Author Archives: Luke Wagner

About Luke Wagner

With hope, this web site is about the common salvation once delivered to the saints, mentioned by Jude in his epistle. I will try and keep myself behind the scenes as much as possible but on occasion , I will mention something from my past that has relevance pertaining to the subject matter at hand. I am 62 years old and have lived nearly half of those years with a incomplete spinal cord injury. The pain and suffering in my life has prompted me to understand the place of suffering in a Christian's life in their being conformed to the image of Christ. I spent a couple years in college and 2 years in the Army and worked many diverse jobs, mostly in manual labor. I have a love affair with the scriptures and have had the time due to my injury to read and study them daily for many years. I have reached the point in my understanding of the scriptures where I am confident enough to make comment regarding them. I pray to God that this effort edifies the body of Christ Luke

Communion

1 Corinthians 10:16 KJVS
[16] The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

A good deal of the Christian world fails to understand completely or misunderstands the communion with the body and blood of Christ. Roman Catholicism views the bread and wine as the actual body and blood of Christ. There are a couple scripture verses that support this viewpoint but there is also deeper spiritual truths associated with communion that many fail to see. Let’s read a definition of the Greek word translated into the English word communion.

Thayer’s Definition
1. fellowship, association, community, communion, joint
a.participation, intercourse
the share which one has in anything, participation
b. intercourse, fellowship, intimacy

The deeper significance of communion was given by our Lord himself.

John 6:53-56 KJVS
[53] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. [54] Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. [56] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

Dwelleth in me, and I in him. Later in the gospel of John he had this to say.

John 17:23 KJVS
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

I in them and the Father in Jesus brings to my mind a mental image of the layout of the tabernacle in the wilderness and Herod’s Temple. As a side note, the gospel of John is the most theological complete gospel, because it was written after Apostle Paul received the revelation of the mystery of God. Which is Christ in you the hope of glory, . Those two scriptures in John, clearly point to the mystery of God.

Apostle Paul in Ephesians write this.

Ephesians 5:30-32 KJVS
[30] For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. [31] For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. [32] This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

One aspect of being in Christ it that we sit in heavenly places in Christ.

Ephesians 2:4-9 KJVS
[4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, [5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) [6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Since we sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, this opens up even deeper aspects of the crucifixion of Christ. Number one is that we partake of his sacrifice in a living way.

Romans 12:1 KJVS
[1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Number two is that our Lord’s death is our death in God’s eyes. A key to begin to understand this, is to see animal sacrifice in the way a Jew viewed it under the law. Thayer’s definition for the Greek word translated into the English word propitiation in Ro 3:25.

Thayer’s Definition
a. used of the cover of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies, which was sprinkled with the blood of the expiatory victim on the annual day of atonement (this rite signifying that the life of the people, the loss of which they had merited by their sins, was offered to God in the blood as the life of the victim, and that God by this ceremony was appeased and their sins expiated); hence the lid of expiation, the propitiatory

The sprinkling of our Lord’s blood represented OUR blood being shed, our death in payment for the penalties of OUR sin, and as such, God is appeased, Ro 6:23. But the offering of our Lord’s blood in heaven is for the forgiveness of sins past, once we are baptized into his death, Ro 3:26. That is the true nature and meaning of a sin sacrifice. We are reconciled to God, through the body of his, Jesus, flesh through death, Col 1:21-22 , precisely for that reason. More than a few times in the New Testament we are told that we are crucified with Christ, are we not baptized into his death by water baptism?

Romans 6:3-6 KJVS
[3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. [5] For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: [6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

These are not just figures of speech but a firm reality. The tendency to put the sacrifice and offerings for sin by Jesus Christ largely in the past tense, and as a substitution for us, negates the power of the cross in our lives. Since we sit in heavenly places in Christ, and are dead in Christ, we can be judged by God.

Hebrews 9:27 KJVS
[27] And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
1 Peter 4:17 KJVS
[17] For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

A verse in Romans points to the aim of our judgment through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, which points to the destruction of the flesh.

Romans 6:6 KJVS
[6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him , that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

That the body of sin might be destroyed was one of the early scriptures along the trail of my understanding of the work of the cross more fully. The subject matter of this article, up to this point, did not start to become apparent to me until about 15 years ago. Much pain and suffering over the course of 34 years ultimately led to what I know now. Let me explain. In 1984 I was in a car accident and broke two vertebrae in my neck in three pieces each. I was paralyzed for ten days but by the grace of God I walked again but have been saddled with weakness and moderate to severe chronic pain due to nerve damage from a spinal cord injury. A couple of events prior to the accident were unusual and ultimately led to the writing of this website. A couple of weeks before the accident a verse kept running through my head while daydreaming. I was boning hams second shift at a meat packing plant. It was line work and you stood along a moving conveyor belt removing the hip bones from sawed of portions of hogs above and below the hip joint as they came down the belt. Then the piece of meat was made into a ham. Plenty of time to daydream in a eight hour shift. The scripture was from Colossians.

Colossians 1:24 KJVS
[24] Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

I owned a hard copy of The Strong’s Concordance at the time and looked up the Greek word translated into the word “behind” and read that it meant lacking. A obvious question came to mind. What was lacking in the afflictions of Christ for his body’s sake? That question was a long time in being fully answered. The day of the accident a Christian woman called me and said she had a vivid dream the night before, in which I was involved in a car accident and was badly injured. She implored me to be careful. As the busy day progressed, the phone call slipped from my mind. Over a dozen hours later, I lay in a car that was upside down, paralyzed as a result of driving recklessly at a high rate of speed. Years later I came to realize the woman’s dream was prophetic. I was paralyzed for ten days and movement, sensation and strength slowly returned in the months ahead. Life became a struggle for me after that. It took three months of intensive Physical Therapy, while hospitalized, for me to be able to walk a hundred feet on my own. The left side of my body took a long time to return and to this day is weak with diminished movement and coordination. Raising two boys is demanding enough without a spinal cord injury. But while laying in bed paralyzed, I vowed to be responsible towards them and a loving father if the Lord would allow me to walk again. It was a effort for me as they grew older to coach baseball, go to sporting events and plays they were in, and the many parent teacher conferences. But as difficult as it was, it was very much a labor of love. We lived out in the country so thankfully there was little peer pressure from other kids. There are fewer bad influences on children who live in the country than children raised in the city. They are now in their 30’s, married with careers in software. One in engineering related software the other is a front end developer in webpage creation. It was not until they were in college that I again turned my attention to the study of scriptures. I had received the baptism of the Holy Ghost a couple years before the aforementioned car accident and it was a powerful experience, wherein I spoke in tongues. The two fused vertebrae from the 1984 injury to my neck were in bad shape and by the middle to late 90’s. There was 30% compression of my spinal cord from the warping of the two fused vertebrae from too much lifting over the years. As a result my whole body below that point tingled and burned. The surgeon preformed what is called a corpectomy and fused four vertebrae to correct this problem in 1997. He drilled and removed bone from the body of the two fused vertebrae to make more room for the spinal cord, inserted a cadaver bone to fill in some of the bone he removed and then screwed a plate made of titanium over the top, spanning C-4 to C-8. That procedure took 2 years to heal and I have been much weaker since. I spend a lot of time in bed and before I got a iPad I read the scriptures from a small vest pocket bible because it was light and easy to hold in my right or left hand. I can not read a full sized Bible or book in bed for any length of time without increasing pain and tingling. These small bibles have the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs in them. It has really been the last 15 years living alone that gave me the time to study the scriptures. Obviously the scriptures about suffering and afflictions jumped out at me in my daily reading and study of the Word. Due to reading from these vest pocket bibles I am well versed in the New Testament. I am a fast reader so I have read and continue reading the New Testament countless times, largely focusing on the epistles. Let me pick up where I left off with , now that I have given some background information that shows what motivated my study of the Word of God in light of suffering. That the body of sin might be destroyed brought questions to mind. What exactly did might be destroyed mean? How would the body of sin be destroyed? A good deal of Christian teachings does not definitively answer that question. I then noticed and after that became familiar with the importance of the mystery of God, Christ in you the hope of glory, in salvation. It took a long time, at least for me, to fill in the gaps. At night when pain kept me awake I would put verses together in my head and felt the unction, 1 Jn 2:20, 27, of the Holy Ghost teaching me. Often times I disagreed with the Spirit because of the doctrines of man, , that had indoctrinated me in the past. It was slow going because what I was seeing in the scriptures was not present on the internet and at times I feared the direction I was going in was heresy. And yet scriptures kept propelling me forward. I lived largely in isolation with plenty of time to study and read the scriptures but I have now come to realize that you cannot really understand a scripture unless God has worked the understanding of what that verse means into you. A lot of the times verses just stare back at you. Your just reading to be reading. And then there are times God does a mind trick on people that prevents them from understanding. Point in fact, the mystery of God, and scriptures related to the mystery.

Colossians 1:26-27
[26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
KJVS
[18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

God has to will a individual to know what is the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you the hope of glory. The knowledge pertaining to the word mystery points to when in time the Lord appears in the clouds and gathers his Saints unto himself at the seventh trumpet.

1 Corinthians 15:51-54 KJVS
[51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. [54] So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

But prior to that, you have to be equipped, made worthy to reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, Rev 20:6, by having your heart purified by faith and die to the lusts of the flesh. Romans12:1, along with the many verses about suffering, all pointed to a aspect of theology that initially piqued my interest which I first noticed prior to the car accident that dramatically changed my life. Then verses in Hebrews grabbed my attention. The whole book of Hebrews is rife with symbolism surrounding Jesus Christ as the High Priest of the New Testament in contrast with the Old Testament tabernacle High Priest and the day of atonement sacrifice. I have read and studying verses in Hebrews countless times, especially the 10th chapter. Subject matter that many teachers of the law and other men misunderstand and misinterpret, . Specifically interpreting types and shadows of the OT tabernacle and applying them to NT theology, erroneously using them to show how we are to approach God.

Hebrews 13:9-14 KJVS
[9] Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. [10] We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. [11] For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. [12] Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. [13] Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. [14] For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

There was a altar outside the camp of the tribes of Israel in the wilderness and then later a altar outside the ceremonial clean area surrounding Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem, where the bodies of the various sin sacrifices were burned because they were considered unclean. This altar is only indirectly mentioned one other time in the New Testament.

Hebrews 9:13-14 KJVS
[13] For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: [14] How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Purge your moral conscience from dead works points to Hebrews 13:9, that states it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace, not by any works of righteousness which we have done. I view Jesus offering himself without spot to God in concert with the following verses.

Hebrews 9:27-28 KJVS
[27] And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: [28] So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Hebrews 10:14 KJVS
[14] For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
2 Co 5:21 KJVS
[21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Hebrews 2:10-11 KJVS
[10] For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. [11] For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Hebrews 10:10 KJVS
[10] By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all .

Few Christians are aware of the symbolism involving the offering of the body of a sin sacrifice on a altar outside the camp. I view the body prepared for Jesus Christ in He10:5, as the body of Christ. Since we are known in him from the foundation of the Those who were known in him before the foundation of the world, . By extension the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the offering of his blood and body represent our blood and body, due to the fact we in him, Eph 5:30-32. There again in is the word mystery, pointing to the union of Jesus Christ with his body the church. The Christ in you hope of glory. The types and shadows one can draw largely from within the book of Hebrews regarding the law, need to be governed by .

Hebrews 10:1 KJVS
[1] For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

You have to be careful of how you extrapolate meaning from types and shadow of the Old Testament Law and apply them to New Testament theology. Because these types and shadows from the law are not the very image of the sacrifice and offerings for sin that Jesus Christ was and is. Obviously there is no actual altar where the collective body of sin, of the body of Christ, is being burned up by fire. There need not be because of He 10:1. There are a few verses that mention fire as a symbol in connection with sanctification.

Matthew 3:11-12 KJVS
[11] I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: [12] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

The chaff is a metaphor for the flesh. The sufferings in life is the fire.

1 Pe 4:12-13 KJVS
[12] Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: [13] But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

This verse points to the partaking that the body of Christ have in the sufferings of Christ. Apostle Paul in the verses pasted below, calls it the fellowship of his suffering and the word fellowship is translated from the same Greek word that is translated into the word communion in 1 Co 10:16. Which is the verse I used to start this article.

Philippians 3:9-11 KJVS
[9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: [10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; [11] If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

The aim or goal of suffering is given not only by Apostle Peter but also by Apostle Paul. Ceasing from sin and denying ungodliness and worldly lusts.

1 Pe 4:1-2 KJVS
[1] Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; [2] That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
Titus 2:11-12 KJVS
[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The Greek word translated into the English word teaching in verse 12 is also translated into the different forms of chastise as these words appear in the New Testament. Chastisement involves suffering.

1 Co 11:30-32 KJVS
[30] For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. [31] For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. [32] But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

KJVS
[6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [7] If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? [11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

God scourges the sons he loves and all the powers that be in this world are of God, Romans 13. If you do wrong they do not bear the sword in vain. So chastisement by God may or may not appear to be coming directly from him. It can come from civil authorities for your amendment. It took me over 20 years to realize that the car accident in which I was so badly hurt in, was a chastisement by God. I was driving much faster than the posted speed limit, listening to hard rock music. Extremely irresponsible for a man with a wife and two sons. There were other, personal things, going on in my life that the small still voice of the Spirit was cautioning me to stop that I ignored. If it sounds like I am being too hard on myself, I am not. There is One who can be very hard on us for a very good reason.

Hebrews 12:28-29 KJVS
[28] Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: [29] For our God is a consuming fire.

This article is just a bare bones approach in showing the role suffering plays in salvation. The first nine articles on the home page goes into deeper detail regarding this matter. Ideally they should be read in the order. There are articles that follow after these articles that delve into other aspects of New Testament doctrine.

God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation

2 Thessalonians 2:13 KJVS
[13] But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

A few related verses come mind in Ephesians and a verse in 2 Timothy.

Ephesians 1:4-5,11 KJVS
[4] According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: [5] Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, [11] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
2 Timothy 1:9 KJVS
[9] Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

“Having predestinated us” in Eph 1:5 can only be viewed in the strictest sense. The Strong’s definition for the Greek word that is translated into the English word “predestinates”.
to predetermine, decide beforehand
in the NT of God decreeing from eternity
to foreordain, appoint beforehand

Given some thought, predestination is not based on God looking ahead and seeing who would choose to serve Him. Since God himself justifies and sanctifies the ungodly, our salvation is not based on any works of righteousness we have done, Titus 3:5-7. Then how can one claim predestination is based on a work of man or result of man’s effort in any way. There are some people who prefer that important doctrinal matters be confirmed out of the mouth of two or three witnesses. I am of course referring to the doctrine of predestination by the foreknowledge of God. Let us see what the Word of God, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, had to say regarding the matter.

John 15:16 KJVS
[16] Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

John 6:39,44 KJVS
[39] And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. [44] No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

The second witness of course is the Apostle Paul and the two scriptures from his epistles cited in the beginning of the article. A third witness being Apostle Peter and I personally like the contrast of the two groups of people mentioned, one group appointed to be disobedient and the other group to be a chosen royal priesthood, Ro 9:21.

1 Peter 2:7-9 KJVS
[7] Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, [8] And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. [9] But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

I believe in what the scripture verses themselves state, rather than the doctrines of man based on a few scriptures surrounded with human reasonings. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing as the old saying goes and this holds to be true with the Word of God. The members of the body of Christ were chosen in him before the foundation of the world, and were ordained to walk in good works, and those good works are due to God’s workmanship in the body of Christ, Eph 2:10. There are those who like to associate various concepts in the bible with prominent men in the past, who started their own churches based on certain doctrines. So if you mention the above verses and say you believe in predestination by foreknowledge , Ro 8:29, in regards to the body of Christ, some people will say that you are a Calvinist. One might respond to this remark by pointing out that Calvin did not believe in Universal Reconciliation, which the scriptures also point to. But a response like that is so off the wall to most Christians, that the conversation usually proceeds no further. These types of conversations are generally fruitless and vain, in the sense that if a dialogue does develop, it usually becomes a conflict between egos. There are some people who so very strongly hold onto the concept of free will, that they can not move past the point of their having “chosen” Jesus Christ as their personal savior. One has to wonder if this is fundamentally a base form of idol worship. Worship of the power of ones own will. You can show a person who believes they chose Jesus as their “personal savior”, all the above scriptures and yet they will come back to this one verse.

Romans 10:9 KJVS
[9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

One should always keep in mind that the sum of God’s word is truth, Ps 119:160.

Philippians 1:29 KJVS
[29] For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Ephesians 2:8 KJVS
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

The scriptures state clearly that the very belief in Jesus Christ that a man possesses, was given to that man by God, as a gift. That alone would support the doctrine of predestination by foreknowledge. If a man is not able to generate belief or faith by his own free will, then God is the determining force behind that faith, and it is up to God to choose and call a man. That is what the scriptures state. I have not been educated formally in theology and have largely avoided delving into theology and the various doctrines of man via the Internet. Some time ago I had a crisis of faith due to chronic pain from a spinal cord injury and my inability to understand sound doctrine, largely due to the cunning craftiness of the winds of doctrine of man, Eph 4:14. I was chastised by God for questioning the faith given me and told to study to show myself approved. I decided then to strictly rely on what the New Testament scriptures state, as all doctrine and theology is, or should be, based on scripture. Due to four fused vertebrae in my neck, it is difficult for me to read in bed. I spend more time in bed than the average person due to pain and weakness. In the past I have used several small New Testament vest pocket bibles, that are easy to hold with just the thumb and index finger, while laying in bed. I am more hi-tech now and have a iPad with the Strong’s Concordance. I am a fast reader so for years, when I lay down due to pain and weakness, I would read a epistle or part of a gospel. I have become very familiar with the New Testament but no matter how familiar you become, you still need the Spirit of God teaching you the deep things of God, Jn14:26, 1 Co 2:10&11. The New Testament is the new will and testament of Jesus Christ dividing his inheritance with the members of his body, the body of Christ, He 9:15-17.

Galatians 3:16-17,29 KJVS
[16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [17] And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. [29] And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Let us be clear about one thing, as it states in verse 17, the law of Moses did not disannul the promises God made to Abraham and his singular seed, Jesus Christ. There is far too much focus by the Christian churchs today with the Covenant of the law. The words covenant and testament can have and do have subtle different meaning but are translated from the same Greek word.

Strong’s Number
G1242
Original Word
διαθήκη
Transliterated Word
diathēkē
Phonetic Spelling
dee-ath-ay’-kay
Parts of Speech
Noun Feminine
Definition
a disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will
a compact, a covenant, a testament
God’s covenant with Noah, etc

It is often confusing to try and separate the two words and their meanings in the different verses but the word testament at times refers to a last will and testament bequeathing Abrahams inheritance to his seed, Jesus Christ. That inheritance, is to rule and reign over the world during the thousand year kingdom of God, Ro 4:13, Re 20:6. Start to finish, God predestinates those He foreknew, calls them, justifies and sanctifies them and when the time comes will glorify the members of the body of Christ.

Romans 8:29-30 KJVS
[29] For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. [30] Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

I think the problem lies in the fact that the modern theology of today’s major denominations in the Christian world, misunderstands grace and the function of grace. Grace teaches and chastises us, Titus 2:11&12, He 12:6, and washes us with the regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, Titus 3:4-7. So it is God working from within and without, changing a man and making him righteous. All of this instruction and purifying of the heart of man, by God, is to prepare priests and kings, who will rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, Re 20:6, during the age to come. This is the inheritance mentioned in the Ephesians 1:11, Ga 3:16&18. There will be no place for the flesh, no place for ego in those called by God for that monumental role in history. To imagine in some fashion that man could intrinsically accomplish this by himself, with his own effort and make the necessary changes within himself for this role, directly counters what scriptures state. Not only that, it runs counter to what we observe in recorded history, most especially today, with wars of exploitation by the strong and wealthy over the weak. It is hard to have faith at times, of having a part of this grand and noble inheritance in the future, especially when you are being scourged and undergoing trials and temptations. But we are exhorted and told in many verses in the New Testament, to have a active partnership in the process of being made worthy of our inheritance.

2 Peter 1:3-7,9-11 KJVS
[3] According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: [4] Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. [5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; [6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; [7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. [9] But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. [10] Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: [11] For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The lost sheep of the house of Israel

Matthew 10:5-7 KJVS
[5] These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: [6] But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. [7] And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Much has been written about the identity of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Usually a history of the two kingdoms of the Old Testament houses of Judah and Israel is given. There has been much speculation and different theories about who the lost tribes of Israel are when the Lord walked this earth and in the present day. Many miss the obvious clues in the New Testament that point to who the lost sheep of the house of Israel are. First one should examine the above words of our Lord from the gospel of Matthew. He limits the area the twelve disciples can preach in, to the present country of Israel. So obviously the lost sheep of the house of Israel are in the country of Israel while our Lord walked the land. At first glance this makes no sense since the lost sheep of the house of Israel in the Old Testament were carried away to Assyria, heard of no more, and apparently were assimilated in and around that region. But then our Lord would know that and he would not make so obvious a mistake regarding the House of Israel. So there has to be another explanation. Apostle Paul points out there are two Israel. Israel of the flesh and Israel of the promise seed.

Romans 9:6-8 KJVS
[6] Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: [7] Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. [8] That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

In short, the Israel of God is Israel of the promise seed. And the promise seed is Jesus Christ and those that are in him, Gal 3:16&29. Apostle Paul make another distinction that takes awhile to wrap your mind around about the law of Moses.

Galatians 4:21-31 KJVS
[21] Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? [22] For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. [23] But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. [24] Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. [25] For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. [26] But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. [27] For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. [28] Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. [29] But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. [30] Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. [31] So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

The old covenant (law of Moses) is from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Aga, and this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. That is a mouthful that makes a important distinction that many miss. The religious system surrounding Herod’s Temple which was based on the law of Moses, children of Agar, are not heirs with the children of the promise seed. The lost sheep of the house of Israel that our Lord sent the twelve disciples to preach saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand, were the Jews that were the children of promise who were to be called out of bondage to the law, Acts 15:10-11. Plus the called out Gentiles that are added to the seed. Apostle Paul makes this clear.

Romans 9:21-26 KJVS
[21] Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? [22] What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: [23] And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, [24] Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? [25] As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. [26] And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

So the commonwealth of Israel Apostle Paul writes about in Ephesians, was comprised initially of Jews who are of the promise seed, and then the Gentiles who are also of the promise seed that were added to the body of Christ.

Ephesians 2:11-19 KJVS
[11] Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; [12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: [13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. [14] For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us ; [15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; [16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: [17] And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. [18] For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. [19] Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

I know this is a complicated truth of the gospel. More so since we have been programmed all our lives by movies, books and even Christian teachings that point to Israel of the flesh as God’s chosen people. That the law of Moses was the most important aspect of the Old Testament. Few notice a verse from the Old Testament such as this.

Genesis 21:12 KJVS
[12] And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

This verse has to be understood in light of what Paul wrote in Galatians.

Galatians 3:16-19 KJVS
[16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [17] And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. [18] For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. [19] Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Jesus Christ is the promise seed who would be born of the flesh through the genetic linage of Isaac. And the Jews who were in the body of Christ comprises the lost sheep of the tribes of Israel that Jesus sent the twelve to go, preach, saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand, Matt 10:6&7.

The washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost

Titus 3:5-7 KJVS
[5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; [7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

It is funny how this web site seemes to write itself. Perhaps because it mirrors the progression of my understanding of the mystery of God in my life. The Christ in you, the hope of glory. It should go without saying, but we are God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus. The new creature, 2 Co 5:17, that is being created through the agency of the Holy Spirit, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost in the individual members of the body of Christ, throughout their lives. I have noticed in the last couple years a progression of the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit in my life. Probably because I am asking God for grace more often. Life is getting harder for me. I have lived over thirty years with a spinal cord injury, with every added year making the struggle all that more difficult. This struggle has made me bone weary and tired of the seemingly endless repetition of days, filled with pain and the struggle against weakness. And yet I find myself walking around smiling and conversing with people in a agreeable manner, even though I am fighting to take every step and at times living in the kind of pain most people can not imagine. Now, I can not attribute this to myself, not as if it was any work of righteousness on my part, but as it states in the scripture above, it is due to the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. In essence God is purifying my heart by faith. Praise God and His holy name. The last couple years I’ve gotten in the habit of starting my mornings out with a cup of coffee, then I open the iPad and listen to a few Christian song videos. I have bookmarked quite a few, many of which I have also purchased from iTunes. And most every morning as I listen and praise and worship God and sing along, the Spirit washes over me, regenerates me, and renews my heart. God and His Spirit sustains me and hopefully will continue to sustain me through this fiery trial until the day God heals me, I die, or the Lord returns. The regeneration of the Holy Ghost is bringing about the new creature God has in mind, which is to be the resurrected body of Christ. There are only a few verses that mention this new creature in the New Testament.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJVS
[17] Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Galatians 6:15 KJVS
[15] For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

The first scripture does not ring true to me as it appears, so I looked at the Strong’s definition for the Greek word translated into the English word “creature”. The primary definition is more in line with my thoughts regarding the meaning of the verse. The definition follows. 1.the act of founding, establishing, building etc. This definition gives one the sense that it is a work that is presently underway, rather than a past tense, completed state of being. The rest of the verse is also suspect to me in regards to verb tense. Unfortunately, translators have a difficult time translating the Aorist tense into English, and most often use the past tense. If you remember, Aorist tense is the Greek indefinite, indefinite in regards to verb tense, and means without horizon. Since I am not a expert translator in koine Greek, I can only compare the above verse to other verses in the bible to arrive at a better understanding of 2 Co 5:17. I have read in the past that 43% of the main verbs in the New Testament are Aorist. Just a scant few verses later in 2 Corinthians, is a verse that puts light on the preceding verse 17, part of this verse is used as a tag line for this web site.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJVS
[21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

That we may be made the righteousness of God in him does not sound as if this new creature is already a established and completed fact. Most every day of my life I do not feel like a new creature in Christ. Not in the sense that it is already a completed state of being in my life. Thoughts like this do not appear to line up with a verse like 2 Co 5:17. Thoughts like this can be troublesome and make you feel as if you, in some fashion, have missed the boat. Especially when you are in a dire situation where weakness, pain and doubts about how long you can continue to live alone and take care of yourself, trouble you on a daily basis. If you look at the verse I started this article with, you see the words “washing of regeneration”. Part of the Strong’s primary definition of the word “regeneration” is “new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration”. So we are going through a process of being reborn through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. A scripture I just recalled today, agrees with this. I read and edit these articles sometimes dozens of times after I publish them. Correcting typos or making additional comments or adding scripture verses that come to mind, after the fact, that make subjects I am writing about clearer. This is one of those times.

Ephesians 4:24 KJVS
[24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

This verse gives a good mental image of the process of becoming this new creature, new man that will be the body of Christ. The word “put” is not in the manuscript, just the word “on” and I really like the Strong’s definition for the Greek word.

Strong’s Number
G1746
Original Word
ἐνδύω
Transliterated Word
enduō
Phonetic Spelling
en-doo’-o
Parts of Speech
Verb
Definition
1. to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one’s self

You get the real sense of being in the process of clothing yourself in righteousness. Believe it or not, just knowing this gives me comfort. I got to admit, that this “name it and claim it” theology mind set of certain areas of Christianity, has been and is troubling to me, for a very long time. The onus of not having the faith to be healed is always on the individual who is sick, weak or injured. I have a spinal cord injury. I was paralyzed for ten days. I cried like a baby from the intense pain when they first put me on a mat in Physical Therapy and told me to get into a sitting position. I lost over 30 pounds of muscle in ten days due to atrophy while paralyzed. It took 3 months of painful therapy to walk 100 feet on my own. And I have lived with this injury and pain associated with it for 31 years. I can remember early on, being in a halo vest, a device worn to stabilize the cervical vertebra that were fractured, and going to a healing service at a local church. This visiting healer placed his hand on my chest to push me back and fall into the waiting arms of two young men. I suppose it was to mimic being slain in the Spirit. I did not fall back due to fear of possible additional injury but the theatrical nature of the healing ministry rubbed me the wrong way. If God is going to heal me, He will do it without fanfare or theatrics. So this whole prosperity, name it and claim it theology, that implies people lack the faith to be healed, can lead a person to feel as if he missed the boat. Maybe I don’t have the faith to be healed. Maybe the trial of my faith will bring me to the place where I do have the faith to be healed. Or maybe it is necessary for a hardhead tough guy like me to suffer so, in order to die to the pride in ones own strength,and other ungodly lusts, 1 Pe 4:1&2. Or maybe I needed to suffer in order to understand why suffering is necessary in order to be conformed to the image of Christ, Php 3:10, and relay that knowledge to others. God only knows, but knowing that I am a work in progress and having the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost in my life, is a experience that is reassuring and certainly quells the notion that I have somehow missed the boat. If I were to translate 2 Corinthians 5:17 on my own, it would look something like this.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is becoming a new creature: old things are passing away; behold, all things are being made new.

This translation would agree with many other verses that make the new creature in Christ, salvation and righteousness, appear to be a ongoing work of progress in our lives, Ro 6:6, 2 Co 12:9, He 9:28. I have read Titus 3:5 hundreds of times over the last decade and never really understood the importance of the verse in regards to salvation. Salvation in Christ, again due to the mistranslation of the Aorist tense, is largely presented as a past tense action by Jesus Christ alone, by modern day Christian theology. I have mentioned before, that years ago I bought Concordant New Testament. This translation has various marks before the verbs that indicate different verb forms in the Greek language, which allows the reader deeper insight into the various scripture verses in the Word of God. All these realizations concerning the meanings of various scripture verses, in regard to verb tense, is a recent development in my life. Largely propelled by searching the scriptures because of the feeling of having missing the boat in some fashion, due to the long term difficulty of my life. By recent, I would say the last ten years. I don’t think you can truly understand scripture until God works it into you and you say, “yeah, that verse is what is going on in my life.” For that reason it is hard to impart this knowledge to others. And let’s face it, the scripture verses in the New Testament are many and complex. Of which many religious organizations are using in purposely deceiving humanity with their various doctrines, Eph 4:14. The Word of God and the truth of the gospel is important to me. But of late, all I can manage to do is publish a infrequent article for this web site using my right index finger to peck out the articles using a iPad. Before I damaged my spinal cord I was able to type 60 words a minute using the home row method, but due to the nerve damage in my left side, I have limited dexterity in my left hand. Sitting at my computer typing with two index fingers is slow and painful due to 4 fused vertebrae in my neck, so I have come to rely on the iPad. I can lie in bed with the iPad resting in a wood holder I made, that rests against a wood clamp that is attached to the headboard of the bed. I am not likely to start a fellowship or attend a church regularly or even try and teach at a local church due to the pain and weakness. Not that any church would embrace some of the doctrine I espouse, like Universal Reconciliation with a hell of limited duration. I have been asked to leave a few churches when bringing those topics up in casual conversation. I have little choice but to be outside the camp bearing Christ’s reproach it would appear, He 13:13. Plus, God has made me a honest man, so deception by omission would not sit well with me. From my perspective God has sidelined me, or rather allowed me to sideline myself so the Holy Spirit can teach me and hopefully, I teach others. So we have God and Jesus Christ in our lives, working from the inside out and the outside in, creating this new creature.

John 17:23 KJVS
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

This being made perfect in one and being justified requires teaching, discipline and chastisements from God. Trials, afflictions and sufferings in order to put to the proof, the fruit of the Spirit God is growing in us. Carrot and stick approach, with the carrot being the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, that can be accompanied by joy unspeakable. I see all this at work in myself. But so slowly does change take place, that it requires much patience and hope to hold onto the eventual promised adoption and redemption of our bodies.

Romans 8:22-25 KJVS
[22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. [23] And not only they , but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit , the redemption of our body. [24] For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? [25] But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

So with patience I wait for it. And one of the things that God has given us, like a clear sweet spring of water bubbling up out of the ground, if you will, is the frequent washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost in our daily lives, which is partly instrumental in the formation of this new creature within us.

Their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever

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

This verse has caused me much concern over the years. Concern for family and friends that I have who are not believers. The language at first glance seem to indicate torment for eternity. It’s troubled me much so that I have studied the word definitions of the Greek words in the above verse with different bible tools. This verse comes to mind after many years of studying scripture and consulting various different bible translation.

Jeremiah 8:8 ESV
[8] “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.

I would think the lying pen of the scribes is not confined to the Old Testament law of Moses but to those who translate the original Greek into the different versions of the Bibles that we have today. Some versions good, some misleading, perhaps intentionally so. Let us look at Rev 14:11 using the Young’s Literal Translation and Rotherham versions.

Revelation 14:11 YLT
[11] and the smoke of their torment doth go up to ages of ages; and they have no rest day and night, who are bowing before the beast and his image, also if any doth receive the mark of his name.
Revelation 14:11
Rotherham(i) 11 And, the smoke of their torment, unto ages of ages, ascendeth; And they have no rest day or night, who do homage unto the beast and his image, or if anyone receiveth the mark of his name.

These translations greatly change the meaning of the verse. A literal bible version attempts to translate a Greek or Hebrew word the same in every usage. Context is one way to determine meaning. Also in the book of Revelation this verse comes to mind.

Revelation 11:15 KJVS
[15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Now does the Lord and his Christ reign forever and ever?

1 Corinthians 15:25-26,28 KJVS
[25] For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. [26] The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. [28] And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Rev 20:4&6 state that the saints will reign with Jesus a thousand years which agrees with the above verse, as it also limits our Lord’s reign. Which leads me to believe that the smoke of their torment mentioned in Rev 14:11 is not eternal and very likely ascends only to the start of the thousand year kingdom of the God. I also see verses in scripture that state God is going to save all men.

1 Timothy 4:10-11 KJVS
[10] For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. [11] These things command and teach.

So in regards to family and friends that the Lord has not called. I find comfort in the verses that I used in this article. And I trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men.

Work out you salvation with fear and trembling

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Why is it that we have to work out our salvation with the mindset of fear and trembling? A scripture in Hebrews shows this to be also true with the author of our salvation, the head of the body of Christ, Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 5:7-10 KJVS
[7] Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; [8] Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; [9] And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; [10] Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

Obedience is not a easy trait to acquire due to the vanity of the flesh we were subjected to, Ro 8:20. In a previous article I mentioned Psalm 82, wherein the sons of God in the past had a judgement placed on them because they did not rule with the fruit of righteousness. Probably due to the fact that these fruits were never fully grown in them.

Hebrews 12:6-8 KJVS
[6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [7] If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? [8] But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
[11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Philippians 3:9 KJVS
[9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

There is little chance of a person growing in maturity without being taught, disciplined and chastised for their wrong behavior and immaturity, Titus 2:11-12, 1Co 11:31-32. That is readily apparent in the real world, where you see many a little child in public, who are acting out and making a fuss in order to get what they want. Little children with immature and selfish egos that are intent on self gratification. Petulant, sulking and angry children that need correction. Now, many adults are not all that more mature, just a little better at hiding their true natures. Those of us in the body of Christ are facing God’s judgement as they live because they are dead in Christ, Gal 2:20! He 9:27, 1 Pe 4:17, He 3:6. One set of scriptures that show this judgement by God are in 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 11:29-32 KJVS
[29] For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. [30] For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. [31] For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. [32] But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Primary definition from The Strong’s Concordance for the word “condemned” In verse 32.
Definition
1. to give judgment against, to judge worthy of punishment

For a more detailed explanation see this article. http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=182 So you can see judgement is corrective and aimed towards character development in the individuals being judged. It is wise to understand the consequences involved with sinning against the law of Christ, and put away inconsiderate behavior towards other members of the body of Christ. Peter lists some of this childish behavior and exhorts us to start to grow in the godly character and maturity that will be necessary in the kingdom of God.

1 Peter 2:1-2 KJVS
[1] Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, [2] As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Reading the Word is essential for the maturation process. About 12 years ago I started reading the word daily. I have a spinal cord injury and due to pain, around noon everyday and again later at four in the afternoon, I lie down for 30-40 minutes. It helps with the pain and weakness associated with the nerve damage that I live with. I had and still have a couple of vest pocket New Testaments. I can’t lie on my back as that makes the pain worse. So I lie on my side. I had a corpectomy and a four level fusion C-4 to C-8 in 1998. I am only suppose to lift ten pounds with either hand. So it is easier on my neck holding the small vest pocket bible than a full size bible while in bed. I am a fast reader and it was not unusual to read a couple epistles a day. Reading mind you, not understanding. I had a rotation of sorts which I followed and now know the New Testament well. I am 64 years old and have lived with a spinal cord injury for 31 years. Every year it gets harder and harder for me to live on my own. I am also a woodworker, although I have not built anything in the last couple years due to pain and increased weakness. I usually make Shaker or Mission style furniture using traditional joinery techniques. The trouble I had with scripture, was fitting all the verses together and arriving at comprehensive whole. The woodworker in me kept trying to assemble verses by words and concepts. It took a long time for the Holy Spirit to teach me the word, 1 Co 2:13, largely due to the indoctrination of the religious institution I grew up in. It is important to ask for for wisdom and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then believe what the Spirit of truth is teaching you. Great familiarity with the word is important and I now have a ten inch iPad with a bible app with The Strong’s Concordance embedded into the bible app. I write most my articles on it now, lying in bed or sitting in front of a small table using the iPad. Typing with a stylus due to nerve damage in my left hand. I have found there is more pain sitting at the computer than using the iPad. I have fallen hard a couple times in the last month. On concrete both times. If you think of it, say a prayer for me. The reason I bring it up is I am starting to really identify with working out my salvation with fear and trembling. We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. But being a member of the “me generation”, like the spoiled children I mentioned before, At first I wanted instant gratification. Wanted to be able to call fire out of the sky, Lk 5:54-56, so to speak. A individual is rarely capable to objectively judge their own spiritual maturity, for good reason.

Jeremiah 17:9 KJVS
[9] The heart is deceitful above all things , and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The Strong’s primary definition for the Hebrew word translated into the English word “wicked”.

Definition
to be weak, sick, frail

Well that certainly hits the mark with me, plus couple the above verse with what James wrote.

James 1:23-25 KJVS
[23] For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: [24] For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. [25] But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein , he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

This working out your salvation with fear and trembling, encompasses so much it is hard to confine it in one or more posts. But now that I think about it, it is what this web site is all about. Salvation is the process of God purifying our hearts by faith and being sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, Acts 15:9, He 10:10. Which is a painful process in itself that involves affliction and suffering, Isa 48:10, 1Pe 4:1-2. So this whole salvation process is ultimately learning to be obedient to the will of God and the law of Christ. But this obedience is not brought about by the will of the flesh of a man but by God, Jn 1:13. If you examine the fruit of the Spirit they are positive expression of the heart. Hurting the feelings of, or causing other members of the body of Christ to stumble, is more grievous to God than the offenses of the holiness standards of many churches. Taste not, touch not, handle not rules and bylaws, are often the work of man, Col 2:21-23. Abstaining from something does nothing towards curbing or eliminating natural desires and lusts of the flesh for the things of this world. Only through the Holy Spirit mortifying the deeds of the flesh, can we crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts, Ro 8:13, Gal 5:24. We are cautioned to use meekness and fear when trying to restore someone who is overtaken in a fault, Ga 6:1. Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit and one can learn much by examining the verses where that word is used in the NT. Human nature being what it is, a person should examine their heart very carefully and see what is the motivating reasons behind attempting to restore someone who is overtaken by a fault. God certainly does. If your heart is not motivated by the fruit of the Spirit, you might do well to leave the person alone. I grew up in the country where it is common knowledge and common sense not to poke a hornets nest with a stick. Heavy handedness can hurt and cause a fellow member of the body of Christ to stumble and lose their way by provoking wrath and pride. The intriguing aspect of all of this, is that God intentionally subjected the creation to vanity, part of which is transient morality. When a man is separated from his mother’s womb and called by God’s grace, the inward man in us desires to do the good and be obedient to the law of God but the sin that dwells in him is constantly warring against his mind, Ro 7:19-24. This is the struggle I have found myself in for quite some time. The scriptures bear it true that external and inner conflict on, and in a man, leads to change in a man, when that change is being facilitated by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:3 states that natural man is too weak in the flesh to obey the law of God. So God sent His son as a sacrifice and offering for sin, to condemn sin in the flesh. But the sacrifice and offering for sin still has to be worked into the flesh of the members of the body of Christ, Ro 12:1, He 10:9-10. Remember that presenting of our bodies as a living sacrifice takes place at the altar outside the camp, He 13:10-13. Now at some point I came to realize that because of this fact, the flesh being too weak to observe the law, a person could hardly expect the Jews of the Old Testament to faithfully observe the law. Why? Because they were given the role of the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, Ro 9:22, who God used to show His wrath and make His power known in the earth. Obedience is motivated by several factors. Love, respect and fear. Fear of the consequences involved for not being obedient. But the fear of God chronicled in many episodes in the scriptures, is a fear with a good deal of awe and trembling involved due to the power and presence of a immensely powerful creator or His angels, He 12:18-21. Da 8:17&27. Read the book of Job. I have many times, trying to determine why Job had to suffer so. There is a couple verses that comes to mind from the book which shows the power of God and the effect it has on a man.

Job 42:5-6 KJVS
[5] I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. [6] Wherefore I abhor myself , and repent in dust and ashes.

In any Army, there is a chain of command and the Army in heaven is no different. You have to have a powerful leader in charge of a Army that commands respect, loyalty and obedience. To ensure that a thousand year Kingdom of God functions as God intends, there will be no place for ego, self interests and other aspects related to the flesh, otherwise it will be the same old same old of the last six thousand years. Everyone who rules and reigns with Christ, in the age to come will be dead to the flesh, obedient and will know their place in the scheme of things. Humility will need to be learned, 1 Pe 5:6, 1 Co 12:14-18, Phil 2:3. Another aspect apparent in Job and is also a recurrent theme throughout the NT, is that God is the determiner of a man’s righteousness, not man. As a General rule people do not like change in their lives, much preferring remanning in the status quo. Unless some form of conflict forces change, it likely does not happen on its own. So when you read the Ro 7:19-24 verses and see that same conflict that Paul describes within yourself, you can certainly identify with this dilemma, where the flesh is too weak to observe the law of God, Ro 8:3. But at the same time the inner man delights in the law of God, due to the indwelling Holy Spirit. I know the conflict in me is quite troubling at times and precipitates groanings in the Spirit, Ro 8:26, and causes me to come before the throne of grace in times of need, He 4:16. Given some thought, a person realizes that positive change can only come about through God using discipline and teaching from the scriptures and His Spirit. Using 20-20 hindsight, a good deal of the problem in the past for me, has been the focus on the Old Testament prosperity doctrine in many of today’s churches. If you give 10% to God he will bless you with ten fold or maybe even a hundred fold back in return. So you buy lottery tickets, pray and wait in misspent hope. What I did not understand until the last decade or so, is that in the New Testament, God blesses us with the blessings of Abraham.

Acts 3:25-26 KJVS
[25] Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. [26] Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
Galatians 3:14 KJVS
[14] That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The Strong’s definition of the Greek word translated into the English word iniquities in Acts 3:25.

Definition
depravity, iniquity, wickedness
malice
evil purposes and desires

We are blessed by God in the New Testament through the redemption process that is in Jesus Christ. Wherein the Holy Spirit working in our lives, turns us away from our depraved and wicked behavior. God scourges every son and daughter whom he receives and has very stringent code of behavior and fruit He expects and instills in His sons and daughters necessary for the coming of His Kingdom on earth.

Galatians 5:22-24 KJVS
[22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. [24] And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

The firstfruits of them that slept

1 Corinthians 15:20 KJVS
[20] But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

There is a common misconception shared by a large portion of Christianity regarding death and the disposition of souls after death. First of all dead means just that, you are dead and lack any conscious awareness, Eccl 9:5&6. There is a specific order assigned to those who are to be resurrected from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:22-26 KJVS
[22] For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [23] But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. [24] Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. [25] For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. [26] The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

The order of resurrections, which involves large groups of people, are the body of Christ, the resurrection of the just and unjust, Mt 25:34, 41, and the second general resurrection of the white throne judgment, Re 20:11-14. The dead know nothing and their souls are in a sleep state, Eccl 9:5&6, Job 17-13-16, until resurrected into a body. In Revelation it mentions souls under the altar in heaven.

Revelation 6:11 KJVS
[11] And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were , should be Revelation 6:9-11 KJVS
[9] And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: [10] And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? [11] And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were , should be fulfilled.

The term asleep is used in place of dead in Christ by Apostle Paul.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-16 KJVS
[14] For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. [15] For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. [16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

A good deal of the Christian peoples of the world think that when they die, they do not pass go, and they either go directly to heaven or hell. If you do a word study on the word “resurrection” in the bible you will see the word is only used in the New Testament. That is because the resurrection is completely dependent upon the messiah, Jesus Christ, 1 Co 15:22-25, who is Abraham’s seed, Gal 2:29. You can ascertain some of what Jewish people believed in, while Jesus walked the earth, from the different accounts given in the gospels. Of course what Jesus states presents sound doctrine. The Sadducees presented Jesus a question trying to trip him up if you will, Lk 20:27-35. It is a rather a involved question regarding seven brothers marrying the same woman in succession following each one’s death and not producing a child during their various union. This invented situation was geared to ask just one question. In the resurrection whose wife would the woman be. Jesus answer is as follows.

Luke 20:34-35 KJVS
[34] And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: [35] But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

Let us take a look at verse 35 using a literal translation of the bible. Bear with me as this is relevant to the next point I am about to make.

Lk 20:35 Yet those deemed worthy to happen upon that eon and the resurrection from among the dead are neither marrying nor taking out in marriage. CLV

This scripture agrees in part with Col 1:12, and it is referring to the first resurrection of those, who will partake of the inheritance of Abraham. Those who are resurrected, will take part of the Kingdom of God, and rule and reign with Jesus Christ as priest and kings for a thousand years, Re 20:6. Just before Jesus was going to resurrect Lazarus, his sister Martha affirms her belief that her brother would be resurrected at the last day, Jn 11:24&25. The last day is a day of thousand years and Lazarus would be resurrected during or at the start of that day. I don’t want to get too bogged down in this, but in Lk 20:35, and in other verses in the New Testament, most bible translations will use a number of different words when translating the Greek noun G165.

Strong’s Number
G165
Original Word
αἰών
Transliterated Word
aiōn
Phonetic Spelling
ahee-ohn’
Parts of Speech
Noun Masculine
Definition
for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
the worlds, universe
period of time, age
Usage by Word
ever (50), world (32), never (7), began (3), evermore (3), ages (2), eternal (2), worlds (2), course (1), end (1), standeth (1)

The whole point of language is to communicate thoughts and ideas in as precise and clear fashion. Now granted, there is going to be a new heavens and earth, 2Pe 3:12&13, at the beginning of the Kingdom of God. So I suppose for the sake of argument, “world” could be used in Lk 20:35. But in all cases where G165 is used should be translated into the words age or eon, as it more accurately presents the different ages of God’s unfolding purpose in the earth. For a more expansive coverage of this see this article. http://www.justifiedfreely.com/?p=269. I read a article over a decade ago on the Internet, that gave me insight in regards to a reason behind the wind of doctrine of man in this case, Eph 4:14. Most of the early religions and the mythologies of early civilizations were designed towards controlling people within those societies. The belief and fear of eternal torment does have a significant restraining influence on people’s who live in societies, past and present. Laws are effective because there are penalties involved if one breaks the law. Fines, imprisonment and in extreme cases the death penalty. I once stated to a man at a certain church that I believed God was going to save all men, and that hell or torment was finite not eternal. He said if that were true, then why should he go to church. And I said because your called by God and are a slave to righteousness. It was clear that the man’s mindset was on not spending eternity in fire. Fear of a eternal torment, and the preaching of it, is also a big money maker. Which is why you see so many different denominations and sects of Christianity in the world today. Almost all of which preach and uphold the doctrine of eternal hell. God’s main characteristic is love, 1 Jn 4:16. It is also written that no one can resist God’s will, Ro 9:19, and that He justifies the ungodly, Ro 4:5. So why would God save some on the one hand and consign a good deal of humanity to a eternal torment on the other hand? But that is not the scope of this post. The important thing that a person needs to understands, is what is taking place in regards to doctrine. In order to teach and maintain the concept of eternal damnation, the New Testament scriptures needed to be translated in a certain way to hide the truth of the matter in regards to death. So the major religious institutions over the centuries, printed translations which obfuscated certain words to hide the truth of the gospel. Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God. That kingdom is a thousand year kingdom. If you are found worthy of that great calling, and God is able to make you worthy, you will take part of the first resurrection of the just, Re 20,4-6. If not, you sleep in the grave until the white throne judgment. Those who are resurrected in the first resurrection of the unjust will suffer torment for apparently a thousand years.

Re 14:11 And the fumes of their torment are ascending for the eons of the eons. And they are having no rest day and night, those worshiping the wild beast and its image, and if anyone is getting the emblem of its name CLV

Eons of the eons is a superlative. Just as Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lord. So to his thousand year reign will be the greatest eon of all eons. But in most all other translations of the bible Re 14:11 will read similar to this.

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

So, in order to use religion and fear as a control mechanism, early Christianity was infused with the Greek and Roman mythologies of the immortality of the soul and eternal torment by fire. The Old English word hell actually means under the ground. You would put your potatoes in hell for the winter. And if you look in The Strong’s Concordance, at the usage of the Hebrew word sometimes translated into the English word “hell”, you will see this:

Usage by Word
hell (31), grave (28), pit (3), grave’s (1)

The trouble with the mistranslation of words in the bible, is a mistranslation does not hold true in all the verses where the Hebrew and Greek words are used. So you have to expand the definition of the word to support the doctrines of man and their religious institutions. With study, the truth of the scripture becomes clear and the indoctrination we were subjected to as we grew up, looses the grip it has on us. Religious institutions and even the media reinforce the indoctrination of the immortality of the soul and of either going to hell or heaven or some place in between after you die. Many of the major denominations have forgotten they are not of this world, and they do not presently reign, as the kingdom of God is slated for the age to come, Ro 12:2, 1 Co 4:8, Re 20:6. So they have no business in assisting governments in controlling and governing the people in the world. Their primary function is clearly outlined Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:12 KJVS
[12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

I would suppose there is no sense in going on and on about it. As stated before, religious indoctrination is hard to break free from. The 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians is devoted to the subject of death, and our hope in Christ, of the resurrection from the dead, and should be carefully read. The whole point of the law was it imparted the knowledge of what sin was, and the penalty of sin is death, Eze 18:20. Our hope is in Christ and the resurrection from the dead.

At the last trump

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 KJVS
[16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. [18] Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Corinthians 15:52 KJVS
[52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

I got to tell you, after 31 years with pain and weakness associated with a spinal cord injury, I am ready to hear that last trump, and be caught up in the air with Christ. But first the righteousness of God needs to be instilled in me.

Philippians 3:9-11 KJVS
[9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: [10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; [11] If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

I am looking to be found in him, with the righteousness of God by faith. The tag line of this web site, if you notice, comes from the latter part of 2Co 5:21

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJVS
[21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

That we might be made the righteousness of God in him. This web site is largely concerned with how God accomplishes that fact in man, according to the scriptures. Alright, so when does the gathering of the saints in the clouds with Christ take place? At the last trumpet, or the seventh trumpet in the book of Revelation. You know, where the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord’s and his Christ.

Revelation 11:15 KJVS
[15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Now there are differencing opinions concerning when the body of Christ rises in the air to be with Jesus. Different doctrines of man. I believe it takes place just before the final 3 1/2 years mentioned several times in the book of Revelation. If you follow the narrative in the book of Revelation and use other verses in the NT you will come to the same conclusion as I have.

Revelation 10:7 KJVS
[7] But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

I like this translation of the verse better.

Revelation 10:7 | ESV
7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

One can read the above verse and sail right by it without giving it much thought. I know I have on a few occasions. The word mystery is only used 22 times in the New Testament and not used at all in the Old Testament. But what exactly is the mystery of God? Most of the time it is simply referred to as the mystery but it is always a good idea to read scriptures in context. Paul to a large extent writes about the mystery of God because it was disclosed to him by God. He was given the dispensation by God to fulfill the word of God. By this, it means the gospel message preached before the disclosure of the mystery of God was not complete.

Colossians 1:25-27 KJVS
[25] Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; [26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

So why did God hide the mystery of Christ in you the hope of glory. Paul again answers that question in a earlier epistle.

1 Corinthians 2:5-8 KJVS
[5] That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. [6] Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: [7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom , which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8] Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it , they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The not so obvious point, is that if the Jewish and Roman authorities knew that by his death, Jesus would become the seed that would bring many sons unto glory, He 2:10&11, they would not have crucified the Lord. I like the way scriptures are interconnected and fill in the gaps and answers questions a person might have, if they study to show themselves approved, 2 Ti 2:15, that is. I guess since the mystery was hidden in past ages, it is not readily apparent to casual examination even today. There is a good reason for that.

Colossians 1:27 KJVS
[27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

I have read and cited this verse many times missing the obvious. God has to make it known to a person, see also Col 2:2.

Another verse in the NT that fittingly uses the word mystery is this one.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 KJVS
[51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

So here we have Paul prophesying about when the body of Christ will be gathered unto the Lord using two words, mystery and trumpet, that is in agreement to what Apostle John prophesied in Re 10:7. This fact is not readily apparent in the KJV but if you look at the Strong’s and Thayer definition for the Greek word translated into the English word “sound” in Re 10:7, you will see that it means to sound a trumpet. There are some that claim there are other trumpet sounding events in the end times connected to Jewish feast days. I don’t think that is the case in the book of Revelation as a quick word study on trumpet shows otherwise. The shofar or goat horn blasts have no bearing on those in Christ being gathered into the clouds unto the Lord. A Rams horn is not a trumpet. The last trump Paul mentions in 1 Co 15:52, is the same seventh trumpet mentioned in Re 10:7 and Re 11:15. I don’t see a whole lot of wiggle room in regards to doctrine when you compare the information given in these scripture verses. Paul supplies additional information in regards to the timeframe of this event in 2 Thessalonians.

2Thessalonians 2:3 KJVS
[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come , except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The son of perdition is commonly understood to be the Angel over the bottomless pit called Apollyon, also known as the beast mention in Revelation and central to end times events. At the sound of the fifth trumpet a angel of God descends out of heaven and uses a key to release him from the bottomless pit.

Revelation 9:1-2 KJVS
[1] And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. [2] And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
Revelation 9:11 KJVS
[11] And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

There are seven trumpets in Revelation and Paul is giving the church the time line, of end time events. At the last trump, the body of Christ will be changed and given spiritual bodies, 1 Co 15:44. The members of the Thessalonnian church were concerned that that resurrection had already happened because of two men, whose word must have held some importance, said it was already past.

2 Timothy 2:17-18 KJVS
[17] And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; [18] Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

The Apostles and the church in that era thought that the Lord would return in their lifetimes because the 70 weeks of Daniel were rapidly coming to a close and were waiting for the establishment of the thousand year Kingdom of God, until Peter prophesied this.

2 Peter 3:8-9 KJVS
[8] But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Which was and is good news for us in the latter days. Paul then changed his focus and started to prepare and establish leadership in the fledgling churches by means of letters or epistles which he wrote to Timothy and Titus, outlining what he wanted them to do in establishing the church. Salvation had been prophesied to go to the Gentiles in various books of the Old Testament and I am sure the learned members of the ruling class and even the common man on the street in Israel were aware of this and became desperate for the prophecies of the Kingdom of God to be fulfilled for the nation of Israel at that time. So much so, that they took matters into their own hands and revolted against Rome. Again, playing the role in history ordained by God for them, which lead to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70A.D., Mt 24:1&2, Mk 12:7-11, Ro 11:28-33, 1Pe 2:8. So the day of the Lord was consigned to a future date. As stated before, a angel will be given the key to the bottomless pit and release Apollyon in the ninth chapter of Revelation. There is a lot going on in the book of Revelation. There are the seven seals and then the seven trumpets and the seven plagues which appear to unfold in a linear fashion in regards to time. When the seventh trumpet sounds, Re 11:15, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of the Lord and His Christ, it is at that point the body of Christ meets the Lord in the air. We know this because in the 12th chapter of Revelation, this takes place.

Revelation 12:4-6,17 KJVS
[4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. [5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. [6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. [17] And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

That they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days, is a interesting verse, along with “the remnant of her seed” in verse 17. Who is the “they” that are going to feed the woman? Is that going to be the function of Jesus and his body until the day of the Lord three and a half years later when Jesus set foot on the Mount of Olives, Zechariah 14:4 Many claim the man child is the body of Christ, and I would agree because of the rod of iron mentioned in Re 12:5, is also mentioned earlier in Revelation in regards to the church of Thyatria, which was a Gentile church.

Revelation 2:26-27 KJVS
[26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: [27] And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

So you can see the woman who is said to be the mother of us all in Gal 4:26, not only gives birth to the manchild, body of Christ, but also has a remnant of her seed who the dragon makes war against in verse Re 12:17. I would be a fool if I said I understood completely the book of Revelation, but the symbols and objects mentioned throughout the book would, in my mind, be consistent with one another. Clearly in regards to the timeframe in regards to Re 12:4-6, it is shortly after the sounding of the seventh trumpet, Re 11:15. I say that because three woes in the book of Revelation are tied to the last three Trumpets, Re 8:13. The first woe is when the bottomless pit is opened and locust emerge and torment men who have not the seal of God in their forehead, Rev 9:12. The second woe is the great earth quake that takes place after the two witnesses are caught up to heaven, Rev 11:12-14. Notice verse 14 states the third woe comes quickly. The very next verse is when the seventh trumpet is sounded.

Revelation 11:15 KJVS
[15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The last or third woe takes place when Satan is cast down to earth, after the birth of the man child Re 12:12. A careful reading of chapters 8-12 will show that the rapture takes place when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet.

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear

Colossians 3:3-4 KJVS
[3] For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. [4] When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

In a large potion of denominational Christianity, it is taught that when you die you either go to heaven or hell. That doctrine presumes the immortality of the soul. The above scripture and others shows that to be untrue.

1 Corinthians 15:22-23 KJVS
[22] For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [23] But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Only in Christ is there life.

John 1:4 KJVS
[4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
John 14:6 KJVS
[6] Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Numerous times our Lord mentions that he will raise up those in him at the last day, day of the Lord or seventh day.

John 6:54,56 KJVS
[54] Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. [56] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

Just to make clear that when our Lord talks of raising up individuals he is talking about the resurrection. Note the conversation our Lord has with Martha, who was Lazarus’s sister. Which also demonstrates that it was common knowledge in that day, that a person was in the grave until the resurrection.

John 11:23-25 KJVS
[23] Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. [24] Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. [25] Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

A few more verse that record what our Lord said regarding the resurrection and when it takes place.

John 6:44 KJVS
[44] No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:38-40 KJVS
[38] For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. [39] And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. [40] And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Prophecy in the epistles, especially Apostle Paul’s, gets more specific regarding the resurrection and when it takes place and make clear when Jesus Christ returns for his body the church and resurrects those that are dead in him and changes those that are alive.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44,50-53 KJVS
[42] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: [43] It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: [44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. [50] Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. [51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Immortality is not a inherent quality of the soul.

Ezekiel 18:20 KJVS
[20] The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

Apostle Paul also makes this clear in the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians. One would do well to read and study the verses in that chapter? It is only through the power given to our Lord Jesus Christ by God, that a man is given life and he makes that clear in the gospel of John.

John 17:1-2 KJVS
[1] These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: [2] As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Let us look at Jn 17:2 using the Young’s Literal version.

John 17:2 according as Thou didst give to him authority over all flesh, that — all that Thou hast given to him — he may give to them life age-during; Young’s Literal

What often appears as eternal life in the scriptures is a intentional mistranslation and refers to the reign of Jesus Christ and his body on earth in the age to come, that lasts for a thousand years, Rev 20:6. Three and a half years before that age starts, the resurrected Saints meet the Lord in the air at the last, seventh, trumpet.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 KJVS
[16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Dead in Christ means just that, people that are dead and in their graves.

John 5:28-29 KJVS
[28] Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, [29] And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

But often in the New Testament scriptures the word asleep is used to describe those who are dead. See Acts 7:60, 1 Co 15:6&18, 1 Th 4:13&15, 2 Pe 3:4. If you the reader are with me so far, you certainly have noticed the excessive use of scripture I use when writing about doctrine. The reason I do this is because cultural and religious indoctrination is hard to overcome. It can be overcome if God has given you the love of the truth. Moving on, we know that the body of Christ is caught up together with those that were dead in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air at the seventh trumpet in the book of Revelation, because Apostle John makes that clear, Rev 10:7, Rev 11:15. The mystery of God is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:27. And that mystery is finished at the sounding of the seventh trumpet. The very same mystery and event that Apostle Paul mentions in 1 Co 15:51.

Revelation 10:7 ESV
[7] but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

It may seem as if I strayed off topic a bit, but I wanted to make it clear when the first resurrection takes place for the body of Christ. Apostle Paul also makes clear the order of the resurrection in regards to our Lord and his body, the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23 KJVS
[20] But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. [21] For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. [22] For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [23] But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Verse 20 defines the meaning of the term firstfruits as it applies to the resurrection. The term derives its meaning from the Jewish feast of First Fruits, where the first fruit of the grain harvest was offered to God. So clearly in terms of the resurrection, Jesus Christ was the first man to be resurrected. Then, as the scripture states, afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 1 Th 4:16-17 agrees with this. Apostle John is in agreement with Paul in Rev 10:7,11:15, in regards to when the body of Christ is resurrected. Again, our Lord in many verses in the gospel of John makes it clear that life is in him, see those verses from the gospel of John at the beginning of the article. Then at the end of the thousand year Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Heaven is the white throne judgment, where the rest of humanity is resurrected and judged, Rev 20:11&12. I grew up a Roman Catholic and many of my family members believe that our Lord’s mother, Mary, is in heaven along with other Saints. There is no scriptures to support this belief. The above scriptures clearly prove that Mary is in her grave, as are the Saints, awaiting the resurrection. Our Lord said this concerning his mother and brothers

Matthew 12:46-50 KJVS
[46] While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. [47] Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. [48] But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? [49] And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! [50] For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

It makes sense to me that our Lord often made statements that can be used to clarify matters of doctrine for the time he lived and for future believers. I think the Lord wanted to make it clear that his mother, as a human, holds no more importance in God’s kingdom to come, than any other member of the body of Christ. She was blessed among all woman due to the fact she was given the grace to give birth to our Lord, and be a part of his life for over 30 years. Which was a great honor, of which she was well suited, as she possessed great humility accompanied with a kind and gentle nature.

What if God, willing to shew his wrath…

Romans 9:20-24 KJVS
[20] Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it , Why hast thou made me thus? [21] Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? [22] What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: [23] And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, [24] Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

The book of Revelation and the catastrophic events which are prophetically foretold in this book, can be viewed in context with the above verses from Romans. A careful reading of these verses point to a cause and effect relationship between verse 22 and 23 based on the Greek word translated into the English word “that” near the beginning of verse 23. The definition of that Greek word follows.

Strong’s Number
G2443
Thayer’s Definition
that, in order that, so that

It was necessary for there to be vessels of wrath fitted for destruction who are playing a role that God assigned to them. In order that there would be vessels of mercy. Why? It may not seem obvious at first, but affliction and suffering are necessary for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Romans 8:16-19 KJVS
[16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: [17] And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him , that we may be also glorified together. [18] For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. [19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

The body of Christ can only achieve spiritual maturity through having their senses exercised in discerning good and evil.

Hebrews 5:12-14 KJVS
[12] For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. [13] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. [14] But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

God plays a primary role in this maturation process.

Hebrews 12:6,11 KJVS
[6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

So it is necessary to immerse a child of God in a world wherein varying degrees of good and evil exist, in order to mature the vessels of mercy. Keep in mind that evil is the result of individual choices that lead to actions. All of creation play a role in preforming acts of evil because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, Ro 3:23. Sin comes from within a man, out of the heart, Mk 7:21-23. The longsuffering of the Lord also extends to the vessels of mercy, 1Ti 1:16. Moving on, the cause and effect relationship between the need for the longsuffering of God with the vessels of wrath fitted for loss and ruin, in order to make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory is directly linked to what is written in the book of Revelation. How so? A couple of ways. There are more than a few verses in the New Testament that use the phrase “riches of his glory”, which appears in Ro 9:23, or “riches of the glory”. Ephesians 1:18 links these words to our inheritance in Christ.

Ephesians 1:17-18 KJVS
[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: [18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Romans and Galatians makes clear the inheritance we have is the world and is based on being in Christ.

Romans 4:13 KJVS
[13] For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Galatians 3:16,29 KJVS
[16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [29] And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Our inheritance is realized when we receive glorified bodies and rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, Rev 20:6. In order to pinpoint when this happens, it requires looking at another verse that has the phrase “riches of the glory” in it, Col 1:27.

Colossians 1:26-27 KJVS
[26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The mystery that both verses mention, is the mystery of God, mystery of Christ. I am getting a little sidetracked with this, so please bear with me. The reader would do well to do a word study on the word “mystery”as used in the Bible as it appears in the KJVS. Specifically the epistles and the book of Revelation. Now, that mystery is realized, finished/fulfilled when the seventh angel begins to sounds its horn.

Revelation 10:7 KJVS
[7] But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

Returning to Romans 9:20&24 and it’s not so obvious connection to the book of Revelation. God certainly makes his power known to the world by inflicting His wrath on a unrepentant world as described within the pages of the book of Revelation.

Revelation 6:12-17 KJVS
[12] And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; [13] And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. [14] And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. [15] And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; [16] And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: [17] For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Verse 16 &17 points to the great fear of the wrath of God that these men dread, who selfishly profit from the exploitation of the peoples and resources of this world, who destroys the earth, Rev 11:18. Later in the book of Revelation the vials of wrath are poured out on the earth.

Revelation 16:1 KJVS
[1] And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

The vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, Ro 9:22, could as well be written as fitted for ruin or loss, as the Strong’s Concordance definition defines the Greek word translated into the English word destruction. That definition had me scratching my head for awhile. Loss of what? Who comprises the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction also puzzled me. For the longest time I was uncertain who comprised that group. Now I think it is comprised of all of humanity who are not vessels of mercy. A couple verses that I noticed years ago sheds some light on what the loss and ruin is that the vessels of destruction experience.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 KJVS
[7] And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, [8] In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: [9] Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

The Greek word destruction in verse 19 is translated from a different Greek word than the word destruction in Ro 9:22. They have two slightly different definitions. The word destruction in Ro 9:22 has this definition.

Strong’s Definition
From a presumed derivative of G622; ruin or loss (physical spiritual or eternal): – damnable (-nation) destruction die perdition X perish pernicious ways waste.

The definition of the word destruction in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 This definition.

Strong’s Definition
From ὄλλυμι ollumi a primary word (to destroy; a prolonged form);
ruin that is death punishment: – destruction.

Which makes sense since the vessels of wrath do not take part in the kingdom of God and are dead. The Koine Greek language that the New Testament manuscripts are written in is a precise language that translators at times take liberty with when translating, in order to accommodate denominational doctrines. That is why one has to pay attention to the Strong’s Concordance definitions of words. The word everlasting in verse 2 Thessalonians 1:9 is translated from G166 aiōnios. Which is the adjective form of the noun G165 aion. Here is where it gets interesting. The definition for G 165 is as follows.

Strong’s Definition
From the same as G104; properly an age; by extension perpetuity (also past); by implication the world; specifically (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future): – age course eternal (for) ever (-more) [n-]ever (beginning of the while the) world (began without end). Compare G5550 .

Let me ask a question. How can a word that means “properly a age” also mean perpetuity, world, eternal or began without end? Language is meant to be a precise tool that accurately expresses ideas and assigns specific meaning to specific words. If not, then one might suspect that obfuscation is the goal. I strongly believe what Apostle Paul wrote is in play in this instance.

Ephesians 4:14 KJVS
[14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

The mistranslation of G165&166 in certain verses makes it appear that a eternal fiery torment in hell is in the cards for many that disobey the gospel. But Eph 1:9&10, 1 Ti 4:10&11, indicates otherwise. This is a truth of the scriptures that takes quite some time to see and believe because of the past indoctrination by the major Christian denominations many of us grew up in. This concept of eternal torment is a frequent theme in books, movies and ancient mythologies. Back to 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. Below are verses of 2 Th 1:7-9 from a two Literal Translations versions of the Bible.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 YLT
[7] and to you who are troubled — rest with us in the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven, with messengers of his power, [8] in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ; [9] who shall suffer justice — destruction age-during — from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength,

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 Concordant Literal New Testament
8 in flaming fire, dealing out vengeance to those who are not acquainted with God and those who are not obeying the evangel of our Lord Jesus Christ —
9 who shall incur the justice of eonian extermination from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of His strength —

Remember the loss and ruin that the vessels of wrath endure?
The loss is to not take part in the glorious kingdom of God which last for a thousand years. That is the age being referred to in the majority of other Bible versions in which have “everlasting” or “for ever and ever” in them. Which is the double use of G165, and is a superlative used to describe the reign of Jesus Christ for a thousand years. You can see this to be true by context.

Revelation 11:15 KJVS
[15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Does our Lord and his Christ reign eternally? Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians makes clear our Lord’s reign comes to a end.

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 KJVS
[24] Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. [25] For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. [26] The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. [27] For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him. [28] And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

A verse in the book of Revelation indicates that the millennium, a term often used when describing the kingdom of God/heaven, last a thousand years, Rev 20:6. Which is not eternal. But the kingdom of God and ruling and reigning with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, is part of the riches of the glory that is mentioned in Ro 9:23 along with being given a glorified body.