Happy new year to you, my blessed readers. I have finally finished transcribing the second half of my message. The following is a continuation of my transcript on “Knowing the fullness of God’s love and Debunking the myth of hell (Video transcript) – Part 1 of 2.” As before, I have added subheadings where appropriate to summarise the main points in my flow of thoughts. Enjoy reading and be blessed.
Gehenna in the context of the “last days” in the first century AD
So, basically, this message is to debunk the myth of hell, and I won’t be too long-winded about it. Jesus spoke about “hell” as gehenna, which is referring to the destruction of the Jerusalem (not Roman, my mistake) temple. It is referring to the suffering, the desolation, the tribulation that the Pharisees who continually rejected Jesus Christ had to undergo, and that is the great suffering Jesus was talking about in the last days.
“The last days” is not the end of the world; it is the end of the old covenant age, which is the end of the law, and we are now no more in the last days. That has already happened in AD70. Those three-and-a-half years of tribulation is referring to the period between AD66 and AD70 when the Romans laid siege on the city of Jerusalem, and finally they conquered the whole city, and the walls of the temple were thrown down, and not one stone was left upon one another, as Jesus had prophesied to those who were listening to Him when He said these things would happen in that generation, not in our generation. So we are living in the new covenant age when there is no more future “judgment” from “God”.
So, is there any reward? What about those verses that talk about “we will all appear before the throne, the judgment seat of Christ”, and what about those appearing before the “great white throne”? Well, the “great white throne” appearance happened in the context of the destruction of the temple that marked the end of the old covenant age.
And that reward system is actually, I believe, referring to when we were still alive. It’s not referring to after we die, because think about it, even if we believe there is heaven after we die, why would we still need any reward? Being in heaven alone will be good by itself. What kind of reward will still further benefit us?
So I believe (the) reward is for the present life, (based on) how we live as unto the Lord. And same for the judgment seat of Christ. I believe it’s something that is spiritual, something that applies to this life, and it’s not one day after we die. So that is another paradigm shift for many of us, including myself.
Revelation (or manifestation) of Jesus in every person
And we are living in the age of grace where there is really no, “Oh, you do this, therefore you are blessed.” No, whether we believe or not, we are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Yes, everyone is in Christ. Why? Because we all have the Holy Spirit. And, if that is so, why some people do not seem to be walking in the Spirit or to be manifesting the fruit of the Spirit – they seem to be manifesting the works of the flesh?
The reason is simply this: Some people, they do not know that they have the Holy Spirit. They have not believed the gospel; that’s why they are not able to walk in… according to the truth of the gospel. But that does not detract from the truth that we all have the Holy Spirit because Joel, one of the prophets in the Old Testament, had prophesied that God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh in the last days. And that “last days” was referring to the time of AD70. That is interpreting in the context of the first century in which it was written, and “the last days” has already happened, so God has indeed poured out His Spirit on all flesh.
And that is actually also “the fulfillment of all things”, that includes Christ has come again, and again. He has already come; He is not going to come in future. There won’t be “any future rapture and Jesus will one day come back and the world will look upon Him and they will mourn and only those believers will suddenly be transformed into glorious body, resurrected body, and be caught up in the air with the twinkling of the eye and at the sound of the trumpet and be with the Lord forever”.
But hey, that has already happened. The Lord has manifested in us. He is living in us – in God, we move and have our being. Ya, God is in every one of us. Like what Carlton Pearson said in his book “God is not a christian nor a hindu nor a muslim nor a jew”, God is in us, around us, as us because this is the reality, and we simply need to renew our mind to believe this reality.
So, God is in the hindu. God is in the atheist. God is in the buddhist, or any other person on earth. And that is the truth. That is what will cause people to live in harmony, live in peace with one another. You may call it heresy if you want to, but it will not… Ya, believing the religious lie that we are separate – we are christians, they are not; we are saved and others are not – this will only create further divisions and it will affect the way we see one another, especially when we see people of other faiths who are not christians, and this is… it can only create strife and create harm. We do not want harm in our society. We want HARMONY. And the only way to create harmony is to believe the truth of the gospel to see everyone as all one with God and one with one another.
Context of Jesus’ words about being “the Way, the Truth and the Life”
Somebody may say, “Well, this is New Age teaching, you know, to believe that God is in everyone, and Jesus is the only Way.” But this is another sacred cow that I am going to slaughter right before you.Yes, Jesus said that “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” But in that context in John chapter 14, He wasn’t talking about heaven. If you want, you can show me the word “heaven” in John chapter 14, but it’s nowhere mentioned. Jesus was talking about (in) the Father’s house are many mansions, many rooms, referring to all of us – we are the Father’s house. We are the dwelling place of God and He is dwelling in us. That is the beauty of our union with Christ.
So, Jesus is saying that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the revelation of God as our loving Father. So, other people may have their own concept of God. If they don’t know Jesus, they may think God is like this or God is like that. They are right when they say God is love, God is just, God is great, but of course, the fullest revelation of God as our loving Father is when we see Jesus. Jesus is the manifestation, the exact representation, the very image of God Himself. So, yes, He is the express image of God, and it’s so much better if people were to see Jesus and acknowledge Him as God, then they will know that God is truly a loving Father who is all grace, all merciful, and who loves us with His self-sacrificial love.
But people who do not know God through first knowing Jesus, they may have some glimpse about God’s love. They may have their own concept of God – God is love, and so on, but they may not have the benefit of knowing God in all His fullness until they really see Jesus as God. That’s the only thing. So I believe that’s what Jesus meant by saying He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He’s not talking about going to heaven. He’s talking about He is the Way to see God as He really is. He is the revelation of God Himself. He who has seen Him has seen the Father.
The gates of hades (ignorance) shall not prevail against us
So I’m going to end this by saying: Nobody is going to “hell”. Hell is simply ignorance because the word “hell” comes from the root word (hels) that means “hidden”, and the word “hades” has the same meaning – “grave”. It’s also somewhere that is hidden. Like Jesus said “The gates of hell (or the gates of hades) shall not prevail against the church”, and that is in the context of giving Peter the revelation of who he is. He is no more Simon. He is now Peter (which) means rock, small rock. He is the chip of the old block, or rather the new block, or the everlasting block because Jesus is the Rock, whom we are part of.
We are part of the Rock, and Jesus gave Peter that revelation of who he is because Peter confessed via the revelation given from above, from the Father, that He is the Son of the living God, He is the Christ, and therefore, Jesus said, “From now onwards, you are Peter, and I will build that church upon this revelation, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God”, and we are also in Him. We are co-heirs with Him.
Awakening to the truth of God’s love and our true identity in Him
We are also gods, as Jesus said in Psalm 82, that we are gods. So we all share the same divine nature as God, and upon that revelation, we are no more ignorant of God’s love, and we are no more ignorant of our true identity. Jesus came to reveal our identity, and that caused us to overcome this so-called hell, which just simply means ignorance.
Jesus came to save us from ignorance to understand who God is, who we are to God, who we are in Christ, and having this knowledge will cause us to reign in life. As Romans 5:17 says, “Much more those who receive abundance of grace (undeserved favour from God) and the gift of righteousness” – when we know we are right with God and we are one with God; this is who we are – we will reign in life, not one day after we die. We will reign right now in life because salvation is for now. Now is the day of salvation and now is the time of favour, and we will reign in life through the One Jesus Christ.
The foundation of the gospel is “God is Love”
So, I am going to end this by saying: This is what the gospel is all about, and there will be more revelation as the Lord gives us as we study more and meditate more about what Jesus has done for us at the cross, and what we mean to Him. He loves us with an everlasting love, and He has drawn us to Himself with lovingkindness. His love endures forever, and God is good and only good. There is no evil in Him; there is no darkness in Him.
This is our very foundation by which all other teachings should revolve around and should be based on and should be measured upon. The foundation is simply “God is love”. Nothing else. And perfect love casts out fear, for fear involves torment. We are blessed to know the love of God, and may we continue to know more and more the love of Christ, and to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory both now and forever.
Amen. Thank you for listening.