|1 Peter 4:16-19 |
16 But if any man suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time has come that judgment must begin with the household of God.5 And if it first begins with us, what will the end of those be who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous can barely be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?6
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator.
6 And if the righteous can barely be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners? Those crucified and purified to become righteous, experience the Day of the Lord, which for them is the baptism of fire, the baptism of death. The Lord appears, he comes, and he brings salvation; but first he has to literally burn away all the remaining sin in them, and he snatches them from the fire in the last minute; they are barely saved.
He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire;
whose winnowing fork is in his hand,
and he will thoroughly purge his floor and gather his wheat into the barn;
but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Mat 3:11-12
The Lord separates the wheat from the chaff, the precious from the vile. The wheat is the words of life that he has spoken to you, which words are grafted into your heart to form Christ within; the chaff is your selfish, sinful nature of its lusts, affections, and pride, which after separation is then burnt to oblivion by the devouring fire and everlasting burnings of Jesus, the pure word of life, which is fire. This is the baptism of death, to then be resurrected with Christ as a new creature.
Gentle reader, do not think this baptism of death is strange for: 1) the Lord told us several times we must lose our life to save our life; 2) the baptism of death and subsequent burial is stated in the scriptures, and 3) we are advised to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual service and worship, Rom 12:1. The Lord will prepare you for this day, teaching you how to keep your mind still, and giving you confidence of your eventual entry to the kingdom. He wants our minds to be still by habit and full of confidence.
Everyone passes through the fire on that great and terrible day of the Lord. The sun will have been darkened by the bright light of His coming, but then you are immersed in fire; at the last second, before you are totally consumed by the fire, in fear and hope you call on the name of the Lord, and he snatches you from the fire. Realize, be aware that the bright light appearing in you is not to your detriment, it is the beginning of your entry into the kingdom, which begins with the light exposing and judging the remaining evil in you. From the Word of the Lord within: "The light shows us our image, however fanciful we have become; neither is it pleasant what the light exposes. The arising of the light will be unmistakable; it is an ego-shattering experience."
When the Day of the Lord appears in you, and the light reveals the remaining evil in you, (prior to the Lord's burning it all away), do not be upset and shocked; rather marvel at the light that is revealing those things. From the Word of the Lord within: "Be not afraid, be not dismayed, be calm, be of good courage. Be of good cheer. Keep smiling until you enter the kingdom and exchange it for a crown."
We are to approach this judgment with confidence and boldness — not falling on our face weeping and begging for forgiveness — nor does He want us to draw back in fear. We are to stand in confident, joyful expectation — even as we behold His fearful, awesome presence. And as we are surrounded by fire, instead of running, we call out to Him to save us; and so He does save the remnant whom he has been purifying and cleansing, preparing them for this, his appearance. From the Word of the Lord within: "I will devour those who do not follow, and snatch the righteous from the fire."
"Is not my word like a fire?" says the Lord; "and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Jer 23:29
For our God is a consuming fire. Heb 12:29
But who can endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap;
And he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi [priests],
and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness. Mal 3:2-3
This is the Day of the Lord, with final judgment; in which the Lord makes a finish of sin in you with fire; where you die and are buried; but you are then quickly resurrected with Christ as a new creature, a son of God, and translated to the kingdom; this is the completion of your salvation. However, even for the righteous who have been waiting, hoping, and expecting salvation, this day begins without joy and peace. The brightness of the light exposes all the remaining evil in you, which is sadness and sorrow; but that sorrow can be controlled if you focus on the light that is showing you your remaining sins, not worrying about what you might lose; and most important, never lose sight that this day will end in great joy, peace, salvation, seeing the Lord, hearing his voice for the first time, and entering the kingdom. If you find your mind drowning in sorrow, come back to the reality that this day is for your success, and return to being still.
In this day of judgment you may be shown other sins you had forgotten, plus you will listen to all your evil (non-edifying) ever words spoken, which you must not dwell on; instead, focus with thanks on how different you now are, and will be forever — far more pure. Remain confident that this is all in His control for your supreme benefit.
From the Word of the Lord within: "The end is sympathetic judgment and release from sin. All the help of the tested word cannot exceed that of judgment."
All the help (grace) we receive by hearing, and accepting what we have heard as having come from the Lord, and then obeying — the sum total of all that help, (which grace is unbelievable to most people), does not compare with the changing help we receive at judgment. At judgment, the head of Satan is crushed, the residual sin is burnt away by the brightness of his coming, our heart is completely circumcised, the purification is complete — and then we receive the fruit of the Spirit, which frees us from the laws we have been given, and lets our heart hear, see, and feel the Spirit continually — so that we walk in love, according to the continual promptings of the Spirit, while energized by the Spirit — we cease from our own works, our mind is completely destroyed and ceases operation, as we receive a new heart, mind, and Spirit.
The Lord wants those who have journeyed to the end of grace, to approach His judgment with boldness and confidence, buoyed by the wonderful, purifying operations of his grace already received, and certain of even greater help to be received in final judgment.
The righteous first knowing the terror of the Day of the Lord in themselves is witnessed by, (from his actual experience), kingdom-dwelling, early Quaker Francis Howgill:
"They who have not yet seen this day of the Lords vengeance in themselves, have never seen the day of salvation. The prophet cried out: 'Who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appears?' And many have been eye-witnesses of the dreadful day-of the Lord, which has appeared in them, wherein all peace has been hidden from their eyes; and all who ever came to see that day of joy and gladness, first knew the terror and the terrible day of the Lord in themselves. Therefore said the apostle: 'We, knowing the terror of the Lord, persuade men.'"
From the Word of the Lord within: "First the terror, then the suspect." The suspect is "the man of sin revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God [your heart], proclaiming himself to be God." 2 Thes 2:3-4. This refers to the evil spirit in you, the man of sin, being revealed. Every man starts with the spirit of Satan sown in his heart. This selfish spirit must be crucified before Christ can reign. Before Christ is revealed, the man of sin is revealed, showing you all manner of evil on the earth (that is in you); this is the abomination of desolation, standing in the holy place, (your heart's temple), where it should not be. But this is the end of your fleshly self, as Christ then comes and slays this residual spirit of Satan within you by the brightness of his coming, by his breath, and the splendor of his coming, by his crushing the head of Satan under your feet [heel]. From the Word of the Lord within: "When you see the abomination of desolation, do not be afraid; stand your ground; I will come within five minutes to destroy him."
And as Howgill continues, the day becomes one of great joy.
"The appearance of God, who is eternal life, in his day, in his immeasurable Light, is a great joy, and source of rejoicing to the righteous. For he is to his people an everlasting light, and in his light they come to see light. He reveals the secret mysteries of his kingdom in those who see his day appear in their hearts, which makes all things manifest, even the secrets of the Lord, and his hidden treasure, and his durable riches, which never canker or rust, but are fresh, and keep their pure image and impression. By this Light all the righteous, who have waited on God’s appearance, come to see Him. As it is written, 'Lo! This is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice and be glad in his salvation.' Does he indeed come that you have waited for? Yes, come, 'and his reward is with Him;' and those who see Him find contentment in Him, and in his reward. And what is his reward? Joy, gladness, peace of conscience, assurance of God’s love sealed in the heart by the pure Spirit of the Lord, the streams of Life flowing forth continually from the great deep, which refresh and keep cool in the greatest extremity and heat of temptation; and this is enjoyed by those who have waited and do wait for it; even in the body they bear witness of Him and his coming."
William Dewsbury, another kingdom-dwelling, early Quaker, also left a testimony of the terror in the Day of the Lord:
"I was slain and baptized, and lay as a little child under his heavenly chastisements; as soon as ever my soul was brought to this, in my humiliation. Oh! then, the dreadful judgment was taken away, and the book of life was opened unto me, and the Lord spoke comfortably to me, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love;' and I was made a Christian through a day of vengeance, and of burning as an oven; and the haughtiness and pride of man in me was brought low."
(Dewsbury had just experienced the baptism of fire and death to pass over from death to life as he heard the Voice of the Lord for the first time.)
Know you are going to die in this process and rejoice at the culmination of all your efforts to arrive at this moment. Because we hate our life, we have no fear of losing our life; for when we lose our life, we save our life, the new life, the eternal life of God. Be glad the Lord is going to completely eliminate that mind and spirit that dwelled in evil; look forward to that being the complete end of your old self. The man of flesh dies, but the new man rises.
Messages from the Word of the Lord within that apply to this baptism are:
The body dies in this baptism of death, but the believer is raised (resurrected) with Christ and translated into the kingdom of God. Though raised with Christ to live in the heavens, you will still walk the earth as a new creature together, in union with the Lord, showing the power and love of God to the world, to your great joy and to the pleasure, honor, and glory of God. Be glad the Lord is going to completely eliminate that mind and spirit that dwelled in evil; look forward to that being the complete end of your old self. The man of flesh dies, but the new man rises.
The following is from kingdom-dwelling, early-Quaker Stephen Crisp's The Necessity of a Holy Life, which gives us further first-hand knowledge of the baptism of fire and the resurrection of the believer with Christ:
"There is no coming to obtain this baptism, but by sinking down into what will slay you, what will kill you. But there is such a shifting to save one's life, there are so many twistings and twinings of people to save their lives, that at last they lose them. But no one can ever find life that is eternal, but those who are willing to be given up to the dead, and submit to this baptism — that is, by the Holy Ghost and by fire. Only such come to life; they come to the resurrection. For you never knew any that died this death but that they rose again; it is as impossible for death to hold any one down that is buried in this baptism,* as it was impossible to hold Christ down, when he was in the grave. The same power that brought again our Lord Christ from the dead, the same power it is that quickens us, while we remain in these mortal bodies, after we have sustained this death and crucifixion."
[* Your resurrection is very quick, and your burial is not in this physical world.]
Messages from the Word of the Lord within which apply to this day are:
All others will be taken completely by surprise at his fearful appearance after their death. He is so pure and holy, they will instantly know they are hopelessly evil. He will cause them to panic and lose all reason — just wild, uncontrollable fear. See Howgill's description of what happens to those still sinning when they die.
From George Fox's Journal:
You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. 1 Pet 4:12-13
If you will reign with him, you must suffer with him. 2 Tim 2:12
if you will live with him, you must die with him. 2 Tim 2:11 (there must be a "dying daily.")
And if you die with him, you must be buried with him, Rom 6:4
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him. Col 2:12
George Fox from the Cambridge Journal:
If you wait in what is pure in you, you will find and see, because God has given you a measure of his spirit, by which you can comprehend things and see the deceits. Now when the mind goes forth from that pure measure, which lets you see deceits, the simplicity is ensnared, and God is not in your thoughts any more; instead, the son of perdition in you sits in the temple of God, where he ought not to sit. With the birth of the Lord [in you], this son of perdition is discovered, and with the brightness of the Lord's coming [in you], he is consumed; that man of sin is revealed [in you], and so shall you witness the scriptures fulfilled. But you must wait in that which is pure, which will show you when your mind departs into disobedience, setting up Baal's priests (outward) before God, and that brings a distraction in the mind where there is a halting between two (you and God); for all of the troubles are outside in the world, but Christ said that "in me you shall have perfect peace." Wait in Christ and mind him in yourself, (there is where you wait for his appearing). Keep focused inward, (stay seeking Christ within yourself), and do not follow the cries of lo Christ is here and lo Christ is there to distract you to outward seeking, you will have peace in a short time. You will later witness Christ, who is the substance of the prophets and apostles. The scriptures are shown to you within you (by Christ) to guide you to the Father, the Lord God of heaven and earth. By waiting for the Spirit of the Lord within you to guide your mind, you will find your strength renewed daily by the one Spirit that gave forth the scriptures. There is no confusion, but instead perfect peace. This Spirit baptizes into the one body, and this Spirit is the unity of the saints, who though absent in body, yet are present in Spirit, all being made to drink into one Spirit. This Spirit circumcises and puts off the body of sin from you, and you are sanctified through your obedience to the Spirit. You will come to witness the scriptures pure and clear, as they are without any mixture [of man's interpretations], as holy men possessed them and gave them forth. So holy men possess them and give them forth again and witness them again.
This is the appearance of Christ to you, bringing his Kingdom and salvation. This is to see your savior, to see God. This results in Jesus resurrected in you, (by today's terminology, a spiritual cloning), and having His glorious Kingdom established in your heart. The world as you see it ends. It is gone. You will not see it again. You step into another dimension, and walk by the Light of God, not the sun or the moon. This is He and the Father with you in fellowship. You are not only restored to the image of God, as were originally Adam and Eve, but you are later elevated beyond their state, beyond temptation. We sit down in Christ to enter the rest; to enter the rest from fighting our enemies, like Israel entered the rest after they had purged their land of the surrounding peoples, only our enemies are spiritual: lust, rage, selfishness, envy, greed, covetousness, jealousy, lying, cheating, stealing, sexual immorality, profane language, and evil thoughts, etc. Salvation is to be delivered from sin and then later to be protected from evil, sanctified from our enemies of sin; never to fall to temptation again.
That he would grant to us,
that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies we might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. Luke 1:74-5
You will enter the rest, to cease from your own labors, to walk in the spirit, under the power and promptings of the Father, through Christ, with whom you have joined in union; the pure church, sanctified, washed by the water of the word, at the wedding supper. This is to have Christ as your King forever. This is to be a priest to God forever and being next to Him as you worship Him. This is to worship Him in spirit and truth. This is to love God and be loved by Him. This is to be translated into paradise, while still residing on the earth — to step into another dimension of sight, awareness, and consciousness, being sanctified, separated, protected. This is everlasting peace and joy. This is the prize of the creation; you are God's crowning glory. This is the ultimate step in the creation. This is why the world was created. This is the purpose of life. This is more than you ever hoped for, and you will be overwhelmed with still more. This is overcoming evil. This is winning the war. This is becoming one with Christ and the Father. This is becoming his agent on earth, a soldier under direct command from Him, and with Him and His power leading you. This is no longer you who live, but Christ who lives in you. You have lost your life and found LIFE.
From the Word of the Lord within:
"There is a treasure trove of experiences behind a locked door;
no one knows what is set before them.
You are raised to a new life, not just an imitation.
He is one with us and ever-present."
But as it is written, "Man's eye has not seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined,
the things that God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Cor 2:9
You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy,
at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psa 16:11
Who has delivered us from the power of darkness,
and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Col 1:13
2000 years ago, Jesus said, "Truly I say to you,
there are some standing here, who shall not taste death,
until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
Mat 16:27-8, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:26-7
Now, if those who choose to suffer by obediently following the Lord in love can barely be saved, imagine the difficulty of those who finish their life living in their lusts and ungodliness' to lose their soul; to lose the small measure of light they had, be banished from heaven, and to be in total darkness;, to experience the pain and harm all their life's actions have caused; and to learn the hard way about love vs. lust, sin vs. righteousness, humility vs. pride, good vs. evil, light vs. darkness.