Good afternoon.  Recently, I was threatened to be removed from a “CHRISTIAN” forum for “promoting religion“.  I found it very ironic since that is the very thing I am against!  I was sharing some of the more powerful scriptures with someone who was down, depressed and wondering if God can be trusted.  The person who was threatening me did NOT like the fact that I pointed out that the word “aionios” in Matthew 11:27 could be interpreted as “an age of” or “agelong” instead of “eternal” like some translations do.  Also, the word “kolasis” in the same verse could also be translated to “correction” or “corrective discipline”. 

Don’t worry about understanding this now as I will explain it in the message itself.  Also, believe me, this information is for ALL people and it can be explained in a way for all to understand. Don’t be afraid to post a question or comment in the General discussion forum or send a contact email.

After this, we discuss the things I DO believe and we address his accusation that I am promoting a “religion” and thus I could be banned from the Christian forum.  I want to share this because this is the type of thinking that the religious Pharisee’s had in Jesus day.  It is law-based and rule-based.  It divides people and creates division, denominations, and all kinds of religions.  It does not believe the simple truth found in God’s Word even though it thinks it does. 

Here is my response to this person as I want you to see the battle the Lord has in his hands.  I know it’s long, but I tried to address as many of the main scriptures that the religious mind does not believe.

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Thanks for your care and concern for me. I am wondering who among us has 100% pure doctrine and 100% pure truth? That person can cast the first stone at me. I will gladly leave and go elsewhere where people are willing to look at scriptures honestly and truthfully. I was hoping that was here, but it is looking as if large portions of God’s Word are off limits.

If a person is honest and looks into their own heart past the fear of their religious outer man, they have to admit that it is at least a possibility that the word “aionios” could mean “an age of” and “kolasis” could mean corrective discipline out of love. If one’s heart is open enough to do a simple Google search they will quickly see it is often translated as “agelong” You have to admit it is a possibility that when the translators translated the from the Greek into English, they had a choice between these definitions. IMHO anyone who won’t admit this is in denial of the truth.

So, if a person is translating the original manuscripts into another language and has these choices, how does one decide whether you translate the word “aionios” into “everlasting” or “an age of”? Or, who gets to decide if “Kolasis” means “torturous punishment” or it means “loving discipline or correction”?

To me, this is VERY IMPORTANT because it tells us what kind of God we are trying to get to know. Is it one who we need to fear his wrath and eternal torment in fire by making Matt 25:46 say “These will go away to be tortured forever, but the righteous to eternal life”. Or, are we going to be honest and realize there is a possibility that God is TRUE, “other-centered” LOVE and that maybe Matt 25:46 means “These will go away into an age of correction, but the righteous to eternal life”?

I could be wrong, but I believe we have to at least leave this open as a possibility, don’t we? Unless someone can say that the human being(s) who made these translation decisions is perfect and had 100% perfect knowledge of God’s truth?

Also, so we even believe the very words of Jesus when he said “NO ONE knows the father but the Son?” in Matthew 11:27 and Luke 10:22 and many other places? Has it really sunk into our hearts what this really means? He was talking to the most well educated, religiously-trained Pharisee’s of the day. If ANYONE knew the father, it should be them, right? Not according to Jesus.

You don’t know my beliefs, but I would be glad to share with you what I believe. If anyone wants to kick me out for believing them, no problem. I would say it was by Gods plan. Here is what I believe. I will show you some of the verses that I believe on simple faith to be true. I believe God doesn’t play games or intellectual mind tricks like man does. I just simply believe what he says.

Maybe I am “religious”? I would be glad to share with you what I believe.

I believe the following:

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations will worship before You. Psalm 22:27

I believe “All the ends of the EARTH WILL remember and TURN to the LORD and ALL the families of the nations will worship before him!”

Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You Psalm 51:13

I believe “God will teach transgressors HIS ways and SINNERS WILL BE converted to him”.

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Isaiah 42:23 KJV

and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:11

I believe that God’s Word (Christ) will NOT return without doing it’s intended work and that EVERY KNEE will bow and EVERY TONGUE will confess Jesus is Lord.”

Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

I believe ALL things are possible with God, whatever he wants to do he can do it.

“Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” Isaiah 43:13

I believe that NO ONE can over-power God and no one can change his decisions.

“But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. Job 23:13

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God Hebrews 12:2

I believe Jesus is the author or creator of our faith and that he perfects it or brings it to it’s fullness or completion.

but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God Hebrews 10:12

I believe Jesus ONE sacrifice was for ALL SINS FOR ALL TIME and his spiritual work is FINISHED.

Am I being religious for these beliefs so far? Let’s keep going because it keeps getting better and better.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.
11 And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
For all will know Me,
From the least to the greatest of them.
12 For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:10-12

I believe God is going to cause all the things in Hebrews 8:10-12 (above) to happen to the entire HO– USE OF ISRAEL, whoever Israel or the real Jew is.  Let’s try to find out who is a “Jew”.

But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. Romans 2:29

Praise God that Paul helps us out here to understand who a real Jew is and thus who the real House of Israel is that Hebrews 8:10-12 is referring to. It is someone who is NOT circumcised outwardly in their flesh, but one who is circumcised INWARDLY in their heart.

and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ Col 2:11

I see, when a person believes and is “in Christ” their heart or spirit man is cut away or “circumcised” from their outer man who is the “flesh”. Thus, I have to concluded and believe that a TRUE JEW and the TRUE House of Israel that God is referring to in Hebrews 8:10-12 is Christ’s body or the Church. All true believers. I would have to concluded that it is no longer those who are physically circumcised. It hast to be referring to a spiritual circumcision.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22

Maybe I am dumb or naïve, but I actually believe 1 Corinthians 15:22 because of all the OTHER supporting verses. I believe that ALL mankind died spiritually (and physically) in ADAM. I also believe that same “ALL” will be made spiritually and physically alive in Christ. I see no other way as “all” means “all”, doesn’t it?

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died 2 Corinthians 5:14

I believe that at the cross, ALL the spiritually-dead mankind, really ALL of the spiritually-dead creation was taken into death with Christ.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24

I believe that in God’s amazing ways, something has to DIE FIRST before LIFE will spring forth. This helped me to understand why I believe 2 Corinthians 5:14 to be true. Somehow in God’s ways, when death itself dies, life springs forth. I don’t know how all these things work. But, I do believe them.

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. 1 Tim 4:10

I believe 1 Tim 4:10 says plainly and simply that “God is the savior of ALL men”. All means ALL with no human mental gymnastics or mind tricks. Maybe I am simply too naïve and trusting? I was born and raised in a rural area and that is how we were brought up…

Here is more of what I believe…

for our God is a consuming fire Hebrews 12:29

I believe God IS a consuming fire. Because it says “is” I have to believer that is his main essence.

The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love 1 John 4:8

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I believe that the very definition of Love and also GOD (because he IS love) is that he is patient, kind, not jealous, does not brag, is not arrogant, does not seek his own, does not take into account a wrong, rejoices in the truth, bears and endures all things and my favorite.

Love (God) never fails!

So, God is both “fire” and “love” at the same time. This seems confusing to my human mind how something can be “love” and “fire” at the same time. This must be a different type of fire than I have ever seen.

For everyone will be salted with fire. Mark 9:49

I believe that Mark 9:49 says that EVERYONE will be “salted” or purified with God’s Holy fire. I have already shared that I believe the Helps Word-studies and the Strong’s concordance definitions of God’s “fire” to mean purifying and refining. I agree with them that it changes everything it touches into itself.

“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11

Jesus will or has already baptized me into the same fire.

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire Revelation 20:15

At the end of the judgment time, anyone who’s name is not written in the Lambs book of life, they too will be thrown into the fire. I guess they will be in the same place as I am, in the fire. I have to believe this is not a physical fire, but possibly a spiritual fire? I can assure you that I am not in a fire or on fire right now.

Well, I do believe that God is a fire and he also is love. His fire is different than any fire I know or have seen.

But who will survive the day when he comes? Or who can stand when he appears? Because he’s like a refiner’s fire and a launderer’s soap Malachi 3:2

I believe that somehow when the Lord returns he is going to be like a REFINER’S fire and launderer’s soap. I know that “refining” means to remove impurities and I know that “launderer’s soap” cleans my clothes. Interesting because I do know that we are told many times to wash our robes in the blood of Jesus so they are pure and clean.

Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time Daniel 11:35

I am finding this idea of “refining” and “purifying” and being “made spotless” all over the Old Testament.

Did you get enough of my beliefs? Am I promoting my religion by believing these verses? Do I need to be removed from this board? I hope not because Jesus told us that under the New Covenant there really is one remaining sin which is unbelief of the truth. I don’t want to be caught not believing the above verses which would put me under law. Hebrews had some STERN warnings about a person who has “tasted” the truth and then gone back to the old system of Law. I don’t want this to be me!

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God Hebrews 3:12

Wait, it get’s even SCARIER in Hebrews 6 so I sure hope I am not caught in UNBELIEF or trying to create my own religion by not believing the truth. I do NOT want to come under God’s wrath.

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned. Hebrews 6:4-8

I certainly do NOT want to have an EVIL, UNBELIEVING heart that falls away from God and does not believe the simple truth found in his Word. I love the Lord too much to think of such a crazy thing. I humbly hope he will continue to give me full belief in his Word as it simply states and continue to reveal the deeper spiritual truths. Is that “religion”?

Let’s talk about “religion” a bit. I am really glad the people who own and run this board don’t allow religion. I hate it too! However, we have to correctly define it. Religion is anything that man (who doesn’t know God because only Jesus does) does in an attempt to please or “appease” the false God of his imagination. His God will NOT be based on the simple truth found in God’s Word and that person will not believe the simple truths found in the Bible. His God is anything that he worships and places before the one true God found the Bible. It will be a God he created in his own imagination. Crazy enough, I believe that everyone has a “religion” or something they tend to worship at times before the one true God. But, that isn’t what we are talking about here.

We have to remember that it was extremely “religious” men who KILLED JESUS! They were NOT open to the truth but were very closed off in their minds and thinking. They created a set of false beliefs not based on the truth but based on their own self-righteousness. A religious person does NOT believe the truth of God’s Word. They will NOT believe the scriptures that I shared above. Religion is man refusing to believe Jesus (the truth) either in person or in his written Word. They live out of their own interpretation of scripture.

Religion is what DIVIDES us and separates us and doesn’t bring us together and unite like Christ does. Religion says you must believe what WE TELL YOU and doesn’t trust the Spirit of Christ to do the work of conviction like John 16:7-11 says. Religious thinking is what creates thousands of denominations in Christianity and hundreds of other “religions” in the World. “Religion” will not accept the one simple truth as clearly and simply spelled out in God’s Word.

So, am I pushing my own religion?

Who died with Christ?

Who died with Christ?

I just came across these verses that are POWERFUL and SIMPLE yet take GREAT faith to believe them.

Now, ask yourself “Who died with Christ?”  Did everyone die with Christ?  Even unbelievers? 

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died (2 Corinthians 5:14 NASB)

Ok, you have that answer as to who died with Christ?  Jesus is telling you from within I am sure of it.  Now, check this verse out.

It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him  (2 Timothy 2:11)

Remember, this can NOT be false!   Let’s praise God’s amazing love together.

Duane