The Ragamuffin Gospel


I believe the lake of fire is the love of God. Christ crucified (the serpent on a stick) cures the snakebite. It is the image of the heart of God displayed for all the universe that “disarmed the principalities and powers”. No argument can stand before it, “For if they would have understood they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Eschatology is not the seed or the core of the scriptures. Christ crucified is.

God is love. God is light. God is a consuming fire. Jesus is the radiance of the Father’s glory and the express image of His nature. Repentance and faith towards God open the portal, the eyes of the heart, to perceive it, receive it and rejoice in it. “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”


NT eschatology was indeed the outgrowth of the OT (Scriptures), via Christ crucified. The Gospel was “Your God reigns!Isa 52:7 — this was “the consolation of IsraelLk 2:26 that so many had been waiting for… Mk 15:43; Lk 1:68; 2:38; 23:51; 24:21 Acts 1:6.

Don… you cannot deflect by quoting me AND THEN create and then refuse to accept an argument I DIDN’T make. Read the quote again. I never said you believe… “Christ’s sacrifice as a means of propitiating God in order to escape the lake of fire…” — as is CLEAR by my quote such action is on the shoulders of said candidate — which you have TOO MANY times stated that UNTIL such a one repents they will remain in the lake of fire. Prove me wrong… or do I need to go and fetch a bunch of your quotes again.

This I know… I think we have the same book.

I agree totally… I just don’t buy into your further firebrand thesis. IF such a notion were true then all the fire related texts that get subsumed in guilt-by-association, i.e., a word appears in a text and it therefore magically qualifies for post-mortem application (as per Eagle’s former post) etc. And IF that be the case then your whole scenario breaks down, where God apparently only uses such fiery means post-mortem, BUT apparently NOT IN THIS LIFE… how convenient.


My point was that God is the fire.

Pre mortem, post mortem whatever. The presence of God is the fire, whether in life or in death, the fire burns until all darkness is consumed and God is “everything in everyone”, “all in all”. To me, there is no point to arguing about whether it is post mortem or not. That question is a misprioritized sliver of the whole revelation- Jesus is speaking of “mysteries hidden from the foundation of the world”- before Israel, before creation, beyond the veil of the flesh, where all thing begin and end- unto which Jesus Christ is the door.

"Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.

Whatever time one is/was in, whatever age, God has set everything up to bring everyone face to face with Him.

“And His eyes were as flames of fire…And His face shone like the sun shining in its strength.”

That presence, that face, those eyes, bring brokeness and humility, gratitude and love.

But Jesus is the stumbling stone, a rock of offense. He is the breaking point, the event horizon, for everyone who ever lived or will live- and thats what Mark 9:49 is about

“Everyone will be salted with fire”.


Ok… so we will run with your scenario.

We know there is no variance in God, no shadow of turning; He remains the same — yesterday, today and forever! Thus we can safely conclude that with whichever manner His cleansing “fire burns until all darkness is consumed” as we understand and experience it, LIFE will remain the same either side of death BECAUSE the “loving correction by the One whose essence is LOVEdoes not change. Therefore ‘the lake of fire’ that is postulated to be for ALL humanity regardless of belief (according to Don, and it seems you) will be sweet, BECAUSE… as we experience the God’s fiery burnings in THIS LIFE, as per the texts you have given, so shall it likewise be beyond, because God changes not… works for me.

There’s something to be said for logical consistency! :sunglasses:


Hi Paidion.

As I advance in my inquiry into your belief here I am going to try to do it in such a way as to not interject my own beliefs into the mix, therefor trying to get to your meaning without alter/theological bias and the back and forth bickering that ensues.

Lets start with #5 ‘what is the fire?’

You said:

So, if I look up every use of the word ‘fire’ in the NT, the word you have used as correction, (g4442) seems to mean 'destruction.

Mat_3:10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Luk_3:17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
Luk 9:54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”’

So on…

Can you explain this, as it seem to me even your Hebrews text alludes to ‘either you do something’ or God will consume you with destruction.

I’ll await your answer.


Greetings MM,

The following was one of the verses you quoted, it seems, in order to show that the “fire” of the New Testament destroyed people rather than sin:

And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” (Luke 9:54 NKJV)

Yes, Jesus’ disciples certainly had the mindset of the OT Israelites. They were certainly asking about commanding a fire that would wipe out the inhospitable Samaritans. They appealed to the Hebrew scriptures that stated that God commanded fire to come down from heaven and consume 50 people. But what was Jesus’ response?

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. [Or “You do not know the kind of spirit of which you are”] For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. (verses 55, 66)

I wonder if Jesus was saying that the desire to call down fire on people and destroy them came for the spirit of the evil one.

Jesus never killed or maimed anyone while on earth or destroyed them with fire. And He was Another exactly like the Father, being the exact image of the Father’s essence (Heb 1:3). So this implies that the Father does not do so either. God very essence is LOVE (John 4:8,16).

The other two verses you quoted were words spoken by John the baptizer, and they are obviously figurative language to illustrate the importance of bearing good fruit.

Besides, if you believe that all people will be reconciled to God, then it would not make sense that God would destroy those that did not bear good fruit. Or do you think it means only that God will destroy their physical existence in this present life?



Most scholars find the application of Mark 9 far less clear than your apparently preterist certitude that it simply addresses the first generation.

Is a view that you see as a load of BS, with no texts “remotely in that direction,” that beyond death men can endure judgment, and/or suffer purification. I find that most of history’s Bible readers have perceived some such, and that Talbot & Parry, to whom this site was dedicated, see this as Scripture’s paradigm. Do you feel that only you and a handful of others have been able to see what is so obvious to you on this question?


Hi Paidon,

You said of the verses I supplied:

O.K. So whether I believe that all will be reconciled is not in the equation. The question is one of 'are these scriptures alluding to a fire that is post mortem correction or destruction.

You mentioned…

Well, without citing every occurrence of fire, I still maintain fire, as used in the NT (g4442) is destruction. Here are a few more examples from the Master himself.

Mat 7:19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 13:40 "So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
Mat 13:41 "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,
Mat 13:42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Luk 17:29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30 "It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
Joh 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

Then there is this one…
Jud 1:22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting;
Jud 1:23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

If Jude thought that God’s fire was remedial, why would he use the term, ‘snatching them out of the fire’? Would not he say maybe… Beware lest you find yourself in the grasp of the fire.
It seems Jude did not have a very good feeling about the fire. And it seems something was going to be destroyed and it seems nothing is said about ‘after you die.’

I look forward to your response. :smiley:


Something to be said for patient communication and listening too :slight_smile: I never said anything about all humanity including believers going through the lake of fire. I dont believe that. What I am saying(pardon me if I am not communicating it well, I am not laying it all off on you, lol) is that God is always the fire…

But to assune that the experience of something barely spoken of in the scriptures will be sweet when Jesus said it will not be sweet seems a bit illogical to me. God changes not- on this we agree, but we change. Fire transforms, and until the transformation is complete it is destructive to what was even as it creates something new, indestructible. So the same fire brings rejoicing to that which is pure, and tribulation or destruction(apollumi-ruination) to that which is impure- which is why we rejoice when we begin to see that “all rule power and authority will be anulled”- because that means the fire has done its work and there is nothing left but gold silver and precious stone.

But in the ages there are many manifestations of the fire, and all things eminate from Him. Believers are purified by fire in trials and in the discernment of God. The lake of fire will be a different manifestation, something not defined clearly, but alluded to in Mat 25 and Rev 14 and a few other places. Jesus clearly says this experience is to be avoided, and I believe that is in this life as well as the next.

Those who are reconciled by grace through faith have already bowed the knee and confessed with their tongue, “Jesus Christ is Lord” to the glory of God the Father. The lake of fire, whatever exactly that will be- is for those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The nature of the fire is the same. It is the presence of God- glorious to those who believe, terrible to those who rebel. The times and the applications of the glory and the corrections of God are many and diverse through the ages from the beginning until God is all in all, some in life, some in the olam.


Not all that is remedial is pleasant or benign.

the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, 10and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. (2 Pet 2)

That fire can be remedial is clear in 1 Cor 3:15

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

In Zechariah 3
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”

In Isaiah 6

And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. 5 Then I said,

“Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
6 Then** one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”

Yet in Ezekiel 10 we see the same, as in Daniel 7 and Rev 14

Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them. 2And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And he entered in my sight.

This is close to 2 Peter 3, where we see the fire is definitely remedial

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed(lythesetai dissolved) with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up(heurethesetai- exposed).

Since all these things are to be destroyed(dissolved) in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed(dissolved) by burning, and the elements(stoicheion) will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

All this aligns with 1 Cor 15 and all rule power and authority being anulled as the adversaries are gathered into one in Christ, the last of which to be destroyed is death.

The problem with definitions of logic is that it they are only as consistent as the frame of reference, variety of perspective and wideness of parameter it can enfold. What is logical floating on a pond is no loger logical sailing across the ocean.


You said

So I will ask, do you believe that the scriptures show/tell of post mortem correction? Or do you think all of these things are talking about people in the here and now… on earth breathing living experiencing?

I only ask because you go from Isaiah who is prophesying about Israel to Peter and Paul who are talking about a people who are under a new covenant.

Or do you think all of the OT and NT scriptures are applicable to us today? And that the major and minor prophets’ words are written to us here in 2017?

Look forward to your reply!


I believe in every age the fire is the available light in every life. Only God knows. Only God can judge “their consceince either accusing or excusing them on the Day when God judges the secrets of men’s hearts through Jesus Christ”.

An Old Testament person will stand in the presence of God, where light is fire to darkness, and every hidden thing will be revealed, and that process(in my view) is the correction. A New Testament person will be judged by whatever light they have received of it, and only God knows what was available and received and what was rejected. That is why it is by “the secrets of their hearts” from their conscience- which is an open book for all in the presence of God.

We are aware we stand before His throne now, if we believe-“For it is time for judgment to begin at the house of God with the elders in Jerusalem”…“Therefore let not many of you be teachers for as such you will incur stricter judgment, and we all stumble in many ways”

So the light and the fire are pouring from Him as glory and as purging fire and exposing light in everyone who believes. The same light is calling out to all who do not, “Come let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet I will make them white as snow.” “Come all you who thirst, drink freely of the water of life”

But as I read there will also be work left to do for many post mortem, but we are not given the details of that work, but we are given much about the nature of it. It will be the same in nature as the fire and light that bring sinners to Him now in life. it will be the same in nature as that which purges those who have bowed the knee.

That nature is remedial, it is to dissolve veils and to melt false foundations and to disarm principalities and powers. It is to slay Leviathan and birth the Lamb.

So yes, I do believe in post mortem correction, but not in the form or nature of man’s punishment, to “pay back” or “pay for” sins done- “pain remitted for pain performed”. I see it as peeling back the layers of deception and lies and rebellion to to the pure mind of Christ- a revelation of Christ crucified- which is the ultimate purity, and many, when they see it, will gnash their teeth and weep and wail as the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ exposes the hidden things…until they repent, which they will, because love never fails, and light overcomes darkness in the end.

Havent you ever writhed under the conviction of the Holy Spirit as the light probed into your deep inner consciousness to reveal that which was hidden from view? The wood hay and stubble that had been considered gold silver and precious stone?

I certainly have and I am not at all ashamed to say it. The nature of the fire as it exposes and brings the alloys to the surface of the gold being purified is remedial, but very uncomfortable. Sometimes the heat must be very, very hot before I can see that what I considered gold was only brass upon lead. That what I thought was silver was merely iron.

I think it works like that upon the threshing floor of life, and so it will also for those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life, standing before Him in the age to come.

It is not one or the other. It is a continual unfolding of the same core principle of life and truth and love revealed in its fulness in Jesus Christ. Go to the core, and all the layers become one in an unfolding revelation. Separate the layers and you have nothing but smoke and mirrors. A rosebud is not a separate thing from the full bloom but if you never saw the bud you might think it “another thing” entirely. It is one thing unfolding, the same principles of life flowing through the process.

“Therefore we have the prophetic word made more sure to which you do well to pay attention as a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the daystar arises in your hearts.” “If anyone has nt believed our gospel it is because the God of this world has veiled the eyes of them that they might not understand the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”…

“To this day when Moses is read the veil remains”… but for those in whom the veil has been removed there is no veil when Moses is read, it is just a part and parcel of the mirror, “and we all, beholding as in a morror the glory of the Lord are being transformed with ever-increasing(progressive) glory by the Spirit who is the Lord.”


eagle said:

Okey dokey. So… do you believe that when Christ was crucified, and died, he may well have went to all who were in death before him? At that time? :smiley:


double post… my bad


Sorry Eagle my bad… I had that in mind as you’d said this…

And seemingly now backed up by this…

I think it is wholly amazing you can say all this above about the LoF etc having prefaced it with what I think is the key point and honest admission on the whole issue, in saying this…

How can you have strung all that together above with the prior acknowledgment of such scarce evidence…? What’s that old saying? “Where Scripture is silent, so should we be.”


I agree when it comes to people trying to say exactly when, what the LOF or Gehenna is. But the scriptures arent silent. There are just not clear, so I just dont think we should be so adamant about the details.

As far as the nature of the fire of God I think that is pretty plain from a ton of scripture and I barely tapped them. Virtually every vision of God involves fire, lightning, coals, etc, and this is considered “bad” because of religious prejudices and a lack of illumination and thoroughness concerning the whole topical context. Fire is the source of light. It consumes, transforms, purifies, illuminates, and yes, sometimes it destroys- but only that which is temporal. A comparison of Daniel 7:10; Isaiah 6:4; Ezekiel 10 and Zecharia 3 with Rev 1:4 and Rev 6:9-11 and Rev 14;10 share an immense amount of parallels. Those images transcend their dispensations because they are views of the center from various points around the layers of the onion. There is one center, many perspectives, varyng parameters, apertures and portals. Supposedly, we in the new covenant have the widest portal available, in general up to this time. It has been opening in stages all along. “And the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God”. Soon the veil of the heavens will be rolled back like a scroll and “every eye will see Him”, but in the center of the onion what created all that has already taken place.

I think it is very possible, even likely, that the verses in Ephesians 4:9-11 and 1 Peter 3;19 and 4:6 refer to Jesus having appeared to those who were in death before Him. For instance, in Isaiah 6 it says, “I saw the Lord high and lifted up and His train filled the temple”. In Eph 4 It speaks of He who descended being He who ascended “leading captivity captive” or “with captives in His train”- that He might “fill all things”. Also there are the saints who came out of the graves in Matt 27:52.

Thats why the view from the center and the views from various points around the onion and between the layers at various depths must take one another into account. In a sense time is peeling back towards its origin(Alpha) at the same time it is filling up to fulness(Omega). The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. Christ crucified was the first thought/word(Logos) of God. All the worlds and ages were created out of it with the end in mind that all would conclude in full freedom of communion, family, unity, oneness, freedom, etc. “That when the times are filled/complete(pleroma) all things will be gathered into one in Christ”. The reason everyone weeps when they see Christ crucified is because the perfection of that love slays all our filthy rags and makes us aware how and how much He loves. The reason everyone will rejoice after they weep is because all the mists and veils and webs and bonds will be dissolved in the fire of His Day.



[size=150]lol[/size] :mrgreen:


“I will make your forehead like an adamant stone” :unamused:


I am thinking now is a good time to quote from the book that the OP was named after.

From the ragamuffin gospel; page199-200

“The kingdom of my Father cannot be overcome, even by death. In the end everything will be alright. Nothing can harm you permanently; no loss is lasting, no defeat more than transitory, no disappointment is conclusive. Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.”

This is good news. :smiley: