|Luke 12 |
1 In the meantime, when such a great crowd had gathered that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, "Beware the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2 For there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
3 Whatever you have spoken in darkness will be heard in the light, and that which you have whispered in the ear behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.
4 And I say to you my friends, do not not afraid of those who kill the body and after that have nothing more they can do.
5 But I will forewarn you whom you should fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell. Yes, I say to you, Fear him [God].1
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies, yet not one of them is forgotten before God?
7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
8 I also say to you, whoever confesses me before men, the Son of Man will also confess him before the angels of God.
9 But he who denies me before men, will be denied before the angels of God.
10 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.
11 And when they bring you to before the synagogues and magistrates and powers, take no thought how or what you will answer or what you should say;
12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what to say."2
13 Then one of the company said to him, "Master, tell my brother that he should divide the inheritance with me."
14 And he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?"
15 And he said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses."
16 And he spoke a parable to them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully.
17 And he thought within himself, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?'
18 Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and I will store all my crops and my goods there.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.'
20 But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul will be required of you; then who will get those things you have provided?'
21 This is how it is with someone who stores up things for himself and is not rich toward God."
22 And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I say to you, take no thought for your life, what you will eat; or for your body, what you will put on.
23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes.
24 Consider the ravens. They neither sow nor reap, neither do they have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds?
25 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?
26 If then you are not able to do this small thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 Consider the lilies how they grow. They do not toil, nor spin; and yet I say to you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 If then, this is how God clothes the grass, which is in the field today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith?
29 And do not seek what you will eat or what you will drink; nor have a doubtful mind.
30 For the [Gentile] nations of the world seek after all these things, and your Father knows that you have need of these.
31 But rather, seek [as your first priority] the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be given to you.3 [To pursue the Kingdom is supposed to be the highest priority of your life — more than your efforts to provide food, drink, and clothing. From the Word of the Lord within: "Seek first the kingdom, and all else will be provided — provided you stay on course."]
32 Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor; provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.4
35 Let your loins be girded and your lights burning,
36 Like men waiting for their lord to return from the wedding, so that when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately. [Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. Rev 3:20]
37 Blessed are those servants whom the lord finds watching when he comes. Truly I say to you, he will gird himself and make them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. [Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Rev 3:20]
38 And if he comes in the second watch or the third watch, and finds them so, blessed are those servants.
39 Know this, that if the owner of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not have allowed his house to be broken into.
40 Therefore you be ready also. For the Son of man comes at an hour when you do not expect him."
41 Then Peter said to him, "Lord, do you speak this parable to us, or for everyone?"
42 And the Lord said, "Who is that faithful and wise manager whom his lord will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time?
43 Blessed is that servant whom his lord will find doing so when he comes.
44 Truly I say to you, he will make him ruler over all that he has.
45 But if that servant says in his heart, 'My lord delays his coming,' and then begins to beat the menservants and maidens and to eat and drink and to be drunk,
46 The lord of that servant will come on a day when he does not look for him, and at an hour he is not aware of, and will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
47 And that servant who knew his lord's will and did not prepare himself or did not do according to his will shall be beaten with many stripes.[From the Word of the Lord within: "Never give up, however good it feels looking back. It is blind to give up, knowing the will of God. Don't even think about giving up."]
48 But he who did not know and did things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few [stripes]. From everyone who has been give much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.5 [The pain of a wound cleanses away evil, so do stripes purge the inward parts [including the heart] of man. Pro 20:30.]
49 I have come to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!
51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace on the earth? I tell you, No, but rather division.
52 For from this time on there will be five in one house divided, three against two and two against three.
53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother in law against daughter in law, and daughter in law against her mother in law."6
54 And he also said to the people, "When you see a cloud rise out of the west, you immediately say, 'A shower is coming.' And so it is.
55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, 'There will be hot weather. And it comes to pass.'
56 You hypocrites! You know how to discern the looks of the sky and the earth; but how is it that you do not discern this time?
57 And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
58 When you go with your accuser to the magistrate, make a diligent effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. [Jesus uses prison as a metaphor for Hell; he is pleading for men to do right and warning them of the consequences of doing wrong.]
59 I tell you, you shall not get out until you have paid the very last penny."7
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1 Fear God, who can kill the body and the soul, and then cast you into Hell. And yet those who call themselves Christians have no fear of God, while they continue to sin: to be covetous, sexually immoral, greedy, jealous, envious, angry, cheaters, liars, given to rage, drunken, etc.; thinking that Jesus is going to be their excuse because they call him Lord. But read what He said about such Christians: Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but [only] he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them,‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Mat 7:21-23 and Whoever commits sin practices lawlessness; for sin is lawlessness, 1 John 3:4; and Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave to sin. John 8:34. You can be sure: No sexually immoral, or impure, or covetous person, who is an is idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with vain words. For because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Eph 5:5-6. Anyone, (even a so-called Christian), who is impure, sexually immoral, or covetous will be banned from heaven.
2 take no thought how or what you will answer or what you should say; for the holy spirit at that moment will teach you what to say. Note! You cannot just open your mouth and start speaking extemporaneously, assuming the Holy Spirit is speaking through you; you are supposed to hear from the Holy Spirit what to say first. Many people read this and assume if they don't plan a speech, the Holy Spirit will control their mouth — not true! Jesus said: take no thought; this is only possible after the Holy Spirit has destroyed your carnal mind, which is enmity with God, and your mind has been renewed to the mind of Christ. All words spoken must first be heard; and only words heard at that moment are to be spoken. Think about it: if not all words, is it one word from Him and then one hundred from your carnal mind; or is ten words from Him and then ten from your carnal mind? From the Word of the Lord within: "all and only words from Him are to be spoken;" and only at that moment. Realize, you will be tempted by the enemy many times to preach before you can hear so well as to speak only words heard at that moment for there are many voices; beware of false prophets; and beware of becoming a false prophet yourself, speaking from your carnal mind about Jesus or God.
There are also those who think if they have a buzz or some sensation on their head, that is the Holy Spirit's anointing, which then controls their mouth; neither is that true because to speak words from the Holy Spirit, you must first hear what the Spirit instructs you to say. The anointing is the presence of your teacher, whom you hear teach you at that moment what to say; it is not a buzz or sensation on the head.
In the JOURNAL OF THE LIFE OF THAT FAITHFUL SERVANT AND MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, WILLIAM CATON, Will Caton writes of being given the words to speak just before speaking:
I put on courage in the name of the Lord; and having faith in him, which stood in his power, I next gave up to his will, and went in obedience to his motion. When I came to the place, behold, the consultations which before I had had, were gone, and the fear of man was departed from me; and strength, and courage, and boldness, and utterance were given me, so that I became, through him that strengthened me, a potent man rather than as a stripling, even in the face of the congregations.
I was labored much in going to steeple-houses, insomuch that there seldom passed a first-day of the week, but I was at one or another; and I was also often in markets, where I was moved to declare God's eternal truth, of which through his infinite mercy I had become his witness. Although when I went to such places as previously mentioned, I seldom knew what I would say until I came there; yet behold when I was to speak, I never lacked words or utterance to declare what the Lord had given me to publish. To the contrary, I often had fullness of words from Him to my great admiration.
though I was often in the state that I did not know what I should say when I went into a meeting, yet even in such a meeting, the Lord was pleased to give me his word so plentifully, that through him I was enabled to speak two or three, yes, sometimes four hours in a meeting with little or no intermission. Often it has been with me, that as I knew not before the meeting what I should speak in the meeting, so neither could I well remember after the meeting what I had spoken in it; and yet had plenty and fullness, though I was often daily at meetings; and not only during the day, but in the evenings also. The Lord always gave me fresh supply out of that good treasury, which affords things both new and old.
The words you speak must be heard from the Spirit in the same moment before you speak, not words you heard a month ago, or a week ago, or an hour ago.
From the Word of the Lord within:
When in the presence of others and you hear a message from the word of the Lord within, that message is only for you unless He specifically tells you to speak it to others. Even if the message relates to someone in your presence, unless He tells you to speak it, it is only for your edification, not theirs; and if you are told to speak, speak only the words He gives you; don't add you own words later. Even if you are told to repeat the words you hear, unless you are able to distinguish the Voice of Christ vs. the voice of the enemy, don't speak. As Edward Burrough wrote:
"We charge you all in the presence of the dreadful God of life and power, that you all wait in silence, and wait to have salt and savor in yourselves, to know the voice of Christ vs. the voice of the stranger for until that difference is known in yourselves, you are not able to judge. Therefore all wait in the light, which is the eye, which sees into the mysteries of the kingdom; and none to utter a word, but what you are divinely moved to,* or else that in everyone's conscience will bear witness against you. Do not be hasty, when you see things open in your minds; dwell in them, and do not run out to speak them, but treasure them up in your hearts, and take heed, and keep low in the fear of the Lord God, that pride and presumption do not get up, nor anything be exalted above what is pure."
* To be divinely moved you must be able distinguish the divine voice vs. the devil's voice.
If you are not supposed to even speak a teaching you have heard until you can distinguish the voice of Christ vs. the voice of the stranger, you should definitely decline any order you hear to do anything for the Lord, (other than to repent), until you are sure which lord is ordering you.
Follow this advisory, and you will progress. Ignore it, and you will not progress; but you may think you are progressing because the devil will have you doing more and more things for the Lord, all of which you really wanted to do to begin with; but each thing you do, digs you deeper into delays. Should you repent and begin to follow this advisory, you will still have a delay in your progress that is proportional to the spiritual injuries that you caused to others with your false words and deeds.
And should you get a message like, "tell them about the gospel," that is not from Him; that kind of message encourages you to speak from your carnal mind with your own words, which is the nature of death. Usually one is convinced by the enemy that they are serving the Lord in whatever they are tempted to do before they have been sufficiently changed to properly serve Him. Think about the millions of ministers and teachers in Babylon who are teaching flagrant doctrinal errors all the while hearing messages, which they think are from the Lord, but which are guiding them and their listeners down the path to destruction. Suppose you think you have been given a gift of healing, a gift of miracles, the authority to teach, etc., but you are not able to speak words from His Spirit that you hear immediately before speaking. Now you perform your deed for the Lord, but the only words you have are from your carnal mind; your deed would not serve the Lord because your words would be from the nature of death and could not properly reach the hearts of your listeners. Until your carnal mind has been sufficiently destroyed so that you only have words from the Spirit, (only words from the Spirit), that you hear immediately before speaking, you are not fit to serve the Lord doing anything that requires words of explanation or credit to Him; that is a simple test, which you can use to defend yourself from being tempted before you are properly equipped to serve. Remember the teaching by the Word of the Lord within: "When you speak words from yourself, it doesn't matter what you say; you say them with the wrong spirit, and they don't reach the heart of your listeners." So suppose you are told go to someone and warn them about what they are doing; unless when you arrive, you are sufficiently in His Spirit, (as George Fox wrote about speaking a previous teaching: "be sure the light is up"), to hear the exact and only words to speak, even repeating words from Him that you have heard in the past will be spoken with the wrong spirit; don't do it. For more on this subject see the guidelines to avoid deception in How to Benefit from the Changing Power of God by Waiting on the Lord.
Jesus has given us several warnings about speaking words not first heard at that moment from the Spirit:
If Jesus, as great as He is and was, would only speak the words He heard from the Father; then how much more should we be careful to speak nothing about God or Jesus unless we hear the exact words to say at that moment.
Paul and Peter also tell us how we should speak:
Those who choose to speak from their carnal minds are estimating themselves to be greater than the Master. See Only Those Who Do the Will of the Father Enter the Kingdom of Heaven for more on the necessity of the carnal mind's destruction.
3 Therefore I say to you, take no thought for your life, what you will eat; or for your body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes. And do not seek what you will eat or what you will drink; nor have a doubtful mind. For the [Gentile] nations of the world seek after all these things, and your Father knows that you have need of these. But rather, seek [as your first priority] the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be given to you.
This is the commanded first priority of life, to seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness. Jesus said: Do not labor for food that perishes, but for the food that endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for God the Father has authorized and certified him with his seal... It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing... Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes [depends on, trusts, obeys] on me has everlasting life. I am that bread of life...The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, Mat 4:4. From the Word of the Lord within: "Seek first the kingdom, and all else will be provided — provided you stay on course."
In his sermon early Quaker Stephen Crisp, who dwelled in the kingdom, testified that in one day under the government of Christ, (in the kingdom), one has more joy, pleasure, and delight than a thousand days outside it.
Where is this Kingdom you are commanded to seek? Now when he was questioned by the Pharisees, as to when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with outward signs to be observed. Nor will they say, 'Look here!' or, 'Look over there!' For behold, the kingdom of God is within you and around you." Luke 17:20-21. And God is in you too: One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Eph 4:6. God .. is not far from every one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being, (Acts 17:27-28) - but we are not aware of his presence until we seek and find him, because we are in a lower physical dimension. And Christ is in you too: Christ in you, the hope of Glory. Col 1:27...Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you— unless you are reprobates [tested, rejected]? 2 Cor 13:5.
Now the question is, how? It is not reading the Bible, it is not going to a sect building and listening to a preacher talk, it is not asking God for what you want. You must go to him. You must wait on him — in humble silence, the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. Wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. You must endure to the end, when Christ brings salvation. Seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deu 4:29.
From his Journal the following is George Fox's wonderfully inspiring, unparalleled Christian testimony of being translated into paradise and then the Kingdom:
"I saw also the mountains burning up, and the rubbish, and the rough, and crooked ways and places made smooth and plain,* that the Lord might come into his tabernacle. These things are to be found in man's heart; but to speak of these things being within, seemed strange to the rough, crooked, and mountainous ones. Yet the Lord said, ‘0h earth, hear the word of the Lord!'"
*Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth. Luke 3:5
"Now I came up in spirit, through the flaming sword,* into the paradise of God. All things were new, and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter. I knew nothing but pureness, innocence, and righteousness, being renewed up into the image of God by Christ Jesus; so that I came up to the state of Adam, which he was in before he fell. The creation was open to me; and it was showed me how all things had their names given them, according to their nature and virtue. I was at a stand in my mind, whether I should practice medicine for the good of mankind, seeing the nature and virtues of the creatures were so opened to me by the Lord. But I was immediately taken up in spirit, to see into another or more steadfast state than Adam's in innocence, even into a state in Christ Jesus, that should never fall.** And the Lord showed me, that such as were faithful to him, in the power and light of Christ, should come up into that state in which Adam was before he fell; in which the admirable works of the creation, and the virtues of that may be known, through the openings of that divine word of wisdom and power by which they were made. Great things did the Lord lead me into, and wonderful depths were opened unto me, beyond what can by words be declared; but as people come into subjection to the spirit of God, and grow up in the image and power of the Almighty, they may receive the word of wisdom that opens all things, and come to know the hidden unity in the Eternal Being."
*So [God] drove out the man [Adam and Eve out of paradise, the Garden of Eden]; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep and guard the way to the tree of life. Gen 3:24
**There are two steps in perfection through the grace of Christ: 1st) to be raised up to the perfection of Adam and Eve in paradise, but still capable of falling to temptation, and 2nd) to be raised up to union with Christ Jesus, an everlasting perfection, which is incapable of falling to sin or temptation. Stephen Crisp, another eminent early Quaker, writes further of this two-step perfection:
For you know while the vessel is filled with wrath, envy, or with unrighteousness of any kind, such are not yet fit for the glory of God to shine forth in. When that is removed out by judgment; and Zion is set free from oppression, then the creature returns to God a pure vessel in the righteousness that was before the fall. So a man or woman may come to Adam's state that he was in before he fell, which was without sin. Against such the judgment of God does not go forth, but they have peace with God, and fellowship in what is pure, before sin and transgression were. Those who come to this state, may be entangled again; as was Eve, and if they do not watch, they may be entangled again; but if such are faithful to the power that redeemed them from the sin, and in the power resist the temptation, then such receive the seal of eternal life in Christ Jesus, who never fell, though he was tempted, and so come to an establishment in Him who never changes.
"Moreover, the Lord God let me see, when I was brought up into his image in righteousness and holiness, and into the state of the paradise of God how Adam was made a living soul; and also to the stature of Christ, the mystery that had been hid from ages and generations: which things are hard to be uttered, and cannot be borne by many. For of all the sects in Christendom (so called) that I discussed with, I found none that could bear to be told that anyone could spiritually grow to Adam's perfection, (that is into that image of God, and righteousness and holiness that Adam was in before he fell), to be clean, pure, and without sin as he was. Therefore, how would they be able to bear being told that any should spiritually grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; when it threatens them to hear that any shall come, while upon earth, into the same power and spirit that the prophets and apostles were in? Though it is an absolute truth, that none can understand the Apostle’s writings correctly without the same spirit by which they were written.
The Lord God opened to me by his invisible power, how that ‘every man was enlightened by the divine light of Christ.’ I saw it shine through all, and that they that believed in it came out of condemnation to the light of life, and became the children of it; but they that hated it and did not believe in it, were condemned by it, though they made a profession of Christ. This I saw in the pure openings of the light without the help of any man; neither did I then know where to find it in the scriptures; though afterwards, searching the scriptures, I found it. For I saw in that light and spirit which was before the scriptures were given forth, and which led the holy men of God to give them forth, that all must come to that spirit, if they would know God or Christ, or the scriptures correctly, which they that gave them forth were led and taught by."
4 Sell your possessions and give to the poor; provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. We need to sell any possessions that we do not need and give the proceeds to the poor. Jesus tell us why: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." If we depend on our excess earthly possessions for our security, our heart is too tied to them, and earthly treasure is subject to loss; but if we give our excess to the poor, knowing that we are laying up eternal and unfailing treasure in heaven, then our heart is in heaven. From the Word of the Lord within:
We must distribute liberally to the poor from our excess possessions and money. We still have to provide for our families and meet our obligations; the Lord wants us to continue to do that well. But what we have beyond our needs, we need to distribute to the poor, either directly or through charities that specifically assist the poor.
The records of the many purified, Kingdom-dwelling, Early Quaker men and women on this site, had houses, horses, carriages, farms, businesses, etc. They had clearly not sold everything they owned to become paupers; but they also liberally distributed to the poor and to those in need, particularly to fellow Christians, but to the general population too. You cannot hold on to your excess, without sharing with those who lack the necessities of life — the poor, which does not include giving to sects or tithing. The wrong is to have excess, over and above what you need to live comfortably, while being aware of people, wherever they are, in need of the necessities of life without contributing to their relief. Perhaps you have to look beyond the borders of your own country to find those people and/or charities with genuine needs. But there is need throughout the third world for life-sustaining contributions. (Note! People in need, does not include those who refuse to take available jobs and choose to beg instead, pretending they are unable to provide for themselves, thereby harming those who really have needs through sowing distrust for all.)
We must be ready to give up anything that he asks. There must be nothing that we reserve as unable to part with. Those things that we must deny in order to progress, the Lord will tell us to get rid of them. But most things will just fade into lack of importance as we draw closer to God. From the Word of the Lord within: "Whatever God commands, whether it be dying on the cross, we obey; however financially strait, however, it affects our reputation, however ruinous."
5 that servant who knew his lord's will and did not prepare himself or did not do according to his will shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know and did things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few [stripes]. From everyone who has been give much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.
If someone has been given the true belief and hope, that the power of God can deliver them from all sins, and: 1) he then fails to exercise his faith to build up his faith more, and 2) he sins repeatedly until he has seared his conscience, being past feeling regret for sin and twice dead. These are those of whom the Lord spoke: And that servant who knew his lord's will and did not prepare himself or did not do according to his will shall be beaten with many stripes. Luke 12:47. Since faith is authored by Christ, and is the gift of God, which not all men receive, then to fail to follow-thru to true salvation is worthy of greater punishment. From the Word of the Lord within: "Never give up, however good it feels looking back. It is blind to give up, knowing the will of God. Don't even think about giving up."
Until such have killed their conscience in sin, they can still hear and possibly be motivated to renew their efforts to exercise their faith. However, be warned, for every act of disobedience they commit, after being convicted of some particular sin in the light, they must first effect the same number of acts of obedience before that sin is taken out of their heart; and it may take some time of your demonstrating commitment to obedience before you hear from the Lord again. From the Word of the Lord within: "When the light shows you something to do, every act of disobedience has to be carried away by an act of obedience."
Notice! God's punishment in Hell is described with: a) a varying numbers of stripes, based on what you knew you should have done and did not do, and b) a penalty imposed in proportion to the offence; and to a purpose — to cleanse the heart and inward parts of a man: the pain of a wound cleanses away evil, so do stripes purge the inward parts [including the heart] of man. Pro 20:30. The popularly believed eternal torture of all "unsaved" people is a myth, and assumes a monster for God. Simple logic tells you that he who is love, would not torture people forever; that whatever punishment there was, would be instructive, and whose purpose would be to create a discipline that would not need further correction. For more on this subject, visit the web page, Is There Hope for All.
God lets us sin on earth to our hear's content; we fill our cup with our sins, but then we have to drink that cup until we sicken of all sin and evil. On the inward cross of self-denial we can drink that cup on earth with the loving encouragement of the Spirit of Grace, teaching us what to deny and how to live a godly life, ending in the reward of the kingdom and union with God; or we can drink the cup in Hell, where there is little love, no repentance, no time-outs, and far less reward for the pain, time, and effort to learn.
6 When you are a true seeker of God, denying your former evil activities in the world, the basis of your friendships will diminish. As you deny foul language, revelry, excessive drinking, carousing, etc., your friends and family will become uncomfortable and begin to attack your commitment to goodness. Your family will be used to attack you; they will be your enemies and are the sword that Jesus spoke of. But the sword that allows you to be attacked is to teach you to have patience, forgive, have mercy, love, and live by faith. From the Word of the Lord within: "live in the fortress of faith where it doesn't matter if someone gives you a kiss or hits you with a baseball bat," knowing everything that happens to you is totally under his control and direction. So if you get hit with a baseball bat, he is teaching you the necessity of forgiving, to ignore it, despite the pain suffered and wrongness of the person wielding the bat. Your life is an obstacle course, designed by God, for you to crawl over and through, learning to forgive and love despite the pain and injustice. This life is a boot camp to produce a soldier of love, whose weapon will be the sword of the Spirit, the word of God planted in your heart. When you realize it is God who has allowed that person to be rude, ugly, and painful to you, you can easily forgive them because they are just an obstacle of potential resentment, whose offence is to be overlooked, (or if not overlooked, to produce the pain of resentment), thus being used by God to help you spiritually progress.
7 I tell you, you shall not get out until you have paid the very last penny. Notice! A man does get out of Hell. His time in Hell is until he has paid the last penny of his debt of sin committed in his earthly life. This shows that there is not an infinite time in Hell for man. As Revelation also shows: the cowards, and unbelieving faithless, the immoral, murderers, sexually immoral, magic art practitioners, and idolaters, and all deliberate liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death. Rev 21:8. Each man's part depends on what he did in his earthly life.
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