My idea of what salvation is for Douglas Summers

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#1
This thread is specifically to give @Douglas Summers my idea of salvation. It's going to be a long post as it is so for know I will leave out the scripture quotes and references. However anyone is free to ask for scripture references to back up anything I say in this post.

What Salvation is.

Salvation is not escape form eternal damnation. Salvation is freedom from the power of sin.

In the old testament there is no concept of hell as a place of eternal torment. When mankind fell into sin God declared that the punishment (wages) of sin is death. God never said the wages of sin was eternal suffering and torment.

There are two kinds of death. Spiritual death which is separation from fellowship with God and physical death, which is simply ceasing to exist. We do not have immortal souls that exist without a body.

No where in the OT did God ever say the punishment for sin is eternal damnation. It simply says it’s death. Death is a process. Any doctor or scientist will tell you that once we have matured from a physical child to a mature physical adult our bodies are in a constant state of decay until we eventually die. This is the nature of the fallen world we live in. Because of the sin nature our bodies are in a gradual state of decay. Death is constantly working in our physical bodies.

The Old Testament talks about God chastening those he loves to purify them. Fire is representative of God’s corrective punishment that is used to purify those he loves. Just as a decent natural parent has unconditional love for his or her Child, God has unconditional love for every person ever born.

We all suffer the consequences of our sin, both spiritually and physically in the here and now. Spiritually we must all die to ourselves and surrender to the will of God to be freed from the power of sin, or else we will live apart form God in state of spiritual death. In our own strength and ability we are not capable of doing this.

Physically we will all endure death and cease to exist. We do not have immortal souls. Every person who has ever existed on the earth and died physically is dead and gone and currently ceases to exist in any state. There are no humans in heaven yet, save for one, who is the first fruit of the resurrection. None of us (including Ray Kurzweil no matter how hard he tries) have the ability to escape physical death.

Because God loved the world he sent his Son so that we could have the life of the ages. (“eternal” is a poor translation of the word aionios). What is the life of the ages (or what most Christians call eternal life)? Eternal life is not simply the continuation of life in the ages to come. The life of the ages is simply to know God and have fellowship with him. Those who don’t know God cannot have life. Because their sin separates them from God, they only have death.

We who know God have life and we have life more abundantly. It’s not a promise of life in the ages to come, it’s the realization of life (fellowship with God) in the here and now. When the bible says the unbeliever shall perish, it’s not talking about a future state. Those who don’t know God are perishing (dying) in the here and now. They shall perish (cease to exist) in their sin.

If we truly know God, then we will be grieved by sin. If we are grieved by our sin, we will have Godly sorrow which the bible says leads us to repentance. Repentance is turning away from sin. When we turn away from our sin, God forgives us and we can remain in fellowship with him.

However due to the fallen nature of the world we are born into, we are all conditioned to live selfishly by our sin nature. We are not capable of repenting and turning from our sin in our own strength or ability.

God sent Jesus the messiah to be our example and show us what a man completely surrendered to God looks like. Because the wages of sin is death, all of mankind is held captive by the power of death.

God did not need Jesus to die on the cross to forgive our sin. God continually forgave sin in the OT. It’s a common misunderstanding that blood is required for the forgiveness of sin. This misunderstanding is based on a poor understanding of Hebrews 9:22. The word translated as forgiveness in that verse is “Aphesis” and it really means release or deliverance. As in the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. The story of the Exodus is a foreshadow of our release from the power of sin, so that we can have life. In the OT God commanded the Israelites to choose life by choosing the terms of his covenant after he released them from Egypt. If they committed to live according to God’s ways he would give them abundant life. The Blood of the exodus lamb on the doorposts was not for forgiveness of sin. The blood was for the release of the Israelites form Egypt and to initiate a covenant. The release from Egypt represents our release from our former lives of Sin. The blood of Jesus was not required so that God could forgive our sin, it was required to initiate the new covenant, where God’s laws are written on our heart.

When laws are written on stone tablets we do not have the ability in our own strength and will to follow them. When God writes his law on our heart by his grace, we surrender to Christ as Lord and let him live through us. We are able to live according to God’s way so that we may have life and life more abundantly. Jesus blood was not for forgiveness it was for atonement. Atonement is the reparation ( making amends for a wrong) of our sin. The wrong of our sin is that we are under the curse of death and cannot experience the life God has for us. The atonement is what allows us to regain fellowship with God.

Christians make sin a bigger issue to God than it really is. It is nothing for God to forgive sin. It’s an annoyance to him, as it is a serious determent to our ability to experience life. Sin is only a big deal to God because of what it does to us, not what it does to him. We cannot hurt God by our sin, we only hurt ourselves. Because he loves us and wants the best for us, sin grieves God, but it cannot hurt him or change him. God does not require healing or reparation for sin. The atonement is necessary for us so that we can be repaired and healed from the lifestyle of sin we have lived. It is not for God’s sake it is for ours.

Jesus sacrifice on the cross was not to forgive our sin, it was to pay the ransom to release us from the curse of death and initiate the new covenant where God’s law is written on our hearts. That is why Jesus died and was risen. He is our assurance that God is able to raise us all from the dead and break the curse and power of death.

It’s absurd to think that when an unbeliever dies in sin and no longer exists, (because the penalty of sin is death), that God would raise that sinner from the dead just so he could punish him again for eternity with no purpose or intent of correction or reconciliation. Sinners have already paid what the bible says the wages or punishment is for sin when they die. For God to raise them from the dead and make them suffer eternal torment for no purpose would make him unjust and vengeful.

However, it is God’s will that all men be saved and reconciled to him. So he will raise from the dead those who do not experience the life of ages (eternal life, knowing God) in the present age, to correct them and purify them in the Lake of Fire. They will not receive the same rewards as the saints of God, the bride of Christ, but they will be reconciled to God.

So back to the original question, what is salvation. Salvation is accepting the new covenant that Jesus initiated by his death and resurrection. Baptism is the symbolic act of identifying with the death of Christ, by crucifying our own sin nature and being raised to life (born again) in Christ. I am not saved from the wrath of God, I am saved from the power of sin over my life. I can experience the life of God in the here and now because I walk according to the covenant God has written on my heart. It is no longer I that live, but the Spirit of Christ that lives within me.

Part of salvation is sanctification and purification. This is the process by which God conforms us to the image of his son, the perfect prototype of a spirit led man of God. Every Christian that is truly born of God is somewhere in this process of sanctification. Does it mean we never sin? Of course not. But when we do sin, the grace of God leads us to godly sorrow which in turn leads us to repentance and forgiveness. (No additional blood needed). That is why Paul said to work out our salvation. Salvation is not a one time event. It’s a process that begins by accepting the covenant that Jesus initiated by dying on the cross for the atonement of the sins of the world. Atonement allows the process of sanctification to begin so that our soul can be repaired, healed and set free from the power of sin, which is death.

I am saved form the power and curse of sin over my life.
That is what salvation is to me.
 





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#2
This is so thorough and easy to understand. I really enjoyed reading this. Although, there were a couple of things I didn't understand.

In particular,

"There are two kinds of death. Spiritual death which is separation from fellowship with God and physical death, which is simply ceasing to exist. We do not have immortal souls that exist without a body. "

I am not sure how you concluded that we do not have an immortal soul.
 





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#3
This is so thorough and easy to understand. I really enjoyed reading this. Although, there were a couple of things I didn't understand.

In particular,

"There are two kinds of death. Spiritual death which is separation from fellowship with God and physical death, which is simply ceasing to exist. We do not have immortal souls that exist without a body. "

I am not sure how you concluded that we do not have an immortal soul.
The Hebrew word translated “soul” in the Old Testament is nephesh, which simply means “a breathing creature.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words defines nephesh as “the essence of life, the act of breathing, taking breath … The problem with the English term ‘soul’ is that no actual equivalent of the term or the idea behind it is represented in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew system of thought does not include the combination or opposition of the ‘body’ and ‘soul’ which are really Greek and Latin in origin” (1985, p. 237-238, emphasis added).

The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible makes this comment on nephesh: “The word ‘soul’ in English, though it has to some extent naturalized the Hebrew idiom, frequently carries with it overtones, ultimately coming from philosophical Greek (Platonism) and from Orphism and Gnosticism which are absent in ‘nephesh.’ In the OT it never means the immortal soul, but it is essentially the life principle, or the living being, or the self as the subject of appetite, and emotion, occasionally of volition” (Vol. 4, 1962, “Soul,” emphasis added)

That nephesh doesn’t refer to an immortal soul can be seen in the way the word is used in the Old Testament. It is translated “soul” or “being” in reference to man in Genesis 2:7, but also to animals by being translated “creature” in Genesis 1:24. Nephesh is translated “body” in Leviticus 21:11 in reference to a human corpse.

The Hebrew Scriptures state plainly that, rather than possess immortality, the soul can and does die. “The soul [ nephesh ] who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, Ezekiel 18:20).

The Old Testament describes the dead as going to sheol, translated into English as “hell,” “pit” or “grave.” Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 describes sheol as a place of unconsciousness: “For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished …”

exceprt from https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/what-does-the-bible-say-about-the-immortal-soul

It is only through the power of the cross and the miracle of God that we can be resurrected and "put on" immortality. We would not have to put on immortality if our souls were truly immortal. 1 Corinthians 15:53
 





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#4
This thread is specifically to give @Douglas Summers my idea of salvation. It's going to be a long post as it is so for know I will leave out the scripture quotes and references. However anyone is free to ask for scripture references to back up anything I say in this post.

What Salvation is.

Salvation is not escape form eternal damnation. Salvation is freedom from the power of sin.

In the old testament there is no concept of hell as a place of eternal torment. When mankind fell into sin God declared that the punishment (wages) of sin is death. God never said the wages of sin was eternal suffering and torment.

There are two kinds of death. Spiritual death which is separation from fellowship with God and physical death, which is simply ceasing to exist. We do not have immortal souls that exist without a body.

No where in the OT did God ever say the punishment for sin is eternal damnation. It simply says it’s death. Death is a process. Any doctor or scientist will tell you that once we have matured from a physical child to a mature physical adult our bodies are in a constant state of decay until we eventually die. This is the nature of the fallen world we live in. Because of the sin nature our bodies are in a gradual state of decay. Death is constantly working in our physical
The Old Testament talks about God chastening those he loves to purify them. Fire is representative of God’s corrective punishment that is used to purify those he loves. Just as a decent natural parent has unconditional love for his or her Child, God has unconditional love for every person ever born.

We all suffer the consequences of our sin, both spiritually and physically in the here and now. Spiritually we must all die to ourselves and surrender to the will of God to be freed from the power of sin, or else we will live apart form God in state of spiritual death. In our own strength and ability we are not capable of doing this.

Physically we will all endure death and cease to exist. We do not have immortal souls. Every person who has ever existed on the earth and died physically is dead and gone and currently ceases to exist in any state. There are no humans in heaven yet, save for one, who is the first fruit of the resurrection. None of us (including Ray Kurzweil no matter how hard he tries) have the ability to escape physical death.

Because God loved the world he sent his Son so that we could have the life of the ages. (“eternal” is a poor translation of the word aionios). What is the life of the ages (or what most Christians call eternal life)? Eternal life is not simply the continuation of life in the ages to come. The life of the ages is simply to know God and have fellowship with him. Those who don’t know God cannot have life. Because their sin separates them from God, they only have death.

We who know God have life and we have life more abundantly. It’s not a promise of life in the ages to come, it’s the realization of life (fellowship with God) in the here and now. When the bible says the unbeliever shall perish, it’s not talking about a future state. Those who don’t know God are perishing (dying) in the here and now. They shall perish (cease to exist) in their sin.

If we truly know God, then we will be grieved by sin. If we are grieved by our sin, we will have Godly sorrow which the bible says leads us to repentance. Repentance is turning away from sin. When we turn away from our sin, God forgives us and we can remain in fellowship with him.

However due to the fallen nature of the world we are born into, we are all conditioned to live selfishly by our sin nature. We are not capable of repenting and turning from our sin in our own strength or ability.

God sent Jesus the messiah to be our example and show us what a man completely surrendered to God looks like. Because the wages of sin is death, all of mankind is held captive by the power of death.

God did not need Jesus to die on the cross to forgive our sin. God continually forgave sin in the OT. It’s a common misunderstanding that blood is required for the forgiveness of sin. This misunderstanding is based on a poor understanding of Hebrews 9:22. The word translated as forgiveness in that verse is “Aphesis” and it really means release or deliverance. As in the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. The story of the Exodus is a foreshadow of our release from the power of sin, so that we can have life. In the OT God commanded the Israelites to choose life by choosing the terms of his covenant after he released them from Egypt. If they committed to live according to God’s ways he would give them abundant life. The Blood of the exodus lamb on the doorposts was not for forgiveness of sin. The blood was for the release of the Israelites form Egypt and to initiate a covenant. The release from Egypt represents our release from our former lives of Sin. The blood of Jesus was not required so that God could forgive our sin, it was required to initiate the new covenant, where God’s laws are written on our heart.

When laws are written on stone tablets we do not have the ability in our own strength and will to follow them. When God writes his law on our heart by his grace, we surrender to Christ as Lord and let him live through us. We are able to live according to God’s way so that we may have life and life more abundantly. Jesus blood was not for forgiveness it was for atonement. Atonement is the reparation ( making amends for a wrong) of our sin. The wrong of our sin is that we are under the curse of death and cannot experience the life God has for us. The atonement is what allows us to regain fellowship with God.

Christians make sin a bigger issue to God than it really is. It is nothing for God to forgive sin. It’s an annoyance to him, as it is a serious determent to our ability to experience life. Sin is only a big deal to God because of what it does to us, not what it does to him. We cannot hurt God by our sin, we only hurt ourselves. Because he loves us and wants the best for us, sin grieves God, but it cannot hurt him or change him. God does not require healing or reparation for sin. The atonement is necessary for us so that we can be repaired and healed from the lifestyle of sin we have lived. It is not for God’s sake it is for ours.

Jesus sacrifice on the cross was not to forgive our sin, it was to pay the ransom to release us from the curse of death and initiate the new covenant where God’s law is written on our hearts. That is why Jesus died and was risen. He is our assurance that God is able to raise us all from the dead and break the curse and power of death.

It’s absurd to think that when an unbeliever dies in sin and no longer exists, (because the penalty of sin is death), that God would raise that sinner from the dead just so he could punish him again for eternity with no purpose or intent of correction or reconciliation. Sinners have already paid what the bible says the wages or punishment is for sin when they die. For God to raise them from the dead and make them suffer eternal torment for no purpose would make him unjust and vengeful.

However, it is God’s will that all men be saved and reconciled to him. So he will raise from the dead those who do not experience the life of ages (eternal life, knowing God) in the present age, to correct them and purify them in the Lake of Fire. They will not receive the same rewards as the saints of God, the bride of Christ, but they will be reconciled to God.

So back to the original question, what is salvation. Salvation is accepting the new covenant that Jesus initiated by his death and resurrection. Baptism is the symbolic act of identifying with the death of Christ, by crucifying our own sin nature and being raised to life (born again) in Christ. I am not saved from the wrath of God, I am saved from the power of sin over my life. I can experience the life of God in the here and now because I walk according to the covenant God has written on my heart. It is no longer I that live, but the Spirit of Christ that lives within me.

Part of salvation is sanctification and purification. This is the process by which God conforms us to the image of his son, the perfect prototype of a spirit led man of God. Every Christian that is truly born of God is somewhere in this process of sanctification. Does it mean we never sin? Of course not. But when we do sin, the grace of God leads us to godly sorrow which in turn leads us to repentance and forgiveness. (No additional blood needed). That is why Paul said to work out our salvation. Salvation is not a one time event. It’s a process that begins by accepting the covenant that Jesus initiated by dying on the cross for the atonement of the sins of the world. Atonement allows the process of sanctification to begin so that our soul can be repaired, healed and set free from the power of sin, which is death.

I am saved form the power and curse of sin over my life.
That is what salvation is to me.
Some Truth and some of Armstrong's (WWCG) Doctrine.
 





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#5
Some Truth and some of Armstrong's (WWCG) Doctrine.
I don't know specifically what Armstrong's doctrine is, so if you want to actually have a discusssion you will need to be more specific what you want to discuss. Or were just wanting to know what I believed so you know how to label me?
 





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#6
I don't know specifically what Armstrong's doctrine is, so if you want to actually have a discusssion you will need to be more specific what you want to discuss. Or were just wanting to know what I believed so you know how to label me?
Todd, It is this simple. If you do not believe that The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God (That means God incarnate) The God of the OT, Then you have the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:1-3) If you can not give Christ His deity, and think that man has to work to keep His salvation, Scripture says you preach another Gospel. And to think The Christ did not have to die on the cross to save us from the penalty of sin is a lie. He paid the price of our sins, past, he saves us from a sin nature now as our mercy seat before the Father and will in the end, we will receive a new body, for flesh and blood can not enter into the kingdom of God. I have been to your Church...it is a dead church. The Holy Spirit does not dwell there.. It can't, it does not recognize the Deity of Christ. The born again believer does not fit in to this age, and is and will be persecuted because the world hates us. Christ said so.....and it is true. What is your biblical stance on homosexuality?
 





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#7
I don't know specifically what Armstrong's doctrine is, so if you want to actually have a discusssion you will need to be more specific what you want to discuss. Or were just wanting to know what I believed so you know how to label me?
Todd, do you keep the Sabbath? According to the Law?
 





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#8
Todd, It is this simple. If you do not believe that The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God (That means God incarnate) The God of the OT, Then you have the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:1-3).
1 John 4:1-3 does not say Jesus is God, only that Jesus came from God. Again you cannot show me any scripture that says I must believe Jesus is God. I must beleive he is from God. The Scriptures only command me to believe he was sent from God as the Messiah, the lamb of God, the Son of God, which despite your claim does not mean He is actually God. If it did, it would mean you an I are both God as the Bible says when we are born again we become the Sons of God.

No where in the Bible does it say salvation is dependent on believing or confessing Jesus is God. It only commands us to confess he is Lord and Christ. When you study the meanings of the titles Lord and Christ they are not equivalent or exclusive to God himself. We can argue all day about whether he is or not, but at the end of the day, the Bible does not explicitily say it's necessary to beleive Jesus is God for salvation.
If you can not give Christ His deity, and think that man has to work to keep His salvation, Scripture says you preach another Gospel.
And to think The Christ did not have to die on the cross to save us from the penalty of sin is a lie.
Scripture reference?
The penatly for sin is death. We will all die. Because Christ died on the Cross he broke the curse of sin (death) so that we can be resurrected. It's a subtle difference, but instead of focusing on the negative (the penatly of sin) why not focus on the postive (the resurrection!)?
He paid the price of our sins, past, he saves us from a sin nature now as our mercy seat before the Father and will in the end, we will receive a new body, for flesh and blood can not enter into the kingdom of God.
The Bible says the price for our sins is death. If Christ paid the price for our sins, then we do we still all die? Jesus paid the ransom for our death, so that we can be resurrected. A ransom is something paid to release someone who has been wrongfulluy taken captive. Sin has wrongfully (against God's will) taken us all captive (death). Jesus paid the ransom so we could be released from Death (i.e. resurrected). I can't be resurrected if I don't die. I die because the Bible says "the soul that sins will die". Jesus work on the cross did not change that. If it had we could all just be directly translated to heaven. But that's not what happens, is it?

Again it's a subtle difference, but it's more consistent and accurate than saying Jesus paid the price for our sins. Again, I ask if Jesus already paid the price, why must I die?

I have been to your Church...it is a dead church.
?? What church is that? If you are implying that I belong to a specific denomination or sect, you are making assumptions that are not right. Just because I refrerenced an article from the UCG does not mean I am a member of the UCG or fully endorse everything they believe and teach.
The Holy Spirit does not dwell there..
Dwell where? God does not dwell in buildings made by man or institutions/organizations made by man. God dwells in the hearts of those who are born again and do his will.
It can't, it does not recognize the Deity of Christ.
Does the Holy Spirit reside in you? Have you ever been completely filled and lead by the Holy Spirit. Have you ever experienced the fullness of Galatians 2:20?
The Bible does not recognize the Deity of Christ, anymore than it recognizes your deity when you are completely filled and lead by the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ was the perfect man who was 100% surrendered and yielded to God. Does that make him God? Yes in a sense it does make him divine as everything he did was by the Spirit of God. But then I could say when an born again believer is lead by the sprit in a sense they become divine also. What I disagree with is the Trinity doctrine that says Jesus in and of himself is a separate person that is part of the Godhead. What I disagree with is that the manifestation of God (The Holy Spirit) is a different person than God the Father. Jesus "divinity" is based on his willingness to say "not my will be done but your will be done" to God the Father. If Jesus was pre-existant as God, what Peter said about God making Jesus both Lord and Christ makes absolutely no sense.

I fully acknowledge that Jesus is Divine in that everything he did and said was 100% from God. He was the manifestation of God in the flesh, no different than the church made up of born again individuals is alsoo the manifestation of Christ himself on the earth today. From that aspect I affirm and wholeheartedly confess the divinity of Jesus Christ. What I reject is the doctrine of the Trinity, as man's feeble attempt to explain the fullness of God and the ways he manifests himself in the physical realm.
The born again believer does not fit in to this age, and is and will be persecuted because the world hates us. Christ said so.....and it is true. What is your biblical stance on homosexuality?
What does that have to do with this discussion? I've shared my thoughts on homosexulaity many times on this forum. Short answer Homosexuality is against the order and design God intended. Do I agree with the way the evangelical church and many Christian's approach the topic and the way they treat those who are bound by it? No, I don't. But that's a different conversation. You can search the forum for my thoughts on that.
 





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#9
Todd, do you keep the Sabbath? According to the Law?
I live according to the principle of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for Sabbath. So no I don't keep the Sabbath according the law written in stone, but I am learning how to keep the Sabbath according to the law that God has written on my heart.
 





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#10
Some Truth and some of Armstrong's (WWCG) Doctrine.
I remember”Armstrongism” - there used to always be a couple of copies of the “Plain Truth” magazine in the college library when I was younger. Sometimes I would read it and get something from some of the articles, but I couldn’t help not notice some discordant notes in it’s doctrine.
 





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#11
I remember”Armstrongism” - there used to always be a couple of copies of the “Plain Truth” magazine in the college library when I was younger. Sometimes I would read it and get something from some of the articles, but I couldn’t help not notice some discordant notes in it’s doctrine.
A few years back I "visited" a small fellowship that meet in homes that was started by some people who left the WWCG because they recognized some of "armostongism" was off . They were genuine sincere believers and I enjoyed the few meetings I went to. However the "leader" of the group was too focused on his pet doctrine/theology ideas. I actually agreed with much of what he was saying, but as the leader of a group of believers in fellowship you have to talk about more than just your pet doctrine/theology issues. They also spent most of the time teaching and not enough time worshipping and praying for my taste.

*** I know that statement about pet doctrine/theology issues may sound strange coming from me on this forum. I bring my unorthodox doctrine/theology ideas to this forum and get them off my chest here so that I don't come across like this guy did in a regular fellowship.
 





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#12
The Hebrew word translated “soul” in the Old Testament is nephesh, which simply means “a breathing creature.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words defines nephesh as “the essence of life, the act of breathing, taking breath … The problem with the English term ‘soul’ is that no actual equivalent of the term or the idea behind it is represented in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew system of thought does not include the combination or opposition of the ‘body’ and ‘soul’ which are really Greek and Latin in origin” (1985, p. 237-238, emphasis added).

The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible makes this comment on nephesh: “The word ‘soul’ in English, though it has to some extent naturalized the Hebrew idiom, frequently carries with it overtones, ultimately coming from philosophical Greek (Platonism) and from Orphism and Gnosticism which are absent in ‘nephesh.’ In the OT it never means the immortal soul, but it is essentially the life principle, or the living being, or the self as the subject of appetite, and emotion, occasionally of volition” (Vol. 4, 1962, “Soul,” emphasis added)

That nephesh doesn’t refer to an immortal soul can be seen in the way the word is used in the Old Testament. It is translated “soul” or “being” in reference to man in Genesis 2:7, but also to animals by being translated “creature” in Genesis 1:24. Nephesh is translated “body” in Leviticus 21:11 in reference to a human corpse.

The Hebrew Scriptures state plainly that, rather than possess immortality, the soul can and does die. “The soul [ nephesh ] who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, Ezekiel 18:20).

The Old Testament describes the dead as going to sheol, translated into English as “hell,” “pit” or “grave.” Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 describes sheol as a place of unconsciousness: “For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished …”

exceprt from https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/what-does-the-bible-say-about-the-immortal-soul

It is only through the power of the cross and the miracle of God that we can be resurrected and "put on" immortality. We would not have to put on immortality if our souls were truly immortal. 1 Corinthians 15:53
Nephesh is only one word for soul in Hebrew, and it is considered the lowest level or animal soul and therefore is temporary, it is associated with the physical body.

Ruach is the spirit which God breathed into Adam to make him human, and is considered a higher level of soul. It is associated with human phenomena such as love for the divine/awe/veneration.

Above that is Neshamah, the divine soul, a part of the human being which is inseparable from God, this is considered eternal, because God is eternal. Nephesh or the divine soul is the essence of God within man.

Some Hebrew texts give two other words for degrees of soul above those, chaiah and yehida, which are also eternal aspects of mans being. Chaiah or living soul means basically the soul in eternal communion with God, a type of knowledge of God, or the soul through knowledge uniting itself to gods being. And yehidah is said that the soul attains this through martyrdom or death of the self and utter sacrifice of the self to God, the path shown to us by Christ
 





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#13
@Todd the wording of the the title of this forum is very worrying. We have to be careful that our idea of salvation is also God's idea. Our beliefs have to be based on His Word as it was inspired by the Holy Spirit who is God. God is the one the planned the gift of salvation after the fall of man. He is the one that took the punishment for our sins upon Himself so that sin may not have power over us and that we may live eternally.

Salvation is not escape form eternal damnation. Salvation is freedom from the power of sin.
Salvation according to the Bible is not one thing. Yes it is freedom from the power of sin but also if we have it we will have eternal life which is escape from eternal damnation.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23.
 





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#14
Isaiah 45:21 Is it not I God, there is no other God but me. A righteous God and Savior, THERE IS NONE BESIDES ME.

TURN TO ME AND BE YE SAVED, all the ends of the earth. For I am God and there is NO ONE ELSE.

By MYSELF I have sworn. The word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness and it will not return

( listen closely) TO ME, TO ME, “TO ME (GOD) every knee will bow and every tongue will confess loyalty.”

Isaiah 45:16 They will be put to shame and be humiliated. THE MAKERS OF IDOLS will ALL go off in disgrace

BUT ISRAEL will be saved with an everlasting SALVATION “

Sorry not sorry. Nothing about a divine savior sun/son according to SCRIPTURE according to God.
 





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#15
@Todd the wording of the the title of this forum is very worrying. We have to be careful that our idea of salvation is also God's idea. Our beliefs have to be based on His Word as it was inspired by the Holy Spirit who is God. God is the one the planned the gift of salvation after the fall of man. He is the one that took the punishment for our sins upon Himself so that sin may not have power over us and that we may live eternally.


Salvation according to the Bible is not one thing. Yes it is freedom from the power of sin but also if we have it we will have eternal life which is escape from eternal damnation.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23.
The wording of the title was direct quote of the request of Douglas Summers, so don't read too much into it. I agree 100% with you that our idea of salvation should be what we see in the word of God.

I agree there are many aspects to "Salvation", but the word itself demands an answer of what we are saved from? Most Christian's knee jerk reaction is that we are saved from eternal damnation. Since I don't actually see eternal damnation in the Bible, I have to define what I am being saved from, before I understand all the aspects of Salvation.

Matthew 1:21 "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

I have not found a verse that says Jesus came to save us from the wrath or the vengence of God. Neither have I found a verse that says Jesus came to save us from eternal damanation or from the punishment for sin. It says we are saved from our sins, not the punishment of our sins.

The bible says the wages of sin (i.e. the punishment or consequence of sin) is death. If Jesus saved me from the punishment of sin, I would not have to die. Instead Jesus saves from the power or grip of sin in this lifetime. If I live by the Spirit, then I no longer live according to sin. That is what I am saved from, the power of sin. The resurrection to life in the ages to come is a reward for those who do the will of God, because they have been sanctified and justified in this lifetime. The resurrrection unto condemnation is for those who still need to endure the corrective and restorative Fire of God in the ages to come, before God reconciles all things to himself.

Being saved doesn't mean God won't correct or punish us. But there is a purpose for punishment or correction. With the doctrine of eternal torment there is no purpose of correction involved with the supposed punishment. The only preceived purpose would be to satisfy the vengence or wrath of God. But we know that cannot be because there are numerous Scriptures that tell us God's wrath or anger is not forever but his mercy is.

When I sin God still corrects me and the guilt or Godly sorrow that I experience that leads me to repentance is God's correction. He may even allow various trials to come on me to teach and perfect me. I might not like it but I am better off with the corrective punishment of God sanctifying me in this lifetime, so I am counted worthy to be a part of the bride of Christ. I don't envy any unbeliever who will have to endure the weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Lake of Fire before they are reconciled to God. But without Christ defeating the power of Sin on the Cross, even the unbeliever could not be resurrected. The unbeliever is resurrected, judged and thrown in the Lake of Fire to purify them and reconcile them to God. The Bible says the wages of sin is death, not eternal suffering. It would be absurd for God to use the power of the Cross to resurrect a sinner just so he can throw them in hell to suffer eternally with the only purpose being to satisfy the vengence and wrath of God.
 





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#16
This thread is specifically to give @Douglas Summers my idea of salvation. It's going to be a long post as it is so for know I will leave out the scripture quotes and references. However anyone is free to ask for scripture references to back up anything I say in this post.

What Salvation is.

Salvation is not escape form eternal damnation. Salvation is freedom from the power of sin. That is the same thing!

In the old testament there is no concept of hell as a place of eternal torment. When mankind fell into sin God declared that the punishment (wages) of sin is death. God never said the wages of sin was eternal suffering and torment. Little was known in the OT about what happened after the Grave, But there was a reason for that. Scriptures says it was left up to Christ to bring Life and Immortality to light. Not created it at that time but brought to light what already existed (2 Tim. 1:9-11)

There are two kinds of death. Spiritual death which is separation from fellowship with God and physical death, which is simply ceasing to exist. We do not have immortal souls that exist without a body. The Bible never says that the soul ceases to exist (The Rich man and Lazarus) and (2 Cor. 5:1-10) and many other Scriptures.

No where in the OT did God ever say the punishment for sin is eternal damnation. It simply says it’s death. Death is a process. Any doctor or scientist will tell you that once we have matured from a physical child to a mature physical adult our bodies are in a constant state of decay until we eventually die. This is the nature of the fallen world we live in. Because of the sin nature our bodies are in a gradual state of decay. Death is constantly working in our physical bodies. Yes, that is science, but even physicians believe in the immortal soul, every one knows the flesh is corruptible. (will decay)

The Old Testament talks about God chastening those he loves to purify them. Fire is representative of God’s corrective punishment that is used to purify those he loves. Just as a decent natural parent has unconditional love for his or her Child, God has unconditional love for every person ever born. (God also hates those who are prideful, who lie, who steal, who bear false witness and so on. He is going to destroy mankind and this world as it is. That is what we are saved from. The wrath of God upon this age.

We all suffer the consequences of our sin, both spiritually and physically in the here and now. Spiritually we must all die to ourselves and surrender to the will of God to be freed from the power of sin, or else we will live apart form God in state of spiritual death. In our own strength and ability we are not capable of doing this. And yet, you think you can loose your salvation by your own choice.

Physically we will all endure death and cease to exist. We do not have immortal souls. Every person who has ever existed on the earth and died physically is dead and gone and currently ceases to exist in any state. There are no humans in heaven yet, save for one, who is the first fruit of the resurrection. None of us (including Ray Kurzweil no matter how hard he tries) have the ability to escape physical death.This is not news, it is a fact of sin.

Because God loved the world he sent his Son so that we could have the life of the ages. (“eternal” is a poor translation of the word aionios). What is the life of the ages (or what most Christians call eternal life)? Eternal life is not simply the continuation of life in the ages to come. The life of the ages is simply to know God and have fellowship with him. Those who don’t know God cannot have life. Because their sin separates them from God, they only have death.Thos who believe in Christ shall never see death.(John 11:23-27) (Luke 23:39-43)

We who know God have life and we have life more abundantly. It’s not a promise of life in the ages to come, it’s the realization of life (fellowship with God) in the here and now. When the bible says the unbeliever shall perish, it’s not talking about a future state. Those who don’t know God are perishing (dying) in the here and now. They shall perish (cease to exist) in their sin. It is talking about here and now and the ages to come...It is Scripture.

If we truly know God, then we will be grieved by sin. If we are grieved by our sin, we will have Godly sorrow which the bible says leads us to repentance. Repentance is turning away from sin. When we turn away from our sin, God forgives us and we can remain in fellowship with him.Todd, you can not do this on your own effort...Manis naturally corrupt (Romans chapters 7 and 8). You must be born again. A born again believer does not practice sin, although be it by the weakness of the flesh (Gal. 5:16-26)

However due to the fallen nature of the world we are born into, we are all conditioned to live selfishly by our sin nature. We are not capable of repenting and turning from our sin in our own strength or ability. YES
YES
God sent Jesus the messiah to be our example and show us what a man completely surrendered to God looks like. Because the wages of sin is death, all of mankind is held captive by the power of death.YES

God did not need Jesus to die on the cross to forgive our sin. That is a straight out lie! God continually forgave sin in the OT. It’s a common misunderstanding that blood is required for the forgiveness of sin. This misunderstanding is based on a poor understanding of Hebrews 9:22. The word translated as forgiveness in that verse is “Aphesis” and it really means release or deliverance. As in the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. The story of the Exodus is a foreshadow of our release from the power of sin, so that we can have life. In the OT God commanded the Israelites to choose life by choosing the terms of his covenant after he released them from Egypt. If they committed to live according to God’s ways he would give them abundant life. The Blood of the exodus lamb on the doorposts was not for forgiveness of sin. The blood was for the release of the Israelites form Egypt and to initiate a covenant. The release from Egypt represents our release from our former lives of Sin. The blood of Jesus was not required so that God could forgive our sin, it was required to initiate the new covenant, where God’s laws are written on our heart.

When laws are written on stone tablets we do not have the ability in our own strength and will to follow them. When God writes his law on our heart by his grace, we surrender to Christ as Lord and let him live through us. We are able to live according to God’s way so that we may have life and life more abundantly. Jesus blood was not for forgiveness it was for atonement. Atonement is the reparation ( making amends for a wrong) of our sin. God did not atone for our sins....Atone is never used in the NT Church, In Christ, our sins have been taken completely away. Atonement is an OT word for to cover .The wrong of our sin is that we are under the curse of death and cannot experience the life God has for us. The atonement is what allows us to regain fellowship with God.We are now, RECONCILED to God.

Christians make sin a bigger issue to God than it really is. It is nothing for God to forgive sin. (Not true) It’s an annoyance to him, as it is a serious determent to our ability to experience life. Sin is only a big deal to God because of what it does to us, not what it does to him. We cannot hurt God by our sin, we only hurt ourselves. Because he loves us and wants the best for us, sin grieves God, but it cannot hurt him or change him. God does not require healing or reparation for sin. The atonement is necessary for us so that we can be repaired and healed from the lifestyle of sin we have lived. It is not for God’s sake it is for ours.

Jesus sacrifice on the cross was not to forgive our sin, it was to pay the ransom to release us from the curse of death and initiate the new covenant where God’s law is written on our hearts. That is why Jesus died and was risen. He is our assurance that God is able to raise us all from the dead and break the curse and power of death.

It’s absurd to think that when an unbeliever dies in sin and no longer exists, (because the penalty of sin is death), that God would raise that sinner from the dead just so he could punish him again for eternity with no purpose or intent of correction or reconciliation. Sinners have already paid what the bible says the wages or punishment is for sin when they die. For God to raise them from the dead and make them suffer eternal torment for no purpose would make him unjust and vengeful.

However, it is God’s will that all men be saved and reconciled to him. So he will raise from the dead those who do not experience the life of ages (eternal life, knowing God) in the present age, to correct them and purify them in the Lake of Fire. They will not receive the same rewards as the saints of God, the bride of Christ, but they will be reconciled to God.

So back to the original question, what is salvation. Salvation is accepting the new covenant that Jesus initiated by his death and resurrection. Baptism is the symbolic act of identifying with the death of Christ, by crucifying our own sin nature and being raised to life (born again) in Christ. I am not saved from the wrath of God, I am saved from the power of sin over my life. I can experience the life of God in the here and now because I walk according to the covenant God has written on my heart. It is no longer I that live, but the Spirit of Christ that lives within me.

Part of salvation is sanctification and purification. This is the process by which God conforms us to the image of his son, the perfect prototype of a spirit led man of God. Every Christian that is truly born of God is somewhere in this process of sanctification. Does it mean we never sin? Of course not. But when we do sin, the grace of God leads us to godly sorrow which in turn leads us to repentance and forgiveness. (No additional blood needed). That is why Paul said to work out our salvation. Salvation is not a one time event. It’s a process that begins by accepting the covenant that Jesus initiated by dying on the cross for the atonement of the sins of the world. Atonement allows the process of sanctification to begin so that our soul can be repaired, healed and set free from the power of sin, which is death.

I am saved form the power and curse of sin over my life.
That is what salvation is to me.
If you can not say that Christ is the son of God (The God), you do not have the Father (1 John 2:22-23)
 





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#17
I remember”Armstrongism” - there used to always be a couple of copies of the “Plain Truth” magazine in the college library when I was younger. Sometimes I would read it and get something from some of the articles, but I couldn’t help not notice some discordant notes in it’s doctrine.
Hi Red, Armstong has passed away sometime ago, but his cult still is in circulation. I studied him thoroughly and went to his church...it was a dead Church dry and void of the Spirit. They made up their own hymns and would not allow any of the traditional gospel hymns. His Doctrine is a lot like Todd's
 





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#18
If you can not say that Christ is the son of God (The God), you do not have the Father (1 John 2:22-23)
What is your basis for equating the son of God with God.
I can and do say Christ is the son of God. It's not the same thing as saying he is God in the vein of Trinity Doctrine.
 





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#19
Exodus 4:22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, "Israel is My son, My firstborn.”

So as we can see according to SCRIPTURE Israel is who God claims as His son. Btw I’m not speaking of who and what we know as Israel today.
 





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#20
@Todd

The wording of the title was direct quote of the request of Douglas Summers, so don't read too much into it. I agree 100% with you that our idea of salvation should be what we see in the word of God.
Alright, but a lot of what you posted about Salvation and eternal damnation is not according to the Word of God.

I agree there are many aspects to "Salvation", but the word itself demands an answer of what we are saved from? Most Christian's knee jerk reaction is that we are saved from eternal damnation. Since I don't actually see eternal damnation in the Bible, I have to define what I am being saved from, before I understand all the aspects of Salvation.
There is eternal damnation in the Bible whether you see it or not. It is clearly written of. It is the eternal or second death and I will write more on that below. There are many aspects to Salvation as I posted and one of them is being saved from eternal damnation as I showed through scripture. We want to have eternal life which was promised to only the righteous. The opposite of etenal ife is eternal death which is what will happen to the unrighteous.

Matthew 1:21 "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
This is one of the aspects of Salvation. But and this is a very important BUT, Jesus came to save people from their sins if they accept Him as their personal Saviour and walk in His light obeying and submitting to Him completely. Those who don't will die eternally. That is eternal damnation.

I have not found a verse that says Jesus came to save us from the wrath or the vengence of God. Neither have I found a verse that says Jesus came to save us from eternal damanation or from the punishment for sin. It says we are saved from our sins, not the punishment of our sins.
Did you not read the verses I posted? We are not only saved from a life of sin but we are saved eternally. We will have eternal lives if we are saved that means we won't be doomed eternally.

The bible says the wages of sin (i.e. the punishment or consequence of sin) is death. If Jesus saved me from the punishment of sin, I would not have to die. Instead Jesus saves from the power or grip of sin in this lifetime. If I live by the Spirit, then I no longer live according to sin. That is what I am saved from, the power of sin. The resurrection to life in the ages to come is a reward for those who do the will of God, because they have been sanctified and justified in this lifetime. The resurrrection unto condemnation is for those who still need to endure the corrective and restorative Fire of God in the ages to come, before God reconciles all things to himself.
Not true and I will explain why using the Word of God below. No wicked person is going to be restored after Jesus' return the second time. That is simply NOT biblical and therefore not of God.

Being saved doesn't mean God won't correct or punish us. But there is a purpose for punishment or correction. With the doctrine of eternal torment there is no purpose of correction involved with the supposed punishment. The only preceived purpose would be to satisfy the vengence or wrath of God. But we know that cannot be because there are numerous Scriptures that tell us God's wrath or anger is not forever but his mercy is.
Yes God does correct us in this world to get us to walk on the right path. Hell and the subsequent eternal or second death are not for correction. You keep going on about vengeance but hell will not be about vengeance either. not according to the Bible. Hell will be to rid this earth of sin. Sin has got to come to an end and the sinful will have to die eternally for that to happen. Hell was really meant for only Satan and his angels but sadly most people will go to hell too. God would rather not lose anyone eternally but sin must come to an end. I posted something about this in my forum location of hell but I will repost it here.

What is God’s real purpose in hellfire?

“Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).

“Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

“For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more. … The enemies of the Lord … shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away” (Psalm 37:10, 20).

Answer: God’s purpose is that hell will destroy the devil, all sin, and the unsaved to make the world safe for eternity. Any vestige of sin left on this planet would be a deadly virus forever threatening the universe. It is God’s plan to blot out sin from existence for all time!


Isn’t the act of destroying the unsaved foreign to God’s nature?

“ ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die?’ ” (Ezekiel 33:11).

“The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them” (Luke 9:56).

“The Lord will rise up … that He may do His work, His awesome work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual act” (Isaiah 28:21).

Answer: Yes—the work of God has always been to save rather than to destroy. The work of destroying the wicked in hellfire is so foreign to God’s nature that the Bible calls it His “unusual act.” God’s great heart will ache at the destruction of the wicked. Oh, how diligently He works to save every soul! But if one spurns His love and clings to sin, God will have no choice but to destroy the unrepentant sinner when He rids the universe of the horrible, malignant growth called “sin” in the fires of the last day.

When I sin God still corrects me and the guilt or Godly sorrow that I experience that leads me to repentance is God's correction. He may even allow various trials to come on me to teach and perfect me. I might not like it but I am better off with the corrective punishment of God sanctifying me in this lifetime, so I am counted worthy to be a part of the bride of Christ. I don't envy any unbeliever who will have to endure the weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Lake of Fire before they are reconciled to God. But without Christ defeating the power of Sin on the Cross, even the unbeliever could not be resurrected. The unbeliever is resurrected, judged and thrown in the Lake of Fire to purify them and reconcile them to God. The Bible says the wages of sin is death, not eternal suffering. It would be absurd for God to use the power of the Cross to resurrect a sinner just so he can throw them in hell to suffer eternally with the only purpose being to satisfy the vengence and wrath of God
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that after the punishment of hell, the wicked will be reconciled to God. The Bible is very clear that only the righteous will be immortal.

"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”" (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).

You can read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will not read in it that the wicked after Jesus's second coming will be punished then reconciled to God.

The Bible tells us the wicked will die the second death from which means they will never exist ever again. That death is the punishment of sin. When the Bible says "the wages of sin is death", it is that permanent death that its talking about. “The cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

Psalm 37:10, "For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more."

Psalm 37:20, "But the wicked shall perish; And the enemies of the Lord, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away."

The Great Day of God
Malachi 4:1-3, "“For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” Says the Lord of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this,” Says the Lord of hosts."


The wicked are not going to get another chance to repent their sins after Jesus returns. The Bible clearly tells us in Revelation 22:11-12 that the case of every person is closed before Jesus returns. When Jesus returns it will be to give to each one their rewards according to the choices they made in their lives.

The Bible tells us that after the thousand years of the righteous in heaven with Christ, the Holy City, New Jerusalem will come down from heaven (Revelation 21:2-3), then the wicked will be resurrected (the Bible tells us that only those who are resurrected in the first resurrection are blessed, the second resurrection will be for the wicked who will be destroyed eternally), and together with Satan they will attack the Holy City (Revelation 20:7–9).

In order for people to be reconciled to God, they must be repentant and accept Jesus as their Saviour. Do what Satan and the wicked do after the a thousand years seem like they are repentant at all? After they attack the Holy City fire rains down from heaven and devours them. At what point are they supposed to reconcile to God? Everyone according to you will get immortality, so is the Bible lying to us? Is it contradicting itself?

What about Satan? Will his sinful character be changed? When? Up till fire comes down from heaven and devours them, he doesn't acknowledge Jesus as his Saviour and God, instead he attacks Him. If Satan had a chance of repenting it would have been in heaven before he was thrown out. No, Satan and the wicked will be punished in hell fire each according to their works (Matthew 16:27, Luke 12:47-48, Revelation 22:12), and then they will die and never exist ever again. This is the truth according to God's Word.
 





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