Bible Threatenings Explained
By Gary Amirault
For those of you unfamiliar with the format of "Dew", under this title, we will be dealing with all the various Scriptures used by those who teach the doctrine of eternal torment. We will show the Bible, when properly translated, teaches the full redemption of all mankind.
Last issue, we dispelled the so called "Unforgiveable Sin." We discovered that the Pharisee under the law age had hardened his heart to the point of calling the very power that brings salvation the power of Beelzebub. Jesus told them for that sin, there could be no forgiveness under the law, nor the next age, which is the one we are presently in. But, the Scriptures make it very clear there are a least two more ages to come in which all of us, who may be pharisees, can be forgiven. And forgiven we all will be!
In this issue we will look at 1 Peter 4:18. This Scripture is often quoted to show how difficult it is for even the believers to get into heaven. Before we get into the actual Scripture, I would like to point out something very important.
Where church teachers have greatly deceived us, is not emphasizing the point Jesus came only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Let me explain. He came at the end of the Law era and warned them of a great catastrophe. . .the very destruction of the Mosaic system, the Temple, the Priesthood, the Covenant with Israel, and the very land was to be wasted, cut down, done away with. He was to establish a New Covenant with a new law with a new people, new Temple, new land and a new entrance. The old entrance was circumcision of the male penis. The new entrance was circumcision of the heart by "grace through faith." The old was of works, the new was a gift. The old was a two sided covenant, the new was one sided, He did it all. But before the new was to be established, the old had to be destroyed, but a remnant people were to be taken out of that system and used to start the new.
Below are listed just a few Scriptures used to teach "end time" doctrines, but they have already been fulfilled almost two thousand years ago.
". . . Hath IN THESE LAST DAYS spoken to us by his Son." Hebrews 1:1, 2. Note this was spoken two thousand years ago! They were last days of the law era.
". . . but now once IN THE END OF THE WORLD (AGE) hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Hebrews 9:26 Note the King James says that Jesus died at the end of the world, but that was two thousand years ago and the world is still here!
"THIS generation shall not pass, till ALL THESE THINGS be fulfilled." Matthew 24:34 Because most Christians have not studied first century Christianity, they cannot see that all of those things Jesus spoke about came upon Israel, the lost house whom Jesus came for. This does not mean there may not be a repeat occurrence, but unless we see how these words were fulfilled in Jesus' day, we will never be able to see how they will be repeated in the future.
". . . the hope of the Gospel, which ye have heard, and which WAS preached to EVERY CREATURE which is under heaven." Colossians 1:23 By this time the gospel certainly did not reach America, Australia etc., but it did reach those who Jesus came for, every Jew in what was known as "the world" at that time, which was the Roman Empire. Our Father commissioned 12 apostles to Israel and they reached every Jew in the Empire by the time Colossians was written.
"But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come." Matthew 10:23 If you could just understand that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was the coming of the "Son of man" in judgment of Israel, then so much of the Bible would make so much more sense.
There are many more Scriptures like those above that seem to teach pure nonsense, but when we see they were fulfilled in the generation of Jews that lived from 30 A.D. to 70 A.D., these Scriptures make perfect sense. When moved into another time frame, however, these same Scriptures cause much confusion.
When Jesus said, "I didn't come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it", we just don't take Him at His word. Many prophesies, which end time hell-fire preachers put into the future, have already been perfectly fulfilled. The fulfillment of the Mosaic Law was "an innocent life for a guilty life." Remember "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?" The Jews had so twisted the Mosaic law that they condemned everyone else with it, but declared themselves righteous according to the Law. To deal with their self-righteousness, Jesus added the Spirit of the Law. Remember when he said, "You have heard it said. . . .but I say unto you." The Mosaic law put you to death if you committed adultery, but Jesus "full" filled it. He brought the Mosaic Law to the brim by adding, "if you have lust in your heart you are guilty of adultery." The punishment was death. Israel was one people. Israel had lusted and committed adultery with all the idols of their neighboring nations for almost two thousand years. They were all guilty of the Law when Jesus "full" filled it. He brought it to a complete end by truly fulfilling it. . . .a truly innocent Lamb for a very guilty Israel. Behold, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the whole world and of Israel. The end of the Mosaic Law came when the innocent Lamb pardoned Israel for its guilt. "Father, forgive them. . ."A Life for a life. Forgiven! What a wonderful word!!
After He gave His life for Israel and mankind, he came to do away with the religious mess the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Lawyers, etc. created by destroying the whole system.
That was not the end of our Father's wonderful plan of redemption. It was to be worked into mankind. The shadow was to be replaced with substance and a piece of Israel was to begin the new work of our Father. They had to discard the old. This was very hard for a people who were under one system for almost 2000 years. From ~30 A.D. to the total destruction of Israel in 70 A.D., our Father allowed a period where Jews could mix the old with the new. It was called the Gospel of the Circumcision. It was an extra measure of grace for the Jew to help them with the transition from "works" to "grace through faith, a gift, not of works." For a better understanding of these matters, write for the tapes O Jerusalem, O Church!, Two Gospels, and Which Laws to keep.
Now with this in mind, let us look at the passage. "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the sinner and the ungodly appear?" 1 Peter 4:18 Even orthodox theologians (those who teach hell-fire) see this passage correctly, not setting the scene at the end of time. Dr. Macknight says: "Indeed the time came, that the punishment to be inflicted on the Jews as a nation, for their crimes from the first to the last, must begin at you Jewish Christians, now become the house of God. And if it begin first at us, who are so dear to God, what will the end be of those who obey not God? And when God thus punishes the nation, if the righteous Jews, who believe in Christ, with difficulty can be saved, where will the ungodly and sinful part of the nation show themselves saved from the divine vengeance? That the apostle is not speaking here of the difficulty of the salvation of the righteous, at the day of judgment, will be evident to any one who considers 2 Peter 1:11. What he speaks of, is the difficulty of the preservation of Jerusalem; yet they were preserved, for so Christ promised (Matt 24:13). But the ungodly and wicked Jews were saved neither in Judea, nor anywhere else."
Another orthodox theologian, Dr. Adam Clarke writes: "Judgment must begin at the house of God. Our Lord had predicted that, previous to the destruction of Jerusalem, his followers would have to endure various calamities. (See Matt. 24:9,21,22; Mark 13:12,13; John 16:2 etc.) Here his true disciples are called the house or family of God. And if it first begin at us, Jews who have repented and believe on the Son of God, what will be the end of them, the Jews who continue impenitent, and obey not the gospel of God? Here is the plainest reference to the above Jewish maxim; and this, it appears, was founded upon the text which St. Peter immediately quotes.
Verse 18- And if the righteous scarcely be saved. If it shall be with extreme difficulty that the Christians shall escape from Jerusalem, when the Roman armies shall come against it, with the full commission to destroy it, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? Where shall the proud Pharisaic boaster in his own outside holiness, and the profligate transgressor of the law of God, show themselves, as having escaped the divine vengeance: The Christians, though with difficulty, did escape, whether found in Jerusalem or elsewhere. I have on several occasions, shown that when Cestius Gallus came against Jerusalem, many Christians were shut up in it; when he strangely raised the siege, the Christians immediately departed to Pella, in Caelosyria, into the dominions of King Agrippa, who was as ally of the Romans; and there they were in safety; and it appears from the ecclesiastical historians that they had but barely time to leave the city before the Romans returned under the command of Titus, and never left the place till they had destroyed the temple, razed the city to the ground, slain upwards of a million of those wretched people, and put an end to their civil polity and ecclesiastical state."
It is sad to note, most of us are not well taught in the areas of church and world history. Few are the Christians who understand what really happened in the early church. Few are taught that words like "saved" and "Savior" often have nothing to do with "eternal life." These words speak very often of our quality of life here on this earth. Jesus came to give life and give it more abundantly right here on this earth! These words speak of healing and preserving and sustaining. The whole idea of salvation has been grossly twisted by "hell-fire teachers." Latin words like justification, sanctification, and glorification have made the simple truth of the "Good News" complicated and abstract. I remember reading a very thick book with small print on sanctification. This well-known Christian author used tens of thousands of long words to explain this term. When I finished the book, I was more confused than before about the sanctification process.
This Scripture then deals with the fate of those Jews whose hard hearts would prevent them from entering the New Covenant. It also deals with the severe persecution that even the Godly, the Jewish Christians would experience as a part of fulfilling the Scripture "those who suffer with Him shall reign with Him." The blood of these Jews ran into a valley where the ancient Jews used to offer up their first born as a burn offering to the God Moloch. Jesus warned them that the fate of Gehenna ("hell" in the King James) was right at the door. Being thrown into the city dump where "the fire is never quenched and the worm dieth not" was the worst thing that could happen to a proud Pharisee whose honor and name and works was the most important thing to him. When our Father allowed their blood to be poured into Gehenna (hell); their bodies to be thrown into that very ravine in which some of their forefathers burnt their first born children; it was an act that said their life, name,and works were as dung, stubble, broken pottery. . .worthless and dead!
The Jew, under the law, knew nothing about "raptures into heaven, playing golden harps on clouds." The law spoke of blessings and cursings "here on earth!" and in this light one must view Scriptures that refer to them.
Bible Threatenings Explained will be a part of Dew from Mount Hermon for many future issues. We ask those of you who are really interested in getting thorough answers to those seemingly difficult Scriptures to write and tell us which ones they would be most interested in being dealt with first. Those we get the greatest requests for will be dealt with first.