WHERE IS THE CHURCH THAT CHRIST IS BUILDING?

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock ( meaning Himself ) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ( Matthew 16:18 )

Here we can see the words of Jesus Christ Himself telling all of mankind that He would be building His church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. This statement from Christ begs the question, where is the church now, in this day, that Jesus Christ is building still? The answer to that question is not complex at all, but it is to all the denominations and splinter groups that identify themselves as Christian. The number of which I have seen listed down as 40,000 and growing. I Personally believe it is many times that number. All of them believing and teaching others to believe that they are the church that Christ is building. The one that the gates of hell will not prevail against. The church that I attended and went to on a regular basis for well over thirty years, a church that taught that they were the one true church of God. Whenever a member might question a certain doctrine or something that was being taught to us, the minister at the time would have a pat answer for whomever asked the question. He would say, “Your problem is, you don’t believe that Christ can manage, guide, direct or run His church”. Indicating the individual lacked the faith in accepting everything that was being given to them, that it was all from Christ and needed to be accepted and believed. It was also a way to curtail asking questions of your preachers and teachers. 

We would accept it and move on.While there is no question at all about Christ building His church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. That is absolute and solid truth from Christ Himself. He is well able to manage, guide, direct and run His church. The only question then that needs to be answered is, where is the church that Christ is building? We all should be able to accept the fact that it will be those whom will be believing and accepting what the inspired Word of God tells them to be the truth. All others will fit in some other place that God determines them to be. For example those that did prophesy in His name, did cast out demons in His name, did in His name do many wonderful works, but notice what Christ had to say to all of them. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ( Matthew 7: 21 23 ) ( NKJ ) So it becomes clear, if we believe the Word of God who is Jesus Christ, we belong in one category. If we fail to believe and actually reject the Word of God we belong in another category. Lets be crystal clear here, to believe God and to follow His teachings brings us into a relationship with Him, into fellowship with God Himself. To deny and disbelieve or go contrary of the Word of God sets us apart from Him.

Here is some of what God would have us all know, in ( Luke 10: 16 ) ( NLT ) Anyone who accept your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God who sent me. Then in: ( Hosea 4:6 ) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Then in: 11 Corinthians 4: 4 ) In whom the god ( Satan ) of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. And then finally in: 11 Thessalonians 2: 10 - 11 ) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. With these things in mind, knowing that anyone rejecting Christ is rejecting God, Rejecting knowledge will cause God to reject us. That the god of this world has blinded the minds of those that will not believe. And God Himself will send strong delusion to those not having received the love of the truth. We are now at a place where we can determine exactly and precisely how we individually stack up in relationship with the truth of God. Making it relatively easy to determine whether we are in the church that Christ is building. Or in another place that God would have us be at this time.

By asking ourselves a few questions right from the Word of God. Answering in the affirmative, yes you believe and follow that teaching would indeed indicate you are now in the church that Christ is building. To denounce, deny and reject that Word, to be in disbelief of that Word, would be a prime indicator that you are in another place that God would have you to be at the present. Definitely and for certain not in the church that Christ has been and is now building. There is one area specifically I would like to base the questions on. That concerns the promise of God to save all of mankind. In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; ( Titus 1:2 ) Do you believe it? God and Christ are immortal, spirit beings and have recorded this message to all of mankind. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: ( Genesis 1:26 ) do you believe Them? Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. ( 1 Timothy 2:4 ) Do you believe it? Do you believe as the inspired Word of God tells us, that God will have all men to be saved? Or are you instead believing and following after the churches under the sway of Satan the devil, the Babylon of confusion? The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. ( 2nd Peter 3:9 ) Do you believe it? There is no power on earth or in the universe that can thwart or go against the will or power that God has given Christ, and it is Gods will that none should perish. But will you believe it? That God is not willing that any should perish? And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Do you believe it?

Many are the churches that make a big production of claiming to be the one true church of God, that preach and teach the coming kingdom of God for a few people only. While the vast majority will either be annihilated and done away with altogether, or be burned alive forever in the raging flames of hell. This however does not at all reflect the truth we find in the Word of God. Lets just take a peek at what is being said in the book of Luke. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. ( Luke 2:10 ) Did you see that? The birth of Christ being born and coming to this earth as a human baby, was to be good news to all people, and not good news to some people only, as so many churches preach and teach about. When the Word of God says to all people, do you believe it? The Word of God goes on to tell us that the Father gave all things into the hands of His Son. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. ( John 3:35 ) Again we find that it is all things and not just some things that have been given into the hands of Jesus Christ. Do you believe that? Jesus Christ tells us that He will give them eternal life, they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them from his hand. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. ( John 10:28 ) Do you believe that? Then to make it even more certain and sure, He has this to say. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. (John 10:29 ) But do you believe it?

It doesn’t stop here in the church that Christ is building, He wants to make it plain and clear to those He is calling at this time to be able to understand and to believe what He is telling us. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. ( John 6:39 ) Make a mental note here of how many of all of mankind, that Christ is telling us that He is going to lose. He will lose none! But will you believe it? And what is to happen at the last day? He will raise them all up. Do you believe it? Just in case it has not fully registered in the mind and heart of the listener, the hearer of His Word, He has this added word. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. ( John 6:37 ) But will you believe it? All of those in the church that Christ is building will recognize and accept these words as the truth. Will you believe? God who is the same yesterday, today and forever and tells us that He changes not, has this added word in Jeremiah. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD. ( Jeremiah 23:4 ) Again make a mental note here of how many will be missing in all that has been given to Jesus Christ. Do you believe? 

It becomes crystal clear within the church that Jesus Christ is building here on planet earth, that the purpose and plan of God from before the world began, was to send Jesus Christ His Son to save all of mankind. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. ( John 17:2 ) All has been given to Him. Do you believe it? And this is what he promised us--even eternal life. ( 1 John 2:25 ) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. ( 1 John 5:11 ) But will you believe it? There is no question about it, the Holy Spirit will lead those being called into the church that Christ is building, to know and to understand this most wonderful and awesome truth of Universal Salvation. That the plan of God again, is, was and always has been to save all of mankind and bring them up to His own level of eternal, immortal, spirit life. To have life as He Himself and His Son Jesus Christ have life. To be in and a part of the kingdom of God here on earth. 

But He hasn’t given all the mind to understand, nor eyes to see, nor ears that hear it at this point in time. But to this day the LORD has not given you minds that understand, nor eyes that see, nor ears that hear! ( Deuteronomy 29:4 ) So as the truth is being revealed here, it becomes clear why so many can not and will not at this time understand or believe the Word of God. Other than those that Christ was and is using to build His church, He didn’t want them to understand, He spoke in parables only, to hide the truth from them. All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spoke he not unto them: ( Matthew 13:34 ) Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them ( John 10:6 ) Christianity teaches their converts the exact opposite, that Christ taught in parables to make it easier for them to understand, but is it the truth? This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. ( Matthew 13:13 ) In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. ( Matthew 13:14 ) We simply cannot be in the church that Jesus Christ is building here on earth, while we are yet in denial of His Word.

We can go over in Acts and find additional reason for Christ to be teaching His own disciples in parables only. His own disciples could not understand until He would explain them to be understood. Other than those He is calling and using in the building of His church, They have not and will not at this time be able to understand this truth. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' ( Acts 28:27 ) These are truths unknown by Christianity as a whole, they relate it to unbelievers as they turn a deaf ear to the admonition of God, to come out of this world in Revelation. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. ( Revelation 18:4 ) Failing to come out of this worlds religious systems as commanded by God, keeps one in mass confusion and possessing a spirit of stupor. as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day." ( Romans 11:8 ) There is ample written words of truth and understanding to guide and direct us in the way that we should go, But will we? And if not, What will be the cause? Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." ( Isaiah 6:10 )

Rebellious people by their nature do not have the natural ability apart from God to change and go another direction. It is not in man of himself to repent, unless or until God drags them by the collar, kicking, screaming and resisting, to Himself. Unless or until this happens, then no one can come to Him. "Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people. ( Ezekiel 12:2 ) But because they belong to a church and meet every week end for a two or three hour service. Having the minister up front reminding them all, restoring their faith, telling them that they are in the true church of God, that they will be in the first fruits of God, That they indeed are the elect. That they have prophesied in Christ’ name, have cast out demons in His name and done many wonderful works, which could very well be the truth. But what will be the response of Jesus Christ? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. ( Matthew 7:23 ) Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from. ( Luke 13:25 ) So now in this present time while time permits us to yet beseech God to open the door of our understanding of His truth being taught and received by the church He is building, that the gates of hell will not prevail against. To remove the scales from our eyes, unstop our ears, give us a receptive heart and mind that we may be considered as one of those You can use in the building of Your church.

I am in this world, but not of this world. I severed my long time relationship with this world by following the commandment of God to come out of her, my people. ( Revelation 18:4 ) You may very well be the people of God, to that there is no doubt, but your heels are dug in and you refuse to come out of this world as commanded by God Almighty. Not believing the Word of God puts one squarely within the Babylon of confusion. I do not involve myself with the politics of this world. God will install whomever He wills, into power and authority over all nations. Men can and do spend multiple billions of dollars in their attempts at governing nations, but it is God alone that puts whom He will in office. I do not involve myself with the customs, rituals, and traditions of this world. My allegiance and loyalty belong to another kingdom. The kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not something that is coming, future, it is here and now, within all who belong to and are members of the church that Jesus Christ is building on this earth. I am an ambassador for Christ, within the church that Christ is building for and to the kingdom of God. I represent another kingdom. You might ask the question, how can one belong to the church that Christ is building, how can I join up? The answer is, you cannot! Unless Jesus Christ who has been given all power in heaven and earth draws you to Himself, you can not and will not be in the church that He is building, that the gates of hell will not prevail against. The government of God will grow and eventually envelope the whole world, and in fact the universe. Putting down all rule and authority that is not of God. God hasten that day when all things will be made new.

God the Father has given His Son Jesus Christ all power in heaven and earth. He has charged him with the total responsibility to pay the penalty for all sin for all time. Christ accomplished that at His crucifixion, when He said it is finished, forgive them Father for they know not what they do. To point out to you, so that you may know and your children may learn what words Christ spoke on the cross, "It is finished" is the second-to-last. But it is certainly not the least important and certainly not the least blessed of the words that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke. "It is finished." All our sins are taken away, Jesus announces here. All our guilt that should have been imputed to us but was imputed to Him was taken care of. And Jesus announced that here. Our salvation is won, our sins are forgiven! How do I know that? How do I know that with certainty? Because the Lord Jesus Christ announced it so that all could hear, and the beloved disciple could record it: "It is finished." Jesus did it all.

It is all accomplished. It has all been done for you and me. The Lord Jesus Christ is a complete Savior. He is not a partial Savior that can save only a few, not one will be lost or left behind. He is a sovereign Savior. We hear that from this word: "It is finished." And we can shout, with all of the saints down through the ages, "Hallelujah, it is finished!" So we understand by this word, not that Jesus is saying here, "I'm finished. I'm done. I'm ended. My life is gone. I've tried and wasn't able to do it. Now I'm going to go the way of all flesh." That is not what He meant when He said, "It is finished." But with a shout of victorious confidence, the Lord Jesus Christ is saying to us, and to God in our hearing, "The work that Thou gavest Me to do, the mission that Thou didst send Me to accomplish, is finished. It is finished!" It is a shout of victory. It is a cry of obedience, God-centered obedience. And it is a word that you and I appropriate by a living faith that God gives us as a gift. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit. ( John 19:30 ) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his clothing, and cast lots. ( Luke 23:34 ) Christ had finished the work the Father had given him, to save all people. But will you believe it? Or continue to make God a liar through disbelief?

Outside of the church that Christ is building here on earth, Universal Salvation or the saving of all people is thought of as foolishness. One long time minister that belongs to a church that advertises itself as the true church of God, was in communication with me a few months ago after I had written a paper on Universal Salvation and sent it to him. His comment to me later on was, “Go ahead and enjoy your foolish doctrine”. In view of what I have been writing down here according to scripture, it is no wonder at all that they do not believe it to be true. They cannot grasp the truth that has to be spiritually discerned. They have that which only perceives from the carnal physical nature in man. I want to add some more spiritual truth here to help those of a spiritual nature to grasp and understand this most wonderful truth of God. The most fantastic wonderful and awesome truth that is possible to enter the ears of mankind. Is the good news that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all of creation. Including Satan the devil and all demons.

( Colossians 1: 15-20 ) 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; ( His church ) he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1: 20 Notice here that all things on earth or in heaven will be reconciled back to God. Once all things have been reconciled back to God, there is nothing left to reconcile. How much plainer can the truth be? Yet outside the church that Christ is building here on earth, they cannot see with their eyes, hear with their ears or understand with their carnal minds.

( 1 Corinthians 15: 22- 28 ) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. ( The exact same all that die will all be made alive ) 23 But each in their own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. ( after death has been destroyed, the only thing left is life ) 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. Notice: ( Not all in a few, not all in some, not all in many, but all in all of mankind.

From Universal Salvation. org That to Me every knee shall bow

Can you see what that says? It does not say some shall bow; it does not say 90% shall bow; it says "that to Me every knee shall bow." Read the scripture for yourself. Isaiah 45:23 "I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath." Yes, but what does it mean? It means that the word of God will not return without doing what it set out to do. The result being that every knee shall bow and that every tongue shall take an oath. That is 100% success. The Hebrew word for "oath" is shaw-bah and it means to pledge allegiance to. Every person who has ever existed will bend their knee to God, and pledge allegiance to Him. If you bend the knee to someone, that shows honour and respect. If you pledge allegiance to someone, that shows loyalty. Why would people being tormented in hellfire want to show God honour, respect and loyalty? Supposedly they are only there in the first place, because that is what they would not do. And how can all show God honour, respect and loyalty, if some are eternally dead? It does not make sense. David said at Psalm 145:21 "My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD, (YHWH) and all flesh shall bless His holy name."

The Hebrew word for "bless" there is baw-rak, and it means to bend the knee, as an act of adoration. Who will bless His holy name? Who will bend their knee as an act of adoration? All flesh. Why would all flesh bend their knee to God in an act of adoration, and pledge allegiance to Him? Because at that time, as his name YHWH (He causes to become) indicates, He is the cause of everyone having eternal life. That is living forever, with life as God has it. He has satisfied the desire of every living thing. Universal Salvation. Would you not honour the Person who had done that for you? You would, and you will. And what is more, you will do it because you want to do it, and not because you are made to do it. I would like very much to tell you at this point, that God is going to give every one absolutely every thing that they have ever dreamed of. But I am sorry I can not do that, because that would be a lie. The reality is that God is going to give you far more than you could ever dream of. There is no one like God (YHWH). 1 Corinthians 2:9 says that "...Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." You can not begin to know the wonderful life that God has made possible for you. It is already yours; you are all going to have it - every last person who has ever existed. Nothing can stop it. The plan of God for everyone is Universal Salvation, and it can not fail.

You might say, "Well, now you are going beyond what the scripture says, because it definitely says that those things are prepared for those who love Him." Well done; it does. But you see, God is love, and the full scope of love is that love is active and passive. For example, God loves - active; that is where God personally is doing the loving. God is loved - passive; that is where someone else is doing the loving. Love is incomplete unless it is both. Therefore if God is loving and not being loved in return, you have a problem, because God says that love never fails. So if love never fails, and love is both active and passive, what has to happen for that to be true, is that when God actively loves, it has to bring a passive response, whereby those whom God loves, in return love Him. That is clearly seen from the scripture at 1 John 4:19 where it says, "We love Him because He first loved us." Active love has a return. Therefore, if our love for God is assured on the grounds of Him first loving us, then every one who has ever existed will one day love God, who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. So if He loved the whole world, that is everyone, then one day the whole world will love Him. Cause and effect. And if, as 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, those things are prepared for those who love Him, that will be everyone. Every knee shall bow, and every tongue will swear allegiance to Him. Universal Salvation. ( end quote )

We come now to the scripture first quoted in this written piece: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock ( meaning Himself ) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ( Matthew 16:18 ) Where is this church that Christ is building? It will surprise you to learn that it exists all around the world, where ever there is an individual that has answered the call of God. One that may never have entered the door of any church, or one that attended many churches and when recognizing the commandment of God to come out of her, my people. Came out of this worlds religious systems known as the Babylon of confusion. Becoming a believing and active member of the body of Christ, the church that Christ is building on this earth. While many preach and teach that their church is the one true church of God, there is in reality only one true church of God. It is the one that will be teaching the Word of God. It will be the one whose members will believe those words and not be in denial of them. They will not be calling the word of God a foolish doctrine or make God to be a liar through disbelief of His word.

( 1 John 5: 10 ) He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness within himself: He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. ( John 8: 45 ) And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.( John 16: 9 ) ( NLT ) The worlds sin is unbelief in me. ( Hebrews 4:2 ) We have heard the same Good News that your ancestors heard. But the message didn't help those who heard it in the past because they didn't believe.( Luke 10: 16 ) ( NLT ) Anyone who accept your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God who sent me.( Hosea 4:6 ) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As I have already pointed out earlier in this letter, none of those that deny that the Savior of the world cannot and will not save all, that Jesus Christ, will not be able to save all of mankind and in fact unable to save all of creation, including Satan the devil and the demons, None of that number will be the chosen few called the elect within the church that Christ is building.

Stop and use your God given mind for a moment. It makes no sense at all that Christ would use those who refuse to believe Him. He cannot use anyone to rule with Him during His thousand year reign in the millennium, to guide, direct, and lead others, while not knowing, following or believing the truth themselves. It is not only a matter of spiritual truth, it can be determined by common sense. The Word of God is plain and clear in the understanding on this subject. There are actually hundreds of scriptures in proof of Universal Salvation, some of which I have already posted here. That the purpose and plan of God before the world began was to save all and bring all of mankind up to His own level of immortal, spirit life. To have life as God and Jesus Christ have life. ( Titus 1:2 ) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But will you believe it?

There are many members in the body of Christ, who is the head of the church He is building. Some may be thought to be more important than the next, but all are important and necessary. I will be happy to be the least if there is such a thing. Several years ago I was impacted and couldn't eliminate waste for about a week. The pain was nearly unbearable. I went a period of time afterward eliminating out through a hole in my stomach, before finally getting hooked up to eliminate in a normal way. Since that time it is a complement to be called an A hole, because I learned first hand how important they are. How important it is to have a body part that does exactly what it was created for and is supposed to do. If you are one that finds yourself in this dilemma of disbelief, may you petition God to remove the scales from your eyes, and unstop your ears, that you might understand and believe these most wonderful truths of God. No one in disbelief of the word of God will rule with Jesus Christ here on earth. You may very well be the people of God, but denying that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind will prevent any from being in the group known as the elect of God. Your time will come later in the great white throne judgment, after the millennium. We can all rest assured, in the grand finale, all of mankind shall be saved. Not one to be lost, done away with or left to burn forever alive in the flames of the Christian contrived hoax of a hell. It doesn't take a mega church building or any building of wood, brick or stone at all, to be in the church that Christ is building. At Matthew 18:20 we find the revealed truth of the matter. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. We are the church that Christ is building. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray…Amen!

By his permission I would like to add below, the writing of Chip Brogden.

Jesus Is Building His Church!

by Chip Brogden
“…upon this Rock, I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18b).”

What is the “move” of God? What is God doing today? What is God saying to the Church? Here’s what is happening: Jesus is building His Church. There is no “new” thing to be seen, said, or done: Jesus the Rock is building His Church upon the foundation of Himself. He is faithfully gathering the living stones together and is assembling them into a beautiful structure of gold, silver, and precious stones (I Peter 2:4-9; I Corinthians 3:9-17).

There is nothing wrong with the Church! That is, there is nothing wrong with the Church that Jesus is building, though there is much to be desired among those who are following their own building programs and blueprints, and calling it “church”. Jesus is assembling the saints together into a spiritual house. The problem is that some things we have come to believe to be “church” are not necessarily the Church. Although there is nothing wrong with the Church, everything that is called “Church” is not the “Church”. So what is the Church?

Let us look at this statement: “I will build My Church.” The first thing that strikes us about this thing called “Church” is simply that it is that which Jesus is building upon the foundation of Himself. More specifically, the word “church” is “ecclesia”, the called-out assembly. It consists of those to whom God has chosen to reveal His Son. This revelation of who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us is the key. Without this firm foundation we cannot know, understand or experience being part of the Church. Quite frankly, our religious head knowledge or credal affirmation is of virtually no significance. Even the repeating of the so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” means nothing apart from the revelation of Jesus Christ. May God give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ (Ephesians 1:17-23). Then, our prayer and confession will be based on Spirit and Truth revelation, not flesh and blood, second or third generation “knowing” (Matthew 16:17).

The Church is not built upon the individual Peter, but upon those who have been given revelation. Jesus builds His Church through revelation to individuals, the “whosoevers”. What revelation? The revelation of Himself. This revelation is sufficient to secure us as members of the Church that Jesus is building. When we understand that revelation is the only thing which matters we will cease trying to grow the Church or gain members through better preaching, musical entertainment, handsome facilities, demographic studies, and savvy marketing techniques. Instead, we will simply come to rely upon revelation and trust the Father to reveal the Son through the Spirit Who brings illumination to our heart. We are the Temple of God, a habitation for Himself, and this Church grows as a living thing (Ephesians 2:20-22).

Jesus is not building a denomination or founding a movement. The Church is not a denomination, but neither is it a non-denomination. It is not a steeple-house or institutional church, but neither is it a house church. Stated simply, the Church is a spiritual house of living stones, invisible to the naked eye, but clearly seen and known in Spirit. It is not an organization, but an organism. Who are its members? Those who have the revelation of Jesus Christ. Where are these members to be found? They are scattered in all directions, both inside and outside of Organized Religion.

Keith Green once said, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald’s makes you a hamburger.” How true this statement has proved to be through the years. But we hasten to say that going to a house church won’t make you a Christian either. We thank God for the saints which are meeting in homes and rediscovering what it means to gather together in simplicity apart from the steeple-house, paid clergy, and denominationalism. Yet, Jesus did not say, “I will build My HOUSE church.” Since the Church is comprised of individuals who have the revelation of Jesus Christ, how or where they meet together is of little consequence. In Jerusalem, or in this mountain? Neither, says the Lord (John 4:20-24). Where we gather doesn’t matter to the Lord, but WHY we gather is of extreme importance to Him. If it is due to the revelation of Jesus Christ, we will worship in Spirit and Truth because the revelation of Jesus Christ draws us together. Why? Because our testimony is other-worldly, peculiar, spiritual. We are the called-out assembly, the ecclesia of Jesus. We are His particular treasure.

What we have, both within Organized Religion and within the house church “movement”, is a mixture of people. Some of them have the revelation of Jesus Christ, and some do not. We affirm that this revelation is enough to establish the Church, regardless of the outward appearances. Where this revelation exists, THERE is the foundation of the Church that Jesus is building. Since it is an inward revelation, a spiritual seeing and entering into, we cannot classify everyone as being the Church merely because they are within a system of Organized Religion, or even if they have come out of a system. Nor can we include or disqualify them because of where or how they meet. The meeting together is only a small part of the total picture. The question is not whether we are in or out of a human system, or how we meet, or what doctrine we lay emphasis on. The question is, have we seen the Lord? Do we have the revelation of Jesus Christ? We may be correct in outward appearance but have no inward revelation. Hence, not all who say, “Lord! Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 7:21-23). Similarly, we may be politically or spiritually incorrect and offensive outwardly speaking, that is, according to what man values and esteems as good, acceptable, moral, and religious; yet the revelation of Christ is sufficient to bring us into the Kingdom with or without the support and approval of men, even the most spiritual and holy men.

“I will build My Church.” We maintain that the Church exists where individuals have the revelation of Jesus Christ: for when this revelation takes hold of a person, Jesus Christ will have the preeminence in all things (Colossians 1:12-19). It is not enough to tell people, “Jesus is the Head of the Church.” We cannot make Him the Head while gathered together and then expect Him to remain in the background while we live out our lives individually. Either He is Lord OF all, or He isn’t Lord AT all. When we see Him seated in heavenly places we will gladly and joyfully allow Him to be the Head over all things, not only in the Church, but in our marriage, family, and work. We will at once see that the Church does not belong to us. We will discern that hitherto we have viewed “church” as something that we must attend, build, or grow. With the knowledge that the Church does not belong to us we will relinquish our claims to it and begin to co-labor together with the Lord (I Corinthians 3:9). Then, it is a natural thing to give up our titles and positions and merely concentrate on building one another up in love. To give up title and position within a group that has no revelation of Christ is to invite chaos. This is why man feels the need to have some organization and established leadership among the saints, running the steeple-house much like a business with mission statements and top-heavy organizational charts, paving a one-way street of submission to some earthly head – because there is no vision of Christ. It is not more organization or leadership training that we need. We only need more revelation, and no man can give us revelation. It is the gift of God. Once obtained, we will with much rejoicing and relief fall into place below One Head and allow Christ to have the preeminence. “The Lord is my Pastor: I shall not lack (Psalms 23:1).”

Since it is the Lord’s Church, and no man’s, and since we are the sheep of His pasture, not man’s, we will stop referring to “Pastor Smith’s church” and “Brother John’s congregation”. The pastor is not the head of the Church. But then, neither is the teacher, evangelist, prophet, or apostle. Apostles do not build the Church: Jesus builds the Church, for it is His Church. All anyone can do is co-labor with Him. Anything done apart from Him will fall apart, for there is no other foundation but what has been laid, and that foundation is Christ (I Corinthians 3:11). If the foundation is faulty, it matters not one whit how beautiful the structure is. The apostles and prophets lay the foundation of the Church, which is the revelation of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20), but it is still based upon a revelation that no man can give! The Spirit of Jesus must make Himself known in you (Galatians 1:11-18). Then others will build upon that foundation, which is your personal revelation of Christ in you and you in Christ. But no one at any time may lay claim to the Church, or any particular fellowship, as his or her own. The Church does not belong to a denominational office, church board, circle of elders, founding apostle, or individual pastor. At least, not the Church that Jesus is building.

How do we know if a particular work is the true building of God, part of the genuine Church? All we have to do is see who has the preeminence there. If an apostle or pastor is considered the spiritual head then Christ does not have the preeminence (3 John 9). If the elected deacons are in charge then Christ does not have the preeminence. We may give Him lip service and acknowledge with our mouth that it is His Church, but apart from revelation these are empty words. When the moment of truth comes man will always seize control, demonstrating that Christ does not have the preeminence there, and indeed, probably never had it to begin with.

How then do we know who has the preeminence? We need only look to see who gets the credit for the work. Men talk about “this great denomination” and glory in the works of their hands. Of course, with their lips they draw near to God, but their heart is far from Him. They are only trying to build a name to themselves and reach the heavens. The end result is confusion and vain babbling (Genesis 11:1-9). They are not co-laboring with Christ in the building of His Church, they are asking Christ to co-labor with THEM in the building of THEIR church. “We have done many mighty works in Your Name! Behold what manner of stones and buildings these are (Mark 13:1)!” And surely, great things have been accomplished, insofar as organization, wealth, property, and numbers are concerned. “But Jesus said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15).” If Jesus is building His Church as His own possession, then we cannot take the credit for it. We can only marvel at what He does and bow our heads in humble gratitude for allowing us to be a part of it.

What shall we do about Organized Religion? What shall we do about those who claim the Church as their own, who intend to build a name to themselves? What shall we do about the false religious system? We will do nothing at all; for, those structures not built upon the Foundation of Jesus Christ will fall of their own accord (I Corinthians 3:12-17; Matthew 7:24-27). How could it be otherwise? The only safe place to be is within the Church that Jesus is building. Besides, if we attempt to bring down the huge idol of Organized Religion we may well crush ourselves and others in the attempt.

What is the Spirit of Antichrist? It is that religious thing that makes war against Jesus and the Church that He is building. The Spirit of Antichrist is already gone out in to the world (I John 2:18) and has sown tares among the wheat. Indeed, in the last days the Spirit of Antichrist will dominate and rule the world system, attempting to blot out the true Church. Outwardly speaking it appears to be succeeding. Nevertheless, the Church that Jesus is building cannot be overcome by the gates of hell. Since it is built upon the revelation of Jesus Christ, nothing can stop it. Why? A sane man will not die for a tradition or a doctrine. But he will gladly lay down his life for the revelation of Jesus Christ. He cannot be disobedient to the heavenly vision (Acts 20:24; 26:19). He has found his Life (Christ) by giving up his life.

Yes, this world system, including man’s religious systems, is passing away: make no mistake (I John 2:15-17). The nations will be judged and will pass through the fire (Psalms 2). The earth will decay and finally dissolve altogether, consumed in the fire; the heaven’s will melt with a fervent heat (II Peter 3:7-14). The outward things are fading, perishing, evolving downward in a state of entropy. Look around you, saint of God. See the steeple-house? It will not remain for long. See the cathedral? It too shall pass. See the oceans? One day they will be no more. Look at the mountains – they will all be removed. See the cities? They will be destroyed. Heaven and earth will pass away.

What is my point? Simply this: the Church that Jesus is building will be the only thing which remains. The visible will make way for the invisible, the temporal will give way to the eternal, mortal will put on immortality (I Corinthians 15). A new heavens and a new earth will be made and the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ, the Church, will be completed (Revelation 21). We are that Building of God, built upon the revelatory foundation of Jesus brought by the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). We are the Temple of God, therefore we need no earthly temple, we seek no earthly kingdom, and we expect no earthly reward (I Corinthians 3:16,17). We look for a City whose Builder and Maker is God, and we are that City (Hebrews 11:10). Jesus is building His Church! ( end quote )

Almost fifty years of bible study

After almost a half century of being called of God, studying the bible, attending church services for thirty years plus, I arrive at a conclusion in my mind. To me the best indicator of a mind that has been or is being spiritually deceived can quickly be discerned by a character trait that each individual will possess, all have it without exception. A closed mind! They are so happy and smug within their own church, their own group, within the belief system that others have programmed and taught them to believe without question. That their mind has become totally closed to any truth outside of that teaching, no matter how much scripture to the contrary exists. They refuse to even allow it into their mind to review or to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them into actual truth. I would venture to guess that all cults can be identified by this same character trait. Just imagine what might have happened if Jim Jones, a so called minister that moved his converts and congregation to South America had known this truth. The thousand or so men, women and children that he required to take poison to end their own lives, would probably very well have lived out a life in reasonable happiness as most of the rest of us are doing. Instead they all died a torturous and painful death following after a man instead of our loving God. Christ has opened the minds of those He is calling into the church He is building. Most all cult members and especially their leaders have closed minds.

An example of what I am talking about can be seen here. A past minister of the church that I belonged to was in communication with me this year and I announced that myself and another man also from the church he had ministered in, now had our own spiritual website up and running. I invited him to take a look at it. He declined it, more or less saying just that same thing. He didn’t want to be distracted from what he had settled for as the truth many years before. It in fact was what was being taught in that church, his church, and not the one that Christ was and is building. I have had other members of that church react and respond in the same way. Asking me to take them off my email address book, which I have done. Why is it that they refuse to even look at different scriptures from the word of God, that may add light to their understanding? My two fold answer is first, according to 11 Corinthians 4: 4, Satan has blinded the minds of them that believe not. And secondly, because they have not received the love of the truth, and for this reason, God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie. 11 Thessalonians 2:11. Adding to that they simply cannot understand spiritual things from their carnal minds. Christ spoke only in parables, to hide the truth from the masses. Clearly then, they have not been given to understand at this time.

I do not believe as that church teaches as a whole any longer, yet I gladly receive and appreciate getting their magazine, “Tomorrows World”. While I consider their position to be more of the same false teachings of the past, filled with false prophesies and falling way short of the truth in many areas. Teaching the same error that the original pastor general had brought into the church and long since was determined to be a false prophet. Yet I accept them to also be the people of God and as a mature Christian seeking out all truth, I am able to glean things of great value through the pages of their magazine. Without any fear that I will be drawn out of the church that Christ is building here on earth, and back into that which I came out of. I believe we have to be open to truth from whatever source that it may come from. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and we need not that any man teach us. God the Father is revealing Himself to us through His Son Jesus Christ. It behooves us then to rid ourselves of the spirit of fear. The fear to accept and to receive all the help that we can get to more fully have God the Father revealed to our spiritual side, by His Son Jesus Christ.

We all need to understand the great difference and significance of the “New Covenant: as opposed to the “Old Covenant: The old covenant concerned itself with the letter of the law. The new covenant concerns itself with the spirit of the law. We therefore cannot quote old covenant laws as being relevant or valid laws to live by within the new covenant. Jesus Christ quoted old covenant laws to live by because that was all that was available to teach by at the time. He had not yet finished his God given assignment to bring all things to a successful completion. He therefore in obedience to His Father God was under the obligation to teach what was then available to be taught. Christ of himself could do nothing, it all had to come from the Father, from within. That applied right up to the moment that Christ took His last breath of His physical life. Where He announces with a loud voice, “It is finished”. He had then successfully finished the work the Father had given him to do from the foundation of the world.

The old covenant immediately ceased to exist as Christ ushered in the new covenant. We are no longer under the old covenant my brothers and sisters, we cannot resurrect that old systems of physical laws to force down the throats of the people of God, now living under the new covenant. To preach and teach these antiquated laws that had already served the purpose that God had foreordained them to, now becomes a stumbling block to all of Christianity as the ministers of Satan continue on teaching them as something to be adhered to. To do so is actually being in denial of the suffering and eventual death of Jesus Christ in doing it all for us. It teaches us that He was not able to successfully do the job that God had given Him to do. We need to step up and help Him, is their pitiful cry. Those of legalism continue on preaching and teaching that we lack yet in things we must do to be saved. While at the same time denying that they are teaching salvation by works. Do not be deceived because it is coming from the podium as many will suggest, remember the clear and truthful words of scripture in, 11 Corinthians 11:14 and 15. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

There is not one physical law in existence that will cause one iota or whit of good, to anyone attempting to brow beat and teach others to follow after, to gain acceptance and suppose themselves to be in good stead with God. All it does is to identify those attempting to do so as severely lacking in the truth and understanding of the Word of God. They are being held in the bondage yet of legalism. Having their eyes blinded from the truth and their ears stopped up and unable to hear and to understand. These sincere brothers and sisters of ours are locked into deception and will not be freed from it unless or until God drags them kicking and screaming out into the wonderful light of His Word. We are all exactly and precisely where God wants us all to be in every moment of time. When our time comes He will bring us all up out of the deception being taught in this sin sick world that we find ourselves in today.

We will all, every man, woman and child ever born on this earth, be brought up to immortal, spirit life as God and Christ have life. Not one to be lost, destroyed or left to suffer in the Christian hoax of the raging literal flames of a hell that never ends. My Savior Jesus Christ is a real and true Savior, not an almost Savior, not a make believe Savior, not a Savior that cannot save, He is the Savior of the world. That is specifically the responsibility God the Father sent Him here to accomplish, and He will not and cannot fail. He has already announced it when He said, “It is finished”. This my friends, my brothers and sisters, is the church that Jesus Christ is building here and now on this earth. The gates ( the grave ) of hell will not prevail against it. There really is only one true church of God on the face of this earth. It is the church that Jesus Christ is building in His saints.May the Almighty God of all heaven and earth bless us all within the church that Jesus Christ is building, with ever increasing revelation of His wonderful truth. Revealing the Father to us through Himself. Asking this all in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen!

An Ambassador for Jesus Christ

Leith Lyman Cunningham

leithcunningham2@hotmail.com

Something about fire

Fire is an interesting part of life on this earth. It can be both a positive and a negative force to be reckoned with. It can cook our meals, warm our homes, be a pleasant thing as a campfire to sit around with our families and loved ones. Without fire our lives would be cold, miserable and intolerable in the Michigan winters where I live. I spent a winter as a combat soldier on the frontlines of Korea. Watching comrades fighting and dying in the rice paddies and frozen mountains there. In forty and fifty degrees below zero weather. Without proper clothing and not being allowed to build any fires. So we can readily agree that fire serves a necessary and needed service to mankind when it is being used in a beneficial way to bring those results about. But on the other hand fire can also hurt and destroy and bring all sorts of calamity upon mankind. There are many accounts such as the Chicago fire, the San Francisco earth quakes aftermath, as well as the disaster that hit Tokyo, Japan during the year of 1923. Because the earthquake struck at lunchtime when many people were cooking meals over fire, many people died as a result of many large fires that broke out. 

Some fires developed into firestorms that swept across cities. Many people died when their feet became stuck in melting tarmac. The single greatest loss of life was caused by a firestorm-induced fire whirl that engulfed open space at the Rikugun Honjo Hifukusho (formerly the Army Clothing Depot) in downtown Tokyo, where about 38,000 people were incinerated after taking shelter there following the earthquake. The earthquake broke water mains all over the city, and putting out the fires took nearly two full days until late in the morning of September 3. It is estimated that 140,000 people were killed and 447,000 houses were destroyed by the fire alone.[10] A strong typhoon struck Tokyo Bay at about the same time as the earthquake. Some scientists, including C.F. Brooks of the United States Weather Bureau, suggested that the opposing energy exerted by a sudden decrease of atmospheric pressure coupled with a sudden increase of sea pressure by a storm surge on an already-stressed earthquake fault, known as the Sagami Trough, may have triggered the earthquake. Winds from the typhoon caused fires off the coast of Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture to spread rapidly. 

The Emperor and Empress were staying at Nikko when the earthquake struck Tokyo and were never in any danger.[11] Many homes were buried or swept away by landslides in the mountainous and hilly coastal areas in western Kanagawa Prefecture, killing about 800 people. A collapsing mountainside in the village of Nebukawa, west of Odawara, pushed the entire village and a passenger train carrying over 100 passengers along with the railway station into the sea. A tsunami with waves up to 10 metres (33 ft) high struck the coast of Sagami Bay, Boso Peninsula, Izu Islands and the east coast of Izu Peninsula within minutes. The tsunami killed many, including about 100 people along Yui-ga-hama beach in Kamakura and an estimated 50 people on the Enoshima causeway. Over 570,000 homes were destroyed, leaving an estimated 1.9 million homeless. Evacuees were transported by ship from Kanto to as far as Kobe in Kansai.[12] The damage is estimated to have exceeded USD$1 billion (or about $13,641 billion today).[citation needed] There were 57 aftershocks. Altogether the earthquake and typhoon killed an estimated 99,300 people, and another 43,500 went missing.

Let us consider the fire of God

Fire fits also in the plan of God in bringing all of mankind up to His own level of immortal, spirit life. To have life exactly like He and His Son Jesus Christ have life. The scriptures tell us that, “Our God is a consuming fire.” We can see that there is indeed many interesting aspects of fire that have need to be explained to us. And that is especially so as we consider the spiritual side of fire. Orthodox Christianity, mainstream Christianity, our present religious order known as the Babylon of confusion, have it all so mixed up and turned upside down, that it becomes a puzzle of great magnitude, when it need not be at all. How happy and delighted I am whenever I come across someone who has the mind, ability and energy to remove the fear and dread of the use of fire in the plan of God in bringing all of mankind into His kingdom, to have eternal life and to live on forever in peace and harmony, without sorrow, pain or fear. I post the following writing that just today came to my attention. I hope it uplifts, motivates and encourages you as it has me. Universal Salvation to me is an indisputable fact and should be known and understood by all true Christians. And it for certain will be so within the church that Christ is building that the gates of hell will not prevail against. Jesus Christ cannot and will not use anyone to rule with Him during the thousand year rule in the millennium, whom refuse to believe the words of truth He recorded in this area.

Leith Lyman Cunningham

Bible Threatenings Explained by J. W. Hanson, D.D. entered into electronic format April, 1997 by Audrey Cole

Bible Threatenings Explained;

or, Passages of Scripture Sometimes Quoted to Prove Endless Punishment
Shown to Teach Consequences of Limited Duration.

(Showing that Christian universalism, or ultimate reconciliation is the true Biblical doctrine)

by J. W. Hanson, D.D.

FIRE

The word "Fire" is employed in the Bible; sometimes it is to be understood literally, and at other times it is emblematic of God's judgments. It is made synonymous with punishment in Matt. xxv. The wicked nations are sent into a fire that is called "everlasting punishment." This "everlasting punishment" we shall hereafter show to be reformatory. The fire prepared for "the devil and his angels" is equivalent to the punishment to which they were sent.

"OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE."

This language (Heb. xii:29) is usually misread thus: "God out of Christ is a consuming fire." but it must not be supposed that the unchangeable God, he who is "the same, yesterday, to-day, and forever, " "without variableness or the shadow of turning," is modified for better or for worse, in any mode of his manifestation to man. What God is in Christ he is, and ever must be, out of Christ. He "is a consuming fire" always and everywhere. But this fact does not render God forbidding, repulsive, when we understand it. There is no relation sustained by our heavenly Father, no figure by which he may properly be represented, that can be understood, without inspiring impulses of gratitude and joy in the mind that comprehends the truth presented.

"God is Love," therefore is the consuming, unquenchable fire of infinite and divine love. He cannot, therefore, be anything else than love to his children, and what the fire of human love is in the heart of a human parent, the fire of God's love is in him, only multiplied by infinity.

Trace this sacred element from its lowest manifestation in the heart of reptile or brute, up through its holy of holies in the breast of the human mother, and onward up to God himself, and it has but one purpose, and that is to cherish its object, and to destroy all that would harm that object. God is a consuming fire towards his children--but it is the fire of love and not of hate. George MacDonald well says: "Nothing is inexorable but love. For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Therefore all that is not beautiful in the beloved, all that comes between and is not of love's kind, must be destroyed. 'Our God is a consuming fire.' It is the nature of love, so terribly pure that it destroys all that is not pure. It is not that the fire will burn us if we do not worship God, but that the fire will burn us until we worship thus; yea, that will go on within us, after all that is foreign to us has yielded to its force, no longer with pain and consuming, but as the highest consciousness of life, the presence of God." It is not because God hates us, but because he loves us, that he will burn towards us by all the disciplinary processes needful, until he has burned away that sin in us which is contrary to his nature and hurtful to us.

HE IS A "REFINER'S FIRE"

He burns to purify. "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." Could the melting metal feel, how might it misunderstand the process through which it is passing. The unrelenting fire burns beneath the crucible, and the dirty, unsightly ore becomes like liquid light, and circulates as useful coin, and sparkles on the fingers of happy brides, and shines on the sceptres of kings, and in the coronets of queens. And all because the severe and purifying fire of the refiner has tried it. Inasmuch as the consuming fire of God is refining, we learn that it only destroys the dross of sin, and leaves the spiritual gold, the immortal soul, unscathed and pure when its blessed work is finished.

GOD'S JUDGMENTS LIKE FIRE.

Many phenomena are feared because not understood. The savage thinks thunder the voice of an angry deity, when it is the rolling of God's chariots as they carry health and life throught the air. Because fire is sometimes the author of apparent calamity, its beneficent character is lost sight of. It is the right hand of civilization. Its chief office is not destruction, but service. In fact, it destroys nothing. It decomposes substances, releasing constituents from existing relations, but all the elements remain intact, undiminished. Every particle in a substance burned exists still, and is ready to be taken up again in new forms. If we burn a stick of wood, and carefully preserve the smoke and the ashes, we shall find that they weigh a little more than the wood weighed--just as much more as the oxygen weighed that combined with the flame in the process of combustion. The ultimate particles are all preserved, not one disturbed or changed from its original form and size, and they are released by fire that they may go out into the great laboratory of nature, to be again employed in new forms of utility and beauty. Science declares that the ultimate particles of which all substances are composed are like microscopical bricks; they never lose form or identity, but, let loose from any combination by fire, or otherwise, they are ready to be again taken up in other forms. Destruction is a mere incident in the biography of fire--a preliminary process; fire is the great emblem of purity.

When, therefore, we read in the Scripture that God's processes of dealing with his children resemble fire, or that he is a fire, we must remember these characteristics, and interpret the allusion in the light of scientific facts. If fire never destroys an atom of the material universe; if fire is only a process by which God is reconstructing his universe, why should men imagine that God's moral fires are other than healthful and beneficial in the moral world? It need not be claimed that the authors of the Scriptures were familiar with these facts, but we shall find that they so far perceived the office of fire as to use it accurately. Thus: "For thou, oh God, hast proved us; thou hast tried us as silver is tried; we went through fire and through water, but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place."--Ps. lxvi:10-12. Silver is tried that its impurities may be purged away. The hotter the furnace, the more certain is the precious ore to be purified. Again: "Who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."--Mal. iii:2,3.

God's consuming fire refines, purifies, and purges away the dross of sin. Hence says the apostle: "Every man's work shall be made manifest for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire."--I Cor. iii:13-15. The exacting love of God, demanding purity, can do no less than destroy all that is opposed to the purity and happiness of its object. Thus "everlasting fire," the "furnace of fire," "consuming fire," "unquenchable fire," and all the forms in which fire figures in the Bible as an emblem of God's dealings with men, denote the severe but kindly and disciplinary character of God's judgments. There is always a beneficent purpose in all God's dealings with men. Divine love is seeking and securing by severe processes, sometimes as though by fire, the welfare of those towards whom the flame burns. "The holy flame forever burneth, From heaven it came, to heaven returneth." When Universalists say, "God is Love," and others reply, "Yes, but he is also a consuming fire," our reply should be, "No, he is Love and a consuming fire," The two terms are not contradictory but synonymous. Nothing precious will perish or permanently suffer from the consuming fire of God. Sin, error, evil, will perish; but the soul will come forth from the conflagration purified as silver is purified, perfectly reflecting its Maker's image as it never can until the impurities of time are consumed, and it returns to that purity it had when it came from the hand of that being in whose image every human soul is created.

UNQUENCHABLE FIRE.

"He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."--Matt. iii"12 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched; where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."--Mark ix:43,44.

Many suppose that the words "unquenchable fire" mean a fire of endless duration, whereas, it is a fire that cannot be quenched until its puepose is accomplished. Says Dr. Paige: "When a house is destroyed by fire, the fire, strictly speaking, is unquenchable, because no effort that is made could extinguish it; but no one would allege that it would never expire of itself." Dr. Hammond, a very judicious commentator, says: "They put fire to the chaff at the windward side, that creeps on and never gives over, till it hath consumed all the chaff, and so is a kind of asbeston pur, here, a fire never quenchable, till it have done its work."--Com. on Matt. iii:12.

The Old Testament shows the application of the figure of fire burning chaff: Job says, the wicked are "as chaff that the storm carrieth away," xxxv:5, xxi:18. See also Psalms. Isaiah v:24. xvii:13. xxix:5. xxxiii:14. xli:15. The Jewish nation, which was about to be destroyed, was represented by chaff, reserved for destruction, as it was in Matt. iii:10, by the tree which was to be hewn down and cast into the fire. The fire by which the Jews were destroyed was the fire of divine judgment: and as it did its work effectually, so it was unquenchable. It is for this reason that the punishment and destruction of the Jews are described in the Old Testament as being effected by unquenchable fire. See Isaiah lxvi:23-24. "And it shall come to pass from one new moon to another, and fromone Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."

The unquenchable fire here spoken of is in this world, as is evident from the phrase "new moon" and "Sabbath." Again, Jer. xvii:27. "But if you will not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on theSabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched." Fire kindled in the gates of Jerusalem, which devoured the palaces of Jerusalem, is said to be unquenchable. Ezek. xx:45 "Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; and say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the Lord:--Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree, the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therin. And all flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it; it shall not be quenched." Here the forests are devoured in an unquenchable fire. The meaning is, not that the fire was endless, but that it was not quenched,--it continued to burn--until all the material was destroyed. So the judgments of God on the Jews were effectually done--the nation was completely devastated and destroyed. They were like chaff of the Summer threshing floor in the consuming fire of God's judgment.

The phrase unquenchable fire, is found in six places in the New Testament. Matt. iii:12. Luke iii:17. Mark ix:43,44,45 and 46. In all of these passages the phrase should be quenchless fire. The Greek word asbestos, unquenchable, inextinguishable, is the original term in all the passages, verses 44 and 46 in Mark having the verb form, sbennutai. What does it mean? That the fire was never to expire, literally, or that nothing could extinguish it till it accomplished its purpose? The usage of the word will determine. How did Greek authors at the time of Christ employ it? Josephus says, [Jewish War, B. ii, ch. xvii:6.] speaking of a fire that used to burn in the temple--though at the time he wrote [A.D.80] it had gone out, and the temple was destroyed--"Every one was accustomed to bring wood for the altar, that fuel might never be needed for the fire, for it continued always unquenchable." Strabo, [A.D. 70} described the "unquenchable lamp" that used to burn in the Parthenon, though it has long since ceased to burn. [Lib. ix: p. 606.] Plutarch, {A.D. 110} in Numa, [p. 262] speaks of places in Delphi and Athens, "where there is a fire unquenchable," (asbeston) though in the same breath he describes it as having ceased to burn.

Eusebius, [A.D]325, Eccl. Hist. Lib. vi, chap. 41] in his account of the martyrdom of Cronon and Julian, at Alexandria, says they were "consumed in unquenchable fire, asbesto puri," though it burned only long enough to destroy their bodies. In the Scriptures an unquenchable fire is one that cannot be extinguished until it has fulfilled its purpose. Lev. vi: 12-13, "And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out."

Now this fire was long ago extinguished, and yet it was "never to go out." So we read in Isa. xxxiv:9-10, "And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever; from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever." This language is all figurative; the unquenchable fire has long since expired.

These passages and extracts suffice to exhibit the Biblical and common usage of this term. In all cases it denotes fire of temporal duration. Of course our Savior used the words in the same sense in which they had always been employed. God's judgments are denoted by fire in frequent passages: "For there is a fire gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon; it hath consumed Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon." Num. xxi:28. David represents the judgments of God upon the wicked in this life: "A fire goeth before him and burneth up his enemies round about." Psalms xcvii:3. God is spoken of as a "consuming fire." because he brought judgments upon the disobedient and sinful. In the prophecy of Isaiah, the destruction of Babylon is spoken of under the same figure: "Behold they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them: they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame." Isaiah xlvii:14. "He is a God that judgeth in the earth." Psalms lvii:11. Paul uses nearly the same language that Moses employed when addressing the children of Israel, Deut. iv:24. "For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God."

Stuart says: "In the valley of Hinnom (gehenna,) perpetual fire was kept up, in order to consume the offal which was deposited there; and, as the same offal would breed worms, hence came the expression--where their worm dieth not and their fire is not quenched." Dr. Parkhurst adds" Our Lord seems to allude to the worms which continually preyed on the dead carcasses that were cast out into the valley of Hinnom, (gehenna), and to the perpetual fire, kept up to consume them." The idea of endless duration was not in the minds of the authors of these terms. They used the language to denote either literal fire that should burn until its object was accomplished, or as an emblem of divine judgments, thorough but limited. Canon Farrar, in "Eternal Hope," "Consequences of Sin," says: "The exression 'quenchless fire,'--for the phrase 'that never shall be quenched,' is a simplemistranslation--is taken from Is. lxvi:24, and is purely a figure of speech, as it is there, or as it is in Homer's Iliad, xvi:123." In his Appendix to the volume he observes: "it was in answer to the bitter taunt of Celsus, that the God of the Christians kindled a fire in which all but the Christians should be burned, that Origen first argued that the fire should possess a purifying quality (katharsion) for all those who had in themselves any materials for it to consume. All, even Peter and Paul, must pass through this fire (Isa. xliii:2) and ordinary sinners must remain in it till purged. It is in fact, a baptism of fire, at the resurrection, for those who had not received effectually the baptism of the spirit (Peri Arkon i:6, Cels. vi:26; Hom. in Psalm iii:1; in Jer. ii:3; in Ezek. i:13). It was not a material fire, but self-kindled, like an eternal fever. It was in fact remorse for remembered sin, a 'figurative representation of the moral process by which restoration shall be effected.'"

FURNACE OF FIRE.

The phrase "furnace of fire," occurs in these passages in the old Testament: Deut. iv:20: "But the Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace,even out of Egypt." I Kings viii:51: "For they be thy people, and thine inheritance which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron." Jer. xi:4: "Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace." Isa. xxxi:9: "Saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem." Isa. xiviii:10. "Behold I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Ezek. xxii:18-21: "Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it, so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you."

The Savior had this usage in his mind, and conveyed the same thought, namely, the approaching woes on his country and race in the only places where we find the same language in the New Testament. Matt.xiii:41,42: "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; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Verse 50: "And shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." It is nowhere said that God has a furnace in eternity, in which to burn souls. His furnace was in Jerusalem, Isa.xxxi:9. At the end of that age, (aion) Jesus said: "The Son of Man shall send forth his angels (messengers), and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

This was all fulfilled when Jerusalem was destroyed.

ETERNAL FIRE

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Jude 7. 2Pet. ii:6. For an exposition of the phrase "eternal fire," see hereafter in this volume. The cities referred to by Jude are a perpetual example. Their fire has long since expired, but their example still remains, it is one perpetually before the world. The fire is eternal, though it was long since extinguished. By the phrase eternal fire, according to Rosenmuller we may understand a destructive fire, such as laid waste and annihiliated the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, or we may understand by it a fire perpetually smoking. Philo, the Jew, who wrote in the time of our Savior, says, de vita Mosis, Lib. II. p. 662 A, that even then there were memorials to be seen in Syria of the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah; ruins, ashes, brimstone, smoke and lurid flames which were still emitted, indicative of abiding fire. With this agrees the Book of Wisdom, x:7, which says: "Of whose wickedness even in this day the waste land that smoketh is a testimony." Dr. Shaw (see Clarke's Com. on Genesis xix: 24), says that "the appearance of smoke and fire of which he speaks, and to which Philo and the author of Wisdom allude, is undoubtedly to be explained by the well known existence of bituminous matter in the bed of the lake Asphaltites, which now occupies the site of those cities. These considerations are sufficient to justify the language of Jude, without resorting to the idea that he had reference to the future world." Similar language is found in Matt. xviii:8. "Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire." Similar to the foregoing is the use of the phrases:

"WHEAT AND CHAFF," "AXE," ETC.

"And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire....Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into his garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."--Matthew iii:10-12.

"Every tree that brigheth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."--Matthew vii:19.

"And also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire....Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into the garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable."--Luke iii:9-17. John here announces a calamity about to come on the Jewish people. The trees were the Jewish people, the axe the cause of their overthrow. Such is the use of these terms in the Old Testament. See Isa. xl:24; Jer. x:2-3: xxi:6-8. We need only quote the latter passage to illustrate the Old Testament usage.

"For thus saith the Lord unto the king's house of Judah: Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. And I will prepare destroyers against thee, everyone with his weapons; and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire. And many nations shall pass by the city, and they shall say every man to his neighbor. Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city?" Ortrhodox commentators of all chuirches apply this language to this world. "We risk little in referring this to the Roman power and armies, which, as an axe, most vehemently cut away the very existence of the Jewish polity and state."--Calmet. "By the axe being now laid to the root of the tree, may fitly be understood, first, the certainty of their desolation; and second, the nearness, in that the instrument of their destruction was already prepared, and brought close to them; the Romans that should ruin their city and nation, being already masters and rulers over them."--Lightfoot.

"It was customary with the prophets to represent the kingdoms, nations and individuals whose ruin they predicted, under the notion of forests and trees, doomed to be cut down. See Jer. xlvi:22, 23: Ezek. xxxi:3-11, 12. The Baptist employs the same metaphor. The Jewish nation is the tree, and the Romans the axe, which, by the just judgment of God, was speedily to cut it down."--Dr. A. Clarke. "In this whole verse (the 12th,) the destruction of the Jewish state is expressed in the terms of husbandmen; and by the wheat being gathered into the garner, seems meant, that the believers in Jesus should not be involved in that calamity."--Bishop Pearce.

"The Romans are here termed God's fan, as in verse 10, they are called his axe, and in chapter xxii. 7, they are termed his troops or armies. His floor--does not this mean the land of Judea, which had been long, as it were, the threshing floor of the lord? God says, he will now, by the winnowing fan, (viz: the Romans,) thoroughly cleanse his floor--the wheat--those who believe in the Lord Jesus, he will gather into his garner--either take to heaven from the evil to come, or put in a place of safety, as he did the Christians, by sending them to Pella, in Coelosyria, previously to the destruction of Jerusalem. But He will burn up the chaff--the disobedient and rebellious Jews, who would not come unto Christ that they might have life.'--Dr. Adam Clarke.

FIRE AND BRIMSTONE.

Fire and Brimstone, only mentioned in Revelation in the New Testament, though it is frequently found in the Old, is always used as an emblem of earthly calamities. Job xviii:15: "Brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation." Ps. xi:6: "upon the wicked he shall reign snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: and this shall be the portion of their cup." Isa. xxxiv:9-10: "and the streams thereof (Idumea) shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it forever and ever." The revelator says the beast and false prophet were cast alive into the lake, (Rev. xix:20), and that they were tormented day and night, showing that the calamities referred to are in this world. The "Lake" belongs with the "pale horse," "the beast" and other imagery in this remarkable composition; undoubtedly it has reference to the destruction soon to befall the Jewish nation, of which Revelation seems to be a prophecy.

The distinguished author Chas. Kingsley, writes: ("Letters") "Fire and Worms, whether physical or spiritual, must in all logical fairness be supposed to do what fire and worms do, viz: destroy decayed and dead matter, and set free its elements to enter into new organisms; that as they are beneficent and purifying agents in this life, they must be supposed such in the future life, and that the conception of fire as an engine of torture, is an unnatural use of that agent and not to be attributed to God without blasphemy, unless you suppose that the suffering (like all which he inflicts) is intended to teach man something which he cannot learn elsewhere. * * *

"Finally, you may call upon them to rejoice that there is a fire of God the Father whose name is love, burning forever unquenchable to destroy out of every man's heart, and out of the hearts of all nations, and off the physical and moral world, all which offends and makes a lie. That into that fire the Lord will surely cast all shams, lies, hypocrisies, tyrannies, pedantries, false doctrines, yea and the men who love them too well to give them up, that the smoke of their basanismos (i.e.) the torture which makes men confess the truth, for that is the real meaning of it; (basanismos meaning the touchstone by which gold was tested) may ascend perpetually for a warning and a beacon to all nations, as the smoke of the torment of French aristocracies, and Bourbon dynasties, is ascending up to Heaven, and has been since 1793." It may be added that, if endless fire were taught, something more durable than "chaff" would be named as fuel.( end quote )

Because of this writers willingness to drill down to the truth and present it here for myself and others to become better acquainted with the wonderful truth that God would have us know, I have gained a little more understanding of the plan of God before the world bagan. I hope this might take the edge off the fear of fire that God is using to bring each one of us up to His own level of eternal and everlasting life. My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we have shown here how the fire of God works in our lives. It is nothing to fear or to dread as the Babylon of confusion has led you to believe. It is a necessary tool used by our Father God and His Christ to bring us all into His kingdom as immortal, spirit beings. We have been given a glimpse of a precious truth that few have been led to grasp and to hang on too. Being fed from the table of demons and our failure to come out of Babylon has kept us locked into deception.

The disastrous and devastating effects of literal fire on the lives of the inhabitants of our world are far reaching and have been documented since the beginning of time. It then can be a most fearful and ugly experience for mankind to be subjected to, through out the history of the world. The bible records times past where the pagan celebration called Saturnalia, in honor of their sun god Saturn, burned their own precious little children alive in fire to this pagan god. To coax him back in the springtime to warm the ground for a good planting season and later on a good fall harvest season. It was a week long celebration where all law was canceled out and evil, drunkenness and debauchery of every kind was allowed. This all took place around the 25th of December. A few centuries later a fledgling Christianity comes on the scene and in a short matter of time under the influence of Satan the devil on the Christian church, ( the Babylon of confusion ), they begin to develop a plan to bring pagans into their fold.

They appropriate the name of Christ and attach it to this pagan festival and rename it Christmas. Allowing the pagans to continue celebrating it in the custom, ritual and tradition they had become accustomed to doing. Reasoning that it would eventually draw them into Christianity. Instead the Christians took on the custom, ritual and traditions of the pagans. To this day celebrating the 25th of December, the old Saturnalia festival, now with the name of Christ attached to it as the supposed birthday of Jesus Christ. An abomination to God who never authorized or commanded it, or intended a celebration of the birth of His Son. But Satan the devil was created by God to be an adversary to Himself and to all of mankind. He continues on doing his job as an adversary to complete perfection. Leading mankind and Christianity far away from the truth of God, and into all sorts of false beliefs.

All of the fear and dread of literal fire was a natural windfall for Satan when it came time to influence and lead mankind astray from the truth of the symbolic fire of God as opposed to being a literal fire. Satan has so instilled the fear of literal fire within the hearts, mind and body of mankind to have them believe without question that God is going to cause most all of mankind to suffer endless punishment in the literal flames of hell for trillions upon trillions of years without one second of relief. It is for this reason that it becomes so important for us all to grasp onto the truth of the symbolic fire of God that serves only a good purpose in His plan for all of us. Satan has so infected and instilled this fear within mankind, those remaining in the Babylon of confusion, that they being paralyzed in such great fear cannot believe and accept the wonderful truth of Universal Salvation. That God has planned for all of mankind before the world began. In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; ( Titus 1:2 ) Please read and accept the wonderful truth written down here for all of our admonition. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Our failure to realize and to believe the Word of God telling us that Satan is the god of this present evil world. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. ( 2nd Corinthians 4:4 ) Will soon if not being careful and alert, will drag us right back into being fed from the table of demons that has been our diet for so long. And then having not received the love of the truth, God will send us strong delusion that we should believe a lie. ( 2nd Thessalonians 2:11 ) Good seed has been sown here in your God given mind and heart, do not allow Satan to come along and take it away from you again. It is out of love and concern for my fellowman that I bring these important truths in front of your eyes. It’s not by any accident that you find yourself reading these words. God who knows the end from the beginning is in total control of everything and all of the time. May this be a light in your mind that opens up a spark that will grow to a blinding and blazing flash of illumination of more of His truth.

Leith Lyman Cunningham

leithcunningham2@hotmail.com