One of the common elements in the doctrines of Cults is a marked and prominent tendency to symbolize and spiritualize what seem to be plain, natural, and literal concepts in Biblical text. This writer accepts this can on occasion be done and fully endorses midrashical allegorizing, yet notices unwarranted reading down (or expansion) and the turning of passages into parables in order to conform with preconceived tenets within the statutes of various persuasions.
Consider, for example the teachings of Annihilation, (the ceasing to exist rather than the conscious eternal suffering of the lost in Hell) and Universalism, (all will be saved, perhaps even Satan). Claimants of both positions argue that their respective conclusions follow somewhat necessarily from the notion of a loving GOD, a little intriguingly given they are distinct standpoints. Conversely, the very thought GOD might send folk offensive to Him to a place of never-ending torment is considered utterly abhorrent by such claimants.
This writer submits it is very wrong to tamper in such ways concerning the subject doctrine. There is no intimation by the Lord Jesus Christ at all that He was proffering a parable, with respect to the rich man and Lazarus account in Luke 16:19-31; such is only found in the speculations of writers and worthless Bible footnotes. We have no warrant to assert Jesus Christ was joking or trying to psychologically frighten people and preachers ought teach the doctrine as it stands. We may, I believe, entertain private hopes GOD will somehow save all, but simply have no authority to preach such as truth, as it is not found in Scripture and is thus a type of addition to Holy Writ. Moreover, although Matt 10:28 might be argued as referring to the soul and body, but not the spirit; see 1Thess 5:23, Luke 12:4-5 is worded differently, not referring to the soul, admonition having been given to disciples not unbelievers, “Phobaythayte ton meta to apokteeni exsousian ekhonta embaleen ees tayn gehehnnan”- “Fear the One after/with/joining the killing authority He having to throw into the Hellfire”.While not denying the doctrine of Eternal Security for 1John 5:1 declares, “Pas ho pisteuohn oti Ihaysous estin ho Khristos, ek tou Thehou gegennayti”- “Everyone believing that Jesus is the Christ out of/from GOD has been born”, the message is clear and Christians too are to be frightened of GOD as He can and has authority to cast into Hellfire after the death of the body.
A little extra showing the way various persuasions twist scripture is adduced concerning Rev 14:4, which contains a section; “outoi eesin hoi meta gunikohn ouk emolunthaysan, parthenoi gar eesin”- “These they are the joining with women not were defiled, virgins for they are”. How it is at all possible certain cults make such a verse apply to married men and women within their own movement is beyond me. Incidentally, we also do err to assume the 144,000 of Rev 14 are the same group as the 144,000 of Rev 7. This is another common element in the Cult formula; ludicrous prophetic teachings.
Don’t drink coca-cola,