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Thread: The fires of judgment

  1. #1
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    The fires of judgment

    That's not a politically correct title. I'm going to take a look at a scripture that concerns Christians rather than unbelievers.

    1 Cor 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
    13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

    The Day, as opposed to the current night, will be revealed by fire. Those two go hand in hand because God is a consuming fire and he is also light.

    14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
    15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    The believer will be saved, yet as through fire. Meaning that the fire burns away that which shouldn't be there, including his faulty works. But it doesn't burn away everything. Since he is born again, something remains that isn't destroyed by the fire. So he passes through the fire.

    16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
    17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

    The same fire destroys the sinner and this verse makes this particular in relation to those who persecute believers to death.

    But who is doing the destroying here ? Is it Satan or is it God ? That depends on the tense of the verb. In Koine Greek there are three tenses where there are only two in English.

    active
    middle
    passive

    According to my multi-volume Greek Study Bible, the following word is used about God destroying (him who defiles God's temple) :

    phtherei 3.pers, sing, fut, ind, act

    Which makes sense. God is third person and singular, the destruction happens in the future, it is real therefore the indicative mode and the one performing it is actively performing it. Not passive as in permissively, nor middle tense which is more flexible - but active.

    So God is doing the destroying, by fire. The wording used is precise. To make this perfectly clear : the passive tense of the same word is used multiple times in the New Testament.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about two different temporal judgments that occurred after the resurrection which means that they happened after the new covenant had been instituted. So now I'm going to find my Greek Study Bible to look up the verses to see what the tenses of the verbs are.

    (goes to fetch the Study Bible)

    Acts 12:21 So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them.
    22 And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!”
    23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.

    King Herod was definitely not a believer. My Greek Study Bible comes up with "active tense" for the verb translated as "struck" in verse 23. All the occurences in the NT of that word are in the active tense, which makes sense for the verb "struck" but it could have been passive as in "permitted him to be struck".

    "angelos kyrios" is not ambiguous and there is no confusion in the NT about angels concerning their status as belonging to God or Satan. Satanic angels are mentioned as such in both 2 Cor 12 and in the book of Revelation.

    Rev 2:20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
    21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
    22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
    23 I will kill her children with death,

    That's Jesus himself speaking to the church at Thyatira and there are a number of temporal judgments involved. Verse 21 suggests that the mentioned prophetess was or had been a believer but we can't be sure.

    Verse 22 : my Greek Study Bible has "active tense" for "cast" and almost half the entries listed are in the passive tense.

    Verse 23 : my Greek Study Bible has "active tense" for "kill" and a number of the entries listed are in the passive tense.

    So far every entry in the NT involving verbs that depict God executing judgments, whether eternal or temporal, have been in the active tense.

    I have no way of searching for verbs that are in the passive tense but I would really like to hear about it if someone can find one in relation to God's judgments in the NT. Not just to disprove my hunch that there are none but it would be really interesting to try to figure out what the different choice of verb tense is to imply. Even a "middle tense" would be interesting.
    Last edited by Colonel; 07-09-2019 at 03:04 PM.

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    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    Here's a sentence that relates someone permitting someone to be done something to.

    Rev 11:9 then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.

    The last sub-sentence starts with a "not" but we may focus on the remaining part "they will allow (them) to be put into graves" (I'm following the word-for-word Greek here)

    "they will allow" is in the active tense as one may assume
    "to be put" is in the passive tense

    It would be plausible for the NT writers to apply the same type of sentence to describe how God allows someone to be judged.

    "I will allow them to be (struck, killed, cast into sickbeds etc)"

    Maybe that type of sentence or similar is used in the NT, in that case I would like to hear about it.

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    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    Here's an OT passage that compliments the OP in this thread :

    Isa 64:1 Oh, that You would rend the heavens!
    That You would come down!
    That the mountains might shake at Your presence—
    2 As fire burns brushwood,
    As fire causes water to boil—
    To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
    That the nations may tremble at Your presence!

    Again God's fire becomes destructive when it comes into contact with that which is inherently sinful, symbolized by dry wood and water.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ezekiel 33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
    That's not a politically correct title. I'm going to take a look at a scripture that concerns Christians rather than unbelievers.

    1 Cor 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
    13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

    The Day, as opposed to the current night, will be revealed by fire. Those two go hand in hand because God is a consuming fire and he is also light.

    14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
    15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    The believer will be saved, yet as through fire. Meaning that the fire burns away that which shouldn't be there, including his faulty works. But it doesn't burn away everything. Since he is born again, something remains that isn't destroyed by the fire. So he passes through the fire.

    16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
    17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

    The same fire destroys the sinner and this verse makes this particular in relation to those who persecute believers to death.

    But who is doing the destroying here ? Is it Satan or is it God ? That depends on the tense of the verb. In Koine Greek there are three tenses where there are only two in English.

    active
    middle
    passive

    According to my multi-volume Greek Study Bible, the following word is used about God destroying (him who defiles God's temple) :

    phtherei 3.pers, sing, fut, ind, act

    Which makes sense. God is third person and singular, the destruction happens in the future, it is real therefore the indicative mode and the one performing it is actively performing it. Not passive as in permissively, nor middle tense which is more flexible - but active.

    So God is doing the destroying, by fire. The wording used is precise. To make this perfectly clear : the passive tense of the same word is used multiple times in the New Testament.
    Paul is talking about teachers and those who are taught in this passage. It is put into context in verse 10:

    1 Corinthians 3:10-17(NKJV)

    10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

    This is yet another passage where we are warned about receiving a stricter judgment as teachers. Our teaching will be tested and then we will know which doctrines were true and which were false. And furthermore, there is an extra-strong warning for those who teach heresy and defile the children of God (such as greasy grace).


  6. #6
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
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    Teachers yes but it includes "anyone" who teaches someone and can be generalized to any work done that builds or affects the church. Works done in or according to Christ will endure the fire.

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