That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive: But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Messiah. EPHESIANS 4:14-15
It is impossible to go very far with YHWH to the perfection and fullness of Yahshua while we are deceived. The only gainful path we can tread is the wide one of greater deception. It is not difficult to lose one’s soul in this mire of Satan’s lies. Therefore I am going to endeavour to expose some of Satan’s deceptions–further to those already uncovered in my blog to this point–within the denominational church and in relation to Scripture. There are many more than I will discuss here. Be not deceived, the lies are varied, deep, and binding of hearts and minds. May my readers be stimulated to voyage courageously into their own beliefs and mindsets in order to shine the light of truth on all lies.
PURGATORY, PERDITION, AND BAPTISM OF THE DEAD
None would argue that Martin Luther and the Reformation were two of the best things to hit Christendom. They must be up there near the Cross and the Bible, for these were shrouded in darkness until the reformers rescued the truth for us from the evil way – the Medieval Roman Catholic Church.
However, I call it the ‘Deformation’, for a number of Biblical truths were lost to us when the baby–certain Catholic doctrines–was thrown out with the bath water. For example, did you know that souls lost in Hell may be rescued, just as was truth from the Dark Ages? Have you ever read I CORINTHIANS 15:29? Paul writes: Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? Why indeed?
Now, if you are thinking about now I’m a crackpot, I encourage you to hear me out. And before I venture further into this, I’ll relate a quick story about a recent experience I had concerning this Scripture.
I was taught the above and following revelation many years ago by a man who had attended Catholic seminary with the goal of becoming a priest, but was called out by YHWH before taking his final vows. The Catholics, Anglicans, and others pray for the dead. Why do they do this? Recently in conversation with a friend in what was once my church, this Scripture came up. She related what I had said in that conversation to others. In ensuing debate, nobody there, including elders, has ever given me an adequate explanation of this Scripture and others I presented to them and will present here. They were all rather aghast at what I believed, but soon after went deathly silent.
Because of this what I could probably called closed-mindedness, according to common church doctrine, my friend who threw himself to his death last week (see my previous post) is destined to either be lost forever, or be saved because he was a Christian. There is no middle ground. It is believed that because Yahshua says His people will never be lost out of His hand, any Christian, no matter what they do between conversion and death, will go to Heaven. And all other non-Christians will go to Hell at death, and later be cast into the Lake of Fire.
Here I give an alternate view that not only makes sense, but is Scriptural, and comforting to those who have lost unsaved loved ones. The Hell and Lake of Fire scenario above also raises the question: Why bother having a place called Hell if everyone in it ultimately goes to the Lake of fire anyway? Please stay with me as due to its length, this revelation will require two posts.
Let’s return to the baptism of the dead in I CORINTHIANS 15:29. I was talking to the elder of another church once about this practice. She said it was not in the Bible. I gave her the Scriptural reference. She looked it up. “Oh, but that’s about…” she rejoined. She went from denying the verse existed to being an expert about it in the blink of an eye. Never say something is not in the Bible. I have done it myself, just once. It can turn out to be highly embarrassing when the subject or Scripture turns up.
The context of I CORINTHIANS 15 was Paul’s debate against the incorrect belief of some that there is no resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees followed this doctrine. He asks those to whom he writes in Corinth, “If there is no resurrection, why do we practise baptism of the dead?” The practice is merely mentioned here by Paul, but it was in fact a common one among the Christian churches of that day. It was known to and practised by those in the later Roman Catholic Church, even to the present–today. It was known amongst Christians in Papua New Guinea when I was there attending Bible College. I’m told it is practised by the Mormon Church. It has been passed to those who know by the Catholic Church. Few others even ‘see’ this Scripture, let alone understand it.
Those entitled to be rescued from Hell by the act of someone being baptized for them on Earth are: babies and children who have died while their parents were not then Christians, and people who die without hearing the Gospel but had lived a righteous life as judged, usually, by the laws of their land. Mahatma Gandhi is one such I have heard about.
One may be baptized for such people by full immersion in water or have a bucket of water thrown over them. Alternately, a prayer for their souls with a general confession of their sins will suffice.
If baptism of babies not covered by Yahshua’s blood must be practised for the salvation of their souls, does it mean there are children in Hell? Father once gave me the revelation of this (He will generally answer most questions if one seeks Him earnestly and faithfully enough). Every person since Adam is born in sin. The penalty for this is Hell. However, children under the age of twenty, the age of consent, do not hold an account with YHWH. Their parents or guardians do. Whatever sins they commit are on their parent’s account until then. This is why many more children of unsaved parents die than those of Christian parents. Father ordains this so that, in His mercy, they go to Heaven rather than having to spend an eternity in the Lake of Fire due to a lack of repentance as an adult. For they would not have as great an opportunity to hear the Gospel or respond to it coming from a non-Christian background.
Despite the fact babies and children go straight to Heaven at death, their parents are still responsible before the Most High Judge for their little one’s souls. If the parents were not Christians when a child of theirs died, they remain accountable for that child’s sins until someone is baptized on the child’s behalf. The baptism washes those sins away as any baptism does. It should preferably be a repentant parent who is baptized for the dead child.
When a person reaches the age of twenty they then receive their own account before YHWH. It is the parent’s grave obligation to have raised that child so he keeps his account unspotted.
There are others who are rescued from Hell too. Before opening the Scriptures that attest to this, we must discuss two Catholic terms or doctrines: Purgatory and Perdition. Purgatory, according to my Home Study Dictionary is, in Roman Catholic belief: a place in which souls are purified from venial (i.e. pardonable, that may be forgiven or not deeply sinful) sins and suffer punishment for mortal sins not atoned for. Perdition from the same source is found to mean: entire ruin; loss of final happiness in a future state; future misery or eternal death. A study of these two doctrines or words will reveal that Purgatory is simply the Latin word for Hell, or a part of Hell; and Perdition the Latin word for the Lake of Fire.
As the Catholics believe, Purgatory for some is a temporary abode where souls of those who have committed PARDONABLE sins are purified. This is, in fact, confirmed by Scripture. You may have to examine this next paragraph and relevant verses carefully.
I CORINTHIANS 3:13-15 (PLEASE go to it and follow me along.) Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. This is the baptism of fire or trial we go through in our Christian work to purify us IN THIS LIFE.
V.14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward. Good works are rewarded with salvation in Heaven (accepting Yahshua as Saviour is a ‘good work’) and other blessings.
V.15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: The dross shall be burnt off him in Hell. But he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. The fires of Hell purge him of the sins he has failed to deal with while alive. They SAVE him from Perdition, that is, the Lake of Fire. One does not come out of there. It is permanent. But one purged of sins in Hell is raised after the thousand-year reign of peace on Earth of the Messiah: But the rest of the dead LIVED not again until the thousand years were finished REVELATION 20:5.
What? The dead (after being purged) in Hell LIVED again? Don’t they get cast straight into the Lake of Fire?
Sorry, it is 1:39 AM here and I must get some sleep tonight. Will continue next post. Meanwhile have a read of I PETER 3:19-20 and I PETER 4:6, two other Scriptures not much ‘seen’ by even the most astute Bible scholars.