Reprobation

As well as election, reprobation is the other doctrine that the churches never teach. Even when it is stated in the Scriptures and God talks about it in divers manners, it has become almost unknown to Christianity, but both these doctrines spring out of God’s Everlasting Covenant.

What is reprobation? This doctrine is a very important part of the Covenant. It is God’s way of telling the wicked that they have no part in His Kingdom. It is God telling those who do not believe His Word that they are destituted of His glory and they will never have a part of it.

Reprobation is the action of a Sovereign God (Rom. 9). He is who He is: The Great I Am. Satan deceived man in the Garden of Eden by telling him that he would be like God. Man believed the lie and lost his communion with His Creator. Man became enslaved to Satan and fell under his power.

Man died spiritually and could not have communion with God anymore. Then, he died physically. His body became subject to death and decay, and his soul was taken to Sheol after death.

Even when Sheol was the place for all who died before the cross, there was a group of people who were separated and had hope that they would be out of Sheol one day: the saints of the Old Covenant (before the cross). Christ accomplished this.

Christ fulfilled all the promises God had prepared for His people, and when Christ died on the cross, He went to Sheol/Hades and took His Old Covenant saints out to translate them to Paradise. Mat. 27:53

The rest, the reprobate, those who never knew or obeyed Jehovah God, were left in Sheol. They are joined daily by all the reprobates that have ever died after the cross, and they will remain there until the judgment of the last day. They were always strangers to the covenant of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Eph. 2:12

Short Study on Hell

Before going into the matter of Hades or hell, we should keep in mind that as God is revealed in the Scriptures as the Triune God, He created man triune, too: spirit, soul, and body (1 The. 5:23; Heb. 4:12) It is the soul of man that separates from the body at the time of death, and this soul goes to one of two places: to be with the Lord Jesus Christ, or to Hades (or hell).

Going to the beginning of creation, we learn that God is a Covenant God. Before the foundation of the world God made an everlasting Covenant with Himself, within the Godhead. God, the Father was going to create a people for Himself; God, the Son was going to redeem these people from death  and God, the Holy Spirit was going to indwell them forever.

That was going to be the work of the Messiah, to redeem a people and to give them the promise of eternal life. That was the Covenant of Promise. That was the Promise that all the saints in the Old Covenant hoped for. They were waiting for this redemption, that the Messiah was going to do. OC saints did not receive the promise, but saw it “afar off”. (Heb. 11:13,39)

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit was also something strange to the saints in the OC. They, only the Jews, were able to know God, because God dwelled in the midst of them in the tabernacle and later in the temple. Only a few special people like priests, prophets and some kings were indwelled by the Holy Spirit. He was not given to everyone. That’s why David cries “do not take your Holy Spirit from me” after he had sinned in Psalm 51. The Holy Spirit was that promise that the saints received at Pentecost. (John 7:37-39)

Also, we learn in the beginning that the sin of Adam brought death and damnation to the human race. Man died after he sinned, and death is the most terrible thing that could have happened to him and us. Now, we all die. Our bodies are destined for corruption and once death comes, judgment will follow. That was the condition of man after the fall. When man rejected God in the Garden of Eden, Satan became the prince of this world. He enslaved man and acquired dominion of Sheol and of death. (Heb. 2:14-15)

Now, we should examine the meaning of the words ‘Sheol’ and ‘Hades’. The word for Hades in the Old Covenant (Testament) is “Sheol” (H7585). The KJV translates ‘Sheol’ as ‘grave’, also as ‘hell’ and ‘the pit’, but if we see the Hebrew, the word used in all these instances is ‘Sheol’. There is actually a different word/s for ‘grave’ in the Hebrew language (H6900, H6912, H6913)

Before the cross, there was one place where all souls of men went after death. Saints and reprobates went down to Sheol. The Lord Jesus Christ explained that this place was separated by a great ‘gulf’ (Luke 16) and no one could pass from one place to the other, but Sheol was within closed iron gates, and Satan had the keys. (Heb. 2:14)

As we continue reading in the OC, we will find that there was never mention of heaven or paradise. The saints who died were all knowledgeable that their souls were going down to Sheol. This word appears sixty-five times in the OC and every time refers to the place where the souls went after death. A place down below inside the Earth. The notion of going to heaven or Paradise after death was the teaching of Christ. John 14:2. Christ had to die to prepare that place for His people.

The first time we encounter the word ‘Sheol’ is in Gen. 37:35 where we read of Jacob mourning for his son Joseph who, he believed, was dead. He said, “I will go down to Sheol unto my son mourning”. Jacob was one of God’s elect, why did he say that he was going down to Sheol to be with Joseph who was also elect? The fact is that all the saints knew that everyone was going to be in Sheol after death.

The meaning of ‘Sheol’ is always a place down below, in the “nether parts of the Earth”. The sad story of Numbers 16, the rebellion of Core, shows how all these wicked men descended into Sheol alive, including their little children. Also, in 1 Samuel 28:13 when Saul uses the woman from Endor to call Samuel from the dead, she said, “I saw gods ascending out of the Earth”. This word ‘gods’ is Elohim, and it should have been translated ‘judge’ because it refers to Samuel, a saint, in this case. So, the saints went to Sheol together with the reprobates.

There was never mention of the saints in the OC going to be with the Lord after death. There are though, many references to Christ going to Sheol or Hades. In the Psalms, which all prophesied of the Messiah, we read, “For you will not leave my soul in Sheol” (Ps. 16:10; 18:5; 49:15; 86:13; 116:3 among many more).

In the New Covenant (Testament) we find that Hades was the Greek word that replaced the Hebrew ‘Sheol’. When Christ was asked for a sign of His Messianic authority, He gave the sign of the prophet Jonas saying, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Mat.12:40). What was Christ talking about?

Also, when Christ told Peter, “…upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Mat.18:16) What was Christ talking about? He is the only One who can tell us.

Christ had to come to destroy the works of the Devil (1 John 3:8). He died on the cross and went to Hades (Eph. 4:9) to wound the head of the Serpent (Rev. 13:3) as was prophesied in Gen. 3:15. That is the battle that is described in Rev. 12, Michael (Christ) and His angels fought against the dragon and cast him out. That was the sign of the prophet Jonas and that’s why Christ was three days and three nights in the heart of the Earth.  After that, the Devil didn’t accuse the saints anymore (Job 1), and Christ took His saints from Hades, the dominion of Satan, and translated them to Paradise.

That’s why we read in Mat. 27:53 that many saints rose again after His resurrection. Christ took them out of Hades. That was the first resurrection told of in Rev.20:5. Also, Christ repeats many times in Rev. 1-3 that He has the keys of death and Hades. Christ overcame Satan at the cross. Satan has no more power over Christ’s people to take them to Hades after death. He still has the liberty to go and deceive the nations as he has always done, but he can never deceive the elect of God, because the gates of Hades shall never prevail against  the saints, the true church of Christ.

On the other hand, the reprobate was left in Sheol or Hades. They are still there, in torments, awaiting the judgment of the last day. Christ said it very clearly in Luke 16:19, which is a true story that only the Man who came from heaven could tell (John 3:13).

Daniel was the first to talk about the resurrection, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” Dan.12:2

Christ also reiterates it in Mat. 25:46, “These shall go away into everlasting punishment”. In Rev. 14:11 God pours the cup of His indignation upon the two thirds (reprobates) and they “shall be tormented with fire and brimstone…and the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night”…

So, eternal punishment is real and it will be painfully surprising to many deceived people who believe in the lie of annihilation.

Election

Election is God’s way. He chooses some and rejects others. To our puny little mind this may seem terrible and unfair. Isn’t God a God of love? How can He send people to hell?

God, first of all, is a Covenant God. He made a Covenant within the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) (Heb. 6:13) that He was going to create a world and a creature (mankind) for His glory (Rev. 4:11). This may seem strange to us today, specially because the human mind has been corrupted by psychology for a long time.

God is Sovereign. He is immortal. He is pure light. He dwells in light that no man can approach unto (1 Tim 6:16) No man can see Him, and no man know Him unless God reveals Himself to him.

He created man for the purpose of having communion with him. God prepared the fall of man to bring about the work of Redemption by Jesus Christ, because man could not remain with God or go back to God, on his own. He needed -and still needs- God’s help.

This universe and everything that is in it, including mankind, was designed by this Creator, who reveals Himself in the Scriptures. And here is were election starts.

In His Book, the Bible, God declares how He created this world and how He made mankind. He tells the story from the beginning, but He didn’t tell His story to everyone He ever created.

Before the flood, God revealed Himself to certain individuals, who are referred to as “Sons of God” in Genesis 6. These were the descendants of Shem, the son God gave to Adam in place of Abel. Contrary to many false opinions, these “sons of God” were not angels (how absurd) or giants, or any other extinct species. These were men who like Enoch, the seventh from Adam, walked with God and knew Him.

God’s purpose for His creation was mainly to have a relationship with man. Very early in the history of humankind, man is already corrupted and running away from God. After almost six thousand years from creation, the Earth is full of violence, and God destroys that first world with the flood. Only Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord”. In other words, God elected Noah and his family to be saved.

This is the story God tells, not to everybody, but to Moses. Moses wrote from God and he communicated this revelation to the “people of God”, the Jews, only. God did not tell it to the Egyptians, or Babylonians, but to the Hebrews alone. The rest of the world lied in complete darkness.

After the cross, God took His Word from the Jews and delivered it to the elect in all the nations of the world. At first, the truth of God went out from Asia Minor, but these churches became apostate not too long after.

Paul, the Apostle, was sent to Macedonia to bring the Gospel of Christ. It was to this hellenistic world that God sent His Word. Again, it was not the whole world. There were many in the East and other remote and unknown places who were left in darkness.

Today, we have the Word of God translated into most of the languages of the world. Still we see that “all have no faith”. Many enemies of Christ have prospered with false religions that mimic the truth but are not true.

Then, if it were not that God elected some to salvation, if it was left to man to seek the way of life, there would be no hope for anybody. But God in His Mercy and Love elected some to salvation before He created the world. That is His election of Grace. (Rom. 9)

 

 

 

 

 

Predestination

The doctrine of predestination is one of the most misunderstood teachings of Scripture. It is widely taught from Genesis to Revelation, still, many find it difficult to understand and even abhorrent to receive.

Why is it so? Man is full of pride, and that should be enough reason to reject the doctrine of predestination. Man is spiritually dead, and he cannot understand the way of a Sovereign God. Man is dead in trespasses and sins. His mind is abject to the truth, and he looks always for the most complacent way.

Predestination, as it is taught in the Bible, is the truth that there is a God who created this world according to a plan. He had this plan laid out from before the foundation of the world. God made a Covenant within the Godhead-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- that He was going to create a world and creatures for His glory.

He planned the fall of man to provide a unique Savior – Jesus Christ. God prepared the Serpent to deceive and to destroy His Work. He did this because He had a greater Work in mind – the Atonement.

These things are difficult for most people to understand because they are not familiar with the Scriptures. They prefer to go to a church and be taught lies that make them feel good about themselves.

The Bible talks about how man is: deceitful and desperately wicked. The Bible also says who God is: Righteous, Holy, and a Consuming Fire. In Jesus Christ, God revealed Himself as the Lamb that was going to redeem His people. He didn’t die for everyone, but only for those that He planned to save before the beginning of the world.

That’s where predestination comes about. God created vessels of mercy, and vessels of wrath appointed to destruction. This is what Romans 9 talks about, and everyone who calls himself a Christian should know this very well.

Paul, Apostle by the Will of God

After almost two thousand years of Christianity, Paul, the great Apostle of the Gentiles, still has to fight for his right of apostleship. He had great controversy with the churches of Galatia and Corinth because there were many false teachers who undermined his authority and discredited his word among these congregations.

Paul’s conversion is recorded in Acts 9. He was a “blasphemer, a persecutor, an injurious” (1 Tim. 1:13) person against the church of Christ. He gives testimony of his condition before God “revealed His Son” in him (Gal. 1:13).

Paul was a Pharisee, raised in the Jewish religion at the feet of Gamaliel. He was very proud and confident that his upbringing and preparation in the Law of Moses gave him the necessary knowledge and right to come before Jehovah God approved.

However, God had better plans for Paul. Christ himself taught Paul of the purpose of the Law, which is the constant discussion in most of his letters. Paul learned the truth of the Gospel of Christ: The Law was the schoolmaster to lead the Jews to Christ.

When Paul learned the truth of the Gospel, he consider all his previous knowledge “as dung” to gain the “excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus”.

Paul understood this, by God’s Grace, and became a teacher and preacher of the New Covenant. All things became old and vanished away with the death and resurrection of Christ, and Christ brought in the New Covenant that Paul preached and the Jews rejected.

That was the main reason the Jews slandered Paul. They said that Paul was preaching against the Law of Moses, but Paul was not preaching against the Law. He was establishing the right place of the Law in the Everlasting Covenant that God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit made before the foundation of the world.

Paul was unjustly persecuted. The enemies of Christ and of the truth would move heaven and Earth to hurt Paul. Still, God preserved him until he finished his ministry.

Paul always had to defend his authority as an Apostle of Christ. In the introduction to his letters he stated being an Apostle “by the will of God”, because he had the thorn of the Jews discrediting and contradicting his message.

Little has changed to this day. Many “Christians” disregard Paul’s admonishions as if it’s not the Word of God. We still have a controversy with those who want to keep the Law of Moses and bring us into bondage to the Old Covenant again.

We should not subject to these false teachers, not even for one hour. Gal. 2:4-5

 

 

 

Is the Bible for Everyone?

If we take a careful look at the beginning of every book in the New Testament, we’ll see that it is always addressed to the saints. Every time the writer directs his words to a specific people: the saints in Christ Jesus who are in a specific place.

No one book in the Bible is addressed to the whole world or anyone who is not a believer. The addressee is always named very specifically. This is very important, because it helps us see that the Bible has been written for a specific  people.

Even in the Old Testament we find that God’s Word was always delivered to a specific people: ancient Israel. They were chosen by God from among all the nations on Earth, to be holy and to know the true God and His Word. Still, they “were not all Israel, who were of Israel” (Romans 9:6-7)

Ancient Israel was always in trouble because of their unbelief. Even when God delivered them from the bondage of Egypt, with signs and wonders and with an outstreched arm, they were  a stiff necked (very proud) people and rebellious. God promised that they were going to be judged and destroyed for their unbelief and that He was going to take His Word from them and give it to another people (the Gentiles) and they would obey Him.

Certainly, not all Gentiles will believe, but only those who He would call. God was going to choose out of all nations in the world, a people for Himself. That was the promise or the covenant God made with Abraham, the Father of many nations.

To say that the Bible is the Law for the whole world is a griveous mistake, because it was never God’s purpose to save the entire world. He chose His people from before the foundation of the world, and gave them His Word, the Bible, to make them know Him and to help them in their pilgrimage on this present evil world.

The children of God, holy and elect of God, look for the glorious appearing of their Savior and look forward to the promise of a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness will dwell. That event is still in the future, but we patiently wait for our Lord Jesus Christ’s return.

 

 

Leaders Who Tolerate Sin

Even when many who call themselves Christians are living like the world, and there is no much difference between them and the wicked, many are looking for true Christian leaders.

In the Bible, we find the example of ancient Israel. God chose these people, descendants of Abraham, to be holy and to separate themselves from the rest of the world. In order to do that, God gave them specific commandments and a service that they were to observe to give glory and honor to Jehova.

God also chose specific leaders to call on, instruct, and reprove these ancient nation to keep them away from sin and guide them in the way of righteousness.

These leaders failed, because for the most part, the Israelites were “a stiff necked people; rebellious, and always doing their own will.”

It is a clear example of the world we are living in, now. Many in this nation, call themselves Christians, but they do not honor God or give glory to His Name.

America has become a leader in bad things if we see what is portrayed in the media. There are no true Christian leaders, showing a good example and speaking out about sin and its consequences. They keep silent to get advantage for themselves, but do nothing for the people of God. Billy Graham, among many,  is a good example of this kind.

That’s why true believers have to speak up, and take a stand against sin, and not let their homes to be wrecked. True believers are the true leaders, and if we do a good job in our own lives and homes, others will see the light, because the Lord said, “You are the light of the world”.

So, stop tolerating sin and take your light out from under the bed, and shine in this dark, wicked world. We have Christ, our leader, in our side. He overcame the world.

Leadership

Christians in this country are looking for a godly leader. Unfortunately, they forget that this is an ungodly world that is under the curse and under the rule of Satan.

The biggest problem though is that Christians are tolerant of sin. Where are the so-called Christian leaders fighting for righteousness and against sin? For more than fifty years, especially with the advent of television, the moral compass of many in our nation has gone down.

There is no more awareness of sin. Sinful practices are called by fancy names like “lifestyles”. Greed has become an accepted way of doing business, and fraud is commonplace.

Many are trying to revive the ways of the Puritans and forefathers, citing that they were “Calvinists” who adhered to obey the law, and subscribed to high morals and work ethics.

They are right in the sense that the law has to be respected and obeyed to accomplished a civilized society, but they fail to see that it cannot be done through religion.

The main problem of America leaders is spiritual. Most political, financial, and religious leaders in this country are corrupt. They have no knowledge of the fear of God. They may profess to be religious, but they don’t know the living God.

True believers should stop looking for a leader in this world, and focus on becoming leaders in their homes by teaching and guiding their families in the way of righteousness.

The Christian World

Today, we have millions of Christians in the world. The sad thing is that they profess religions that differ from true Christianity, the Christianity of the Bible.

There are “Christians” who don’t even believe the Bible. There are those who don’t believe in Christ. There are even those who do not believe in God, and still call themselves Christians.

What has happened in this world with Christianity? We can trace back this history to the very beginning. We can go to the very moment when Christ told His disciples that there will be false teachers who will deceive many even the elect, if that were possible.

Public Christianity today is a farce. Most Christians all over this world do not know or understand the Scriptures. Pastors, and theologians have written their opinions and personal views in an attempt to interpret the Scriptures. They create confusion and division, because these men are unsaved and do not have the Spirit of God.

It is very sad that after two thousand years, Christianity has changed so much that it does not reflect the truth of the Scriptures anymore. The message of the Gospel has been changed; it has become accursed. There is no truth to be found in the midst of the so called Christian churches.

The disciples were called “Christians” for the first time in Antioch. People in this city, still in existence, have never heard the truth of the Gospel of Christ. Most of the churches addressed in the letters of Revelation were located in Asia.

Today, these nations are under the spell of the false religion of Islam. They have never heard the truth of the Bible. They will never hear it, because the very people who should be qualified to bring the message of salvation are all corrupted and don’t even know the truth.

Only God can bring His truth up again. But, it is written that the apostasy would come and it would trample the truth to the ground. This is what has happened. It was prophesied and it is being fulfilled.

May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, grant us His Grace, still, that we may see and hear the truth again, at least in this land.

The Wicked Attempts to Contradict God

Many people (theologians, religious false Christians) want to deny the truth of God. They engage in debates about doctrines that they do not know, understand or believe. Still, they communicate their views and feelings, and many ignorant people consider their thoughts as true.

Among those false teachers, we find the ones that do not believe hell is real. They rationalize thinking that “a loving God” would not send anybody to hell.

The fact is that the doctrine of eternal damnation is very clearly written in the Scriptures. As soon as God created man, He gave the man a warning, “do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because the day you eat of it, you shall surely die, dying”.

The man disobeyed God, because he believed Satan’s lie and did not trust God’s Word. Man fell into sin, death, and damnation, as God has said. He became subject of Satan’s kingdom and separated from God in life and after death.

At the time, which was before the cross, God revealed that all who died went to a place called Sheol. The Bible describes this place as dark, and silent. A place of consciousness where the souls remained until the time when they would be resurrected.

Daniel spoke about that resurrection. He said that some will be resurrected to live forever, and others will be resurrected to be condemned forever, too.

Christ gave a more detailed description of the place, called Hades in Greek, as a place of darkness, weeping, and gnashing of teeth. There, the souls of the unsaved will remain until the end of time when Christ will come to judge the world.

The final destination of the unbelievers will be the Lake of Fire. God also describes this place as a place where “the worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched”. Revelation 14:11 depicts the end of the unbelievers in unequivocal terms, “The smoke of their torment ascended up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night…”

In contrast, the believers have rest forever and ever, “they will rest from their labors”.

So, there are those who denied Hell because they do not like the idea of a just God, who exercise justice upon the ungodly, but that is the truth. God glorifies His Name when He saves His people, and also when He damns the unbelievers to be in torment forever and ever.