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THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD

December 11
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December 11

FIRE / PART 6

THE LAKE OF FIRE

According to J. Preston Eby:

-"In my study of the lake that burns with fire and brimstone I was very much helped and impressed by the understanding given by Charles Pridgeon and I would like to quote from his scholarly work on the subject of "BRIMSTONE". He says: "The Lake of Fire and Brimstone signifies a fire burning with brimstone; the word 'brimstone' or 'sulphur' defines the character of the fire. The Greek word "THEION" translated 'brimstone' is exactly the same word "THEION" which means 'divine.' Sulphur was sacred to the deity among the ancient Greeks; and was used to fumigate, to purify, and to cleanse and consecrate to the deity; for this purpose they burned it in their incense. In Homer's Iliad (16:228), one is spoken of as purifying a goblet with fire and brimstone. The verb derived from "THEION" is "THEIOO", which means to hallow, to make divine, or to dedicate to a god (See Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon, 1897 Edition). To any Greek, or any trained in the Greek language, a 'lake of fire and brimstone' would mean a 'lake of divine purification.' The idea of judgment need not be excluded. Divine purification and divine consecration are the plain meaning in ancient Greek. In the ordinary explanation, this fundamental meaning of the word is entirely left out, and nothing but eternal torment is associated with it" -end quote. I realize that the above thoughts define the subject very briefly, but let us summarize the meanings thus: “BURN” means combustion; to change the form of. “FIRE” means heat and light. “BRIMSTONE” means divine. Putting these three together can we not see that the lake burning with fire and brimstone is, actually, DIVINE HEAT AND LIGHT PRODUCING A CHANGE! Is such a process eternal? All the laws of nature shout that it is not! More than 2500 years ago the Holy Spirit warned the wicked inhabitants of Jerusalem that God would kindle a fire at Jerusalem's gates which would devour her palaces. "But if you will not hearken unto Me ... then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not he quenched" (Jer. 17:27). Did not God say this fire "shall NOT BE QUENCHED?" This prophecy was fulfilled and the fire did occur a few years later and it did destroy all the houses of Jerusalem (Jer. 52:13). Since God said no person or thing would "quench" this fire, did that mean that it would burn for ever? Since it accomplished the work it was sent to do, and since it is NOT BURNING TODAY, it obviously went out by itself after accomplishing its purpose! Unquenchable fire is not eternal fire - it is simply fire that cannot be put out until it has consumed or changed everything it is possible for it to change! It then simply goes out, for there is nothing more to burn. Yet I hear the preachers ranting and raving about poor souls being cast into hell fire where "their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched" and this, we are told, means eternal, unending torment. How foolish, illogical, and deceptive! Such a view contradicts the plain meaning of the term "unquenchable" and its use in the Word of God. Suppose a few filthy, vile men and a few immoral women from some house of prostitution were forced to sit in the midst of a large congregation of singing, shouting, worshipping saints. This certainly would be torment to most of them. They would be tortured in the flames of the blazing glory of God in that place! If they were not held in their seats by force, most of them would rush out of there. I have been in meetings where I witnessed three responses to the glorious manifestation of the Lord's presence. First, the saints who loved the Lord rejoiced and adoringly worshipped. Some who were not Christians, but whose hearts were tender toward the Lord, came under deep conviction and, weeping and broken, gave themselves into the loving hands of Jesus. But others, filled with self, haters of righteousness, I have seen jump up and literally run out of a meeting - TORMENTED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB! Sure, they would rush, even run to get away from the convicting power of the Holy Ghost! I have seen it, and so have you. To the unsaved, HIS GLORY is a LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE - divine, cleansing, purging, purifying, consuming fire! In ages yet unborn God shall expose ALL MEN to the sweet abiding presence of the Lamb. They will come under such severe processings, under such profound conviction that they will be tormented and have no rest day or night until they finally yield. And when they do, many fountains of tears will flow with weeping, praying, and calling upon the Lord." ( The Lake Of Fire, J. Preston Eby )

-As we can see, the words “lake of fire and brimstone” mean: DIVINE PURIFICATION! Daniel saw it as a stream and John saw it as a lake. Can we now see that the words “lake of fire and brimstone” are to be understood symbolically, portraying a spiritual fire that is by nature corrective, and for the purpose of purification? This lake of fire speaks of God Himself and His ministers, for our God IS a consuming fire, making His ministers a flaming fire ( Hebrews 12:29 and Psalm 104:4 ).

-This experience of purification is to be for a period of time. IT IS NOT FOREVER! This can be discovered by studying the words “olam”, “aion”, and “aionios”, which words do show that God’s judgments are “of the ages”, but not to continue past the ages, for the ages shall come to an end, and God shall be ALL IN ALL! -OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE!-

-THANK GOD FOR HIS GLORIOUS LAKE OF FIRE!-

December 11

And now abides faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.