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On the other hand, Perfect Peace is a gift of God, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

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Listen to Scripture… “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest” Hebrews 4:3. So it is only God who can allow someone to enter into His Spiritual Rest.

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Human worry & stress & depression – by Becky Wetherington for Wikimedia – Share-alike License

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“THEY COULDN’T ENTER BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF”

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“So I sware in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest.” Hebrews 3:11

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This particular passage is from Hebrews in which God speaks about those of the Old Testament Jews; some who entered God’s Rest, and some who didn’t. God says in this passage, that this Spiritual Rest was offered to the Old Testament Jews, just the same as it is offered to those who are now living at the end of time.

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But because of their rebellion and murmuring against God, He eventually swore in His wrath… “But with whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?  And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”  Hebrews 3:17-19.  

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exodus32- www.thebiblerevival.com -public domain

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DANGER OF NOT ENTERING 

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God warns us in Hebrews that it is a fearful thing, to fall short of entering into this Spiritual Rest.

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Just listen to Hebrews Ch. 4 again… “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” Hebrews 4:1.

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This is a life and death issue. This Spiritual Rest is the essence of Salvation. And it is the true evidence of one’s Salvation. It is the true evidence of the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.

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Do I live by faith? Do I trust in God’s precious promises during times of trial? Or do I simply handle troubles the same way the world handles them? Do I meditate on God’s Word through my day? Or are my daily thoughts and pursuits only concerned with the world (see Psalm 1:1-3).

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Braet_von_Überfeldt_woman_with_bible_1866 wikipedia  US public domain

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MOUNT OF CURSINGS

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“And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:  And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were evening! and at evening thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see…” Deuteronomy 28:65-67.

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Here in Deuteronomy, Chapter 28, God pronounces the curses which come upon those who rebel against God’s Commandments. And if one reads this entire chapter of Deuteronomy 28, it becomes clear that these curses are for the “here and now”, and not for eternity future. These curses make this life unpleasant, and hopefully will cause the rebels to return back to God.

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And notice that God also picks up on this theme of, “no rest, day nor night”, here in Deuteronomy Ch. 28 (“thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest…and thou shalt fear day and night”), as well as in Revelation Ch. 14. Remember what Revelation 14 said?

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Listen again to Revelation 14… “and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image,” Revelation 14:11.

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Now compare again this to Deuteronomy 28 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest…and thou shalt fear day and night“. 

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WORLDLINESS BRINGS DEUTERONOMY’S CURSES!

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When a person’s heart is yet longing for this present world, with all its cares and pleasures, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Old_Man_in_Sorrow_(On_the_Threshold_of_Eternity).jpgthen that person’s life will be filled with troubles. And that litany of curses found in Deuteronomy 28 is a spiritual allegory of the troubles which come upon all who have not the Rest which only Jesus can give. 

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But listen again to how these curses from Deuteronomy 28, seems to expand on having no rest, day or night… “and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were evening! and at evening thou shalt say, Would God it were morning!” Deuteronomy 28:68.

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Do you see how this completely changes what Revelation 14 is saying?

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Listen again…  “and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image,” Revelation 14:11.

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This is definitely a companion passage with Deuteronomy 28. They both speak of the same concept: that unrest and torment which follows every child of God, who leaves the pathway of truth, to go after the things of this selfish world.

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To read all of the curses in Deuteronomy 28, just click here… “Deuteronomy 28:15-68” 

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Vincent van Gogh – Old Man in Sorrow (On the Threshold of Eternity) – Wikipedia US Public Domain.jpg

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THE MOUNT OF CURSING & REVELATION 14:11

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“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out, etc., etc…” (see Deuteronomy 28 for all curses)

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This above passage from Deuteronomy is just a sampling of the many curses which come upon all who turn from the holy commandment to follow the vanity of this present world. And notice that the Editor has added an “etc., etc.,” at the end of this litany of curses. This is because the curses continue on in Deuteronomy, Chapter 28. (Click link to read ALL the curses).

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DEUTERONOMY: EXPANSION ON REVELATION 14:11

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So this is speaking of the same torment that is spoken of in Revelation, Chapter 14. Remember what Revelation 14 said?

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Listen again… “and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image” Revelation 14:11. 

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Ecclesiastical authorities of the past have interpreted this punishment warning in this verse from Revelation 14, as though it occurs for all “eternity future”: a perpetual torment in Hell. 

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But Deuteronomy says virtually the same thing, but in regards to the “here and now”! And in their attempt to hold fast to Church tradition, today’s so-called “orthodoxy” holds on to this very un-biblical doctrine of “eternal torment”, which is based on faulty and incomplete Bible interpretation.

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For one thing, where do we get the idea that this so-called nether-world-torture-chamber even has “day and night”? And where do we get the idea that Jesus and His angels will be watching people being tormented for all eternity”

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After all, it says here in Revelation 14, “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God… and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY ANGELS AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB:” Revelation 14:10.  

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So Deuteronomy Ch. 28 really begins to chip away at this archaic and un-biblical church tradition of a literal fiery, netherworld, chamber of horrors, which goes on for all eternity!

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devil Polyptyque de la Vanité terrestre et de la Rédemption céleste-Hans Memling wikimedia share-alike license

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“DECEIVING AND BEING DECEIVED”

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“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” 2nd Timothy 3:13

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God has purposely given strong delusion, concerning this false doctrine of “eternal torment”, to some, who love church-tradition more than they love the Bible truth. 

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Just listen… “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Thessalonians 2:11, 12.  

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Those who would enjoy the world, with all its selfish pleasures, rather than to allow God to change us into a “new creation”, i.e., into the image of Christ, will ultimately fall into delusion in the form of false doctrines.

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ABOVE PICTURE: The False Prophet – signsofheaven.org – not for commercial uses

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“SEARCH WITH ALL YOUR HEART”

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Granted, this doctrine of “eternal torment” has long been accepted by the majority in thehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_040327-N-1261P-058_Navy_Chaplain,_Lt._Marc_Massie_assigned_to_Naval_Mobile_Construction_Battalion_Seventy_Four_(NMCB-74)_studies_his_Bible_for_an_upcoming_service.jpg Church. And to be fair, there are many other sincere Believers, who have been truly deceived on this issue. So the following verse from Isaiah applies to these deceived ones… “O My people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” Isaiah 3:12.

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These are the kinds of deceptions which come upon all those who allow themselves to be taught what to believe, instead of searching out, with an open mind, the Word of God for their own selves.

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Listen to Scripture… “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2nd Timothy 2:15.

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DIVIDED HEARTS WON’T FIND HIM

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Yes, Christianity will only prove truly successful to those who set aside their worldly dreams and pleasures to seriously search out God’s Word for their own selves.

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Listen to Jeremiah… “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13.

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A superficial reading of the Old Testament, presents God as being a quick-tempered, angry and unmerciful God. But for those who dig much deeper, they will begin to see a vastly different Savior.

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But God will only reveal Himself to those who seek Him without reservation and without regard for the things of the world.

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Listen again to the words of Jesus… “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33.

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Yes, one cannot even be considered a disciple (a student) of Jesus until one forsakes all! This is the “new heart”, which God gives to the hungering soul. When one truly receives the new heart, he or she begins to long for the knowledge of the Savior more than for daily meat and drink!

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USMC – Prayer before Bible study – Wikimedia – public domain

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“THE SMOKE OF HER BURNING” 

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Let’s look again at this passage…

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“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

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This verse does not say, “their torment goes on for ever and ever”. No, but rather, it says, THE SMOKE of their torment ascends up, for ever and ever.”

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There is a big difference between these two statements, isn’t there? If you put water on a fire, the fire may go out, but the smoke keeps ascending a long time after. Correct? Well it seems that God here is trying to make the point, that His punishment of Mankind has been so severe, that it will not be forgotten. The memory of it shall ascend up as an everlasting memorial to the horrible results which the peoples of this world have suffered as a result of our rebellion against God. Listen to this veiled reference to our eternal mission…

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“God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies. Slay them not, lest My people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield. For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak. Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the Earth. Selah.” Psalm 59:10-13.

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So this passage presents the reason why God has allowed all this evil to continue. God too, does not want us to forget this lesson we have been learning.

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Hence the words… “Slay them not, lest My people forget:”

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So God’s people will be an everlasting witness to the justice and mercy of God, as is written… “I will make Thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise Thee for ever and ever.” Psalm 45:17.

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Also take note that this passage says… “Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be…” Now the words, “consume them, that they may not be…”, certainly does not harmonize with the doctrine of, “eternal torment”, does it?

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Forty stripes – Wikipedia – US Public Domain.

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“THE CREATURE SHALL BE DELIVERED

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And though Jesus paid it all…on Calvary, nevertheless, all of Mankind, “groans and travails in http://www.crystalinks.com/forests.htmlpain together until now.” Romans 8:22. 

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Sin has its recompense of reward. And the results of sin have been so severe, and the, “whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.” The suffering which both man and beast alike have suffered throughout history, will not be forgotten. But God has given us a promise, as we continue reading Romans, Chapter 8.

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Just listen… “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope…Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:19, 21.

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So this passage seems to hold a great promise that God’s creatures shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. It would seem, from the above passage, that the entire creation will be delivered into the world to come, doesn’t it? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see on that one, won’t we?

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California wildfires – deer – Wikipedia

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WHOLE CREATION DELIVERED…

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But this passage does say that the creation will be, “delivered from the bondage of corruption.”

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And this passage does also say that, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Roman 8:22, 23.

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THE WHOLE CREATION SHALL BE DELIVERED

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Now why would the whole creation, groaning and travailing until now, be waiting for God’s people to receive the adoption, if they are only going to continue suffering for eternity?

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But it says that the whole creation will be delivered from their bondage of corruption, “into the glorious liberty of the children of God”. 

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This too, is the Word of God, and is just as important as any other passage on this subject. And though we don’t fully understand how the whole Creation of God will be delivered into the glorious liberty of the children of God, as it states, but that’s what it says! So let’s not be so dogmatic and insistent about our understanding of these things, and simply wait until the Day of Judgment in the spirit of meekness and humility…and hopefulness.

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California wildfires deer wikipedia

Picture – Lot Escapes Sodom – www.thebiblerevival.com offers free Bible clipart – Public Domain.

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JUDE SPEAKS OF ETERNAL FIRE

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But as a further proof that eternal punishment does not mean “eternal torment”, just listen, And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” Genesis 19:28.

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Sodom and Gomorrah received the vengeance of God. The smoke of Sodom and Gomorrah went up as a furnace.

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But listen to what Jude 1:7 says…Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 1:7.

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 So, was the fire that fell on Sodom “eternal” in nature? Well this passage from Jude says it was. But did the fire go out? Yes, indeed! The fire went out! As a matter of fact, if you go over there to the Dead Sea, today, and look around, you will find no fire burning. And yet it says plainly in Jude that “eternal fire” fell on them.

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Picture–Lot Escapes Sodom-Genesis3- www.thebiblerevival.com offers free Bible clipart-public domain.

 

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“LINE UPON LINE, PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT”

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This is why a total understanding of truth cannot be arrived at from just one or two, or even three verses. The deeper truths of the Bible must be discovered by the following method… “Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” Isaiah 28:9, 10.

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God has purposely hidden many deep truths within Scripture, so that only they who search deeply will find them.

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Just listen… “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” Proverbs 25:2.

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God has made us a royal priesthood. We are, “kings and priests”. 

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And so, as, “kings and priests”, it is our honor and privilege to search out what God has concealed in His Word. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” Proverbs 25:2.

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ABOVE PICTURE: Holy Bible – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Lic.

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MYSTERY BABYLON’S SMOKE 

Revelation 19:3

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“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH…And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 17:5, 18   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tissot_The_Flight_of_the_Prisoners.jpg.

Listen to what Scripture says about the smoke from Spiritual Babylon’s punishment… “And again they (the Redeemed) said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.” Revelation 19:3.

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OK, here it says that the City of Babylon will be punished, and her smoke will ascend up for ever and ever. Does this mean that God is going to torment an empty city?

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Just listen… “Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;” Revelation 18:21, 22.

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Well, here God is describing an empty city! God here is describing an empty city (actually an apostate church) which shall never be found again, at all!

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James Tissot – The Flight of the Prisoners from Babylon – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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FLEE OUT THE MIDST OF BABYLON

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Now listen to this next passage from Jeremiah… “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense. Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad…My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD….And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words; Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.” Jeremiah 51:6, 7, 45, 61, 62

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tissot_The_Flight_of_the_Prisoners.jpg

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Now just how does this passage from Jeremiah harmonize with Revelation which states…“And again they (the Redeemed) said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever?” Revelation 19:3.

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The spiritual city of Babylon is totally desolate for ever, and yet her smoke rose up for ever and ever! The big problem is, theologians from ages past read Revelation 14 about the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever, and assumed that it meant that their torment goes on for ever and ever! But as we compare Scripture with Scripture, we see that this is not the case at all…When thou comest to Babylon…Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place (Babylon), to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.”

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James Tissot – The Flight of the Prisoners from Babylon – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:At_a_loss.svg

So how does this passage harmonize with the idea of literal eternal torment? Again, God is using metaphors. For one thing, there is no literal great city called Babylon which exists today. And this Book of Revelation is speaking of this city concerning Judgment Day. So from the very start, there is a real problem trying to interpret these things literally. By so-doing, you end up like a kitten chasing its own tail! There’s simply no peace or closure to those who try to interpret these things literally! There will always be loose ends which cannot be tied together!

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Question Marks – At a loss – svg – Wikimedia Commons – Share-Alike License

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BABYLON NOT A LITERAL CITY

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And next, it is speaking of this city as a “her”. And obviously, this city is not a literal woman. The fact is, God speaks so often in metaphors in the Book of Revelation, and through the Bible.

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We have to go back to the fundamental rule of Bible interpretation… “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1st Corinthians 2:13, 14.

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As this passage states, it is the carnal heart of “Natural Man” which tries to interpret the Bible literally. And such will quite often call down curses on those who do interpret Scripture spiritually. And while it’s true that the stories in Scripture really happened and were actual and literal historical events, they nevertheless were given and orchestrated by God to present spiritual concepts. And those who ignore the spiritual nature of Scripture, unwittingly manifest themselves to the on-looking world as carnal men.

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Listen again… “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1st Corinthians 2:13, 14.

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Yes, as this passage reveals, those who are yet carnal, cannot and will not see the deep, hidden, spiritual meanings which is interwoven into so much of the Bible!

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William Blake whore babylon-wikipedia public domain

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REVELATION HAS MANY METAPHORS

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And speaking of metaphors, there’s no literal beast with literal 7 heads, 10 horns, etc.. This beast is a metaphorical beast representing Satan’s kingdom on earth. 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Papessa_tiara.jpg

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Just listen… “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads (of the Beast) are seven mountains, on which the Woman (Mystery Babylon) sits. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the Beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast” Revelation 17:9-12. 

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So those who are looking for a single man just might be sadly deceived. This Beast is a composite Beast, representing Satan, and his kingdom.

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And while on this subject of metaphors, there is no literal harlot either. She is a picture http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Burgkmair_whore_babylon_color.jpgof the apostate portion of the Church. And she doesn’t sit on literal waters. Scripture points out that the waters are “peoples and nations, etc.”. And she will not literally be tormented so that literal smoke ascends up for ever and ever. This Book is a metaphorical book. It must be spiritually discerned as does all Scripture. To study this concept concerning Mystery Babylon, please click here… “The Harlot Of Revelation” 

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(Notice that these two ancient drawings depict the harlot riding this Antichrist Beast. The people of that era understood who Antichrist was. But today’s theologians have lost sight of the true meaning of the Beast, and are now looking for a mere single human.)

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Papessa_tiara Harlot rides Beast wikipedia US public domain

Whore – Babylon – Burgkmair – 1523 AD – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

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GOD OFTEN USES ALLEGORIES

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“Which things are an allegory:” Galatians 4:24

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The fire that the disobedient must suffer are the fires of tribulation.

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Listen… “For by fire and by His sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.” Isaiah 6:16.

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The apostate churches during the dark ages likewise mangled this verse, not realizing that spiritual things must be compared with spiritual. If they had only kept studying the Bible prayerfully, they might have found that “God’s sword” is His Word.

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Listen… “take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand…Stand therefore, having…THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD:” Ephesians 6:13, 14, 17.

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And with further study they might likewise have discovered that, “flames of fire”, speak of God’s people.

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Listen… “Who maketh His angels spirits, and HIS MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE.” Hebrews 1:7.

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So this passage in Isaiah is to be understood spiritually…  “For by fire (God’s ministers), and by his sword (The Bible), will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain (spiritually) of the LORD shall be many.” Isaiah 6:16. 

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The “fire” and the “sword” spoken of here is a metaphorical picture of God’s people, as we send forth the Gospel: God’s sword of His Word. And the following passage should not be overlooked either… “let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.” Hebrews 12:28, 29.

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This concept of our God being a consuming fire is repeated many times in Scripture, and should be carefully studied by all who claim to love truth.  

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ABOVE PICTURE: Orion the Soldier and the Revelation 12 Dragon (Hyades & Pleiades, etc. – winter constellations – www.signsofheaven.org – not for commercial use

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PUNISHMENT WITH PURPOSE

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“And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.” Ezekiel 20:43.

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This world is a place of punishment. God has allowed this world to continue, but He has allowed evil, so that God might help Mankind to understand the torment which accompanies sin and rebellion.

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Listen… “And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” Isaiah 13:11. 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tissot_The_Plague_of_Locusts.jpg

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There is no purpose for punishment, if it is to merely inflict pain. There must be some good that will result.

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Listen to Scripture… “If I shut up Heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people; If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2nd Chronicles 7:13, 14.

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So it is seen here that God’s ultimate goal in bringing punishment upon His people is that they might turn from their wicked ways. 

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Just listen to this… “For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth…Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” Lamentations 3:31-34, 40, 41.

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God doesn’t merely inflict pain for the sake of pain. Listen to the Book of Daniel… “all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth.” Daniel 9:13. These three passages are a compelling testament of God’s love for His erring children.

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40 STRIPES & NO MORE!

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Punishment without purpose is merely tyrannical cruelty. To endlessly torment unbelievers as punishment would only inspire fear and dread and sadness in the on-looking host of Heaven.

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“If men…come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother (or thy God) should seem vile unto thee.” Deuteronomy 1-3 (condensed).

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Here God is limiting the punishment of a man to 40 stripes. The reason given is because anyone who endlessly tortures someone will become hated by those who witness such merciless torment. And if your or my unbelieving grandmother, spouse, or children were to be endlessly tortured by God, we would eventually begin to hate God, as we see such heartless torture being inflicted on our loved-ones, throughout the ions of eternity.

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40 LASHES: A TESTAMENT OF GOD’S MERCY

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“For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth…Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” Lamentations 3:31-34, 40, 41.

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Does this above passage sound like a God that endlessly tortures people in some fiery subterranean Chamber of Horrors? God does punish at times. But He does not simply endlessly torment the Lost. Even the Law of Moses testified to this.

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Listen… “if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause…to be beaten…according to his fault…Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.” Deuteronomy 25:2, 3.

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Now if Jesus will torment lost souls, then why does He caution us not to endlessly punish? Why didn’t He command us to try to just keep a man alive as long as we can, so we can keep torturing him as long as possible? But God says here, that a man that punishes another man beyond 40 stripes, will be esteemed as a cruel man! This idea that God endlessly torments persons like my atheist grandmother or your wayward son or daughter, is totally against the nature of a just and merciful God. 

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“EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW”

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When this world, with all its woe and sorrow and suffering is finally done with, there will never again need to be such a place of torment and suffering. God will have accomplished His purpose in showing us the results of sin and selfishness.

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Just listen… “What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum  1:9.

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This world is a lesson book for all the host of Heaven. This world will forever settle the question of sin and selfishness.

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This world is just part of God’s master plan… “And, having made peace through the blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven.”  Colossians 1:20

.http://christimages.org/biblebooks/Book_of_Revelation.htm

So now we see that the plan of Salvation extends far beyond this little world.

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Listen… “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9.

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It is not God’s eternal hatred of unbelievers that will cause Humanity to bow before Jesus on the last day. It is not Jesus endlessly tormenting unbelievers which will inspire love in the on-looking Followers of Jesus on that last day. It is by mercy that every knee shall bow on that day.

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Listen… “Mercy and truth preserve the King: and His throne is upholden by mercy.” Proverbs 20:8.

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Triumph of Christianity by G. Dore www.christimages.org Limited use license – see their website for restrictions

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“JESUS WEPT”

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“And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, “Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” Luke 19:41-44 

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Jesus here is weeping and lamenting for His people. He’s weeping concerning the days in which Jerusalem will be surrounded and destroyed by the Romans. But what He isn’t doing is weeping for their eternal torment. That concept is not even mentioned once! Why? Because eternal torment is never ever spoken of, in Scripture. Nor is there any passage in which Jesus ever weepshttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:6tag_250316-124351.jpg for anybody’s eternal torment. How strange! You’d think that Jesus would be crying all the time, if eternal torment was the punishment of Mankind. But He never does! That’s because eternal torment was never the punishment for Lost Mankind…

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Listen… “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23.

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It says here that the wages of sin is death. So why doesn’t it say here that the wages of sin is eternal torment? Because eternal torment is not the wages of sin.

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Cross of Jesus Christ – cropped photo – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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SCRIPTURES IGNORED, EVEN DENIED 

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Unfortunately, those who hold to this church doctrine of “Eternal Torment” have not rightly divided God’s Word concerning the nature of Hell. Instead they have insisted that the, “Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus”, and, Revelation 14:11, must be the last word on the subject. So now they refuse to modify their man-made doctrine.

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And whenever they are confronted by such passages as this… “(Man’s) breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:4, they must either diminish the importance of this verse or dismiss or merely skip over it altogether. And by so-doing, they can hang on to their traditional beliefs and hold fast to their man-conceived doctrines.

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Just look at this next verse… “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them…and desire shall fail…Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:1, 6, 7.

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Here is another passage completely ignored by those who advocate that God eternally torments unbelievers. It plainly states here that when a person dies, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it”.

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Yes, man’s spirit returns to God who gave it. But many incorrectly assume that the soul returns to Heaven.

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But listen again… “If I ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in Hell, behold, Thou art there.” Psalm 139:8

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But here it says that David’s soul was in Hell, and yet God was there in Hell as well! Read this passage again…if I make my bed in Hell, behold, Thou art there.” Psalm 139:8

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David Playing Harp www.thebiblerevival.com US public domain

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“NO REST, DAY NOR NIGHT”

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“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:11.

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Notice it says that they, “have no rest, day nor night”. This must be speaking of the here and now, since day and night will be done away with at the coming of Christ…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MARTIN_John_Great_Day_of_His_Wrath.jpg

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Listen…“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 22:5

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This above verse says there will be no night there. And they need no light of the Sun.

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Oh yes, the unsaved will be tormented. But it will happen on the days of God’s wrath here on earth, while there is still night and day. In other words, this above passage is speaking of God’s wrath on Judgment Day, and not of eternity future.

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The Great Day of His Wrath – John Martin – 1853 – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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MANY DISMISS OLD TESTAMENT

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Proponents of “God’s eternal torment of unbelievers” will attempt to diminish such passages as this by saying such things as, “well this is from the Old Testament so it is no longer truth”, or they will say, “Ecclesiastes is Man’s wisdom and not God’s wisdom”.

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But to these erring ones, we would offer the following passage from the writings of the Apostle Paul… “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PaulT.jpgfor correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2nd Timothy 3:16, 17.

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So here it says that, “ALL SCRIPTURE is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”.

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So those who wish to say that God eternally torments people are willing to demolish parts of the Bible, in attempt to retain their church dogmas. And Ecclesiastes and Psalms are a very important part of what Paul calls, “All Scripture”. So from Paul’s own writings, God warns us that, “all Scripture is profitable for doctrine”, and not just SOME Scripture.

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Paul the Apostle-Artist-Valentin de Boulogne or Nicolas Tournier- circa 1500s

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GOD’S THRONE UPHELD BY MERCY

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 “Mercy and truth preserve the King: and His throne is upholden by mercy.” Proverbs 20:28 

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This above passage presents a wonderful truth. While it is mercy and truth which preserves the https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:6tag_250316-124351.jpgKing, yet it is mercy which upholds the King’s throne.

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So how can anyone possibly imagine that God would be loved and adored throughout eternity, if He had a torture chamber in which billions of lost souls were being tortured throughout the ceaseless ages? God would be perceived as the cruelest of all tyrants!

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But God reveals eternity for the wicked in a much different judgment. 

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Cross of Jesus Christ – cropped photo – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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THE WICKED ALL REST TOGETHER IN THEIR GRAVES

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And there are many many other places in Scripture which speak of unsaved Man’s eternal punishment as death. Just listen to this passage from Job… “Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?…For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, With kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves; Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. There the wicked cease from troubling; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bonnat02.jpgand there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master. Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;  Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? ” Job 3:11-22.

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In this passage, Job wishes to be released from his earthly torment. But theologians ignore this passage or simply shrug it off as not to be regarded. But Scripture demands that this passage be regarded as just as important as any other verse.

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 Job (oil on canvas) by Bonnat, Leon Joseph Florentin (1833-1922) oil on canvas Musee Bonnat, Bayonne, France Lauros / Giraudon French, out of copyright Wikipedia Public domain

 

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THE BOOK OF JOB IS ALSO GOD’S WORD

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Listen… “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2nd Timothy 3:16, 17.

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And so Job’s confession here on the nature of death is likewise profitable for doctrine, just like the rest of Scripture (“There (in the grave),the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary bhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bonnat02.jpge at rest. There the prisoners rest together.”)

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This verse must be also included when rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Those who advocate eternal torment, must face this passage squarely. Because this passage plainly lays out the nature of death. If Job’s soul was to be tormented eternally, then the last thing Job would have longed for was death! No, Sheol, or Hell, is “the grave” in the Old Testament.

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This passage finds little acceptance in today’s Christianity. This passage has been greatly ignored and even rejected by today’s theologians, and one excuse after another is used to diminish or completely dismiss such similar passages as this.

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“ALL IS VANITY “

Ecclesiastes 1:14

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  “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11

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The words in the above verse, “vanity and vexation of spirit”, was a poetic thread which ran through the little Book of Ecclesiastes. But, “vanity and vexation of spirit”, is nevertheless the curse which comes to every person who decides to “put Jesus on the back burner” so to speak, and pursue the things of the world. In other words, this is the torment of Mankind. They have no rest in their sins… “There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” Isaiah 48:22

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King Solomon lived without question, the most extravagant and luxurious life ever lived. He possessed far more riches than the world’s richest man today. He had servants. He had a thousand wives. He had it all!

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But at the end of his life, he confessed… “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Eccl. 1:14.

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Solomon found out by experience, that all his riches and all his many pleasures brought a meaningless and troubling life. Oh yes, he, no doubt, had times of thrills and pleasures. But these were far outweighed by wantonness and even misery which comes from having too much.

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Listen to what Solomon says in another place…  “…the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.” Eccl. 5:12. And Solomon had it all! But he didn’t have rest! And neither does Mankind!

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The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon’, by Edward Poynter, 1890, Art Gallery of New South Wales US public domain

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WE ALL HAVE TO SUFFER

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“For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:22, 23 

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This above verse reveals much about why Creation suffers until now. It says that they will keep suffering till God has purified His chosen and Elect.

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But back to Solomon. The point to this little paragraph above (“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit” Ecclesiastes 1:14), about Solomon is just this: God has put us in a world…a very selfish world. And He has done so in love, and in hopes that Mankind might learn by experience that selfishness does not lead to real true peace and joy.

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On the contrary, it leads to the very same thing that Solomon finally realized; vanity and vexation of spirit. In modern terms, selfishness ultimately leads to futility and anxiety… unhappiness. This is the true torment which Mankind suffers…right here and right now! Just look again at the above Bible verse from Romans…

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It says that the entire Creation is suffering. “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also…” Romans 8:22, 23  

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We’re all suffering the effects of selfishness. This is the lesson God wants us to learn. Not for us to be tortured throughout the ceaseless ages! That would only prove that God is without mercy.

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But listen to the rest of this passage… “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:20:21.

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But it says here that, “the creature itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God”!

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This sounds as if even all of Mankind will be delivered from bondage into the glorious liberty of the children of God, doesn’t it? Well, it would be difficult to prove this, in light of all the scriptures which speak about death and Hell. So we’ll just have to leave this puzzling passage alone till Judgment Day.

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California wildfires deer wikipedia

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SMOKE OF THEIR TORMENT…

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To understand this idea of torment, consider the following verse… “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1st John 4:18.

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So it is seen here that one does not need to descend into some fiery cavern or abyss in order to suffer torment. Christians may suffer the torment of being double-minded in their service to God. Sin brings torment upon the life of a Christian.

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Listen to Scripture… “For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:6-8.

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And the previous verse again… “…because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” So those who are divided between worldly desires, and the desire to serve Christ will not find that, “perfect peace”, nor that, “Rest unto your souls”. 

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“BEATEN WITH MANY STRIPES”

Luke 12:47

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In Deuteronomy 28, God pronounces blessings upon the obedient, and curses upon the disobedient. Just listen to a few of those curses… “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shall you be when thou comest in, and cursed shall you be when You goest out…The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof you canst not be healed. The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shalt not prosper in thy ways: and you shall be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee. You shall betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: you shalt build an house, and you shalt not dwell therein: you shalt plant a vineyard, and shall not gather the grapes thereof. ” Deuter. 28:16-19 & 27-30    

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Just think about all these curses which come upon the disobedient! And this is just the short-list! There actually were more of these curses in that particular passage! Just too many to mention! And remember, these curses are not upon the dead. They are those curses which come upon the living…in this life!

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Notice it talks in terms of a man’s life on earth. It talks about his wife. It talks about the city and the country. It speaks about a man’s flock of sheep. It speaks houses and vineyards, and evening and morning. Do we really imagine that there’s going to be all these things in Hell? No, this is the torment which SPIRITUALLY falls upon the disobedient in this life.

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IS GOD A MERCILESS TYRANT?…

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But these curses are not literal. They must be understood in the light of the entirety of the Bible. Take for instance, the curse of blindness pronounced in verse 29. Do people literally become blind who live in disobedience? Just listen to Revelation Ch. 3, where God is denouncing the Laodicean Church… “Because you sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and BLIND, and naked:” Revelation 3:17.

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This is speaking of SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS. The Bible is a spiritual book. It must be discerned spiritually. Just listen to Scripture…  “The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1st Cor. 2:14.

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The trouble is, the un-spiritual ecclesiastical authorities  from  centuries past have more or less misconstrued the Bible, trying to interpret the parables and metaphors literally. And so out of the past traditional misunderstandings of the Holy Canon have  emerged these incredibly horrific notions that God is a merciless tyrant. Of course, history tells us that it was this same group of people who began to set up torture chambers, to torture anyone who didn’t accept their church and their false church-dogmas. And as a result, Christians were tortured and hunted down like animals. This went on for over a thousand years. And today, the same ecclesiastical authorities will threaten you, saying you too will suffer eternal torment if you don’t accept this horrible false doctrine of Eternal Torture of the Lost

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WHAT DID HENRY HAVE TO SAY?

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On the other hand, there were good theologians as well. There were such men as Matthew Henry who, though he was by no means a perfect theologian, nevertheless, he saw the Bible as a spiritual book.

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Listen to Henry… “‘The Lord shall smite thee with madness and blindness’… and those that are willfully blind to their duty deserve to be made blind to their interest, and, seeing they loved darkness rather than light, let them grope at noon-day as in the dark. Matthew Henry on Deuteronomy 28 

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So Matthew Henry saw the spiritual nature of this passage from Deuteronomy. And likewise, Matthew Henry saw so much of the Bible as a spiritual book. Even though the stories of the Bible were real events, Henry quite often saw that these stories were presenting allegorical spiritual lessons. He compared Scripture with Scripture, and by so doing, he usually arrived at a spiritual interpretation of the Bible.

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Matthew Henry Wikipedia Public Domain

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THE DAY OF THE LORD   

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In a very real sense, it has always been the Day Of The Lord. Listen to Scripture… “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND.” Revelation 1:3.

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This opening solemn warning at the start of the Book of Revelation is repeated a number of times in this prophecy… “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must SHORTLY come to pass” Revelation 1:1.

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Both at the beginning and at the ending of this book is this same warning repeated… “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for THE TIME IS AT HAND.” Revelation 22:10.

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This passage is found at the end of the Book of Revelation. So there are confirmations at the beginning of Relation, and at the end of Revelation, as that the time is at hand!

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But the Apostle John also made clear in his 1st letter, that the events of Revelation were already beginning to come to pass, even back in the first century, AD. just listen to this telling statement… “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” 1st John 2:18 

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The great theologians, such as Luther, Wycliffe, etc., throughout the Dark Ages and the Protestant Reformation looked at the Book of Revelation as an ever unfolding prophecy. Christians have been fighting the battle against Antichrist forces since the days of the Roman Circus. The history of the Church has been a bloody history indeed.

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The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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“AND HE…BY PEACE SHALL DESTROY MANY”

Daniel 8:25 

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But for the last several hundred years now, Satan has somewhat changed his tactics. While genuine persecution is still going on in some third world nations, Satan has flooded the more prosperous nations with a different type of persecution. He has flooded us with money, and amusements, and careers, and all sorts of all-consuming cares and pleasures. Very little persecution goes on in this society, compared to centuries past.

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We’ve all heard that old adage… “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.” And those who live in today’s society well know and understand just how true is this proverb. Just look around at all the decadence and hedonistic crime and mischief which has arisen today! We’re totally amazed, aren’t we? When we look at all the unthinkable crimes which daily appear in the press; atrocities we never dreamed possible, becoming common as grass!

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And isn’t it true today, because of the absence of bloody persecution, the Church in the west has become lethargic and preoccupied with all the many worldly diversions afforded us now? 

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APOCALYPSE HISTORICAL

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But here’s the point: because the historical knowledge of the persecution of God’s people in past centuries has mostly been buried in the sands of time, theologians have now begun to view Revelation as a book concerning the future…a 7 year period. Have you ever noticed that our school children are kept ignorant of this history of the church? This is no accident! We seem to have all but forgotten the past. The god of this world has all but blinded the eyes of society to this great history of the Church.

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And at the same time, we have adopted the idea that Revelation is only for the future, and not for the past. Oh yes, we are told that the first four chapters of Revelation were about the past. But they assign the last eighteen chapters to the last 7 years of time. 

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Now, having said all this, it must be stated that modern theologians are partly correct. And while they must ride roughshod over these repeated warnings not to seal this Revelation, “for the time is at hand”. In a very real sense they are somewhat correct about a grand dramatic fulfillment of Revelation in the last few years of time.

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ABOVE PICTURE – The whore city, Babylon, the apostate church-world – Burgkmair – 1523 AD – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

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FOXE’S BOOK OF MARTYRS!

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“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:17.

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So it says here that… “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark”.

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In a very real sense, the Mark of the Beast has always been given. Satan has always been hard at work to prevent the true Gospel from being bought and sold… “Buy the truth, and sehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Avvakum_by_Myasoyedov.jpegll it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” Proverbs 23:23.

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The buying and selling has to do with the true unadulterated Gospel. It is the object of the Enemy of Souls to prevent the hearing of and the performance of the true Gospel. Either by fiery persecution or by counterfeit  “worldly prosperity” gospels, the Dragon has been spewing his deadly flood-waters after the Woman, i.e., the Church (see Revelation 12) in hopes of sweeping her away. 

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And what does Satan care how he accomplishes his goal? Whether by violence or by the, “deceitfulness of riches” Matthew 13:22, this Dragon carries out his diabolical master-plan. 

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Avvakum (burned 1682)_by_artist, Myasoyedov 1897 Wiki. Pub Dom.

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NOT JUST FOR LAST 7 YEARS

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But there comes a time to end all things. And God will cut His work short in righteousness. And so, even though the Bible has been applicable to all Christians in all ages, it nevertheless will have a special fulfillment in this solemn hour ahead of us. 

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Listen to Scripture… “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” Revelation 1:19. This verse seems to have the sense of universality, doesn’t it?

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It says, “the things which you have seen…”; this is speaking of “the past”.

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Then it says, “the things which”; this is speaking of “the present”. 

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And lastly, it says, “the things which shall be hereafter”; this is speaking of “the future”.

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After all, this little book was written in the first century AD. The Greek word for, “hereafter”, literally means… “From this point onward”.     

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Revelation – Wikimedia

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APOCALYPSE ALWAYS

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The elderly and the sick persons of this world quite often suffer immensely from various illnesses. We have no idea, just how many, even in our own neighborhoods are going through the most excruciating sufferings on a daily basis. And Christians are not exempt from such suffering. All of humanity, to a lessor or greater extent, suffer the effects of sin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Munch_Det_Syke_Barn_1896.jpg

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But those who have entered God’s Rest can still have peace and perhaps even joy amid our trials and tribulations. We can have that peace that, “surpasses all understanding” Philippians 4:7. And we can go to this lost and hopelessly dying planet and tell them that they don’t have to suffer so hopelessly.

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Christ pleads with humanity… “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

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Notice that Jesus offers a REST unto our souls, to all of us who carry the heavy burden upon our shoulders; the burden that comes from the absence of God’s Spirit in our hearts and souls. 

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Munch Det Syke Barn – 1896 – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

 

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“GOD IS LOVE” & “HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER”

1st John 4:8 & 1st Chronicles 16:34 (and 40 other places)

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Now at this point, the following verse must be offered as a testimony to the fact that God Himself is the One who will punish the earth’s inhabitants.

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Listen… “For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.” Isaiah 30:33.

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This is one of those verses that the apostate church of the Dark Ages took and misinterpreted. They figured that there must be some netherworld cavern somewhere, in which sinners were unmercifully tortured. They took this verse literally, that there must be some pile of wood, that God breathes on and ignites.

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Again, the Bible in the hands of carnal Man, is soon mangled and twisted into something that it is not. As a result, perhaps millions of persons over the centuries became so fearful of this tyrant God named Jesus, that some even literally went insane, spending their lives in asylums, in stark dread of this God of wrath and vengeance.

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Of course, most evangelists today stay as far away as possible from this doctrine of Eternal Torment, because it’s difficult to tell people that “Oh, Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life; but all the unsaved will be roasting in eternal Hell-fire!”

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And there are many who are screaming in agony and pleading for mercy, through the countless ages. And with deaf ears, you will be blissfully fluttering through the heavens with nary a care, like this picture above. But if you dare question this insane dogma, you will often be pointed to some cult who doesn’t believe in Eternal Torment either.

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Then the obvious unspoken threat is….unless you recant on your audacity of even questioning this much-beloved traditional dogma of Eternal Torment, you too will be going down the same road as those misguided cults. 

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Storm_cellar wikipedia public domain. Buddhist hell wikipedia public domain.

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WHERE IS JESUS NOW?

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QUESTION: “If Jesus paid the price of eternal torment for mankind’s sins, then why is Jesus no longer being tormented?”

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ANSWER: Jesus is not being eternally tormented because eternal torment was never the wages of sin… “The wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23.

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QUESTION: “Well then why is Jesus no longer dead?”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:6tag_250316-124351.jpg

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ANSWER: This verse says it as well as any verse in Scripture concerning death… “So also Christ…Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from DEATH, and was heard in that He feared;” Hebrews 5:5, 7.

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Jesus paid the penalty of death, but death could not hold him. And He suffered the condemnation of sin, just prior to His physical death.   

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Cross of Jesus Christ – cropped photo – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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DAY OF THE LORD

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“For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:” Isaiah 2:12

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So now that we’ve explored the historical application of this passage… “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever“, we now need to see how it applies to the coming time of trouble.

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The above passage reveals a very great principle concerning the Day of the Lord: it will be upon all the, “proud and lofty“. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shoppers_on_Dundas,_near_Yonge.jpg

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But what else does this passage reveal about the Day of the Lord? Listen, as this passage continues… “For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish.” Isaiah 2:12-18.

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So here is coded language that the Day of the Lord will be upon the world, as well as the worldly Church. And it also is coded language that it is God’s intent, not only to destroy our pride, but also to destroy the idols of the world: all the selfish pursuits, and beloved institutions and the material things we love so dearly.

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Photo: Shoppers_on_Dundas_near_Yonge-by-Ian-Muttoo-for-Wikipedia-share-alike-license

 

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GOD’S JUDGMENTS ALREADY HERE

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So how will God accomplish all this? Well, don’t we see it already beginning to happen? Don’t we see our beloved institutions beginning to fail? Don’t we see immorality and decadence all around us? Don’t we see the lawlessness and injustice?

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Listen… “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14.

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Doesn’t this passage describe the death of the rule of law in our own land? And just look at how sexual perversion has become “the new normal”, as the saying goes.

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Yes, God’s judgments are already falling. But it’s not that God is bringing them upon us. All God has to do is to simply withdraw His protective hand, and let us destroy our own selves (with the help of Satan and his countless minions).

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Lightmatter burningman by Aaron Logan for wikimedia share-alike license

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“TO THE MOLES AND TO THE BATS…”

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And as never before, Mankind is tormented by our own doings.

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Listen… “The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.” Proverbs 11:6.

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The rebellion of Mankind, and our own ways will ultimately be our undoing. And as these calamities increase, there will be those who finally give up their rebellion, and turn to the Lord.

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Listen, as this passage from Isaiah continues… “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” Isaiah 2:19.

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Here again is veiled allegorical language which speaks of those who run and hide in the shelter of the Rock of Ages, Jesus.

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Listen as this passage continues… “In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the Earth.” Isaiah 2:20, 21.

.Constellation- Woman of Revelation 12 flees to the mountains Mark 13:14

Yes, those who finally realize that this world is a lose-lose proposition, will ultimately cast our beloved idols to the moles and bats (to the unsaved), and run to the shelter of that mighty Rock, Jesus, in that Day when God arises to shake terribly the Earth.

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So here in Isaiah is a brief description of how the inhabitants of the world will be tormented in these last moments of time.

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And of course we know, that… “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1st Peter 4:17.

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Big-eared-townsend-fledermaus Wikipedia public domain

“Cast Idols to Moles”_mole by Michael David Hill, wikipedia share-alike license

ABOVE PICTURE – winter Constellations – Woman of Revelation 12 (Ursa Major) flees to the mountains – Mark 13:14 – Dragon comprised of Hyades, Pleiades, etc…Valley of Decision mountain comprised of Cassiopeia, etc… (This is not a star-chart, but merely a concept picture since this mountain is not in this position, but is actually in the fall months)

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REVELATION TO HAVE A DRAMATIC FINALE

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Though Revelation has been a book for Christians at any and every time, the Book of Revelation will have a  dramatic fulfillment in these last days. It does appear that there will be a Grand Finale to this great conflict of the ages between Michael and the Dragon.

.Fleeing Woman Constellation

And though we must not forget the glorious but bloody history of the Church through the Dark Ages, we must also remember that the day is approaching, in which there will be a trial by fire for all those living on the earth: Judgment Day. Armageddon. The time of Jacob’s trouble. The Day of the Lord.

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Sketch to right not a star-chart. It is a concept picture. Constellations not correctly positioned here.

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THE TORMENT TO COMEhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christianandapollyon.jpg

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Now, we must not get the idea that the days ahead will be business as usual. Oh yes, for the people of the world, it may be business as usual. But for those Christians who have not yet overcome the world, the Day of Judgment will be intense and fiery! God will allow Satan to torment us with such fierce cruelty, that we will eventually cry out, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

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Christian and Apollyon – Pilgrim’s Progress – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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A LIVING NIGHTMARE!

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Yes, the days ahead will intensify beyond anything that you can now imagine, or words can describe! At times it will seem like a living nightmare! Satan and his evil angels will come at Christians with every possible weapon in their vast arsenal! Family and friends and strangers alike will assail the Christian to the point that it will seem that they are merely devils in human bodies!

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And when they lie down, Satan will attack them with terrifying dreams…“When I say, My bed shall comfort me…Then Thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions: So that my soul chooses strangling, and death rather than my life.” Job 7:13-15  

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DEMONS -wikipedia-US-public-domain

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THE TERRORS OF JUDGMENT DAY!

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The entire world will turn against God’s faithful remnant until they realize that their only hope is to cast all their trust upon God alone! They will have no earthly support!

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This infamous painting by Munch is a very appropriate depiction of Judgment Day, because it portrays a man in stark terror, while the people all around him have no cognizance of his torment! For them it is business as usual. For him it is being, “tormented by fire and brimstone and no rest, day nor night!”

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The Scream – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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“I SHALL COME FORTH AS GOLD”

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But we must not forget that God never punishes for the mere sake of inflicting pain! No, it is God’s will that His people become purified as gold which is tried in the fire! And so, the fiery trials before us are orchestrated to purify a people for God, who will learn to walk by faith, and by faith alone!

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No more will God’s people lean on the arm of flesh. No more will they halt between two opinions. No longer will they be a poor reflection of Christ.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Como-investir-ouro.jpg

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Because during the fiery trials just ahead, they will become so highly-polished vessels of gold and silver, that the world will begin to see Christ’s image shining out from them!

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At last they will finally lift up the Cross for all the onlooking world to behold!

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Gold bars – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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THE LAST DAY!

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No longer will it be the Church-defeated! Finally, it will be the Church-victorious!

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They will be as one Man! They will walk even as Christ walks! God’s Salvation plan will be complete!

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And at long last, they finally will see their long-awaited and long-hoped-for Savior, Jesus, “coming in the clouds, with great power and glory!”, to redeem them forever from this sin-cursed earth!

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Triumph of Christianity by G. Dore www.christimages.org Limited use license – see their website for restrictions

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“THE APPROACHING STORM

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We need to be pleading for God to hide us in that Day which is coming. We need to go into our chambers and close that doors about, and, “hide ourselves, as it were, but for a moment, until the indignation be overpast. For the Lord is coming out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the world.” Isaiah 26: & 27:1.

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No, this isn’t speaking of some fallout shelter. This is speaking of hiding ourselves under God’s protective shelter. This kind of a shelter can only come through making an entire surrender and a complete devotion to God.

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Isaiah 26:20 "enter thou into thy chambers...hide thyself...until the indignation be overpast.

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Listen… “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.” Zeph.2:3. 

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So here it is seen that God has not promised that we Christians are exempt from Judgment Day. After all, He is not speaking to unbelievers in the above verse, but to the MEEK (i.e., Believers). Notice God says “it MAY BE” ye shall be hid. So anyone who thinks he or she is a shoe-in to escape all these things, needs to re-examine Scripture. 

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HOW DO I HIDE?

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“And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at His coming. If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him…And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1st John 2:28, 28 & 3:3.

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The above passage from 1st John pretty much nails it down as to just who will not be ashamed at the Coming of Jesus: those who are purifying themselves, even as Christ is pure.

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http://www.muskegonartmuseum.org/collections-gallery/gallery

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And couple this passage from 1st John with this next passage from Luke… “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”  Luke 21:34-36.

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So with these verses in mind, what else is there to do, but to do the following… “In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” Isaiah 2:20, 21.

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“I WILL STAND UPON MY WATCH”

Habakkuk 2:1

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So let’s not be found sleeping at our posts when that day arrives…. “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” Luke 21:34, 35   

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This American soldier is definitely not asleep at his post. And neither should we Christians be asleep at our posts… “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1st Thessalonians 5:2, 3 

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Air Force Sergeant on guard duty at Baghdad International Airport wikimedia public domain

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BE LIKE THE FIVE WISE VIRGINS

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But for those who think that the Church will only experience “peace and safety”, just listen to the next verse… “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1st Thessalonians 5:4-6. 

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This picture is of the Parable of the Ten Virgins. This picture is of the five wise virgins. Yes they too went to sleep, as did the foolish virgins. But unlike the foolish virgins, these wise carried oil in the vessels. So the obvious lesson here is that God’s people must have that vital connection with the Spirit of Holiness. 

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five wise virgins matt25 www.thebiblerevival.com public domain

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CONCLUSION: “I WILL GIVE YOU REST”

Matthew 11:28-30

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“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  

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If one studies nature carefully, it will soon be evident that natural beauty brings a certain peace and rest to the beholder. God loves peace and rest. When He placed our first parents in that beautiful garden, he gave them everything needful for health and happiness.

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http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_109500/Claude-Oscar-Monet/Pathway-In-Monets-Garden-At-Giverny

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Does anyone suppose that when this present Earth will be created anew, that the New Earth will be any less beautiful than this present world. Oh there probably won’t be any dry deserts, or dead grass. But the Lord will place us in every bit as much beauty and restfulness as enjoyed in the original garden.

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And no doubt, this beautiful garden which this fine painter painted only just begins to give us a hint of what’s in store for those who will continue on that upward pathway, which is now before us.

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Monet painting Pathway in Monets Garden at Giverny wikigallery public domain

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THE END

 

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A HEAVENLY HOBBY

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.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1_vermont_night_stargazing_panorama_2009.jpg

“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold Who hath created these things; that brings out their host by number: He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth.” Isaiah 40:26

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vermont night stargazing panorama 2009 wikipedia share-alike lic.

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The above verse is a plea from God to look up at the Heavens and behold Who has created these things.

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In this busy work-a-day world, there are many very interesting things which can occupy one’s time and energy: hobbies, and careers, and entertainments and worries, and habits, to name just a few.

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But as the child of God devotes his or her life to God, there should be a jealous guarding of one’s own heart… “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23.

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The Christian wants nothing to get in the way of running that Christian Race.

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 New York Times Square – terabass – Wikipedia – Share-alike License

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“AND WHEN YE SEE THESE THINGS…

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LOOK UP, LIFT UP YOUR HEAD”

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But having said this, there is one hobby which every ‘Noble Berean’ may take up, which only compliments the pursuit of the heavenly Prize.

.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Astronomy_Amateur_3_V2.jpg

Yes, Signs Of Heaven becomes a wonderfully rewarding hobby which, unlike many less meaningful hobbies, pays off with rich, heavenly rewards. Everlasting rewards!

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And unlike these people in this photo with equipment, all you need is fairly good vision, and a dark, starry night.

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And once a person really gets to know these heavenly messengers, it will become very apparent that the message connected with these signs is truly a message to be heeded.

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Thus will the Christian be able to share this message with others. And there are perhaps many nuances and hidden biblical truths to these signs which have yet to be discovered.

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Astronomy Amateur Wikipedia share-alike license

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“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;” Luke 21:25

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ABOVE STAR-CHART – Summer Constellations with Two Turtledoves (Sagittarius) & Flower of the Field (aka: Scorpio) & The 12-Star Crown (aka: Corona Borealis) & The Cross-Scepter (aka: Ophiochus & Serpens) & Revelation 12 Woman (Ursa Major) & Arcturus Star – www.theheavensdeclare.net

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FIRST FIND ORION & 7 STARS

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The very first step in finding these many constellations, should be to find the two main constellations: Orion, and the 7 Stars (aka, The Big Dipper).

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These two constellations represent Christ (Orion), and His Church (7 Stars).

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And just as these are the easiest constellations to find, so too, the first place to begin studying the Bible is the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).

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These four books present Christ and His Church, when He walked the earth, just as Orion and the 7 Stars represent Christ and His Church, as seen up in the heavens.

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Then, once you are comfortable finding these two constellations, you can begin to locate the next closest constellations, and so on.

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ABOVE PICTURE – winter constellations – Orion & Revelation 12 Dragon (Hyades, Pleiades, etc…) seen at Eagle Ridge – Signs Of Heaven.org – Not for profit use!once you are comfortable finding these two constellations, you can begin to locate the next closest constellations, and so on.

ABOVE PICTURE – 7 Stars Constellation as the Cross (aka Big Dipper) – winter – signsofheaven.org – not for commercial uses

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ANOTHER HEAVENLY HOBBY: PRAYER-WALKS

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Now if you’re fortunate enough to be able to go on nightly walks, and you live in an area where you can safely view the stars, here is another Heavenly Hobby which Signs Of Heaven endorses…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Starry_Night_at_La_Silla.jpg.

Why not combine star-watching with prayer, as you walk? What a great way to draw closer to God!

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It cannot be over-stressed, just how wonderful it is to walk under the dark canopy of Heaven, while lifting up one’s heart to our Heavenly Father! There is a closeness to God that cannot be described with words!

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(And even if you cannot safely do this, you can always do such prayer-walks in the daytime, in a safe place, such as a mall, which is every bit as effective, prayer-wise.

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And for those who are in confinement, one can view these starry signs on the Internet, or simply listen to Scripture on audio.

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Either way, all such may enjoy God’s richest blessings at this very time in which God is pouring out all Heaven’s treasures upon anyone willing to forsake all, and follow Jesus!)

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Starry Night at La Silla Wikipedia share-alike license

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THRICE-DAILY PRAYERS

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marines_at_Prayer_by_Alex_Raymond.jpg.

Now of course, the Bible commands us to, “pray without ceasing“. The Christian is to constantly talk with our Heavenly Father throughout the day.

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But the Bible also holds up the godly life of Daniel, who, when captive in Babylon, still set aside three times daily, in which he knelt for special prayer.

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And furthermore the Bible also says… “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17.

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Even those who are bed-fast or in a prison cell can begin to imitate Daniel in this way. And if one is fortunate to be able to walk, then this thrice-daily prayer regimen can be combined with three walks daily and even nightly.

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Marines at Prayer by Alex Raymond wikimedia public domain

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