There are a lot of people in the Modern Christian World who like to throw around the word legalism, and certainly you can find out the truth about that topic in my article simply named Legalism. Typically those who throw this word around are doing so toward an actual commandment from The Bible, especially those found in Torah, that they don’t want to follow. So, they dig through The Bible and find some vague statement—usually from the “New Testament”—that they can manipulate to then claim that they don’t have to obey the commandment they are taking exception to. Once they have done that, they now feel that they can call it legalism whenever someone even suggests that we are still obligated to obey The Bible, including that commandment, today.
It’s a funny thing about legalism, however. It’s a word that is not found anywhere in The Bible. And you especially will not find Scripture that says you don’t have to obey commandments given by God in His Word. But there are three words that you will find in The Bible, all starting with the same letter that legalism starts with, that outright oppose this unbiblical ideology:
- Lasciviousness (Mark 7:22, 2 Cor. 12:21, Gal. 5:19, Eph. 4:19, 1 Pet. 4:3, Jude 4, KJV)
- Lukewarm (Rev. 3:16)
- Lawless/Lawlessness (Matt. 7:23, 13:41, 23:28, 24:12, Luke 22:37, Acts 2:23, Rom. 4:7, 6:19, 2 Cor. 6:14, 2 Thess. 2:1-9, 1 Tim. 1:9, Tit. 2:14, Heb. 1:9, 10:17, 1 Pet. 4:3, 2 Pet. 2:8, 3:17, 1 John 3:4)
So I want to take some time, having already done a thorough study on the word legalism, and provide a prophetic warning of sorts against following the modern trends in Christianity. I encourage you to read the Scriptures listed for lasciviousness and lukewarm, but I will be focused solely on lawless/lawlessness in this message. From the general deception of the hyper-grace heresy to the outright blasphemous teachings of men like “pastor” Andy Stanley who says that we need to unhitch from the “Old Testament” and throw away all commandments including the Ten Commandments, Christians are being misled to embrace lawlessness and shun Yahweh’s Torah.
What Lawlessness Is
But we know that the Torah is good if one uses it legitimately, knowing that the Torah is not given for a tzaddik but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and worldly, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, homosexuals, slave-traders, liars, perjurers, and for anything else that opposes sound teaching—in keeping with what was entrusted to me, the glorious Good News of the blessed God.
~1 Timothy 1:8-11 (TLV)
The root word for lawless or lawlessness is, quite obviously, law. So then lawlessness and being lawless would refer to those who reject law. But what laws are being rejected?
From this passage in the first letter written by Paul to his student in ministry, Timothy, we see that the terms lawless and rebellious are being contrasted with the word Torah. Then Paul continues by listing numerous things that are violations of God’s Torah, along with a catch-all of anything else that opposes sound teaching. What does Paul consider sound teaching? A proper examination of Paul’s teachings void of the bias of religious opinion will quickly reveal that Paul, who identified as a Pharisee of the Pharisees and a Benjamite, considered sound teaching to be that which is in harmony with Torah-obedience.
With this in mind, we can easily establish that the term lawlessness is interchangeable with another term we can formulate: Torahlessness. In other words, whenever you see the words lawless or lawlessness in The Bible you can be pretty confident that it is referring to someone who does not follow Torah. I want you to keep this in mind as you read this message and anywhere you see the words lawless or lawlessness remember that this specifically refers to those who do not obey God’s Torah. And Torah, as many are coming to know, refers to God’s commandments, 613 in total, recorded in the five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
(It should be noted that 613 is the widely accepted total, formulated by a famous Rabbi commonly known as Maimonides, but others have formulated lists with more or less than 613 total commandments. But regardless of what number someone settles on, if a commandment is listed in the Books of Moses, it falls under the banner of Torah. I have a detailed study on the 613 commandments in my article: Is Torah Bondage?)
To further emphasize that lawlessness directly relates to a rejection of Torah specifically, 1 John 3:4 typically reads that sin is lawlessness or the transgression/breaking of God’s Law. But one translation of interest is the Complete Jewish Bible, one of the prominent Messianic Jewish translations of The Bible, that reads like this: “Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah — indeed, sin is violation of Torah.” This not only shows us how lawlessness is interchangeable in Scripture with the breaking of Torah, but also that lawlessness, as the direct transgressing of God’s Torah, is the biblical definition of sin.
The Gospel Of Relativism
I want to take just a moment to address an issue that is increasingly becoming concerning. Unlike the should-be-obvious errors of the modern grace heresies or teachings that say just throw away the commandments, they don’t apply to us today, some things being promoted by Christian ministries are much more subtle. Edith Shaeffer says in her great book Christianity Is Jewish:
If there is no truth, and there are no lies—if there are no absolutes, and there is no such thing as right and wrong—then there could be no opposition. If everything is relative, and no fixed truth exists but a fluid situation which is in flux, then how could there be opposition? What would it matter what people believed? What possible difference would it make? It could then make no difference to the people believing something, nor to the people not believing.
There is a lot of teaching based on relativism going around today. It teaches that things like sin and morality are relative from person-to-person, and what might be wrong for one might not be wrong for another.
To add to this, I have even seen and heard preachers present relativism blended with absolutes. They will say that there are certain things in The Bible that are absolutes and stand firm. Of course, these are always things that every human on Earth would consider vile and heinous crimes, such as murder or rape. It would then be an “absolute” that those things are sin. But then they will turn and say that other things are not so solid.
They might say that something like the biblical food laws or keeping the Sabbath Day is not so mandatory. If you feel like you should follow them, they will say, then there is nothing wrong with that. But you cannot put a demand on the entire Christian Body to follow such things; they are optional. It’s not wrong to follow them, but it is wrong to say they are mandatory for a Believer. Despite being clear commandments in Yahweh’s Torah, they are not, says these deceivers, absolutes.
I heard one not so long ago talking about how it might be a sin for someone to go see a movie for this reason or that, but it might not be a sin if he went to see the same movie. Why? Because one has a personal moral conviction about it and the other does not.
Let me help you out here: Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah — indeed, sin is violation of Torah (1 John 3:4, CJB). Sin is defined quite emphatically in Scripture as the transgression of Torah. It is not relative. It is not based on your own personal convictions. According to the Apostle John it is the transgression of Torah alone that is sin.
One might say, “But it also says that sin is not doing what you know is good” (James 4:17). That is true. But what is good? Torah is what is good; it is God’s way of doing things. So knowing what is good or the right thing to do is simply knowing and doing what God’s Torah says to do.
Or they might say, “Whatever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). True again! But what is faith if not the belief that Torah is the instructions that came directly from YOUR God? Not following Torah is ultimately a statement of action that declares you don’t really believe God is God, thus it is a lack of faith. If you really believe that God is God and that this very same God gave us His Torah, then there wouldn’t be a question in your mind about whether or not we are supposed to obey it today.
Think about this: The very first sin, that act of eating from the one tree in the midst of Eden that God restricted, started out with the serpent asking the question, “Hath God said…?” When it comes to commandments, any of the commandments, those listed in the Torah, you either believe God and obey His commandments or you believe Satan asking you, “Did God really say that?” Your obedience or rejection of any Scriptural commandment is ALWAYS a matter of whether your faith is in God or the devil. And whichever one receives your faith is the one you serve. If you believe, through faith, God’s Torah stands resolute then you will obey it. If you reject anything commanded in God’s Torah, on the other hand, it is clear you have transferred your faith to that serpent in the tree asking you: “Hath God said?”
It doesn’t matter how many commandments you do follow, it only takes one act of rebellion, the rejection of only one commandment, to announce your allegiance to Satan. “For whoever keeps the whole Torah but stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (James 2:10, TLV). Satan knows that he only needs to convince you one time that God didn’t really mean in when he said it.
The devil doesn’t need to convince you that you can commit murder or adultery or that you can lie or steal. He only needs to convince you that you are allowed to eat pork or shellfish. He only needs to convince you that the Sabbath doesn’t apply today or that the Sabbath is Sunday causing you to break the true biblical Sabbath by default. He only needs to convince you to celebrate secular-pagan holidays like Christmas and Easter instead of the commanded Feasts of Yahweh. He only needs to convince you that it’s OK to get a tattoo because “Did God really say not to get tattoos? That verse is only about getting them for worshiping the dead. If you want to get a cross or a Bible verse or something like that tattooed on your body, it’s OK, God won’t mind. He didn’t really say you couldn’t do it for that reason. Did He? Certainly if you get a tattoo you won’t surely die.” Sounds a whole lot like the Eden debacle when you say it like that, doesn’t it?
Who are you going to believe? Who are you going to place your faith in? God who plainly said not to do it, or Satan who is telling you to question God! Because at the end of the whole thing, your plain obedience to or rejection of a plain commandment reveals to whom is your allegiance.
Titus 3:9 says to avoid foolish arguments and debates about the Torah. Why people even debate about this is mind-boggling to me. Do you believe God gave the Torah or not? There is no debate; it all boils down to whether or not you believe God gave the Torah. If you believe that, then there is nothing to debate, you will obey it because God gave these instructions.
If you do not, then there is nothing to debate with you because you are an unbeliever. That, my friend, is the definition of an unbeliever—someone who does not believe. And if you do not believe that God Himself gave the Torah and as such it is to be obeyed, I have nothing to discuss with you aside from the pure Gospel leading to your salvation.
Christians are amazing to me sometimes. They wrongly label Torah the Mosaic Law or Law of Moses so to convince themselves that it didn’t really come from the hand and mouth of God Almighty. They will believe that God split the Red Sea or that Yeshua walked on the water, but they don’t believe that God Himself gave the Torah. If they did, there would never be a question or debate regarding whether or not we are supposed to obey it.
I once heard someone argue, “Yeah, but Paul said we can eat meat sacrificed to idols if we want to, and you know that was a violation of the Torah.” Did he? No! He said you can buy meat from the market without the knowledge it was offered to an idol, but the moment someone lets you know it was part of an idol sacrifice you are not to buy it and eat it. Study the whole thing out, that’s what he said in the end. I cover this in much greater detail in my article titles Idolatry.
Some might try to argue that Paul said that only for the sake of other people, but does it really matter? Whatever he said it was for and whatever you think he meant by it, he still said that once you are told the meat was offered in sacrifice to an idol or a pagan god you are no longer to buy it or eat it. That should be all that matters in the end. So, no, you cannot eat meat offered to an idol unless you are completely unaware that it was offered to an idol prior to eating it.
Sin is not relative; it is plainly based on what was instructed in Torah. Wherever this ungodly belief came from that says sin is relative between individuals and what might be sin for one person might not be sin for another, I can assure you it is NOT from The Bible.
Personal convictions are not sin unless they are defined as such in God’s Torah. And it shouldn’t take a personal conviction to cause you to obey what is plainly commanded in Torah. It should only take reading it in The Bible. According to The Bible it is the Torah that defines sin. That’s it! There’s nothing more to discuss on the matter.
Be wary of any so-called “preacher” or “pastor” that would suggest any type of loopholes to a commandment of God. These people, regardless of whether they realize it or not, are simply repeating the actions and words of that serpent in Eden. Anyone who would question in any way a commandment of God is a liar and the servant of Satan, the father of lies and liars. If God said it, that settles it. It doesn’t even matter if you believe it or not. God said it—COMMANDED IT—and that, my friend, is all that really matters.
The Lawless One
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, concerning the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah and our gathering together to Him, not to get shaken out of your mind or disturbed—either by a spirit or a word or a letter as if through us—as though the Day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way, for the Day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the one destined to be destroyed. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in the Temple of God, proclaiming himself that he is God.
Don’t you remember that when I was still with you I was telling you these things? And you know what now holds back, for him to be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already operating; only there is one who holds back just now, until he is taken out of the way. Then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Yeshua will slay him with the breath of His mouth and wipe him out with the appearance of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is connected to the activity of satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with every kind of wicked deception toward those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God sends them a delusional force, to lead them to believe what is false, so that they may be judged—all those who did not believe the truth but delighted in wickedness.
~2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (TLV)
Notice two things in this passage. First, this lawless one will, it seems, lead a great rebellion against God and His Torah in the time immediately preceding the coming of Yeshua. Second, this lawless one is connected with the activity of Satan, meaning that he (or, perhaps, she) is not actually Satan.
The individual being spoken of here is the anti-Messiah. Think about that. The anti-Messiah prophesied in The Bible is known as the lawless one—the Torahless one. The anti-Messiah serves only to fulfill one primary mission: To oppose God’s Torah and cause people, including and especially “professing Christians”, to reject Torah in whole or in part.
Remember, you only need to be convinced to reject one commandment. Anything else is just an added bonus because the more commandments you break, the more you need to repent of and begin to follow.
The serpent knew it only needed to convince Eve, and then Adam, to break one commandment. They had been given at least three commandments prior to the fall: Take care of the Earth (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15), Be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28), and Don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge in the midst of the garden (Genesis 2:17). We could argue that the Sabbath Day was also established in Genesis 2:1-3, which I do believe it clearly was, and that there may have been other commandments given. With the knowledge that the Temple is seen both in the design of Creation and the design of Eden, I believe that God either gave or would have given His entire Torah to Adam prior to the fall, but the text does not bear this out so the best we can do is speculate.
Regardless, it only took one act of disobedience, and the serpent chose the easiest one. Just take a piece of fruit; it’s delicious. God won’t kill you if you do it. You won’t surely die.
Today we have made it even easier for the adversary to deceive us with this same tactic because we’ve given him an additional tool to add to his claim: Everyone else is doing it. Adam and Eve didn’t have an everyone else and the adversary tricked them. How much more those today who look to the rebellious masses they see attending Churches?
Go ahead; eat the pork bacon, the ham sandwich, the shrimp scampi, or the surf and turf. Everyone else is doing it. All the other Christians eat that stuff. When you go to the Church picnic they have all those unclean things there, so you see, it’s OK to eat them today. Paul said every creature of God is good. You need to unhitch from that “Old Testament” prohibition on certain meats.
Don’t worry about the Sabbath Day. “Jesus” is our Sabbath now. The Sabbath was changed to Sunday. And on top of all that, you need to unhitch yourself from that “Old Testament” Sabbath-keeping law. Who cares if it’s one of the Ten Commandments? We should be throwing them out anyway because they don’t apply to us today. Right?
You shouldn’t celebrate those “Jewish” Feasts and festivals. The Christian Church has its own “holidays” like Christmas, Easter, and for the truly backslidden Halloween. Those are the “holidays” that everyone else in Christianity celebrates. Only the Jews celebrate those weird things in The Bible, and we’re not Jewish.
Of course, I am being heavily sarcastic to show just how absolutely ludicrous it sounds. I mean, nobody, except maybe “pastor” Andy Stanley, would say: Don’t worry about murder or adultery, we need to throw out those commandments that don’t apply to us and unhitch from the “Old Testament”. At least not yet. Though, I do see some who were once leading the charge for holiness in America now pandering to the crowds and teaching nonsense like relativism, so it may not be long before even those who once stood for true righteous living are joining the ranks of the Andy Stanleys of the religious world of backslidden Christianity.
And, I will add, we don’t need to unhitch from the Torah. What we need to do is quit calling certain things in the Torah “Jewish”. The Feasts are not the Feasts of the Jews. They are the Feasts of Yahweh. The food laws are not the Jewish kosher laws. They are part of God’s Law. Stop attributing solely to the Jews what belongs to God and ALL who are a part of His Kingdom.
I like what Pastor Larry Huch says in his great book The Torah Blessing: “The stronger our Christian faith becomes, the more Jewish we should regard ourselves.” The title of Edith Shaeffer’s book I mentioned a moment ago really says it all: Christianity IS Jewish. A Christian is someone who is grafted into the cultivated olive tree of Israel. Thus, anything that anti-Semitic traditional Christianity has tried to write off as solely Jewish is really something that Christians should be embracing. It’s not Jewish, it’s Bible.
I was listening to a teaching message by Pastor Huch recently where he was talking about a number of issues. As he was teaching he spoke of how so many Churches have put a focus on putting on a great show, which worked for a while but now seems insignificant because every Church is putting on a great show. So they, as he continued to say, will have to figure out the next way to keep people coming. The Pastor proposed that perhaps the next “method” to retention will be this doctrine where everything is permissible.
This is the work of the lawless one! Christians are literally following this lawless one. I never thought I would see this in my lifetime but even ministers who I have held a lot of respect for in the past are actually embracing the lawless one. I would say it is unbelievable except for the fact that I have literally watched it happen.
The Delusion Of The Lawless
Bear in mind that the patience of our Lord means salvation—just as our dearly loved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom given to him. He speaks about these matters in all of his letters. Some things in them are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist (as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures)—to their own destruction. Since you already know all this, loved ones, be on your guard so that you are not led astray by the error of the lawless and lose your sure footing.
~2 Peter 3:15-17 (TLV)
Two things of importance are being addressed here. One is that the lawless are in error, as we have already been seeing. The other is that these lawless ones, those who follow the anti-Messiah known as the lawless one, twist the writings of Paul and other parts of Scripture to fit their own agenda—and this they do to their own destruction.
Also note that in verse 17 it says that this is the error of the lawless. Knowing that lawless directly refers to not keeping Torah, and not telling others to keep it as well, we can see that what is being stated here is that these are people who twist Paul’s words in order to lead people away from following the instructions God gave in His Torah. Let’s take a closer look at these lawless men. This is what Jude 4 says from three different translations:
I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
~Jude 4 (NLT)
For certain individuals, the ones written about long ago as being meant for this condemnation, have wormed their way in — ungodly people who pervert God’s grace into a license for debauchery and disown our only Master and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.
~Jude 4 (CJB)
For certain people have secretly slipped in—those who from long ago have been marked out for this judgment. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into indecency and deny our only Master and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.
~Jude 4 (TLV)
Notice that what we see here is that ungodly people (lawless ones) have now made there way into the Body of Messiah with the sole agenda of preaching a false message of grace that supposedly give an allowance to live immoral lives. What these people are doing is preaching a version of grace that is lawless, Torahless. As the Tree Of Life Version states, these lawless ones are marked out for judgment.
I just want to know: How is it that we have The Bible that tells us this and it still happens? And yet, I know the answer to my own question. It is because The Bible says this will happen that it has happened and does happen. The Bible is the only document to ever be written that is absolute truth from cover to cover. Some may not agree with me on that, but anyone who claims to be a part of the Body of Messiah either believes I am correct in this conclusion or they are not truly a part of His Body. As confident as I am in my own writing and teaching, I simply cannot say the same of even my own work. Why? Because The Bible is the Word of God, and my writings are merely teachings about the Word of God.
Even with the amount of study and research that I put into my written works and as many sources as I cite there is still a possibility that I have gotten something wrong somewhere along the way. But the Word of God is in a category of its own. There is no other written work that can be called absolute truth. Even if a Bible teacher, myself included, did manage to get everything right in the total of all their written work and public teaching it still wouldn’t qualify as absolute truth because it would most certainly be missing something.
I have not and likely in my lifetime will not do teachings on every single thing written in The Bible. I’m not so sure anyone ever has. In most cases, as can clearly be seen in my works, God leads His servant in a specific direction to address specific needs. For example, one who reads my work might learn a lot about the relationship between the Creation and the Torah, but very little about eschatological theories. I have approached theories about future end-time events, but only so much as I have felt God impress upon me to deal with them. And that’s how it should be. It’s when we deviate from what God is calling and leading us toward that we drift off into error.
Even in exhaustive commentaries that span many volumes there are at least some passages in Scripture that the authors do not address. I also feel like that’s why The Bible was written by many contributors over many thousands of years. That way no single author of Scripture could be said to have taught the whole absolute truth.
It is the whole of Scripture that makes it the whole truth. When you single out particular writings or writers you remove the authority of those words as Scriptural authority. This is especially true of the Apostolic Writings generally referred to as the “New Testament”. Much of the “New Testament” is quoting the “Old Testament”. So when it is separated out—one made authoritative and the other historical, as Christianity has typically always done—you cause The Bible to lose its authority. The Bible has no power unless it is one complete truth from cover to cover.
Today the lawless teachers of The Bible parading about the land are deceiving the masses. They twist the words of men like the Apostle Paul and present a counterfeit version of grace that claims you don’t have to obey The Bible. Some will go so far as to say the entire Torah should be thrown in the garbage, but many will lock in their deception by saying some things are still required upon the Believer. Of course, these are always things like: “Don’t murder” or “Don’t commit adultery”. This gains them some trust with the deceived masses who won’t even question it when they then turn and say that we don’t have to follow those old Jewish food laws or those old Jewish Feasts or Sabbath Day because of grace.
This is the delusion of the lawless ones. They are following a false belief system that, whether in whole or in part, abolishes the Torah in their own minds and to their own destruction.
The Reward Of Lawlessness
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, and drive out demons in Your name, and perform many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’”
~Matthew 7:22-23 (TLV)
Remember, the term lawlessness in this context is referring to someone who does not follow the Torah. This passage is Yeshua speaking, our Messiah. This is not someone’s thought or opinion of what will happen to the lawless ones. He says that there will come a day when He will look these people square in the face, lock eyes with them, point His finger toward hell, and say, “Depart from Me, transgressor of My Torah!”
And to top it off, look at what He says right before that. He describes these particular lawless ones as those who cast out demons, prophesy, and perform miracles in His name. I have pointed out in the past that the ONLY people today who fit this description are Christians specifically within the Pentecostal Movement as a whole. While Pentecostal Christianity is only a little over a hundred years old as a movement, it continues to be the fastest growing segment of Christian faith. It is also the primary portion of Christianity that seems to be embracing the modern Torah-positive message that has Believers returning to even those commandments traditionally shunned by Christians.
If the warning in Matthew 7:22-23 is directed toward Christians and possibly very specifically Pentecostal Christians who believe in casting out devils, prophesying, working of miracles, and other supernatural acts, what about those Christians who don’t believe in or practice those things or those who aren’t even Christians at all? In my message The Narrow Path, Part 1 I put out a series of staggering statistics, ultimately leading to a conclusion that as much as 95% to 99.5% of professing Christians might not even be saved.
I pulled these numbers again and did a little math. With an estimated over 2 Billion people on Earth professing to be Christians and approximately 7.5 Billion people in the world’s total population, this means that those who identify as Christians of any kind make up about one-third of the total global population. That would mean that 100% of the other two-thirds, according to The Bible, is not even saved. So, using the stats presented in my previous article I calculated that this means that between 98% and 99.83% of every human being on this planet right now will not be admitted into heaven should they be called to stand before The Master at this very moment. Let me present you with two very staggering passages of Scripture.
For the time has come for judgment to begin with the house of God. If judgment begins with us first, what will be the end for those who disobey the Good News of God?
~1 Peter 4:17 (TLV)
Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
~Proverbs 27:20 (KJV)
I chose to cite the passage from Proverbs out of the King James Version because it uses the word “hell”. I understand that digging into the Hebrew presents different words that might mean different things, but I still believe in a literal hell. If you don’t, so be it, I would only ask that you consider what I am sharing from the perspective I am sharing it from.
If hell is anything like what it has long been portrayed as in Christianity and if it is eternal as is the more common Christian belief, then it should really be striking that it is also never full. There is room for the 98% to 99.8% of the 7.5 Billion people on Earth today as well as all who have already passed from this life without being accepted into the Kingdom of God.
In contrast, heaven is described as a place where few, in comparison, will dwell. Estimates based on the numbers I have presented previously indicate that only 10 million people out of the over 2 Billion who claim to be Christians will actually make it to heaven. I pointed out, Pentecostal Christians may be the only people today who match the description given in Matthew 7:22. There are an estimated 279 million Pentecostal Christians today. That means that, according to these numbers, only about 4% of Pentecostals will make it to heaven, and that assuming that every person who is accepted is a Pentecostal Christian.
Theories abound on what heaven will be and if we will retain living on Earth after the Millennial Reign. Some are even concluding that heaven will be another planet, perhaps one of these “super-earth” planets that scientists seem to be discovering. A “super-earth”, if you have not heard of these, is a planet like Earth, within the habitable zone of its parent star, that is significantly larger than our current Earth. A larger planet would mean a greater landmass, thus the capability to host a larger population of humans and all other life forms. There is even a valid theory that can be considered, one
The point is, while we can certainly sit and speculate and theorize about all of these unknowns, it would seem logical to conclude with the information we have that hell will involve a lake of fire with space enough for billions, perhaps even trillions, of lost souls and heaven will have plenty of open land for the low percentage of people who make it there. While it says that hell is never full, it doesn’t say whether or not it is packed tight. In addition to the eternal torment of the flames of hell in this lake of fire scenario, many have envisioned it as a packed place where it is utterly crowded, lending to further torment as you cannot escape the volume of the screams of those being tormented all around you, drowning out your own screams.
Heaven is envisioned as a paradise, but even more than that a place where your reward includes lots of space. A lot of people today have been led to believe that John 14:2 teaches us that in heaven we who are accepted will be given some type of a mansion to live in, and we envision this with the mansions we see built by the elite of society today. From world leaders to celebrities to even some of the “mega church pastors” of the modern age we have all seen these enormous houses that are much bigger than any one person or family would ever need. But is that what Yeshua was referring to when He said what was once traditionally translated to read, “In My Father’s house are many mansions…”?
Many more modern translations of The Bible have worded this passage a little more accurately. For example, the Tree Of Life Version, which I so often refer to, reads like this: “In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” A dwelling place is a broader term and could refer to a constructed house—even to the magnitude of a mansion—or it could refer to something like a garden. Think about it, in Genesis 2 God planted a garden in Eden and gave it to the man He created to be his dwelling place. That is, until the man and his wife disobeyed one simple commandment and became lawless ones, resulting in their banishment from God’s garden. Look at what the commentary Barnes’ Notes On The New Testament says regarding this passage:
Are many mansions. The word rendered mansions means either the act of dwelling in any place (ver. 23, “We will make our abode with him”), or it means the place where one dwells. It is taken from the verb to remain, and signifies the place where one dwells or remains. It is applied by the Greek writers to the tents or temporary habitations which soldiers pitch in their marches. It denotes a dwelling of less permanency than the word house. It is commonly understood as affirming, that in heaven there is ample room to receive all who will come; that therefore the disciples might be sure that they would not be excluded. Some have understood it as affirming that there will be different grades in the joys of heaven; that some of the mansions of the saints will be nearer to God than others, agreeably to 1 Cor. xv. 40, 41. But perhaps this passage may have a meaning which has not occurred to interpreters. Jesus was consoling his disciples, who were affected with grief at the idea of his separation. To comfort them he addresses them in this language: “The universe is the dwelling-place of my Father. All is his house. Whether on earth or in heaven, we are still in his habitation. In that vast abode of God there are many mansions. The earth is one of them. Heaven is another. Whether here or there, we are still in the house, in one of the mansions of our Father, in one of the apartments of his vast abode. This we ought continually to feel, and to rejoice that we are permitted to occupy any part of his dwelling-place. Nor does it differ much whether we are in this mansion or another. It should not be a matter of grief when we are called to pass from one part of this vast habitation of God to another. I am indeed about to leave you, but I am going only to another part of the vast dwelling-place of God. I shall still be in the same universal habitation with you; still in the house of the same God; and am going for an important purpose – to fit up another abode for your eternal dwelling.”
Of tremendous interest is what Barnes alludes to in regard to the planets. Recent discoveries, as I noted a moment ago, are finding thousands of potentially habitable planets. Some scientists now estimate there are billions of habitable planets in the universe. If our mystery word, the Greek moné, in John 14:2 is referring to planets, perhaps we who are received with the words, “well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord,” will be rewarded with our own personal planet to live on or share it with a few others, splitting between two percent to possibly only two-tenths of one percent of the total world’s population between all these planetary “dwelling places” would mean that we would likely never run out of room to live.
So many Christians today are chasing a material mansion, a status symbol of their own greed. Maybe I’ll start believing for my own personal planet! One that is full of life and void of the corruptions of mankind. A place where I can live the way humanity was supposed to live in Eden.
Sure, it’s a grand vision, perhaps sensational-sounding to some. But when you really get into the depths of the Scripture you find out that everything in The Bible really shows that it’s about getting us back to Eden. And wouldn’t it be amazing if there were thousands, millions, or even billions of planets to live on, possibly with the ability for us to travel from one to another the same way we today might travel from one city to another or fly from one nation to another? It’s a fascinating theory, for sure, and perhaps one that makes a lot more sense in light of the Genesis record.
When you study the Bible out from a basis of Genesis Chapters 1 and 2, as well as the end of Revelation for that matter where the new heaven and Earth are presented, it becomes apparent that all God ever really wanted us to do is rely wholly on Him. In the past I have presented in messages like Out Of Egypt → Into Babylon that the cities and constructs of man have always been a result of people trying to eliminate the need to rely on God. When you get right down to it, perhaps the sum total of all of the “innovations of man and modern technology” are the result of eating from the Tree of KNOWLEDGE. Maybe if we never did that, we would still dwell, without any technology, in the presence of God and the splendor of His Garden.
Just read about the description of the coming Kingdom at the end of Ezekiel’s prophecy. He describes trees that bear fruit every month and their leaves will be for healing. Christians so often think that eternal life will just be some magical thing where we just live forever without explanation. But is that what The Bible teaches? It seems that there will be foods and medicines provided by these trees of life that will provide us with a daily sustenance, which will cause us to live forever because conditions will be set by God Himself that are not just optimal but perfectly precise for life to just live. The curse that fell on Earth will not be there.
I believe that’s how the Earth was at Creation. Prior to the flood we see records of people pushing close to a thousand years of life. After the flood atmospheric conditions changed and it seems that change limited the years humans and likely all other living creatures could live. But that, it seems, was not the original plan. It appears that we were supposed to live forever and would have had the fall not occurred. It was only the tree of knowledge that was restricted, the tree of life they were free to eat from. God only banned the tree of life after the fall, and that to prevent man from continuing to live forever in his fallen sin-cursed state.
But alas, this is all the reward reserved for those who truly are born again. Not the religious lost and lawless masses of the Christian faith, but those who truly submit to the Way of The Creator—those who return to the mindset of Eden and accept the call to care for the Creation. So what about the lawless masses that do not, including the potential 99.5% of professing Christians who won’t make it either? What happens to them?
I already started talking about it, but what does The Bible say about this place Christianity commonly calls hell? And again, I am taking to the traditional Christian view of this topic. Not because I am or am not convinced it is right or wrong. But because all theories about what is hell are just that: theories. And as such, the most logical theory seems to be that it will be a place of eternal torment for the wicked damned, which includes the religious masses that were just practicing a religion—including Christian religion.
I maintain a belief that hell is a place of eternal torment for the wicked dead is the logical choice because if it’s the wrong description of hell then whatever is true will be less horrifying and that would be a good thing. So I continue to approach this topic from the generally accepted Christian view. To further solidify why I feel this view trumps others, take a look at what A.W. Pink says about the two most popular other theories about hell as recorded in his Studies In The Scriptures, 1922-23, Vol. 01 of 17:
The absurdity and unscripturalness of Annihilationism are easily exposed. If at death the sinner passes out of existence, why resurrect him in order to annihilate him again? Scripture speaks of the “punishment” and “torment” of the wicked; but any one can see that annihilation is not these! If annihilation were all that awaits the wicked, they would never know that they had received their just deserts and the “due reward” of their iniquities! Scripture speaks of degrees of punishment for the lost; but annihilation would make this impossible: annihilation would level all distinctions and ignore all degrees of guilt. In Isa. 33:14 we are told, “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” So far from sinners being annihilated they shall dwell with the devouring fire! Scripture speaks again of the “wailing and gnashing of teeth” of those who are cast into hell, and this, at once, gives the lie to those who affirm extinction of being.
There are those who allow that the wicked will be cast into hell, and yet they insist that the punishment is corrective rather than retributive. A sort of Protestant Purgatory is invented, the fires of which are to be purifying rather than penal. Such a conception is grossly dishonoring to God. Some who hold this view make a great pretense of honoring Christ, yet in reality they greatly dishonor Him. If men who died rejecting the Saviour are yet to be saved, if the fires of hell are to do for men what the blood of the Cross failed to effect, then why was the Divine Sacrifice needed at all—all might have been saved by the disciplinary sufferings of hell, and so God could have spared His Son. Again; if God compassionates His enemies and cherishes nothing but gracious designs of infinite pity toward those who have despised and rejected His Son, we may well ask, Then why does He take such dreadful measures with them? If loving discipline be all that they need, cannot Divine wisdom devise some gentler measure than consigning them to the “torment” of the lake of fire for “the ages of the ages”? This is an insuperable difficulty in the way of the theory we are now refuting, But once we see that the lake of fire is the place of punishment, not discipline, and that it is Divine wrath and not love that casts the reprobate into it, then the difficulty entirely disappears.
We need to take this serious! I know there are people who claim to have “gotten saved” and embrace Judeo-Christian faith primarily because they didn’t want to go to hell. This is something I am not a huge fan of, despite being a proponent of classic revivalist hell-fire preaching. Yes, as a starting point it could lead to a genuine life of faith. However, there are two major concerns with this “reason” for accepting Messiah Yeshua that seem to happen much more often.
First, conversion to Christian faith as a result of fearing hell all too often leads to the Calvinist heresy generally called Eternal Security or Once Saved, Always Saved. This view essentially tells people after they pray some so-called “sinner’s prayer” that you can’t find anywhere in The Bible that they are now saved and “as sure for heaven as if they were already there”. This false assurance often leads to false conversions and people who think they are “eternally saved and secure” so they make little or no effort to live according to The Bible. At best they might join your Church and become another religious person bound to go to hell through the doors of the Church.
The second major error that happens with people who “get saved” because they don’t want to go to hell is that they might become legalistic. This may not seem as bad, because at least this person will obey The Bible. But they are obeying The Bible because they don’t want to go to hell, not because they are saved and can’t help but obey because the Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit of Holiness), among other things, is living in and through them. There is a huge difference between obeying The Bible because you really are saved and obeying as a means to earn or maintain your salvation.
Of all the descriptions of hell in The Bible, from things like weeping and gnashing of teeth to a lake burning with fire and brimstone, I have never understood people who would choose against God. A.W. Tozer said in his book Who Put Jesus On The Cross?: And Other Questions of the Christian Faith, “We cannot afford to let down our Christian standards just to hold the interest of people who want to go to hell and still belong to a church.” The Church is filled with more lawless people today—people who refuse to submit their lives to following the Torah of the One they call their God—than at any other time in history. The Bible prophesies of a broad path that leads to death and that’s the way MOST of the people claiming to be “Christians” are going.
Yes, the 2.2 billion people claiming to be Christians today includes Roman Catholics and all Protestant denominations and even “Christian” cult groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, and all the spin-offs of Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God. But it also includes Pentecostals, of which there are close to 300 million today. Whether only 5% of Christians will make it, as Ravenhill claimed, or one half of a percent as Reidhead’s research suggests, that’s either 100 million or 10 million of the 2.2 billion professing “Christians”. That would mean that at best 1 out of every 3 Pentecostals will go to heaven, and that, again, only if every saved person on this planet is a Pentecostal Christian. I remind you, Pentecostals are the ones who actually can make the claim that they cast out devils, prophesied, and worked miracles in Yeshua’s name.
The Bible also speaks that in the last days people will raise up teachers who tell them what they want to hear (see 2 Timothy 4:3). That too is happening more than ever. Lawless men are raising up lawless “pastors” to lead them to hell. What sense does this make? It would seem unbelievable if it were not spoken of in The Bible.
The fate of the lawless ones who practice lawlessness is very clear: “Depart from Me,” says Yeshua, “I never knew you.” Exodus 23:2 says, “Do not follow a crowd to do evil.” And yet that is what most of Christianity has become. Lawless people following lawless people and lawless “pastors” down the broad path that leads to death. It’s as if nobody even cares that the fate of the damned souls of those who live in lawlessness—literally those who claim to be saved but reject God’s Torah—will be (in all likelihood) an eternity of torment in a lake of fire with the other two-thirds of the world who never even accepted Yeshua as Messiah at all.
Most Christians act like it’s just going to be the “really bad people” who go to hell, and that only among those who actually still believe hell is real. You know, the murderers and the rapists. They don’t realize that Scripture provides us with enough information to give a valid argument that eating pork or shellfish will also send you to hell. People ask me all the time if I think people will go to hell for eating pork, and knowing what The Bible says I can confidently answer: YES!
I would never dare to say dogmatically that anyone will go to hell for any act of sin. It’s ultimately God who decides that. My point is that I can very easily show anyone that The Bible at least suggests that people will go to hell for eating unclean things, which includes pork and shellfish (see Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 for a full description of what animals are deemed unfit for human consumption). And if the possibility exists that someone could go to hell “just for eating pork”, the thing that Christians see as the least significant commandment in the whole Bible it seems, what about all the other things commanded in the Torah?
I’ve never been about to figure out the modern Christian mindset. I’ve never understood a religion that says there is no need to follow its primary religious text, in the case of Christianity: The Bible. I’ve never understood people who, as Tozer alluded to, go to Church while continuing to do the very things that The Bible says will send them to hell. And the craziest part of the whole thing is the moment someone with a heart for revival and holiness comes along, instead of heeding what God is trying to do these lawless ones will gossip about that person and mock them, laughing about how that person thinks everyone is going to hell and they have the only answer. Here’s the thing: Those holiness people that the majority thinks are crazy and fanatical—those people that still believe in obeying the whole Bible—they ARE the ones who have the answer.
Let me help you out: It was the message of John the Immerser, the Apostles, the Prophets, and Yeshua Himself. “REPENT! For the Kingdom of God is at hand!”
Likely if you are reading this message and have not quit reading to this point, you may not be the person that this discourse is directed toward. But it is very likely you know people who do need this type of teaching. I want to encourage you to share this message with anyone who will listen. After all, if a potential 99.5% of the proclaiming “Christians” in the world today will not make it to heaven, there is a good chance you know a lot of people who sincerely want to serve God and have merely been misled.
People don’t like to talk about sin, lawlessness, and hell anymore. Some have even publicly declared that they don’t talk about things like sin or hell in their Churches, that was OK for past generations but it doesn’t fit with our “Christian culture” today. But let me assure you, these are all topics that will stare everyone in the face at The Judgment. And if you are not born-again—like, really, really born-again—these are the very things that will condemn you.
So many times Christians define sin as “little sin” and “big sin”. “Little sins”, they believe, are those things where they personally violate Scripture. They think these things are not that big of a deal. After all, they don’t murder people, they don’t commit adultery, they don’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, they don’t lie or steal. But, you know, even if eating the pork chop or the lobster is a sin, certainly it’s just a minor infraction that won’t send them to hell. God will understand. “Big sins”, on the other hand, according to what they think, are those things where other people are transgressing the Law.
This is not a biblical view. Sin is sin. God sees no sin as greater than another. And if He did, it would not be based on the humanistic grading of morality—whichever acts of evil are deemed of greater immorality than others. If God were to grade which sins were of greatest concern, it would be those that are committed by the largest number of people.
How many people do you know who commit murder? I’m not talking about “Whoever says hateful things about his brother has committed murder in his heart”. Yes, that is murder according to the teaching of Yeshua as recorded in the Gospel record. But I am talking about literal physical murder where someone takes the actual physical life of another human person. How many people do you know who have done that? You might know one or two people who were reformed in prison and now go to the same Church or fellowship you attend. Perhaps you know a few more who have not publicly shared their past, so even though you know them you don’t know they did that in their past. But generally speaking, if you know anyone who has done this you would likely be able to count them on one hand.
Now how many people do you know who have committee adultery? It’s likely a few more. However, for most people that is still a relatively small number.
But now let’s go to the local Church picnic or breakfast fellowship and count all the people who are eating items that fit the biblical description of unclean. If the Church or fellowship were Messianic or Torah-keeping in some way they likely wouldn’t even serve anything unclean. But most Churches are not, even those who have taught adherence to the food laws for something like “health reasons”. If you are in a Church that doesn’t keep Torah but has taught that we “should” keep it, and particularly if the food laws have been properly taught there, you might find a couple of people who adhere to The Bible and choose food items at the Church function that are biblically clean. If these things have never been taught there, as is the case with most mainstream Churches, you can be pretty sure that everyone will be eating the unclean things.
Now let’s err on the side of caution, as I often say we should do, and assume that all three of these violations of Torah will equally send those who commit them to hell. So we have murderers. OK, a handful of people will go to hell for murder. Then we have adulterers. A few more people will go to hell for that. And then we get to those who eat things deemed unclean under God’s Torah. With that we would have the overwhelming majority of professing “Christians” going to hell. So, seeing as He desires that none should perish and wanting all to come to come to repentance (1 Peter 3:9), if God were to rank which of these is the most concerning act of sin which do you think it would be? Clearly, the one that the most people are guilty of and would send the most people to an eternity separated from Him forever being tormented!
We need to quit viewing sin based on what we think are the most vile acts of transgressing God’s Torah and start focusing on sins that could result in the largest population of people being cast into hell. I once heard a Pastor ask his congregation that if you gave a child a set of instructions and they followed all but two of them, which instructions would you sit the child down to discuss? The two they struggled with, obviously. Right? We should be taking the same approach in teaching Believers.
What does it accomplish to preach to a bunch of Christians that murder is a sin? You might get a lot of clapping and cheers from the audience, but who have you helped? Who is actually sitting in your Church contemplating the person they plan to murder later that day? Yes, it is possible there is a person meeting that exact description sitting in the pew, and if the Spirit of God leads you to address it, you should follow His leading. But how many people in those same pews are planning to go home or out to a restaurant after the fellowship concludes and eat something that is biblically unclean? Why isn’t that being addressed, ever, in any Christian Church that claims to teach The Bible? The sin that most people are guilty of should be the one that the Pastor talks about the most.
The preachers of the land have learned that they can address sins that none of their parishioners are guilty of, sound like they are taking a stand for holiness, and not offend anyone. They are lawless men leading their lawless masses into a religion of lawlessness. They have come to realize that they can fill the pews a whole lot easier and bring in a lot more money if they lie while standing behind the pulpit. Oh, what sins they are preaching against are sins, but a partial truth is a whole lie. If they are not addressing the sins that the people are actually guilty of, they are lying to you and leading you to hell while you sit in their pews listening to them.
But it’s not too late. You have sat and read this message. You have been presented with the truth. You have a chance to turn from the lawless ways of Modern Christianity. You have a chance: REPENT! For the Kingdom of God is at hand! I’ll not lead you in a “sinner’s prayer” that is not biblical and generally misleads people. I’ll only tell you to REPENT! Turn from your wicked ways, submit yourself to God and His Torah, and live from this moment forward every moment of every day as if you are about to stand face-to-face with Him in judgment.
~Blessings and Shalom~
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