Fixing Your Foundation

Fixing Your Foundation


No matter what you endeavor to do in life, it’s important that you have a good foundation to build on. If you want to play a sport that requires running or skating, you need to know how to run and skate and have coordination as a foundation to build on. If you want to be an accountant, learning basic math skills will be needed for the foundation of your profession. Jesus explained this concept to us in the parable of the wise and foolish men building a house. He told us we need to be sure our spiritual foundations are solid if we want our house of faith to survive the storms of life.

Although foundations are the most important part of a structure, they often go unchecked once we’ve laid them. We tend to forget about them. Taking them for granted we concentrate on the more attractive, thrilling aspects of the building. However, making sure those foundations remain firm and healthy is important to maintaining any structure. Periodic inspection for denigration is imperative. Is your foundation secure? Or does it have cracks. This article will help you discover a common foundational flaw.

Most Christians I’ve observed, build the foundations of their faith by adopting the beliefs they have been taught, rather than proving those beliefs through rigorous Bible study. Being a Christian demands that Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith, but a corner stone doesn’t form the full foundation. The very fact there is a cornerstone, means there must be intersecting foundation walls connected to it. Those spiritual footings include a wide array of differing beliefs that Christians will adhere to depending on their denomination.

Building from the cornerstone of Jesus, most Christians adopt their faith foundations from the denomination they feel most comfortable in. By not testing or proving their foundational beliefs against the word of God in the Bible, they take the doctrines from their chosen church as truth. They happily go along with the status quo until something changes and their foundational beliefs are challenged.

An example of this happened within my church. Our local church decided, through a congregational vote, to elect women onto our church’s board of Elders. This started a debate about complementarian and egalitarian values. Scriptures were brought forward by both sides to support their cases, both claiming to be following Bible scripture and intent. I wondered aloud why we had men as Elders who had been divorced and remarried or were single in apparent contradiction to scripture. As well, why are we holding ourselves to one Biblical standard when our model of governance was completely different from that of the first century church. I wondered when the first century congregations ever voted on any matter.

I further questioned, why are the women voting if indeed they aren’t fit to lead? Letting them vote would skew the results and change the direction of our church. In effect letting them lead. Democracy is government driven from the people giving the power of leadership to the people. A government of the people, by the people, is not Biblical.

Some members decided to stop attending after the vote, not wanting to support a local congregation that no longer supported their foundational beliefs. Our local church’s status quo had shifted off their personal foundations of faith.

More recently some of my friends have become concerned with the popular teachings of a church from northern California. This church is charismatic by nature and predominantly uses a nonliteral translation of the Bible to formulate their teachings. My friends are concerned about heretical viewpoints that may result within those who follow those teachings, ultimately taking those converts away from the truth of God. My friends’ foundational beliefs are being challenged and they refuse to sit by idly as they perceive others are being led astray through false teaching.

A lot of Christian teachings focus on non-essential customs that have been adopted by different denominations. These doctrines are not so much wrong as they are just different than what we may be accustomed to. However, we do need to make sure that our non-essential beliefs don’t contradict our essential beliefs. That would be like building a wing of our house out onto the grassy lawn, without any foundation at all.

It’s important that Christians challenge heresy when they come across it. The Bible instructs us all to be ready with an answer for the hope that lies within us. Defending our beliefs through Bible scripture is the only way to authenticate them as Godly truth. Having a firm footing through the word of God is essential to fully appreciate the love God has for us. I have come to believe there is a common false doctrine that has led secular and Christian alike away from God. Replacing this false belief with Bible truth is necessary to fully understand God’s plan for humanity and the salvation Jesus brought to the world. Understanding where this belief came from and how it misdirects us away from the gospel of Jesus is crucial when building our faith.

When asked, most Christians will tell you they want to follow the truth of God. You would be hard pressed to find a Christian denomination that states they could care less about what God, Jesus, or the Bible has to say. Christians who build their foundations of faith on unsound doctrines, or on denominational beliefs alone, will often look for a new church to attend when their beliefs are challenged, rather than test their beliefs against all of what the Bible has to say. Not many Christians prove their core foundations through a personal exhaustive search of what God has to say within the pages of his Bible. Getting core beliefs correct is important when setting our foundation of faith. Otherwise our house of faith will not stand against life’s trials and collapse.

It reminds me of a valley that was developed into suburbs in my hometown. This valley was good for farming, but it was geologically formed with strips of thick clay randomly running through its gravel base. When developed, many basements started to crack, and houses started to fall apart because of the differing expansion and contraction rates of the substrate soil. Sometimes only one part, or wing of a house would be affected depending on what type of soil that part of the foundation was supported by. For the entire house to be sound though, the entire foundation has to be strong. In the same way, all our beliefs, peripheral as well as essential, must be firmly based on Bible scripture.

I attend a church that bills itself as a church that encourages freedom of thought, encouraging its congregants to agree on the essentials but have freedom on the peripherals. This tends to leave us welcoming to those who don’t share the same perspectives on issues as the majority. I have found most members will agree to disagree, rather than deeply study into a point of contention and resolve it. Believing the Bible to be non-contradictory and the authoritative word of God, I don’t favor this approach.

I personally don’t want to be out of tune with the word of God. If I’m wrong, I want to change and believe the truth supported in the Bible, as it can potentially influence other aspects of my biblical understanding. Unfortunately for me, it’s hard to engage my church brethren into deep discussions on our differing beliefs of faith. They would rather discuss peripheral topics superficially, ultimately leaving most subjects open to personal preference, rather than biblical fact.

The issues of improper teaching and leadership roles are important to any church body and not ones to be taken lightly. They should be dealt with through extensive Bible study and prayer within the church. There is one essential false doctrine that has flourished throughout history. One that most of mankind mistakenly shares. More than any other belief or teaching, it is responsible for leading religious and secular society away from God and his plans of salvation. I believe Christians concerned about false doctrine flourishing in their local church should deal with this belief before they set out to rectify more peripheral issues. Getting this foundational doctrine wrong will affect the understanding of most other Christian beliefs. Like all Christian truth, this one can be proved from within Bible scripture.

The false belief I’m talking about was given to humanity at its very inception. It was believed and passed on through the following generations until virtually all humanity has accepted it as fact. That’s how the same, one false belief has come to infect the entire world. The Bible account of this event is recorded for us in Genesis 3 (KJV)

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

This encounter occurs during the event that has come to be known as, the original sin. This event also contains the original lie. The lie is delivered by the father of lies, who cunningly makes his first lie to humanity. It sets as many who believe it on a path away from their maker. Satan is described as the most subtle of all the creatures. He’s called not only wicked but also a murderer, schemer and the deceiver of the whole world. Mixing truth with lies, he has misled mankind about their most basic nature. He told mankind they possess a soul that will not die. Leaving humanity in no need of Jesus to provide them with immortal, eternal life.

However, as John 3:16 tells us, we must rely completely upon our belief in Jesus to gain eternal life, as only those who do will receive it. Those who don’t believe in Jesus will perish, as 3: 

They will not receive eternal life.

John 3:16 (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Many Christians are so beguiled by an immortal soul belief, they unwittingly imagine scenarios that nullify the explicit words of God. Most Christians teach that humans are immortal at either birth or conception. This belief contradicts the Bible when it quotes God as he personally tells us mankind is mortal.

Genesis 6:3 (NIV)
3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

Many people believe I’m exaggerating when I say that believing we have an immortal soul can lead us away from God and his plans for mankind. Let me provide a few examples of how it does. Most Christians believe when they die their immortal soul will go directly to heaven. After all, their immortal soul would need someplace to reside after the death of their physical bodies. This idea does not square with biblical scripture that explains believers are all resurrected at the same event, at the return of Jesus. We tend to forget that for a person to be resurrected back to life, they must first be dead. We are told they are asleep, waiting for their resurrection to occur. Those believers who are dead rise first, then those who are left alive join with them as Jesus returns.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who [a]sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are [b]asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Referring to the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, many believe Jesus gave his followers an example of heaven and hell. When reading the parable from the beginning we find Jesus addressing the Jewish and temple leaders, not his followers. By addressing the Jewish leaders, Jesus was predicting how those very leaders would reject him. Even after fulfilling their last messianic miracle of bringing a dead person back to life after three days in the grave, those leaders still rejected Jesus as their messiah.

The Bible is revered by Christians to be the uncontradictory word of God. For the parable of Lazarus and the rich man to be literally describing heaven and hell, Abraham would have to be there in charge as the parable describes. However, the Bible explains Abraham is dead as he still hasn’t received the promise of eternal life. It describes him as waiting so that all believers can be made perfect at the same event, at the return of Jesus.

Hebrews 11:39-40 (NKJV)
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

Centuries after Abraham died and months before Jesus was crucified he gave us the exact number of people that were in heaven. It is recorded in John.

John 3:13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
The parable cannot be a literal description of heaven and hell as many believe. Abraham and Lazarus cannot be in heaven, as John 3:13 says, ‘No one has ever gone into heaven’.

Hebrews further tells us the faithful not only had their dead loved ones resurrected back to a physical life, but when being tortured to death they would refuse freedom because they desired an even better resurrection.

Hebrews 11:35 New International Version (NIV)
35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.

The timing of when Christians arrive in heaven may be deemed as a peripheral belief and not essential to the Christian faith. Beliefs the Bible does describe as essential are the Bible facts surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The Christian pillars of Jesus’ crucifixion, death, resurrection and proof of life are covered in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5. KJV.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

Later on, in chapter 15 Paul describes these facts as essential and the foundations for the Christian faith.

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Resurrection back to life is central to the beliefs the disciples clung too. Knowing they had to die before they could be resurrected, they asked Jesus when they would be resurrected from the dead. Jesus told them four times in one conversation when their resurrection would take place. Their resurrection, as well as ours, will take place when Christ returns at the last day.

John 6:39-40 New International Version (NIV)
39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
John 6:44 New International Version (NIV)
44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
John 6:54 New International Version (NIV)
54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

Christians justifiably make a lot of the fact that Jesus died for our sins and go on to explain that unless we accept his life’s sacrifice for ourselves, we are lost to our sin. The truth that Jesus died, leaves a Christian having to define what death is. For if it’s only through the death of Jesus that we can be saved, we need to understand what death is.

The truth that Jesus died, leaves a Christian having to define what death is.
Clayton Carlson

Physical death can be defined as the point when a person’s body no longer functions on any level, then rots back into the dirt it was formed out of. Most Christians and people of other faiths will tell us humans have a soul, spirit or some other ethereal aspect that lives within us all. It is often described as our immortal soul and that it lives on after our physical body dies. They explain although our mortal body is dead our immortal soul lives on independently conscious somewhere else.

To know what God has to say, we need to consult the Bible, for that is where God has provided the answer. Rather than agreeing that immortal souls of the physically dead are alive watching over us, the Bible tells us the dead know nothing and their emotions have ceased, leaving them unable to even praise God.

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 King James Version (KJV)
5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Psalm 115:17 King James Version (KJV)
17 The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.
Genesis is often used to support the immortal soul belief, believing mankind was created with one.

Genesis 2:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

It is true we were created a living soul, but our soul is mortal, the same as any animal. Soul refers to our bodies and psyche. This can be verified by looking at the Hebrew word that was translated as soul. The word Nephesh was used by God to describe all living fleshy animals. It was translated as soul when referring to humans, probably because man is sentient and other animals are not. In the terms of usage, Strong’s tells us Nephesh is to be used to describe mortal.

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)
נֶפֶשׁ nephesh, neh’-fesh; from H5314; properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental):—any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, × dead(-ly), desire, × (dis-) contented, × fish, ghost, greedy, he, heart(-y), (hath, × jeopardy of) life (× in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-) self, them (your) -selves, slay, soul, tablet, they, thing, (× she) will, × would have it.

This discussion might be considered by some to also be peripheral in nature. I disagree. To be on sure footings, our peripheral beliefs can’t contradict our essential ones. The foundational belief that Jesus died for our sins is essential. He couldn’t have been dead if he had a conscious, immortal soul that was alive somewhere else, independent from his body. At best, Jesus would have only been extremely physically handicapped.

Logic dictates you can’t be pregnant and not pregnant at the same time. Opposites are like that. Evolutionists illogically believe there could have been gravity, particles or magnetic fields before anything existed. Good logic demands that you can’t be mortal if you possess immortality. Not letting our essential and peripheral beliefs contradict themselves is necessary when building our Christian foundations. If they do, our peripheral beliefs will not be supported by our Christian foundations. Leaving our house of faith to crumble as Jesus predicted they would during the storms of life.

I could give more examples but my intent here is to provide a small glimpse of how the immortal soul doctrine leads Christians away from the truths of God. I hope your interest is perked enough to look deeply into the subject yourself. Building our foundations of faith on the words of the Bible is important for all Christians. Let’s make sure our essential beliefs are correct as we construct a strong house of peripheral beliefs on top of a solid foundation.

Thy Kingdom Come

Thy Kingdom Come

Thy Kingdom Come

A good friend and I have been discussing how Christians will have an eternal, active life with Jesus and how there is an eternal hell, or punishment for those who reject him. We share these beliefs although we differ on the mechanics of how it plays out. She sent me three scriptures to check out.

Revelation 20:14-15 King James Version (KJV)

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Daniel 12:2 New International Version (NIV)

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Matthew 25:46 New International Version (NIV)

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

When it comes to the after-life, my friend and I don’t share all the same beliefs. She sides with a traditional Christian belief where the dead have an immortal soul that goes on to heaven or hell immediately after death, depending on how they lived their present physical lives. My understanding is less popular, I believe mankind is completely mortal and the dead are dead. Not having anything immortal about them, they must wait for God to resurrect them back to life when he’s ready. An important part of my belief is that through a resurrection back to physical life, God will give everyone who has ever lived an opportunity to accept Jesus and the salvation he alone brought to mankind.

To effectively comment on the scriptures my friend sent me to look at, I thought it would be helpful to explain how I believe the Bible describes these resurrections take place. Since most people aren’t familiar with the resurrections, it would mean nothing to most if I said one verse was an overview of all three resurrections and the other verses were about the third.

*A founding truth of Christianity is, we can only gain salvation by accepting Jesus as your savior. There is only one way.

Romans 10:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Acts 4:12 Good News Translation (GNT)

12 Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us.”

*Those who are called by God have their opportunity now during this life.

2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

*Not everyone in the world is meant to hear about Jesus during this present life.

Mark 4:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,

“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]


*God has purposefully chosen the foolish of the world.

1 Corinthians 1:27 English Standard Version (ESV)

27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

*Only those God draws to Jesus can come to him for salvation.

John 6:44 New International Version (NIV)

44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

*Those who come to Jesus during this life will be resurrected into their new bodies at the return of Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 New International Version (NIV)

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

*All the faithful believers will be resurrected into spiritual bodies like Jesus has. We get our new bodies together at the same event when Jesus returns to the earth.

Hebrews 11:39-40 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

39 God was pleased with all of them because of their faith. But not one of them received God’s great promise. 40 God planned something better for us. He wanted to make us perfect. Of course, he wanted those great people to be made perfect too, but not before we could all enjoy that blessing together.

*When teaching a crowd about eternal life, Jesus told them 4 times in John 6 when he would raise up his disciples.

39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me,but raise them up at the last day.

40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

*This is the first mass resurrection of humanity by God. It’s referred to as the first resurrection, although it isn’t technically the first resurrection of a person. Those who answer the call of God during this life will rein with Jesus. For the first thousand years after Jesus returns, they’ll be teaching the inhabitants of the world how to live a Godly life as the earth is being rejuvenated.

Revelation 20:6 King James Version (KJV)

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

*When Jesus returns to the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, he defeats the armies of the world who oppose him. We will be with him as kings and priests, ruling over those who survive this war and their offspring.

Revelation 5:10 King James Version (KJV)

10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

*Satan is then bound for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:1-3 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

20 I saw an angel coming down out of heaven. The angel had the key to the bottomless pit. The angel also held a large chain in his hand. The angel grabbed the dragon, that old snake, also known as the devil or Satan. The angel tied the dragon with the chain for 1000 years. Then the angel threw the dragon into the bottomless pit and closed it. The angel locked it over the dragon. The angel did this so that the dragon could not trick the people of the earth until the 1000 years were ended. After 1000 years the dragon must be made free for a short time.

*The earth will be in shambles, in need of healing, barely able to sustain life.

Matthew 24:22 New King James Version (NKJV)

22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the [a]elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

*Healing waters will flow out into the world, renewing it for that first thousand years.

Zechariah 14:8 New International Version (NIV)

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.

*The first resurrection is for the followers of Jesus who come through the tribulation and are given new bodies at his return but there are more resurrections to come for humanity.

Revelation 20:4-6 New International Version (NIV)

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheadedbecause of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.They[a] had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reignedwith Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

*At the end of the thousand years, before Satan is released, there is another mass resurrection of humanity. The rest of the dead come to life at the end of the thousand years, in a second resurrection. It’s in this resurrection to physical life that all people who never had an opportunity to know Jesus will get their chance. Those who died young, or lived at the wrong time or place, those who lived a life free from the call of God, they will finally get their chance to hear that call. They will be resurrected onto a freshly renovated earth where they will be taught, free of any Satanic influence, by Jesus and his kings and priests. They will have a lifetime to decide if they want to follow Jesus. Not all will choose to follow Jesus, but it will be their free choice. God will not force anyone to follow his ways, we all must follow willingly.

Isaiah 65:20 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
For the child shall die one hundred years old,
But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.

Ezekiel 37:11-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’

*At the end of their lifetime Satan will be released from his chains. He goes out to deceive mankind.

Revelation 20:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

*Again, the wicked follow Satan and fight against God.

Revelation 20:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

*Now God deals with Satan and the demons. Being immortal spirit beings, they cannot die and will be tormented eternally.

Revelation 20:10 King James Version (KJV)

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

*Everyone who has ever lived has now had an opportunity to freely come to Jesus. Called by God during their first life, some were blessed by successfully struggling against Satan to become kings and priests of God. Others were resurrected to a second physical life where they decided if they would follow Jesus or not. Those who followed Satan into rebellion against God were killed by fire. Everyone who has ever lived have now had their call to follow Jesus, either during their first or second life.

It’s at this point where the verses my friend pointed out to me come into play. This is when God puts an end to all evil forever, as all those alive have chosen to follow Jesus in the ways of love, death and hell are cast into the lake of fire as they will never be used by mankind again.

Revelation 20:14-15 King James Version (KJV)

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

*Some scoff at my beliefs of a second life for mankind. I think it’s important to remember that before we can have a second death, we would need to have a second life. That’s why those who are in the first resurrection at the return of Jesus cannot be hurt by the second death, they are resurrected into immortal bodies like Jesus has, not a mortal one that can die.

Revelation 20:6 King James Version (KJV)

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

*However, there are still people to deal with. Those who were called by God but didn’t effectively put their talents to use in following Jesus during this first life, will now be resurrected back into a mortal body to give an accounting to God for their decisions, in what I call, the third and final resurrection. Not being found in the book of life they will be cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:15 King James Version (KJV)

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

*Like in the teaching of the sheep and the goats or the wheat and the tares, those who believe in Jesus are separated into two groups. The good ones have already been resurrected into glorious bodies at the return of Jesus. When the others, who are resurrected into physical bodies are thrown into the lake of fire, they will die for the last time, their second death. Having only received a physical life from God, this last death will last for all eternity.

Luke 9:62 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts his hand to the plough and then looks behind him is useless for the kingdom of God.”

*There will be no one left for God to resurrect back to life, as all of humanity will have now had their one opportunity to accept Jesus as their savior. This is also when a second verse from my friend takes place. Those who die in the lake of fire will be dead for all eternity. Being dead they will know nothing, feel nothing, think nothing. They will be nothing for ever. Their punishment will be eternal; not eternal punishing. Those who decide to follow Jesus will have eternal life, the opposite experience.

Matthew 25:46 New International Version (NIV)

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

*The last scripture is an overview of the end time. Some who are asleep will awaken when Jesus returns, others at the second resurrection where they will be called to Jesus for the first time. In the third resurrection others will be resurrected only to give an accounting for themselves. Everyone will be resurrected back to life, some to everlasting life, others to everlasting contempt.

Daniel 12:2 New International Version (NIV)

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

*I believe the Bible is the true word of God. If it appears to be contradictory, then we are misunderstanding the scripture. Therefore, all scripture must be accounted for and understood so all scripture can be understood in harmony. I believe the only way to seamlessly fit verses like Romans 6:23 or John 3:15-17 into end time events, is to understand how the resurrections take place.

Romans 6:23 King James Version (KJV)

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 3:15-17 King James Version (KJV)

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

*My friend and I both agree that those who love Jesus will be with him for all eternity, while those who choose not to follow Jesus will be eternally punished. We both believe God will not, nor cannot, force sentient, free thinking humans to love and obey him. That’s something we must decide to do for ourselves.

This series of resurrections is the only Bible based process I’ve found, where everyone who has ever lived gets to come to know and freely choose Jesus for themselves. Christians have a great opportunity ahead of them in the kingdom of God as they teach the bulk of humanity about the love of Jesus, ultimately sharing it with all the children of God forever.

Luke 1:33 King James Version (KJV)

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Isaiah 9:7 King James Version (KJV)

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Humane Societies Display the Love Of God

Humane Societies Display the Love Of God

The story of Mary Ellen Wilson chronicles the first documented case of child abuse in America. Her’s is a harrowing story of unwarranted torture and providential rescue. What makes her story even more interesting, is the means taken to secure that rescue.

A Methodist missionary, Etta Angell Wheeler recounts the story she was told. “A family of three persons, a man, a woman and a little girl, supposed to be five or six years old; that during these two years the child had been a close prisoner having been seen only once by the other tenants; that she was often cruelly whipped and very frequently left alone the entire day with the windows darkened, and she locked in an inner room.”

Wanting to verify the story, Etta went to see for herself. Here’s what she found in her own words. “…after a time, the door was slightly opened and a woman’s sharp voice asked my errand. I began telling her of her sick and lonely neighbor and talked on until, unconsciously, she had opened the door, so that I could step in. This I did and, being an unbidden guest, made a very brief call. I was there only long enough to see the child and gain my own impression of her condition. While still talking with the woman, I saw a pale, thin child, barefoot, in a thin, scanty dress so tattered that I could see she wore but one garment besides.

It was December and the weather bitterly cold. She was a tiny mite, the size of five years, though, as afterward appeared, she was then nine. From a pan set upon a low stool she stood washing dishes, struggling with a frying pan about as heavy as herself. Across the table lay a brutal whip of twisted leather strands and the child’s meagre arms and legs bore many marks of its use. But the saddest part of her story was written on her face in its look of suppression and misery, the face of a child unloved, of a child that had seen only the fearsome side of life. These things I saw while seeming not to see, and I left without speaking to, or of, the child.”

Etta was compelled to help, but how? The local authorities were reluctant to act upon the child cruelty laws currently in place, because no laws protected children from abuse at the time. For a few agonizing months Etta tried fruitlessly to find relief for Mary. Wheeler was familiar with the animal cruelty laws recently enacted. In desperation she reasoned that the life of Mary was as important as that of an animal, so she turned to Henry Bergh, a local advocate for the animal humane movement and the founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Mr. Bergh listened to Etta tell of Mary’s distress, he wasn’t sure if he could help, but promised to do what he could and get back to her when he knew more.

Etta explains what happened next. “Mr. Bergh called upon me to ask if I would go to the Court House, the child having been already sent for. He expressed pleasure that he need not ask me to go to a police court, Judge Lawrence of the Supreme Court having kindly taken the case. After we had waited a short time in the Judge’s Court, two officers came in, one of whom had the little girl in his arms. She was wrapped in a carriage blanket and was without other clothing than the two ragged garments I had seen her in months before. Her body was bruised, her face disfigured, and the woman, as if to make testimony sure against herself, had the day before, struck the child with a pair of shears, cutting a gash through the left eye-brow and down the cheek, fortunately escaping the eye.

The child was sobbing bitterly when brought in but there was a touch of the ludicrous with it all. While one of the officers had held the infuriated woman, the other had taken away the terrified child. She was still shrieking as they drove away and they called a halt at the first candy shop, so that she came into court weeping and terrified but waving as a weapon of defense a huge stick of peppermint candy. Poor child! It was her one earthly possession. The investigation proceeded. The child’s appearance was testimony enough, little of mine was needed, and, thus, on Thursday, April 9, 1874, her rescue was accomplished. This Mr. Bergh had effected within forty-eight hours after first hearing of the case.” 

When Mary was asked to tell of her situation, she had this to say to the court. “My father and mother are both dead. I don’t know how old I am. I have no recollection of a time when I did not live with the Connollys. Mamma has been in the habit of whipping and beating me almost every day. She used to whip me with a twisted whip—a rawhide. The whip always left a black and blue mark on my body. I have now the black and blue marks on my head which were made by mamma, and also a cut on the left side of my forehead which was made by a pair of scissors. She struck me with the scissors and cut me; I have no recollection of ever having been kissed by any one—have never been kissed by mamma. I have never been taken on my mamma’s lap and caressed or petted. I never dared to speak to anybody, because if I did I would get whipped. I do not know for what I was whipped—mamma never said anything to me when she whipped me. I do not want to go back to live with mamma, because she beats me so. I have no recollection ever being on the street in my life.”[2]

Because no laws protected children from abuse at the time, statutes against cruelty to animals were invoked to remove her from the home.

The RSPCA was founded in England in 1824, Henry Bergh founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1866. As the movement gathered momentum, the countries first national humane organization was established on October 9, 1877, in Cleveland Ohio. Its first goal was to secure humane treatment for livestock in transit and working animals. Child protection and safety concerns were adopted into the American Humane’s platform in 1878, four years after the rescue of Mary Ellen Wilson. Few people today realize that child protection laws came after and were birthed out of the SPCA movement, which was founded on the clear belief that all animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment and must be protected under the law.

Those same beliefs thrive today. It’s socially unacceptable to mistreat or torture an animal in today’s society, let alone a child. Most people are disgusted by the treatment Mary Ellen endured and wonder what kind of a sick mind would treat a child with such malice. To punish someone for doing wrong is one thing, but to punish or torture someone who has no idea what is expected of them, goes beyond what a compassionate mind would think and do.

I was discussing salvation with a few mature Christians the other day. We agreed that it was important to take the salvation message of Jesus to the world. But when I talked about the coming Kingdom of God they fell quiet and were less enthusiastic. I asked why. Jesus instructed his church to spread the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world. The gospel of salvation is good news, but it isn’t the gospel Jesus preached. It seems to me that the good news of salvation is a gospel about Jesus rather than the gospel of Jesus. I pointed out that Jesus never called on people to accept him as their savior so they could be saved, rather he taught in parables, obscuring his teachings. Not having cell service or Wi-Fi at our location we could only referrer to the Bible. Here are some of the scriptures we referenced in our discussion:

Matthew 13:10-18 New International Version (NIV)

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Jesus taught that not everyone is being called during this life. Rather we must be drawn to Jesus by God. Jesus didn’t try to bring salvation to the majority, he hid it from them in parables, revealing knowledge only to those God had drawn to him. This would have put salvation out of reach for the public at large. I believe the same is true today, God calls those he has a purpose for during this life.

John 6:44 New International Version (NIV)

44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.


John 15:16 | NIV 

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Romans 8:28 | NIV 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

NIV 1 Corinthians 1:28-29 | NIV 

God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 | NIV 

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Philippians 3:14 | NIV 

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 2:14 | NIV

He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 1:9 | NIV 

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.

1 Peter 2:21 | NIV

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Ephesians 4:4 | NIV

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called.

1 Peter 1:15-16 | NIV 

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 3:9 | NIV 

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

1 Corinthians 1:9 | NIV

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

My belief that not everyone is called during this life was received with skepticism from my friends. They countered that humans were children of God and God will receive any who come to Jesus through faith and that the only way to be saved was by accepting Jesus as our savior.

John 5:24-26 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

24 “I assure you, anyone who hears what I say and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life. They will not be judged guilty. They have already left death and have entered into life. 25 Believe me, an important time is coming. That time is already here. People who are dead will hear the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. 26 Life comes from the Father himself. So the Father has also allowed the Son to give life.

Acts 4:12 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

12 Jesus is the only one who can save people. His name is the only power in the world that has been given to save anyone. We must be saved through him!”

2 Timothy 1:9-10 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

God saved us and chose us to be his holy people, but not because of anything we ourselves did. God saved us and made us his people because that was what he wanted and because of his grace. That grace was given to us through Christ Jesus before time began. 10 And now it has been shown to us in the coming of our Savior Christ Jesus. He destroyed death and showed us the way to have life. Yes, through the Good News Jesus showed us the way to have life that cannot be destroyed.

Romans 10:9-10 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

If you openly say, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from death, you will be saved. 10 Yes, we believe in Jesus deep in our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we openly say that we believe in him, and so we are saved.

John 6:47 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

47 “I can assure you that anyone who believes has eternal life.

John 3:16-17 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

16 Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life.17 God sent his Son into the world. He did not send him to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.

They continued to explain that those who didn’t receive Jesus will be in the torments of Hell forever rather that in heaven with Jesus. I agreed that salvation alone came through Jesus, but eternal life also came through him alone. I triumphed John 3:16 as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I contended if only those who believe on Jesus gain eternal life those who don’t believe in Jesus won’t gain eternal life. Therefore, those who died not knowing Jesus couldn’t be tormented in Hell forever as they wouldn’t have the eternal life that came only through believing in Jesus. As well, I clarified that believers didn’t go to heaven immediately after death but had to wait in their graves for resurrection when Jesus returned.

John 6:39-44 New International Version (NIV)

39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

Jesus told his followers that when he returns, ushering in the earthly Kingdom of God, that’s when we are resurrected and receive our eternal life. Bible scholars say the more times something is repeated the more important it is. Jesus repeats we will be raised on the last day when he returns four times during in this one conversation. Those verses are reinforced by Paul.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

Instruction Concerning the Resurrection of the Dead at Christ’s Second Coming

13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep,[a] so that you do not grieve in the same way as the others, who have no hope. 14 Indeed, if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then in the same way we also believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.

15 In fact, we tell you this by the word of the Lord: We who are alive and left until the coming of the Lord will certainly not go on ahead of those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore, encourage one another with these words.

“So, your saying Christians who have died aren’t in heaven now? Came the curt reply. That’s not right! Their souls are in heaven with Jesus.”

“That could be true if they had an immortal soul. But when did humans ever have an immortal soul?” I asked. There was a pregnant pause as they thought, so I answered my own question. “Most people believe humans got an immortal soul when God created Adam. But that’s not what the Bible tells us. The word God inspired to be used was nephesh, the same word used to describe all fleshly animals. When you check the Strong’s concordance for the terms of usage, we’re told it describes mortality, the opposite of immortality. Later, God kept Adam out of the Garden of Eden so he couldn’t eat from the tree of life. If we already possessed immortality, it would have done no good to keep us away from the tree of life as we would already be immortal.”

Genesis 2:7

IHOT(i) (In English order)

7 H3335 וייצר formed H3068 יהוה And the LORD H430 אלהים God H853 את H120 האדם man H6083 עפר the dust H4480 מן of H127 האדמה the ground, H5301 ויפח and breathed H639 באפיו into his nostrils H5397 נשׁמת the breath H2416 חיים of life; H1961 ויהי became H120 האדם and man H5315 לנפשׁ soul. H2416 חיה׃ a living

H5315 נפשׁ – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon Number

Previous Strong’s #H5314 Next Strong’s #H5316





From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental)

KJV Usage: any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, X dead (-ly), desire, X [dis-] contented, X fish, ghost, + greedy, he, heart (-y), (hath, X jeopardy of) life (X in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortality, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-) self, them (your) -selves, + slay, soul, + tablet, they, thing, (X she) will, X would have it.


Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions



  1. soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion
  2. that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man
  3. living being
  4. living being (with life in the blood)
  5. the man himself, self, person or individual
  6. seat of the appetites
  7. seat of emotions and passions
  8. activity of mind
  9. dubious
  10. activity of the will
  11. dubious
  12. activity of the character
  13. dubious


I kept giving the reasons for the hope that is within me. “Humans are different than animals as we have reasoning. I believe the Bible translators wanted to differentiate humans from animals. They did this by using the word soul to describe man, but they intended it to be a mortal soul, not an immortal soul!”

“But we know our souls go to heaven when we die.” My friends contended.

“Our souls are mortal. We don’t gain immortality until Jesus returns. To be in heaven we would have to be immortal. Where did you get the idea that humans have an immortal soul?” I pushed my point.

“The Bible tells us so.” They declared.

“Yes, it does.” I agreed. “The passage is recorded along with the original sin. It’s the original lie, Satan told Eve. Mankind has believed it ever since. That’s why virtually every society in the world has an afterlife belief, regardless of religion. If the belief came from God and the Bible, others would have their own ideas. Everyone having a similar belief suggests a common source. That source was Satan. The father of lies.”

Genesis 3:3-5 King James Version (KJV)

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

“The story of Lazarus and the rich man.” Came a reply. “And what about the thief on the cross? He was told he would be with Jesus the same day he died! They tell us we will be in heaven. They go against your ideas.”

“True, at first glance they appear to.” I admitted. “But if you look deeper into those examples you may find some doubt. For example, when you read about the thief on the cross in an original Greek translation you’ll find there’s no punctuation.

ΚΑΤΑ ΛΟΥΚΑΝ 23:43 SBL Greek New Testament (SBLGNT)

43 κα επεν [a]ατ· μήν [b]σοι λέγω σήμερον μετ’ μο σ ν τ παραδείσ.

But most Bibles translate it this way.” I explain.

Luke 23:43 New International Version (NIV)

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 “They add punctuation. When you’re already convinced humans have an immortal soul, their translation makes sense. Moving the comma to the right by one word, better coincides with what the Bible tells us about our mortality. It should read; ‘Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise’.”

“Maybe, but that doesn’t explain away the clear teaching of Lazarus being in Abrahams bosom and the rich man in torment. That’s clearly describing heaven and hell.” Came a strong insertion.

“That story told by Jesus is a parable. We’re told by scholars, it’s within the classic style of storytelling. Rather than being an explanation of heaven and hell, the meaning is revealed at the end, Abraham tells the rich man, his brothers wouldn’t believe someone who returned from the dead if they wouldn’t believe Moses and the prophets. Foretelling the Jewish leader’s response to the resurrection of Jesus’s friend, also named Lazarus.” I continued to explain my perspective on the Bible passages.

As in most conversations, I thought about another point at the time, but didn’t get the opportunity to present it as the conversation took another direction. I will add it here, as this is after all, my story and I think it’s relative to the discussion.

If the parable is meant to be a literal description of heaven and hell, then Abraham is there in some leadership capacity. He is alive and conscious in heaven right now, as my friends contend all dead Christians are. I find this belief to be in contradiction to Hebrews 11, where it tells us all believers will be made perfect at the same time. As the Bible has told us, this will happen at the return of Jesus.  

Hebrews 11:39-40 Amplified Bible (AMP)

39 And all of these, though they gained [divine] approval through their faith, did not receive [the fulfillment of] what was promised, 40 because God had us in mind and had something better for us, so that they [these men and women of authentic faith] would not be made perfect [that is, completed in Him] apart from us.

If Abraham needs to wait for us all to be made perfect at the same time, he couldn’t be glorified in heaven already, let alone Lazarus. We are told the dead know nothing and don’t praise God.

Ecclesiastes 9:5 Living Bible (TLB)

For the living at least know that they will die! But the dead know nothing ; they don’t even have their memories.[a]

Psalm 6:5 New International Version (NIV)

Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
    Who praises you from the grave?

Isaiah 38:18-19 King James Version (KJV)

18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth

Psalm 115:17 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

17 Dead people do not praise the Lord.
    Those in the grave are silent.

This is the point I would have made and some of the scriptures I would have used to defend it. Now, back to my recollections of that night.

“Well then what do you think happens? Do you think all Christians have to wait until after the rapture to be made perfect? That would make you post trib.” They speculated.

“Actually, I believe in what the word rapture means, to be caught up, but not all the beliefs people associate with it.” I said.

“What do you mean by that?”

“Well for example, supporters of the rapture doctrine use the scriptures that talk about one being taken and one left behind as support for their belief.”

“Ya. That’s what those scriptures tell us, why shouldn’t they be used to support the rapture doctrine?”

“The stories they use to describe the end time, are the stories of Noah and the flood, and Lot in Sodom and Gomorra. When you read those accounts, who was taken away in the flood and who was left behind?”

“The evil people were taken away in the flood, leaving Noah and his family alive in the ark.” Came the reply.

“And what about Lot, in Sodom and Gomorra?” I again questioned.

“Lot was left behind. Sodom and Gomorra were destroyed by God, killing all the inhabitants.” The answer was given with a puzzled tone.

“Exactly!” I stressed. “In the stories used to describe the return of Jesus the evil ones were taken, and the Godly ones left behind. Opposite to what the rapture doctrine tells us will happen. If the Bible stories are correct, I want to be left behind with the righteous. Those stories tell us the return of Jesus will take people by surprise. Not that Jesus is going to secretly whisk Christians away.”

Mathew 24:36-44

The Day and Hour Unknown

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[b] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Luke 17:26-37 King James Version (KJV)

26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.

32 Remember Lot’s wife.

33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.


“So what do you think will happen to Christians who are alive when Jesus returns?” They queried. “How does the return of Jesus play out?”

“Like the Bible has told us. At the return of Jesus every eye will see him, he will come with the sound of the trumpets, as King of Kings to rule the earth. This is the physical beginning of the Kingdom we should be proclaiming. This is also when the dead in Christ are resurrected back to new life, followed by those who are alive. We’re all resurrected into our new spiritual bodies, together at the same event.”

1 John 3:2 Modern English Version (MEV)

Beloved, now are we children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Then Jesus comes down to earth with us and destroys the armies of the Beast and false prophet. Satin is bound in chains during the millennium, while the world is restored by those left alive after the worlds armies are defeated. The newly resurrected Christians will be ruling over these people with Jesus, as Kings and Priests.”

Revelation 5:10 King James Version (KJV)

10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

“After the Millennium is over, there is a second resurrection were everyone who hasn’t been call to Jesus by God will get an opportunity to live a life time and decide if they want to follow Jesus or not.” I hit the highlights, summarizing a lot of future events.

Revelation 20:5 King James Version (KJV)

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Isaiah 65:20 English Standard Version (ESV)

20 No more shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not fill out his days,
for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
    and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.


“What do you mean. That would give everyone who doesn’t accept Jesus now a second chance!” Came the reply.

“No, this will be their first chance to accept Jesus. Their eyes were blinded during their first life, they had no chance, for whatever reason they weren’t called by God. This will be their first chance to know Jesus, but their second life.”

“They have no excuse for not knowing there is a God, nature displays him.” My friends pointed out.

Romans 1:20 Living Bible (TLB)

20 Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day.[a]

“They have no excuse for not knowing there is a God, but they can only be saved through Jesus and knowing him.” I countered. “There is only one way to salvation, and it’s through Jesus. All the young children who have died before they could understand about Jesus, when did they get their chance to accept him?” I asked sincerely.

“Babies get a special pass to heaven because of their age.” Came the explanation.

“Oh.” I replied. “I’ve never found that in my Bible. Mine tells me, all must accept Jesus to gain salvation. Is there now two ways to receive salvation? Do the babies stay immature for eternity or do their minds mature?”

“Don’t know.” Came the reply. “Never gave it much thought. But it would only make sense they would grow into mature beings.”

“I agree with you. Keeping them at an infantile maturity level doesn’t seem very loving.” I speculated. “Even though we may think it best for them to be with God for all eternity, they might not. God could be keeping them in heaven as prisoners, against their will. The Angels lived with God, yet a third of them rejected him. Why should the odds be better for the infants of humanity? I believe God will respect our free moral agency by letting us reject him.”

“Your saying sinners don’t get punished for living sinful lives! That they get a second chance at salvation.” The reply was passionate.

“No. God has made a way for everyone to be able to freely accept the salvation of Jesus, no matter where or when they lived, or for how long. God want’s everyone to accept Jesus and be his child. That’s the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Salvation has come to save all of humanity. Not just those born after the crucifixion of Jesus.”

“I have a hard time accepting that. Sinners have to be punished in hell. They can’t get off scot free!”

“They are punished. Those who choose not to accept Jesus will be thrown into the lake of fire. Hell. And they will die there. They are never resurrected into immortal bodies that can’t die. This is the third and final resurrection. The resurrection of the cursed. The second death.”

Revelation 21:8 New Life Version (NLV)

But those who are afraid and those who do not have faith and the sinful-minded people and those who kill other people and those who do sex sins and those who follow witchcraft and those who worship false gods and all those who tell lies will be put into the lake of fire and sulphur. This is the second death.”

“No, that’s not good enough. Sinners need to be punished for their sins. They can’t get away by just dying! Death is too good for them. God will punish them forever in the fires of hell.” The belief was stated as fact.

“Their punishment will last forever, but it’s not eternal punishing. They will never have life again, so their punishment of death will last eternally. They don’t gain eternal life unless they accept Jesus, which would put them in the Kingdom as forgiven children of God, not in hell being tortured forever. Satin and the demons are immortal, they can’t die. They will be punished eternally in the lake of fire for their sins” I reply passionately.

Matthew 25:46

Verse Concepts

“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Malachi 4:1-3 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

“That time of judgment is coming. It will be like a hot furnace. All the proud people will be punished. All the evil people will burn like straw. At that time they will be like a bush burning in the fire, and there will not be a branch or root left.” This is what the Lord All-Powerful said.

“But, for my followers, goodness will shine on you like the rising sun. And it will bring healing power like the sun’s rays. You will be free and happy, like calves freed from their stalls.[a] Then you will walk on the evil people—they will be like ashes under your feet. I will make this happen at the time of judgment.” This is what the Lord All-Powerful said.

“After this final judgement and resurrection, God comes to dwell with his children, dwelling with them fore ever.” I said, suppressing a yawn.

“I can’t accept that. God will punish the wicked for their sins eternally. They will never get out of punishment through death. That would be too easy for them.” Was my friend’s closing comment.

By this time, it was late, and our conversations and my explanations had come to an end. It was time for bed and the topic was left for another occasion. But in the following days I couldn’t help but go over that night’s conversations in my head. What bothers me most was their thought that death was too good for the sinful people who reject Jesus and the belief that God would keep them alive in eternal torment and punishing. This doesn’t match my knowledge of our loving Father and God, who I look forward to spending eternity with. After all, what kind of a sick mind would torture a dog for not doing what it had no knowledge of, let alone a person? A mind like that lacks compassionate love and is shunned as demented.

As the father of lies, Satan infected humanity with a carefully crafted original lie; ‘Ye shall not surely die’. He knew it would lead us far from God’s plan of salvation, as well as mislead us about the true loving nature of our heavenly father. Humane Societies reflect the compassionate love of God by defending those who cannot defend themselves. By adhering to the immortal soul doctrine, most Christians unwittingly attribute the mind of a sadistic psychopath to their God and loving heavenly father.  

On The Level

On The Level

For the past seven years a small group of friends meet at a local lake camp ground for the May long weekend. Their arrival times vary depending on individual schedules, but by sunset Friday they can be found gathered around a campfire talking about family or work. Steve and Jan arrived this year with a new travel trailer. Relaxing by the fire Steve is complaining about the new trailer’s performance. The fridge isn’t very cold he tells Bob, and things won’t stay on the counter, Jan adds. Anything that can, keeps rolling onto the floor.

Sounds to me like it’s not leveled. Bob offers his opinion nonchalantly.

Na. It can’t be that. Steve says. I bought a brand-new level for the new trailer and I checked it three times myself.

Well did you level your level? Bob asked.

What do you mean, level the level?

Well did you test it, is it true? It may be off, even if it’s new.

I’ve never heard of that. Steve admits. How do you test them?

Well you just turn the level the other way and see if the bubble moves. If it does you can adjust the bubble inside the body of the level until the level reads the same facing both directions on a level service. I can show you tomorrow if you’d like. Bob offers.

Thanks. That would be great. Steve replies, toasting Bob with his beer.

The fall of mankind, gave sin sway in the lives of all humans, forcing the need for Jesus to save us. Adam’s choice brought death to us all, making following our heavenly father’s ways of love a constant struggle. Most Christians are familiar with the original sin, but few are aware of the original lie. Like Steve’s trailer not being level, the original sin sets our lives at odd angles to what God wants for us, it encourages us to trust our own wisdom rather than obediently follow God. The original lie is like the wonky level, if we aren’t aware of it’s deception, we can have a good time camping, but our lives may at times feel, just a bit off kilter and things won’t work their best.

The Bible tells us the power of Satan is in his lies and that he is the father of them. The original lie, is recorded for us along with the story of the original sin. Satan gave mankind his first lie at our origins, infecting everyone since. Leading us away from God and his ways of love, is Satan’s goal. He desires to keep us from fully knowing God and from the freedom God wants us to live in. Knowing the truth of God will set us free, believing Satan’s lies keep us shackled within his darkness of deception.

The criteria for being Christian is very minimal. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Accepting his atoning sacrifice, covering our sins is the beginning for all Christians. We can be Christian and not understand the plans of God. Jesus doesn’t require us to pass a test of comprehension before he calls us, one of his. Understanding the lies of Satan will not save us from our sins, only having faith in Jesus will do that. But like camping in a trailer that isn’t level, our Christian lives will always be a bit off plumb and God’s plans for us and mankind will seem elusive if we believe Satan’s deceptions.

If we’re to come into the fullness of God’s truth, we must abandon the lies of Satan and recognize how they divert us from knowing God. The freedom God has for us, is found within his wisdom, the Bible. Scouring its pages for the truth God has hidden there, leads the believer into Godly truth. Truth like, how the salvation of Jesus transcends our earthly lives and God’s plans for a future where, his gift of love is offered to all and accepted by all who desire it. These plans are understood when we recognize Satan’s first lie of, thou shall not surely die. Rejecting Satan’s lies and believing the truth of God is an important step in understanding the plans God has for us and mankind.