Sunday, October 21, 2007

Social Introductions

From a home prayer meeting in 1969

Uncle Joe testified in a meeting in 1969 and left us this pearl. I’ll summarize how he started his testimony that day:

I think we ought to forget about all that formal, social introduction to each other when we meet the children of God and let God introduce Himself. Let the Spirit of God in each of us have fellowship through each other, and then we’ll know each other, and we won’t have to ask very many questions. We don’t have to go through all that commotion the world goes through in order for us to get acquainted. God’s already acquainted with Himself, and we belong to Him. We’re all one family.

This testimony reminded me of an observation made by Sister Donna not long ago. She laughed when she thought of how often we all have greeted one another when we meet and the Spirit of God would fall on us. After that blessing of God was given, we often back up a little and then do the obligatory, "How are you?" But the holy Ghost has already told us how we are! It is as Uncle Joe said, just let the Spirit within us have its fellowship among us, and we will know each other. And we will know how each other is really doing by the feelings of the Spirit within us. We will not have to go through the usual, worldly motion of introduction and inquiry..

The apostle Paul said something like this when he told the Corinthians that he was coming. There was some controversy among the saints at that time, and Paul said that when he arrived, he would know how everyone was doing by the power of God that they had (1Cor. 4:19). I doubt very seriously that when Paul arrived in Corinth and gathered with the saints, he shook their hand and said, "How ya doin’?"

Of course, this can be taken to an extreme and make people afraid to ask any questions of each other, but Uncle Joe’s point was a good one. We really do not know how anyone is doing unless we know their spirits, and with enough spiritual discernment, there will not be many questions that we need to ask.

Pearls from the Preacher

"The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd."
Eccl. 12:11

From a home prayer meeting in 1969

When I listened to the sermon of that Sunday afternoon prayer meeting in Grandma’s house in 1969, I wrote down some of the wisdom that I heard. Here are a few examples from Preacher Clark:

"When you quit seeking God, that’s when you quit getting God."

"You know, a hypocrite never bothers anybody but another hypocrite."

"I’m not even worthy of the honor and the praise of the clean children of God until I get equipped to stand the persecution of the others."

"I’m the happiest man in the world that I know. The happiest man in the world that I know is me because I’m not battling disappointments. If it doesn’t go like I’d like it to go, then I like it the way it does go. I rejoice in tribulation. I praise God for tribulation."

"You’re not going to win anybody to Christ until they decide they want to be like you."

"If you fall in love with the Lord, you won’t have a hard time being true to him."

"Just tell me you love Jesus, and you’re my friend."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Know Thyself

Hey Pastor John!

I have been listening to the Philippians/Colossians teaching series that you did and we are preparing as a series for everyone. I heard you say this last night on one of the CDs, and I wrote it down:

"If you know why you are doing what you are doing, and why you are where you are, what can intimidate you? What you want and need to know is you. What you want to know is you, in God.

Who are you? What are you after? Where did you come from? How did you get here? And, what's your point? Even Socrates said, 'Know Thyself'. He knew that is where you needed to start.

Know your own heart. Know your own mind. Pray, 'God, show me myself!' If He shows you that new creature He created, you are going to like yourself."

Then, I thought about what you told us last Sunday when reading in Ephesians chapter 4. What seemed like "commandments" in the New Testament are really descriptions of who we are in Christ. If you don't know you, you can start there! 8-)


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The God of Eternity

"I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever."
Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 3:14
Bro. John:

I want to share something that the Lord gave me today about how important it is to submit ourselves to God’s love.

Yielding to the Spirit IS submitting to God’s love. It is letting God love us. I was thinking on that this morning, and how God has a purpose in everything that He does. The Lord spoke to me and said, "I am the God for Eternity." Then He began to teach me what that meant.

God is not a "temporary fixer-upper." What He does for us when we yield to His Spirit goes towards readiness for Eternity. His touches are FOR Eternity. He does something in our souls that is lasting. God is FOR Eternity! And what He does for us is for Eternity! He is not offering His love to us for us to sit and watch it fall. What else can you call the Spirit than the love of God in action? It is only in submitting and yielding to that love through His Spirit that we will find the "forever" touches that will prepare us to live with the "God for Eternity". Nothing is temporary with Him. He means it for Eternity.

When I woke up this morning, I got my coffee and was going to catch up on the news. The Lord said, "Why don’t you spend some time with me?" Praise God! I am so glad that I did. I started reading in Colossians, and then was led to read in Ecclesiastes, and ended in Joshua 7. God had something for me in every place I read. The news reports would have been temporary; what God had for me took my heart towards Eternity.

Later in the day, thinking about what the Lord had shown me earlier, I found in Ecclesiastes 3:14 what Solomon said: "I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: Nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before him."


Thank you, Sandy. That is so good!

I learned from your testimony that when God is blessing us, He is doing something in us and for us that He intends to last forever. He is not preparing us just to survive the next few hours. He is the God of eternal things. If we understand that, then when God blesses us, we will be more likely to hold on to our blessings.

Now, we know that when God blesses, the blessing doesn’t decrease. It is an eternal thing. If we lose the joy, it is not because God didn’t give us enough of it; rather, it is because we went somewhere where the blessing was not. We left it behind. When I thought on that, I realized that holding on to the blessings God gives us is what the Bible calls being faithful. We are faithful when we refuse to leave the place where God blesses us. We are faithful when we refuse to be drawn into a quarrel, or join in a dishonest scheme, or go anywhere, spiritually, where God’s blessings are not given. The faithful man stays in that spiritual place where God blesses.
Let’s hold on to the attitude that God blesses. Let’s keep walking in the way that God blesses. Let’s keep confessing Christ and loving our neighbor as ourselves because those are "places" where God blesses.

Your testimony reminded me of some words from Darren’s new song (what a holy song that is!): "Doesn’t everybody know the feelings last forever?" Our fellowship in Christ lasts forever, for, being from God, it is a forever thing. May God give us strength to stand fast in the place of that holy fellowship and not be lured away by the flesh or by unclean spirits.

Pastor John

A Greater Is Here

"Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection. . ."
Hebrews 6:1

In the verse above, "leaving" does not mean denying or ignoring; it means building upon. All the truth God reveals now builds upon truth that was revealed before.

No one truly understands or believes in John the Baptist’s baptism until he understands and believes that John’s baptism is no longer to be practiced. The truth of "one baptism" does not deny or ignore John’s baptism; it simply leaves it behind as we are brought nearer to God. If there is anyone on earth still making the animal sacrifices that Moses commanded, that person does not understand animal sacrifice as well as I do because I have left it behind. By the grace of God, I have believed those sacrifices were of God, but I am now closer to God than the Old Testament characters who had to perform such sacrifices. In Christ, I am beyond those works of the Law. In Christ, I understand those animal sacrifices, and, understanding them, I do not participate in them.

Jesus didn’t deny that Solomon had wisdom from God, but he did say that "a greater than Solomon is here." He did not deny or ignore the fact that Moses’ tabernacle or, later, the Temple in Jerusalem was holy, but he did say, "in this place, is one greater than the temple." He knew the story of Jonah was true and that the whole population of Nineveh, over one hundred twenty thousand people, including their king, repented at Jonah’s preaching. But he told a group of Pharisees, "a greater than Jonah is here." We do not deny the truth God revealed to the prophets and elders of Israel by leaving their revelation behind to draw closer to God. On the contrary, we deny that Jesus is greater than those Old Covenant men and objects when we do not leave them behind.

Paul knew that the Law of Moses was holy (Rom 7:12). He did not deny that. He made it perfectly clear to all his listeners that he understood the glory of God was in the Law and its ceremonies. Nevertheless, he had left those things behind as he built upon them to view the surpassing excellency of Christ. He wrote, "Now if the ministry of death written in letters engraved on stones was so glorious that the sons of Israel were not able to look steadily upon Moses’ face because of the glory of his countenance (which glory is being brought to an end), how is the ministry of the Spirit not more glorious? If there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound with glory. For indeed, that which was made glorious has come to have no glory in comparison to the surpassing glory of Christ." (2Cor.3:7-10). Paul neither denied nor ignored the holiness of the things God had given to Israel, but he left them behind. He rose above them to live in the Spirit of Christ.

In Christ, we leave behind what once were holy things, such as holy days and Sabbaths, physical circumcision, an earthly temple, the burning of incense, and ceremonial robes. We do not deny those things were of God. We leave Moses behind because a greater than Moses has come. We leave behind the burning of incense that God commanded Israel because, in Christ, we have a better kind of fire, so much purer and more acceptable to God that the old kind loses all its glory. We leave behind the animal sacrifices God commanded because a greater sacrifice has now been made, one that was so precious in God’s sight that He is now willing to forgive all the sins that have ever been committed by mankind on earth, if those people will simply approach Him in the name of Jesus for it.

Paul spoke of certain men who "profess to know God, but in works they deny Him" (Tit. 1:16). This is a wise observation. There are many who profess to know that Jesus is Lord of all, but they continue performing ceremonies as if he is not. Their works deny what their mouths profess. Don’t let your works make your words worthless. If the Messiah has really come, then let us act like it and leave behind all those things God once used to foreshadow his coming.

This is a far better covenant than the first one, so much better, in fact, that every holy and good thing in the first covenant has lost its glory. We do not deny or ignore the fact that God anointed certain people and things under the Old Covenant; still, we have left it behind because Jesus, a greater than all those people and things is here, and we refuse to deny him.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Two Ways To Be Delivered

"I know, O Lord, that your judgments are right,
and that you in faithfulness have afflicted me
David in Psalm 119:75

If we do wrong, God is faithful to cause us to suffer for it, if in no other way than in causing us to suffer the heavy feeling of condemnation in our hearts. A large part of God’s work in our lives is to cause us to feel guilty when we have erred, and it is a precious gift from God to be able to feel bad for doing wrong.

There are many people on this planet who can commit great wickedness and yet suffer no pangs of guilt at all. These are the people God hates. Conviction for sin is part of the chastening of God, and God chastens only those whom He loves (Rev. 3:19). Without chastisement from God, no one can possibly repent. Man has nothing within him that causes him to feel like repenting for evil; conviction for sin comes only from the Spirit of God.

The chastening of the Lord is more precious than gold. It is an invitation from God to come be forgiven. David knew this well, and he wrote (Ps. 94:12-13), "Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy Law, that thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity." It made David tremble to think that God would refuse to chasten him when he needed it, but he knew God would be faithful to His people and correct them for their errors, "for the Lord will not cast off His people, neither will He forsake His inheritance" (Ps. 94:14). The man whom God will not chasten has been forsaken by God.

Jesus will work with us for years, constantly making our conscience feel guilt when we are overtaken by a fault. This is part of what being a Savior means, for by the pangs of guilt we are prodded away from the way of sin. It is then, when we turn from sin to God, and God then forgives and cleanses us from sin, that we experience "deliverance" from the guilt that burdens our heart when we have sinned.

Another Way of Deliverance

But being forgiven and washed from sin is not the only way to be delivered from feelings of guilt for sin. We can also be "delivered" from that burden if God ceases to grant us those feelings of guilt. Over the years, I have seen several cases of this. I have heard testimonies from those who have claimed to be delivered, when what had really happened is that they had provoked God for so long and had resisted His conviction so stubbornly that He finally turned them over to their own will. He stopped convicting them for sin. The relief they felt was not the relief of being forgiven and cleansed; rather, it was the relief of not feeling any more conviction from God for what they were doing wrong.

When, after long years of patient forbearance, God finally turns a person over to his own will and refuses to chasten him any longer, that sinner may feel happier and freer than he has felt in many years. And in the cases of this that I have seen, those people usually feel as if they have been released from a sort of prison. Some even assume that they have taken a step of faith into a higher realm of fellowship with God. But that is the way of God’s curse. It is a "strong delusion", as Paul said, and under such a delusion, one thinks he is traveling one way when he is, in fact, going in exactly the other.

It is possible to be delivered from sin, or to be delivered over to it. Either way, we will feel a great relief. The only question is, what kind of relief do we want? The kind that is true and real, or the illusion that makes us think we are something we are not?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

What Do You Do With Your Shame?

"If I covered my transgressions as Adam
by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom . . ."
Job 31:33

"He who covers his sins shall not prosper;
but whoever confesses and forsakes sin shall have mercy."
Solomon, in Proverbs 28:13

From a conversation with Brother Paul Curtsinger

The Apostle Paul said that "some men’s sins go before them to the judgment, but other men’s sins come behind." In other words, some men are wise enough to confess their sins to God and let those sins be washed away by the blood of Christ now, before the Day of Judgment, while other men foolishly attempt to hide their sins, supposing that they will somehow get by, without coming clean. It is far better to confess sins now than to hide them, because confessed sins are forgiven, but hidden sins will be held against the sinner in the Day of Judgment. Job said that Adam attempted to hide his sins, but Adam found out that hiding in shame behind bushes in the garden did not help him at all.

In my conversation with Brother Paul, he said to me, "My shame drove me to God, but Adam’s shame made him hide from God." That testimony made me realize that what we do with our shame will determine our eternal destiny.

We all have felt shame, for "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." So, knowing what it is to feel shame is a common experience for the inhabitants of earth. The only difference there will have been, then, between those saved in the end and those who will be damned is that some people’s shame drove them to God, while others hid their shame in their breast and put on a happy face.

Where is your shame? In your breast or under the blood of Christ Jesus?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Cast Out With Love

From a conversation with Paul Curtsinger

God loved Adam. He created him, and then spent many days walking with him "in the cool of the evening", teaching him, showing him His creation, and just being his friend. He freely gave Adam dominion over the whole earth that He had created, keeping only one small thing on earth from the first man: the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam followed his wife’s suggestion and ate of the forbidden fruit, he did more than disobey God. He betrayed his best friend, the One who had freely given him all things and trusted him with the care of the earth.

Until my conversation with Brother Paul, I had always read the story of God casting Adam out of the garden of Eden from Adam’s point of view. But Paul brought to my attention how God must have felt when He cast Adam out of the garden. God cast him out, and then God set cherubs at the gate, and a flaming sword that turned in every direction to keep Adam away from his former home, forever. It must have broken God’s heart to watch Adam and Eve sorrowfully walking away. God loved Adam.

When, after gaining the knowledge of good and evil, Adam realized that he was naked and hid from God, God’s love for Adam remained constant. He grieved over Adam’s sin; nevertheless, He made clothes for Adam to wear so that he would not feel ashamed. And when He cast him out of the garden, He said something that is often overlooked when the story is read. He said that He was casting Adam and Eve out of the garden because doing so was what was best for them (Gen. 3:22-23).

Once Adam was defiled with forbidden knowledge, God wanted to protect Adam from the tree of life, "lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever." Had Adam eaten of the tree of life after he ate the forbidden fruit, he might have remained forever in the fallen state he was in. God sent Adam away from the tree of life because he loved Adam, to prevent Adam from becoming irreversibly stained. God sent Adam away from the tree of life so that He could save him.

That The Spirit Might Be Saved

Shepherds of the "flock of God" on earth bear a degree of responsibility such as God bore concerning Adam. It isn’t safe for disobedient members of the body of Christ to be allowed at the fountain from which the body drinks when they gather. In extreme cases, it is best for disobedient believers to be put out of the Assembly, to be prevented – protected, really – from drinking of the water of life while condemnation is in their hearts. The Law of Moses showed that drinking holy water from God’s temple could kill if there was condemnation in the heart of the person who drank (Num. 5:11-31). When Paul heard that an immoral young man was being allowed to continue to worship with the saints in Corinth, Paul wrote the Assembly and demanded that they repent and cast out the transgressor, and that he be handed over to Satan "that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (1Cor. 5:5). Paul knew that it was extremely dangerous for that sinner to eat the manna of heaven and drink the waters of life with the saints, and that he would have a better chance of pleasing God if he were removed from the presence of God’s people. Did Paul hate the young man? Of course not. He was giving him his best chance to meet God in peace.

There was no government in Corinth, and so, there was no standard of holiness enforced. Consequently, there were many guilty spirits in the congregation who drank regularly of the water of life. The results were just as anyone would have predicted who knew the Law of God. "Because of this," Paul wrote, "many are feeble and sick among you, and quite a few have fallen asleep." And he added this admonition: "Let a man examine himself; only then is he to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, not discerning the body, eats and drinks damnation to himself."

God loves us, even when He has to be severe in His dealings with us. He will go with us until the end, doing whatever gives us our best hope of eternal life. The ungodly cannot see the burning love that was there when Adam was cast out of the garden, and they may not see the love that will cast them out, either, when there is God’s brand of government among His people.

"I Still Love You the Same"
Elijah J. Clark
- April 19, 2007 -

Verse I
Years unremembered before I knew you –
Oh! The times we shared,
As if all I did was create you anew.
But here we are; did you ever care?
Since you left Me, time has rolled by...
Or, my friend, has it at all?
Come to me, lest you die.
Will you hear My gentle call?

I still love you the same,
As the day we first met.
I never did anything to turn you away,
But forgave you of your debt.
And then you owed Me your life, your feelings,
Yet I’m still calling your name.
To tell you from the depths of My heart,
That I still love you the same.

Verse II
You thought you had moved on, to bigger, better things.
You thought you had played the highest card-
You thought My pain couldn’t change.
But the moment I knew what you had done,
The moment you laughed at me,
I saw the end of your sin, your shame,
A light recreating my victory,
Because I still loved you.

Verse III
So this light is burning in My soul
It protects Me from the hatred you chose,
That sin and the cold.
The holiness – the fire – it burns;
Into the sky it reaches. It keeps My feelings warm,
So that when you come back to me,
Like wax I’ll cover, reshape you;
I’ll command you – breathe!

Without God

Without God

"At that time, you were without Christ,being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise,having no hope, and without God in the world." Ephesians 2:12

If you worship God because you know you should worship God, you are worshiping God in vain. If you pray because you know you should pray, you are praying in vain. If you serve God because you know He is worthy to be served, your service is no more acceptable to God than that of a Buddhist priest, who also knows that God is worthy to be served. The whole world, the same world that John said "lies in wickedness", knows that God should be served, that everyone should pray, and that all people should worship God. That understanding is the foundation of every religion of man on earth, and being motivated in the service of God by that understanding is the very thing that makes all of man’s religions worthless for obtaining salvation.

Understand this, and fear God! The worship of God is by invitation only. No man can "do God service" whom God does not first call. And the only prayer that ever reaches God’s ear is the prayer inspired by His Spirit to be prayed. No one can love God whom God does not first love. To think otherwise is to think more of yourself than the truth calls for. The flesh hates the truth about itself, but it is incapable of righteousness without God. "God is a spirit," Jesus told us, "and those who worship Him, MUST worship Him in spirit and in truth." But how can this be? Man does not have God’s Spirit; nor does he have God’s truth. How can he possibly worship God acceptably if he must worship Him with things that he does not have? It is obvious that God must give man something before man is able to worship God acceptably. Is it too much for us to confess that, left to our own devises and power, we cannot worship God as He MUST be worshiped?

Once, Jesus’ disciples were stunned and frightened because of the narrowness of the gospel Jesus preached. Then they asked him who could ever be saved if what he was preaching was true. Jesus replied,"With man it is impossible. But with God, nothing shall be impossible." Jesus knew that man was hopeless unless God helped him. Paul told his Gentile converts that they once were hopeless because at that time, they were "without God". My friends, without God – God Himself, not some abstract idea about Him – we are sinning, no matter what we think we are doing. We have no choice but sin, if we are without God.

What is the difference between our worship and that of Old Testament worshipers if we worship God because we know it is time to worship him? Under the Old Testament, God’s people were instructed by the Law as to the proper times to worship God. Consequently, there were multitudes who went to worship God, not because they had any fellowship with their Creator, but because they knew it was time to go. This kind of worship is worship in the flesh, and it is useless for the redemption of the soul. Now, the Law that instructs God’s people is the holy Spirit within them, letting them know when and what to do in their service to God. I know that God said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge," but the knowledge of God that saves us is not a knowledge of the proper day or hour to worship God; nor is it the knowledge of the proper styles of dress for worship; nor is it even a knowledge of the Bible. The knowledge that saves is the knowledge of God! The knowledge of God teaches us that the only acceptable service to God is that service rendered from a heart sanctified and led by the Spirit of God.

Man cannot initiate contact with God. Every prayer, every religious deed, every longing that arises from man’s nature is in vain. There is nothing "of man" in the kingdom of God. God must condescend to initiate the contact, He must give us something to respond to in order for our prayer or service to be in the right direction. God must call us to worship; otherwise, we worship God in vain. God must call us to prayer; otherwise, we are praying according to the flesh, not the Spirit. God must call us to His service; otherwise, we will find ourselves doing evil while we think we are doing good, just as Paul did before God reached down to him. There is nothing in us that knows how to worship, pray, or serve God acceptably. "Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father", and only what comes down to us from Him is acceptable in His sight.

Jesus told his disciples, "Without me, you can do nothing." Of course, Jesus knew that they could go fishing without him, or work at their tax tables without him, or perform any natural task in the flesh without him. But he was talking about serving God. He was telling his disciples that there was nothing in them that God would accept without it being prompted by the Spirit – which Spirit they did not yet have! And Jesus was not speaking only to his disciples; he was speaking to us all. Without him, none of us can do anything right in the sight of God. But with Him, can there be anything impossible?

You cannot understand these things and be proud. This knowledge, which comes from God, will create humility, and faith in the true God; it will inspire prayer that is acceptable; it will move you to cry out for God’s presence, so that you will not sin. This knowledge will fill you with the fear of God, lest He choose not to dwell among us and leave us to our own thoughts and ways. Our hearts, without God, are "desperately wicked," (Jer. 17:9) and hopelessly ignorant. Paul said that in our flesh, that is, our nature, "dwells no good thing." David sang, "Every man at his best state is altogether vanity." Men with the knowledge of God know that without Him, they are completely and hopelessly without power to live righteous lives! We must have God to lead us in our daily conduct and choices, our worship, our praying, and our service to Him, for if we do not have God in our midst, we are wasting our time even being alive. Without God living in us and guiding us, we are breathing in vain. We are like blind men groping in the dark, imagining that there is something for us to find.

Please join me in crying out to God for His presence to be among us, and for His power, which alone can keep us from sin, and for His mercy to forgive our vain imaginations and efforts, and to give us something to which we can respond. For without that, there is absolutely nothing right that we can possibly do.

If you understand this, you will be always at the ready, just in the hope that God will lead you to do something. His word is precious, His feelings are perfect, His will is holy, and if at any time He condescends to share His mind with us, who are we that we should hesitate or fear? We are rich if God has thought upon us. That is the knowledge which, not having, will destroy God’s people now, as it did Israel long ago.

No Hell?

"I say unto you, my friends, be not afraid of them that kill the body,
and after that have no more they can do.
But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear.
Fear Him, who after He has killed, has power to cast into hell.
Yea, I say, fear Him
Jesus, in Lk. 12:4-5

The verse above poses a particularly difficult challenge to the notion, held by many, that there is no hell. If there is no hell, if the wicked simply disappear and no longer exist, then what is it that Jesus is warning us that God can do to the wicked after they die? If the wicked have no life after they die, then God can do no more to the wicked than men can do to them. If there is no hell awaiting the wicked, then all that anybody in heaven or earth do to them is kill them, and that is contrary to what Jesus taught.

The Jehovah Witness sect, among others, teach that hell is simply the grave, and that the wicked, once dead, just vanish into non-existence. The official Jehovah’s Witness web site states that "Since the dead have no conscious existence, hell cannot be a fiery place of torment where the wicked suffer after death. . . . The Bible hell, then, is the common grave of mankind where good people as well as bad ones go." But if that were true, if hell is the just the grave, then men, contrary to what Jesus said, do have the power to cast dead people into hell. Why, they do it all the time, and they are paid for their labor by families of the deceased. It is called "burying people".

The grave is not what hell is. Jesus warned his friends that God has power to cast dead people into a place that is beyond the power of men to cast them. And when God casts the wicked into hell, He is not burying the wicked dead; He is damning them.