for the Saints at Medicalodge, Neosho, MO, on
the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you
have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing
teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as
it has taught you, abide in
him" (I John
The following essay is
in response to a brother's question about a writing I sent to him
Lake of Fire and Brimstone," by John
available upon request.
I truly want to believe this doctrine of Ultimate Reconciliation.
And I was ready to agree with the Lake of Fire deal. But how do
you explain Rev 20:11-15; Rev 21: 8; Rev 21:27; and Rev 22:14-15?
I understand your insights into biblical fire and I agree with
them. But why didn't John the Revelator make it perfectly clear in
the above passages. It seems to end in "Limbo" and not in this
great "Ultimate" conclusion.
ya, Jake" (Not
his real name). End Quote.
Here are the scriptures
you ask about. I am asking the Lord to give me clarity as He
reveals their meaning for us today.
I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his
presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne,
and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the
book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the
books, by what they had done.
the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades (unseen) gave up
the dead in them,
and all were judged by what they had done. Then
and Hades were thrown into the lake of
This is the second death, the lake of fire; and
any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was
thrown into the lake of fire"
This passage has been
used to scare people up to the altar for centuries, no doubt, but
when you see it with your spiritual eyes open, it's actually very
is one of the words translated
in the King James Version. Jonathan Mitchell translates it simply
Here's verse 13 in the KJV: "And
the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and
and hell delivered up the dead which were in
and they were judged every man according to their
Notice that death and hell delivered up the dead which were in
them, proving that whatever
hell is, it is NOT everlasting, forever and ever, for the dead in
there got out.
Remember that Jesus
went to the souls in prison (Hades/Sheol), in Noah's day and
preached the gospel to them
(I Peter 3:18-20). They
got a second chance after death, and if they did, how can we say
that no one else will?
And also, if Jesus preached to them, do you think they refused
Rev. 20:15, in the King
James version, tells us that death
and hell were cast into the lake of fire, again proving that hell
does not last forever.
It ends in the lake of fire, which scripture tells us is God
God IS a REFINING FIRE
(Heb. 12:29). It
is where the dross is burned off, the hay, wood and stubble burned
up, the works of our hands not built on the foundation of Christ
will be consumed by this fire,
but Paul assures us, "If
any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he
himself will be saved, but only as through
Cor. 3:15, RSV). Do you see the good news here? It's bad for those
who plan to build up a credit in the first bank of heaven against
which they can slide past a few sins,
for those of us who depend on grace alone to get us there, it's
Rev 21: 8: "But
as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for
murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their
lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is
the second death"
(RSV). Here again, we have
good news about the fire and sulfur (cleansing agent) used to
burn off the dross, which
these sins represent, and both Lenny and John Gavazzoni have
pointed out that
a man who does these things has never met Christ and therefore
does not know who He is. He
is acting out of unbelief and ignorance, but when he sees Christ,
he will be changed. My personal conviction is that
he is immersed into the lake of Fire, which is God Himself, he
will see Him as He is and then he will be like
Him. We are all
children of God, but some do not know this yet because God has not
revealed Himself to them.
As I was meditating on
this verse, the Lord showed me that the
second death is in fact, the death of
death. It is the
end of the flesh. My grandfather is quoted as saying that we begin
to die the moment we are born. When
He came in the flesh, Christ entered the death realm with us, but
He took it to the cross with Him.
Paul said of His
death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives
he lives to God"
(Rom. 6:10, RSV). Christ
delivered us from the sting of death and the power of law to kill,
once and for ALL.
In an e-mail dialogue with Jonathan Mitchell about this, he wrote
a much appreciated summation of this misunderstood topic of the
second death: "The
lake of fire eliminates death, and the realm of death
(Hades/Sheol), as well as the adversarial spirit (the
devil/Satan), false speaking (false prophet) and the beast nature
(Rev. 20:10), and our works of wood, hay and stubble."
God could take something as frightening to the human mind as fire
and brimstone, and turn it into such incredibly good news!
nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices
abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the
Lamb's book of life"
(RSV). Here again, anyone
who is immersed into the lake of Fire will have the dross burned
off, and there will be nothing unclean left in
mud creatures are like a diamond, which is really a lump of
coal. When it is
to millions of years of heat and pressure, it becomes a sparkling,
valuable, beautiful jewel.
Malachi spoke of this in powerful symbolic terms:
who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he
appears? "For he is like a
refiner's fire and like fullers'
he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will
purify the sons of Levi and refine
them like gold and silver,
till they present right offerings to the LORD. Then the offering
of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days
of old and as in former years"
is referred to as a refiner's
fire (there it
is again) and
fullers' soap (a bleaching or cleansing agent), used to purify the
sons of Levi
(the priestly tribe, which we are in Christ, Rev. 1:6), and
them like gold and silver.
I'm sure you know that unrefined
gold and silver ore is heated to the boiling point, and when the
dross comes to the top of the boiling metal, it is skimmed off
leaving a pure
product behind. The
end of the process of purification is that Judah and Jerusalem (a
type of the elect) will be pleasing to the Lord
again. In fact,
said that even wicked Sodom,
which was totally destroyed by fire and brimstone falling from
heaven (Gen. 19:24; Deut. 29:23), would
be restored and returned to her former
16:53, 55). Hallelujah for the cleansing fire!
are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to
the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and
and every one who loves and practices
(RSV). Here again, the
ones outside the gates, the ones who do not have access to the
tree of life, are those who have not yet been cleansed, but
remember that all of us fell into this category until we were
Baptized in the Holy Spirit. Then
we had the eyes of our understanding opened to see the plan of the
ages unfold in our lives. John
the Baptist prophesied that the one coming after Him would baptize
them with the Holy Spirit AND WITH FIRE!
(Matt. 3:11; Lk.
is a promise, not a threat.
The faithful Jews were looking forward to it because they
understood the significance of both
The answer to your
question about why John the Revelator was not clearer in his
message to modern readers, is that he
was writing in symbols so the Roman authorities would not
was a capital offense in Rome to be a Christian and worship the
true God, for Caesar was considered god, and anyone not
worshipping him was condemned to
death. John knew
that the Christians who were filled with the Spirit and depending
on God to save them would understand and be blessed by what he was
saying. He was speaking to Christians
under siege in
that day, persecuted,
thrown to the lions, burned as human torches to light Nero's
garden party. If,
as some claim today, (like Hal, Pat, Jerry, and the other
Evangelical dispensationalists), John
was writing this to future generations, the whole letter makes no
sense at all.
would it comfort you to hear about what God was going to do
millenniums in the future, when you were being tortured right now?
John in fact, said,
is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are
those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for
time is near"
(Rev. 1:3, RSV). Jonathan Mitchell translates the verse this way:
(Blessed; Prosperous) is the one constantly reading (retrieving
knowledge from), and those constantly hearing, the words of the
prophecy and habitually keeping watch over (guarding; observing)
the things having been written within it,
the situation is close at
(or: for the
season or occasion is near)."
find the books he has translated on his
(See link at end)..
The bottom line here is
book of Revelation is revealing the Christ to us, in us and
through us. It
is something for the here and now, not afar off.
I tell you, "Jake, the time for me to come to your house for
dinner is near at hand," you would not assume you had thousands of
years or even a month to get your food purchased and
get right on it. Likewise, John's
readers understood that the ancient symbols he used to convey his
message of hope, grace, and triumph in God, was for them right
then, in the
fires of tribulation where they found themselves.
in Matthew 24, when Jesus was talking about the cataclysmic events
that were coming: wars
and rumors of wars, tribulation, betrayal, false prophets, the
abomination in the Holy place spoken of by
Daniel (Vs. 6-15),
and gross wickedness so evil and traumatic that unless God
shortened the days for the elect's sake, no flesh would be saved
he said it would shortly come upon
them. Note Verse
I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these
things take place" (RSV).
That would indicate that all
these horrific things would come to pass within 40 years (the
designated number of years in a generation), or else there are
some EXTREMELY OLD JEWS hiding out on the planet
within a generation of the time Jesus spoke this, His words were
fulfilled on the 9th of Av
(July on our calendar), when the Roman general Titus
magnificent temple Herod the Great had built, and
all the records.
the soldiers put the image of Caesar (whom they considered a god
in the flesh), on a spear and stood it in the Holy Place, the
abomination of desolation had taken place on
earth. That was
It's over, finished, done with!
no need for a third temple to be built to carry this prophecy out,
as dispensationalists insist. Herod's temple was the one in which
it already happened.
All the scary stuff, depicted in the
"Left Behind" series by Tim
threaten people with tribulation and holocaust after the righteous
are sucked off the planet, is
a bald faced fabrication, drummed up out of the imagination and
fear consciousness of the carnal
readers knew precisely what he was talking about.
disciples knew exactly what he was talking about as
well. Titus was
so incensed at the fight the Jews put up, and about how long it
took to bring them down, that He ordered all the Christians to be
killed along with the Jews. But Jesus' words saved them, for He
had warned them, "When
you see the armies circling the city, run for your lives. Don't go
back home for anything. If you are in the fields, flee, and if you
are on the roof tops get out of
21:20-24, Jan's version). They
did as He said, and not a Christian could be found in the city of
Jerusalem when it finally toppled.
Also as Jesus had prophesied, there was
one stone left on another (Luke
21:6). In fact, the
only thing left of the beautiful temple Herod the Great built,
finished just a few years prior to AD 70, is the Western
where devout Jews pray today.
I know you have
struggled with this for a long time, Jake, and
prayer is that God will remove the veil from your eyes that you
might see the truth, hidden by the doctrines of men, and dogmas of
religion and translation errors.
All of that is good for church coffers,
to the organization in
terms of money and service, but horrific
on the souls of men and women
longing to be set free from fear.
We love you and stand
with you in your search for truth. I really like
Recovery New Testament
this verse: "But
when He, the Spirit of reality, comes, He will guide you into all
the reality; for He will not speak from Himself, but what He hears
He will speak; and He will declare to you the things that are
(John 16:13). The
only reality in the entire Universe and beyond is Christ
can't look to our
education, or our
church to show us reality, for
only He is real. On
the other side of the Lake of Fire is our
from Him and through Him and to Him are all
Love you, Jan and
reveal Yourself to all who still fear the fire and dread the
coming punishment threatened by some who don't really know you as
You are. We
thank You and bless You that
the Holy Spirit and fire are Your gifts to us, transforming us
into Your image and likeness, causing us to be reflectors of Your
glory to the waiting world. Amen.
and Lenny Antonsson
Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
always enjoy hearing from you!
page was uploaded to the web on 3/2/04
Jan Antonsson, Webmeister,
last edited on 10/18/08.