SALVATION IS DELIVERANCE FROM SIN
SALVATION IS DELIVERANCE FROM SIN Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The Scriptures speak clearly that salvation will come in the last days. Salvation is deliverance from sin. The kind of resurrection from the dead we will experience depends on the extent to which we have been delivered from sin and also on the degree to which Christ has been formed in us.
We are being judged now. Our response to the judgment directly affects the rewards we will receive when we are resurrected, in particular the character of the robe that will clothe our resurrected body.
Table of Contents
The Judgment Seat of Christ Three possible destinies of those who refuse or who are too spiritually weak to be delivered What it means to "reap corruption" What it means to be delivered from sin "through fire"
SALVATION IS DELIVERANCE FROM SIN
Deliverance from sin is a major topic of the Scriptures. The resurrection from the dead also is a major topic of the Scriptures. It ordinarily is wise to restrict one’s self to a single topic when writing a short paper. However, the two topics are so closely related we will attempt to present both of them and still preserve the unity of the discussion.
The resurrection from the dead. The resurrection from the dead needs to be at the forefront of Christian thinking.
There is great stress today on the "rapture," or catching up of the believers to meet the Lord in the air. However there can be no catching up of the saints until they first have been resurrected. Therefore we should be paying more attention to the resurrection than we do to the catching up.
The catching up is not emphasized in the Scriptures. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament. The resurrection is set forth in the Old Testament and emphasized in the New Testament. The entire fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians is devoted to the resurrection but does not mention the catching up.
The Apostle Paul was seeking to attain to the out-resurrection from the dead.
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection [out-resurrection] of [from] the dead. (Philippians 3:0,11)
In other passages Paul groaned for the redemption of his body or the clothing of his body with his house from Heaven. But Paul never once spoke of striving to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
Can you imagine Paul the Apostle groaning that he might attain to the catching up?
A related thought is this: The concept that the Lord Jesus is coming to "catch His waiting bride away" to Heaven has no scriptural support whatever. The Lord is not coming to earth to bring His Bride to Heaven. The Lord is coming with His Bride (the great majority of the members of the Bride already are in Heaven) to establish justice on the earth.
Why would the Lord come to take His Bride to Heaven? The members of the Bride go to Heaven when they die. The truth is, the Lord is coming to raise the firstfruits of the Bride from the dead—the true saints of all ages. Once God’s eternal witnesses have been raised from the dead they will have supernatural bodies like the Lord’s body.
We do not need to be resurrected in order to go to Heaven nor do we need a glorified body. We go to Heaven when we die, not when we are raised from the dead. But we do need to be resurrected in order to rule with the Lord on the earth. Isn’t that so?
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:10)
Life on earth is short. After we die we pass into the spirit realm, there to await the day of resurrection. What it will be like in the spirit realm we do not know. It probably will be a place of rest for us.
But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. (Daniel 12:13)
Believers who have died and then have been revived tell about grass, trees, beautiful homes, children, animals. They really are describing a glorified earth. Whether life in the spirit realm will be a dreamlike state or more real than that remains to be seen.
It is likely that time will pass quickly once we have died, and the day of resurrection will come in what will seem to be a short while. It is the day of resurrection, not dying and going to the spirit realm, that should concern us; for in the day of resurrection our destiny for eternity will be decided.
Let us think seriously and constantly about the day of resurrection. The hour will come when we are raised, and then what? Perhaps the most important fact for us to consider is that the resurrection will occur in two parts. The first part of the resurrection will take place at the return of the Lord Jesus from Heaven, signaling the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age. The second part of the resurrection will occur at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
Here is what is important to understand. The first resurrection is for the royal priesthood. Only those who have overcome sin and Satan will appear here. The second death has no authority over them because they have sought the Lord until they have been delivered from all worldliness, lust and self-seeking. They are blessed and holy.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)
This is the first resurrection. This is the godly remnant. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. They will be raised from the dead and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Then they will occupy the thrones in the air formerly dominated by the spiritual lords of sin.
Notice that no books are opened at the first resurrection. This is because the participants have already been revealed at the Judgment Seat of Christ. God has clothed them with their own righteous works—works resulting from their daily interaction with the Spirit of God.
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteous works] of saints. (Revelation 19:8)
Books are opened at the second resurrection. The dead are judged according to their works. Then the Book of Life is searched. If an individual’s name is found in the Book of Life he is not thrown into the Lake of Fire. If an individual’s name is not found in the Book of Life he is thrown into the Lake of Fire to be forever with the devil and his angels.
If we wish to be raised from the dead when the Lord appears, at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, we must interact with the Holy Spirit until we have gained victory over Satan, the world, our flesh, and our self-will. It is an honor to be in the first resurrection and to be a royal priest of God. It is well worth making the effort to attain to this "out-resurrection" from the dead.
Paul, toward the end of his life, was making a supreme effort to attain to the out-resurrection. Paul had set the out-resurrection as his goal toward which he was pressing with all his might. We must do the same if we expect to be raised from the dead when the Lord appears.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 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: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ. (Philippians 3:8-12)
We must lay hold on the concept that to be prepared for the resurrection that will take place when Jesus returns we must have a much higher level of consecration than usually is found today in the Christian churches. There are not many disciples of the Lord who have the same testimony as Paul sets forth in the above passage. Yet this is the normal Christian consecration. Anything less than this is below normal and will not qualify for the first resurrection.
In order to be raised when the Lord appears we must be living by His body and blood just as He lives by the Life of the Father.
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:54-57)
Only those who live by the Lord’s body and blood are qualified to be raised at His coming and then called up to meet Him in the air. This means that most believers of today are not qualified. This is true. The standard of Christian discipleship today is very, very low. The Bible is the plumb line. The Bible says we must be living by the Lord’s body and blood if we wish to be raised at His appearing.
To be raised at Jesus’ coming requires total consecration. The remainder of mankind, including professing Christians, will be raised at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age. No special effort is needed to qualify for the second resurrection. All of mankind will be raised at that time with the exception of the blessed and holy royal priesthood.
The Lord’s statements in the sixth chapter of John lead us to believe that those who attain to the first resurrection will be called out one at a time. The Lord will be speaking to the firstfruits of His Bride. It is too holy and precious a moment for Him to be issuing a blanket summons. It will be "Paul," "Mary," "Peter," "John," and all others of all nationalities and races who will hear His voice and come forth from the grave. It will be as when Mother called to us to get up in the morning. The call will be very soft, and then our name will be repeated. "It’s time to get up." And so we shall come forth to greet the most marvelous sunrise of all time.
Salvation is deliverance from sin. The second subject of this brief paper is "deliverance from sin."
Paradise at one time was on the earth, perhaps in the region of the Persian Gulf. Then the first man and woman sinned. More sin followed. Today we are so accustomed to sin and rebellion against God that it is difficult to conceive of a world without sin, of people who are not sinful.
But God intends to have nations of people governed by saints who have overcome sin and have been crowned with righteousness and eternal life.
The term salvation means "deliverance from sin." If you want the Bible to make more sense to you, especially the New Testament, substitute the phrase deliverance from sin, or delivered from sin, whenever you come to the world salvation.
As we said, at one time Paradise was on the earth. The memory of total peace and joy in a beautiful surrounding is still in the subconscious mind of people. Today we call this wonderful place "Heaven."
Christians believe "salvation" means we are qualified to go to live forever in Heaven when we die. Let’s think about this concept.
Heaven, or Paradise, is what the inhabitants make it. Even on earth we can get the family ready and go on a picnic. We may find a park that is just right. The weather is perfect. Everyone is in good health. There is plenty of food and wide open spaces for the children to run and have a good time.
What happens? A member of the family will become irritated about something. Soon there is arguing. Before long the children are crying, people are angry and they get up and go home.
Why is this? It is not that we are not in beautiful surroundings, the problem is we are sinful and self-willed.
We desire to return to Paradise. God desires that we return to Paradise. But God knows if He brings us to Paradise it will not be Paradise any longer. We will bring our love of the world, our lusts, our anger, our lying, stealing, arguing, fighting, drunkenness, witchcraft, gossiping, slandering, personal ambition and love of preeminence until Paradise has become Hell.
Do you want to bring your corrupt nature into Paradise and ruin it for everyone else? I do not want to go to Paradise until I am ready. Do you?
We see, then, that the issue of salvation is not to go to Paradise. The issue of salvation is deliverance from sin.
All of the actions of God of all history to the present hour are working together to bring to perfection His sons, the brothers of the Lord Jesus. When they have been made in Christ’s image and brought into untroubled rest in the Father through Christ, then the Lord Jesus will appear with them and in them. He will be crowned King on the throne of David in Jerusalem.
Then the thousand-year Kingdom Age will commence. The Word and Law of God will go forth from Jerusalem. The sons of God will move throughout the earth lifting the curse. People will go up to Jerusalem to hear the Word of the Lord and to receive Gods blessing.
As sin is lifted from the earth, justice and peace will follow. Soon it will be possible for the child to play near the poisonous serpent without danger. The earth will be filled with the Glory of the Lord. Paradise slowly but surely will be restored to the earth. Sickness and death will be a thing of the past.
Can you see that all depends on the destruction of sin from the personalities of God’s rulers, and then from the saved peoples of the earth?
Can you see that salvation is deliverance from sin? A beautiful surrounding is not difficult for God to create. The garden of Eden will be restored when sin has been removed.
The new covenant is different from the old. Under the old covenant sin was forgiven by the shedding of animal blood. Under the new covenant sin is forgiven by the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God, Christ. Then—and here is an important difference between the two covenants—sin is removed from us. The Holy Spirit has been given to us in place of the Law of Moses that we might not only be warned of our sin and forgiven but actually delivered from it. There is power in the Holy Spirit of God, working through the authority of the blood of Jesus, to deliver us from every sin.
As we put to death the sins of our flesh, the sins that have made the earth a cesspool, we grow in eternal life. As we learn to live by the power of eternal life, and are willing to share the sufferings of Christ as we labor in the Kingdom of God, we attain to the out-resurrection from the dead.
We put our sins to death by confessing them and renouncing them. The Holy Spirit guides us from problem area to problem area. He sends suffering on us to burn the sin out of us. He expects us to present our body a living sacrifice, turning away from the world and its influence. We are in the world but not of the world; therefore we should not spend our time on the television, the Internet, sports, politics, money, or any of the other idols of this world. We are to use the world but not abuse it.
We are to read the Scriptures, pray, serve in the assembly of the saints, desire spiritual gifts that we may build up our fellow members of the Body, give of our money, assist the poor and needy, and do all else the Bible recommends.
If we will do all in our power, as did the Apostle Paul, to live by our Lord’s resurrection power, and are willing to share His sufferings as we give ourselves for the Kingdom of God, then we will attain to the first resurrection from the dead.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
What are some of the "deeds of the body"? The New Testament contains many lists of the sins of the flesh. In fact, the main subject of the New Testament is a warning to Christians to crucify their flesh with its passions and appetites and to put on the new man of righteous, holy behavior. If our righteous behavior does not surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:29-32)
Paul is referring here to the sins practiced in the world. But as we proceed we notice that Paul warned the Christians that if they practiced the sins found in the world they would not inherit the Kingdom of God.
For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed. (II Corinthians 12:20,21)
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. (Ephesians 5:3-7)
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; (Colossians 3:5-9)
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. (I Thessalonians 4:7)
We could go on and on with such exhortations. The entire book of I John, for example, was written to Christians, counseling them not to sin.
We understand, then, that the Christian salvation is deliverance from sin—a deliverance that is looking toward the resurrection from the dead for its fullness and its reward.
The character of our resurrection from the dead is being directly affected by the decisions we are making today. We actually are passing through the Judgment Seat of Christ today. Let us explain.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (II Corinthians 5:10)
Every person who has lived on the earth will at one time or another be revealed before the Judgment Seat of Christ. When this takes place he may receive some of the consequences of that revelation. The remainder of the consequences will be assigned to him or her in the day of resurrection.
No person will ever be judged except at the Judgment Seat of Christ. God the Father judges no one. All judgment has been given to Christ, and He will share the judgment with His Church.
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: (John 5:22)
Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:23)
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (I Corinthians 6:2)
The Judgment Seat of Christ began when the Lord Jesus rose from the dead.
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? (I Peter 4:17)
Judgment begins with the Christians. As we confess our sins we are bringing an eternal judgment against those sins. They are destroyed out of us by one means or another, sometimes by deliverance; sometimes through suffering; sometimes through consecration on our part. But they are destroyed, they are put to death.
The entire thousand-year Kingdom Age will be a period of judgment and reconciliation to God, not only on the part of the saved nations but also for the elect who were not raised in the first resurrection, as we understand the events. It is obvious that most believers have not been fully reconciled to God at the time of their death. But they must be fully reconciled to God if they are to be part of the new Jerusalem and see the face of God!
The final judgment will take place after the earth and heaven pass away. At that time Christ and His saints will judge those who have been raised and who now are standing before God.
It is the Lord’s will for everyone today who has been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit to look to Jesus. When we do this He begins to show us, through the Spirit, the areas of our life that He is judging. We are being revealed before the Judgment Seat of Christ. When we see these areas we are to pass judgment on them, declaring them to be sin, to be unclean, to be fit only for the Lake of fire. Then God is faithful and righteous to forgive our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is the doctrine of eternal judgment. Those sins we have confessed will never be mentioned to us again.
Let us look at the verse once more:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (II Corinthians 5:10)
"For we must all appear." It is not that we pass before the judgment seat, as in a court of law today, it is that we are revealed before the judgment seat. All that is in our personality is made clear through the things we have done.
"Every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done." Here is the perfect justice of God. It is commonly believed that if the individual is a Christian the judgment will be affected in a manner favorable to the Christian. This is not true. It will proceed as written. Each individual, Christian or not, will receive the things done in his or her body.
We have said the judgment is proceeding today. The Holy Spirit is pointing out to Christians the things they are doing. The issue is not concerning the sins of the past. They were forgiven when we came to the Lord for salvation. The issue is concerning what we are practicing now, that is, what kind of personality we are.
The sins of the past, which have been forgiven, proceeded from our personality. In most instances those tendencies are still in us and under the right circumstances we will do the same thing again. God does not want wickedness to take place in Paradise and so we must be judged. Biasing the judgment in favor of the Christian would render the process useless. Should Christian sin be permitted to ruin Paradise as today it ruins churches?
If you who are reading these words are a pastor you understand only too well the harm that comes to churches because of the sin in the people. Paradise would be ruined in the same manner if Christians were permitted to enter before they have been delivered.
It is commonly believed that the sins of believers will vanish when they die, when the Lord comes, when they are resurrected, or when they enter Paradise or the new Jerusalem. In actuality, sin is removed only by the Divine program of judgment, and that is what we are discussing now. After all, sin began in Heaven and so it is not going to vanish merely because we entered the spirit realm!
Let us suppose that the Lord shows you that you are lying. You have lied about a business contract. You have lied to your wife. You have lied on your income tax. You are a born-again Spirit-filled Christian but you have lied.
All liars shall be thrown into the Lake of Fire whether or not they profess to be Christians unless they are delivered or spared in some manner.
The Spirit by some means calls to your attention that you are lying. Now, what are you going to do?
The Bible tells you to confess your sin to God and renounce it, that is, repent of it. If you confess your sin of lying and come to God for cleansing, God will forgive you at once. The spirit of lying may come out of you at once. Or there may be a battle to get rid of it.
We have been in the deliverance ministry for many years. We have observed that numerous Christians get delivered from a sin but the sinful practice comes back again. Why is this? It is because the Christian is not living as a disciple. The empty place is not being filled with Christ. The demon of lying returns with seven spirits more wicked than himself and reenters his former house.
There are numerous commands in the Gospels and the Epistles. These passages command us to act in certain ways. The true saint studies these constantly and goes to the Throne of God to get help in order to keep the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.
There are few saints these days! The believers have been told they do not have to keep God’s commandments because they are saved by grace. Therefore permanent deliverance from sin is impossible for them. They can confess their sins and even be prayed over. But because they are not obeying the Lord’s commandments Christ is not being formed in them. And because Christ is not being formed in them they cannot keep their deliverance.
The diligent saints are passing from deliverance to deliverance in the present hour. The spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical Day of Atonement is taking place. They are being revealed at the Judgment Seat of Christ and God is honoring their confession of sin. An eternal judgment is taking place as worldliness, lust, and self-will are being judged and destroyed out of their personality.
The fourth chapter of First Peter tells us that God is saving us by judgment. Suffering is purifying us from sin. Fiery trials are coming upon us because judgment has begun in the house of God. The righteous are saved with difficulty even though they are practicing confession and experiencing fiery suffering, because the heart of man is desperately wicked.
Those who are going forward with God are attaining to the first resurrection from the dead.
If in addition to being cleansed from sin the saints are called to bear the sufferings of Christ so that eternal life may come out of their death and touch other people, then Christ will be formed in them. Christ is the Ruler. The Ruler of the nations is being formed in their personality. When the Lord returns they will return with Him and sit on the spiritual thrones that govern the universe of God.
There are marvelous rewards for those who have been delivered from sin. They now practice righteousness, and that righteousness will be given to them in the day of resurrection in the form of a glorious body like that of the Lord. The new body that will clothe their resurrected flesh and bones will love righteousness and hate sin. Also, if they are called to suffer, they will be crowned with the authority and power of eternal life and righteousness so they can govern the saved nations of the earth in righteousness. Like their Lord, theirs is a scepter of righteousness.
They will be revealed with the Lord as being the sons of God. They will lift the curse and bring righteousness and justice to the saved nations.
"According to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." But what about the individual who is unwilling to let go of his sin, or is unable to because he or she is not obeying the commandments of the Apostles?
Three possible destinies of those who refuse or who are too spiritually weak to be delivered. There are three possible destinies of those who are not delivered from their sins at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The Lake of Fire.
The outer darkness.
Saved as by fire.
For those believers who hold onto their sins and self-will because they choose to be willful sinners, no atonement can be made—not under the old covenant, not under the new. Their destiny is the Lake of Fire.
And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the Lord, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them. But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him. (Numbers 15:28-31)
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26,27)
The Lake of Fire has been given authority over sin. When we choose to hold onto our sin, not being willing to change, then there is only one place for us for eternity. This is true whether or not we profess faith in Christ, in His blood atonement and triumphant resurrection.
Numerous Christian pastors and teachers are proclaiming we are not obligated to keep the commandments of Christ, neither the commandments given by the Lord Himself in the four Gospel accounts nor those the Lord gave through the Apostles in their Epistles. "We are saved by grace," they announce, "and therefore are not absolutely required to keep the New Testament commandments. God sees us only through Christ, therefore we already are perfect." This, of course, is totally unscriptural. If it were true there would be no hope for the future. It would be good for us that we never had been born.
Such pastors and teachers do not love the Lord, they love religion. How do we know? Because the Lord Himself said that it is the individual who has the Lord commandments and keeps them who loves the Lord. The Lord knows what He is talking about and He does not lie. So we understand that those who are teaching we do not have to keep the Lord’s commandments, regardless of what arguments they use, do not truly love the Lord. Love for the Lord is not as much an emotion as it is the keeping of His commandments.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41)
The Lake of Fire is the only suitable abode for those who refuse to keep the commandments of the Lord. They destroy every environment they enter.
Then there are believers who do not want to retain their sins but who are too spiritually weak to experience lasting deliverance. As we have stated, they do not pursue the victorious life. They are not diligent concerning their discipleship. They are sorrowful when they sin and transgress but they cannot bring themselves to the point of denouncing the sin so thoroughly and vigorously that they obtain final, total victory.
This may be due to the current error that claims we are saved by grace and therefore it is not too important that we gain victory over sin.
Or they may not be doing what the Scriptures command. They may not be attending the assembly of saints. They may not be serving, giving, praying, reading the Scriptures, doing what they can to live a godly life. They cannot retain their salvation from sin but keep falling back into the swamp.
One of the destinies reserved for the lukewarm is the outer darkness. It is likely they will reside in the outer darkness for eternity.
It appears there is a place of exile where one can see the splendor of the Kingdom and yet not experience the joys of the Kingdom. Here are some pertinent passages:
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:2,3)
All of these were resurrected. But look at the difference in destiny!
Notice that the unworthy were not cast into fire but wandered about in a state of shame and contempt. They were ashamed and were suffering contempt because when they approached the light of Divine Glory the corruption of their personality was exposed.
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:11,12)
Again, no mention is made of the Lake of Fire. Yet those residing in the outer darkness are suffering torment. They desire to be with the patriarchs but this is denied them.
It appears that the outer darkness is reserved for the children of the Kingdom who have proved to be unworthy of the Kingdom.
And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 22:12,13)
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)
Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. (Jude 1:13)
Jesus stated that the lukewarm members of the church of the Laodiceans would be vomited from His mouth. The destiny of the defeated believers, while it may not be to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire with the devil and his angels, may be extremely unpleasant and may endure for eternity.
"To whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."
In our natural, adamic sympathy we may recoil at the thought of someone spending eternity in shame and everlasting contempt. But please keep in mind that the sin of Adam and Eve may not be horrible from our point of view. Yet their single act of disobedience has resulted in six thousand years of nightmarish agony.
To bring one sinner into Paradise is to begin to turn Paradise into Hell.
After one thousand years of the rulership of Christ and His saints, Satan will be released from his prison. Then there will be a worldwide rebellion against Christ and His saints.
In the light of this understanding we realize eternity is not too long to keep sin and self-will confined securely in the strongest of prisons.
God gave His Son on the cross for our sin. Whosoever chooses to do so may turn from his or her sin and serve God. If the person is unwilling to come to God for cleansing, the consequences are severe!
The third possible destiny of those who refuse to be delivered or who are too weak to be delivered is salvation through fire.
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (I Corinthians 3:15)
Let us insert our synonym for being saved: he himself shall be delivered from sin by passing through fire.
The interpretation of what it means to be delivered from sin by passing through fire is found in the fourth chapter of I Peter:
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; 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. (I Peter 4:1,2)
Being delivered from sin by passing through fire may be the same experience as the "lashes" the Lord mentioned.
And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:47,48)
Ordinarily when one is whipped it is with a view to correction. Whether the lashes will be given now or will begin at the time of the resurrection we cannot say. Perhaps both! It may be noted that often the believer endures great suffering in the present world in order that his or her spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Here is an individual whom the Lord has decided to save by delivering him from sin and self-will. Perhaps a saint has made intercession for him. Whatever the reason, the Lord has determined to deliver the person and bring him into His Kingdom.
This believer has many sins that are entwined in his flesh, his soul, and his spirit. He is self-willed. He has lived in the passions and appetites of the flesh and soul. He has not put to death the works of the flesh. In addition, there has been little progress as to the forming of Christ in Him.
The Scripture states that this Christian will reap corruption in the day of resurrection.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:7,8)
What does it mean to for a Christian to "reap corruption"? To reap corruption?
What it means to "reap corruption." Let us take a closer look at the Christian who has been revealed before the Judgment Seat of Christ and has a sin-filled personality, is self-willed, and has very little of Christ formed in him; yet the Lord has determined to save him.
He or she is filled with hatred, bitterness, envy, lust, slander, criticism, covetousness. He has no intention of obeying the Lord or His commandments. He has "accepted Christ" but then has not studied the Word, prayed, attended the assembly of fervent disciples, has not given generously of his means, has not sought the gifts of the Spirit or attempted to serve God or man.
All of this is revealed at the Judgment Seat.
This believer has reaped corruption. All that is found in him beside his worldliness, lust, and self-will is a corrupt adamic personality. There is very little of Christ in him. He has sown to the flesh and he has reaped corruption.
What it means to be delivered from sin "through fire." The Lord has heard the prayers of a godly relative or friend, just as God remembered Abraham’s concern for his nephew and dragged Lot out of Sodom. God has promised His intercessor He will save this individual.
Now the fire begins, whether in this life or the next. Intense suffering is experienced for many years; or, if the believer is in the spirit ream, for many centuries as measured by our time. The individual is shut up in a small place and there is confronted with his sin. He screams for mercy but there is no reprieve.
The woman who aborted her child is forced to see every detail of the aborted fetus. She cannot get it out of her mind. It is with her night and day. She pictures the happy little boy who will never run through the field with his dog, the little girl who will never cuddle her dolly. Her agony never abates.
The adulterous husband is compelled to think about the wife and children whom he deserted and who lived many years in poverty. His son, having no father, grew up to be a drunkard. His daughter, because of her hatred of men, became a lesbian. He cannot get it out of his mind. Year after year he sits in his box while his sin is visited upon him.
The bitter woman reviews, reviews, reviews scene after scene as her bitterness destroyed her family. The drunkard remembers and cannot forget how he brought himself and his loved ones to ruin. The covetous person considers the money he amassed and then is pierced again and again by the thought that his wife and children were neglected and grew to hate him and the Lord. His gold became a cancer that killed his spiritual life and finally his physical body.
At the Judgment Seat we get back the things we have done in the body!
When the Lord sees that it is enough He will bring the individual before him again, now broken in spirit, ready to obey the Lord. With a word the Lord removes the sin. The Lord can remove the sin from any person any time He chooses.
What remains of the personality? Christ has not been formed in him or her so most of what has been gained during life has vanished. Most of the person’s memory—perhaps all of it—is gone. A child is left. There is no inheritance in the Kingdom, none of the promises assigned to the victorious saint.
The person has been "saved," meaning delivered from sin, and takes his place with some family somewhere in Paradise, there to be governed by the royal priesthood.
The spirit has been saved, delivered from sin by Divine judgment, but it is naked. There is no white robe of righteous deeds, no house from Heaven.
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (I Corinthians 5:5)
We have seen there are at least three destinies possible to the believer who for whatever reason is not released from sin at the Judgment Seat.
He or she is thrown into the Lake of Fire to be forever with Satan and his angels.
He or she is driven into the outer darkness to spend eternity there.
He or she is burned with fire until the Lord is ready to remove the sinful personality and to permit the naked spirit to enter the garden of God.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 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 9:27,28)
If we define salvation as an eligibility for eternal residence in Heaven, an eligibility given to us the moment we "make a decision for Christ," then the expression "unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" does not make much sense. (Aren’t we saved already?)
But if we define salvation as deliverance from sin, then the expression makes perfect sense. The idea is that at the Lord’s return all of the sin that has troubled us will be removed, and this removal is salvation.
After the feast of Pentecost comes Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and finally the feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus, Chapter 23). These feasts are symbolic. They mean that after we are filled with the Spirit of God (Pentecost) we will experience the spiritual fulfillments of the blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the feast of Tabernacles.
The spiritual fulfillment of Trumpets takes place as the Lord Jesus comes to us and declares war on the enemy in our personality—the worldliness, the lust, and the self-will. Also the Lord begins to prepare us to march in His army of judges.
The spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement occurs as the Lord Jesus reveals the sin and rebellion in our personality. The Day of Atonement is, in some respects, another name for the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Day of Atonement began in the first century and will continue throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
The feast of Tabernacles represents the coming of the Kingdom of God to us, that is, the settling down to rest in us of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)
The trumpet of God is sounding now, in Zion, in the house of God. The army of the Lord is being called together. At the same time the Lord is dealing with the sin in our personality.
There were two great parts of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus, Chapter 16). The first part included the sprinkling of the blood of a goat upon and before the Mercy Seat. The second part made use of a living goat. The sins of Israel were confessed and laid on the living goat. Then the living goat was led away into the wilderness.
The two ceremonies mean there are two parts to the atonement made by the Lord Jesus Christ. The first part consisted of the forgiveness of our sins. The second part consists of the removal of our sins. Forgiveness and then removal. Forgiveness and then deliverance. This is salvation.
The Scripture reveals that the first goat was fulfilled when the Lord Jesus died on the cross of Calvary. At that time the sin of mankind was forgiven.
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)
The second goat is fulfilled when the Lord removes our sins from us. The New Testament refers to the second goat as "redemption," or "salvation," maintaining that this redemption or salvation will take place at the end of the age.
The day of redemption is being emphasized today. We have passed through Passover and Pentecost (salvation and the baptism with the Holy Spirit). Now we are entering the last three feasts, particularly the day of atonement, of redemption, of reconciliation to God by the removal of sin. Judgment has begun in the house of God. The trumpet is being blown in Zion. Can you hear it?
Notice, in the following passages, the emphasis on the salvation (deliverance from sin) that is to come in the future.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11)
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:14)
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:14)
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 9:28)
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (Matthew 13:40,41)
Salvation (deliverance from sin) is coming in the last days. Even today there is a process of salvation that is preparing us for the day of redemption. We are being revealed at the Judgment Seat now in preparation for a final revealing and sentencing, whether to glorious deliverance and resurrection life or to punishment of one kind or another. We are to be working out our own salvation (deliverance from sin) with fear and trembling today. If we do not we will reap corruption in the day of redemption.
We have been commanded to put to death the deeds of our body (Romans 8:13). Sometimes we receive complete deliverance at the time we confess and renounce our sin vigorously. On other occasions the sinful nature is weakened but enough of it remains that we must constantly remain watchful in prayer so the wickedness in us is not expressed in behavior.
God has a purpose in not delivering us totally at this time. One reason is that there must be an opportunity for Christ to be formed in the area vacated by sin. We cast out the enemy and then occupy the land. This happens again and again and again.
Another reason is that we grow in Christ, in the power to govern, as we resist sin. This resistance is becoming a wall, a rod of iron, being created in us. It will be used by the Lord during the Battle of Armageddon, during the thousand-year Kingdom Age, and then for eternity. People and angels always will be able to sin if they choose to do so. The sons of God will stand guard throughout the creation of God. They compose the army of the Kingdom, always ready to judge and destroy sin wherever it is found.
In the Day of the Lord, Christ will come to us and remove every vestige of sin. This is our long-awaited salvation. The house that clothes our resurrected mortal frame will be a chariot of God, a vehicle that loves righteousness and hates iniquity. If we have suffered for the Gospel’s sake we also will be given a crown of eternal life and righteousness. The eternal life is the power that will enable us to compel righteousness, to govern in righteousness, throughout the universe of God.
We shall receive such righteousness, and shine as the stars forever, provided we have sought after God in the present life. It is those who turn many to righteousness who will shine as the stars. Those who neglect their salvation, even though at one time they had made a firm profession of Christ, are facing destruction along the three lines we mentioned earlier.
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; (Hebrews 2:3)
The above passage is not addressed to the unsaved but to Christians who at one time had been firmly saved and committed to the Lord. We know this from various statements made in the Book of Hebrews. They were "holy brethren." But they were beginning to neglect their salvation (which includes deliverance from sin and, in this instance, becoming a governing heir of salvation along with Christ). The author of Hebrews is pointing them toward the Day of the Lord, counseling them to not grow weary in their fight against sin because when the Lord comes to us He will remove all of our sin as a climactic act of redemption.
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 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. (John 5:28,29)
Please notice that the distinction is between those who have done good and those who have done evil, not between those who have believed in Christ and those who have not believed in Christ. Those who have done good will receive eternal life. Those who have practiced evil will be judged in that day.
As we have stated, the resurrection to life takes place at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age. The resurrection to judgment, the time when the books are opened, will occur at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
It is taught commonly that all who are raised in the second resurrection will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. The Scripture does not teach this. The viewpoint that all who are raised in the second resurrection will be thrown into the Lake of Fire causes serious problems of consistency with other passages of the Scriptures. We believe it is an erroneous interpretation. Is every individual who is not a victorious saint cast into the Lake of Fire? We do not think so.
The distinction is not between those who have "made a decision for Christ" and those who have "not made a decision for Christ." We put this expression in quotes because it is not scriptural and is misleading. It implies that we make a decision in favor of Christ at one point in our life. The truth is we never will inherit Christ unless we keep on making a decision for Christ until the end of our discipleship. Every true saint understands this well.
The distinction made at the second resurrection is between those who have done good things and those who have done evil things.
Some may protest, "You are saying we are saved by works." We are claiming nothing of the kind. We are stating that righteous behavior is the only valid sign of salvation. If salvation is deliverance from sin, then righteous behavior is the true index of salvation. Righteous behavior is necessary if we are to inherit eternal life, inherit the Kingdom of God. Eternal life always follows righteousness, first imputed and then brought forth in the new creation.
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (Romans 6:22)
As we are revealed before the Judgment Seat today we are making choices. We are going to the Lord for help in gaining victory over our worldliness, lust, and self-will, or we are being neglectful and careless. We are justifying ourselves in one manner or another. We are trusting the Lord to forgive us while we are sinning, and this Christ will never do. Christ does not excuse our sin. Those He loves He rebukes and chastens.
Divine grace is not an apology for man’s sin. The blood of the cross does not excuse our lust and rebellion. God does not see us as though we are righteous while we are practicing wickedness. This teaching is a lie of Satan who always perverts God’s truth until righteous behavior is unnecessary.
Today if someone attempts to live righteously and teaches others to live righteously, Satan speaks to this person and his followers. He speaks through Christians. Satan says, "You are a Pharisee. You are legalistic. You are trying to be saved by works."
Have you ever heard Satan say this? Satan is a scorner, a mocker. He says, "The wall you are building, if a fox jumps on it, it will crumble. Come down, come down. Who do you think you are? They will kill you. They will kill you in the night. Come down and let us reason together."
The demons love to reason. Those who are in deception love to reason and continually justify themselves.
No, we are not coming down from the wall. It may take a while to finish the wall and we welcome all the help we can get, as long as it is coming from those who are circumcised of heart. One day our wall will stand firm and sure. It is a wall against sin that the Lord will give us when He returns.
God is moving past Pentecost today. If you can hear the voice of the Spirit, look up to the Lord Jesus. He is drawing near to His Church. He is judging our sins and helping us confess and renounce them. He is guiding every detail. He is purifying the priesthood.
The Kingdom of God is at hand. It is time to take the Kingdom. Why shouldn’t you be one of those who takes his or her place in the army of the Lord? It is a great and terrible movement of God that is occurring. With the Lord Jesus at the head the army of the Lord will destroy even the memory of sin from the creation.
We are to lift up our heads when we see the tares coming to maturity. Our redemption is drawing near. Our redemption is the deliverance from sin that will come in the day of resurrection.