The Churches of God

James E. Throgmorton, Pastor





Road signs point the way to a particular spot in Jerusalem, if you should ever want to visit Gehenna, also called hell!  This precise place has had an amazing history---but it has an even more amazing future…the Valley of Gehenna is the very spot where “hell” will be located on this earth.

What kind of God would send a child to burn in hell forever because it died before it could be baptized??? 

Would you do such a cruel thing? Of course not...and neither would God! Many false concepts have been taught about hell.  Are you ready to learn the truth about this mysterious subject??? Let's start with how this place of punishment was originally the garbage dump of Jerusalem.  And how there are 4 different words in the Bible that are translated hell.  Read on for "the rest of the story," as Paul Harvey used to say.  You don't have to ever worry about burning in hell forever!  The truth is incredible and brings peace of mind to many who have been tormented by false teachings....

Hell is not a place of eternal torment....the real truth about hell is that it was an actual place in Jerusalem where the garbage and refuse of the city were burned up...a future type of it's genuine purpose which will be revealed at the return of Christ.  As the Bible teaches, Christ will come back and rule the earth with a rod of iron, and at that time, He will use the fires of hell (Gehenna) to dispose of the bodies of criminals and the rebellious as a message to all.  It will be a place of maggots and half rotted corpses of evil folk.  It was never intended to be a place of ever burning torment for anyone, as some falsely teach!  Read this article to learn the true purpose of hell, and the meaning of the 4 words translated "hell."

The "Potter's Field" clarifies the true purpose of hell.  It was literally a place of cast away vessels.

Vessels made for destruction….

Disaster and rejection has long been associated with the Potter's field. 

The famous field known as “The Potter’s Field” was located in the Valley of Gehenna, (hell).  Anciently this valley of hell was called “Ge-Hinnom” or “the Valley of Hinnom.” 

In the ancient morning mist, in the valley of Gehenna, long ago, a potter grabbed a lump of clay, and threw it on the spinning wheel and began to form a pot.  It looked good.  He fired it in the glowing embers of his primeval kiln.  The next day or so, on further inspection, he found a large crack on the bottom of the pot.  It was unusable for his purposes, so he tossed it into the Potter's field and it broke into a hundred pieces.  Here we begin to see the true intention of hell.  It is a place of rejection.

Many hundreds of years later, we see this again when a man named Judas Iscariot set his eye on purchasing the Potter's field in the valley of Gehenna.  He planned to pay for it with the “30 pieces of silver” that he received from the priests for betraying Christ.  In the end, his conscience ate him alive so he tried to give the money back saying, “I have betrayed innocent blood!” And they said to him, “What is that to us?”

So he threw the money at their feet and went out and hanged himself in the Potter’s Field in the Valley of Gehenna.  His body finally fell headlong and the Bible says that his intestines burst out.  It was then sarcastically called “the field of blood.”  Since the priest’s could not lawfully use this “blood money” as an offering to God, they bought the Potter’s Field to bury foreigners in.  So far, we see that Gehenna, the valley of hell is a place for castaway vessels, and things that are rejected or "foreign" to God.  (Matthew 27:1-10)   

This is the same field that God told Jeremiah to go down to and prophesy of the coming disaster that befell Judah.  They were punished for their lawless foreign idolatry that was committed right there in the “Valley of Hinnom.”  It was in this very valley that they practiced human sacrifice of their firstborn to a foreign god called Baal.  Disaster and rejection has long been associated with this field. 

Road signs point the way to this spot in Jerusalem, if you ever should want to visit Gehenna.  This particular place has had an amazing history---but it has an even more amazing future…. this is the very spot where “hell” will be located on this earth.

 HELL…has 3 meanings!

There are 4 words for hell in the Bible, but Sheol (OT) and Hades (NT) have the same meaning...the grave, or a pit.  So we see that there are 3 different meanings to the word.  Some modern religions teach an ever-burning hell.  This concept comes from a work of fiction called Dante's Inferno and from a fundamental misunderstanding of the plan of God and of the word hell itself!  Of course the Bible does teach that there is a hell.  In the New Testament, there are three different words that are translated "hell," and all three have quite different meanings. They are Tartaroo, Hades and Gehenna.  We are going to closely examine the 3 words for “hell” in the New Testament.


This word occurs only one time in the New Testament. It describes the place of restraint for the demon world.  “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to (Tartaroo) hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment…” 2 Peter 2:4. 

Tartaroo is the abyss of Revelation. We know this because when Christ cast the demons out in Luke 8:30-31, they begged Him not to make them go into the abyss.  “Jesus asked, "What is your name?"  "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him.  And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.”  This is where the worst of the demon world have been restrained since the flood of Noah.  They are kept imprisoned in this “bottomless pit” to this very day, as they are the most dangerous ones of the lot. 

Satan himself will be restrained in the abyss or “bottomless pit” for 1000 years after the return of Christ. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”  Revelation 20:1 

The word Tartaroo is only used one time in the Bible.  It is translated “hell” in the book of Peter and it only concerns the demon world, so obviously it is not for people...  So is the second word translated "hell" the ever burning hell that some teach? 

Hades…the grave                                                                                

The Greek word "Hades" in the New Testament is comparable to the Hebrew "Sheol."  They both mean “the grave, a pit."  In Psalm 16:10, we read a prophecy of Christ which says, "thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; (Sheol) neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."  Corruption happens in the grave.  This same scripture is quoted in Acts, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, (Hades) neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."  These two identical scriptures one from Acts and one from Psalms, show that Sheol and Hades have the same meaning...the grave, a hole in the ground.    The old timers used to “hell” their potatoes out in the winter.  In other words, they buried them!  “Hades” or “the grave” is used only 10 times in the whole New Testament.  There is only one more word for hell left.  Since tartaroo and hades are not everburning....what about Gehenna?  


Gehenna has 3 applications!

Gehenna is the last word left that is translated “hell” in the New Testament.  Gehenna or “ge-hinnom” simply means “The Valley of Hinnom.”  You might think this last word for hell is used hundreds of times in the Bible, but it is only found 12 times in the whole New Testament!  And six of the 12 concern the same passage…so they are “duplicates.”   The tremendous amount of confusion over an ever-burning hell comes because this last word “Gehenna” has 3 completely different applications in the Bible.  If you try to apply one to another, it causes major confusion!  Let’s look at all three, starting with the garbage dump of Jerusalem. 

1.      THE VALLEY OF HINNOM  (Ge-hinnom)

     This Gehenna is historical…not ever-burning! 

This place was located back of Jerusalem and it was horrible! The things they did in this place disgusted God deeply.  It was a hellish idolatrous place of child sacrifice.  Smoke filled the air.  The priests who attended the fires wore black robes to hide the smoke stains. They were called Chemarim meaning idolatrous priests.  Kamar means black and this term in neo-Hebrew is still applied to Catholic priests and monks because of their black robes.  These priests of Baal or "Cohen a Baal" ate a portion of the human sacrifices and that is where the term "cannibal" was derived.  The word cannibal is simply a perversion of the Hebrew "Cohen a baal." 

“They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom (Gehenna) to sacrifice (by fire) their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.” Jeremiah 32:35  

This area later became the burning garbage dump of Jerusalem where dead bodies of criminals and carcasses of animals were thrown.  Jeremiah 7:32 prophesies “So beware, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room.”  This is obviously not the everburning hell!  Is is historical.  On to the second meaning of Gehenna!


This Gehenna fire is established at the return of Christ!  And is not ever-burning!          

When Jesus Christ comes back and sets up His Kingdom, it will be right here on earth.  Read Zachariah 14 sometime to see a prophecy about the return of Christ.  It says that He will be King over all the earth!  He will begin to meet out justice.  Those that insist on mayhem and murder, will be justly executed and their body will be thrown into the garbage dump just back of the temple...yes into Gehenna!  But it will not be “ever-burning.”  There will be dead bodies of criminals there and they will have maggots eating on them! 

Isaiah 66:23-24 has often been misused to “prove” some sort of ghoulish hell in which ever living worms eat on people in an ever burning hell fire.  But, the people who propagate this false concept never look at the millennial context of this scripture!  Keep that in mind as you read about this “hell fire.” 

“From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath (not Sunday) to another, ALL MANKIND WILL COME AND BOW DOWN BEFORE ME, says the Lord, and they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, (not immortal maggots, just busy ones!  Note that the scriptures specifically says that these maggots eat on “dead bodies”---not on living people jumping around in hell. And besides, no maggot ever “dies” anyway, because they all turn into flies!)…“nor, will their fire be quenched, (no one puts out a fire God wants to burn) and they (the dead rotting bodies) will be loathsome to all mankind.  Those that try to use this to prove an ever burning hell should note that it says this people will look on the DEAD BODIES...not ever living ones. 

This Gehenna fire in Isaiah 66 will be ignited at the return of Christ, and it will keep on  burning during the whole 1000 year long millennial reign of Christ on the earth.    BUT---this Gehenna fire is not burning right now, nor will it be an “ever burning” fire when it does come!

This Gehenna has rotting bodies in it----not ever living ones!  It is obviously a physical fire that will exist during the millennium.  There is one easy proof that this scripture is millennial!  Think about it, when once has all mankind ever come and bowed before the Lord from one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another???  Never----but, this will happen during the millennium! 

We will soon discuss the third example of Gehenna called "the Wrath of God," or "The Wrath to Come" but before we go to point number 3, let's look at some important points to remember about the millennial Gehenna in the Potter's Field.  Obviously the law is not done away with, if they are required to come and appear before God every Sabbath!  And rebellion and refusal to keep God's laws will result in being tossed in the garbage pile or in Gehenna!


When God told Jeremiah to go down to the potter’s field, He gave an important message to Israel. 

Jeremiah 18:5-7 says, “Then the word of the LORD came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD.”  Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”  God claimed His rights over Israel as their “Potter.”   HE HAS THE POWER TO KEEP THEM AS A USEFUL VESSEL OR TO TOSS THEM IN THE POTTERS FIELD AS REFUSE.  During the millennium, for the first time, Christ will become the God of the whole world!  Jesus Christ will rule all “nations,” and they will become subject to the same system that He asks all Israelites to live by.  The return of Christ will bring the establishment of God’s system of government to the nations of the whole earth. 

In Psalms 2:8-9 God the Father makes this promise to His son Jesus Christ, “I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery."  Why does God use the analogy of dashing men like pottery?  Remember in Isaiah how it said, “and they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me…” The Potter’s Field in Gehenna is a type of what happens to those who rebel against God.   The “dead bodies” of rebellious men are the “dashed pieces of pottery.”  As prophesied by Jeremiah, Gehenna also called “Topheth” of the millennium, is going to be a slaughterhouse…at least until the world figures out that they must obey their new King or else!  The Law is going to go forth from Zion to the whole world.  This is the fulfillment of the coming “kingdom of God” that Christ spoke of.  It is a real kingdom over real nations!  And God will have standards for men to live by.  Many of believe that "progressive" politics are bad, but men have tried to be progressives with God's law!  We don't have that right.  Progressive religion has said that we can change the fourth commandment.  In other words, we will keep Sunday instead of the Saturday Sabbath!  God will not stand for it.  His law is immutable and prophecy shows it! 

 “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more.  (*millennial) But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.”  Micah 4:2-5

Why will all mankind come and bow before the Lord from one SABBATH to another?  Why doesn’t this scripture say from one “Sunday to another?”  The answer is simple.  Your saviour is a Jew!  He never once in His lifetime kept a weekly Sunday service. 

The 50 day long Jewish Festival called the Feast of Weeks (from plural Sabbaton) always started on a Sunday.  The verse in the Bible used to prove sunday worship actually says, "As it began to dawn toward the first of Sabbaths..." referring to the first day of the Feast of weeks or Feast of Sabbaths.

Since the translators didn't understand that this was an annual Sunday that had been kept for thousands of years by the Jews, they thought that the plural Sabbaton was a mistake and they translated it in the singular.  Wrong.  Look at a concordance.  The original Hebrew does not say "As it began to dawn toward the first (day) of the week!  It literally says "As it began to dawn toward the first of weeks...

Now you know why all mankind will appear before the Lord from one Sabbath to the next instead of one Sunday to the next!  Don’t assume that this Jewish Messiah is going to come and establish the Protestant or Catholic form of worship as the standard of His kingdom!  Those Gnostic religions are based on a blended mix of pagan sun worship and Christianity.  Rather than this, the perfect standard will be God’s system of laws, called “mishpat” or “judgment.”  Satan truly fears this coming kingdom.  During the millennium, Satan will be thrown in the bottomless pit, and he won’t be able to deceive the nations any longer!  It will be a time of unfathomable peace on earth because for the first time in the history of the world, the “law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” 

Required observance of the law is why all mankind must come and bow before the Lord from one Sabbath to another.  They will have no choice.  Those that rebel will be smashed like potsherds and thus Christ will bring peace to the earth, yes He will bring Utopia with a “rod of iron.”  This Jewish Messiah will bring the world into compliance with God’s system.  For now, the world hates and resists “Zionism,” but they will someday embrace it!  Read a prophecy about this!

“In those days, ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, `Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.”  Zechariah 8:22-23    Without Satan around, there will be a utopia of true justice and judgment… Death penalties will be meted out for capitol crimes.  The worms will have plenty to eat on in the Valley of Gehenna, and as prophesied, they certainly won’t die out, and hell fire will burn strongly for 1000 years.

It is during the millennium that God establishes “hell fire” on the earth, BUT---THERE IS NO EVER BURNING HELL FIRE. 

The concept of an ever-burning hell fire comes from a lack of understanding about the coming establishment of the Kingdom of God on this earth.  This will be a physical kingdom, ruling over physical people.  People, who commit crimes worthy of death, will be burned up in Gehenna fire, out in back of Jerusalem.  This is the first time that the world has come under God’s system of “judgment” and the first time that they have been required to do things God’s way.   They will see their choice clearly…God’s temple will stand on one side and the burning fire of Gehenna on the other.

God the Great Potter is the ultimate judge of whether He will keep us or toss us into the Potter's Field to be permanently broken.  But, condemnation is not for us to perform…we don’t have the wisdom, the power or ability to condemn anyone else.  The purpose of God’s judgment is to reveal to God who we really are.  God’s law is a mirror into our true heart.  Using the law, God can see deep inside a person’s heart and tell whether that person is rebellious against Him or whether they really want to obey Him but they are just humanly weak.  What God sees inside you when He examines you will determine whether you are going to be an “object of God’s mercy” or an object of God’s wrath.”   

Paul said, “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?"  But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘why did you make me like this?’  Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”

 “What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory.”   Romans 9:18-23

Some people will be the objects of God’s mercy and some will be the objects of God’s wrath.  Is there anything that we can do to keep from being an object of God’s wrath?  

  Yes!  Avoid becoming spiritual chaff...which will burn up.  


“Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 5:24 

During the millennium, Christ is going to begin preparing the way for the coming new earth “wherein righteousness dwells.” Preparing a righteous earth involves the removal of the chaff.  They are the “ungodly” or the “lawless” who cast away the Law of the Lord of Hosts and choose to live by the system of wickedness rather than by God’s system of judgments. 


The following 3 things describe what God is looking for in a pot that He will keep and not toss away.  Following these 3 things will put you in good stead with God. 

  “He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the LORD require of you? 

    1.     To act justly (mishpat)  “To live by God’s system.”

This should be translated, “to perform God’s judgments.”  Mishpat is used 420 times in the Bible
and only once is it rendered “act justly.”  It means “judgment” “law” or “lawfully.”

2.     To love mercy, (Those that show no mercy, get no mercy.)


3.     To walk humbly with your God. (God gives grace to the humble)   Micah 6:8



Look into your own heart and see how well you are doing.  Do you do God's judgments?  Are you a merciful and benevolent person?  Do you have a humble attitude towards God?  If you do these 3 things, then God will look at you (during your inspection) in a favorable light.  That’s it.  This is what God the potter will eventually require of every man that He has formed.  If you are converted, these three things are what God is evaluating you on right now when He inspects you for any major defects. 

 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”   If you are converted, you my friend are sitting in front of the judgment seat of Christ right now and He is personally making a decision or “judgment” concerning your words and your actions.  That should strike a respectful fear in all our hearts and make us want to straighten up and live God’s way.

 Ecclesiastes 12:14 Says, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, (mishpat) with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.  Which system have you chosen to live by?   The “ungodly” refuse to live by God’s system of Laws, and thus they reject Christ and they reject the coming permanent righteous Kingdom of God!   Ungodliness is not just committing one sin…  It is living by the sinners “system.”  The ungodly live by a “system of wickedness” or “lawlessness” which is completely contrary to God’s system.  Psalms 1 explains that the ungodly are chaff…. and every biblical student knows what happens to the chaff! 

 As converted people, God asks us to live by His coming system of government before the rest of the world is required to.   Want to know what you need to be doing as a charter member of God’s coming kingdom???   When you have time, read Psalms 1 and 2 in context----and keep the millennium in mind as you read.   Psalm 1 is about the blessings that will come to those who meditate on God’s law and live by God’s system during the millennium.  Psalms chapter 2 is about the rule of Christ as king over the whole earth…and what will happen to those who rebel.

 Psalm 1:1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  (these comprise the “system of wickedness” or ungodliness.)

 2 But (rather) his delight is in the Law of the LORD; and in his Law doth he meditate day and night.  (Delights in God’s system)

 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; (keeping the Law brings forth spiritual fruit) his leaf also shall not wither; (promise of eternal life) and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (physical blessings)

 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff, which the wind driveth away.  (The “chaff” burn up and have cast away God’s law…Isaiah 5:24)

 5 Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment (mishpat) or sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  (They will be rejected from future habitation of the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.)

 6 For the LORD knoweth (approves) the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”  (They will be permanently destroyed or “perish.”)      KJV Psalms 1:1-6

 In context, remember how Psalms 2:8 says, “I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery."

In context, Psalm 1 shows that godless men will be rejected and in context, Psalm 2 shows how Christ will smash those who rebel against Him…   All rebellious men will be destroyed like the broken pots smashed with a rod of iron… Sin and rejection of God’s law is what produces “the wrath of God,”  Refusing to repent is what brings the final wrath of God.  “Because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” Romans 2:5  


Some people twist Paul’s words and try to make them say that the law is done away with.  But, Peter warned us of those who “twist” Paul’s writings and propagate “the error of Lawless men!”   

He says, “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people twist, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”  He continues, “Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of Lawless men and fall from your secure position.”   Peter 3:16

These LAWLESS men are those who are rebellious and they purposely reject the kingdom of God---with all its laws and they will be the PERMANENTLY rejected pots of the potter’s field, and they will be permanently destroyed---They will simply burn up with the old earth to prepare the way for the new righteous earth.  They will be subject to the “wrath to come.” 

  We are getting ready to look at the third and final Gehenna fire.   

1 Thessalonians 2:16

  “Jesus…delivereth us from the wrath to come.”


 To knowingly rebel against God's system and reject Jesus as your future king is dangerous…  Now it is time that we look at the 3rd application of the word Gehenna called “the Wrath to come.”



“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness…” Romans 1:18

The Wrath of God fire is the last Gehenna fire. This is the fire that burns up the entire earth, to prepare the way for the new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness!  This is not an ever-burning fire, nor is it burning right now because it is called “the wrath to come.”  Who does this wrath fall on???


 “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.”   Colossians 3:5 


We already saw in Psalms that the ungodly live by the system of wickedness. Like broken pots, ungodly men will ultimately suffer perdition or “eternal destruction.”  2 Peter 3:7 speaks of them saying, “But the heavens and the earth, which are now by the same word, kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”                     

Peter clearly says that this “day of wrath” or “day of judgment” comes on a single day.  How can hell fire be ever burning then?  It is certainly not burning right now---and when this fire does come, which is prophesied by Peter, the whole earth burns up on a single day!  “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (From “Katakaio,” meaning “to burn down to the ground, i.e. consume wholly: burn up utterly.”)  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation (conduct) and godliness, (*doing what is godly and right protects you) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."   2 Peter 3:10


Don’t be unrepentant chaff…

John the Baptist said, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  Matthew 3:11-12


Unquenchable simply means that no man will be able to put the fire out that burns up the wicked… God will wipe out the wicked with this fire, but the righteous will not be harmed by it.  The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walking in the fiery furnace is an example of the baptism of fire that is coming on this earth. 

 THE UNPARDONABLE SIN…and utter fiery destruction

How do you commit the unpardonable sin?   Jude 4 says that we do so by denying or “rejecting” Christ as our Sovereign. (King)

 “For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and (thus they) deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” 

 Sin or the “transgression of the law” is what always gets us in trouble with God. Unfettered sin is why a person goes to Gehenna. Christ said, “If your right eye offends you (causes you to sin), gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Matthew 5:28-29   

Offend in the Bible simply means “make you sin.”  In one fell swoop, Christ had wiped out their license to sin called “grace.”  They can no longer say, “I can do whatever I want to do, I’m under grace!”  Why??? Because Christ plainly says to rid yourself of whatever causes you to sin, because, it would be better for us to lose a small part of our life, i.e. “our eye,” than to be cast into hell fire!  The message of early Christianity was repentance of sin---so that you could receive the Holy Spirit and forgiveness of your sins.  Acts 2:37-38 says, “…repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

 Repentance of sin and receiving the Holy Spirit can save you----

or it can condemn you if you later decide to reject God.  The unpardonable sin is “blasphemy” against the Holy Spirit.  If you’ve never had the Holy Spirit, you cannot commit it.  If you’ve never understood the truth, you cannot commit it.  The book of Jude is about former “believers” who have rejected God’s system of laws by becoming deliberate sinners after they have received the knowledge of the truth.  Hebrews 10:26-31 says,” If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.   

 Without Christ’s sacrifice, there is no sacrifice for sins.  His sacrifice is the thing that makes us “sinless” so we can be resurrected in the first resurrection….BUT, if we sin willfully, there is no “sacrifice for sins left,” and we have only a “fearful expectation of judgment.”  (Anyone who misses the first resurrection will come up in “The Great White Throne Judgment.”)   It doesn’t say that these folks will surely be thrown into the fiery punishment which comes at the end of this judgment---- it simply says that they have a “fearful expectation” of it. 


If you missed the first Passover for any reason, God gave a second chance called the Second Passover.  The “Great White Throne Judgment” is that “second chance” or “Second Passover” for these folks who did not have Christ sacrifice over them because they chose to sin willfully and missed the first resurrection.  Unfortunately, these same folks will be in mental torment during their second chance.  They know that they have failed to pass muster once.  So a “fearful expectation” will eat them alive with worry…. They will worry themselves to death wondering if they will be destroyed in the upcoming wrath of God fire that will “consume the enemies of God.”) 

 This is exactly the worry that consumes the “rich man” in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.  He wakes up in “Hades” which is the grave, and the torment of whether he will be destroyed forever in the distant approaching Wrath of God fire eats him alive.  He knows without doubt that this fire is coming --and he also knows that the second death is hanging over him if he fails for a second time.  God is giving him his “Second Passover” chance here and if he fails this time, it is over for good.  Jude describes the fate of those who blow it for the second time.  They are called the “twice dead, plucked up by the roots.”  “To whom is reserved the blackness of darkness (eternal death) for ever.”  Two chances are all we get and that’s it.  It’s over.  No more mercy after that point.


But…it is still not too late to repent right now.    If you are unconverted, God will have mercy on you…or if you are converted, but humanly make mistakes, God will have mercy on you.  If out of plain human weakness, you fall down, even time after time…God will still have mercy…. but a proud and exalted spirit that is blatantly rebellious against God will never receive mercy.  God looks at the heart.  Don’t develop the heart of Satan.  Satan has a blatantly rebellious spirit.  You won’t find Satan smiting his breast saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” He doesn’t accept any personal responsibility for what he has done.  He instead blames God for his situation.  This attitude, this proud state of mind will never be covered by grace…otherwise Satan could have grace too.  The Bible
says that God gives grace to the humble, but the proud He resists. 


It’s pretty straightforward.  Those that commit the unpardonable sin have had God’s Spirit, but, they do not want to think like God, and deep down, they don’t really like Him…they may even feel a “hate” and resentment for Him in the deepest recesses of their once converted minds.  They refuse to listen to Him on anything or to submit to His Laws.  They “hold the truth in unrighteousness” because they truly hate “mishpat” or God’s judgments.” 


Through this hardened attitude, they wean themselves away from God and from His system.  Thus, they become “godless” and in the end, they will truly be Godless because they will be cut off from God forever.  Those that commit the unpardonable sin are the ones who have allowed themselves to develop the same attitude and mindset as Satan the devil, in that they refuse to accept any personal responsibility for their sins. 


The rich man is like this.  If we look at the attitude of the rich man, he seems to blame God for his plight…  He sort of says, ‘if only you had done something different, I wouldn’t be in this spot.”   In his mind, God has messed up…He doesn’t see any blame that might be his own.  He indirectly blames God by saying, ‘Send a prophet back to warn my brothers…too bad you didn’t do it for me, because I might have been saved if you had.’  ‘So, it’s really your fault that I’m in this spot.’  That’s the jist of what he is trying to say!  King Saul had the same sort of hard attitude.  These kinds of men commit sins, and then they blame God for the hard outcome of them.


The example of Saul and David draws the perfect picture of the unpardonable sin.  Saul seems to commit a lesser sin (to us) in that he offers a sacrifice that can only be offered by a priest….  David on the other hand commits murder and adultery.  So why did God keep David and toss Saul???  At one point, neither one of them has any regard for God’s law, BUT HERE'S THE BIG DIFFERENCE! David later acknowledges his sin…and accepts full responsibility for it.  By doing this, he submits himself fully to God’s system.   Saul never thought he did anything that terribly wrong.  He does admit, “I have sinned.”  But, then he turns around and blames God with this attitude, ‘You gave me these people to rule…and if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have messed up, so it’s really your fault God.’ 


When God calls someone, if they sin because of weakness like David did, that is one thing, because God can see our hearts---but if a person is rebellious towards God, and has the hardhearted attitude of Saul, the rich man, and Satan—then that is another thing altogether!   They all tried to blame God for their own shortcomings and this approach keeps a person from ever being able to repent.  When you boil it down, the unpardonable sin is simply a permanent state of rebellion against Christ the king and against living on the final new earth “wherein righteousness dwells.”


We are going to have to repent sooner or later if we want to live there.  We must accept full responsibility for our sins, with no “blaming of God” or others for them---otherwise, God may toss us into Gehenna fire---which is where He will finally separate the good pots from the bad in the Great Potter’s field. 


The Churches of God

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