IMO body soul and spirit is quite accurate. Surely we can all understand that there is a great ditinction between body and mind (ie soul). Atheists might say that is where it ends but we Christians (and others) believe that there is a part of us which is not limited to mind and goes beyond mind ie ‘spirit’. Those who suffer dementia may have lost their minds (to a large or small degree) but their spirit is intact.
Our God is a consuming fire. He will consume every trace of evil that remains in any person.
Hi Fine Linen,
Not all ‘believers’ are believers, for example those who get a ‘Depart from me’. I’d suggest this group includes ECT subscribers, because they don’t believe in God’s power to deliver on His promises of UR made to Noah, Abraham et al, and messages through Christ, the angels, the prophets and apostles. They really don’t know Him in the slightest, but the hearty Calvinist for instance, will insist nobody is more zealous than him. Ah the leaven of the Pharisees.
If we refuse to buy gold refined in the fire from Jesus, next stop - baptism with holy fire.
Just for clarification, are you saying that anyone who is an ECTer is not ‘redeemed’?
If l deny that all are redeemed by the blood of Christ, do I not persist in unbelief? The Book of Revelation teaches that there will be many opportunities to overcome unbelief (however it may manifest) as God removes the various stumbling blocks…but for the remnant, the Great Physician’s ultimate panacea, His final solution, if you will - to put them right - is full immersion in the purifying divine essence symbolised by the LOF.
Perhaps I worded that badly. My opinion is that I live in the hope that Christ’s life, death and resurrection make all alive ie that redemption is ultimately for the entire cosmos.
If I had used the term ‘not yet reconciled to God’ or ‘not yet born again’ would that be more helpful?
I take from this that there are some, at present, who are persisting in unbelief but I am still unsure as to how you believe this persistence affects their present relationship with God.
AS for my opinion, I believe there have been many wonderful saints in the past, clearly born again, and yet have believed in ECT and that if this particular belief was an error, it did not necessarily put them in the category of those who will be told ‘Depart from me’.
Dear John: That is indeed true.
One can be a wonderful saint, but fail to be “hurt” sufficiently to qualify as an overcomer of the Lamb, a saint among saints.
I think we need to relinquish the persistent misunderstanding that the LOF in any way represents retributive punishment. It’s there to assist people who haven’t been able to overcome their sins in Christ - sin grips them like a mortgage. It may feel like punishment, because those strongholds of satan are being destroyed, and (like being born again) we’ll come face to face with the truth. I imagine the devil will be tormented for ages because he’s built his entire false identity on rejecting God, and will vainly try to hang on to that. My, what justice it will be to see him truly repent and emerge as an angel restored by such scandalously amazing grace. Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Another thing about the pernicious nature of ECT is that it makes it impossible to truly love God. Even the greatest of saints who is an ECTer serves in some way for ‘ten shekels and a shirt’ - how can you love with a gun at your head? At best it’s a case of Stockholm Syndrome, identifying with one’s oppressor! We see this a lot - Christians praying harder, missioning harder, fasting harder, gospeling harder - like they’re trying to avoid the ‘cut’ for the football team. But is that the way, is that the narrow path, or just a lot of gonging and clanging, and rattling of chains to prove their freedom?
So I believe the LOF actually represents HOPE and assurance for all of us (we all struggle with thorns in the flesh): God’s not going to let sin rule! The cross was the guarantee of His covenant of UR, the LOF is its final delivery mechanism. Consider that none but one is worthy to even open the Book of Life. How many names do you think are found in it at that time, and how many will need full baptism of fire? So…first one in’s a rotten egg!
Forgive me if I’m not expressing my view in a systematic way, I hope you find it somewhat coherent. Do you think it’s possible to love God and hold to ECT?
Dear Ben, AKA Ben Clemens, I trust you will not be dismayed with F.L., but your post is extra ordinary & I intend on memorializing it before 250 K. eyes with full credit to you. Thank you for an incredible post & your presence here on E.F.!
Thank you for your reply. I agree with the statement above. My problem is that Jesus does not just say ‘Depart from me’, He says: ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
I do not believe that many past ECT saints who brought thousands to a knowledge of the saving love of God/Jesus were ‘never known’ by Jesus nor ‘never knew’ Jesus themselves even if they were incorrect as to the full extent and expanse of God’s salvation for all.
Don’t get me wrong, you’re giving me plenty of room for thought on a topic which I’d like to get a firmer grip on- ie who can I confidently regard as my present day (born again??) brothers and sisters in Christ?
For example, I fail to see any compatibility between myself as a disciple of Christ and a Calvinist because IMO a Calvinist does not worship the same god. The god of a Calvinist is capricious and cruel. However:
I’m not sure about going that far. For example, when I used to be a ECTer, my logic was that:
God is Love and desires all to be saved but He has given us free will and even though He is omnipotent, He cannot force us into relationship with Himself. Furthermore (I speculated) it must be the nature of reality that having created creatures made in His image, they cannot return to ‘non-existence’.
So the idea of God holding a gun to our heads is not the case, rather He lacks the ability (post mortem) to reconcile a soul to Himself despite His best wishes. The die has been cast. I think my continuing problem (back then) was how we could ever be happy in eternity knowing that others are suffering.
Many (ECTers) seem to testify to an overwhelming experience of Love which drove them into God’s arms but it could be that I am giving them too much credit.
Thank God I now see things much as you do and rejoice in the hope that God will reconcile the entire cosmos!
Heavenly Father, your name be praised. Thank you for the spirit of hesed you lavish upon the faithful, those who seek you with an earnest and reverent heart. Thank you for friends like David Johnson, whom you grace with constancy, devotion and philokalia. May you keep us from falling into vanity and pride, so that we may always remember that from you comes all honour, grace, beauty, truth and wisdom, and to your throne shall all return in perfection and worship. May we use the gifts you have bestowed so freely and abundantly to proclaim your holy name, faithful and true, to the ends of the earth. Father, help us cast down unbelief and doubt in your Word, your oaths and testimonies, til thy Kingdom come. In Jesus name this we pray, Amen.
FL, it’s an honour, thank you kindly. If dv my contributions can help in some way to redeem the sad state of Christendom in this present evil age, by all means. If you have access to such a big database, maybe we should work together towards something more substantial. And I might say credit for me is only temptation to vanity unless it redirects to God.
Great to hear that you’ve been saved out of that hard mindset. There’s a vid on YT bearing the serious and amusing title ‘Friends don’t let friends remain Calvinist’.
When I was led to investigate Christianity, it was preachers like Paul Washer who helped set the table. Now I can’t abide that so-called reformed theology, but equally can’t deny the power of heartfelt preaching to the unsaved. It’s a testament to the power of the gospel that the spirit works first through the heart. The natural mind can’t understand spiritual things in any event, so a more ‘carnal’ gospel might be the right milk.
But what happens then? A man is saved, he experiences amazing grace, and so his awestruck mind searches for an apt expression and logic of the gospel. That’s where the wolf lies in wait, ready with the subtle and pervasive ECT/ substitutionary atonement/ sola scriptura trap:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is become so, ye make him twofold more a son of hell than yourselves. (Mt 23:15)
the parable of the empty house (Mt 12:43-45).
I think we must fully face the fact that when Christianity does not make a man very much better, it makes him very much worse… Conversion may make of one who was, if no better, no worse than an animal, something like a devil. (CS Lewis)
‘Son of hell’…’‘practice lawlessness’…?
I’d go further and say Calvinists worship satan thinly disguised. Double predestination is so twisted, an abomination worthy of the description of child sacrifice to Molech in Jer 32:35 - the kind of thing that I daresay never entered God’s mind.
Yes, I run up against this all the livelong day. That would be the rattling of chains to prove freedom. But I can show these guys the scriptures in the final vision of Revelation attesting to the salvation of the nations and in return just be chided for arrogance. We live in an age where orthodoxy is heresy. God certainly has a sense of humour amongst all this.
Jesus is constantly rebuking the powers that be for this kind of thinking (they know neither scripture nor power of God), but nobody seems to be capable of self-examination. Could this be in the nature of a strong delusion? We really need to avail ourselves of all the evangelical tools in order to confront this Laodicean mindset.
Grace and peace to you.
Dear Ben: My friend, the Master of Reconciliation is surely continuing His reach for the especially. In every age His mighty draw continues to separate a remnant who see Him and know Him in expanding dimensions of glory.
With that said, evangelical fundamentalists as a group have the lowest view of the Lord, it defies imagination. In the following link, you will find F.L. and a few who are vessels of honour to Him. If you can join us you will assuredly be a testament to our glorious Father!
“The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.” -Phillips Brooks-
Yes, P. Brooks grasped the majesty of God & the Greater Hope
Friends of E.U.: If any of you desire to express what is within you on this forum (C.F.), the invitation is also extended to you. Remember one thing: there are far more reading than are posting. They extend around the globe with some who have hungry hearts and seek for understanding in their present circumstances. Please join us in expressing the majestic purpose of our Father today.
Eternal torment still doesn’t follow as the logical conclusion of the premises you previously held; God could resurrect all imperfect people to an immortal existence separate from him, but where God didn’t torment them. I’m sure many non-Christians would actually like that.
Dear FL, thanks for the steer. I just joined CF as ‘Shrewd Manager’. Didn’t he have the right idea, realising he’s not up to the job he acts beyond his agency and forgives customers their debts, thereby improving his own career prospects? He knows his master’s in no position to repudiate those deals, so his master can only accept the reputation for grace and favour he’s unwittingly earned.
Dear Ben: Do you know what antiphonal worship is? That is what was happening in Isa. 6 when angelic beings called to one another>>>Holy>>>Holy>>>Holy is the Lord. I trust we will worship Him together as we call to one another and others who are caught in spontaneous vibrations.
Now I do, thanks FL and amen.
It never entered my mind that God was the instigator of the ‘torment’. My conjecture (which is still logical) is that a mental state of ‘torment’ would be the inevitable state of someone who had a separate existence from him.
- uncountable noun
Torment is extreme suffering, usually mental suffering.
synonyms: suffering, distress, misery, pain
I still believe that there is nothing wrong with the logic I used but thankfully I now believe that the hunter of heaven will persist (post-mortem) in drawing all towards Himself, and that we all shall, in free will, eventually surrender to that Love.