Friday 9 December 2011

What does Eternal Destruction mean? Andre Rabe plus my biography of Emsworth

  • I made a few notes from a book on 2 Thes a few years ago. Below I expanded these notes (can't remember the book, but the thoughts have been developing and I thought its time to share some of them)

    2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 (New King James Version)

    6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

    What does 'eternal destruction' mean in this context?
    Paul, speaking to believers who are facing persecution, assures them that God would vindicate them, for "... it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you" When "the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire", they will receive a just penalty, namely "eternal destruction".

    But does this, as some translations imply, mean an eternal seperation from the presence of God?

    They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power(NIV)
    Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power is their sentence.(MSG)

    The Greek, just like the English word 'from' can sometimes mean 'away from' and other times simply refer to the source as in 'proceeding from'. So for instance we have Is 2:10: Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the LORD. And Rev 6:16: and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! In both these texts the verb 'to hide' determines the correct translation of 'from'. But in 2 Thes 1:9 we don't find any such verb that would indicate that 'from' means 'away from' When Paul speaks about the 'presence of the Lord' in verse 9 he obviously has in mind the Lord's appearance 'in flaming fire' as described in verse 8. So when he speaks about destruction, it does not mean destruction away from the flaming fire, but destruction that proceeds from the flaming fire.

    Verse 2 "grace to you and peace from God the Father" means the peace that proceeds from the Father, not peace away from the Father! The presence of the Lord is the flaming fire, which is the source of and brings about this destruction. Destruction away from the flaming fire - the presence of the Lord - makes no sense. Reading into this text the idea of eternal separation from the presence of the Lord, is reading into it something that is simply not there.

    So what does this eternal destruction mean? Let me focus first on the word 'eternal, although the word 'punishment' will also be explored. The same word 'eternal' is used a number of times in relation to punishment ... eternal punishment. The greek scholar and theologian, William Barclay says: 'in all Greek literature kolasis (punish) is never used of anything but remedial punishment'. This word originally meant the pruning of trees to make them grow better. According to Barclay therefore 'eternal punishment' is literally that kind of punishment which only the eternal God can give. Being remedial, the punishment is intended as a means of correction, a means to the end of eternal life; and so an eternal means of correction. It is eternal in the sense that its source is the eternal God and in the sense that its corrective affects lasts forever.

    Let's look at the word 'destruction'. Paul uses the same word 'destruction' in 1 Cor 5:5: deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Interestingly he does not mean the total annihilation of this individual, but rather destruction and salvation are presented as two sides of the same coin!

    A few observations regarding this text, The sin with which Paul is so disgusted is 'of the kind that is not even found among pagans' (5:1) The punishment he prescribes has a real retributive flavour: 'he who has committed this act must be removed from among you'. Paul then continues to pronounce judgement on this individual and orders the Corinthians to hand him over to Satan! Given the harsh tone of Paul's remarks - as harsh as anything we read in 2 Thes - we would never have thought that Paul intended this for the man's own good ... had he not explicitly said so.

    In Paul's thought every 'vessel of mercy' was at once stage a 'vessel of wrath' and it is precisely in the destruction of the vessel of wrath that the vessel of mercy is manifested. Wow I'm getting excited - just think about it - Paul himself was guilty of the same sin described in 2 Thes - persecuting the believers - over which he pronounces such a strong sentence. Was the light of God's presence not the flaming fire that eternally destroyed Saul ... and birthed Paul!

    Extract from 'He comes like lightning':
    Here's a man, breathing threats and murder; a man who was gratified by witnessing the brutal and violent death of Stephen (Acts 8:1), on his way to search out more people to persecute. He is not just biased against these people, he zealously pursues them to destroy them.

    What kind of revelation, what kind of understanding, can transform this man, to so love and so care for the very people he hates, that he will lay down his live for them?

    Jesus doesn't come to argue with you, to gently adjust your thinking, to comment on your live and hope that you will take some of His comments to heart. He comes like lightning. He wants to strike a death blow to your carnal, natural mindset. He comes to reveal how blind and deaf all your thoughts have been in comparison to what He knows.

    It is so insightfully said in verse 8: ... when his eyes were opened he saw no one. Everything Saul knew about man was erased in this one strike of lightning! Later Paul writes: ... from now on I cannot look at any man from a human point of view. (2 Cor 5:16)

    The coming of Jesus Christ, the revelation of Jesus Christ to Paul, physically blinded him for three days, but it forever changed the way he saw every person.
     Andre, as you know,I've come from things at an oblique angle to you...but they marry right here. I come from the direct experiences of Ed Miller triggering very real national and local revivals and the one he taught who broadened the "corporate experience of Body Living" Jorge Pradas. Both had an understanding of taking a "meeting" by the scruff of the neck THROUGH the flaming swords that GUARD the Tree of Life. And both regarded meetings totally transformatively in the manner of the MIRROR showing Jesus Christ in our own person.They would have loved Francois' translation. In fact they would have used it in what I am going to say next.

    • You can read the whole story of Ed in Argentina in his books Google R.Edward Miller. As a pentecostal missionary he was getting nowhere in Argentina. (In my terms he was a 2ndleveller getting frustrated) So, a brave move in those days, he told God he wasn't going to do another thing until God did something. So he did nothing apart from seek God. Nothing. Then after ages doing that and nothing outwardly happening he requested a sign whether he should continue. One convert by Friday. At 11.55pm someone came to his door and asked to know the Lord! So he continued. The rest is in the book. How the Holy Spirit came in like a wind to their room where they were praying etc. What isn't in the books is Ed's ministry and Jorge Pradas who he taught...

      47 minutes ago ·

    • Oghenakheranimoh Seann Enigimi-Julius chris u always speak above my head...ure too technicla..pls try to speak in everyday english
      45 minutes ago ·

    • Chris Welch
      You see Ed didn't call it the third level....he probably called it the Throne Room, or the glory or something...but both of them sought to run their meetings there. So this is what happens when the Holy Spirit runs meetings. Obviously He never does anything twice because He is an economist! He always move to purpose. But roughly speaking His meetings run in an arc like the Lord's prayer. They begin exulting the Lord, then there's a time "like the flaming swords", like " eternal judgment". It's the time, maybe on your face, standing, sitting, whatever...when God shows you Jesus in the Mirror. Jorge Pradas's song (one of 1000 in Spanish) was "IN YOUR IMAGE I AWAKEN". The Holy Spirit takes you inside to show you Jesus, but "like lightning" He reveals the stuff on our insides that is NOT AUTHENTIC TO US...and in that instant He rips it out. Now sometimes its gentle. Sometimes it lasts longer than a meeting. Some of these things are so core to us, it feels like our insides are busting. The Old Testament describes it as a woman in labour. But what is coming through, is the AUTHENTIC, without any of the other things attached anymore. Then like the last bit of the Lord's Prayer (see my blog post the Apocalypse of Chrust, the Unveiling of Christ) the whole Body goes into action again...but this time Without reference to sin.(Understand me please..the Holy Spirit does not want that we go into meetings sin conscious...but your average "young believer" does....but all that is blown away...and what we experience is an incredible the final declaration "Yours is the Power and the Kingdom forever and ever". Another thing it's like is the huge power invested in the final Ascents Psalm 134, when standing by night...the people Cry...We BLESS YOU OUT OF ZION.... feel that....another powerful wave is sent round the earth to accomplish another set of God's purposes. Well that's meetings..

      34 minutes ago ·

    • Chris Welch
      Oh...just to a genuine 3rd level meeting the old Catholic idea of the homily or sermon which Frank Viola describes in Pagan Christianity, is blown out the window. Now it's not that you or Francois and others having a gift of utterance dont share. We know Paul shared so long and powerfully, a little boy fell out of a window. But the whole sharing thing is in the context of what the Holy Spirit is doing amongst us today. People who preach have to be completely re-programmed by the Spirit in the 3rd level.Nothing is the same. For a start, every member knows they are Christ in their form, and at any moment the Holy Spirit may be bringing forth something in the Body....anyhow that's a snippet...this is what happened next.

      30 minutes ago ·

    • Chris Welch That was meetings. But God birthed this vision through Ed and Jorge of Casa Biblicas, or Bible Houses. This was a prototype of the 3rd level church. A return to how it was for the disciples with Jesus. Where God in and through His Body, all day long, all week long, all year long was doing the stuff he was doing in 3rd level meetings, but in Life as we lived together
      27 minutes ago ·

    • Chris Welch
      Similar to YWAM, but God showed us at that time He wanted us to learn a new we did very little evangelism, we just sought God. Guess He knew if we did evangelise we'd slip back into the 4 spiritual laws...rather than learning the new way which is more like John4 at the well....anyhow I digress. See, we didn't have the articul;ation we have now online, but we had the Spirit and this is what it looked like. God sovereignly spoke through prophets (Jean Darnall and later Harry Greenwood) that He was going to have a church at Emsworth whereyoung people, with teachable hearts, who would be brought in and then sent all over the world. Like nearly all prophecies, the opposite happened. There was scarce a young person on the horizon for 5 years. Then all of a sudden, from Argentina, Spain, France and England, me sovereignly told to down tools immediately at Exeter university, Marcus Roberts told to come across from Haywards Heath where he was a teacher. And many others older converged too. In fact around Waterlooville other Christians were saying it's a cult...they believe Jesus is going to come back in Emsworth!..... Well He did come but not as anyone thought.

      19 minutes ago ·

    • Chris Welch
      So, 30 of us in a single house (3 storey Swiss style ...then later moved to Winsley, a small mansion. Now the "eternal/judgment" grace process never happened simultaneously with all 30...phew....praise God...About 3 or 4 would be really going through stuff at any one time and it was interesting how supernaturally everyone else would be carrying them until it was over. Some couldn't take it and left. I now know that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman, and He knows how much we can take and when...and His grace never tires!!!!Though I was a lot more "2nd level and disciple like in those days"...remember how the disciples were in the gospels...always condemning people and writing everyone get the picture.

      14 minutes ago ·

    • Chris Welch
      Here's one story. Christian girl is cutting herself when she came into the house. Her Christian Dad had sexually abused her.We watched as the Holy Spirit (we didn't know details) stripped her right back inside her, then rebuilt her totally from within out. He used the scripture Psalm 45...."The King has desired your beauty.....and with gold shall you be led before the King". Well, I tell you, she then began singing songs of the a flood. I've probably not heard worship songs like it too may times since. Incredibly beautiful. The ones we captured, we continued to sing here and in Argentina and Spain. So in repeated temporary cycles the Body would use the Body to bring people through. I have never seen so many people in one place so radically transformed over such a short period a time.
      That's why I have been so strong with the Zerubbabel crowd.

      Now imagine such a Holy Spirit process with an articulation as clear as yours and Francois and some of the others on here. I tell you all, you simply have no idea how fast 3rd level Holy Spirit churches work. We are all so used to the traditions of men...people like Nancy Gilmore cannot even imagine it here on this earth. But this is what I am saying. I've lived the prototype. I was there. This stuff exists on planet earth. But it has to be God-raised up. God prepared people. God processed Life together...we even had our own God raised up industry....God processed meetings....God financed....It makes the the whole of YWAM look like a sausage making machine by comparison.
      Facebook snaffled all this, so I had to do the whole lot twice. Now i forgot to mention another thing that dovetails in with what Andre just wrote about Eternal Judgment. The Holy Spirit's idea of a local church(not the human idea at all) is where He lifts from out of the Old Testament the illustration of the city of refuge.
    The Body of Christ is a city of refuge.
    See, if you've committed adultery or murder...or many other such things....the natural order of things meant you would die! Or you spin into operation at least a whole load of negatives. But instead of judgment, a city of refuge was and is a place where God spins the judgment around, and cuts into a whole cycle of events to begin a totally new history!
    One example: My old pastor was just about to get divorced before he got saved. Divorce ran like a curse through their whole family. But part of the City of refuge experience for him at Emsworth was HIS DAD AND MUM re-married and got baptised in the sea at Emsworth. I tell you the Body of Christ is one crazy place!
    about a minute ago ·
    Chris Welch I should say this was after 20 years divorce! So both his marriage and his parent's marriage were saved.

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