Tuesday, December 2, 2014

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This is a collection of testimonies from those who claim to have experienced heaven and hell, as well as those who have had direct, face-to-face encounters with God the Father in heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ, or His holy angels.  It includes a number of documented accounts of individuals being raised from the dead.  It also includes some visions and important Scriptural studies on the topic of heaven and hell.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." (Pro 29:18, KJV)

It is my prayer that these testimonies will lead you to pray earnestly and seek the Lord's face, regarding the destiny of your own soul, and the souls of the people in your life, so that you and they will not miss the glories of heaven and wind up in hell for eternity.

Baptized by Blazing Fire -- a Korean church's testimony Angelica Zambrano Hell and Heaven Angelica Zambrano Second Visit to Hell
Ibrahim's Experience in Hell Taken to Hell Only the Holy -- Three Shocking Testimonies
Australian Pastor Raised from the Dead Nigerian Pastor Raised from the Dead Revelation of Hell to Seven Colombian Youths
Korean Pastor Raised from the Dead The Four Tallest Homes in Heaven Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshiping Idols
Margaret O. Amure Back from Heaven Michael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell Sister Ayo - a Revelation of Heaven and Hell 
Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations The Book of Life Armenian Man Raised from the Dead
Rachael Mushala Testimony of Hell The Place of Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth  Vision of Hell by Emmanuel Agyarko
Zipporah Mushala Testimony of Hell Where will you go when you die? Few will be saved
Zipporah Mushala’s Second Testimony of Hell Jesus Christ Descended Into Hell Seven Reasons to Believe the Seven Divine Revelations
Zipporah Mushala’s Third Testimony of Hell Visitation of Jesus to Samuel Oghenetaga Linda Ngaujah Revelation of Heaven and Hell
Zipora Bitrus Testimony of Heaven and Hell The Holy Fires of Hell

Ezekiel Moses Testimony of Heaven and Hell
The "Door to Hell" Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Three Divine Revelations A Trip to Hell - in pictures
A Warning to the Nay Sayers There now, it is all over! Blessed rest. The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught
Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations The Sale of Christian Music and Art -- A Robbers' Den The Judgment Seat of Christ

Michael Shigaba's Encounter with Jesus A Warning for Christian Married Couples


Author's note: Please prayerfully listen to these testimonies, and use the Testimony Review Process adopted by this blog, as you decide for yourself whether the Lord has spoken to these people.  For issues and concerns, each person must confirm with the Lord, whether something is valid or not.

You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org.

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"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38


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Opportunities to Serve the Body of Christ

Len and Jennifer Lacroix
We are missionaries, and our desire would be to come to your church or Bible Study group to preach and minister to you, while we are in the States.  If you would like us to do so, we can also make a presentation of our work in Eastern Europe.  Please pray about this.  It's a chance for us to encourage people to greater evangelism and commitment to completing the Great Commission globally, and we would be honored to come speak, if it is God's will.  So give us a call if you would like us to come to speak to your group.

You can find more about us at Doulos Missions International. You're also invited to listen to our radio interview on the Truth Radio Network, which was aired September 7, 2013.  We were interviewed by Joyce George on the program "A Place Missionaries Call Home," which is recorded in the video at this link.

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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org.

Testimony Review Process

On this blog I post testimonies of people, who claim that they have received a divine revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ.  As you read these, you will find some of them to be controversial.  However, that alone is not a reason to reject them.  Each one needs to be reviewed on its own merit to see if it is truly from the Lord.

We should be like the Berean believers: "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so." (Act 17:11). By this I am not implying that these testimonies constitute the Word of God, or that they become a new book of the Bible. However, they do contain messages purportedly from Jesus Christ, and they often quote Scripture. Don't despise prophetic utterances (1Th 5:20).  Let's eagerly receive anything the Lord has so say to us through His Body, but be diligent to examine the Scriptures daily to see whether these things are so. Let's test the spirits to see whether they are from God.

I would like to suggest that here we use the same review criteria outlined on Robert Brownell's website, SpiritLessons. Brownell states:

"[This] website receives many new testimonies from around the world, by people who testify of Revelations by Jesus. These testimonies are very valuable, but like the 1st century church, there needs to be review process by Mature Christians. When a testimony has something controversial or difficult, we'll put it under the 'UNDER REVIEW' section.  With a comment box on the bottom, for wise Christian counsel. This should help weed out problems, and identify issues.  Similar to the way the early Church discussed matters."

"Remember, we are NOT canonizing scripture here. The Bible is sufficient!  We were never given permission by God to add His scripture.  We are just investigating Face to Face encounters with Jesus Christ.  None of these testimonies have gone through the rigorous and thorough testing that the Bible has gone through. If something contradicts with clear scripture, please note that in the comment section.   I never allow people's revelations to contradict verbatim scripture. If any revelation contradicts clear scripture, I reject it. For the Bible is my foundation of doctrine. But I will allow revelations to challenge my interpretation of scripture. And I will not pridefully hold up my interpretation of scripture as infallible."

"Things to remember when reviewing:
1. Please understand that there MAY be mistranslations from the original testimony.
2. There MAY be places where authors are not clear enough in their description.
3. We are looking for patterns, that show up in multiple testimonies.  This gives certain issues more weight.
4. Also remember that we don't care about their opinions, ideas or speculation.  We only really care about what Jesus told them. There are many good people of God who can have misunderstandings in their opinions. No one's opinions are perfect.  Hopefully they won't share opinions in their testimonies, we just want the FACTS!  WHAT WAS THE MESSAGE FROM JESUS?  This is why we often highlight the words of Jesus in Dark, Bolded Red.
5. Also, regarding sin, remember that the Lord weighs the Motives of the Heart.  Two people can do the same thing, and the Lord judges differently.  Therefore if one person claims an actions can lead a person to Hell, we're looking for a clear definition of what that action is, not just a vague description."

"So get your Bibles, and hammer these testimonies out. Please leave Wise and Referenced Comments on the bottom." -- Robert Brownell.

In addition to these excellent guidelines that Brownell has recommended, for more help in reviewing these testimonies, please read my articles, called "Testing the Spirits of False Prophets," "Discerning the Things of the Spirit," "Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit," "A Warning to the Nay Sayers," "An Open Mind that Loves the Truth," and "The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught."  It is very important to test the fruit of the messenger, and that is why I try to check the character of the person giving the testimony, when it is controversial.  I attempt to make phone calls and speak with the person who had the experience, as well as with those who know the person well, in order to see what kind of fruit is in their lives.

I hope these guidelines will help you as you seek to test the spirits and discern the things of the spirit.

Image credit: The photo of careful the careful examination of Scripture comes from "Beginning and End."

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
_______________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Warning for Married Christian Couples

Pastor Olugbenga Oladejo, Complete in Christ Church
Our Lord Jesus Christ has given a message of warning to a pastor named, Olugbenga Oladejo of Complete In Christ Church in Peterborough, England, which I would like to share with you today. It's important to note that this is a warning for Christian married couples, not for sinners.

I have spoken at length with him and listened to his heart as he shared his testimony of how the Lord saved him in 1990, then brought him back again from backsliding in 2008. He was the pastor of Safeway International Ministries in Edinburgh, Scottland before moving to England in 2013, where he is serving now.  I have also spoken to a church member in Edinburgh, named Christopher O., who still joins pastor Oladejo live each week for services via the internet. He spoke very highly of pastor Oladejo and described him as someone who is spiritually strong, who is not concerned with gathering large numbers of people to himself, but rather about proclaiming the Truth. Having searched the Scriptures, and done our due diligence to verify his godly character, my wife and I both believe with certainty that this message is from the Lord. 

In March 2014, Pastor Oladejo was taken to hell and shown a department of hell where demons are torturing the souls of deceased Christians, who defiled their marriage bed.  They are chopping people up like a butcher chops up an animal into little pieces, and then their bodies are reconstituting. They were doing it slowly and painfully to achieve the maximum amount of pain and torment.  The souls are weeping and mourning, while the demons are laughing and taking pleasure in what they are doing to these people.

The Lord told pastor Oladejo that His children are confused, so they must be warned about these sins that are taking them to hell, so they will not perish.  He visually showed him these people's sins on the "judgment screen" and audibly warned against married couples masturbating on their beds, looking at pornography, oral sex, trying different styles of sexual intercourse to "spice it up," such as "doggie style" penetration from behind, and various positions, including the wife on top (e.g., so-called "rocking horse," "jackhammer," "cowboy," or "cowgirl" positions), and hanging your wife (a type of domination and bondage position, involving tying her down, intended to simulate rape). He said the only position that is holy in God's sight is the face-to-face position with the husband on top.

The Scriptures the Lord gave the pastor were first of all Isaiah 33:14, which says: "The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: 'Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?'” He said that hell is so terrible that once you see it, you will not ask any questions. If they told you to stand up for the rest of your life, you would never want to sit down again, if it meant you would avoid going to that place for eternity.

The second Scripture is Isaiah 24:4-5, which says, "The land suffers for the sins of its people. The earth languishes, the crops wither, the skies refuse their rain. The land is defiled by crime; the people have twisted the laws of God and broken his everlasting commands."  The Lord said there are ordinances in the Scriptures about relations between a husband and a wife, and His children have violated these ordinances.

If you read your Bible properly, as Jesus said through this pastor to do, you will know the truth. You cannot dismiss this by saying that it is not written in the Bible how a man and his wife are to properly have sex. It is the same as smoking cigarettes. The Bible does not say smoking cigarettes is sin, but we know intuitively that it is (also see Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations). If you read the Scriptures the Lord gave this pastor and pray for Light to be shed in your heart, God will show you.  The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth.

Adam Knew Eve
For one thing, as he taught in both videos, the Scripture says, "Then Adam had sexual intercourse with Eve his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to a son." (Gen 4:1a). It does not say Eve lay with Adam or that Eve had sexual intercourse with Adam, or that Eve knew Adam.  It was Adam who "knew" Eve intimately.

If you doubt whether this can be used to teach us as married couples how to have sexual intercourse, then let me remind you of the passage in Genesis that Jesus used to teach against divorce.  When the Pharisees came and asked Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason, He asked them what Moses commanded.  They replied that Moses told them to give her a certificate of divorce, and they seemed to view that as God's commandment about marriage and divorce.  However, Jesus corrected them and said,

"Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore god has joined together, let no man separate." (Mat 19:4-6)

Jesus went on to tell them that the reason Moses permitted them to divorce their wives was because their hearts were hardened.  He said, "But from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." (Mat 19:8-9)

So just as Jesus used Genesis 2:22-24 to teach against divorce, He is also using Genesis 4:1 to teach us how to make love to our wives.

The Husband is the Head of the Wife
Secondly, the Word teaches us that the husband is the head of the wife. "For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior." (Eph 5:23; cf. 1 Cor 11:3).  He is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved the Church, not lust after her.  He is supposed to take the lead in the relationship, including in the marital bed.  His wife is not supposed to be the aggressor or the one taking the lead.  She is the responder to his love.

The Man is the Image and the Glory of God
Thirdly, in pastor Oladejo's video Warning to Married Couples Who Practice Oral Sex, he stated that the Lord told him to say, “Men are my image and men are my glory! Men are the glory of God.  And every time God is looking at you, He wants you to continue to promote more of His glory. If you now change the glory of God into something that is corruptible, into lust, into immorality, the Lord said you will not make it into heaven.”  The Lord said, “If you are doing oral sex, you are not coming to heaven.” And the same goes for other immoral acts you do on your bed.  Do not do these things.  It is evil before the Lord.

The Scriptures the Lord gave him with regard to this were 1 Cor 11:7 and Rom 1:23.

"A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man." (1 Cor 11:7).

Men “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.” (Rom 1:23).

Pastor Oladejo said the Lord told him he should tell you that if you change the glory of God to look like corruptible man or to look like birds, or four-footed beasts, you are not going to come to heaven. You are changing the glory of God into dogs, goats, cows, animals, and into creeping things. You are committing immorality. It's a great sin. It doesn't matter if you are a pastor, bishop, or archbishop. You are not going to make it. Do not change the glory of God into anything on your matrimonial bed or you are not going to heaven. 

The Missionary Position the Only One Holy
Fourthly, it is well known what the "missionary position" is and why it is called that, for the reason this pastor explained.  Missionaries of old who taught their converts about true holiness would teach them that in the marriage bed, face to face with the husband on top is the only position that God has sanctioned. That is a landmarker or boundary stone that was laid by people before this evil generation was born that you and I who live today are a part of.  That was a boundary stone.  We have moved that stone, so we could try new things to fulfill our lusts.  We need to Ask for the Ancient Paths.

The Marriage Bed Must Be Kept Pure
Fifth, it says in the Bible, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." (Heb 13:4).

You can defile the marriage bed by acts you commit by yourself, acts you commit with someone other than your spouse, acts you commit using pornography or other property of satan, and acts you commit with your spouse.  The things the Lord has warned us against in this revelation, some of which I mentioned in the opening, are considered acts of immorality in God's sight. 

A Fruit of the Spirit, Not an Act of the Flesh
Sixth, what we do on the marriage bed must not be an act of the flesh to satisfy the desires of the sinful nature, as Paul said in Galatians 5:

"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." (Gal 5:13-25)

If you are fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, you cannot at the same time be producing the fruit of the Spirit.  The flesh can never produce the fruit of the Spirit and can never please God. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit will never fulfill the desires of the sinful nature.  The flesh and the Spirit are absolutely opposed to one another.  They are mutually exclusive. Pastor Oladejo says, "The marital bed is for matrimonial love.  If it is not for matrimonial love, then it is sin."

All Things Decently and in Order
Seventh, in the house of God, all things must be done decently and in order. When Michael Shigaba testified of his encounter with Jesus, he stated:

"He [Jesus] said I should open to 1 Corinthians 14:40. It talks about doing things decently and in order. He [Jesus] said, 'Heaven is an orderly place, a decent place. But some people are doing things anyhow in the House of God.' He said, 'In My House.' They are doing things anyhow!"

We as Christians must do all things decently and in order, including what we do in our marriage bed.

The Straight and Narrow Path
Eighth, the way of heaven is straight.  I have learned this from the Word, as well as other divine revelations.  It is literally a straight and narrow path, as the Lord revealed so clearly in Michael Shigaba's Encounter with Jesus.  It is straighter, narrower, and more difficult than most Christians realize.  We must Strive to Enter the Kingdom of God.

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.'" (Lk 3:4-5)

"They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness." (2 Pe 2:15)

"Who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways," (Prov 2:13)

"I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths." (Prov 4:11)

"In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (Prov 3:6)

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Mt 7:13-14)

"Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." (Lk 13:24)

Also see Deu. 32:5; Psa. 18:26; 125:5; Pro. 2:15; 8:8; 17:20; 21:8; 28:6,18; Isa. 59:8; Acts 13:10; Php. 2:15.

The way of heaven is not crooked or deviant.  The road that leads to life is not lustful or perverse.  It is loving and holy.  The problem is that if our hearts are not full of love, then we rely on lust to generate excitement in the marriage bed.  What we (husbands and wives) need is to be cleansed and purged of all lust and be filled with the love of God for one another.  Then we will experience making love the way God intended it to be.

Watch the Videos Yourself
I urge you to watch all three videos yourself and prayerfully consider what the pastor says.  Please don't make any final decision about this matter until you have done so, since I have only summarized him, and it would not be fair to base your decision on only what I have written without hearing him yourself.



Second Warning to Married Couples

Warning to Married Couples Who Practice Oral Sex

Scriptural Basis
The following are a few more Scriptures, in addition to those referenced earlier in this post:

"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry." (Col 3:5, NIV).

"It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;" (1 Thes 4:3-5, NIV).

"Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (1 Tim 2:22, KJV)

"Let all things be done decently and in order." (1 Co 14:40, KJV).

"For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom 8:5-8)

"So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Rom 8:12-13)

Also see 1 Pe 1:14-16,22; 2:11,16; 3:7; 4:1-5,7-8,17-18.

Clarifications
After watching the videos, I contacted pastor Oladejo, and received further clarification from him on some of the things he said in his messages.

Hanging Your Spouse
In the videos, he mentioned "hanging" your spouse during sexual intercourse (see Video 1 at 13:33 - 13:36 and Video 2 at 11:12).  He clarified this for me by stating that he meant couples who engage in extreme sexual positions by using sex equipment to make their wives helpless, such as tying them to a bed, so it looks like the wife is being raped.  He said, "Some Christians do extreme sexual positions seen in the pornography and buy equipment to make them look like their wives are helpless or being hanged [or] raped when they have relationships. Such things are great wickedness before the Lord."

Masturbating
He also clarified that when he warns against masturbation, it includes stimulating one's spouse manually (with the hand) to orgasm. This is consistent with the dictionary definition. He stated, "Do not use your hand to stimulate anyone to orgasm. It is masturbation done on you by your partner rather than yourself." He warned, "Manual stimulation is masturbation. It is a sin."

In fact, the word masturbate comes from two root words that mean "hand" and "defile".

"Touching your wife lovingly is not a sin, but it becomes a sin when she feels like you are masturbating her. Our hands are not meant for such an act.  If your wife touches you such that you release without penetration, that is a great sin, so we need to be careful...Touching as I mean here is touching any other part of a woman's body. It is not touching of arousal."

A Message from the Lord, Not Man
He also clarified for me that he did not come up with this list of sins himself.  He stated, "I did not know that these things were sins myself until the night I saw this revelation. There was one thing that shocked me when I was standing in front of the judgment screen, the sin of masturbation, which is basically using your hand to bring your spouse to orgasm, appeared on the screen...I was told that God disapproves masturbation, even if it is done on you by your partner."

"I did not come up with a list of sins, but what I was told and shown on the screen. You see the voice of the Lord is audible once you cross to the other side. When he speaks, no one will tell you before you know that Jesus is speaking. So the Lord spoke to me in my mind, and I did not even need to ask, because I know it was the Lord."

He added, "I have waited six months to share this revelation. First, I gain nothing by sharing it. It is the hardest part of God's work that He gave me to do. I have struggled with the Lord asking Him to even allow me just to teach this from the Scriptures instead of sharing the revelation, but He told me He would ask the blood from me (of those who go to hell because I did not share the revelation). What He told me is to warn people, and when I obeyed I felt His peace and presence. So, this is not an amazing dream but a divine revelation. I heard heavenly hymns and songs the day I shared this revelation."

Medical and Physical Health Limitations
There are certain, specific cases in which it is impossible to have sexual intercourse with the man on top. After reading this article, one brother submitted a question about that very issue asking, "What if because of medical or physical restrictions, the only way a couple could have sex is if the man was on the bottom?"

When we initially posted this article and began to receive such questions about medical/physical limitations, my wife and I prayed and asked the Lord how to answer them.  We also contacted pastor Oladejo to see if the Lord spoke to him about that. While we were waiting for a response from him, my wife was given Numbers 9:6-13.  In the context, the Lord had told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.  Then it says:

But there were some men who were unclean because of the dead person, so that they could not observe Passover on that day; so they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. Those men said to him, "Though we are unclean because of the dead person, why are we restrained from presenting the offering of the LORD at its appointed time among the sons of Israel?" Moses therefore said to them, "Wait, and I will listen to what the LORD will command concerning you." Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to the LORD. 'In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 'They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it. 'But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Passover, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of the LORD at its appointed time. That man will bear his sin. (Num 9:6-13)

If you are thinking about taking an exception, you ought to read that passage. The Lord commanded Moses how and when to celebrate the Passover Feast.  However, some people came to Moses and said they were unclean because they had touched a dead person, yet they wanted to celebrate the feast at its appointed time with everyone else. When Moses prayed about it, the Lord made an exception for them and those who were on a journey at the time of Passover, allowing them to celebrate the feast exactly thirty days later. But the Lord warned that they must observe it according to the statute and not change anything else.  He strictly warned that if anyone who is clean or not on a journey neglects to observe the Passover at the appointed time as the Lord commanded -- in other words, if they take the exception when they are not qualified for it, that person shall be cut off from his people and bear his sin. The same thing applies to anyone who changes the ordinance of God on their marriage bed, who is not truly qualified for an exception.

"Every man's way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts." (Pro 21:2)

After we received from the Lord that passage in Numbers, we also received a response by email from Pastor Oladejo, who replied: "Concerning the questions about people with medical/physical needs, such as stroke patients, I have asked the Lord after my encounter, and received an answer. If it is physically impossible to have sex normally, and therefore, you change the ordinance of God, the Lord told me He would judge you righteously.”

"However, the Lord told me that He knows men that they will say they have one need or the other that made this impossible for them to obey. He told me then that such claims must be true and honest. If you are unable to have sex normally because of medical/physical needs then you have not sinned. But He said that men would hide under this disguise in order to disobey His law. The Lord told me He knows the heart of men."

"The Lord told me he does not like abstinence from sex. Please tell those abstaining they should come together for sex as regularly as they want with each other. God designed sex for us to enjoy and not to abstain.  It is the will of God to have regular sex with your partner. The Lord wants us to take Lust and masturbation out of our marital bed."

"At no time did the Lord say He would make exceptions for strange sex like oral sex, masturbation, or vibrators, etc."

To further emphasize the key points of what pastor Oladejo has stated, the Lord showed him that; a) He does grant exceptions for married couples with medical/physical limitations. He will judge righteously; b) He does not want any married couple to abstain from sex, but wants them to come together and enjoy each other.  c) However, it is imperative that man does not dishonestly claim to be qualified for the exceptions given by God to those with medical/physical limitations. If he claims this exception when it is not really true, and changes the ordinance of God to fulfill his lusts, the Lord knows the man's heart and will hold him accountable for that sin of disobedience.  He will judge righteously. d) He will not grant exceptions for strange sex.

WARNING: In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this warning: Do not take this exception for yourself unless you truly and honestly qualify for it. Your eternal soul and that of your spouse is at stake.

Lusting After Your Spouse
With regard to lustful feelings of excitement toward one's spouse, pastor Oladejo clarified, "Lust is a demon and should not be found on the marital bed. God expects us to have sex in love and not lust. We can have sex out of love, so why would we want sex out of lust as a Christian?"

Personal Lubricant
Lastly, in response to my inquiry, he said, “[Personal] lubricant and condoms were never shown to me as sin at all.”

I hope these clarifications help remove any questions you may have about what he meant.

Confirmations
On December 19, nearly three weeks after posting this article, I had been working with pastor Oladejo on the clarifications, which we had added to the original article, and he made this statement in an email:

"I have read the article again and have been praying to the Lord. Two nights ago I saw an angel of the Lord in my room telling me to continue with this work. The Lord seriously warned that those who are thinking of breaking His ordinances because of medical/physical reasons should be warned that he will judge them righteously." [Editor's note: This confirmed what the Lord had previously told pastor Oladejo, and which we had already added to this article about exceptions and the Lord judging righteously. However, since this angelic visitation, I have now added the Lord's serious warning to the end of that section about exceptions, and I have added the passage from Numbers, which I originally omitted for the sake of space.]

He continued, "Also concerning manual stimulation to reach organism, beloved brother, the Lord has confirmed it to me again that it is a sin. It is masturbation performed on a woman by her husband. We have gone far in lust on our marital bed but the Lord want us to come back to love."

If you need further confirmation about these things, then check out Robert Brownell's Little Lessons on his Divine Revelations website. He states in lesson number forty, "Keep oral and anal sex out of a marriage. These defile you.  In a dream, I was shown an oral sex demon, it was absolutely disgusting, believe me you don't want anything to do with its sin. The desire for oral sex is usually the desire for someone to physically worship you. Stay away from it.  Keep the spirits of domination and bondage out of a marriage bed also. Also, when a person masturbates, they are having sex with a demon and don't know it."

Another confirmation is from a Hungarian sister in Christ, named Eudoxia Varga, who received a divine revelation of heaven and hell. She was shown a demon in hell, which looks like a beautiful woman, and she is laying on a bed masturbating, casting spells on people who are alive on earth, so that they will commit that sin and go to that unimaginably terrible place of eternal torment.

Another confirmation is in the "A Trip to Hell" video that I wrote about, in which they saw by divine revelation that there are people being tormented in hell for masturbating.

I have also written about our Zambian sister, Rachael Mushala's Testimony of Hell, in which she stated, "I was in my room one night when The Lord showed me a section in hell for those who masturbate. This section was dreary and desolate. I saw a woman on a chair. She was chained with large chains to the chair on which she was sitting, and she couldn't move at all! This woman was burnt beyond recognition. All that had remained of her body looked like ash.  She was completely gray, charred, and seemed to be in great agony. I then was made to understand she was there for masturbating during her life on earth. I believe the Lord showed me that, because He wants to use it to reach those who are caught in this sin."

These are but a few examples I can cite for you, aside from the many Scriptures calling for sexual purity, some of which I have already mentioned.

A Word to the Skeptic
I would like to just briefly address the skeptic who may be reading this.  I cannot possibly address all possible doubts any skeptic may have, but let me respond to two possible questions:

1. Where in God's word does it explain how to properly have marital sex?

There are many Scriptures that apply to this, including those that directly speak of intercourse (eg., Gen 4:1a; Lev 15:33; 18:19; 20:18), as well as many more that speak indirectly, such as all the ones I mentioned in this article.

In other words, if the Bible tells me that I must love my neighbor, I can assume that this command applies in all situations at all times, including on the marriage bed.  Or I can try to justify myself and ask, "Who is my neighbor?" (Lk 10:29).  So Scriptures that admonish us to do all things in decency and order, flee youthful lusts, to pursue holiness, to flee from immorality, to love our wives as Christ loved the Church are all applicable in every aspect of life, not just the ones that don't have to do with sex.  And by the way, speaking of the way Christ loved the Church, He never lusts after His Church.  He loves her in such a way as to give Himself up for her, making her holy, and cleansing her. May the Lord help us be like Him in this world.

2. This revelation implies that even though we do not know or understand that something is sinful, we will still end up in hell despite having faith in Christ to save us.  How can that be so?

This is basic Truth as recorded in Scripture.

In Leviticus 5:15-18, it speaks about unintentional sins.  But look especially at verse 17, which says, "If anyone sins and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though they do not know it, they are guilty and will be held responsible."  Our civil laws in society are the same; ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating it, and they will still punish you anyway.

In Romans 2, Paul addresses this.  Especially look at verses 12-16.  In verse 12, he says, "All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law."  So if you haven't heard that something is against God's law, because you don't have the law, you will still perish if you don't repent and ask forgiveness.

It's called ignorance.  "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hos 4:6).  When it comes to sin, ignorance is not bliss.

Most people who are living in sin, whether they call themselves a Christian or not, they often do not know that they are living in sin.  I mean, in their hearts when they first began doing it, they knew it was wrong.  But they rejected the truth and bought a lie, so God gave them over to unclean spirits (Rom 1:24-25; Prov 1:20-33).  This is called deception.  The devil is a master of deception, so he deceives humanity into thinking that what they are doing is not sin (Gen 3:1-7; Jn 8:44).  The nature of deception is that if you knew you were deceived, you would no longer be deceived. If people realized that what they were doing was sin, and that it would take them to hell, many would repent.  Others still would not, because their hearts are already so hardened that they can no longer repent.  That's why it is so important not to harden your heart if you hear His voice today (Heb 3:8,15; 4:7).

When you speak to non-believers about Christ, you find that they are ignorant of the fact that they are living in sin and going to hell.  But that doesn't change the fact that they are living in sin and going to hell.  Just because someone doesn't know or believe something does not alter the truth of the matter.  That's why it is important to read the Bible, which exposes the Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven.

And lastly, God will not repent or confess your sin for you.  This is something you must do yourself.  It is a condition for forgiveness (see 1 Jn 1:9; Mk 1:15; Ac 2:38; 2 Tim 2:19).  You cannot be forgiven if you do not repent.  This is why repentance is an essential part of salvation initially, and on an ongoing basis.  A daily life of repentance is the shortest path to God's mercy.

Putting it All Together
The Lord began speaking to me two years ago about the need for purity and holiness in the marriage bed, and had already convicted me of certain things He was not pleased with, from which I then repented at that time. This message provided a confirmation that I have indeed heard from God, and also gave me further warnings that I needed to hear at this time.  I do not question this revelation for a moment.  I am positively sure the devil did not give this pastor this revelation.  The devil is the inventor of these evil things, so why would he want to warn us not to do them.

For those who say this is legalism, I will respond to you as the late brother Leonard Ravenhill once said, “When there's something in the Bible that churches don't like, they call it legalism.” And I will add that "legalistic" is often defined as "anyone who follows the commandments closer than I do."

I have done my part in warning you.  As the pastor said, I have cleared myself by warning you, regardless of what you decide to do with it.  I counsel you that we have been led astray by those who have told us that whatever a married couple does together that they both enjoy is fine with God.  That is not true.

During our engagement period, eighteen years ago, my wife and I read a book by Dr. Ed and Gaye Wheat, called Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage; and we now see that much of what he taught was not from God. God is holy and all His ways are holy.  He does not approve of immoral practices, evil acts, or worldliness in the marriage bed of His children.  Anyone performing masturbation and oral sex will not see God, as this is a serious sin before the Lord.  The Lord will will judge all men righteously. Therefore, if you care about your own soul and the soul of your spouse, I advise you to repent and cry out to God for mercy. Prepare to meet your God.

Author's note: Please prayerfully listen to this testimony, and use the Testimony Review Process adopted by this blog, as you decide for yourself whether the Lord has spoken to this pastor.  For issues and concerns, each person must confirm with the Lord, whether something is valid or not. 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like A Trip to Hell, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Ezekiel Moses Testimony of Heaven and Hell, Rachael Mushala Testimony of Hell, Is Obedience Optional?, Holy Living in a Perverted World, Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian, An Open Mind that Loves the Truth, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, and the other posts on the home page. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do you want to know Him?
If you want to know Jesus, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Him. 

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.


Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Judgment Seat of Christ

There are people who teach that Christians will undergo a different kind of judgment than non-believers.  This has led to misconceptions and confusion about eternal judgment, which is one of the elementary truths of the faith that we should all understand clearly.

“Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.” (Heb 6:1-2)

So we need to examine the Scriptures and see what is meant by eternal judgment. 

Its Eternal Consequences
First of all, based on the passage above, it is eternal in nature in that the decision rendered by God at that point is irreversible and final.  As Jesus taught, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Mt 25:46).  It determines the eternal destination of the person being judged, so it is permanent.  And in light of the tremendous glories of heaven, as well as the enormous horrors of hell, the consequences of this judgment are of the utmost seriousness.

One Judgment for All Mankind
Jesus taught one judgment seat for all mankind.  "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.” (Mat 25:31-33)

At the judgment, all the nations will be gathered before Him.  The Father has entrusted all judgment to Him (Jn 5:22).  Therefore, He will separate the people from one another, putting the righteous sheep on His right and the wicked goats on His left.  Both the righteous and the wicked will stand before the same judgment seat.

Standard of Judgment
The same standard of judgment will be used for both the righteous and the wicked. It will be based on what they did and didn’t do.

Note the standard for the righteous:
"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'” (Mat 25:34-40)

Note the same standard He will use for the wicked:
"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Mat 25:41-46)

We know that we are saved by grace through faith, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-9).  And it is only by the blood of Jesus that we can be washed of our sin. “If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1Jn 1:7) But according to Jesus, the standard that He will use will be the same one for both the righteous and the wicked. To the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of His, even the least of them, you did it to Him, and to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Him.

We know we must confess Jesus as Lord to be saved, and “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9)  But being a believer is not the same as being righteous.  Jesus said, "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.'” (Mat 7:21-23)

He will have to tell some of those who call Him Lord to depart from Him, because although they confessed His name, they practiced lawlessness.  They prophesy and perform miracles, but they do not do the will of the Father.  This is why it is so critical to be a doer and not only a hearer of the Word of God, because Jesus said that those who hear His words and act on them will be able to withstand the judgment like the house built on the solid rock. However, those who hear His words and do not act on them are foolish, because they will be destroyed like the house built on sand.

Our actions include the words we speak, which are part of the same standard the Lord will use in the judgment.  Jesus also said, "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Mat 12:36-37).  By this He meant that both His disciples and everyone else would give an accounting on judgment day for every careless word they have spoken. Since our words may either justify or condemn us, we must be very careful not to open our mouths easily.  And if we do speak a careless word, we should repent and ask forgiveness.

Timing of the Judgment
Jesus taught that the eternal judgment would occur when He returns in His glory and all the holy angels with Him (Mt 25:31).  Beyond that I prefer not to get into exact details about the timing of the judgment, since it is a future event and it’s not necessary for us to know the exact sequences of such things.  Any issues relative to timing would not affect the fact that there will be a Day of Judgment.

The apostle Paul said the judgment will happen "On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus." (Rom 2:16)

The Judgment Seat
At that time, the Lord Jesus will sit on His glorious throne (Mt 25:31).  This is the judgment seat of Christ.

John saw this throne and said, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them” (Rev 20:11).  He is so terrifying on His judgment seat as to cause earth and heaven to flee from Him.

The apostle Paul said, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.” (2Co 5:10-11).

In his epistle to the Romans, he called it the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, when he wrote: "But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.  (Rom 2:5-11).

God does not show favoritism.  So whether you are a Jew or a a Gentile believer in Christ, God will render to each person according to his own deeds.  That is why it is so important to do good, so that you may receive glory and honor and peace, rather than the tribulation and distress of those who do evil.

The Purpose of the Judgment
Some people try to twist Paul’s words to make them say something different than what Christ taught, but we must understand all the teachings of the apostles through the Words of Jesus. They cannot be interpreted in such as way that contradicts Jesus.  Yet some cite the fact that the word translated “judgment seat” here is the Greek word “bema,” meaning “a step, that is, foot breath; by implication a rostrum, that is, tribunal: - judgment-seat, set [foot] on, throne.” (Strongs).  They admit that this word connotes the kind of raised platform where a Roman magistrate or ruler sat to make decisions and pass sentence, which is correct.  However, even though they admit the word refers to the place of judgment occupied by rulers and magistrates to make decisions and pass sentence, they prefer to emphasize the analogy of the athletic games. They say that Paul used this Greek word in light of his frequent reference to athletic games, since such a raised platform was used in the Olympic games, at which the judge rewarded those who had won.  They force every aspect of the Olympic awards ceremony to fit, as if God must conform to man’s rules.  They say that no punishment is meted out to the losers at such a judgment, only rewards for the winners or loss of rewards for others.

In fact, Lewis Sperry Chafer states: “It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the judgment is unrelated to the problem of sin, that it is more for the bestowing of rewards than the rejection of failure.” (Systematic Theology, Vol. IV: Ecclesiology-Eschatology, Dallas Seminary Press, Dallas, TX, 1948, p. 406).  They teach that the bema judgment is not to judge believers for sin of any kind, confessed or unconfessed; however, this does not agree with the context of the passage written by the apostle Paul.

First, Paul stated, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,” which agrees with what I have already stated, and which Jesus taught, that it is one judgment for all nations.  Elsewhere Paul had said, “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Rom 14:10-12).  In this context, Paul was warning believers not to judge their brothers, since we will all stand before the judgment seat of God, and each one will give an account of himself to God.

Secondly, Paul stated the purpose of the bema judgment is “so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”  The Greek word for “recompensed” is “komizo,” meaning, “properly to provide for, that is, (by implication) to carry off (as if from harm; generally obtain): - bring, receive.” (Strongs).  Each one may receive or be provided with what is due to him or her for the deeds in the body, meaning those committed while living on earth. This recompense is for both good and bad.  It relates to what each person has done. The word for “done” is the Greek word “prasso,” meaning “to practice, that is, perform repeatedly or habitually; commit, deeds, do, exact, keep, require, use arts” (Strongs).  This agrees completely with the teaching of Jesus that He will judge each one based on what they did and didn’t do, whether they did good and bad.

Therefore, the only sins that are not dealt with are the ones that have been forgiven by God and washed away in the blood of Jesus.  The Lord will never bring up any sins that He has forgiven, because when He forgives, he remembers them no more.  As the Scripture says: “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more" (Heb 8:12).  Yet the only way to receive forgiveness for sin is to repent of it before God, confess it, and ask forgiveness.  That is why the apostle John placed the conditional word “if” on the phrase, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1Jn 1:9). To say we are already forgiven for unconfessed sin is incorrect and unbiblical. 

In the epistle to the Hebrews, Paul wrote, "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." (Heb 10:26-27)

That is why we do fear the Lord when we think about the eternal judgment, which is why Paul went on to say, “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.” (2Co 5:11).  Paul spoke in the context of the bema judgment about the terror of the Lord.  He said, including himself, “we,” when he said, “knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.”  However, the proponents of the “rewards-only” bema seat judgment for Christians don’t quote the verse in its proper context.  They leave the part out where Paul said in the context of the bema seat judgment, “We know what it is to fear the Lord…” Paul knew what it was to fear the Lord, and this was one of the main reasons why he tried to persuade men to live for Christ.

Confidence in the Day of Judgment
The Scripture tells us that we may have confidence on the Day of Judgment and how that is possible.  The apostle John said:

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.” (1Jn 4:15-17)

This is a key passage to know and live by, if you want to have confidence on the Day of Judgment.  This is the only way you can be free from the fear of punishment on that day.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.” (1Jn 4:18-19)

But if you desire to have confidence at the judgment, which John spoke of, rather than fear, it’s not enough to simply say “I confesses that Jesus is the Son of God.” Of course, you must believe in the Son of God in order to have eternal life (1 Jn 5:10,13).  But you must also act on the words in the rest of John’s epistle.  He said many hard things about the narrow path we must walk to reach heaven.  If you hate your brother and say you know God, you’re a liar.  Nobody who hates his brother truly loves God (1 Jn 2:9; 4:20). If you don’t love, then you don’t know God (1 Jn 4:8). You’ve got to love your brother in deed and truth (1 Jn 3:7,19). You can’t have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness (1 Jn 1:6). You must walk in the Light as Jesus is in the Light (1 Jn 1:7). If you say you have no sin, the Truth is not in you (1 Jn 1:8). If you say you’ve come to know Him and you don’t keep His commandments, you’re a liar (1 Jn 2:4). You’ve got to love God and keep His commandments (1 Jn 3:22-24; 5:2-3). If you love the world or the things of this world, the love of the Father is not in you (1 Jn 2:15). You’ve got to abide in Christ if you want to have confidence and not shrink away at His coming when He appears (1Jn 2:28). You must purify yourself just as He is pure, which is as pure as the River of the Water of Life itself (1 Jn 3:3). No one who abides in Him sins or practices sin (1 Jn 3:6,9). You may not sin (1 Jn 2:1).  In fact, no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him (1 Jn 3:6). If you practice sin, you’re of the devil. You must practice righteousness (1 Jn 3:7,19). Therefore, if you do sin, you must repent and confess your sin in order to be forgiven (1 Jn 1:9).  If we do, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The Great White Throne Judgment
As I’ve already pointed out, some teach that there will be two judgments, one for the believers and another for the non-believers.  They say the bema judgment is for believers and the “Great White Throne Judgment” is for non-believers.  However, I hope that I have made it clear there is one judgment. If you are still not clear about this, then I kindly refer you back to my previous section in this article, called One Judgment for All Mankind.  Here is what John saw:

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev 20:11-15).

Let’s look at each part of this passage and compare it with the previous ones I’ve already mentioned:

First, he saw “a great white throne and Him who sat upon it.”  Why should this be different from the throne of judgment about which both Jesus and Paul both spoke? While this is the first time the color of the throne is mentioned in Scripture, it does not mean it is a different throne or a different judgment than what is spoken of elsewhere.

Secondly, John said, “…I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne…” Certainly one could make a case that John saw “the dead” before the throne, and not the living, which would imply that this is not referring to the saints, since we are alive in Christ.  However, if we view this in light of the previous passages in which Jesus and Paul spoke of the judgment, then it could also mean that every person who ever lived will one day stand before the throne for judgment. This would agree with the passages where Jesus and Paul spoke of the eternal judgment.

Thirdly, John said, “…and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds” (20:12).  This agrees completely with what both Jesus and Paul taught about the judgment, whereby we are all judged according to our deeds, which are written in the books.  This is repeated again in verse thirteen, where John wrote, “and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds” (20:13). 

Notice John said, “and another book was opened, which is the book of life;” Jesus spoke of this book when He told His disciples, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven." (Luk 10:20).  When you repent of your sins, and put your faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior, your name is written in the book of life.  This is a very important, because “…if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (20:15).  The fact that John said, “If” seems to indicate that among all of those standing before the throne, there are some whose names are in fact written in the book of life.  The implication is that these souls will NOT be thrown into the lake of fire.  However, the mistake that people make is thinking that once their name is written in the book of life, it can never be erased.  That is incorrect.  After giving your life to Jesus, if you go back into the world and into a life of sin, your name is erased.  For more on this see The The Book of Life.

Fourthly, John said, “…and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.”  This means that after people are already in hell, they will be brought out of hell to stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  Hell will literally give up the dead so they can receive their judgment from the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits upon the throne.  This is what some call the second resurrection, because it is the resurrection of the wicked dead, who awake to shame and everlasting contempt (Dan 12:2).

This begs the question why they were in hell if they had not yet received judgment.  The reason is that when a person dies, God knows at the time they die what the final judgment will be on judgment day. How does He know this?  God knows everything before it happens.  He knows the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end.  There is nothing He does not know. 

In order to explain this more clearly, let me use the devil and his fallen angels as an example.  We know the eternal fire is prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41).  It was not created for humans, but for the devil and his angels.  However, Jesus taught that all the wicked go to that same place (Mt 25:41). 

And Peter drew some parallels between the fallen angels and the wicked in the second chapter of his second epistle.  In that passage he said, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” (2Pe 2:4).  Peter taught that God sent the fallen angels down to hell to be reserved unto judgment.  That means He knew already what their final outcome would be, but He cast them into hell to await the judgment.  They were cast into hell before the judgment, but immediately following the judgment they will be thrown into the lake of fire.

In that same passage, Peter spoke in the same way of the unrighteous people saying, “Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the Day of Judgment.” (2Pe 2:9).  This means that when unrighteous people die, God keeps them under punishment for the Day of Judgment.

Likewise, Paul said, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Heb 9:27).  We know that means exactly what it says, that each person has an appointment with death and we are not going to miss it.  Once we die, then comes the judgment.  It agrees with the fact that the judgment seat of Christ will happen one day at the very end for all mankind.  However, it can also be understood to mean that immediately following death, men must face a judgment that determines whether they will be allowed into heaven or sent to hell to be reserved unto judgment.  In other words, God handles it the same way he handled the fallen angels. 

This is in agreement with what many people have testified, who have received divine revelations from the Lord.  For example, Ezekiel Moses testified that he died, stood before the judgment as a believer, and was sent to hell.  When he stood there for judgment, the angels had the book of life and other books, in which all of his deeds had been recorded. (For more, see Ezekiel Moses Testimony of Heaven and Hell). Likewise, Samuel Oghenetega testified that the Lord showed him the day Archbishop Benson Idahosa died and stood before the angels for judgment.  The angels opened the book of life and other books were opened.  His name was not found in the book of life.  Off in the distance he saw the throne of the Lord God Almighty.  It was radiating with such bright, white light, that He could not see God inside the light.  But he saw the hand of God extend outside the glory and raising only His index finger; He waved it back and forth to indicate that Idahosa would not be allowed into heaven.  He was sent to hell.  (For more, see The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness).

I believe that one day, all these people who have been sent to hell will be brought before the judgment throne of Christ to give an account for every deed done while in the body, whether good or bad.  Likewise, all those whose names are written in the book of life, because they followed Jesus, will be in heaven.  And because they are the righteous who have already taken part in the first resurrection, they will not be harmed at all by the second death, which is the lake of fire.  John wrote:

“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” (Rev 20:4-6)

First, John said “I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” 

Secondly, he defines this event when these souls come to life by saying, “This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” That can be understood to mean that the first resurrection occurs a thousand years before the Great White Throne Judgment, at which the wicked will be sentenced to the second death in the eternal fire. But even if you don't think so, you must agree that the "first" resurrection occurs first, as the term implies, which places it before the second resurrection.

Since the second death has no power over those who take part in the first resurrection, then when they stand in the judgment, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.  In other words, they will not be thrown into the lake of fire, because their names are written in the book of life. They will have confidence on the Day of Judgment.

Thirdly, in John's description of those who take part in the first resurrection, he said, "I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them." This reference to the righteous sitting on thrones and judgment being given to them agrees with the words of the apostle Paul, who said the Lord's people will judge the world (1 Cor 6:2). These are the righteous who endure to the end; they will take part in the first resurrection and will awake to everlasting life to reign with Christ (Dan 12:2; 2 Tim 2:12).  This also agrees with the words of our Lord, who spoke of the King's servants one day being given charge of cities (Lk 19:11-19).  These are the ones who are victorious and do His will to the end, to whom He will give authority over the nations just as He has received authority from the Father (Rev 2:26-27).

Striving to Attain to the Resurrection from the Dead
I'd like to say one last word about participating in the first resurrection and avoiding the second one with its second death -- the lake of fire. There is only one road that anyone can take, if they wish to reach heaven, and it is a narrow road (Mt 7:14).  That road is very difficult and full of hardships (Ac 14:22).  Many have started out on it and then given up.

Therefore Paul said, "I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead." (Phil 3:10).  Paul did not even claim to have already obtained all this, but he pressed on to take hold of it one day (Phil 3:11). The standard to do so, according to Paul, was participating in Christ's sufferings, being made like Him in His death.  And that's still the standard today, which includes considering all things loss for the sake of Christ, and losing all things (Phil 3:8). In this way Paul hoped to somehow attain to the resurrection from the dead, which is the first resurrection, the one in which the righteous shall participate. I hope it is your desire, as it is mine also, to attain to the first resurrection from the dead.

The Resurrection and the Life
If that is your desire, then you need to follow Jesus, live for Him, and trust Him to keep you. 

Jesus said, "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (Joh 6:39-40)

If you truly believe in Him, you must keep His Word, obeying His commands. Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death." (Joh 8:51) 

“Jesus said to Martha, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’" (Joh 11:25-26)

Putting it All Together
So to recap what we have learned from the Scriptures, the eternal judgment has eternal consequences, which are final and irreversible.  There is one judgment for all mankind, one judgment seat, which is the glorious throne of Christ, and one standard of judgment, based on what each person did and didn’t do during his or her life on earth.  Each one of us must appear before the judgment seat, and there are no exceptions.  It’s appointed to each man once to die and then comes the judgment. Each one will be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Some people who teach about the judgment get caught up in the details of timing, sequence, and whether there will be two judgments, rather than one. But to me those are nonessential matters of arrangement. Getting caught up in those aspects and failing to warn people about the fact that we must all face judgment is a grave mistake that can give many people false confidence that results in their eternal destruction.  However, even if I am mistaken about some aspects of the arrangement in this article, I have hopefully communicated the fact that there is a judgment we must all undergo, and that we need to be ready for it.

Thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Resurrection and the Life, it is possible to have confidence on the Day of Judgment.  You must repent of your sin and believe in the Son of God in order to have eternal life, and then your name will be written in the Book of Life. But don’t stop at simply believing or saying you believe.  Act upon the Words of Jesus, proving your repentance by your deeds (Ac 26:20). Maintaining a white robe is connected with your righteous deeds.  Don’t be a mere hearer of His words, but one who keeps His Word and puts it into practice.  Live a righteous life by doing what is right.

If you died today, do you know where you would go?  Just because you think you are saved and going to heaven does not mean you are going there.  Plenty of people say, “I confess Jesus is the Son of God,” yet they don’t live like John taught in His epistle.  They don’t do what Jesus commanded, and they are like the foolish man who built on sand.  When they die, they are sent to hell with the wicked to await the judgment, while their punishment continues.  On the other hand, plenty of people are trusting in their own good works to save them, and they are wrong also.  We are saved by grace through faith. It is the gift of God; not as a result of works.  You cannot be saved without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  He loves you with an everlasting love, and died on the cross for you. But He won't lower the standard of heaven for anybody.  Please repent and turn to Him, cry out to God for mercy, and trust Jesus to save you today.  Truth, Righteousness and Holiness in Him are the only way that can bring man to heaven.

Image credit: The "All Hail King Jesus" painting © 2012 is by Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note:  If you enjoyed this post, you may also like A Trip to Hell, The Book of Life, Ezekiel Moses Testimony of Heaven and Hell, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Holy Living in a Perverted World, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Three Divine Revelations, and the other posts on the home page. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do you want to know Him?
If you want to know Jesus, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Him. 

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.


Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org.