"And he said unto me...He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. but the fearful,and unbelieving, and the abominable,and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Rev. 21:5, 7-8).
Why is it, we wonder, that almost every person who professes to be a Christian assumes their inheritance will be practically everything God has to offer all things? And just as many who profess no faith at all, except perhaps in themselves, believe almost the same thing; that in the power and deity of their own being they will eventually, if not instantaneously, possess eternal bliss on the other side of the grave. Many others believe when you are dead you are dead, forever, to never rise again, period. Regardless of which stand one takes, when the time-proven scriptures are used as a basis of fact, people's presumed beliefs must be reconsidered. For example, our text verse says that none but he who overcomes shall inherit all things; and these alone shall be called the Sons of God. This inheritance is simply not for everyone. Even though everyone is dear to God, and each one of them will someday live willingly under His sovereignty, the inheritance of ALL THINGS are for no one but the Sons the Overcomers. Everyone will enjoy many of the riches of this great Kingdom; but professions, confessions, beliefs, presumptions, or any other religious activity (good or bad, true or false) does not make a Son. A SON OF GOD is not only the offspring of God, but by definition, he is a full grown, mature, and responsible individual. He is an OVERCOMER! And it is the FIRSTBORN SON (the elect) who inherits ALL THINGS. Who else could finish the race as a winner and take hold of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, and then qualify to reign with Him? Certainly not a child, definitely not a servant who doesn't know his Father, and especially not those listed in the verse above.
While the inheritance of all things shall be the Sons' portion; reserved seats in fire await the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars. Reservations have been made for each of them; and through the purging flames of brimstone they will all be made fit for the kingdom. This is the way of God. This is the second death the death of death.
If there was a list of names of all those who will find themselves in this persuasive fire, and if our eyes were privileged to see it, we might be surprised at whose names would appear. Certainly the worst of sinners would make the list, but those who are not so evil would likely be upon it as well. Our own names might be on it, for even the infraction of being FEARFUL would merit the list. Isn't it true that the ranks of Christianity are overflowing with fear to one degree or another? Scores of today's Christians are fearful of tomorrow, fearful of hell, fearful that they may somehow miss going to heaven or miss the rapture, fearful of not being among the manifestation of the sons of God. Many fear the devil, the anti-Christ, the mark of the beast, and some even fear that God will kill their children or burn down their homes for something as trivial as not attending church services at least once a week. Others have a fear of being deceived by false doctrine. They fear being deceived, not knowing that they have already been deceived by the broad way of popular doctrines. Howbeit, whether deceived or not, the fearful shall have their part in the lake of fire, for they must die to such debilitating things. Fear will not be found in the Kingdom of God.
This fire is reserved also for the UNBELIEVING. One might wonder, what could be so terrible about unbelief? Haven't we all been born to certain families and customs that have set unbelief in our hearts? Indeed we have, but like fear, there is no place in the Kingdom for it; so it too will have to take its place in the lake of consuming fire. Whether we were raised as a Protestant, Roman Catholic, Hindu, or with no religion we have been subjected to untrue things and ignorantly embrace them. Such things instill what the writer of Hebrews said was an evil conscience from which we must be purged (Heb. 10:22). It matters not what we decide is true, what we are comfortable with, or what the conscience or our religious hearts tell us, as long as these fabrications are embraced we are unbelieving. No one can believe the words of Christ as long as lies are entrenched in their minds and entertained as truth.
It is not generally realized, but unbelief in the church is as common as air. We will not attempt to mention all the recorded truths we are aware of that are not believed, much less to expound upon them, but one such unbelief is what was pointed out in our previous study concerning what Jesus said. Namely, that He would bring an end to death; that all sorrow and crying, and all tears and pain would vanish in His presence. He said His words were true and faithful, and that it is done. Such promising words coming from the one they call Lord should be a welcomed sound and warmly believed, but for the vast majority it is not the case. They disregard the obvious and obstinately refuse to believe the simplest truths of our Lord; unless of course, their own pastors or some other man of hire tells them it is so. The only place for such unbelief is in the lake of fire. Faithlessness cannot and will not remain anywhere in His domain, which includes every fiber of this planet: "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psa. 24:1).
Many well-meaning, but unbelieving, people think that it doesn't matter so much what they presently believe, so long as they belong to some church and believe what they are told. It seems that the primary concern for a large number of Christians is to escape "hell" and get to "heaven," and obedience to these beliefs and creeds is their supposed "flight ticket." It is assumed by some that once they are in heaven they will sit at the feet of Jesus and all of God's profound mysteries will be explained to them. There is a time and place when some of the mysteries will certainly be revealed, yet I am sure it will not be as presumed. They will be revealed at the second resurrection in the lake of fire as a result of God's refining flames of brimstone. One of the mysteries revealed will be the mystery of the unbelieving as they become the believing. Believe it! For all unbelief will perish in the fire of God. Perhaps we could coin a term for the lake of fire, i.e. the lake of revelation, for in its holy flames the guests have endless revelations.
Reservations have also been made in this lake for twin sisters the ABOMINABLE and the IDOLATERS. The Greek word for abominable is dbleusso and means, disgusting idolaters, which are a stench, especially in the nostrils of God. The abominable differs from the idolaters in one way. The idolaters may worship an idol due to tradition or deception, while the abominable know exactly what they are doing. They knowingly worship things other than the living God, and they encourage, coerce, or sometimes demand others to do the same. They were the Pharisees and Sadducees of that day long ago. Today they are many figures of religious authority.
The worship of these modern Pharisees is akin to a man leaving his wife for an evening of perverted sex with a disease ridden harlot. Men of this caliber contaminate themselves, their wives, and defile their marriage. God detests any form of idol worship, but the abominable are disgusting to Him.
Whether one is numbered among the abominable or the idolaters, both involve the same thing, spiritual adultery, and have reservations together in the same fire. Whether the idol worship is planned or is by coercion or is by established tradition, it should be understood that it is not acceptable to God. He does not put His stamp of approval on any sort of giving of one's self to another god, regardless of how devoted and sincere they are. Also understand, idol worship goes far beyond the outward bowing and praying to carved wood, stone, or golden statues or icons; and it speaks more than worshiping or praying to someone who did not die and pay the redemption price for them. It involves much more.
The filthy rags of self-righteousness is a form of idol worship; for the person himself becomes the object of worth and worship. His own self-made religious laws and moral standards are revered as tools of godliness, and his obedience to them can be part of his worship. He, as a god, creates them, and then as a man bows to them in slavish servitude becoming a prisoner to his own creation. This is idolatry, and only the fire of God can rid the stink.
Nothing is more repugnant than an unwashed, filthy-clothed human being that is permeated with countless months and years of accumulated bacteria-laden body-sweat and grime. The slightest movement causes the reeking odor to waft across the room in instant waves of nausea that the average person hurriedly shies from. This is in the natural; but spiritually speaking, the same people often fail to smell the foulest odor of idol worship, especially of self-righteousness. This, perhaps, could be due to their own long-worn clothes of self-righteousness and they have grown accustomed to the stench.
The impetuous minds of men can also create an image of God that they worship, hence, making another idol; but gathering all there is to know about God does not make God. It may make an image in the mind, but it does not make Him. He already is and cannot be made. The fact is, He must be revealed before He can be worshiped. Any other form of bowing is idol worship even when holy names and titles are attached (Jesus, Jehovah, Yahweh, El Elyon, El Shaddai, Lord, God, Father, Christ, etc.). Learn all you can about God, this is good; but don't take your knowledge and presume this is Him, for it isn't. He is more than what our minds can imagine. The living God has substance. He is real, more real than our own temporal bodies, and definitely more real than the dusty imaginations of our carnal minds. Let us not suppose, then, that our fabrications are worthy of worship.
Worshiping the product of our own minds benefit us no more than a young maiden who forms in her mind an image of the man of her dreams. Her imagination will often carry her into a fantasized world of wonder. She may become very emotional at times in the excited splendor of her vivid imagination of marriage, but she knows it is not real, yet hopes someday it will be. Factually, her dreams will most likely never materialize as she had envisioned, for young dreams void of experience seldom come true. And so it is when forming images in our minds of the unknown God of our dreams they will most likely never materialize. One cannot love and worship a God they have never known no easier than a woman can love a man she has never known. It simply is not possible. A person may bow their knee to a man-made image of the mind that they call "God" or serve one blindly due to a decree from the supposed authority of their "church," but true worship will still be lacking. In order for anyone to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, as Jesus said, He must be as real as a husband is to his wife. All other gods of reverence must go; and if not now, they will go when they are salted with fire.
"...And MURDERERS...shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone..." We generally think of murderers only in the natural, but let us expand our vision for a moment. The natural life and death of a person is a good allegory of one's spiritual life and death. A natural man can be killed many different ways: with a gun, a sword, a knife; or by starvation, deprivation of water, by suffocation, and countless other ways. But murders can come very often in more subtle ways, in ways that are spiritual. For instance, the murdering of saints transpire on a daily basis and go unobserved by most. It is not uncommon for the well-armed clergy who are skilled at using the sword of their doctrinal letter to pierce the young hearts of anyone who may mention a word differing from theirs. Like the inquisition, those who are not in allegiance with their church, and are not subservient to the pastor, are frequently tortured in the dark recesses of their dungeons. The torture may not be upon the racks, in boiling oil, or burned at the stakes, but their murderous torture is just as real. It is mainly by gossip, innuendoes, lies, accusations of heresy, condemnations, being shunned, excommunicated, etc. On a wider scale, they also murder by depriving entire congregations of food (the Word) and water (the Spirit); and they are suffocated by not permitting them to breathe the life-giving air of the heavens. The only thing available to inhale is the stifling staleness of their ecclesiastical catacombs of the dead.
It is the same today as when Jesus said it to the religious leaders then: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness" (Mt. 23:27). In the end they make their captives twofold more the children of hell than themselves (Mt. 23:15), as Jesus once again so clearly charged. Such cunning murderers shall be cast into the lake of fire. Their religion, rituals, rites, and robes will not save them from the blaze of refinement.
Are there others who have reservations in this lake of fire? Yes WHOREMONGERS, SORCERERS, and LIARS. Whoremongers of the flesh, whether they are seductive preachers or playboys of the world, shall certainly have a need for the flames of God, along with the silly men and women who follow after them. The spiritual whoremongers will be there too. They are those who sow the seed of their word into the wombs of souls and usually FOR HIRE. Their inordinate lust is to lie spiritually, and very often literally, with women; and the better they perform the greater their pay (offerings, so called). Some people will drive or fly thousands of miles to be "enlightened" by "their man of deep truths and profound revelations." They blindly believe these men's own self-proclaimed words, or at least insinuations, that they are the only ones with the truth. Knowing Christ's body has many members should be warning enough, but it is not always the case. Neither the pope of Rome nor any other man nor woman can rightfully lay claim to such high esteem. It is ridiculous to do so, but this doesn't seem to stop them.
There is a rich word in the land today, and some of the gatherings are tremendous; but there is also the other. When people go to these special conventions and convocations in question, what they sometimes perceive as enlightenment in those cities may be nothing more than an impure seed being planted into eager an excited souls. Such a word may arouse them, but it will never conceive a Son of God, nor will it add an inch to their stature. The light of charlatans is gross darkness, and as Jesus said, "...how great is that darkness" (Mt. 6:23).
Spiritual whoremongers are accustomed to performing and can stir religious minds and excite the emotions with little effort. By their seducing hypocrisy they open hearts and plant their bag of seed. Afterwards they take the people's money for services rendered. Many of the souls they lay with are of like mind and spirit, and they really are not concerned with much of anything but the fever of the moment. Others simply lack the gift of discernment, but through the sad experience of being seduced (spiritually and/or physically) a few will acquire it. And some are innocent, unlearned, and very unwise virgins of Christ; and let us say, woe to the man who defiles the espoused virgin of the King, either by his bastard word or by his natural seed. Will he escape the lake that burns with brimstone? I think not. He must be made pure by fire.
SORCERERS can expect to be escorted to the lake of fire, but they are not necessarily the sorcerers Hollywood portrays as sinister men and women of darkness who mix their poisonous potions, and cast evil spells upon the unsuspected. These will no doubt be cast into the refining fire, but the sorcerers we are noting are not Hollywood's sorcerers. They may be just as sinister, or more so, but the ones of the Bible were generally admired, accepted very well by the people, and they held prominent positions in society. God and his prophets were just about the only ones who rejected them; and it seems to be the same today, spiritually speaking of course. The book of Acts contains the following record of one such sorcerer: "But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, this man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries" (Acts 8:9-11).
The church has incorporated sorcery into her system from the largest denomination to the individuals who claim no allegiance at all to the system, perhaps more than we will ever know. To see how this is so let us notice its meaning from the original tongues. Sorcery in the book of Revelation is translated from the Greek word, pharmakeia, from which we get our English word pharmacy. In the most basic sense, Pharmakeia is a mixture of drugs. In the positive it is a medication. Pharmakeia comes from pharmakeu, a drug, i.e. spell-giving potion; a Pharmakeu is a druggist (pharmacist) or poisoner (ref. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance).
Sorcery in the other areas of the New Testament is translated from magos, which means a Magian, a scientist. It is equivalent to the Hebrew word Mag-Rab, the chief Magian, a Babylonian official. More Hebrew words that sorcerer and sorcery are translated from are: LAHAT, a blaze, also from the idea of enwrapping covertly; LAT, covered, i.e. secret, secrecy; by impl. incantation; NACHASH, to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell, generally to foretell; CHEBER, a society; also a spell; CHABAR, to join literally or figuratively, specifically by means of spells, to fascinate, charm (ref. Strong's).
Unknown to the congregations across the world, the majority of highly esteemed church officials are sorcerers. They must be, for they fit the above description and criteria very well. Most of their doctrines find their roots in Babylon, and anyone who knowingly (or ignorantly) promotes and encourages such idolatry is a Babylonian official, a Magian. Do you think for one moment that the pope of Rome, the cardinals, bishops, priests (especially the Jesuits) do not know the origin of their doctrines and rituals. Some priests on the lower levels may be willingly ignorant and half-heartily deceived, but most know what is going on, and they mix these spellbinding potions for the people to drink. This is the communion they are given. This sorcery has gone on far too long and with too much success for this massive hierarchy not to know its roots. A structure of this magnitude does not develop by accident. It has to be highly planned, calculated, and executed; and now she sits as queen, not knowing there is a great earthquake awaiting her, with the lake of fire reserved for her people. The earthquake will shake apart and destroy that religious system, but the fire will purify its servants and compliant prisoners.
It is an easy matter to find Babylonian idolatry and sorcery in the Roman church, for so much of its doctrine, rituals, trappings, and even its church decor, is openly pagan in origin. Any student of history can see this if they haven't been totally blinded by fear, given to compromise, and/or tradition; so there is no need to expound any further concerning this mother of many daughters not today anyway. If those in her confines want the truth there is plenty of hard evidence at hand; or the better way, they can pay heed and listen to the Voice of the Son of God in their own hearts. They can hear it now or when it is time to take their seat in the lake of fire. Either way, there is a time when every soul will hear the Voice of the Son of God, and when they hear it they shall live.
Sorcerers are by no means found only in Roman Catholicism. They are just as predominate in the Protestant churches. The appearance of sorcery is a little more subtle and less obvious with them, but it is there just the same. They too, have their many concoctions of doctrines; some that stimulate the carnal emotions while others induce stupefying sleep. They include the doctrine of the rapture, going a heaven, living in a 1200 mile cubic city with streets of physical gold which will first sit somewhere on the earth for 1000 years, Jesus being in heaven (outer space) sitting on a huge throne with His angels relentlessly recording everything everybody ever does; and of course, among many more, the doctrine of ETERNAL DAMNATION FOR THE LOST. Whatever the potion might be, they all dull the spiritual senses of reality.
The daughters have borrowed much from the mother of harlots. Like the role-model, their doctrines imprison the people and give the hierarchy power. Their laws, bylaws, ordinances, programs, covenants, and other sundry tools of bondage help to amass great wealth, prestige, and power. With coffers bulging, they presume such gain is godliness, not realizing that it is not (I Tim. 6:5-6), while their souls and those of the people are spiritually bankrupt. Sorcery on this level does work. It can be a very lucrative profession when one knows the secrets of the business, and many know them well; but do we seek such a kingdom? Hopefully not.
Sonship also is not without sorcerers. They work in these ranks as well. The fact is, the insidious spirit of sorcery runs through every phase and realm of religion in the world, including that of the elect. Everyone and every order has to contend with it. Sorcery's tentacles of manipulation and control over people's lives spread in all directions. No church or fellowship is exempted from it; but praise God, many know how to deal with the thing when confronted, as Peter did with Simon the sorcerer who wanted to buy the power to impart the gift of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands. He was consigned to perish with his money, but when he hears the Voice of the Son of God, after the first resurrection, he too will rise and take his place in the refiner's fire, in the reserved section with all the other sorcerers of the world.
Spiritually speaking there is not much of a difference between sorcerers and whoremongers. They both use well-placed words and soulish charisma to seduce and use their unsuspecting admirers. One thing especially they have in common is that they are both LIARS.
The Greek word in this verse is pseudes, from which we have the English word pseudo. According to Strong's concordance pseudes means "untrue, i.e. erroneous, deceitful" and the definition of its root is, "to utter an untruth or attempt to deceive by falsehood." Is it now more clear why the whoremongers and the sorcerers are liars? They both speak and do those things that are untrue. Their words and deeds are erroneous they are not based in or on the Spirit of truth. The words they preach are deceitful, as well as their daily lives. The world is their stage, and they are continually performing for an audience of onlookers and fans. They know their script well, some better than others. Things haven't changed over the centuries, people still love to be entertained, and they love those who entertain them.
I speak of these liars in the context of being actors, and there is a reason for it. The Greek word for hypocrite is hupokrites, which means, "...an actor under an assumed character (stage-player)." It comes from hupokrinomai, and means "...to decide (speak or act) under a false part, i.e. (fig.) dissemble (pretend)" (Strong's). Unquestionably, there are countless thousands who have never heard the Voice of the Son of God, nor have they ever known Him. They read the script of their church's doctrinal creed, form an image in their minds, and act out the part. Some are very convincing, and their temporal rewards sometimes staggering. But before we become envious, let us not forget the words of our Lord: "Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites (actors) do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward" (Mt. 6:2).
Accomplished acting has always brought praises of men and rewards desired of many, but while on the stage of living a lie, they are very often the most unstable and fearful of souls. Outwardly they are sure and calm as Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind, but inwardly they are never at ease and are as nervous as a shaved cat in a thunder storm. Those who act out a part, all liars, are never as sure as those that God has formed in His own image and sent into the world. The latter know who they are, and they know the word they have. Not only have they heard their Father speak it, their word is a manifestation of their being. The words they speak are not pseudo words, they are not lies, but like their Lord, they are Spirit and they are Life. They are real and their words are true. If the people receive them and their word, then they rejoice; but if they don't, it does not dissuade them, for they know they were sent by their Father and good will eventually come of it. Actors, on the other hand, die many deaths. Every time their performance fails to please and lift the crowd, like a falling star, they plunge from the heavens of their exalted glory. They know that the same people who lift them high today, can cast them down tomorrow, and most likely will. There is a great need for the brimstone fire of the lake to awaken them to the reality of Christ whereby they can and will be delivered. Praise God! Beyond the second death, we will know many ex-actors.
Some may question, if the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars will eventually come to be in Christ, beyond the second death why serve God or preach His word to the lost? Let me ask: Do you serve God out of love, or is it out of fear of going to hell? Or do you preach His word in order to keep your loved ones and friends from an eternal damnation, so called? Now let me say this: If your service is not due to love, you have missed the point altogether. If it is out of fear, your motive is still wrong, and unacceptable to God. If it is points and a good report you are seeking, forget it, for this is the way of hirelings. Love does not count, it just is. It never ceases laying itself down for others whether there are rewards or not. And if you preach to keep people from an eternal damnation, whatever you presume it to be, why wouldn't you preach to keep the same people from the torments of the lake of fire for a season? For to the carnal man the lake will be a place of torment. Have we not read? "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31). Just because the torment is not eternal should not prevent one from wanting to reconcile the lost as soon as possible, not only to spare them the agony of judgment, but to share with them the wonders of Christ. If you truly know the joys of life, the life of Jesus, then why wait for the fires of brimstone to turn the world to Him? Why not share these wonderful things of His Kingdom today? If that burning desire for others to live Life, Christ's Life, is not in your heart, then I question if you have heard His Voice and wonder if you know Him at all. Even if you don't, I still do not fret myself over it. You are not eternally lost, for as Jesus so confidently said, all those in the graves shall hear His Voice and live. Some will be raised in the graciousness of His life, while others in the rigors of fire, but they too shall live (ref. Jn. 5:28-29). Praise God for His wonderful, yet fierce, fiery lake of brimstone, wherein many seats are held in reserve!
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