Occupy Until He Comes


It is important to your mental, emotional and spiritual health to always remember: you OCCUPY this ground until He comes. You do not LIVE here, it is not your home. Your home, everything that speaks and feels like home, the places, the memories, the things, the people, the pets, the views, the structures, the floor-plans, the family and friends, are either in Heaven now or will be in Heaven shortly. Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place your you. If it were not so, I would have told you." (John 14:2-3) Your home is in Heaven. It's all there: the house, the yard, the neighborhood, the friends, the family, the pets, the toys (yes, even the toys) the relationships, the fulfilled longings, the completeness, it's all there. I don't know what it looks like, but I know what it feels like: HOME!!!

But until then, we occupy the territory and the ground that we're presently in until He takes us home and we have Matthew 21:21 at our disposal. (I'm gonna make you look that verse up, because anyone too lazy to look it up wouldn't have the faith to believe in it anyway.) There are natural protocols that God has ordained in this world, however, HE is not bound to those natural protocols. (Example: the womb of Sarah VS the wombs of Egypt.) God is in control of the ground in which you occupy. See it in that light, and it will change your perspective on everything.

Jesus said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62) Jesus wasn't expressing how to be worthy of Heaven, none of us are worthy. He's talking about the business of the Kingdom, the business of our present occupation until He comes. We're a spiritual occupation force. Our allegiance is to a coming King. Any longing we have for home, the good old days, our youth, the fun we used to have, will all be met in the coming Kingdom. Don't look back, look forward. It's coming! All of it!


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Now Fully Restored !! Complete & Uncut !!
The Serpent's Conversation With Eve


This is the unabridged (unedited) version of what the serpent said to Eve before she took that infamous bite from the forbidden tree.
These extra passages were edited out of Genesis to save room in the Ark of the Covenant. But upon discovery of Moses' original scroll, we now have the full conversation.


Genesis Chapter 3:

Verse 1b.
The serpent said to Eve, "Has God really said that you shall not eat from every tree in the garden?"

Verse 2.
Eve said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden.

Verse 3.
Only the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden has God said we shall not eat of it, neither shall we touch it because it's deadly. We would surely die."

Verse 4.
Then the serpent said to Eve, "It's not deadly. You will not surely die.

Verse 5.
For God knows that in the day you eat from this tree, your eyes will be opened and you shall be as gods yourself, knowing good and evil.

Verse Cut.
You must have misinterpreted what God said, Eve. How could God have actually told you that you couldn't eat from the only tree in the entire world worth eating from?

Verse Cut.
Did he say, "don't eat" or did he say, "thou shalt not eat" because stuff like that can change everything, Eve.

Verse Cut.
I know what you think he said, but is that what God really meant? I mean, this is God we're talking about.

Verse Cut.
He's so high and complex, who knows what God really meant when he said don't eat. It all depends on how you interpret that, Eve. There's more than just one way to look at that, Eve.

Verse Cut.
Besides, you have to consider the cultural background of God's statement.

Verse Cut.
Back when he told you not to eat from that tree, that's probably just because the world was young and there weren't enough trees to go around yet.

Verse Cut.
Things were different back then. That was millions of years ago!! I know Adam keeps telling you it was a couple of days ago, but that's blind faith. It really happened millions of years ago.

Verse Cut.
God didn't mean you couldn't eat from it forever.

Verse Cut.
Besides, a lot of what God says is symbolic. He probably was speaking in a much more broader sense that is way over your head.

Verse Cut.
He wasn't literally talking about this tree right here.

Verse Cut.
I mean, who's to say where the middle of the garden really is anyway? Where were the borders of the garden when God said not to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden? Middle defined by what borders? Today's borders or the borders right after creation?

Verse Cut.
And did you know that there are actually two gardens in Eden? How do you know he was talking about this garden?

Verse Cut.
You see, Eve? You gotta take into consideration the context of what God really meant when he said don't eat from the tree in the middle of the garden because that was a long time ago, things were different then, God speaks symbolically, you gotta know your geography, history and context.

Verse Cut.
I've been listening to the word of God all my life and I'm here to tell you, there's always more than one way to look at things, Eve.

Verse Cut.
Who told you that God said you couldn't eat from the tree in the middle of the garden anyway? Was it Adam?

Verse Cut.
Is he a Calvinist? Is he pre-trib or post-trib? Is he Baptist, Methodist or Roman Catholic? Is he dispensationalist? Does he follow Scofield? You gotta take all that into consideration, Eve.

Verse Cut.
How did Adam vote in the last election? He's probably a bigot.

Verse Cut.
What's all this hate against this one little tree?

Verse Cut.
Who is he to tell you what tree you can and cannot eat from? Where's the love? Why is he hatin' on this one fruit-tree?

Verse Cut.
He probably eats from it all the time and tells you to stay away from it because he wants to keep you submissive to his male-dominance.

Verse Cut.
He wants to keep you barefoot and pregnant the rest of your life.

Verse Cut.
Where does Adam get off telling you what God said? What right does he have to represent God to you?

Verse Cut.
Whether or not you eat from this tree is between you and God!! It's none of Adam's business.

Verse Cut.
He's too opinionated. He's intolerant. He's being judgmental. He doesn't represent the true God of love and tolerance and understanding.

Verse Cut.
If God is a God of love, then why would he prevent you from eating from what is obviously the most delicious fruit-producing tree in all the world?

Verse Cut.
God made this tree for you to eat! God wants you to be happy, Eve!!

Verse Cut.
It's your right to eat from this tree. It's your moral obligation to eat from this tree.

Verse Cut.
You have to eat from this tree for women everywhere!!

Verse Cut.
I'm not leaving until you eat from this tree. I'm only looking out for you.

Verse Cut.
Do you want to be free or a slave of Adam's interpretation of God?

Verse Cut.
Do you want to be wise knowing good from evil or do you want to be innocent little Eve saying yes and no to whatever her man tells her?

Verse Cut.
Go ahead and NOT eat from the tree. I dare you. Go ahead and call Adam your master. Be his slave and do whatever he says."

Verse 6.
So when Eve saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of it's fruit and ate and then gave also unto her husband with her; and he ate.

Verse Cut.
Then the serpent said, "Oh my gosh!! Look what you did!!

Verse Cut.
Hey God!! Look what Adam and Eve just did!! You told them not to eat from this tree and here they are eating from it!!

Verse Cut.
Eve, what kind of sinful piece of garbage are you to not trust your husband and disobey God like that? Don't you know that God only has your best interests at heart and Adam was faithfully protecting you? How sinful are you? You hypocrite.

Verse Cut.
Adam, look what your wife did. You told her what God said and she did what she wanted to do. She doesn't care about you. She doesn't care about God. And then you eat it with her? Don't you love God? You hypocrite!

Verse Cut.
Hey God!! Look at what your two prize creations just did with your creation!! Such hypocrites. They call themselves followers of God and just look at them standing their naked with fruit juice dripping from their lips.

Verse cut.
They're wicked, wretched sinners!! Kill them God!! Kill them!! They don't deserve to live!!"

Verse 7.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Verses 8 to 24 remain the same, as far as we know...

(Satire to make a point, not to be taken literally.)


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Tartarus: A Prison For Angels


Deep within Hades is an even lower compartment at the center of the earth’s core, known as “the bottomless pit” in the book of Revelation. It’s called “Tartarus” in 2nd Peter 2:4, which is translated “hell” in our English Bibles. It’s the deepest abyss anywhere found within Hades. The Greeks believed that it might have even been seperate from Hades as exemplified in Homer’s work, “The Illiad And The Odyssey” where he described Tartarus as being as far below Hades as Heaven was above the earth.

Tartarus is a prison where the fallen angels who sinned in Genesis 6 are presently bound in chains of darkness. If the study of Genesis 6 is new to you, it’s a rather intense study that requires far more depth than I’m going to be able to give it here. But for the sake of context, I’ll do my best to summarize it.

All angels who are fallen are obviously in rebellion. But there’s something special about the rebellion of the angels who sinned in Genesis 6. They were guilty of an especially grievous sin that was far worse than anything the satanic hosts had ever attempted before. It’s what eventually led to the Great Flood of Noah’s day. They were genetically altering the DNA of all flesh on the earth, both human and animal, in an attempt to replace the human race with another race created in Satan’s image. Their purpose in doing this was to prevent Jesus from being born.

God's first prophecy of the coming Messiah was declared by God to the Serpent in Genesis 3:15. God told him that the seed of the woman (Jesus born of a virgin) would destroy the seed of the serpent (the Antichrist). Satan took that threat seriously and began to sanction the corruption of the genetic line of the human race so that God couldn’t keep his promise.

This sin committed by the angels is as close to getting in God's face as you can possibly get. God had created everything the way he wanted it, including man. But these angels thought, “Let's play with the DNA and make mermaids and men with horse heads. Let's breed different species of animals into monsters and then splice their DNA with humans to see what happens. God won’t breathe life into them since they aren’t his creations, so we’ll be able to inhabit them and people will worship us as gods.”

These fallen angels got away with this madness for centuries. By the time the flood came, Noah and his family and the animals on the ark were the only living creatures left on earth with pure DNA. It was the strangest time in earth history. Genesis 6 barely covers it with only a handful of verses. The ancient records of Sumer and Mesopotamia record this time in great detail. The world did indeed worship these beings as powerful gods and the human race was almost completely overtaken by them.

According to Bible prophecy, the dangerous sin of DNA splicing and the corruption of man and animal DNA is going to be repeated again before Jesus returns. It may be happening already. The so-called alien abduction phenomenon seems to be centered around the human reproductive system and the extraction of human DNA. It's equally disturbing to read today’s scientific journals contemplate the benefits of improving human life through the incorporation of selected animal DNA into human DNA. They're already testing this on animals. We’re not talking about transplanting organs and body parts. We’re talking about hacking into the software of something that the hardware manufacturer never intended.

The angels who sinned in Genesis 6 were imprisoned in Tartarus, which is the deepest place in Hades that there is. As we discussed earlier, we know according to Ephesians 4:8-10 that Jesus went into Hades after he died on the Cross to lead the Old Testament Saints into the 3rd Heaven. But now we find out according to 2nd Peter 2:4 that before Jesus left Hades, he preached to the spirits who were imprisoned in Tartarus. I’m sure this wasn’t a sermon on repentance or salvation, but rather a sermon on prophecy starting with Genesis 3:15.

Because Jesus went into Tartarus and Hades between his death and resurrection, and because Tartarus and Hades are both translated “Hell” in our English Bibles, many Christians have unfortunately come to believe that part of the suffering that Jesus had to endure to atone for our sins involved the suffering of Hell. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus bore the full weight of our sin in his flesh on the cross so that when the flesh of Jesus died, the atonement was immediately provided. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” he really meant it. As the body of Jesus was being pulled off the cross and carried into the tomb, his spirit and soul were traveling deep into the bowels of the earth to declare victory and to escort the Old Testament Saints into the 3rd Heaven.

Tartarus is mentioned again later in the book of Revelation although not by name. It’s called the abusso in the Greek and it’s translated “the bottomless pit” in our English Bibles. The demonic locusts of Revelation 9, the fallen angel which rules over them, and the Beast of Revelation 11:7-8 all come from out of the bottomless pit when it’s gates are opened during the reign of the Antichrist. Ultimately, the bottomless pit is where Satan will be bound in chains for a thousand years according to Revelation 20:1-3.


PREVIOUS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES:
Lazarus Crossing Over
The Erroneous Doctrine Of Soul Sleep
There Really Is A Twilight Zone
A Place Hidden In The Twilight Zone
Abraham's Bosom


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Abraham's Bosom


In a series of articles I've been posting on Luke 16, the most recent was called, "A Place Hidden In The Twilight Zone" in which we began a study of Hades. Both Hebrew and Greek conceptions of this region implied that it had two compartments that were separated by a huge impassable gulf, one side for the righteous souls of the departed and one side for the wicked. This concept of two compartments is clearly visible in Luke 16. The compartment for the righteous is no longer occupied today since Jesus personally escorted them into Heaven after paying for the sins of the world. We discussed and explained all of this in the previous article.

The compartment for the souls of the righteous had a name. It was called "Paradise" by the Jews. Bible scholars also believe it was called "Abraham's Bosom" because of the way Jesus framed his story in Luke 16. Jesus said that Lazarus died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. Because of that one single phrase and because of the scholarly awareness of the two compartments in Hades, many scholars jump to the conclusion that Abraham's bosom was an Old Testament title for Paradise. But I honestly don't understand why they would hold this position since we don’t find that label used anywhere else in Scripture from either Testament, Old or New. It only appears right here in Luke 16:22 and nowhere else.

The confusion that surrounds Abraham’s bosom is nothing more than a typical case of scholarly debate making things much more complex than they need to be. Abraham’s bosom is not an Old Testament label for anything, Abraham’s bosom is simply Abraham’s bosom. Lazarus was taken to the open arms of his forefather Abraham where he was immediately embraced with a hug to his chest, like that of a father embracing one of his children. The common Jew spent their entire life longing for this embrace. So that’s where Lazarus was immediately taken upon his death. Lazarus and Abraham are seen together throughout the remainder of this story. Abraham even speaks. So there’s no reason to jump through theological hoops to unravel the mystery of what Abraham’s bosom means.

More than 2000 years before Jesus told this story, Abraham walked the earth in his 1st generation hardware. When he was in his late 70’s, he expressed his grief to the Lord about not having any children. So the Lord promised him that not only would he have a son from his own body, but that through this son, he would have descendants as innumerable as the stars of the heaven. (Genesis 15:1-6) Abraham lived long enough to see the birth of his children, his grandchildren, and now more than 2000 years later, according to Jesus, he’s still meeting his children.


PREVIOUS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES:
Lazarus Crossing Over
The Erroneous Doctrine Of Soul Sleep
There Really Is A Twilight Zone
A Place Hidden In The Twilight zone


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A Place Hidden In The Twilight Zone


This is a rather uncomfortable topic but it's relevant to our next study in Founding Word. Last time, I wrote to you about the parallel reality that exists on the earth, but beyond the 1st three visible dimensions. It's basically what you and I might call the Twilight Zone. While the word "Hell" has become more synonymous with Hades, it originally had more to do with the domain of the supernatural sphere, also known as the 2nd Heaven. If you haven't read that post, please read it now because it lays the foundation for what I want to talk about in today's post.

The use of the word “Hell” has unfortunately become synonymous with Hades and a few other words that mean something quite different. There are four different words from the original Greek and Hebrew language that are translated “Hell” in our English Bibles: Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna. In today's post, we're going to look at Sheol and Hades.

Sheol is the Hebrew word that is used throughout the Old Testament for the domain of the dead. It’s most often used as a noun for physical death and the grave beneath the soil. Sheol is also used as a noun for the lower regions where souls of the departed continue to live on after physical death. It’s existence is dimensionally hidden in the 2nd Heaven, but it’s geographic location is beneath the earth. This is why departed souls of the condemned can’t haunt the surface of the earth because they’ve been buried underground.

Sheol is described as being BENEATH (Isaiah 5:14, 14:9, 14:15), DOWN (Psalm 55:15, Ezekiel 31:16-17, 32:27), LOW (Deuteronomy 32:22, Psalm 86:13) and DEEP (Job 11:8).

There’s also a spooky scene in Numbers 16:28-33 where it’s recorded that God caused the ground to split apart and open up beneath the feet of Dathan and Abiram so that they both went down “alive” into Sheol.

It’s described as a place for the wicked (Psalm 9:17), having prison bars (Job 17:16), a place of sorrow (2nd Samuel 22:6 & Psalm 18:5), a place of burning fire (Deuteronomy 32:22), and a place of pain (Psalm 116:3).

The Old Testament Saints were saved from this place of torment by the grace of God through faith in a future atonement that Jesus would ultimately provide on the cross. Their faith in this future atonement was symbolized by the blood sacrifice of a lamb and then evidenced by their walk. When God saw their faith, it was accredited to them as righteousness.

When Old Testament Saints physically died, their souls were not yet taken into the 3rd Heaven because Jesus had not yet made an atonement for their sins. So instead, they were taken to a separate compartment within Sheol that was a restful place of spiritual bliss. The Jews often referred to this place as Paradise. Scholars think it was also called Abraham’s Bosom but there’s very little evidence for this view. (We'll discuss this later.)

While Sheol was (and still is) a spiritual prison of pain and sorrow for the departed souls of the condemned, it was a much different environment for the departed souls of the righteous. In Job 14:13, as Job continued to endure the pain of his life’s circumstances, he said that he longed for God to hide him in Sheol. During a prayer of worship in Psalm 139, David said, “If I ascend up into the heavens, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there!” Even in Sheol, David knew God would continue to love, guide and protect him. So the Old Testament Saints knew that their souls would be protected in Sheol upon their physical deaths.

The Old Testament Saints also knew that their coming Messiah, once having atoned for their sins, would then escort their souls from out of Sheol and into the 3rd Heaven to be with the Father. Let me explain.

In Isaiah 42:7, God said that Israel’s coming Messiah would open the eyes of the blind and bring out the prisoners who sat in darkness from out of the prison house. In another prophecy, the future words of Jesus were recorded in Isaiah 61:1 saying, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because he has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to proclaim the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” If you’ll remember from our study of Luke 4:16-21, Jesus quoted this verse from Isaiah in a synagogue of Nazareth and told them, “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

When have we seen Jesus literally open the prison to them that are bound? I can see how the prison of Isaiah’s prophecy might be viewed as a symbol for the captivity of blindness, demonic possession or various forms of spiritual brokenness. I can also see how the religious legalism of the Pharisees might be viewed as a prison in darkness. But everything else in Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled literally. Jesus literally gave physical eyesight to people who were born blind. He literally proclaimed life-giving good news to everyone meek enough to receive it. He physically picked up men and women who were burdened with broken bodies, broken hearts and broken lives. These events were prophesied literally and Jesus fulfilled them literally. So what is this literal prison that the prophet Isaiah wrote about? How and when is Jesus supposed to literally open its doors and literally lead out its prisoners?

In John 5:28, during a heated discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees over his authority, Jesus told them that a time was soon coming when all those in the graves would hear the voice of the Son of God and they would come out. That’s Jesus himself claiming to be the one who would proclaim liberty to the captives and open the prison to them that are bound.

I know we’re jumping way ahead of ourselves, but have you ever wondered where Jesus was or what he was doing between his death on the cross and his resurrection three days later? As soon as Jesus shed his last drop of blood to atone for the sins of the world, he went into Sheol as fast as he could get there to announce to the departed souls of the Old Testament Saints that it was done! “It is finished!” The soul of Jesus would be the last righteous soul that would ever enter Sheol again. Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy when he personally descended into Sheol, opened its doors and set the captives free. At that time, all Old Testament Saints were then taken into the 3rd Heaven. Paul summarized this in Ephesians 4:8-10 as he explained how Jesus first descended into the lower parts of the earth (Sheol) and then ascended on high leading captivity captive.

Now that the Lamb of God, Jesus, has shed his blood to atone for the sins of the world, New Testament Saints can look forward to being taken into the 3rd Heaven directly when they physically die because they lean upon the finished work of the Cross rather than lamb’s blood as a symbol.

Sadly, the deeper side of Sheol with it’s pain and sorrow was not evacuated. It remained occupied. Even unto this day, it still receives and houses the departed souls of the wicked and the condemned and will continue to do so until the day of judgment.

The Greek word for Sheol is Hades and it’s used throughout the New Testament. Like it’s Hebrew equivalent, the word Hades is also used as a noun for physical death and the grave as well as the lower regions where souls of the departed continue to live on after physical death.

Both Hebrew and Greek conceptions of this region implied that it had two compartments that were separated by a huge impassable gulf, one side for the righteous and one side for the wicked. This concept of two compartments is clearly visible in Luke 16.

The Greeks understood Hades to be geographically located deep in the bowels of the earth with an additional boundary of spiritual dimensions. In other words, if you had the advanced technology to somehow dig and tunnel down to where ever Hades is located, you wouldn’t be able to see it when you got there because it’s hidden in the 2nd Heaven.


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There Really Is A Twilight Zone


The word “Hell” is a very old English word that originally had nothing to do with the spiritual prison known as Hades. Hell originally referred to the dimension of the occult. The word “occult” comes from the latin “accultist” which means: to cover up, to hide or conceal in order to deceive. The word “Hell” meant: a covered or hidden place. So originally, the word “Hell” was used to define the domain of the occult; the realm of demons and demonic activity; a supernatural realm that exists on the earth, but beyond the 1st three visible dimensions. To put it in simpler language, what you and I might call the Twilight Zone.

The science of a covered or hidden place that's right here with us, but beyond our physics to observe, isn't a new concept. It's been around since the beginning of the curse in Genesis 3. The reality of its existence is Biblically endorsed.

One of the Biblically used terms for these hidden and higher dimensions is what Paul called, “high places” in Ephesians 6:12. In that same verse, he pointed out that these high places (higher dimensions) are the domain of “principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness.” There’s absolutely nothing good said about this place anywhere in the Bible. This hidden Twilight Zone called “Hell” in classic English, and called “High Places” by Paul, would be more appropriately identified in theological terms as the 2nd Heaven.

In the first verse of Genesis, we find God creating the heaven and the earth. Modern English translations render it “heavens” (plural) because they assume Genesis 1:1 was referring to the universe. But in the King James Version, the word “heaven” is singular for a very good reason.

The Hebrew word translated “heaven” is “shamayim” and it’s used in Hebrew for the air, the sky, the universe, the spiritual realm, and the House and Throne of God. While it’s common for an English word to have as many different applications, it’s extremely rare for a digital language like Hebrew. There can be only one reason for this Hebrew anomaly and the King James translators were very well aware of it. In the beginning, the physical and spiritual realm were not the seperate things they are today.

When God created the heaven and the earth in Genesis 1:1, the heaven was one. There was no dimensional division between the physical and the spiritual before the curse in Genesis 3:14-19. This is why you can find God walking through the garden in the cool of the day in Genesis 3:8. It’s also why you can find animals and humans talking to each other in Genesis 3:1-5. These are attributes of a pre-cursed creation when the heaven and the earth were united. But after the curse, the heaven was fractured into three separate domains of dimensional reality. From that point forward, the Bible began to use the word “heaven” in three ways. We know this because of Paul’s own words in 2nd Corinthians 12:1-6 where he spoke of being taken into the “3rd Heaven.”

The 1st Heaven is everything on, in and above the earth that is visible: the air, the sky, the clouds, the sun, the moon, the stars, etc... Whether you’re looking through your window, a telescope or a microscope, you’re looking into the 1st Heaven. It’s made up of 3 spatial dimensions: length, width and height. It’s also made up of a limited temporal dimension that we call “time.”

The 2nd Heaven is everything on, in and above the earth that is INVISIBLE. It exists in spatial dimensions of movement that are higher than the first three and somewhat higher than our limited movement in time, but not unlimited. These are the higher dimensions that Paul referred to as “high places” in Ephesians 6:12 where “principalities, powers and rulers of darkness” dwell. The 2nd Heaven fits the original definition of “Hell” perfectly because it’s a covered and hidden place where schemes, plots and deceptive operations of wickedness are launched into our reality.

The 3rd Heaven exists in spatial dimensions of movement that are higher than those of both the 1st and 2nd Heaven combined. It’s where God’s throne is and it’s the domain that Jesus referred to as, “My Father’s House” in John 14:2. It’s often assumed that this is God’s natural habitat or God’s plane of existence. But this assumption forgets that even Heaven was created by God in Genesis 1:1.

Before the curse of Genesis 3, all three heavens were one. The heaven and the earth was a singular reality made up of at least 10 dimensions. But after the curse, God fractured his 10-dimensional creation into three realities. The lowest of these dimensions became our reality, the highest of these became Heaven, and the middle ground between the two became Hell: a covered and hidden place. The REAL Twilight Zone.

This classical definition of Hell is still used in some of our modern cliches and catchphrases. When we talk about “the powers of Hell,” or when we say “all hell broke loose,” or “what in the hell is going on,” we’re not talking about the spiritual prison known as Hades. We’re talking about the invisible parallel universe from which the principalities, the powers, the rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness intrude upon our lives. This is the classic and appropriate use of the word “Hell” but unfortunately, it’s become synonymous with Hades and a few other words that mean something quite different.


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Lazarus Crossing Over


How's it going folks? Here's a little status update for ya. The URL's for both www.joshallem.com and www.foundingword.com are now secured under https protection. All audio players have been reformatted. All subject tags have been updated. The new microphone has arrived. The back-up of the hard drive has been completed. From now on, future back-ups will be fast and easy. Now working on the next session in our synchronized study of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. Rather than keep you all waiting until it's finished, I thought I'd start dropping highlights here as I get them.

In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells a story about two men: a rich guy who remains nameless and a poor guy named Lazarus. The first and most important thing you need to know about this story is that it is not a parable. It’s often taught as the “parable” of Lazarus and the rich man, but parables don’t have personal names in them. Jesus introduced the first identity as, “a certain rich man” and the second identity as, “a certain beggar named Lazarus” which indicates that these weren’t meant to be taken as symbolic variables. Parables are always rich with symbolism, but there's nothing to glean from this story other than the obvious. These were real people with real lives. This was an actual account of two human beings to which Jesus was referring and he even told us the beggar’s name was “Lazarus.” The reason he chose to withhold the rich man’s name will become evident as the story unfolds.

In Luke 16:22, Jesus says Lazarus was carried by the angels into Abraham's Bosom. That word “carried” in verse 22 comes from the Greek word “apophero” which literally means, “to bear off, to bring, to carry away” and it implies that the angels brought Lazarus to Abraham using a method of transport that Lazarus didn’t have on his own. It also implies that he had no control over the timing or the speed of the journey.

Was he taken through an interdimensional gateway such as the one Jacob saw in Genesis 28:12? Did the angels use a transdimensional vehicle (chariot of fire) like those mentioned in 2nd Kings? Since only the body is hardware (while the soul is software), they could have transported Lazarus the same way we send information wirelessly from one hardware environment to another.

We don’t know how the angels did it. All we do know is that according to the Lord Jesus, as soon as Lazarus died, he was immediately taken by the angels and carried into the presence of Abraham.

Therefore, Lazarus didn’t linger between two states of being, he didn’t haunt the place where he died, he didn’t haunt anyone left behind, and he didn’t find himself in a long hallway walking toward the light. With all due respect to those who have had near-death experiences, it is critically important to understand that a near-death experience, while it is very real and supernatural in nature, it is not the same thing as an actual death experience. People who come close to death, who may have even been declared legally dead for a short period of time, do not have the same experiences as those who actually die. If it weren’t for the testimony of Jesus here in this passage, we wouldn’t know this to be true. But since we do have Jesus’ testimony, we can take great comfort in it. We’ll discuss hauntings and near-death experiences later in this study.


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