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In Matthew chapter ten, we find Jesus instructing his twelve disciples before sending them out on a preaching mission. In the instructions that he gives them, there is much wise counsel and guidance as well as a prophetical section, verses 17 to 25, along with guidance and encouragement peculiar to what he prophesied that they would experience. Let us look at a few of the points that he made, examining our ownselves as to where we stand in relation to them. (2 Cor. 13:5.) If we come up on the negative side of the ledger, then it is of the utmost importance that we correct the situation for "the Lord is at hand." Phil. 4:5.
Consider meditatively what Jesus says in verses 32-33: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." (See Luke 12:8,9) The word for "therefore" is, "OUN, therefore, then, (marking the logical or formal inference; used in arguing, exhortation, interrogation, to resume an interrupted subject, and to indicate mere transition from one thing to another." Bullinger page 780. In other words, what he is about to say is a logical development from what he has already said. He has already prophesied what was going to happen to his disciples after his exaltation to the right hand of the Father indicating that tremendous efforts would be made by the authorities to stop their preaching efforts (verses 17-20), that even their families would show animosity towards them (verse 21), that they would experience a great amount of hatred (verse 22), and that they should not expect and would not receive any better treatment then he himself received (verses 23-25). He exhorts them not to fear them but to preach in a positive bold forthright manner. (verses 26-27) He exhorts them not to fear those who could kill them, but not keep them in the grave, but fear the Deity who not only can kill them, but never grant them life again. (verse 28) Note that he literally says "to destroy in gehenna" the symbol of absolute destruction to all who are refused entrance into the kingdom. "GEENNA only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 5:22 "hell" -- But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Jesus says that those who charge a brother with being a fool shall be in danger of gehenna's fire.
Matt. 5:29 "hell" -- And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Jesus exhorts the brethren to symbolically crucify the flesh so that they do not end up being cast into gehenna.
Matt. 5:30 "hell" -- And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Same as Matt. 5:29: Note the word perish associated with gehenna.
Matt. 10:28 "hell" -- And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Complete destruction by the Deity = "destroy both soul and body in gehenna." Note verse 8 "aionian fire" equated with being "cast into gehenna of fire" in verse 9.
Matt. 18:9 "hell" -- And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Note opposite of entering "into life" is being "cast into gehenna of fire."
Matt. 23:15 "hell" -- Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
The proselytes of the scribes and Pharisees were more wicked and corrupt than their teachers and, therefore, much more worthier of destruction. Thus the typical Hebrew idiom is used "a son of gehenna." See margin 1 Sam. 20:31 "shall surely die."
Matt. 23:33 "hell" -- Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Jesus warns the Pharisees and scribes that they could not escape the condemnation of gehenna in their present state of unbelief.
Mark 9:43 "hell" -- 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:
Same as Matt. 18:9 -- And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Note citation of Is. 66:24 in verses 44 and 48. Same as Matt. 5:30 -- And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Mark 9:45 "hell" -- And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Same as Matt. 18:9 -- And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Mark 9:47 "hell" -- And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: (Same as Matt. 18:9; and same as Matt.5:29)
Luke 12:5 "hell" -- But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. (Same as Matt. 10:28)
James 3:6 "hell" -- And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
James figuratively says that the tongue "is set on fire of gehenna." In other words, the carnal mind which is only fitted for destruction guides the tongue into evil speech and causing evil which will only be destroyed.Thus the symbol of destruction is placed for the carnal mind which will be destroyed.
Both Bullinger and Rotherham connect it with the Hebrew for the valley of hinnom showing that it apparently is derived right from it. As is obvious, the valley of Hinnom is the name of an actual geographical location. It can be found in the following passages: Josh. 15:8; 18:16; 2 Kgs. 23:10; 2 Chron. 28:3; 33:6; Neh. 11:30; Jer. 7:31,32; 19:2,6; 32:35. Upon examining these passages, such as 2 Kgs. 23:10, we find out that Topheth was located in this valley of Hinnom as well. It occurs in the following passages of the Old Testament:
2 Kgs. 23:10 -- And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.
Jer. 7:31,32 -- And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.
Jer. 19:6,11,12, 13, 14 -- Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.
And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof. And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them. Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee, And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury.
Apparently, a related word, according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, occurs in Is. 30:33 in reference to "a place of cremation" #8613 Strong's. This place of cremation is prepared for the latter-day Assyrian which comes against Israel. We will see how beautifully all of this connects when we notice Jesus' use of "gehenna" in his various discourses. Notice the following points he makes about it:
1.) It is the judgment poured out upon those that are guilty of a wicked use of their tongue:
Matt. 5:22 -- But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Compare James 3:6 - the whole chapter also).
2.) It is the judgment poured out upon those who have not symbolically crucifyied the carnal mind or sin-in-the-flesh and all its evil manifestations through the body:
Matt. 5:29,30 -- And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Matt. 5:18-19 -- For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mark 9:43-48 -- 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 their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
3.) It is the judgment poured out upon the disbelieving scribes and Pharisees and their proselytes: Matt. 23:15,23 -- Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves... Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
4.) It is the judgment poured out upon those who fearing to witness for Christ because of persecution deny him:
Matt. 10:28 -- And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Luke 12:5 -- But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
5.) Notice that "to be cast into fire" in Matt. 18:9 is literally, "to be cast into the gehenna of the fire." Thus it is the place belonging to or characterized with the fire of judgment.
6.) Notice that such terms as "should perish" (Matt. 5:29,30) and "to destroy" (Matt. 10:28) occur in conjunction with Geheena. They come from "APOLLUMI, to destroy, cause to perish ... to be utterly and finally ruined and destroyed, to be lost, brought to nought, put to death." Bullinger page 581.
It occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 10:39 "shall lose ... that loseth" -- He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
He that does what is necessary to save his life in time of trouble will lose it, as far as Jesus is concerned, but he who willingly lays down his life rather then deny Jesus will find life when Jesus returns.
Matt. 10:42 "shall ... lose" -- And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
He who gives aid to the followers of Jesus will not lose his reward.
Matt. 15:24 "lost" -- But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Jesus states that he was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel. In other words, he was sent to save them because as far as an eternal future was concerned apart from him they were as good as dead.
Matt. 16:25 "shall lose ... will lose" -- For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
(Same as Matt. 10:39.) In verses 26 and 27, Jesus says what good is it if you gain the world and lose your life because nothing can be given in exchange for your life: you can not buy salvation. Remember Jesus, as the son of man, will return with the glory of the Father and with his angels and reward every man according to his works.
Matt. 18:11 "which was lost" Jesus states that the son of man is come to save that which was lost. See 2 Pet. 3:9 -- 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. (Compare Luke 12:32 -- Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.)
Matt. 18:14 "should perish" -- Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
It is not the will of the Father that one of His children should perish.
Matt. 21:42 "will ... destroy" -- Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
In the parable of the householder it is clearly stated that the wicked will be destroyed.
Matt. 22:7 "destroyed" -- But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
In the parable of the King who made a marriage feast for his son, those who abused or murdered His servants were destroyed.
Mark 8:35 "shall lose ... shall lose" -- For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
(Same as Matt. 18:11.) Matt. 16:26 is similar to Mark 8:36,37. In verse 38, Jesus says whoever was ashamed of him and his words in this adulterous and sinful generation of him also shall the son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Mark 9:41 "shall ... lose" -- For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. (Same as Matt. 10:42.)
Mark 12:9 "destroy" -- What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. (Same as Matt. 21:41.)
Luke 9:24 "shall lose ... will lose" -- For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. (Same as Matt. 18:11 and Mark 8:35.) Verse 26 same as Mark 8:38.
Luke 9:25 "and lose" -- For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
(Similar to Matt. 16:25 and Mark 8:36.) Rhetorical question: What is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? The obvious answer is nothing.
Luke 13:3,5 "shall ... perish" -- I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish... I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Jesus told the Jews that unless they repented they would perish just like the Galileans Pilate had killed.
Luke 15:4 "if ... lose ... which is lost" -- What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
The shepherd with a hundred sheep will leave the 99 to go after and find the one that was lost.
Luke 15:6 "which was lost" -- And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
The good shepherd rejoices over the finding of the sheep that was lost and is now found: the reason is that he saved him from perishing.
Luke 15:8 "lose" -- Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
The woman who had ten pieces of silver if she loses one piece will seek diligently to find it until she does.
Luke 15:9 "had lost" -- And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
The woman then rejoices when she has found that which was lost: The reason is because it has been saved from perishing.
Luke 15:17 "perish" -- And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
The prodigal son decides his father is merciful and will thus not allow his repentant son to perish.
Luke 15:24,32 "lost" -- For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry... It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
The prodigal son says of His son: This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. Thus dead and lost is contrasted with alive and found.
Luke 17:27,29 "destroyed" -- They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all... But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
The people in Noah's day were destroyed and the people in Sodom were destroyed and the warning to us in the latter-days is that conditions will be the same so don't perish like them along with all those who will perish by Divine judgment.
Luke 17:33 "shall lose ... shall lose" -- Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. (Same as Matt. 10:39.)
Luke 20:16 "destroy" -- He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. (Same as Matt. 21:41.)
John 3:15,16 "should ... perish" -- That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 6:39 "should lose" -- And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Those who the Father gave Jesus would not perish but be raised again at the last day.
John 10:28 "shall ... perish" -- And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
His sheep would be given aionian life and, therefore, would never perish or be destroyed.
John 12:25 "shall lose" -- He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (Same as Matt. 10:39.)
Rom. 2:12 "shall ... perish" -- For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law, that is the lawless sinners will perish at the judgment seat of Christ. Rejection of God's law means that you will not have the benefits of that law in the Day of judgment and so will perish.
Rom. 14:15 "Destroy" -- But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
Exhorted not to cause the destruction of a weak brother by a liberty that we believe we have.
1 Cor. 1:18 "perish" -- For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
The word (or Logos) of the cross is foolishness to the worldly wise that perish.
1 Cor. 8:11 "shall ... perish" -- And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? (Similar to Rom. 14:15.)
1 Cor. 15:18 "are perished" -- Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
If Christ is not risen from the dead, then those who have fallen asleep in him have perished: that is they will never come forth from the grave.
2 Cor. 2:15 "that perish" -- For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
In verse 16, a parallelism occurs to verse 15: life is contrasted with death. Therefore, saved and life are contrasted with perish and death. -> Saved = life, and perish = death.
2 Cor. 4:3 "that are lost" -- But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
If the gospel is hid, then it is hid to them that are lost.
2 Thess. 2:10 "that perish" -- And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
A portrait of the development of the Papacy and the Babylonian Harlot is given here. Those who love not the truth and accept this system of apostacy will be deluded into believing the system is the True one and will be deceived and perish.
James 4:12 "to destroy" -- There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
One lawgiver that can save or destroy and we are in no position to do that. Saved contrasted with "to destroy."
2 Pet. 3:6 "perished" -- Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
The destruction of the world in Noah's time.
2 Pet. 3:9 "perish" -- 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.
The LORD is longsuffering and does not desire that any should perish. See Matt. 18:14 above (compare to Luke 12:32.)
Jude 5 "destroyed" -- I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
The Deity destroyed those that believed not after having saved them out of Egypt.
Jude 11 "perished" -- Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Jude states of those who had crept in unawares (verse 4) because of following the example of Korah (Dathan and Abiram) have sealed their their fate, that is they were as good as dead just like Korah - PERISHED!
Did you notice that all of the above passages are associated with Divine judgment and that perishing was always the complete antithesis or opposite of life? That is you either received aionian life or immortality, or you were destroyed or perished. When one stops to think of it the complete opposite of life is the cessation of existence! In other words all the manifestations of life, such as thinking, feeling, tasting, touching, hearing, smelling, walking etc. etc., completely comes to a halt. This means that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul and hell fire torment of orthodox Christianity is completely false. Thus, the use of the passages under consideration clearly can not be used to support such specious reasoning on the part of the clergy.
7.) The words "should be cast" in (Matt. 5:29,30) and "to be cast" (in Matt. 18:8,9) (Mark 9:45,47) comes from the Greek word "BALLO, transitive, to throw at or hit, with any kind of missile, strictly opposed to striking, intransitive to fall, tumble." Bullinger page 136. It occurs in the following passages:
Matt. 3:10 "cast" -- 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.
John the Baptist said particularly to the Pharisees and Sadducees that every tree that does not bring forth good fruit will be cut down and thrown into fire. In other words, by a figure of speech, just as wood would be totally destroyed by fire (consumed: nothing left.) so would they: They would totally cease to exist.
Matt. 5:13 "to be cast" -- Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Just as worthless salt is good for nothing and so gotten rid of even so shall be the Deity's treatment of worthless saints.
Matt. 5:29,30 "cast ... should be cast" -- And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
The removal of the wicked from the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and the hitting of them with the subsequent Divine punishment poured out upon the wicked unto their death.
Matt. 7:19 "cast" Jesus' comparable statement to John the Baptist's as recorded in Matt. 3:10.
Matt. 13:42 "shall cast" In the parable, the tares are gathered along with the wheat in the harvest at the end of the world and shall be burned up. In other words, just as the tares are completely destroyed even so shall the wicked be by Divine judgment.
Matt. 13:47,48 "cast" A harvesting of fish from the sea with the good being separated from the bad at the shore and the bad being discarded. Likewise, the gospel draws many people out of the sea of nations and when all reach the shore where judgment is passed upon which are good and which are bad and the bad being gotten rid of. Jesus gives the solution to verses 42, 47 and 48 in verses 49 and 50. He states the wicked will be separated at the end of the world and cast into the furnace of fire, or be destroyed by Divine judgment.
Matt. 13:50 "shall cast" For significance of fire see point 13 below and for significance of furnace, a place of cremation, see point 14 below.
Matt. 18:8,9 "cast ... to be cast" (Similar to Matt. 5:29,30).
Mark 9:45,47 "to be cast" (Similar to Matt. 5:29-30; 18:8,9).
Luke 3:9 "cast" (Same as Matt. 3:10).
Luke 12:49 "to send" compare to Matt. 10:34 "to send ... to send" (Divine judgment poured out upon the earth - Purpose of Jesus' mission.)
John 15:6 "is cast ... cast" Jesus states that those who do not abide in him will be totally destroyed just as completely as a branch is removed from the vine (pruning) and then thrown into the fire and burned.
Rev. 8:5 "cast" The opening of the seventh and the outpouring of Divine judgment upon the Roman earth or empire in answer to the prayers of the saints who were being persecuted by the newly established Roman religion the Catholic Church. The Ostrogoths and Alemanni attacked the Roman Empire.
Rev. 8:7 "were cast" First trumpet: The invasion of Alaric and the Goths A.D.395 - 410.
Rev. 8:8 "was cast" Second trumpet: Genseric and the Vandals A.D. 429 - 477.
Rev. 19:20 "were cast" The beast - Western Europe; the false prophet - the Pope and the Catholic Church who will oppose Christ and the saints will be the recipients of Divine judgment unto their destruction. Thus, Europe will be turned into the figurative Lake of Fire after the example of Sodom. Dan. 7:11; 2 Thess. 1:8; Mal. 4:1,2; Jude 7. (For significance of fire see point 13.) (For significance of Lake of Fire see point 14.)
NOTE: Furnace of fire (Matt. 13:42,50); aionian fire (Matt. 18:8); the gehenna of the fire (Matt. 18:9; Mk. 9:45-48); Lake of fire (Rev. 19:20; 20:10,14,15; 21:8) must all be related ideas and all are representative of Divine judgment poured out upon the wicked which involves their total destruction, and thus, the significance of fire, for mortal man can not live in fire, both at the beginning and the end of the Millenium. Of course, that which takes place at the end of the Millenium sees the end of mortality (No more mortals!) and thus death being swallowed up in victory or being symbolically cast into the Lake of fire. Thus signifying God's judgment being brought to a climax and death figuratively completely destroyed. For further significance of these related terms and ideas see point 14 below.
Rev. 20:3 "cast" The dragon or sin manifested politically will be suppressed, that is, during the Millenium no political opposition will be allowed to develop among the nations permitted to exist under Christ's rule. Thus, independent political thinking in the hearts of the mortal population (the bottomless pit = abyss which comes from a Greek word which means the deep or the opcean which is a typology for the nations.) will be suppressed and mortal men will not be permitted to govern themselves politically. At the end of the Millenium the people will be allowed to do as they please in order to manifest the hidden contents of their hearts. When this is allowed, they will seek to overthrow the political rulership of the saints and there will be a repeat of Divine judgment like that poured out upon the beast and false prophet.
Rev. 20:10 "was cast" Notice that "are" is italicized which means there is no comparable word in the Greek.
Rev. 20:14 "were cast"; 20:15 "was cast" Therefore, the Diaglott renders it as "were cast." (Jude 7; Lam. 4:6.) In verse 14, the lake of fire is clearly defined as death. "This principle is true in regard to both the pre-millenial as well as the post-millenial judgments." "The 'second death' as a term relates to a death from which there shall be no awakening. The 'Lake if Fire' is likened to such an end" page 242 of Apocalypse Epitomised by H. P. Mansfield.
Did you notice that all of these passages are associated with Divine punishment and a number clearly state on the earth? (Matt. 5:13; 10:34; Luke 12:49; Rev. 8:5,7). Did you also notice in how many passages fire occurs? (Matt. 3:10; 7:19; 13:42,50; 10:34; 18:8,9; Mark 9:45,47; Luke 3:9; 12:49; John 15:6; Rev. 8:5,7,8; 19:20; 20:10; 20:14; 20:15.) Also, in point 6 above, fire is associated with Luke 17:29; 2 Pet. 3:7,12; Jude 7. So it would seem that whatever gehenna signifies it must be associated with the earth and Divine punishment.
8.) It is also judgment poured out by the Deity: Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5.
9.) It takes place when others enter the kingdom of the Deity: Mark 9:47.
10.) The entering "into life" is paralleled to the entering into "the kingdom of the Deity: Mark 9:43,45,47.
11.) It is associated with judgment: Matt. 23:33 where "the damnation of hell" should be literally translated, "the judgment of the gehenna."
12.) It is associated with the judgment of the aion or millenium or Kingdom Age: Matt. 18:8,9 where "to be cast into everlasting fire" is literally, "to be cast into aionian fire," and this is paralleled with "to be cast into gehenna of the fire."
13.) I. Fire was used as a means of Divine punishment:
2 Kings 1:10-12
1 Chron. 21:26
2 Chron. 7:1-3
II. Fire was used symbolically of Divine Judgment:
2 Sam. 22:9,13
2 Sam. 23:7
2 Kings 2:11
2 Kings 6:17
2 Thess. 1:8
III. Fire used symbolically as judgment primarily but other figures as well:
1 Cor. 3:13,15
1 Pet. 1:7
2 Pet. 3:7,12
A quick look at the context of the II and III sections will easily convince you that these passages are not talking about literal fire and, therefore, the passages under consideration must be symbolical fires representing Divine judgment because of the parallel nature of subject matter that deals with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the pouring out of judgment upon the earth.
14.) Did you notice that in Mark 9:44 and 48, Isaiah 66:24 is cited? In Isaiah 66, we are given a picture of the Kingdom Age when Israel is restored in the land and worship of the Deity is established throughout the world with Jerusalem as its center. In verses 23 and 24, we are given the following picture which must be connected with the gehenna talked about by Jesus due to his connecting the two: "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Yahweh. And they shall go forth and look upon the carcases 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 a;ll flesh." Thus, we have a picture of a huge pileing of carcases of men who had transgressed against Yahweh as a symbol to all people that flesh is nothing and must not be served but symbolically crucified so that they can then serve Yahweh properly. Thus, the Divine judgment poured out in establishing the Kingdom of the Deity will see an establishment of a monument to the power of the Deity and the weakness and worhtlessness of flesh. You might ask the question, "How did this mound of flesh get there?" Remember what we said about Is. 30:33 earlier: how it related to the destruction of the latter-day Assyrian. Well, here is the point of connection that was talked about! This is where the mound of carcases come from! Assyria is representative of the Gogian host in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, the king of the North of Daniel 11:40-45; the multitudes of nations in Joel chapter 3; and the all nations of Zec.14. (Consider Mic.5:1-15). Of course, this immediately connects with what is said by Ezekiel in his 39th. chapter in verses 11-16 where we read of the burying of the carcases of the Gogian host in a mausoleum or memorial grave (verse 11: the meaning of the Hebrew word for grave.) and forming a city of the dead which will shut the mouths (verse 11 margin) of all who come to worship Yahweh. They will throughly and graphically see the worthlessness and fruitlessness of putting their trust in mere mortal man and realize that the only one that can save them and who is willing to save them (the mortal population) is the very one they had refused to worship before, namely, the Deity of the Universe. Thus Ezekiel says at 39:13 the following: "Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified saith Adonai Yahweh." This is all the more significant when we learn in Jackson's, A Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names, that one possible meaning of the word Hinnom is "Behold Them" (page 42). This is exactly the message that goes out to all mortals then and now! Behold them! See what the might of flesh can accomplish! Behold them! See where disobedient, wayward, wicked mortal men in the height of their success under Gog ends up at! Behold them! Is this the end you desire, or do you desire aionian life and a place in the Deity's Kingdom? Behold them! And then make your decision! Consider the following passages:
2 Chron. 32:8
Resuming where we left off, Jesus encourages his disciples by telling them that Yahweh is aware of the tiny insignificant little sparrows, therefore, they had no need to fear about anything for they were of much greater value then the sparrows. (verses 29-31).
The above brings us to the significance of the use of the word "therefore" in verse 32. As a result of all of the above points if we are willing to remain stedfast under all persecution and trials and tribulations and confess Jesus before all, then he as our High Priest and Mediator, will be faithful in representing us to the Father. What did he mean by the use of the word "confess"? The Greek word for "shall confess" annd "will confess" is, "HOMOLOGEO, to speak or say the same together with another, that is to speak the same language, to say the same things, that is to assent, accord, agree with, hence, to concede, admit, confess. (a) followed by EN, in, to confess in one's case, that is to profess or acknowledge him." Bullinger page 179. "... literally, to speak the same thing (homos, same, lego, to speak), to assent, accord, agree with ... In Matt. 10:32 and Luke 12:8 the construction of this verb with EN, in, followed by the dative case of the personal pronoun, has a special significance, namely, to confess in a person's name, the nature of the confession being determined by the context, the suggestion being to make a public confession. Thus the statement, "every one ... who shall confess Me (literally, in Me, that is, in My case) before men, him (literally, in him, that is, in his case) will I also confess before my Father ...," conveys the thought of confessing allegiance to Christ as one's Master and Lord, and, on the other hand, of acknowledgment, on His part, of the faithful one as being His worshipper and servant, His loyal follower; this is appropriate to the original idea in HOMOLOGEO of being identified in thought or language." Vine's page 224. It only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 7:23 "will I profess" Jesus indicates that at the Judgment Seat to the rejected that he would profess or confess that he never knew them (or knowledge do to experience) and that they should deoart from him.
Matt.10:32 "shall confess ... will I confess" Those who confess or profess unto all that they believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and Savior, then he would acknowledge them before the Father.
Matt. 14:7 "promised" Herod assented or agreed with Salome to give her what she desired with an Oath.
Luke 12:8 "shall confess ... shall ... confess" Jesus would acknowledge before the angels of God whoever would acknowledge him before men. A true blessing to all faithful witnesses.
John 1:20 "confessed ... confessed" John the Baptist acknowledged that he was not the Christ when "the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, who art thou?"
John 9:22 "confess" The Jews had agreed that any one who would acknowledge that Jesus was the Christ then that individual would be put out of the synagogue.
John 12:42 "did not confess" Many chief rulers believed into Jesus but would not confess or acknowledge him for fear of the Pharisees for they would be put out of the synagogue.
Acts 23:8 "confess" The Pharisees acknowledge that there is a resurrection, that there are angels and spirits.
Acts 24:14 "confess" Paul acknowledges that after the way the Jews call heresy he worshipped the God of his fathers believing all things which were written in the law and in the prophets: and have hope toward God.
Rom. 10:9 "shalt confess" In order to be saved, we must: I. acknowledge the Lord Jesus with our mouths and II. believe in our hearts that God hath raised him from the dead.
Rom. 10:10 "confession is made" Paul now states why the above two reasons are valid, namely: I. with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and II. with the mouth acknowledgment is made into salvation.
1 Tim. 6:12 "hast professed" Timothy was to agonize the good agony which he had been called into and which he had acknowledged openly before many witnesses. What he had acknowledged or confessed to is referred to as the good confession.
Titus 1:16 "profess" The defiled and unbelieving acknowledge God in words, but deny him in action.
Heb. 11:13 "confessed" The faithful acknowledged that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Heb. 13:15 "giving thanks" The sacrifice of praise to God continually is the fruit of our lips giving acknowledgment to his name.
1 John 1:9 "confess" If we acknowledge our sins, God will forgive us.
1 John 4:2,3 "confesseth" Every spirit or prophet that acknowledges that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.
1 John 4:15 "shall confess" Every spirit or prophet that does not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God.
2 John 7 "who confess" John states that "many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess (or acknowledge) not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.
After considering the above passages it is quite clear that in order to be saved we must acknowledge him with our mouths as well as believing with the heart into righteousness. (Rom. 10:9,10; Heb. 13:15). The very meaning of our word requires us to assent or agree to all that is contained in the Word of the Deity and be of one mind with it. (1 John 4 and 2 John 7). We must make a good confession before many witnesses of our committment to agonize the good agony (1 Tim. 6:12). We must be willing to acknowledge Jesus Christ and all that he stood for and represented before all, even if they seek our destruction. (Acts 24:14; John 9:22; 12:42; 11:13). If we do that, then he will acknowledge us and our case and that we are his brethren before the Father and the angels of God now as our High Priest and mediator (1 Tim. 2:3-6; Heb. 3:1; 2:9-18; 4:14-16; 5:1-10; 6:19,20; 7:24-25; 8:1-2; 9:11-14, 23-28; 10:10,14,19-31; 12:22-29; 13:10-15, 20-21.) and in the future as "the Lord the righteous Judge" (2 Tim. 4:7-8; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:5-16; 1 Cor. 4:4-5; 2 Cor. 4:14; 5:10-11; 1 Thess. 1:7-10; Phil. 3:20-21; Acts 10:42; James 5:9; Matt. 28:18.)
In Matt. 10:33, Jesus introduces the antithesis or the opposite situation to that referred to in the 32nd. verse. In the 32nd. verse, he looked at the positive side and now in the 33rd. verse, he looks at the negative side. Thus, Jesus acknowledes the free will of an individual to either accept or reject him. The Greek word translated "shall deny" and "will ... deny" is, "ARNEOMAI, to deny, disown; to say no, refuse, decline ..." Bullinger page 215. "... decline, renounce ..." Liddell and Scott page 244. "... 1. refuse, disdain ... 2. deny ... 3. deny, repudiate, dispwn ..." Arndt and Gingrich page 107. "...1. to deny, say no, ... 2. ...to deny, refuse to acknowledge, disown ..... (prove false to) ... to deny, abjure ..." Abbott-Smith pages 59-60. It only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 10:33 "shall deny ... will I also deny" Those who decline or refuse to acknowledge Jesus beforemen will be denied or disowned or repudiated by Christ before his Father.
Matt. 26:70,72 "denied" Peter's denying that he knew Jesus.
Mark 14:68,70 "denied" Peter's denying that he knew Jesus.
Luke 8:45 "When all denied" (The healing effect of touching Jesus.) In reference to the woman with the issue of blood touching the hem of Jesus' garment and being healed: when Jesus asked who touched him all the people stated that they had not touched him.
Luke 12:9 "that denieth" Jesus states that he who denies or refuses to acknowledge him before men shall be denied or disowned or repudiated before the angels of God.
Luke 22:57 "denied" Peter's denial of Jesus.
John 1:20 "denied" (For contrast with confessed = denied not.) John the Baptist denied or disowned his being the Christ. He acknowledged that he was not the Christ.
John 18:25,27 "denied" Peter's denial of Jesus.
Acts 3:13,14 "denied" Peter states that they, the Jews, had disowned or repudiated or refused to acknowledge the son of God in the presence of Pilate.
Acts 4:16 "deny" The rulers, elders, scribes and High Priest agreed that a notable miracle had been wrought by Peter and John and that they could not repudiate or disown or refuse to acknowledge this fact and the obvious consequences.
Acts 7:35 "refused" Stephan talking about the fact that Moses was a type of Jesus and the historical stubborness of the Jews states that the very individual that they placed so much importance upon had initially been repudiated or disowned by the Jews in Egypt.
1 Tim. 5:8 "hath denied" Those who do not take care of their own family had repudiated, or disowned, or refused to acknowledge the faith by their actions.
2 Tim. 2:12 "deny .... will deny" If we deny, or repudiate, or disown Christ, then he will deny, or repudiate or disown us.
2 Tim. 2:13 "deny" Jesus can not deny or repudiate or disown himself and the principles he lives by and the mortality he represents: upon this basis unbelievers must be repudiated.
2 Tim. 3:5 "denying" In the latter-days Paul states that there would be a form of godliness but repudiating or disowning the power thereof. (See Titus 1:16.)
Titus 1:16 "deny" (For comparison of confess with deny.) The defiled and unbelieving are said to acknowledge God in word but deny or repudiate or disown Him in deed. (See 2 Tim. 3:5.)
Titus 2:12 "denying" We are suppose to reoudiate, deny, disown, renounce, refuse to acknowledge, say no to ungodliness and worldly lusts.
Heb. 11:24 "refused" Moses refused to acknowledge, repudiated, disowned being called the son of Pharaoh's daughter.
2 Peter 2:1 "denying" The prophecy that there would be false teachers just as their had been false prophets who will secretly bring in damnable heresies (opinions of destruction - Marshall.) even denying or repudiating or disowning the Lord that bought them.
1 John 2:22 "that denieth ... that denieth" He that denies or repudiates Jesus is the Christ is a liar. He that denies or repudiates or disowns the Father and the son is antichrist.
1 John 2:23 "denieth" He that denies or repudiates or disowns the son also does not have the Father. In other words repudiation of one is automatically the repudiation of the other.
Jude 4 "denying" Jude talks about a group of ungodly men who had crept in unawares but who had previously been written about for this judgment who were turning the grace of God into lasciviousness and were denying or repudiating the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rev. 2:13 "hast not denied" Jesus states that the ecclesia in Pergamos was holding fast his name and denying or repudiating or disowning his faith.
Rev. 3:8 "hast not denied" Jesus states that the ecclesia in Philadelphia had kept his word and had not denied or repudiated or disowned or renounced or refused to acknowledge the name of Jesus.
Thus it becomes quite clear that any denying or disowning or repudiating or renouncing or refusing to acknowledge Jesus and what he stands for in both word and deed before all men will end up with Jesus refusing to acknowledge or disowning or repudiating of us before his Father and the angels of God now in his role as High Priest and Mediator and in the future as the Son of Man, the Lord, the righteous Judge. This repudiating will mean that our access to the Father will be shut off, sins will not be forgiven, guidance and help not given, refuge not provided, mercy and grace rejected, immortality denied, and destruction with the wicked after being removed from the presence of Jesus. (Matt. 7:21-23; 8:11-12; 22:8-14; 25:1-11, 14-30, 31-46; Luke 13:23-30; 19:11-27; John 6:37-40.)
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