THE WHOLESOME PERSONALITY
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Those who overcome sin will be counted as God’s sons. Because they are sons they will inherit all that God has made new in Christ. But first they must be set free from the eight behaviors over which the second death has authority.
Table of Contents
The Sexually Immoral
Those Who Practice Magic Arts
THE WHOLESOME PERSONALITY
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:7,8)
The true Christian life, true discipleship, is a continual struggle. Each day we are confronted with problems. Each day we are given grace by which we can overcome the problems in a godly manner. By overcoming our problems in a godly manner I mean the old, adamic nature dies and in its place there is formed a new creation.
If we are successful in following Christ to the point that we stand at all times in victory over the evil that comes against us, we will be regarded as a son of God.
Because we are a son we are an heir of God and coheir with Christ of all that God has made new. God does not reward us by giving us the new world, rather it is as we become a son of God we rightfully inherit the works of God. The new world is not a reward we earn, it is an inheritance.
God is not making all new things but all things new. The forms found in the creation, whether human or environmental, are the forms that always shall be, although in a transcendent state. God is making all with which we are familiar new in Christ, as it dies in Christ and is resurrected in Christ. This shall be true of all of nature, including our inner nature and our outward form.
A glorious new world is appearing on the horizon, a world in which the Lord Jesus is the Center and the Circumference.
To inherit the new world it is not enough to profess faith in Christ. It is not enough to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit. To inherit the new world, all the behaviors over which the Lake of Fire retains authority must be removed totally from our personality.
The eight behaviors named in Revelation 21:8 will be imprisoned forever in the Lake of Fire. They will not be admitted to the new world of righteousness.
The great error in Christian thinking is that people will be admitted to the new world on the basis of grace, or because of the atonement made by Christ. If such were the case, then the new world would not be one of everlasting righteousness. It would be filled with lust, hatred, slander, and drunkenness as is true of the churches of today.
Matthew informs us that all offensive behavior will be removed from God’s Kingdom. It is time now for this removal to take place.
If we are faithful in following Jesus today, the final deliverances will take place when He appears without sin to salvation. But if we are not faithful in following Jesus today, then our wicked laziness will be revealed, as in the case of the unfaithful steward described in the Gospel accounts. Our talents will be taken from us and given to another, and we will be cast into the outer darkness.
What we Christians must come to realize is that the Father has given the Lake of Fire authority over these eight behaviors, whether or not they are found in a believer in Christ. If we do not understand this, then we do not understand the true nature of the salvation that is in Christ.
The salvation that is in Christ is not a substitute for moral transformation. Divine grace is not an alternative to godly behavior, although today’s preaching presents it as such.
Christ did not come to bring the ungodly into the new world of righteousness. Christ came to change the ungodly into people whose behavior will be suited to the new world of righteousness. By the new world of righteousness we are referring to the new heaven and earth that will be governed by the Lamb and His Bride.
Let us look now at these eight behaviors, because the basis of all sinful actions is included here.
It may be true that there would not be one person of a hundred thousand Christians who, if he were asked to make a list of the eight most offensive behaviors from God’s standpoint, would place cowardice in first place.
Yet, it is impossible to please God if we are cowardly.
Proverbs informs us that the righteous are as bold as lions, but the wicked flee when they are not being chased. Why is this? Because the wicked know deep in their soul the terror of the Lord. Their conscience condemns them.
Many of God’s people become fearful when confronted with the necessity for living a victorious life. Why is this? It is because their conscience condemns them. Like Adam and Eve, they are afraid to come boldly into the Presence of the Lord.
Satan himself flees when confronted by a righteous person.
The demons cry out in fear when the Lord Jesus approaches.
Israel was turned back into the wilderness because of fear.
The servant who buried his talent did so because he was afraid of God’s severity.
Fear and faith cannot dwell in the same place.
The Lord Jesus Christ has not given us the spirit of cowardice but of power, love, and a sound mind.
If you have a problem with fear, go to the Lord and ask for His help in conquering your fears. Come boldly to the Throne of Grace through the blood of Jesus. God is preparing sons and rulers. There is no place in this program for cowards.
As I am writing (October 16, 2001) the American people are trembling because of the fear of anthrax. They are afraid of dying or of their children dying.
The Lord Jesus came to deliver us from the fear of death. There is no sting in death for the victorious saint. Speaking for myself, I look forward to death with the same joyous anticipation that was true of me as a boy waiting for Christmas morning.
To go to be with the Lord is far more wonderful than to spend another weary day bearing witness of God and His purposes in Christ. One day we will be with the Lord, but right now there is a job to do.
There is no place in the Kingdom of God for cowards. If you are a fearful person, the Lord Jesus Christ will give you power, love, and a sound mind. But you will have to read your Bible, pray every day, gather with the saints, and do all else that is possible for you. You will have to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow the Lord Jesus. Then He will hear your prayer and deliver you from cowardice.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (II Timothy 1:3)
If you are afraid of coming to Jesus in such intense consecration, ask Him for the faith and strength to become a true disciple. He most certainly will hear your prayer and strengthen you.
Ask Jesus into every area of your life. He readily will accept the invitation.
The Lake of Fire always retains authority over the cowardly individual, whether Christian or non-Christian, until through the Lord Jesus he or she gains a more wholesome personality.
Unbelief and cowardice are closely related. Cowardice springs from unbelief.
How do we change from an unbeliever to a believer? First of all, we ask the Lord to give us faith in God. Faith in God is the assurance that God knows every detail of our life; that He desires to bring us to perfect, complete joy; and that He has sufficient power and wisdom to bring us to perfect, complete joy.
The issue raised in the Garden in Eden was whether or not God was seeking our joy, our best interests.
Second, we must meditate in God’s Word day and night. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
We do not have faith for salvation until we read in the Bible that God has made a way for us through Christ.
We do not have faith for the baptism with the Holy Spirit until we read the promise found in the New Testament.
We do not have faith for healing until we read the promise in the Word.
We do not have faith for deliverance from the compulsion to sin until we read in the Word what God has said.
Most Christian people today are being fed each Sunday a diet of grace-rapture-Heaven. Since these are not the emphases of the New Testament, the believers are not receiving anywhere near the strength that is found in the Word.
The believers in America are morally weak because of spiritual malnutrition. As a result, God has lifted His hand of protection from our nation and we are being assaulted by terrorists. The United States will not be protected by the Lord until the Christians turn from their wicked ways and pray. Then, and only then, God will heal our land.
Jesus often marveled at the unbelief of His disciples. Unbelief is a sickness that has developed because of millennia of attempting to make a better world by human wisdom, strength, and talents without consulting our Creator.
If we will pray for true Bible faith, God will restore this part of our personality and we then will be fit to be termed God’s sons.
The following behaviors offend God and He does not want them in His Presence. They spring from unbelief.
- Laziness in spiritual matters.
- Neglect of God’s plan to bring us to the full image of Christ and into untroubled rest in the Person and will of God.
- Carelessness in the things of the Gospel.
- A casual approach toward our discipleship.
- Disinterest in the things of God.
If we are to please Christ we must seek Him each day with a desperate earnestness.
Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy. (Revelation 22:11)
Notice in the above verse that wrong is presented as the opposite of right, and vile is presented as the opposite of holy. All that is not holy is vile, from God’s point of view.
Vile behavior is being practiced in our nation and in our world.
- Children are being aborted before being brought into the world. This is vile behavior.
- Children are being molested sexually. This is vile behavior.
- Children are being sold as sex slaves. This is vile behavior.
- Men are marrying men and women are marrying women. This is vile behavior.
- In America, it is common for children to be brutalized and murdered because a parent or a boyfriend becomes angry. This is vile behavior.
- Hollywood each day pours forth vile entertainment that is polluting cultures around the world. It seems each production seeks to outdo the previous in violence and moral filth.
- Cheating in business arrangements and practices is vile behavior.
- Usurping that which rightfully belongs to another is vile behavior.
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)
No vile behavior of any kind will be permitted to occur in the new world of righteousness. All who continue to practice such behavior will be confined for eternity in the Lake that burns with fire and sulfur.
Such were some of us, but if we have followed the Lord Jesus He has rescued us from such destructive behavior.
It is not enough to take the “four steps of salvation.” If we are to be God’s son, if we are to inherit all that He is making new in Christ, we must overcome vile behavior.
Vile behavior is that which is loathsome, disgusting. The opposite behavior is that which is pleasing and acceptable to God. The Lord does not want vile people around Him and so He quarantines them in the Lake of Fire.
As we have stated, vileness is the opposite of holiness. All unnatural appetites of the flesh, including drunkenness, taking unlawful drugs, smoking cigarettes, gluttony, destroy the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God. The Bible teaches us that God will destroy those who destroy His temple.
The eight behaviors found in the Lake of Fire describe the personality of Satan and his angels. The Lord, after having created Satan, found Satan to be loathsome and disgusting. And so God drove Satan from His Presence and has assigned him, and all who act like Him, to the Lake of Fire.
The LORD has given a command concerning you, Nineveh: “You will have no descendants to bear your name. I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are vile.” (Nahum 1:14)
While the primary reference is to Nineveh, I believe there is a secondary reference to Satan himself.
Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. (Ezekiel 28:16)
Satan’s behavior is disgraceful. So is the behavior of all who have not been delivered from the influence of Satan. It is contemptible and viewed with contempt by the Lord and all of God’s sons.
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)
And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind. (Isaiah 66:24)
Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” (Revelation 22:11)
God is telling us in the above verse that if we persist in vile behavior, the day will come when there is no more repentance. The Lord will urge us to continue in our vile behavior so His way will be made straight. Either be vile or be holy. Take your choice. God wants us to make up our mind what kingdom we belong to!
The churches of Christ are filled with murderous behavior: hatred, jealousy, envy, strife, debate, divisiveness, sectarianism, competition, backbiting, anger, gossip, slander, and so forth. None of this will be permitted to enter the new Jerusalem, not by grace, not by mercy, not by the blood atonement. Either we work with Jesus until all hatred and murder are removed from our personality, or else we will remain on the outside.
For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged. (II Corinthians 12:20,21)
God is love. All forms of hatred and murder are totally alien to God’s personality. It is Satan who is the murderer.
Satan murders because he is filled with self-will. You may have noticed that self-willed people in your church continually gossip and slander. They are filled with the murderous nature of the accuser, Satan.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:1-3)
Pastor James is addressing Christians. Is such behavior true of the believers with whom you assemble? If so, the second death still has authority over such people.
We have no idea how the Father in Heaven feels when a child is brutalized in some manner. When a land is filled with innocent blood, as is true of the United States today because of the millions of aborted children, you can be certain judgment will fall. There must be an atonement made for the blood of these innocent ones that cries to God from the ground. Their little lives did not have the opportunity to live on the earth and learn to be a servant of God. So God has brought them into the holiest of His paradises where they will be raised by the holiest of the angels.
God is love, and when we are filled with murder, anger, hatred, God cannot have fellowship with us or receive us in any manner.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (I John 4:7)
The Lord Jesus Christ came so we, working together with Him, may be delivered totally from all forms of murder.
The Sexually Immoral
I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but America is sick with sexual lust. From the young people to the elderly, lust prevails.
The media feed us each day with a diet of lust. The newspapers, magazines, moving pictures, television productions, Internet sites, pour forth a torrent of the most despicable portrayals of men and women.
Satan is the incarnation of physical lust. Satan cannot know love because of the fires of lust. We are so morally sick in America that we do not know the difference between lust and love, thinking that homosexual couples truly love each other. Perhaps they do in some cases. Having been in the United States Marine Corps I know what it is like to experience true friendship with another man. But this had nothing whatever to do with sexual lust.
We are calling lust, love. It is not. Lust is a function of our glands, often intensified by the desires of demons. Love is a desire to share life with someone. There is no connection between the two. One is glandular. The other is emotional and mental. They may overlap in marriage, but they are distinct in kind.
When we die and are in the spirit realm we will know more intense love than can be experienced on the earth. But it will not be glandular. Then we will understand the difference.
I marvel that the women in America do not rise up in arms against the continual emphasis on their bodies, as though they were cattle. I marvel that they do not rise up in arms against the thought of women serving with men on warships. Do they think for one minute that their husbands serving on these ships are not going to be tempted? What in the world are we thinking of?
America is sick! sick! sick with lust!
Because God instituted marriage and regards the institution as holy, any sort of perversion of this institution, whether in unmarried people living together, or in homosexuality, or in any sexual activity other than legal marriage, there are severe penalties visited upon offenders. There are many venereal diseases active in the United States, as well as AIDS.
People, whether or not they are believers in Christ, who allow themselves to engage in lustful practices, lose their strength of personality. They act foolishly. They are silly, weak, incompetent. I notice that businesses that used to be noted for competence, such as banks and hospitals, are increasingly making mistakes in their transactions. My personal opinion is that this is caused by the foolishness and weakness that accompany physical lust.
No sexually immoral individual, Christian or not, will remain in the Kingdom of God. He or she shall be removed in the last days.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; Idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions And envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous And throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:49,50)
It is time now for Christian teachers and preachers to cease comforting God’s people with the lie that they can continue in sin and still be admitted to the Paradise of God. The New Testament does not say this. Rather, it is those who overcome sinful behavior who will inherit all the works of God’s hands.
Lies are being taught daily, and our nation is being punished because of the behavior of the believers. They no longer are serving as a moral light to guide the government and the non-Christian citizens.
Those Who Practice Magic Arts
I never thought I would live to see the day that Satan would be worshiped in America. But such behavior is taking place.
In the great corporations, and in numerous high school and college classes, instruction is being given in various occult practices, such as the cultivation of spirit guides. Although the public schools do not permit Christian practices, some aspects of the Hindu religion, such as Yoga, are allowed under the guise of promoting spiritual insight and tranquility.
There actually are satanic rituals in which animals (and sometimes humans I am told) are sacrificed.
Wicca (witchcraft) is sometimes regarded as a religion alongside Christianity.
In recent times, metaphysical practices have entered the Charismatic movement. They may be referred to as faith, or imaging, or positive thinking, or speaking the creative word.
Any attempt to manipulate the physical realm by means other than prayer to God in Jesus’ name is a magic art. If you have ever practiced imaging or speaking creative words you might want to go to the Lord and ask Him to remove from you all desire to change your circumstances by positive thinking.
We are to have faith in Jesus, not faith in faith.
There is an uncrossable gap between human faith and Divine faith. The one is directed by the human mind. The other is directed by the Spirit of God.
The Lord Jesus invited us to move mountains into the sea by faith. He also commanded us to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect. We cannot do either by imaging, or speaking creative words, or trying to believe. We move mountains into the sea and become perfect as we follow the Lord Jesus closely, doing what He commands.
The day will come when you and I will walk on the water. This is a power of the age to come. And it will require faith at that time. But you and I will be following the Spirit of God, not trying to use the things of God to accomplish our own ends.
Have nothing whatever to do with fortune telling, or tea leaves, or the like. Such behavior fills the practitioner with satanic pride. When you attempt to be delivered from the spirit of sorcery (which is what it is) you will notice how pride swells up in you making it almost impossible to confess your behavior as sin. This is satanic pride and it accompanies occult practices.
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
I think promise boxes are to be viewed with suspicion if the individual is looking to God to speak to him or her through this vehicle. The same is true of prophetic words given on the Internet. Our most reliable method for proving God’s will is by presenting our body a living sacrifice.
No magic arts of any kind whatever are permitted in the Kingdom of God, in the new world of righteousness that is coming.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king. (I Samuel 15:23)
Divination is a sin and it is associated with rebellion. Why is this? It is because it is an appeal to those spirits who have rebelled against God. The idea is, God will not do this for me and so I will seek help from those who have rebelled against God. Think about Saul!
We Americans worship numerous idols. They are presented continually on the television: money, violence, lust, drunkenness, partying, murder, witchcraft, professional sports. When we partake of any of these we are eating food offered to idols.
The first commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Much of our Christian life is occupied with God removing our idols from us. This is a painful process.
If there is anything in your life you would not permit God to remove from you, that is an idol. If you will not surrender it to the Lord your eternal residence will be the Lake of Fire.
Very often we Americans idolize our children. We make little tyrants of them by giving them everything they want. We think we are showing love. We are not. Rather we are buying their love so they will love us.
The proper order of sovereignty is God, and Jesus under God, and we under Jesus, and the remainder of the creation under us. Whenever there is any person, thing, or circumstance that is between Jesus and us, that is over us, God is displeased. He will arrange situations in which we become aware we are adoring some person, thing, or circumstance more than we are the Lord.
We must place everything, including all relationships, and our own children, on the altar of God. All we have God gave to us. We must always remain ready to give back to God whatever He calls for.
Otherwise we are practicing idolatry. We are an idolater.
We Americans worship money. Perhaps this is why the terrorists were able to topple the two buildings of the World Trade Center.
God is able to supply your needs and my needs apart from any economic system. Christianity can flourish under any economic system. We Americans may discover in the future that we no longer can depend on our currency but are being forced to look to God for our material needs. If that day should come we will discover we have been worshiping money more than God.
God is absolutely dependable. Our economic system is not.
Some of the forms of idolatry are as follows:
- Covetousness. Covetousness, or greed, is a form of idolatry and often is the basis for thievery.
- Pride and arrogance. The proud, arrogant person worships himself. He is his own idol. Such is the inevitable result of the self-worship that is taught today.
- Dishonesty. As we stated previously, dishonesty proceeds from covetousness and greed, which are idolatry—the worship of money and things.
- Our own belly. Much Christian ministry proceeds from the love of people for their own stomach. They live to eat rather than eating to live.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)
For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king. (I Samuel 15:23)
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Romans 16:18)
“Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (I Corinthians 6:13)
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. (Philippians 3:19)
We have been commanded to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. When another person, thing, or situation becomes so dear to us that we clutch it and will not put it on the altar of God, then we are an idolater. All idolaters, unless they find deliverance through the Lord Jesus Christ, will find their home in the Lake of Fire.
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
I have wondered why Thou shalt not lie is not one of the Ten Commandments. I think it is because all sin is a form of lying.
Satan is the father of all liars.
Truth is not a description of the physical realm, for the physical realm itself is a function of invisible molecules.
Truth is a Person—the Lord Jesus Christ.
Science may answer the questions where, when, how much does it weigh, what color is it. Truth answers the question: What is the significance of this?
No individual can possess truth until he or she possesses the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Cowardice is a lie because it does not stake its welfare on the trustworthiness of God.
- Unbelief is a lie because it pretends God cannot bring us to joy.
- Vile behavior is a lie because it proclaims that the work of God should be corrupted.
- Murder is a lie because it seeks to frustrate what God has ordained.
- Immorality is a lie because it testifies that people ought to ignore God’s restraints.
- The magic arts are a lie because they attempt to bring about situations that God is not promoting.
- Idolatry is a lie because it grasps the gifts of God and will not surrender them to the One to whom they always belong.
All liars will be confined forever in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.
The Lord Jesus Christ is Truth and the only truth. He brings life and light to us, the Life and Light of God—the only Life and Light of God.
No other person or religion can bring to us the Life and Light of God.
If you and I would know truth, would live truth, would speak truth, we must have Christ, the Truth, formed in us and dwelling in us.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)
Whoever commits a sin is the slave of that sin. The Truth that Christ is sets us free from all sin when we follow Him in faithful discipleship.
There are eight forms of the sin with which mankind is bound. The Lord Jesus Christ came to earth so through Him we could be delivered from having to practice these eight behaviors.
But—and here is the issue today—we have to overcome, to conquer these behaviors. We cannot conquer them by ourselves, and the Lord Jesus will not conquer them by Himself.
The Lord has promised us that if we will overcome, as He overcame, we will sit with Him on His throne.
Jesus has all power in the heavens, on the earth, and in the dark regions under the earth. Eventually every creature, human or angelic, will bow the knee to Him.
We humans do not have the power required to break the chains placed on us by Satan’s forces. The Holy Spirit has that power. The angels of God have that power. But we do not.
We can read our Bible each day, pray consistently, attend the meetings of fervent believers, give of our money, serve in whatever capacity is needed, and be faithful with our gifts and ministry.
But we cannot deliver ourselves.
Our role is that of a judge. When the Holy Spirit reveals a sin in our personality we are to confess it as sin. Then we are to denounce it as being unworthy of the Kingdom of God. Next we are to renounce it, stating we do not want any more to do with it.
Then we are to draw near to God for His blessing. Now Christ will occupy that part of our personality which formerly was held by the forces of darkness.
A part of our old nature must die each day and the Nature of Christ must take its place. We must become less and less and Christ must become more and more.
Christ did not come to save our old nature but to crucify it. It is only as Christ is formed in us that we enter the Kingdom of God; for Christ Himself is the Kingdom.
And so we pass continually from death to life; from death to life; from death to life.
To say “I want to be me” is to kiss death on the lips. What we want to be is Christ, not what we were originally.
It is only as what we are passes away and Christ is formed in its place that we are qualified and competent to enter the Kingdom of God, the new world of righteousness in which no form of sin is practiced.
There is a tremendous error in Christian teaching and preaching. It is that by accepting Christ we can have fellowship with God for eternity; we can enter the holy city; we can remain in the Kingdom of God; we can make Paradise our eternal home. No change in us is required. Accepting Christ ensures that we will inherit the world to come and experience perfect peace and joy.
This is how salvation is preached today, but it is in error.
The eight behaviors mentioned in Revelation 21:8 are the personality of Satan and his angels. Satan and his angels are cowardly, unbelieving, vile, murderers. sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, idolaters, and liars.
God cannot have fellowship with them. They are disgusting, loathsome, disgraceful. God does not want such angels or people around him. The Lake of Fire was prepared for the devil and his angels, and for people who act like them. They are not suitable for the Kingdom of God.
So receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is not a ticket to joy. It is the authority and the power to begin the long process of making us a wholesome personality.
A wholesome personality is courageous, filled with faith in God, desirable to have near us as a member of the new world of righteousness, filled with love, compassion and patience, morally pure. The wholesome personality has nothing to do with magic arts, loves God with all its heart and soul, and is absolutely truthful. Such are the sons of the Kingdom of God and inherit all the works of His hands.
Those who continue to behave in a satanic manner, whether or not they profess faith in Christ, will be placed under quarantine in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. Why is this? It is because satanic behavior is contagious.
Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)
One coward, one unbeliever, one vile individual, one murderer, one immoral person, one practitioner of magic arts, one greedy person, one liar, if permitted into the Paradise of God, would soon corrupt those with whom he or she came into contact.
Do you remember how God warned the Israelites to slay every man, woman, and child in the land of their inheritance? This was because God knew that if they did not they soon would be worshiping lust and burning their children in the fire to Molech.
This is what took place because the Israelites did not utterly slay the inhabitants of their land of promise. As a result, the Jews to this very day are struggling to maintain their homes in the place God promised to them.
“Accepting Christ” in the contemporary sense does not enable us to have permanent fellowship with God. Christ came to change our personality by making us new in Himself, not to give us a ticket so we could bring our corrupt personality into the new world of righteousness.
If we are sick with the dreadful highly contagious disease of sin, then we have to be placed under quarantine.
If a mother came to our church with a child who had smallpox, we would not allow her to remain in the congregation. This is not because we do not love her or her child but because we do not want other children to become infected. Isn’t this true?
So it is true that God will not allow a person infected with sin to enter His new world of righteousness. This is not because He does not love us with His great Father’s heart. It is because He does not want other people to become infected with any of these eight behaviors that He and His children find offensive.
Does this make sense to you?
It is time for a reformation of Christian thinking.
(“The Wholesome Personality”, 3358-1)