March 25, 2003 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
The Preaching of Hell
When Jonathon Edwards delivered his sermon titled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” he galvanized the preaching of hell, fire, and brimstone with the zinc necessary for the concept of an everburning hell to withstand the ravages of revelation and reason. Unfortunately, Edwards, for all of his powerful intellect, never understood that eternal life is the gift of God. Without this gift, humanity dies as deer and dogs do. King Solomon assured ancient Israel that there is no distinction between humanity and beasts: all are of one breath, and all return to dust. But Platonic hubris says that cannot be. Hunter and hunting dog cannot both come to the same end. Surely some difference must exist. And Greek converts to Christianity, by rejecting the wisdom of Solomon, embraced philosophical hubris, and voluntarily accepted mental slavery, offered to them by the god of this world, the king of Babylon. They didn’t believe God, and two millennia later, a “Christian” ministry trained in historical exegesis accepts the intellectual bondage of the prince of the spiritual kingdom of Persia. They read Scripture, read that the gift of God is eternal life, but they cannot liberate themselves from the idea that humanity possesses an immortal soul, received by the union of egg and sperm that occurs in or outside of wedlock. In their mental bondage to the spiritual powers that reign during this time of the Gentiles, they are unable to comprehend that for a soul to be immortal it must possess eternal life; it must possess the gift of God. Therefore, since the wages of sin/lawlessness is death, or the absence of eternal life, sinners do not receive the gift of God. They theologically cannot be in an everburning hell. They are, instead, in the grave, awaiting judgment. They are dead, knowing nothing and not existing in any state. They have or will shortly return to dust. Only their names remain, recorded in a Book kept by the Most High God. If they are not resurrected from the elements of the earth, they will never live again. And to teach otherwise is to reveal oneself as still being in mental bondage to the spiritual princes of Babylon/Persia/Greece.
Liberation, however, from mental bondage is coming—that is the good news of Christ. For spiritual Israel, this liberation occurs at a forthcoming Passover.
The Lamb of God has already been sacrificed, but the slaughter of spiritual firstborns did not occur the night the Lamb was slain. Spiritual Israel didn’t then exist. The second or spiritual Eve was not created until the evening after Christ’s ascension (John 20:22–23). Children were not born until spiritual Eve was filled (as a husband fills his wife) with the Holy Spirit on that day of Pentecost. Spiritual Israel did not immediately go down to Egypt for spiritual food. The nation lived by faith in the hill country as spiritual Judeans. They kept the Sabbaths of the Most High. They kept His law. They were as the uncircumcised children of the Israelites who had left Egypt: they lived by the second covenant of Moses (Deu chptrs 29–31), while they prepared to cross the Jordan to glorification.
But famine entered the hill country of faith through the conversion of both Pharisees and Hellenistic Greeks. Pharisees wanted Greeks to become physical Israelites before they were accepted as spiritual Israelites; they figuratively wanted these Greeks to slip across the Jordan where circumcision awaited them (Joshua 5:2–5) instead of glorification. And these Greeks wanted assurance that heaven awaited them if they slipped across prematurely. So hollow promises were made as both returned, walking hand in hand, to Egypt, where the garlic and leeks of spiritual bondage awaited.
Once spiritual Israel returned to Egypt/Babylon, a future liberation became necessary. As the reality of the Egyptian Pharaoh whose heart YHWH supernaturally hardened so that a human could be the shadow of the devil, Satan will not voluntarily let his captives go. Instead, he will inspire his ministers of righteousness to preach about being in the hands of an angry God, so that through intimidation, Christians will fear returning to the Most High God, who remains Love, who has promised not to give sinners eternal life.
You, who appear as a minister of righteousness, need to understand you will abhor yourself for what you have preached when you are spiritually liberated from mental slavery to Satan. Christ’s promise is that you will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, if you are even there—if you are not of those to whom He says, Get away from me, you evildoers.
How can you recognize that you have been taken mentally captive? A truly deceived person doesn’t realize and indeed cannot realize that he or she has been deceived. Thus, a mental mirror of some sort is needed so that you can see yourself as you are. You as a minister of spiritual Israel know that one exists. It is the word of God. But because you assign meaning to words, you need the magnification offered by this mirror in one specific passage: “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace, because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom 8:6–7). Is your mind subject to the law of God? As a condition of the new covenant, the laws of God have been written on your heart and mind (Heb 8:10 & 10:16). Are you subject to what has been written on your heart and mind? Jesus said that to break the least of the commandments will cause you to be called the least in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:17–19). Are you subject to the least of the commandments? Test yourself. Do you keep the Sabbath as Jesus did, and as He would if He lived within you? Your answer will reveal to you whether you are carnally or spiritually minded. And remember, to be carnally minded is death. It isn’t to live eternally in an everburning hell.
Two future liberations occur: the first is of spiritual Israel: i.e., of all of Christianity not presently keeping the laws of God. The second is of the remainder of humanity when the kingdom of the world become the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah (Rev 11:15 & Dan 7:9–14), halfway through seven years of Tribulation. This is the open salvation about which Joel prophesies (2:28–29). For the entirety of the last 1260 days prior to Christ’s return as the all-powerful Messiah, Satan’s former slaves have to accept the mark of the beast ( Chi xi stigma, or the tattoo of Xx) to remain in mental bondage to him. However, Satan will have been cast from heaven; he will be here claiming to be the messiah. He will, because of him still being the king of fallen Babylon, control the world’s economic systems. For three and a half years, genuine disciples will be required to live by faith. A trip back to Egypt will earn a person a share in the wrath of God.
There is presently a battle being waged for the control of the mental landscape of every person hostile to the law of God. This battle is being fought between the spiritual king of Greece and the spiritual prince/sar of the kingdom of Persia. The king of Greece will win, will establish a new world order, and will control the mental landscapes of commentators and politicians, ministers and lay members. But the spiritual great horn of this Greek king will be broken when no one remains to be deceived. This great horn, or first horn will be broken the night of that spiritual Passover when all of Israel is liberated, when Christ turns His hand against two-thirds of spiritual Israel. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God, especially when being under His shed blood would have protected the disciple from the death angels. But it is far more fearful to be, as an evildoer, ordered away from Christ’s presence on the person’s day of judgment. If that happens because the person has consistently refused to be ruled by Christ, then he or she will, indeed, be thankful that the person does not have eternal life.
As a rebel, on the day of your judgment, you will regret your refusal to submit your thoughts to the reign of Christ, but your torment will only last the length of time it takes to again end your conscious life. God as Love has no everburning fire prepared for eternal torment. Rather, He has an age-ending fire that will prepare glorified humanity for life in the new heaven and on the new earth. This age-ending fire will consume Satan himself (Ezek 28:18–19), thereby forever ending his rebellion and the preaching of hell. And you should have believed the warning you just received.
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