Where are those who God swore in his wrath that they will not enter his rest? Or was God mistaken and they actually will enter his rest?
Sir, your arguments are based on common fallacies again.
What’s the meaning of ‘Not enter His (God’s) Rest’?
First Christianity taught that this refers to His 1000 years 7th Day Reign (Revelation 20:6), thus these do not experience this rest being shut out of it, for Judgment (Matthew 7:20 – 23, Hebrews 3:1 – 11, Hebrews 4:1 – 3) .
God didn’t make a mistake. He didn’t say that this rejection is eternal (Lamentations 3:31, Psalm 77:7) but that it lasts as long as this “rest” or “7th Day” (Hebrews 4:4 – 6).
The repentance time is “Today” (the days prior to that 7th Day) before He Returns within this age (Hebrews 3:12 – 19, Hebrews 4:7 – 16).
Early Christianity is consistent in its Biblical Meaning and modern Christianity proposes contradictions by their “own assumptions” which is not there when understood accurately.
When two early Christian views contradict each other, obviously one of them is right. That can be debated & I agree in that let Scripture interpret Scripture as Clement of Alexandria taught.
Early Christians were not infallible in their understanding as is evident in that there were many doctrinal disagreements. The down side of citing cherry-picked early Christians whose views align with one’s desired view, and asserting they are authoritative, is that the view may be completely wrong. This is why we are to rely on scripture interpreting scripture in the context of the whole counsel of God, and not that of favorite early interpretations by fallible men.
The Fallibility of men is even more obvious in modern Christianity especially men who think that ‘their opinions are directly given by God’ whenever it is against Scripture even.
For example, imagine ‘a modern scholar’s writing against say what St. Irenaeous Taught’. I would only choose that modern scholar if he can prove ‘using Verses only’ that Irenaeous is wrong which I often find that it’s not the case. It’s usually that the ‘modern scholar’ came up with ‘something not rigorous nor Verse backed’ but ‘he thinks that God Spoke to him’ as the latter thinks that ‘he is a living epistle’.
The ‘living epistle’ (2 Corinthians 3:3) which our dear apostle Paul wrote referred to those in the church of Corinthians who obeyed say 1 Corinthians 14:34 (Can you see it?) is being ‘led by the same Spirit of God’ Who gave the ‘commands of the Lord’ & ‘not cultural rules’ as 1 Corinthians 14:37 clearly reveals.
In other words the ‘Living Epistles’ (2 Corinthians 3:3) only refers to the ones who Spoke and Taught the SAME thing as apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 1:10) & if any from First Christianity can be proven to Speak against apostle Paul’s Teachings in ‘word of mouth or writing in letter’ (1 Corinthians 11:2 with 2 Thessalonians 2:15 for depth meant), only then these are ‘not living epistles’ referred to in the ‘Context of Corinthians itself”.
Peace to you.
Where is the Proof that First Christianity understood the “Rest” in “not enter my Rest” to refer to the Millennial Reign or the “Seventh Day”?
Here’s Proof that the phrase “times of the kingdom” by St. Irenaeous refers to the “Seventh Day, 7th Day” of the Millennial Day as the Lord Mentions during the Rejection in Matthew 7:20 – 23 too to refer to this “Day” (Please note the word “Day” Carefully in Matthew 7:22 to ‘realize this Biblical Truth as per First Christianity’), from Page 378 of the ‘Lost Orthodoxy Book’:
“But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, THE REST, the HALLOWED SEVENTH DAY; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that “many coming from the east and from the west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (Against Heresies, Book 5, Chapter XXX.-Although Certain as to the Number of the Name of Antichrist, Yet We Should Come to No Rash Conclusions as to the Name Itself, Because This Number is Capable of Being Fitted to Many Names. Reasons for This Point Being Reserved by the Holy Spirit. Antichrist’s Reign and Death)
Please note carefully the ‘equivalent’ phrases from the above proving the claim as follows:
THE REST, = the HALLOWED SEVENTH DAY; = and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance.
Here’s Further Proof that First Christianity understood the “Rest” in “not enter my Rest” to refer to the Millennial Reign, to quote from pages 438 to 445 of the ‘Lost Orthodoxy Book’:
The ‘Resurrection of the Just’ (First Resurrection) is NOT the same as the second ‘resurrection of the just & wicked’ simply because there is a 1000 year gap between the two (Revelation 20:5 & Revelation 20:7).
Also, the ‘Resurrection of the Just’ (First Resurrection) is NOT the same as the second ‘resurrection of the righteous & wicked’ —> simply because in the First Resurrection, ONLY the Righteous by Faith are Raised (Revelation 2-0:4 – 6) and the ‘rest of the dead (righteous or wicked, implied) do NOT share in ‘this particular hope’ at all (1 Thessalonians 4:13) —> while in contrast, during the Second General Resurrection, both the ‘righteous & wicked’ are raised ‘simultaneously (Daniel 12:2, John 5:28 – 29) and thereafter are Judged before the Great White Throne of Judgment (Matthew 25:31 – 46)’ based on ‘works only’ (Revelation 20:11 – 15) and NOT based on ‘faith in Christ’ (which pertains to the First Resurrection only, ‘those worthy’ – 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 17).
- a) Papias (c. 60–163 AD, Bishop of Hierapolis ) taught this
“… there will be a millennium after the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ will be established on this earth (Fragments of Papias, VI. See also Eusebius, Church History, Book 3, XXXIX, 12).
“In like manner, [He said] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear would have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds of clear, pure, fine flour; and that apples, and seeds, and grass would produce in similar proportions; and that all animals, feeding then only on the productions of the earth, would become peaceable and harmonious, and be in perfect subjection to man.” [Testimony is borne to these things in writing by Papias, an ancient man, who was a hearer of John and a friend of Polycarp, in the fourth of his books; for five books were composed by him…] (Fragments of Papias, IV).
- b) Justin Martyr (c. 100 – 165 AD, Christian Apologist) taught this
“But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.
For Isaiah spake thus concerning this space of a thousand years: ‘For there shall be the new heaven and the new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, or come into their heart; but they shall find joy and gladness in it, which things I create’…For as Adam was told that in the day he ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression, ‘The day of the Lord is as a thousand years,’ is connected with this subject. And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place.” – Justin Martyr (Dialogue. Chapters 80-81).
Please note these lines ‘carefully’ in Justin’s writing above which speaks of the ‘First Resurrection’ being DIFFERENT from the ‘General Resurrection’ where the ‘latter is for All Men’ before His Great White Throne:
b.i) Justin Reveals the ‘First Resurrection’ to be only for Sheepfold1
‘… right-minded Christians on all points, … there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem’ = First Resurrection (Revelation 20:4 – 6) = ‘The day of the Lord is as a thousand years,’ is connected with this subject’ —> where this Resurrection is ONLY for Shepfold1 or Christians as Justin Remarks, ‘that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem’.
b.ii) Justin Reveals that the (Second) ‘General Resurrection’ to be for the ‘rest of the dead’ (Sheepfold2 and the Wicked)
‘ that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place’ = ‘that THEREAFTER [after that 1000 years Milennial Reign of Christ of the First Resurrection for Christians only, Revelation 20:4 – 6 alongside ‘mortal sinners’ too, Isaiah 65:20, Revelation 20:7] —> the GENERAL [Resurrection], and, in short, the eternal [age-during] [General] resurrection [John 5:28 – 29, Daniel 12:2, Matthew 25:31 – 46) and judgment of all men [in front of His Great White Throne, Revelation 20:11 – 15) would likewise take place’.
Can you see it?
- c) Irenaeous taught this
c.i) TIMES of the KINGDOM = Those for the First Resurrection only during the Last or 7th Day of this Current Age for the 1000 Millennial Reign of Christ (Revelation 20:4 – 6, Luke 14:14, 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 17 Jewish Prophecy/Oracles Verses from the Old Testament too).
“Again John also says the very same in the Apocalypse: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the FIRST RESURRECTION.” Then, too, Isaiah has declared the TIME when THESE EVENTS shall OCCUR; he says: “And I said, Lord, how long? Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses be without men, and the earth be left a desert. And after these things the Lord shall remove us men far away (longe nos faciet Deus homines), and those who shall remain shall multiply upon the earth.” Then Daniel also says this very thing: “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of those under the heaven, is given to the saints of the Most High God, whose kingdom is everlasting [age-during till the end of this age during the LAST DAY for 1000 years, Daniel 7:27], and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” And lest the promise named should be understood as referring to this time, it was declared to the prophet: “And come thou, and stand in thy lot at the consummation of the days.” – (Iraneous, Against Heresies, Book 5, Chapter 34:2)
c.ii) AFTER the TIMES of the KINGDOM (Justin mentions similarly, ‘THEREAFTER’ this 1000 years quoted earlier – implied) = the ‘General Resurrection’ happens (John 5:28 – 29, Daniel 12:2) and Judgment before His Great White Throne follows (Revelation 20:11 – 15, Matthew 25:31 – 46).
“And in the Apocalypse John saw this new [Jerusalem] descending upon the NEW earth. For AFTER the TIMES of the KINGDOM, he says, “I saw a Great White Throne, and Him who sat upon it, from whose face the [OLD] earth fled away, and the [OLD] heavens; and there was no more place for them.” And he sets forth, too, the things connected with the GENERAL RESURRECTION and the judgment, mentioning “the dead, great and small.” … Lake of Fire, the second death.” Now this is what is called Gehenna, which the Lord styled eternal [age-during] fire. “And if any one,” it is said, “was not found written in the book of life, he was sent into the lake of fire.”… “For there shall be a NEW heaven and a NEW earth; and there shall be NO remembrance of the FORMER, neither shall the heart think about them, but they shall find in it joy and exultation.” Now this is what has been said by the apostle: “For the fashion of this world passeth away.”
To the same purpose did the Lord also declare, “[OLD] Heaven and [OLD] earth shall PASS AWAY.” When these things, therefore, pass away above the earth, John, the Lord’s disciple, says that the new [426-427] Jerusalem above shall [then] descend, as a bride adorned for her husband; and that this is the tabernacle of God, in which God will dwell with men. Of this Jerusalem the former one is an image-that Jerusalem of the former earth in which the righteous are disciplined beforehand for incorruption and prepared for salvation.” – (Iraneous, Against Heresies, Book 5, Chapter 35:2)
Please note that in the above that there are ‘two Jerusalems’ spoken of namely that the ‘earthly Jerusalem’ (Image, Shadow on the OLD Earth during the 1000 Millennial Reign of Christ) vs the ‘Jerusalem from above’ (Galatians 4:26, Revelation 21:2, Actual – Substance in Christ) which descends upon the NEW Earth only (Revelation 21:1, consecutive Verse prior) proving the exegesis Principle of Hebrews 10:1 and Colossians 2:17 via Iraneous own writing above.
- d) Eusebius mentions that Papias taught this
“…there will be a period of a thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth…” – Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea (AD 260/265 – 339/340 – The History of the Church, Book III, Chapter XXIX, Verse 12, p. 69)
Eusebius, coming in much later than these ‘earlier saints’ did NOT understand the details correctly and thus erred in assuming that ‘there is no 1000 Millennial Reign of Christ’ or that ‘there is no two resurrections’ (as some scholars remark) which also reflects the ‘lack of understanding’ in the minds of ‘later bishops only’ which caused them to ‘miss this important point concerning the resurrection of the dead’. This error is reflected in popular denominations today too where ‘whatever they find contradictory, they take it as symbolic’ which is not our way as we follow the earliest most reliable leaders of the church ‘as few as they may be’ as discussed here as well.
- e) The Vatican seems to have denounced the Millennium Doctrine ‘later only’ as recorded by Jerome
“18:1 Papias, a hearer of John, (and) bishop of Hierapolis in Asia, wrote only five books, which he entitled An Exposition of Discourses of the Lord. Wherein, when he asserts in his preface that he is not following promiscuous statements, but has the Apostles as his authorities, he says: —
2 “I used to inquire what had been said by Andrew, or by Peter, or by Philip, or by Thomas or James, or by John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples, and what Aristion and the Elder John, the disciples of the Lord, were saying. For books to read do not profit me so much as the living voice clearly sounding up to the present day in (the persons of) their authors.”
3 From which it is clear that in his list of names itself there is one John who is reckoned among the Apostles, and another the Elder John, whom he enumerates after Aristion. We have mentioned this fact on account of the statement made above, which we have recorded on the authority of very many, that the two later epistles of John are not (the work) of the Apostle, but of the Elder. This (Papias) is said to have promulgated the Jewish tradition of a Millennium, and he is followed by Irenaeus, Apollinarius and the others, who say that after the resurrection the Lord will reign in the flesh with the saints. (Jerome. Illustrious Men, Chapter 18. As translated by J. B. Lightfoot & J. R. Harmer and Edited By Daniel R. Jennings)
- f) Even the non-Canonical Epistle of Barnabas taught this (reflecting ‘common grounds in theology’ in earliest times of Christianity)
“Moreover concerning the Sabbath likewise it is written in the Ten Words, in which He spake to Moses face to face on Mount Sinai; And ye shall hallow the Sabbath of the Lord with pure hands and with a pure heart. And in another place He saith; If my sons observe the Sabbath then I will bestow My mercy upon them. Of the Sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation; And God made the works of His hands in six days, and He ended on the seventh day, and rested on it, and He hallowed it. Give heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days.
He meaneth this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end; for the day with Him signifyeth a thousand years; and this He himself beareth me witness, saying; Behold, the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six days, that is in six thousand years, everything shall come to an end. And He rested on the seventh day. this He meaneth; when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon and the stars, then shall he truly rest on the seventh day.” – (Epistle of Barnabas, 15:1-5).
- g) The Ancient Judaeo-Christianity’s Sibyline Oracles Prophecy also Teaches this
The link below illustrates the harmony of the Bible Verses and the Sibyline Oracles in relation to this Earliest Exegesis:
10) But didn’t Justin, Irenaeous, Hippolytus teach eternal Hell or annihilation?
Or were their words misunderstood to refer to ‘age-during Judgment’ only as per New Testament Inspired Biblical Koine Greek?
It’s discussed in great detail in post below:
Example with the [age-during] correction to the ‘English Translation’ below to reflect the ‘original Greek word which points to pertaining to the age meaning, LITERALLY’:
“Moreover, concerning the resurrection and the kingdom of the saints, Daniel says, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise, some to everlasting [age-during] life, (and some to shame and everlasting [age-during] contempt).” Esaias says, “The dead men shall arise, and they that are in their tombs shall awake; for the dew from thee is healing to them.” The Lord says, “Many in that day shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.” And the prophet says, “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
And John says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the FIRST RESURRECTION: on such the second death hath no power.” For the second death is the lake of fire that burneth. And again the Lord says, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun shineth in his glory.” And to the saints He will say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
But what saith He to the wicked? “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting [age-during] fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, which my Father hath prepared.” And John says, “Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever maketh and loveth a lie; for your part is in the hell of fire.” And in like manner also Esaias: “And they shall go forth and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me. And their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be for a spectacle to all flesh.” – Hippolytus of Rome (170–235 AD, TREATISE ON CHRIST AND ANTICHRIST, Point 65)
Please note carefully how Hippolytus distinguishes between those from the ‘General Resurrection’ vs those from the ‘First Resurrection’ whilst discussing the Great White Throne of Judgment in the quote above:
How do I know that Hippolytus referred to the ‘General Resurrection’ when he quotes Daniel 12:2 above? To quote:
Hippolytus was one of the Church of Rome’s greatest early theologians according to The Catholic Encyclopedia. Notice what he wrote in the early third century:
“For concerning the GENERAL RESURRECTION and the kingdom of the saints, Daniel says: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting [age-during] life, and some to shame and everlasting [age-during] contempt.” And Isaiah says: “The dead shall rise, and those in the tombs shall awake, and those in the earth shall rejoice.” And our Lord says: “Many in that [Last] Day shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live” (Hippolytus. On the End of the World, Chapter XXXVI. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).
Yes, Hippolytus himself referred to the hope which is NOT possible for others but the Christian dead ONLY (in 1 Thessalonians 4:13) to refer to the ‘First Resurrection’ or the ‘Resurrection of the Just only’ (tying up 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 17 to Revelation 20:4 – 6 & Luke 14:14) agreeing perfectly to our exegesis in obedience to 2 Peter 1:20 as well, as NO Prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, to quote:
” Concerning the RESURRECTION of the RIGHTEOUS, Paul also speaks thus in writing to the Thessalonians: “We would not have you to be ignorant concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive (and) remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice and trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive (and) remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – Hippolytus of Rome (170–235 AD, TREATISE ON CHRIST AND ANTICHRIST, Point 66)
Yes, in the above:
The ‘RESURRECTION of the RIGHTEOUS’ (Luke 14:14) = 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 17 as Hippolytus himself quotes. Can you see the ‘Proper Context’? (Revelation 20:4 – 6 too).
An Important Comment: Is ‘ages of Ages’ forever?
In his ending of the Book above, Hippolytus adds the word ‘endless’ in front of the popular phrase ‘ages of Ages’ (e.g. as found in Revelation 20:10) proving by usage itself that the phrase ‘ages of Ages’ is NOT ‘forever and ever’ as popularly erred but rather to the ‘ages’ (subset) out of a larger total set of ‘Ages’ (universal set), to quote:
“… He will rejoice with them, glorifying the Father. To Him be the Glory unto the endless ages of the Ages. Amen.” – Hippolytus of Rome (170–235 AD, TREATISE ON CHRIST AND ANTICHRIST, Point 67)
So, Hippolytus adds the word ‘endless’ in front of the ‘popular ages of Ages phrase’ to signify that the Glory of Christ extends beyond the ‘ages of out of the Endless Larger Set of Ages’ – WITHOUT END.
Please note that only the ‘latter’ (NOT earliest authorities of doctrine opposed this Theology – Precedence settles the matter), to quote from the ‘much respected church historian Philip Schaff himself’:
“The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene age is the prominent chiliasm, or millenarianism, that is the belief of a visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years, before the general resurrection and judgement. It was indeed not the doctrine of the church embodied in any creed or form of devotion, but a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and Lactantius, while Caius, Origen, Dionysius the Great, Eusebius (as afterwards Jerome and Augustin) opposed it.” (Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, Volume 2. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, p. 381)
Who gets the Chance to ‘Repent after Death’?
Not everyone but only ‘Sheepfold2’ as God Sees all Hearts before Deciding it. No one can Trick God. Did First Christianity teach this? Yes, to quote from Pages 149 to 151 from the ‘Lost Orthodoxy Book’ (which Proves that the Visions of Hell by say Sadhu Sundar Singh to be ‘Correct’ agreeing to what’s Written here):
1) Christians who backslide from the Truth – the Rejected Stones
“So then, you will know them by their fruits. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:20 – 23, NASB)
“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES” (Hebrews 10:26 – 27, NASB)
“For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4 – 6, NASB)
26:6 “And this I say not in reference to these days, that a man after denying should receive repentance; for it is impossible for him to be saved who shall now deny his Lord; but for those who denied Him long ago repentance seemeth to be possible. If a man therefore will repent, let him do so speedily before the tower is completed; but if not, he shall be destroyed by the women and put to death.” (Shepherd of Hermas)
What is meant by “no repentance is possible after death” for ‘such Christians’ described in Verses above?
To quote from the Shepherd of Hermas (‘not’ my opinion – please take note):
7:3 But the others, which are near the waters and yet cannot roll into the water, wouldest thou know who are they? These are they that heard the word, and would be baptized unto the name of the Lord. Then, when they call to their remembrance the purity of the truth, they change their minds, and go back again after their evil desires.”
7:4 So she finished the explanation of the tower.
7:5 Still importunate, I asked her further, whether for all these stones that were rejected and would not fit into the building of the tower that was repentance, and they had a place in this tower. “They can repent,” she said, “but they cannot be fitted into this tower.
7:6 Yet they shall be fitted into another place much more humble, but not until they have undergone torments, and have fulfilled the days of their sins. And they shall be changed for this reason, because they participated in the Righteous Word; and then shall it befall them to be relieved from their torments, if the evil deeds, that they have done, come into their heart; but if these come not into their heart, they are not saved by reason of the hardness of their hearts.”
The Shepherd of Hermas clearly reveals that “no repentance is possible” links to them NOT being part of the ‘tower of repentance’ which describes the HIGHER INHERITANCE LOT which is ‘only for believers in faith who obey His Commands’ (1 John 2:4, John 14:15).
The Shepherd of Hermas also describes that ‘these fallen believers of faith’ —> “Yet they shall be fitted into another place much more humble, but not until they have undergone torments, and have fulfilled the days of their sins.”
The Duration of their afterlife Judgment or Punishment is ’till the last penny only and NOT forever’, comparison phrases:
“And they shall be changed for this reason, because they participated in the Righteous Word; and then shall it befall them to be relieved from their torments, if the evil deeds, that they have done, come into their heart; but if these come not into their heart, they are not saved by reason of the hardness of their hearts.” [7:6, Shepherd of Hermas] = “the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. “And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? “For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, so that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. “I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.” (Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 12:46, 57 – 59, NASB)
Can you see how Merciful and Just our God Really is?
Repentance now is Chiefly Around INHERITING HIS GLORIOUS KINGDOM beyond entering it only eventually (Matthew 5:19) —> to find ‘your place according to your works’ (reward vs punishment accordingly, Revelation 22:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10):
9:5 Look ye to the judgment that cometh. Ye then that have more than enough, seek out them that are hungry, while the tower is still unfinished; for after the tower is finished, ye will desire to do good, and will find no place for it.
3:2 “Listen,” said she; “the black is this world in which ye dwell;
3:3 and the fire and blood color showeth that this world must perish by blood and fire;
3:4 and the golden part are ye that has escaped from this world. For as the gold is tested by the fire and is made useful, so ye also [that dwell in it] are being tested in yourselves. Ye then that abide and pass through the fire will be purified by it. For as the old loses its dross. so Ye also shall cast away all sorrow and tribulation, and shall be purified, and shall be useful for the building of the tower.
3:5 But the white portion is the coming age, in which the elect of God shall dwell; because the elect of God shall be without spot and pure unto life eternal.
3:6 Wherefore cease not thou to speak in the ears of the saints. Ye have now the symbolism also of the tribulation which is coming in power. But if ye be willing, it shall be nought. Remember ye the things that are written beforehand.”
2) Non Christians before the Time of Christ – is there Hope for an afterlife repentance for them?
3:4 To those then that were called before these days the Lord has appointed repentance. For the Lord, being a discerner of hearts and foreknowing all things, perceived the weakness of men and the manifold wiles of the devil, how that he will be doing some mischief to the servants of God, and will deal wickedly with them.
3:5 The Lord then, being very compassionate, had pity on His handiwork, and appointed this (opportunity of) repentance, and to me was given the authority over this repentance.
3) Who are the Sheepfold2?
To quote (from an earlier write-up discussing this from link above):
The phrase “for they fell asleep in righteousness and in great purity. Only they had not this seal” together with the phrase “came to the full knowledge of the name of the Son of God” with the phrase “others that had fallen asleep before them went down dead and came up alive” ——> with the phrase “to rise up through water, that they might be made alive; for otherwise they could not enter into the kingdom of God, except they had put aside the deadness of their [former] life” —> seem to point 🤔 to “the Sheepfold2” (John 10:16) which refers to the “righteous in good works (e. g. John 5:28 – 29, Daniel 12:2) who died without believing in Christ” but believed in Him ‘after seeing Him, John 6:40 (in the afterlife too, implied in John 3:14 – 15)’ as it is Discussed in Great Detail in Posts below regarding this
Mystery for Edification:
- a) Sheep and Goats – FAQ
- b) Shepherd of Hermas – FAQ and Early Church History regarding it in understanding Afterlife Judgment and Repentance
Who does not get a chance to repent after death?
The Wicked or Goats. God knows who are truly wicked and not. To quote from Pages 151 to 157 of the ‘Lost Orthodoxy Book’:
Goats – Is Hell or Afterlife Judgment Forever for the Wicked?
No, only ’till the last penny’ (Luke 12:46, 57 – 59 quoted earlier too as it relates to the ‘unbelievers’ as well; please note the word ‘unbelievers’ in Luke 12:46 to realize this ‘Same Context of Afterlife Judgment for both fallen believers & the wicked’):
“Woe to the wicked–it will go badly for them, for what they have done will be done to them.” (Isaiah 3:11, CSB)
Shepherd of Hermas:
2:4 “Continue therefore,” said he, “in this ministry, and complete it unto the end. For whosoever fulfill his commandments shall have life; yea such a man (shall have) great honor with the Lord. But whosoever keep not his commandments, fly from their life, and oppose him, and follow not his commandments, but deliver themselves over to death; and each one becometh guilty of his own blood. But I bid thee obey these commandments, and thou shalt have a remedy for thy sins.”
15:3 Hear,” saith he, “likewise the names of the women that wear the black garments. Of these also four are more powerful than the rest; the first is Unbelief; the second, Intemperance; the third, Disobedience; the fourth, Deceit; and their followers are called, Sadness, Wickedness, Wantonness, Irascibility, Falsehood, Folly, Slander, Hatred. The servant of God that beareth these names shall SEE the kingdom of God, but shall NOT ENTER into it.”
Please note carefully the difference highlighted by the Shepherd of Hermas in relation to the ‘black garment-wicked ones’ in regards to SEEing and ENTERing the KINGDOM of GOD in Verse above.
What does it mean? The Bible Verses below explain this:
(i) SEE His Kingdom
“Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is BORN AGAIN he cannot SEE the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3, NASB)
15:3 Hear,” saith he, “likewise the names of the women that wear the black garments. Of these also four are more powerful than the rest; the first is Unbelief; the second, Intemperance; the third, Disobedience; the fourth, Deceit; and their followers are called, Sadness, Wickedness, Wantonness, Irascibility, Falsehood, Folly, Slander, Hatred. The servant of God that beareth these names shall SEE the kingdom of God, …”
So, SEEing His Kingdom is ONLY for those being BORN AGAIN (John 3:3). The Shepherd of Hermas implies that the WICKED will SEE His Kingdom and hence MUST be BORN AGAIN too (15:3) and this is Proven Irrefutably in Verse below where being BORN AGAIN (Romans 8:20 – 21) where this aspect of the Sons of God, (His Elect – Romans 8:19) is SHARED by ALL CREATION eventually (Romans 8:22):
All Creation (Romans 8:22) —> will be BORN AGAIN (as the Greek Word in Romans 8:22 refers to ‘Birth Pangs’ Implying this, and has the Word ALL in front of ‘Creation’) —> in the Aspect of ‘liberty from Vanity or Decay, the corruption of sin’ causing ‘sin to cease to exist eventually’ as it is mentioned first in Immediate Consecutive Verses (Romans 8:20 – 21) —> where we, the ‘believers in faith’ (of ‘church’) are ‘more special’ inheriting more than just that (as the Verse earlier in Romans 8:19 describes the ‘rest of creation’ awaiting this).
“The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” – apostle John quoting John the Baptist (John 1:29, NASB)
“For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” – apostle Paul (Romans 8:19 – 22, NASB)
When these Verses are taken ‘together’, being BORN AGAIN means that BEING FREE FROM SIN (decay, vanity) of “corruption” (sin & its effects) which applies to ALL CREATION eventually (as Romans 8:19 – 22 implies clearly with Verse 15:3 from the Shepherd of Hermas).
‘Let Scripture interpret Scripture’ – Clement of Alexandria
(ii) NOT ENTER His Kingdom
“Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he CANNOT ENTER into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5, NASB)
15:3 Hear,” saith he, “likewise the names of the women that wear the black garments. Of these also four are more powerful than the rest; the first is Unbelief; the second, Intemperance; the third, Disobedience; the fourth, Deceit; and their followers are called, Sadness, Wickedness, Wantonness, Irascibility, Falsehood, Folly, Slander, Hatred. The servant of God that beareth these names … shall NOT ENTER into it.” (Shepherd of Hermas)
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will NOT INHERIT the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,” – apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 6:9, NASB)
“OUTSIDE are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” (Revelation 22:15, NASB)
The wicked being Saved from the Lake of Fire itself is Beautifully Prophesied in Verse below where both His Spirit (God) and His Bride (“believers”, Church) call out to “thirsty ones from the Lake of Fire (implied)” to partake of the “Water of Life” freely:
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Revelation 22:17, NASB)
ONLY the CHRISTIAN RIGHTEOUS both ENTER (Acts 14:22) and INHERIT His Kingdom as KINGS and PRIESTS (Revelation 1:6, Revelation 5:10) toward those from the first resurrection, (sheepfold 1, Revelation 20:4 – 6) while the righteous from other nations (sheepfold2, Matthew 25:33, Acts 10:35, Revelation 22:12) inherit other lower positions or possessions as God Wills (Matthew 25:34).
So ‘combining’ these ‘Verses’, it’s clear that the wicked may thus drink of the river of life [after their part in the Lake of Fire first, Revelation 21:8 to make them to be BORN again as part of the Process of God Making ALL things NEW in SINLESS-NESS eventually – Revelation 21:5] but these will remain OUTSIDE the Kingdom of God (the Great City of Zion) and will NOT ENTER it as long as God Wills (the River of Life must thus flow OUTSIDE the Great City where the Wicked may ‘drink’ from it post-Judgment in the Lake of Fire):
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, … And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in NO wise ENTER into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” – apostle John’s Vision (Revelation 21:10, 25 – 27, KJV)
Please note that Lord Jesus Christ used two different phrases in John 3 as follows marking a distinction between being ‘Born again only’ vs ‘Being Born of both Water and Spirit’ as even the Shepherd of Hermas’ Writing allows us to ‘understand this Mystery’ as follows:
- a) Born Again only
“BORN AGAIN” —-> “SEE the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
Applies to the Wicked too (as the fallen believers have the SAME Punishment as the Wicked as Luke 12:46 & Hebrews 10:26 – 27 means too):
15:3 Hear,” saith he, “likewise the names of the women that wear the black garments. … shall SEE the kingdom of God, …” (Shepherd of Hermas)
Being BORN AGAIN into this SINLESS-NESS (Romans 8:20 – 21) aspect of the Sons of God, (His Elect – Romans 8:19) is SHARED by ALL CREATION eventually (Romans 8:22).
- b) Born Again in Both Water and Spirit
“… Born of Water and the Spirit …” —-> “ENTER into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)
This applies to His Bride first (obviously) with NO afterlife Judgment (John 5:24, Sheepfold1) and also to the ‘righteous’ who only repent in the ‘afterlife’ as the Shepherd of Hermas pointed out too (the ‘sheep of the other fold, John 10:16’, Sheepfold2) in ‘Verses’ below:
15:2 “It was necessary for them,” saith he, “to rise up through water, that they might be made alive; for otherwise they could not enter into the kingdom of God, except they had put aside the deadness of their [former] life.
15:3 So these likewise that had fallen asleep received the seal of the Son of God and entered into the kingdom of God. For before a man,” saith he, “has borne the name of [the Son of] God, he is dead; but when he has received the seal, he layeth aside his deadness, and resumeth life.
15:4 The seal then is the water: so they go down into the water dead, and they come up alive. “thus to them also this seal was preached, and they availed themselves of it that they might enter into the kingdom of God.”
15:5 “Wherefore, Sir,” say I, “did the forty stones also come up with them from the deep, though they had already received the seal?” “Because,” saith he, “these, the apostles and the teachers who preached the name of the Son of God, after they had fallen asleep in the power and faith of the Son of God, preached also to them that had fallen asleep before them, and themselves gave unto them the seal of the preaching.
15:6 Therefore they went down with them into the water, and came up again. But these went down alive [and again came up alive]; whereas the others that had fallen asleep before them went down dead and came up alive.
15:7 So by their means they were quickened into life, and came to the full knowledge of the name of the Son of God. For this cause also they came up with them, and were fitted with them into the building of the tower and were builded with them, without being shaped; for they fell asleep in righteousness and in great purity. Only they had not this seal. Thou hast then the interpretation of these things also.” “I have, Sir,” say I.”
The phrase “for they fell asleep in righteousness and in great purity. Only they had not this seal” together with the phrase “came to the full knowledge of the name of the Son of God” with the phrase “others that had fallen asleep before them went down dead and came up alive” ——> with the phrase “to rise up through water, that they might be made alive; for otherwise they could not enter into the kingdom of God, except they had put aside the deadness of their [former] life” —> seem to point 🤔 to “the Sheepfold2” (John 10:16) which refers to the “righteous in good works (e. g. John 5:28 – 29, Daniel 12:2) who died without believing in Christ” but believed in Him ‘after seeing Him, John 6:40 (in the afterlife too, implied in John 3:14 – 15).
“This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES; I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” (Matthew 13:35, NASB)
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with RIGHTEOUS judgment.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 7:24, NASB)
P/S: For a Detailed Discussion regarding the ‘Reliability’ of the Shepherd of Hermas and its early interpretation, please consider the Post in link below for Edification:
Why is all this Important? For a Proper Exegesis because if not, we may knowingly or unknowingly DISOBEY the Verse below:
“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,” – apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:20, NASB)
To whom is the Shepherd of Hermas addressed to (intended audience or readers)?
8:11 “for thou must understand first, and I charge thee, Hermas, first with these words, which I am about to speak to thee–(I charge thee to) tell all these things into the ears of the saints, that hearing them and doing them they may be purified from their wickednesses, and thyself also with them.”
5:7 “If then, when ye hear them, ye keep them and walk in them, and do them with a pure heart, ye shall receive from the Lord all things that He promised you; but if, when ye hear them, ye do not repent, but still add to your sins, ye shall receive from the Lord the opposite. All these the shepherd, the angel of repentance. commanded me to write.”
2:2 “He answered and said unto me, “I,” saith he, “preside over repentance, and I give understanding to all who repent. Nay, thinkest thou not,” saith he, “that this very act of repentance is understanding? To repent is great understanding,” saith he. “For the man that hath sinned understandeth that he hath done evil before the Lord, and the deed which he hath done entereth into his heart, and he repenteth, and doeth no more evil, but doeth good lavishly, and humbleth his own soul and putteth it to torture because it sinned. Thou seest then that repentance is great understanding.”
2:4 “Thou shalt live,” saith he, “if thou keep my commandments and walk in them and whosoever shall hear these commandments and keep them, shall live unto God.”
Isn’t Pharaoh’s Hardening of Heart God’s Fault?
This is another Common Fallacy. First Christianity fought this Gnostic Error too. To quote from Pages 547 to 551 of the ‘Lost Orthodoxy Book’:
In Page 523 (in Book ‘Lost Orthodoxy’) we find Irenaeous FIGHTING AGAINST this ‘ancient Gnostic Pagan error of ascribing to God the act of evil’, as follows:
That God is not the Author of Evil, for Florinus seemed to be defending this opinion. —-> some among the ‘Calvinists or Universalists’ also ERR LIKEWISE in ‘falsely’ attributing God to Doing Evil instead of realizing the TRUTH that ‘God does NOT Influence or DO EVIL AT ALL’ (James 1:13) and He only JUDGES EVIL by RETURNING the SAME EVIL back to the Perpetrators in this life or next (Galatians 6:7, Isaiah 3:11) as ancient Christianity CORRECTLY taught say regarding the meaning of Isaiah 45:7.
Please see Page 367 in that same Book ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ for an accurate Scriptural Exegesis with NO contradictions (and agrees to Irenaeous’) instead of the one you proposed (which is contradicted by the Verses above).
- i) Job’s Case
Job’s Case causes NO Problem at all in our exegesis.
“Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” (Job 2:7, NASB)
Satan’s role is clear in Job though the ‘evil Job experienced’ by Satan’s own free will choice (Job 2:7 above) though is falsely ascribed to God first (Job 2:10). Job repented of some of ‘his wrong claim about God such as Job 2:10 later’ (Job 42:6).
God only ALLOWED Satan to exercise his free will in Job’s Case and did NOT WILL Job’s Destruction at ALL as Proven in God’s OWN WORDS (not Job’s, nor Satan’s):
“… And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.” – God Speaks (in Job 2:3, NASB)
“However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.” – Satan Speaks (Job 2:5, NASB)
“So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.” (Job 2:6, NASB)
The phrase “Behold, he is in your power” —-> only determines that God has given Job over to Satan’s authority and NOT that God is Intructing Job’s Ruin —> giving Satan a “CHOICE by his OWN WILL” to decide what to do next toward Job —> where we know by the next Verse (Job 2:7), Satan decides to do EVIL toward Job by his own will —-> Going against God’s Will (as God Mentioned First to Satan in Job 2:3) —> where this PERMISSION is BOUNDED by God in that He limits Satan’s will to NOT harm ‘Job’s life’ (in Job 2:6).
This agrees Perfectly to our Exegesis with NO Contradictions.
“But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the HAND of GOD, and shall we not RECEIVE EVIL? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” – Job Speaks (in Job 2:10, KJV)
“I TAKE BACK EVERYTHING I SAID, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my REPENTANCE.” – Job Speaks (in Job 42:6, NLT)
So the phrase ‘I TAKE BACK EVERYTHING I SAID,’ (Job 42:6) is said with REPENTANCE —> defining the Context of ‘whatever part which Job said wrongly is cancelled out by his own repentance’ —-> e.g. ‘HAND of GOD, and shall we not RECEIVE EVIL’ (Job 2:10) —> realizing later (as the Book of Job demonstrates) that the EVIL is DONE by SATAN and NOT God (Job 2:7) —-> and that’s why God accepts Job’s Innocence and states ‘In all this did not Job sin with his lips’ (Job 2:10) when the Book of Job is Understood in its Totality.
- ii) Amos 3:6
“Shall a TRUMPET be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be EVIL in a city, and the LORD hath NOT done it?” (Amos 3:6, KJV)
It’s clear that Amos 3:6 defines the EVIL referred to in the Context of JUDGMENT EVIL as per Isaiah 45:7 (as Irenaeous pointed out) —> as signified by the word “TRUMPET” (which is a symbolism for Judgment) in Amos 3:6.
The difference between Isaiah 45:7 and Amos 3:6 is that the former points to the Final Gehenna Judgment (Isaiah 45:7 as Irenaeous pointed out earlier) while the latter Points to an ‘earthly Judgment’ which God ALLOWS (in Amos 3:6).
iii) Judging Evil vs Overcoming Evil
God did NOT approve of the Evil done by his brothers to him as per the Verse below:
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” – Joseph Speaks (in Genesis 50:20, NASB)
Please note these phrases ‘carefully’ for an ‘accurate exegesis’:
‘you meant evil against me’ = Joseph puts the blame of ‘evil’ on ‘his brother’s will’ and NOT God.
‘but God meant it for good ‘ = Joseph mentions that God ALLOWED it, so that by His Intervention later, His WILL to OVERCOME it will TURN out to be GOOD only.
Yes Joseph affirms here intrinsically that God’s WILL is GOOD ONLY (the ‘overcoming evil’ part – Romans 12:21 which is different from the ‘Judging evil’ part as described prior) agreeing to the Verse below in James explanation regarding this SAME TOPIC too (Context):
“EVERY GOOD thing given and EVERY PERFECT Gift is from above, coming down FROM the FATHER of LIGHTS, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17, NASB)
It is similar to David’s Adultery with Bathsheba which included Murder of ‘Uriah’ too (Two Ten Commandments Broken here). This is NOT God’s Will but king David’s OWN EVIL as God sent Prophet Nathan to Pronounce Judgment upon that act.
However, since king David repented, God has Mercy and DESPITE that EVIL done, eventually God did a GOOD too which is Solomon to be born to Bathsheba later.
But the Common Fallacy in the theologians you follow is that they ‘will FALSELY claim’ that —> Uriah’s Murder and Bathsheba’s adultery is part of God’s Sovereignty or Will —> which IS A HERESY and WRONG! (a BLASPHEMY indeed!).
Truth is, God HATED that EVIL done by king David himself and that’s why He sent Prophet Nathan to JUDGE David. But since David repented (and God knows all hearts to ‘determine TRUE REPENTANCE’), God had Mercy on David.
Later, God still did a GOOD by allowing Solomon to be born from Bathsheba. God’s Sovereignty is rightly understood in that ‘Solomon can be BORN WITH or WITHOUT David marrying Bathsheba’, say through another one of his wives.
Yes, God’s Sovereignty is NOT seen by ‘approving evil as part of His Plan’ —> but in that HE JUDGES EVIL first (the ‘Judgment with no Mercy first part’ in James 2:13) —> and OVERCOMES it LATER with GOOD ONLY (Romans 12:21, the ‘Mercy Triumphs over Judgment part’ in James 2:13 or ‘Mercy to All part’ in Romans 11:32).
God HARDENED the Pharaoh’s heart because God WANTED TO JUDGE the Pharaoh for all the evil that the Pharaoh did FIRST (Exodus 10:1, so that the Pharaoh does NOT repent and escape these Judgments – in such cases where their ‘evil level is extreme’, Isaiah 6:10, Matthew 13:15, Mark 4:12, Acts 28:27, Proverbs 10:24, Ezekiel 11:8, Jeremiah 42:16, Isaiah 66:4 – where God decides to SHOW MERCY without Judgment ONLY to cases where it is Fair, He knows all hearts, e.g. John 5:24).
P/S: Love Thy Neighbour – All Law will be Fulfilled
Loving your neighbor includes “correcting a person from their error using verses & not opinions” (1 Peter 4:8, James 5:20) and “loving them as a human being even when they refuse to repent” (Matthew 5:44) leaving the ‘Judgment-part to God’ (Hebrews 9:27, Galatians 6:7) Who will Return to each person according to his deeds (Revelation 22:12).
Verses Quoted above:
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” – apostle Peter (1 Peter 4:8, NASB)
“let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” – apostle James (James 5:20, NASB)
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:44, KJV)
“And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,” – Anonymous (Hebrews 9:27, NASB)
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” – apostle Paul (Galatians 6:7, NASB)
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 22:12, NASB)
The Biblical Magic of Trees
Trees – Will the Trees Speak & Clap their Hands during His Millennial Reign (7th Day of this Age/Aeon)?
“For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12, NASB)
Is this literal or a figure of speech in that “all the trees of the field will clap their hands”?
St. Irenaeous of Lyons reveals that such a miracle is “literal”, to quote:
” as the elders who saw John, the disciple of the Lord, related that they had heard from him how the Lord used to teach in regard to these times, and say: The days will come, in which vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten [418-419] thousand twigs, and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in each one of the shoots ten thousand dusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five and twenty metretes of wine. And when any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, “I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me.”.” (St. Irenaeous of Lyons, ‘Against Heresies’, Point 418 – 419, Book 5)
Please note the last line (in the above), “I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me” shows that the ‘TREES will literally SPEAK on that 7th Day’.
P/S: A Danger of Unbelief – Judas’ Example
To quote (from page 27 of the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book):
“In Irenaeous’ Context,
The ‘First Resurrection’ = The ‘RESURRECTION of the JUST’ which is followed by the 1000
years Millennial Reign of Christ on the Last or 7th Day of this Current AGE, AGE1 or AEON1
(Luke 14:14, 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 17, Revelation 20:4 – 6).
To Quote (please note the phrase ”RESURRECTION of the JUST” carefully in the excerpt below):
“And these things are bone witness to in writing by PAPIAS, the hearer of JOHN, and a
companion of POLYCARP, in his fourth book; for there were five books compiled
(suntetagme/na) by him.
And he says in addition, “Now these things are CREDIBLE to BELIEVERS.” And he says that,
“when the TRAITOR JUDAS did NOT GIVE CREDIT to them, and put the question, `How then can things about to bring forth so abundantly be wrought by the Lord? ‘the LORD
DECLARED, `THEY WHO shall come to THESE [times] SHALL SEE.'”
When PROPHESYING of THESE TIMES, therefore, Esaias says: “The wolf also shall feed with the lamb, and the leopard shall take his rest with the kid; the calf also, and the bull, and the lion shall eat together; and a little boy shall lead them. The ox and the bear shall feed together, and their young ones shall agree together; and the lion shall eat straw as well as the ox. And the infant boy shall thrust his hand into the asp’s den, into the nest also of the adder’s brood; and they shall do no harm, nor have power to hurt anything in my holy
mountain.”(Irenaeous, ‘Against Heresies’, Book 5, Chapter XXXIII, Point 4)
The Great Promise – What if we don’t accept it?
“If any one, then, does not accept these things as referring to the appointed kingdom, he must fall into much contradiction and contrariety, as is the case with the Jews, who are involved in absolute perplexity. For not only did not the nations in this life serve this Jacob; but even after he had received the blessing, he himself going forth [from his home], served his uncle Laban the Syrian for twenty years; and not only was he not made lord of his brother, but he did himself bow down before his brother Esau, upon his return from Mesopotamia to his father, and offered many gifts to him.
Moreover, in what way did he inherit much corn and wine here, he who emigrated to Egypt because of the famine which possessed the land in which he was dwelling, and became Subject to Pharaoh, who was then ruling over Egypt?
The predicted blessing, therefore, belongs unquestionably to the times of the kingdom, when the righteous shall bear rule upon their rising from the dead; when also the creation, having been renovated and set free, shall fructify with an abundance of all kinds of food, from the dew of heaven, and from the fertility of the earth: as the elders who saw John, the disciple of the Lord, related that they had heard from him how the Lord used to teach in regard to these times, and say: The days will come, in which vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches,…” (St. Irenaeous of Lyons, ‘Against Heresies’, Point Chapter 33, Point 3, Book 5)