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Attacking Hopeful Universalism

Revelation 22:17 – How Hopeful Universalist ‘Hell to Heaven’ Cultist Twist It

Duke Jeyaraj

A hopeful universalism cult false teacher who operates from South India  quotes a verse from the book of Revelation to teach that people who live in hell can move to heaven.(1) He quotes this verse: ‘The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty com; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.’ (2) However, this is a clear case of taking the verse out of context. We must read just above this verse to understand the context. Revelation 22:16 says that Jesus was talking to John, the author of the book of Revelation. He asked John to carry these messages to the ‘churches’ (The plural used the author was talking about actual local churches, see Revelation 22:16). The plural used indicates that John was to carry a message to the local churches still on the earth. And what message did he have to carry? This message: ‘The Spirit and the Bride (the local church still on the earth) had to say, ‘Come’ (to the sinner on the earth, who is lost) (Rev. 22:17)! Revelation 22:17 is a call to the local church which is being prepared as a bride of Christ (see 2 Cor. 11:2) get involved in the work of evangelism here and now, empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8 teaches the Holy Spirit was given to empower church believers for evangelism). Revelation 22:17 does not teach the cultic doctrine of hopeful universalism (the teaching that even those in hell will come to heaven). Rather, it is a call for Spirit-empowered evangelism for believer in the local church here and now.  Jeremy Royal Edward confirms this interpretation of Revelation 22:17 when he wrote, “With its repeated invitation to come and take the living water as a gift (i.e., that is free grace: see Eph. 2:8-9), Revelation ends with passionate evangelistic appeal.” (3)

Another confirmation that Revelation 22:17 is taken out of context by hopeful universalist is what we read following that verse. Revelation 22:20 records the words: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon!’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” So, the evangelistic invitations like ‘come and drink’ is to be extended till the return of Jesus by believers of the local churches who are bride of Christ! After Jesus’ return, it will be too late to come to Him. 

We also cannot interpret the book of Revelation 22:17 in a way the interpretation violates the clear message of the rest of the book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation mentions that hell punishment is forever repeatedly (Rev. 14:11; 20:10) and there is no way one can assume that Revelation 22:17 was opening a way for escape from hell into heaven as this cultic Chennai pastor suggests.

Let us return back to the Bible and challenge Bible-twisting cults. Let us not join hands with ‘dogs’ (in Revelation 22:15 stubborn hell-populating teachers are compared to ‘dogs’ – see Phil. 3:2 where Apostle Paul also calls cultic false teachers ‘dogs’) who will certainly land in the lake of fire outside the city (heaven), along with their followers, if they and their followers do not repent from false teaching practice and broadcasting.

(1)  Jesudian  Silvester,  New  Heaven  and  New  Earth  -07-04-2020  – Jesudian  – End  Times,  YouTube,  April  7,  2020:  accessed September  15,  2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsvJ43lZme0&ab_channel=JesudianSilvester

(2) Revelation 22:17 (English Standard Version). 

(3) Jeremy Royal Edward, ed., HCSB Study Bible: Large Print (Nashville, TN: 2015), 2230.

(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader-supported Indian ministry. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org).

Categories
Anti-Dotes-For-Modern-False-Teachings-Like-Hyper-Grace

DOES GOD ALWAYS SMILE AT US WITH APPROVAL & DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT NOT CONVICT BELIEVERS OF SIN WHEN WE LIVE IN STUBBORN SIN WITH NO INTENTION OF REPENTING (AS HYPER-GRACE/NONSENSICAL-‘NEW’-COVENANT PREACHERS TEACH)? Duke Jeyaraj.

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“God is always smiling at you…. Even if you are in stubborn sin….no problem! The Holy Spirit does not convict believers of sin!” That’s a message that the hyper-grace/nonsensical ‘new’ covenant pastors/preachers want their unsuspecting audiences to hear. But is this true? But is this biblical?

THE ANSWER FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS

After an elaborate discussion in Acts chapter 15 the council of the Apostles came up with this decision: ” For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements:  that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.” (Acts 15:28,29). Please note the phrase above which goes this way: “it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” (v. 28). What seemed good? Abstaining from sexual immorality (v. 29). So, it can be safely concluded that both the Holy Spirit and the word preached by the apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (like Heb. 13:4, ‘let your marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral…’) will convict us of sin, if we believers become sexually immoral.

THE ANSWER FROM CORINTHIANS
Raad 2 Corinthians 12:21. It goes this way: “I am worried that when I come to visit that my God will humble me somehow before you, that I will have to grieve over all those who have sinned before and then refused to turn away from their addictions to impure practices, immoral sex, and reckless perversions” (2 Cor. 12:21 The Voice). If Apostle Paul was grieved at the stubborn sin of the Corinthian believers, what makes us think that God the father, God the Son, and God the Spirit who inspired his writings was happy when the same thing goes on in the modern believer – stubborn, unrepentant sin (2 Tim. 3:16)?!

THE ANSWER FROM EPHESIANS
Paul writes this very clearly elsewhere: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption…” (Eph. 4:30). Again the context of this verse is sin in the life of the believer – sin for which there is no repentance – See the verse above and below: Eph. 4:29-31: “29Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice.” If the Holy Spirit is grieved over stubborn sin in the life of the believer, what makes us think that God the father will be smiling? He certainly is not!

THE ANSWER FROM THE BOOK OF JAMES

The hyper-grace cult teaches that the Holy Spirit only convicts the world of sin – he never convicts believers of sin (John 16:8). But the fact of the matter is that even believers can become worldly (See James 4:4). So when believers become worldly, the Holy Spirit will definitely convict them of sin (if they are sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit). And believers who are stubborn in sin are called, ‘adulterers’ in James 4:4 – not children of God. And those stubborn in sin will not inherit the Kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9,10).

THE ANSWER FROM REVELATION
Come with me to the book of Revelation to understand this further. These are the words of Jesus to the church believers/leaders of Thyatira who tolerate sexual sin and won’t repent from it: ’20But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads My servants to be sexually immoral and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21Even though I have given her time to repent of her immorality, she is unwilling. 22Behold, I will cast her onto a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer great tribulation unless they repent of her deeds. 23Then I will strike her children dead, and all the churches will know that I am the One who searches minds and hearts, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.’ (Rev. 2:20-23). If Jesus is upset over unrepentant sin among the believing folk and, at times, may even release punishment for it, here and now (not to forget the ultimate punishment of hell) as seen above, then what makes us think that God the Father is smiling at us when we are in stubborn in sin without any mind for repentance?

Do not believe the hypergrace/nonsense ‘new covenant’ teachers and go to hell with them!

If you are living in stubborn sin, repent right now! Otherwise we store God’s wrath – not pleasure – for us down the line (Romans 2:4-5). If you are wondering, where such a teaching is found in Romans – a letter written for believers, here are the verses I refer to: ‘Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But 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’ (Rom. 2:4-5).

In the book of Revelation, we clearly see that the Holy Spirit is convicting church believers of sin and calling them through Jesus for repentance. The phrase ‘he who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ is often repeated by Jesus as he addresses different church believers in different locations, in the book of Revelation (Rev. 2:7,11, 17,29; 3:6, 13,22). And what was one thing that Jesus repeatedly told church believers/leaders (in sin, including the sin of sexual immorality, See Rev. 2:20-22)? This: REPENT (Rev. 2:5,16, 21,22; 3:3; 3:19). So, the Holy Spirit does the work of convicting believers of sin and calling them to repentance.

Do not believe the lies of the hyper-grace cult teachers and go to hell (which is where they will go, if they do stop teaching their lies).

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. Find out more at www.dukev.org).