If you heard a sound and asked, "What or Who is that?" and someone said, "That's Bob!" Would you respond, "No, that's Bob's voice!" Even though, you would be right, the other person would be right also, because a person's voice is as much a part of him as his foot or hand. (1 Corinthians 12:15) Who determined that a person's being is limited solely to what is physically attached to the person? In God's case, that would be quite a limitation since He is a spiritual being. (John 4:24) So to say that Jesus is God, is not incorrect, because He is even referred to in the bible as "The Word of God" or God's voice. As it is written:

“In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) 

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Fathers one and only Son.“ (John 1:14). 

“Christ the son is the visible image of the invisible God. He is the firstborn of all creation.” (Colossians 1:15)

In the same sense, to say that Jesus and The Holy Spirit are as much God, as they are His Son, His Word, and His Active Force, is correct since they are all projections/representations of Him. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Hebrews 1:3) That is why the Apostle Paul warned Timothy about getting into quarrels over the meaning of words. (2 Timothy 2:23, 24; Titus 3:9 -11) Because all that these quarrels produce is divisions.

In hopes of not sounding to one sided on this topic, for after all the wisdom from above is indeed impartial (James 3:17), I feel that it would be negligent to not mention a fact with regard to the topic of the trinity, namely: 

In light of this fact, do you not think it is wrong to persecute our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ because they choose not to use this term to describe the nature of our heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? It would be like me creating a word, say "Partagrathria", and then labeling anyone who chooses not to abide by this term and its definition as the explanation for some theological concept as no longer deemed a Christian. As it says in Galatians 5:19-21:

"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God."

Who knows if years or centuries from now a better term will arise that more adequately conveys the true nature of God. In line with the words of the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians Chapter 4 Verse 6:

 "Do not go beyond what is written. Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other." 

Or Proverbs 4:6, which says:

"Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar."

Ultimately, if the term 'Trinity' was so clear in conveying the nature of God, would He not have added it in the Bible Himself? For even within the term “Trinity”, there are various interpretations of what it really means. I'm sure Yahweh has a better term to describe His relationship with regard to His Son, and Holy Spirit than the one we fallible humans have come up with. 

In fact, he did include such a term as exemplified by a father son relationship. Now ask yourself, “where did children exist prior to be born?” Simply put, in the reproductive organs of their parents. Thus, children were actually one with their parents prior to their birth so they could have actually been considered the same person. Once born though, children eventually became extensions of those parents with their own freewill. In the same manner, Jesus was one with his Father Yahweh God (i.e. resided within God’s reproductive organs as His seed) before coming to earth. He eventually became an extension of His Father  through his incarnation as the man Jesus coupled with the reproductive cells of his mother, the virgin named "Mary". He is considered the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9), because he is the only person in the universe to have such a unique relationship with The Father, as all others were created vs. reproduced. Yet, ask yourself, "Can a creature reproduce anything other than after its kind?" Of course not! (Genesis 1:25) Then why is it so hard for some to understand that God’s son is God as well? Please note though that this reproduction was not a result of God having sexual intercourse with a human. Rather Mary's egg was fertilized by the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, these statements would have been, and still are, considered a major blasphemy in Jesus’ day, and even now respectively.  This is why so many Christians, including Jesus, have been killed at the hands of religious leaders up to this day. Jesus even warned us about this saying, "For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God." (John 16:2).For the scriptures say, "Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12). Yet, these facts are the simple Bible truth of Jesus’ identity. 

In conclusion, I do understand the trinity is probably the best word that some have come up with thus far to describe the relationship between The Father, Son & Holy Spirit, but I think we would do well to use the scriptures directly in the explanation of the nature of God. I've heard the term trinity once likened to a suspension bridge in that it is able to support an extraordinary amount of weight due to the tension of the opposing sides/pillars; likewise, the two opposing arguments help to steer Christians away from reaching the two opposite extremes with regard to the identity of our Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I know I've used this illustration before, but I think it fits well in so many situations with regard to differences in the Body of Christ. “But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!” (1 Corinthians 11:19) I hope you've enjoyed this dosage of once again another Spiritual Chemotherapy session.


““[God instructed the people of Israel to] make a medallion of pure gold, and engrave it like a seal with these words: “HOLY TO YAHWEH”. Attach the medallion with a blue cord to the front of Aaron’s turban, where it must remain. Aaron must wear it on his forehead so he may take on himself any guilt of the people of Israel when they consecrate their sacred offerings. He must always wear it on his forehead so Yahweh will accept the people.” (Exodus‬ ‭28‬:‭36‬-‭38‬)

This the verse right here. This is found in the Old Testament ~1,500 years before Jesus came to earth. God gave the people of Israel these instructions as a way to help them and us understand what the messiah, our Great High Priest Jesus, would do for us. In the same way that Aaron bore the guilt for his people so that they may be acceptable to God, Jesus bears our guilt as well. It’s so simple yet profound at the same time.

Please note though that this is not a license to sin freely for Jesus cannot bear the guilt of sins for which we do not feel guilty for. Yet if we feel guilty about a sin, then that means we know that it is wrong and our shame over this wrong leads us to turn away from it (aka repent). Repentance in turns leads us to forgiveness by the blood of Jesus (i.e. his ransom sacrifice in our behalf). Sometimes we try to over complicate things but God’s truths are actually very simple. In fact, they are so simple that even a child can understand them. That’s why the residents of the kingdom of Heaven are likened unto children. As it is written:

“About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4)

In summary, if we don’t feel guilty for the bad things that we are doing, and turn from them, then that means that we are still living in our sins. As it is written:

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.” (1 John 1:8-10)

Thus, we shouldn’t expect forgiveness for sins that we are in denial about and refuse to repent from when we meet God face to face. But He will forgive us if we acknowledge them, and ask for his help to turn from them on the basis of what Jesus did for us. As it is written:

“Don’t you realize that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

So let us get right with God my friends for we do not know when our time on this earth will end and we have to stand before him to give an accounting for the choices that we made in life.


“At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for [Jesus and his three closest apostles]. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well. Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?” “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭17‬:‭14‬-‭20‬ NLT)

This story is probably one of the most controversial verses on the topic of healing. What makes it even more controversial is the fact that these words were spoken by Jesus himself. He basically said, “things don’t happen for you because you don’t have enough faith.”

Similar to the situation in this account, there are various reasons for why some people believe we don’t see healings today. The most common are as follows:

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.” ( 1 Corinthians 13:8-10)

"Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son." (Hebrews 1:1-2)

I personally don't believe that this is the case for I have seen miracles/prophecies/healing occur even within my lifetime since coming into the knowledge and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“[Jesus] came into his own country, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many hearing him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things?” and, “What is the wisdom that is given to this man, that such mighty works come about by his hands? Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” So they were offended at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house.” He could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. He marveled because of their unbelief. He went around the villages teaching.” (Mark‬ ‭6‬:‭1‬-‭6‬)

In yet another account of this same story:

"Jesus said to them, “Doubtless you will tell me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in your hometown.’” He said, “Most certainly I tell you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But truly I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land. Elijah was sent to none of them, except to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed, except Naaman, the Syrian.”” (Luke‬ ‭4‬:‭23‬-‭27‬)

This same explanation may also shed light on the reason why unbelieving spectators were often dismissed prior to miracles being performed in privacy. (Read  1 kings 17:19; Matthew 9:25; Mark 5:37-40; 6:45; 7:33; Acts 9:40 for more information)

When [Jesus] had come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we cast [the demon] out?” He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but by prayer and fasting.”” (Mark‬ ‭9‬:‭28‬-‭29‬)

To clarify, the act of fasting and prayer in itself is not what causes the miracles to happen; rather, these actions help us to build our faith as we learn to rely more on what we can’t see (i.e. God’s Holy Spirit) vs. what can be seen (i.e. physical nutrients, own hands, strength, and ourselves in general). As the apostle Paul said, “Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, and in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭10‬)

Although there are various combinations of reasons for a lack of healing/miracles/prophetic utterances specific to individual circumstances, I do believe the majority of these cases correspond to a lack of faith on the part of the requester, receiver, and/or audience. 

Only with genuine faith will we truly have the power to perform miracles provided of course the Lord is willing, for that too is gift selectively given to certain Christians as God deems necessary. (Read Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12 for more insight) That being said, there is still yet another reason why we don't see miracles in some cases, namely:

“Even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

All that being said, miracles in themselves are not evidence that someone is favored by God. Please see the following verses below for more information:

“But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses…” (Exodus 7:22)

"Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’" (Matthew 7:21-23)

"For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time." (Matthew 24:24-25)

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders.” (1 Thessalonians 2:9)

Please check out the following article for more information:

How can we discern counterfeit miracles?

At the end of the day, I don’t think people really understand what "faith" really is. So I ask you this same question, “Do you really understand what it means to have ‘faith’?” Most people think they know, but do they really know? Please read the next article to understand faith more in depth.


“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭1‬)

Based on these verses, we can define "Faith" as the unwavering belief that what we expect to happen will happen as expected. For example:

There are so many other things in this world that we have faith in without even realizing it. Such faith affects our decisions, outlook, and action’s subconsciously because we have come to trust in such things based on the knowledge and experiences from our past and that of others.

Yet, faith/belief in miracles, power to heal, and prophetic utterances in Jesus’ name is something that even the most devout Christian struggles with today. As Jesus asked, “But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” ‭‭(Luke‬ ‭18‬:‭8‬)

Our faith should be strengthened by the historical accounts that we read in the Bible. That is why it is important to read it regularly. It provides geographical references and dates were these extraordanary events took place for the sake of having faith that they can take place again. One example of faith in action as seen in the gospels of Jesus’ is found in Matthew‬ ‭21‬:‭18‬-‭22. We read:

“In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.””

‭‭Faith is so important that God’s word says, “it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” ‭‭(Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭6‬) Or again, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” ‭‭(2 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭7‬) Basically, how can one truly talk to God from a place of sincerity in their heart if they don’t even believe that someone is listening? As it is written:

"For “Everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved." But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?"" (Romans 10:13-14)

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” ‭‭(Hosea‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬)

“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”"‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭14‬:‭1‬ ‭; 53:1)‬‬

Or as Jesus himself said:

Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.” (John‬ ‭3‬:‭11‬-‭13‬)

Given the fact that God is invisible, it takes even more faith to trust in Him. As it is written:

"For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,” ‭‭(Colossians‬ ‭1‬:‭15‬)

Given that Jesus Christ is not physically on the planet earth at the moment, since he ascended into heaven 40 days after his resurrection, many find it difficult to put faith in him as well. Yet, more than 500 hundred individuals saw him alive after he was raised from the dead and before he ascended back to heaven . The following account was written about Jesus when he was on earth after he came back from the dead for our encouragement, namely:

“But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, wasn’t with them when Jesus [appeared to disciples after being raised from the dead]. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” After eight days, again his disciples were inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being locked, and stood in the middle, and said, “Peace be to you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side. Don’t be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.” ‭‭(John‬ ‭20‬:‭24‬-‭31‬)

Read the gospel accounts in Matthew Chapter 28; Mark Chapter 16; Luke Chapter 24, John Chapter 20-21; Acts 1;1-9, & 1 Corinthians 15:3-9 for additional corroborating evidence of Jesus' return from the dead (also known as the resurrection).

They had faith in Jesus so much after witnessing such a miracle that they were willing to die rather than to deny what they had seen. As it is written:

"By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death.

But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.

All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us." (Hebrews 11:33-40)

Yet, the lack of faith in our present day is not a surprise for even this too was prophesied by the apostle Peter almost 2,000 years ago, where he wrote:

“Knowing this first, that in the last days mockers will come, walking after their own lusts and saying, “Where is the promise of [Jesus'] coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”

They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.” (2 Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭3‬-‭10)

In summary, I am not advocating for you to have blind faith here (i.e. faith based on no empirical evidence that what we believe is true). Rather, I’m encouraging you to examine the evidence for yourself to determine whether there is in fact a basis to put faith in something you can’t see. For if you can't believe the testimony of so many trustworthy reliable witnesses as found in the bible, then who can you believe? As one of my current favorite rappers said in one of his songs:

"They be like Caleb, "How you gon' believe what you can't even see?" Well I mean, you can't see the air, but everyday you still gon' breath"" - Caleb Gordon, Song: West Orlando Flow

So I implore you today, to read the gospels from Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John in hopes that they may shine a light in your heart for you to truly see. When that happens, you will be filled up with God’s Holy Spirit so much so that you will truly live and breathe. At that point is when your eternal life starts. As Jesus said;

 “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying." (John 11:25)

As the apostle Peter wrote in his letter to the churches:

“We have the more sure word of prophecy; and you do well that you heed it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts,” (‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭19‬)


Have you ever as asked yourself, the following questions:

If so, then please see the answers to these questions below along with the accompanying verses from the Bible (Jesus' words in red font):

Question 1: What does it even mean to be 'saved'?

Answer: Per the statement of faith at Gospel Fellowship, my home church, the definition of SALVATION is as follows:

"We believe that salvation is a free gift from God. Salvation is given by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Although it is freely available to all, it is only experienced through faith, apart from works, in the finish work of Christ’s perfect sacrifice in place of our sins. Believers are then joined to the body of Christ and saved from the wrath of God."

[God] is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. 

God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. (Ephesians 1:7-14)

And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:11)

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. (2 Peter 3:9)

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)

For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

Question 2: Why do I need to be saved?

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet Yahweh [God] laid on him [Jesus] the sins of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. (Proverbs 14:12)

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. (Romans 14:12)

It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelations 20:15)

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5)

For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. (James 2:10)

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. (1 Peter 3:18)

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil." (John 3:16-19)

And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment. (John 3:36)

Question 3: How do I get saved?

I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life." (John 5:24)

For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

With that, I would like to ask you the most important question, "Would you like to be saved?" If so, then I'm happy to let you know that the steps are pretty simple and straightforward. They are as follows:

Step 1: Really Believe & Have Faith in Jesus / Confess Jesus before others

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” (Acts 16:31)

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Step 2: Repent (turn from your sins)

Unless you repent of your sins and turn to God, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)

Step 3: Confess your sins to Jesus

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9)

Step 4: Pray for God's Holy Spirit to dwell within you

[Jesus] commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4-5)

"But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you." (John 14:26)

[God] has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us. (2 Corinthians 1:22)

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (Romans 8:11)

God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 5:5)

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

Step 5: Trust Him to keep you

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away (stumbling) and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. (Jude 1:24)

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

If you've made the decision to take the aforementioned steps today, then allow me to be the first to welcome you into the body of Christ. You've just taken the first steps into eternity. But your journey is not over yet, for there is a battle at hand with the wicked spirits of this world and our own fallen flesh. And we must remain faithful to our Lord until He returns:

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. (Galatians 5:17)

And Jesus said, "He that endures to the end will be saved." (Matthew 24:43) 

To endure in this journey, the following next steps are crucial:

Step 6: Join a local church that teaches straight from the bible and be baptized in Jesus' name

Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25)

Step 7: Continue reading your Bible

For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”  We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:16-21)

Step 8: Continue to praying/talking to your Heavenly Father

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Step 9: Continue to repent of anything God shows you is in need of attention

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. (Psalms 51:17)

Yahweh is near to the brokenhearted; He saves the contrite in spirit. (Psalms 34:18)

Step 10: Continue loving and forgiving one another

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15)

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! Yahweh our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love Yahweh your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)

For it is by heading these words that we receive the strength and encouragement to endure till the end. As it is written: 

"Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." (1 Timothy 4:16)


They must wash with water whenever they go into the Tabernacle to appear before Yahweh and when they approach the altar to burn up their special gifts to Yahweh—or they will die!” ‭‭(Exodus‬ ‭30‬:‭20‬) ‭‬‬

When Yahweh God directed the priest to clean themselves before entering into his presence, he was saying this for their benefit not his. Our sins can’t hurt him but they will kill us. Our self conscious awareness of our sins are only heightened by the smell of the clothing that participated in such sins. Thus, it is our conscience that will condemn us to death in His presence due to the self awareness of our depraved state in the midst of such a holy God. Therefore, God advises us to wash ourselves clean before entering into his presence and out of love less we die. But how do we do this?

God invites us to wash ourselves clean in the blood of his Son Jesus Christ by means of water baptism. In that manner, God will smell his Son when he sees us and not our sins. Much like a mother bird can recognize its young by their smell, we are similarly adopted into God’s family. And just as someone being chased by a predator may jump in the water/river to throw the pursuer off track, our enemy (the devil) is no longer able to trace the scent of our sin to follow us after we’ve been baptized in the name of The Father, Son & Holy Spirit. We can see an example of this in the book of the prophet Zechariah. As it is written:

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Yahweh, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. Yahweh said to Satan, “Yahweh rebuke you, Satan! Yahweh, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”

Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.

The angel of Yahweh gave this charge to Joshua: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.

 ‘Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.

 ‘In that day each of you will invite your neighbor to sit under your vine and fig tree,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” (Zechariah 3:1-10)

Much like Jacob borrowed the clothing of his older brother Esau to trick his father into blessing him with the rights of the firstborn instead  (Read Genesis Chapter 27), we too our blessed due to the smell and clothing of our older brother Jesus, the first and only begotten Son of God. In our case though, it is not a trick for God well knows all things and sees all things; thus, he purposely orchestrated his Sons sacrifice in our behalf. Thus, we are clothed with his righteousness and not our own for all of our self righteousness is but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). As it is written:

“For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” ‭‭(Galatians‬ ‭3‬:‭26‬-‭27‬) ‭

“Let’s rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and let’s give the glory to him. For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.” It was given to her that she would array herself in bright, pure, fine linen, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” ‭‭(Revelation‬ ‭19‬:‭7‬-‭8‬)

In fact, Jesus knew what he had to do to complete his Father Yahweh’s greatest rescue mission ever from the very beginning, namely:

And because of this, only He is deserving of all the glory, honor, and praise. As John wrote in his prophecy of the future:

“And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.” Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered— to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.”” (Revelation‬ ‭5‬:‭9‬-‭13‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

But He didn’t stay dead, for that would have been a rather tragic and sad ending. Instead he came back to life 3 days later proving that he had defeated death forever. As a result, all humans will come back to life one day when he returns to earth. Some for everlasting life while others for everlasting condemnation. Knowing this, what manner of life should we be living now so that we can be found in his good graces upon his return. Some may doubt that Jesus will ever come back to earth, but please note that even this was predicted around his time showing the the Holy Spiriti let the apostles know that it would be some time until his return. As it is written:

“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves  g vvv will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.” (‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭3‬-‭16‬)

Even this was for your benefit; otherwise, you would have never been born to participate in such a wonderful promise as eternal life. I encourage you to take this promise serious for his return is fast approaching based on all the signs we see in the world right now. As Jesus stated to John in his vision recorded in Revelations:

"So I advise you to buy gold from me — gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see." (Revelations 3:18)


TLBC Youth Ministry Newsletters & Devotionals VOL II Issue No. 7 (Q3 2021, pg. 57 of 65)

“God saved you by his grace through faith when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done/our works, so none of us can boast about it.” - Apostle Paul (Ephesians 2:8,9)

“Faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless... Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.” - Apostle James (James 2:17,26)

These may be familiar passages for some of us; however, some may say that they contradict each other. In actuality, we need both seemingly opposing points to get a clear picture of salvation. Let’s look at the following scenarios to better understand what we are talking about here in an effort to reconcile them with one another:

1st Scenario: Man attempts to get right with God by doing good works

Truth: No amount of good works that one does can ever make them fully right with God; therefore, we can never do enough to get salvation. This is because our bad works or sinful state ultimately cancel them out. We will eventually get caught in a never ending cycle of trying to cancel out our bad deeds with good deeds but that just isn’t how it works either. In fact, the word of God actually says that our bad deeds actually cancel out our good deeds but not the other way around (Read Haggai 2:10-13 for more information). In the end, “All our righteousness are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) as we are soiled by the sins that come after our righteous acts. The only means of cancelling out such sin in God’s view is through a ransom sacrifice, and He has himself already provided that sacrifice in our behalf by means of His Son Jesus Christ. As Jesus said:

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

2nd Scenario: Person says they have faith in God, but there is no evidence of this in their life.

Truth: Genuine faith ultimately leads to repentance and good works. So someone who states they have faith in God, but has no evidence of that faith in action in their life is actually lying. Saving faith means trusting in all God’s revealed will/principals, not just those parts of the Bible that seem cool to us. Basically, it’s not enough to believe God exist. Your life actually needs to be affected by that belief. If your life doesn't look any different after you believe in comparison to before, then I would seriously recommend a self evaluation of whether you are actually saved. (Read Luke 8:4-15) As the Apostle James wrote:

“You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” (James 2:19)

Jesus said the following:

Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

So if you are living in sin right now but don’t feel bad about it, then I would highly recommend asking yourself the question, “Do I really have faith in Jesus, and am I really saved?” For, we can’t really say we have faith in Jesus Christ; yet, continue to live in sin. At the same time, we can’t put the cart before the horse either. No amount of good works will ever get us saved for this is a gift from God; however, our faith in God should show appreciation for the grace bestowed upon us in the form of good works and a changed life.

As we live in this sinful world, and within these sinful fallen bodies, we will all fall short and sin at times. Yet, we shouldn’t let that stop us from getting up each time, repenting, and relying on God’s holy spirit to strive for better. As the Apostle John said:

"My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” (1 John 2:1-2)

In all, both verses are necessary although they may seem contradictory at first. One is the heat that forces us to move to a place of scrutiny, safety, and security; while the other is the cold that soothes us of our flaming bad conscience. One aims to prevent us from getting a swollen ego, while the other reminds us to never become too complacent in thinking that our behavior doesn't matter to a Holy God. Or the other extreme in believing that we have somehow earned this great salvation that has been bestowed upon us through His underserved kindness. As Martin Luther said, “The most damnable and pernicious heresy that has ever plagued the mind of man is that somehow he can make himself good enough to deserve to live forever with an all-holy God.” Much in the same way that a suspension bridge is able to support an extraordinary amount of weight due to the tension of the opposing sides/pillars; likewise, these two verses help to put pressure on each individual Christian so that we may not become too cavalier with regard to our salvation.

Some additional references:


““If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy of Yahweh honorable, and honor it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you will delight yourself in Yahweh, and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father;” for Yahweh’s mouth has spoken it.”

(Isaiah 58:13-14)

Shabboth Shalom my friends,

Alot of people ask whether we as Christians should still observe the Sabbath. What do you think? How would you answer that question if someone were to ask you, "So, should we still observe the Sabbath?" The simple answer is “yes”, but not in the same way that those who lived under the law were accustomed to observing it. We get a clear example of this in the account of a confrontation between Jesus and the religious leaders of his day. We read:

“One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples began breaking off heads of grain to eat. But the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look, why are they breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?” Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He went into the house of God (during the days when Abiathar was high priest) and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. He also gave some to his companions.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”” ‭‭(Mark‬ ‭2‬:‭23‬-‭28‬)

In a different account he goes on to say:

“…And haven’t you read in the law of Moses that the priests on duty in the Temple may work on the Sabbath? I tell you, there is one here who is even greater than the Temple! But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you wouldn’t have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”” (Matthew‬ ‭12‬:‭5‬-‭8‬)

When Jesus referred to himself as the “Son of Man,”, he did this to establish commonly with “sons and daughters of men” so that we may have the same confidence and authority to do the things that He did. As Jesus said:

““I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works…” (John‬ ‭14‬:‭12‬)

Basically, when Yahweh God created the sabbath, His intent was to have humans follow the example He set from creation in how He rested on the seventh day. For He knew that humans would work themselves to death otherwise. My wife can attest to that as she often refers to me as a “workaholic.” I actually find so much pleasure in working to the extent that I often skip meals, and go days without sleeping to get the job done to the detriment of my personal health. Being so goal orientated, I could literally work myself to death if left unchecked. As a result, my family often end up feeling neglected on account of me being overly occupied with the completion of task. Consequently, observing the sabbath in my case allows me to not feel guilty in refraining from secular or even household errands/projects to focus on spending quality time with the family in recreational and/or spiritual pursuits. Simply put, just enjoying the day that God has made.

Where the religious leaders of Jesus’ day went wrong was in the fact that they kept adding restrictions/traditions to the sabbath to the point that it became more of a burden than a blessing overtime. In an attempt to regulate the people’s observance of the sabbath, they came up with a bunch of do’s and don’t that were never God’s intention. Such things as you can only walk this many miles, or they couldn’t even break off the heads of grain to eat as depicted in the earlier account. Please note that this was not the same as “harvesting” grain (i.e. gathering crop in the field for consumption and/or sale). Rather, they were simply putting a little snack in their mouth out of hunger as they were walking by a field. I must admit that I too have fallen into such fallacies with respect to enforcing the observance of sabbath within my family of which I am embarrassed and repent.

It should be noted though that Jesus nor his disciples broke the sabbath law though they were accused of doing such by the Pharisees. Rather Jesus knew the true meaning of the sabbath given that He was “Lord, even over the sabbath.” In a similar sense, we should never encourage others to break God’s laws. As Jesus said:

““Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished. Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭17‬-‭20‬)

Rather, we should like Jesus help others to understand the true meaning of the various commandments so that they too can benefits of the principles contained within. The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath. It’s for our benefit. All God’s laws are for our benefit and well-being.

We need rest but it is no longer mandatory as we don’t live under the law. As Jesus said, the priest in the temple work continually at the temple on the sabbath yet remain blameless. We are now God’s priest. As such, our entire lives are a service to God set apart; thus, we can no longer separate ordinary work from holy work. As the apostle Paul said, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

We who no longer live under the law should also remember that our righteous standing before God comes not from the observance of the law. Since only Jesus was able to keep all of the law without fail, it is through faith in the His ransom sacrifice that allows His righteousness to be merited towards. Basically, it is only by loving God and holding unto Jesus, or better yet He holding unto us, can we ever hope to live forever. As it is written:

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭28‬-‭34‬, ‭38‬-‭39‬)

Even then, this grace us not a license to run headlong into wanton sin and law breaking but rather run into righteous works and soul saving. So let us continue to look forward to the ultimate sabbath day of rest in paradise with our Lord Jesus during his 1,000 year reign. As it is written:

“God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’” even though this rest has been ready since he made the world. We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day: “On the seventh day God rested from all his work.” But in the other passage God said, “They will never enter my place of rest.” So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.” (‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭1‬-‭11‬)

Please feel free to check out the link below and read up on the following verses for more information:

Seventh-Day Rest - Sabbath - The Bible Project 

““Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged." - Jesus (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭1‬-‭2‬)

““But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭21‬-‭31‬)

“Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭6‬:‭15‬-‭16)

“Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.” (‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9‬:‭19‬-‭21‬)

“Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God. What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would make the Gentiles right in his sight because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith. But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.” But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.” (‭‭Galatians‬ ‭3‬:‭1‬-‭14‬, ‭19‬, ‭21‬-‭25‬)

“Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years. I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing.” (‭‭Galatians‬ ‭4‬:‭1‬, ‭3‬-‭11‬)

“For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.” (‭‭James‬ ‭2‬:‭10‬-‭13‬)


A brother asked me the following question recently during an interview:

“If you were to die today, would you know for sure that you would go to heaven to be with Jesus forever?”

I answered “I think so” with a doubtful screech in my voice, but to be completely honest, the most appropriate answer should have been “I really don’t know.”

There are many reasons for my uncertainty, which I think many people may feel the same.  So I thought I’d write this post to go over the reasons in hopes of bringing comfort to those that have similar doubts at times.

For one, I know that I was sealed with God’s Holy Spirit when I first believed, and repented of my sins at the age of 18. I could feel and see the noticeable differences in my mind, body, heart and desires upon coming into a relationship with Yahweh God through faith in His son Yeshua’s ransom sacrifice. I repented of my sins and endeavored to live the remainder of my life for God; nevertheless, I didn’t always live up to that promise. I’ve blundered and purposely returned to serious sins so many times since then to the point that I often wonder if God’s Holy Spirit is still within me. For I am certain that I have indeed “grieved the Holy Spirit of God, in whom [I] was sealed for the day of redemption” on numerous occasions since my conversion (Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭30‬‬‬).

I think of the case when God’s Holy Spirit left King Saul after he started to rebel and becoming prideful during his later years although the Holy Spirit had come upon him mightily initially after he was anointed. Instead, he was eventually given a tormenting spirit (1 Kings 10:6-7,9-10;13:13-14,16:14). In the same sense, I too suffer with occasional mental/emotional tormenting episodes on a regular basis (about once every other year). During those episodes, I can’t sleep for days/weeks due to anxiety, fear, and paranoia which eventually led me to be diagnosed with bipolar/ manic-depression. However, I sometimes think these are perhaps symptoms of my underlying spiritual condition similar to the case of King Saul.

That being said, evil and wicked men were not the only ones to experience such turmoil of the mind in the Bible. I think of the Apostle Paul, a disciple of Jesus that wrote the majority of the letters/books in the New Testament, and I’m encouraged. He dealt with similar cases of sleepless nights, mental anguish, and other infirmities that I’ve only experienced since the time I became a believer. Please see examples below:

“By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, a thorn in the flesh was given to me: a messenger of Satan to torment me, that I should not be exalted excessively. Concerning this thing, I begged the Lord three times that it might depart from me. He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me. Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, and in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.” (‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭7‬-‭10‬) ‭

“I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am. God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is worthy of eternal praise, knows I am not lying.” (2 Corinthians‬ ‭11‬:‭27‬, ‭30‬-‭31‬)

Or the words of the Apostle Peter:

“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” ‭(1 Peter‬ ‭4‬:‭12‬-‭13‬)

“Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. (1 Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭9‬)

During a recent Mental Health night at our church, a brother (who also happens to be a therapist), stated that mental/emotional health issues may be related more to childhood trauma and other factors versus demonic oppression. That was somewhat encouraging to hear for I indeed went through several cases of childhood trauma during my adolescent and teenage years. In fact, I actually wrote about my youth in my written & musical autobiographies titled, “The Book of Keax, the death story of Nicolas Joachim”, "Second Child, the life story of Nicolas Joachim", & “Immigrant Story Mix Tape” respectively. Electronic and hard copies are available on most online retail bookstores; however, please feel free to reach out for a free copy. 

Despite the explanation provided by my brother in Christ, I sometimes still have doubts on account of the numerous times that I’ve backslidden since after my initial conversion. These doubts are further exacerbated when I read the following verses: 

“For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, “The dog turns to his own vomit again,” and “the sow that has washed to wallowing in the mire.”” (‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭20-‭22‬)

“Beloved, now we are children of God. It is not yet revealed what we will be; but we know that when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him just as he is. Everyone who has this hope set on him purifies himself, even as he is pure. Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away our sins, and no sin is in him. Whoever remains in him doesn’t sin. Whoever sins hasn’t seen him and doesn’t know him. Little children, let no one lead you astray. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed: that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God doesn’t commit sin, because his seed remains in him, and he can’t sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn’t do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn’t love his brother.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭3‬:‭2‬-‭10‬)

“For there is no longer any sacrifice that will take away sins if we purposely go on sinning after the truth has been made known to us. Instead, all that is left is to wait in fear for the coming Judgement and the fierce fire which will destroy those who oppose God! Anyone who disobeys the Law of Moses is put to death without any mercy when judged guilty on the evidence of two or more witnesses. What, then, of those who despise the Son of God? who treat as a cheap thing the blood of God's covenant which purified them from sin? who insult the Spirit of grace? Just think how much worse is the punishment they will deserve!” (‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10‬:‭26‬-‭29)‬‬

“For concerning those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify the Son of God for themselves again, and put him to open shame. For the land which has drunk the rain that comes often on it and produces a crop suitable for them for whose sake it is also tilled, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and thistles, it is rejected and near being cursed, whose end is to be burned.” (‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭4‬-‭8‬)‬‬

Still, the author does go on to say in the following verses in an effort to ease those burdened down with guilty consciences such as myself:

“Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do (Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭9‬-‭10‬)

Or perhaps we remember the words of the apostles John, Jesus’ best friend on earth, who wrote:

“if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭3‬:‭20‬)‬‬

In fact, just listen to an conversation between Jesus & Simon (aka Peter), when they first met:

“But Simon Peter, when he saw [Jesus’ miracle of catching a bunch of fish], fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.” and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will be catching people alive.”” ‭‭(Luke‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬, ‭10‬)

That being said, I do want to note that grace is not a license for living a life of wanton sin (Romans 3:5-8). There is indeed punishment for the believer and non-believer who chooses a course of rebellion regardless of their knowledge of the one true God. Besides being plagued with a guilty conscience, they are also subject to the same punishment as Satan & His demons. Please reference the verses below for more information:

“For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who don’t obey the Good News of God? “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?”‭‭ (1 Peter‬ ‭4‬:‭17‬-‭18‬)

“Now I would not have you ignorant, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. However with most of them, God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples[warnings], to the intent we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. Don’t be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Let’s not commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell. Let’s not test Christ, as some of them tested, and perished by the serpents. Don’t grumble, as some of them also grumbled, and perished by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn’t fall. (‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭1‬-‭12‬) ‭‬‬

“So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” ((‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭12‬-‭13‬) ‭‬‬

“if by any means* I may attain to the [first] resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do: forgetting the things which are behind and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, think this way. If in anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that to you. Nevertheless, to the extent that we have already attained, let’s walk by the same rule. Let’s be of the same mind.” ‭‭(Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭11‬-‭16‬)‭‬‬

* The apostle uses the language of humble expectation. For the particles, "if by any means" (εἴ πως), comp. Acts 27:12; Romans 1:10; Romans 11:14. [Pulpit] Not an expression of doubt, but of humility. [Vincent] This denotes the struggle of Paul’s faith [Bengel’s Gnomen]

“Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortionists, will inherit God’s Kingdom. Some of you were such, but you were washed. You were sanctified. You were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God.” (‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭9‬-‭11‬)‬‬ 

“Pay attention to yourself and to your teaching. Continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭16‬ )‬‬

All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life*, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.” ‭‭(Revelation‬ ‭3‬:‭5‬) ‭

*This verse to me implies that the opposite was true; otherwise, why would there be a need to mention this and state the condition that this is for the victorious. We see that even Judas' name may have been written in Heaven at one time along with the 72 disciples of Jesus who were expelling demons in Jesus' name (Read Luke 10:17-20 for more information); however, we know the ultimate fate of Judas was that he was headed for destruction due to his love of money (Compare with Matthew 13:7,22, Psalm 69:28, John 17:12). Yet, there is still an alternate explanation which states that Jesus said he would "never erase their names from the Book of Life" here implying that once your name is in, then it will never be erased. Please see the following resource for more information on the latter view: Can I be blotted out from the Book of Life.

“The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever. If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.” ‭‭(Revelation‬ ‭20‬:‭10‬, ‭15‬) ‭

Some Christians think that just due to the fact that they are believers, they will automatically skip the judgement seat of God and not have to give an account for what they have done in this life. But I personally do not think it is so. As the Apostle Paul wrote to his fellow believers:

“So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.” ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭14‬:‭10‬, ‭12‬)

Or the half-brother of Jesus, James who stated:

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?” ‭‭(James‬ ‭2‬:‭14‬-‭20‬)

And most importantly, our Lord Jesus who stated:  

But he who endures to the end will be saved.”  ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭24‬:‭13‬)‬‬

““Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do. When Judgement Day comes, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!’ Then I will say to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!’” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭21‬-‭23‬)‬‬

““Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Some fishermen throw their net out in the lake and catch all kinds of fish. When the net is full, they pull it to shore and sit down to divide the fish: the good ones go into their buckets, the worthless ones are thrown away. It will be like this at the end of the age: the angels will go out and gather up the evil people from among the good and will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and grind their teeth.” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13‬:‭47‬-‭50‬)‬‬

"To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 25:29-30)

Ultimately, I know that I am not a good person. Despite my outward displays of righteousness, I am still very much aware of what wickedness and evil lurks inside me. As Yahweh God well knows, some of my thoughts are just unbecoming of a Christian. Yet, I guess this awareness of my sinfulness may too be a product of coming into a closer relationship with God. As Jesus said:

““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭3‬-‭4‬, ‭6‬, ‭9‬)

A pastor at Gospel Fellowship once stated in his sermon, “the more we grow in our relationship with God and study his word more, the more we realize how closely we resemble the villains of the Bible.” Yet, we must continue to press on continuing to carry our cross with repentance. And as the Apostle Paul said:

“For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. But if what I don’t desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don’t find it doing that which is good. For the good which I desire, I don’t do; but the evil which I don’t desire, that I practice. But if what I don’t desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the law that, while I desire to do good, evil is present. For I delight in God’s law after the inward person, but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God’s law, but with the flesh, sin’s law.” ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭7‬:‭15‬-‭25‬ )‬‬

In summary, I do hope that I will take part in the earlier resurrection from the dead and be counted worthy to reign with Christ for 1,000 years when the Kingdom of Heaven is on earth. For as it is stated:

“Blessed and holy is he who has 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 one thousand years.” (‭‭Revelation‬ ‭20‬:‭6‬)‬‬

However, I would not hold it against God if He were to chose to leave me out of that group or even condemn me to the lake of fire. For I know that I am indeed a sinner, and have sinned more so after my conversion than beforehand. As such I would just be receiving the due reward/punishment for my wicked deeds. So all I can ask of Jesus is to please still remember me when he returns despite my failures (even up to the present day) after the truth was made known to me just like the sinner who was dying next to him when He was being tortured. During that exchange, one criminal said to the other, “We did things deserving of punishment while [Jesus] did not deserve to be here with us. Then turning to Jesus, he said, “please remember me when you enter into your kingdom”. Yet, how did Jesus respond? Jesus said, “Truly I tell you today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:40-42). Based on the accounts that we know of Jesus as written in the gospels (i.e. his life story told by his various friends - Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John), I think there is a good probability that He will. Provided of course that we continue to follow Him to the end. As it written:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭1‬)‬‬

And that should indeed be our endeavor. With Yahweh God’s help, the indwelling of The Holy Spirit, and faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, I am sure that we will make it. In fact, the following verses provide encouragement for those who deal with an occasional bad conscience such as myself:

“Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the assembly, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will heal him who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.”

Also, please make sure to wear your full armor of God. Most importantly, the Helmet of salvation for those who suffer with a bad conscience as the Devil surely enjoys tormenting those who doubt whether they are saved. So I leave you with these final verses:

“Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭3‬:‭20‬-‭22‬)

“I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives.Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.” (‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭3b‬-‭5‬)‬‬

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.” (Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬-‭19‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

“But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬-‭11‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Interestingly enough, we never hear of non-Christians getting together to discuss these matters, so the question arises, "Why do we spend so much time in conversation over this?" I believe for two reasons, namely: as a source of encouragement, and a necessary warning. I believe both sides of the argument exist for these two reasons with one serving each particular reason more than the other. 

One reason why someone would say that someone's salvation is once and for all is that it is a nice concept. To think that you can do nothing to mess up your salvation is quite an encouragement for those who constantly deal with a negative conscience. It focuses more on what Jesus has done for us versus an individual's inward motives, inclinations, works, and outward evidences as the basis for one's reassurance of salvation. True, outward evidence/ fruit is also an aspect of those who believe in 'Once Saved, Always Saved,' but the absent of fruits during one season doesn't necessitate the lost of salvation during that season. For though I have proved false to my Savior, Jesus Christ, many times, that doesn't mean that I was no longer a child of God. (1 John 1:8 to 2:2) Furthermore, even though a person may produce thorns/ bad fruit during a season, as the term back sliding seems to indicate, doesn't mean that the individual is no longer saved. Otherwise, God would be writing and blotting out the same name within the book of life regularly which we know is not the case. As the scriptures say, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory." (Romans 8:28-30) As one Christian friend put it, "their sins may cost them their life here on earth if they are not careful. (John 5:14) Yet, their eternal salvation would still be secure even if they were to die in their sinful behavior; however, they would not be raptured if Jesus were to come at that time". (Romans 9:11; 11:6) I'm not fully convinced of that argument based on the previous points highlighted, but I do understand that it may apply in some cases to certain sins. (1 John 5:16-17)

The opposing side of the argument I believe was created in order to address those individuals who say, 'I was saved once already, so I can live in sin now since I can't lose my salvation.' To be fair, those who believe in 'Once Saved, Always Saved' would say, 'A person who speaks like that was never really saved to begin with." Even the scriptures say that a person who speaks like that is indeed deserving of judgement. (Romans 6:1-2,15) But how would we be able to convince such a one that they are in need of reevaluating the validity of their salvation when they believe that they can't lose their salvation? This is the very necessity of the belief that one is 'Not Once Saved, Always Saved.' As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 9 before he listed a number of wicked practices that would bar one from inheriting the kingdom of Heaven, these exist in order for us to 'not be deceived'. It is true that there are no works per se that one can do to be saved, for this is solely possible by genuine faith in Jesus' ransom sacrifice; however, our works do demonstrate whether we are really saved as pointed out by the apostle James in his letter to the church. (James 2:18) 

In all, I believe both sides of the argument are necessary. One is the heat that forces us to move to a place of scrutiny and security, while the other is the cold that soothes us of our flaming bad conscience. Both however aim to prevent us from getting a swollen ego, by reminding us to never become too complacent in thinking that our behavior doesn't matter or the other extreme in believing that we have somehow earned this great salvation that has been bestowed upon us. Much in the way that a suspension bridge is able to support an extraordinary amount of weight due to the tension of the opposing sides/pillars; likewise, the two opposing arguments help to put pressure on each individual Christian so that they may not become too cavalier with regard to their salvation. On that note, I actually wrote a devotional on this topic within the TLBC Youth Ministry Newsletters & Devotionals VOL II Issue No. 7 (Q3 2021, pg. 57 of 65), titled, “Faith, Works, & Salvation”.  I've also added it as a devotional before this one, so please read that as well if you haven't.

I also highly recommend that you and your family check out this short film which shows us what Jesus suffered that day. You can stream it free on YouTube, using the link below:

Two Thieves | Short Movie


"And we know that [Yahweh] God causes everything [even the bad things] to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters." (Romans 8:28-29)

In this christian life, The Father is like a chess master and we are his chess pieces. Whatever your position, trust in his plan, & his hands. Since He is making the moves, we can't lose. As it is written in the Gospel of Phillip*:


Domestic animals may be the bull and the donkey
and other species.

Others are wild and live in the deserts.

A man plows the field with a domestic animal,
and from the fruit of his labor
he feeds himself and the animals, tame or wild.

Compare the perfect human.

Through submissive powers he plows
and prepares for everything to come into being.

So his world holds together, good or evil, the right and the left.

The holy spirit shepherds everyone and rules all the powers,
those tame and wild and running loose.

He gathers them and shuts them in
so, like it or not, they cannot escape."

That’s why we should have no fear for The Holy Spirit has power over everyone and everything. Thus, nothing comes against you unless it is allowed by God. So have such fearlessness when you come across enemies.

Like Andy Mineo in his song "Everyday Thing":

"These bars hard to explain, so I calculate my rhymes sort of like a chess game. I'm trying to balance all my art and theology, so when it comes out of me, I represent Him properly." 

Much like a chess game, there are times that we may feel, as his pieces, that we aren't really involved in the match. Don't let that fool you. These downtimes are actually instrumental for the sake of getting all of the pieces in position. Not all the pieces can move at the same time. Instead, timing is key in the pursuit of the conquest. 

Nevertheless, this game has already been written from start to end because there is no comparison between the opponents. Our Master is able to anticipate moves ahead of time even to infinity. So we can be sure of the outcome of this game. Our King, Jesus Christ, will be the only one left standing on the board, for all other pieces will eventually have to bow, to the glory of the Father. (Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10-11)

* The Gospel of Philip is a non-canonical Gnostic Gospel dated to around the 3rd century but lost in medieval times until rediscovered by accident, buried with other texts near Nag Hammadi in Egypt, in 1945. The Gospel is not accepted as canonical by the Christian church. Although there may be some text that ring true, be careful to use discernment as there are some controversial text within that alludes to the reason why it was not included in the cannon (i.e. one verse calls God a man eater). At that point, I realized that this book has weeds sown by the Devil; thus, you must be very careful navigating it lest you ingest poison. (Matthew 13:24-29, 36-43)


During a small home project earlier, a thought came to mind while I was hanging some window curtains. As I measured the perfect location to drill holes using a leveling tool, I noticed that my perception was severely off. From my vantage point (standing slightly to the right of the target location), the level looked completely wrong and following its guidance would result in a very crooked curtain. Nevertheless, I decided to mark those locations anyway trusting its accuracy more than those of my eyes. After climbing down the ladder, I noticed that the leveler was in fact correct when facing the wall directly instead of at an angle.

This brought to mind how often in life we err in our decisions and beliefs due to a lack of an accurate leveler. Many people go through life thinking everyone is wrong except them because they don’t even reference a leveler at all; thus, their vantage point becomes the only basis for what is true vs false. There goes the fallacy of the theory of subjective reality. For when the latter is placed under the test and scrutiny of replication in real life situations/actual disciplines (such as carpentry in this case), they would result in a sloppy project or worst yet, an unstable structure that will eventually collapse.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus himself led a life a carpenter prior to his gospel ministry. For no other discipline in my opinion better highlights the importance of having an accurate measuring tool. In the case of the believer our measuring tool for right or wrong is the Word of God and that too is Jesus. As it is written:

“In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

As Jesus himself said:

““Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell—and its fall was great.”” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭24‬-‭27‬)


One of the signs of the end as found in Jesus' prophecy of the last days is an ever increasing frequency of earthquakes. As Jesus said:

Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.”(Mark 13:8)

And this is exactly what we are seeing in the last century. Please see link below for more information on Seismic activity since the 19th century:

120 Years of Earthquakes and Their Tsunamis: 1901-2020

Please note though the increases that we are seeing in this video may appear to primarily be due to the increase of seismic detection device installation; however, the upcoming years will indeed prove whether there is a trend in the increase of these earthquakes. Such an increase would be indicative of a breakdown of the elements of the earth themselves and the coming end. As Jesus said:

"For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones. (Matthew 24:21-22)

Yet this one sign of earthquakes by itself is not sufficient to indicate the coming end. Rather it is the comprehensive nature of this prophecy (i.e. coupled with major world wars, and famines). This is exactly what we've seen in this last century most predominantly as seen in World War I & II and the other global epidemics. Mark my words my friends, the time of the end is surely near.


We all think we know how it’s going to play out but do we really know? When Jesus came to earth the first time, a lot of people had incorrect expectations about what he was going to do. Most people thought the messiah was going to liberate them from Rome and re-establish the Davidic kingdom on earth. So imagine to their surprise when the one who claimed to be the messiah was instead preaching peace, loving enemies and submission to the Roman authorities. (Matthew 5:41-43; 22:15-22) To make matters worse, Jesus told them that he would eventually be killed and tortured by the same Roman oppressors that he was asking them to love and forgive. Ultimately, God’s thoughts and goals are much higher than ours. For no-one could of imagined the wonderful plan he had in store for those who love Him by allowing His only Son to die in their behalf (John 3:16). Then, to have him come back to life 3 days later was surely the greatest plot twist in the history of man.

In a similar sense, how do people expect that his return to earth will be? Many are in expectation of a rapture that will take place before things start getting really bad during the great tribulation. Others think he is going to destroy all humans with the exception of Christians upon his arrival. Still others think he won’t be coming back in the physical sense at all. While yet another group thinks that he has already returned. What do you think?

What if I were to tell you that the return of Jesus will be nothing like you imagine it to be? Check out some of these descriptions of His future return to earth as found in the various passages from the word of God:

“Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction.” ‭‭(2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2‬:‭1‬-‭3‬)

Personally, I believe this verse eliminates the validity of a pre-tribulation rapture. In fact, even Jesus himself said:

For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days.” ‭‭(Mark‬ ‭13‬:‭19‬-‭20‬) 

This shows that his chosen ones will still be in the midst of this great anguish. Jesus continued speaking saying:

Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. Watch out! I have warned you about this ahead of time! “At that time, after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory. And he will send out his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.” (Mark‬ ‭13‬:‭26‬-‭27‬)

These verses clearly show that the gathering of the elect (aka anointed/chosen ones), will take place after the tribulation of those days. We read:

“We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.” (‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4‬:‭15‬-‭17‬)

But what happens then? Do the elect just fly away off into Heaven leaving the world in the mess that it is in? Does the lord destroy all individual except believers at that time? The following verses explain what happens afterwards:

“Together they [those kings who will rule with the antichrist] will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all Lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.”” (Revelation‬ ‭17‬:‭14‬)

“Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years. This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years.” ‭‭(Revelation‬ ‭20‬:‭4‬-‭6‬)

Yes my friends, those who are chosen to take part in the first resurrection upon Jesus’ return will actually take part in the war against the antichrist and afterwards rule with Jesus for a thousand years. 

But who will they rule over? Obviously, they would not be ruling over each other. And we know that the rest of the dead don’t come back to life until the end of the thousand years based on these verses. Thus, it makes sense that those that are being ruled over are the non-believing survivors that have come out of the great tribulation and even the angels. As it is written:

Then everyone who is left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and celebrate the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles). And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them.”” ‭‭(Zechariah‬ ‭14‬:‭16,17‬)

"Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life." (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)

It is not a far stretch to believe that Jesus in his grace and kindness will choose to spare some of the unbelievers in the world upon His return despite their lack of faith in Him during their lifetime. In fact, even the apostle Peter alludes to this fact in the following verses stating:

“Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” (1 Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭12‬)

Yes, even they too will glorify The Lord upon His return despite their rejection during their lifetime. As it is written:

“For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’” (Romans‬ ‭14‬:‭11)

And again:

“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭10‬-‭11‬)

But what about those who refuse to submit to the Lord upon His return. Jesus spoke about the consequences of such a choice to rebel himself in a parable he once spoke, stating:

A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’ After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants…And He said, “as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me.’” (Luke‬ ‭19‬:‭12‬, ‭15‬, ‭27‬)

Yes my friends. It is indeed important to choose now who we will serve that we may be found ready upon His return. For you will have to acknowledge that Jesus is indeed King sooner than later; thus, it is better that you acknowledge this sooner for the sake of your own benefit. Heed the words of the psalmist who wrote:

“Now therefore be wise, you kings. Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve Yahweh with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Give sincere homage to the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish on the way, for his wrath will soon be kindled. Blessed are all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalms‬ ‭2‬:‭10‬-‭12‬)

With that, I leave you with a video from one of my favorite Bible commentators from the AOC Network on this subject:

Jesus is Coming.. But is The Rapture Pre or Post Tribulation?

Be sure to check out the other videos on the AOC Youtube page as well for you will surely be blessed by them.


Good question posed by AoC Network: “for those that follow Satan into the lake of fire, will they ALL SUFFER forever, will SUFFERING be for a limited time or will it only be the spirit beings that actually SUFFER forever?” What are your thoughts? Here is my thoughts on the subject:

It is written: “Then Yahweh God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!”So Yahweh God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, Yahweh God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” ‭‭(Genesis‬ ‭3‬:‭22‬-‭24‬)

In a sense, I think this very act of blocking access to the tree of life for God’s earthly fallen children was actually a mercy on the part of God. For the ability to actually LIVE forever apart from him is the most tormenting of situations of which the fallen angels find themselves. Thus, that is why He is rather selective of those He actually grants such an ability to amongst human beings. For he would not want to grant such a gift to those who were unfit to care for it and so share the same fate as Satan and the demons (i.e. being eternally cognizant of there plight in the lake of fire). Rather I believe those humans sentenced to that punishment will be destroyed at the onset of being tossed into the lake of fire and cease to exist for eternity.

In the case of angelic beings, they were already endowed with the ability to live forever from the beginning so there was no way to spare them from such a fate/consequence to live eternally in darkness away from God after they made the decision to do this so willfully. Us humans however were created mortal as creatures of the dust, and to dust we will return upon our death unless re-infused with life by God’s Holy Spirit. As Yahweh God stated at the judgement of Adam & Eve “You will eat bread by the sweat of your face until you return to the ground, for you were taken out of it. For you are dust, and you shall RETURN TO dust.”” ‭‭(Genesis‬ ‭3‬:‭19)‬ ‭

It is also written in Psalms:

 “His [man’s] spirit departs, and he returns to the earth. In that very day, his thoughts perish.” ‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭146‬:‭4‬)

In Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3‬:‭18‬-‭21; ‭9‬:‭5‬ it is also written:

“I said in my heart, “As for the sons of men, God tests them, so that they may see that they themselves are like animals. For that which happens to the sons of men happens to animals. Even one thing happens to them. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knows the spirit of man, whether it goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, whether it goes downward to the earth?… For the living know that they will die, but the dead don’t know anything.”

Yet, there will come a day when God brings all man back to life for the sake of a final accounting of both the righteous and wicked. At that time, all physically created things will be shaken including the earth, death, and Sheol (also translated as Hades/Hell in many passages) so that only what is eternal will remain. As it is written:

“[God’s] voice shook the earth then, but now he has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more” signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain.” ‭‭(Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭26‬-‭27‬)

“I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.” ‭‭(Revelation‬ ‭20‬:‭12‬-‭15‬)

Thus, all things that are not eternal will be destroyed in the Lake of Fire aka the Second Death. Yet, I don’t perceive this to be a literal fire. This is evident by the fact that death and Hades (aka Hell/Sheol) are tossed into it. Yet, one should ask themselves “if Hell (aka Hades/Sheol) are tossed into the lake of fire, then can hell and the lake of fire be referring to the same thing?” They can’t. If you were to look up to true translation of the lake of fire, you would find that it is an entirely different Greek word (i.e. Gehenna). By the mere fact, that Hades(aka Sheol/Hell) is tossed into the lake of fire (aka Gehenna) points to the truth that the lake of fire is actually something entirely different, namely: a symbol of eternal destruction using concepts understood at the time to represent the permanency and irretrievability of such a fate. 

Which is why God grants the wicked even the privilege of due process before executing such a judgement by resurrecting them for a final hearing. Unfortunately, that is a dire prospect for those who have not had their sins washed away by the faith in blood of the lamb, namely: the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ (aka the lamb of God). (Read John 1:29 & Revelations 5 for more information)

In the case of the saints, the only difference is that we are judged and acquitted early, even now. As such, we have hope to take part in the first resurrection since we have received the holy spirit as a down payment and are being refined by the fires of the trials of this life even now. (2 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Peter 1:6-7; Revelations 20:5-6) In fact, this is what the act of baptism symbolizes - our death to our old life and resurrection to our new life by the power of God's holy spirit. (Romans 6:4) Thus, we will have an advocate to appeal in our behalf even God’s very own son - Jesus Christ on the day of Judgement. (1 John 2:1) That is why to reject the son is tantamount to rejecting eternal life. As it is written: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭23‬-‭24‬) At that time, Yahweh God will then make all things new for the benefit of those who’ve been counted worthy to live forever and who will truly appreciate such a gift unlike the Devil, his demons, and those who choose to follow a similar course. As it is written:

“I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He said, “Write, for these words of God are faithful and true.”” (Revelation‬ ‭21‬:‭1‬, ‭5‬)

In summary, I don’t believe that our God will grant the wicked with such a gift of eternal life for the sake of subjecting them to tortures of a literal lake of fire forever. This is again evidenced by his statement in Genesis 3:22. I’m sorry my friends, but I don’t see how this eschatological view reflects the heart of our Loving Heavenly Father. But then again, what do I know for I am just man, not God. As Yahweh God said, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” ‭‭(Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭8‬-‭9‬)‬‬. Yet, we can rest assured that “Surely the Judge of all the earth will act justly?” (Genesis 18:25). Whatever the outcome, all we can do is wait and see. In the interim, all of this just speculation and the most important thing is to be made right with God by heeding the words of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ so as to avoid such a negative outcome of being sentenced to the Lake of Fire.

You may want to check out the link below also for more info on this topic as it truly is one that’s been debated over and over again. Be blessed y’all.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Question: What does Rev 14:9-11 refer to though with respect to those who receive the mark of the beast saying:

 "Then a third angel followed them, shouting, 'Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand. The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name."

 Doesn't this imply that they will be suffering forever?

Answer: Please note that this verse when referring to humans does not say "they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" for that is only ever referenced to be applicable to the devil, who had deceived them, who was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, the beast and the false prophet per Revelations 20:10. 

However, for these condemned humans, it states "the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever." Smoke is evidence of a fire event that has occurred in the past even after the fire has already destroyed the material that produced the smoke. In this case, the smoke (i.e. the evidence of the destruction event) will last forever as reminder to those living forever of the event that occurred in the past. Not that they are continually being tormented as in the case of the devil, beast, and false prophet for who could enjoy a paradise in eternity knowing that others (perhaps even some family members and friends) are being tortured next door. For me personally, that would be an eternity of tears.

Personally, the term "they have no relief day and night" is indicative of "no escape" from such a judgement in my opinion. Yet, who am I to know exactly what this means for this event has yet to happen. As such, all of this is purely conjecture and hope out of pity for the condemned. Thus, I must echo the following words spoken by Charles Spurgeon who said, "God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart."

Question: What about the following verses mean from Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the rich man, when he said:

 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’

But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’

Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’

But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’

The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’

But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”.’" (Luke 16:19-31) 

Doesn't this indicate that those in the lake of fire are cognization of their torment?

Answer: Please note that this was a parable and as such a analogy used to describe something that perhaps we really couldn't understand otherwise. Also, the term used here to refer to the place of dead aka Hell is "Sheol or Hades", where the term used to describe the lake of fire is "Gehenna". We know that these are two different things since Hell (aka Sheol and Hades) are eventually tossed into the lake of fire (aka Gehenna) as discussed in our previous paragraphs. Rather, the parable of Lazarus describes the state that the soon to be condemned are in as they await their final punishment as seen by the fact that there are others still living at the time; thus, these events happen before they are tossed into the lake of fire since the latter only occurs after the 1,000 year when everyone has already died and been resurrected. A similar state is described by Jesus in the following verses regarding the final judgement in Matthew 25:31-46:

“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ 

And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

Would you not feel as if you were in flames if you were on that left side (whether in the grave or after the resurrection)? Thus, now is the time to repent and get right with God for Jesus' return is quickly approaching. As it is written:

For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)