Oliver B Greene

Monday, November 21, 2005

Where the Worm Dieth Not

There are varied and sundry ideas about hell. There has never been a time in the history of man when there existed so many differences of opinion as today. Let me point out three of the outstanding, man made doctrines concerning Hell:First, there are many who teach "death ends it all", that the only hell there is, is the grave where the body returns to dust - and that is all there is to it. There are surprisingly many people who hold this doctrine.The second group teaches that there is a hell - or will be at the last Great Judgment, and the wicked will be burned up like a piece of paper. They will consume away, their ashes will return to dust, and they will cease to exist. There are tens of thousands of people even in America who believe this.The third group has come into prominence in recent years, known as "liberals and modernists." They teach that God is love and that there is no such place as a literal, burning hell! They teach that if there is such a place, it is a school where people will be trained to live better lives. I have in my possession some outstanding sermons by outstanding, religionists (please note that I said "religionists" not born again Christians), men who are high in the field of religion but low in God's estimation because they deny the Word.I have named the three outstanding, man-made doctrines concerning hell: Death ends it all. The wicked will burn up. God is Love, and He would not allow a person to burn forever. But there is a fourth teaching in the land, thank God and this fourth teaching is the Bible:

According to the Word of God, hell is a reality - just as real as heaven. If there is no hell, there is no heaven. I belong to this last group. I believe in a, literal, burning, everlasting hell!Someone is saying "Mr. Greene, do you expect us to believe YOU, and junk all of the other doctrines and ideas about hell?" NO! I do not expect you to believe me; but if you are not an atheist or an agnostic and if you hope to make Heaven your home, I expect you to read Romans 3:4 AND BELIEVE IT: "LET GOD BE TRUE, BUT EVERY MAN A LIAR!"It matters not the subject - if it has to do with God and eternity the Bible is the only place to find the authentic answer. Men disagree - but the word of God is in perfect agreement. The Bible is a Book of perfect harmony - written by many men inspired of God over a period of centuries - and yet not one contradiction is contained within it. So if we want to know the truth about hell, there is only one place to find it: in the Bible.

JUST WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TELL US ABOUT HELL?Hell is a place prepared by Almighty God . . . prepared for "the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41). In Genesis 1:1 we read, "In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth." You will note that in the beginning, God created the "Heaven" (singular) and the earth (singular). He did not create "heavens" or "earths" (plural) just the Heaven and the earth. In the beginning, there was no hell; It was not needed, and God does not create anything to lie idle. He does not create, unless the created serves a purpose in His economy.On the sixth day of creation, God made man and you may rest assured that God did not make man for hell. It is not God's will that any should perish, but if man chooses to serve Satan, if man desires Satan as his master, then he must of necessity spend eternity with Satan.

When God created the Heaven and the earth, there was no devil, no sin, no evil - no need for hell; but somewhere along the way, Satan became jealous of God. He was not Satan at that time - he was Lucifer, the Shining One, the Anointed Cherub. Read Ezekiel 28ff; and read Isaiah 14:10ff; and you will find the record of the origin of Satan. At one time he was in God's angelic host; he was the Anointed Cherub, perfect in all of his ways, perfect in beauty until he decided to overthrow God. He "brain-washed" some of the angels and led them astray, they attempted to overthrow God and God cast Satan out of Heaven.Jesus testified that He saw Satan fall from Heaven and the sight was "as lightning" in the sky. "And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven" (Luke 10:18). Surely he must have been a shining creature, a bright personality, a powerful being but he no longer wanted to be subordinate to God. He decided he would overthrow God and God threw him out! The Creator is always greater and more powerful than the created.

When God was forced to cast Lucifer and his angels out of Heaven, He prepared a place for them, and that is the reason we have a place called hell. According to Matthew 25:41, hell was prepared for the devil, and for the devil's angels - not for you and me. But if we live like the devil, we must spend eternity with him. Read John 8:44.The Bible teaches that hell is DOWN - never up. Isaiah 14:9 refers to hell from "beneath" moving up to meet Satan. In Job 11:8, "It is as high as Heaven; what canst thou do? DEEPER THAN HELL: What canst thou know?" Job referred to hell as a DEEP place, and when we think of depth, we think of "down".David describes hell thus: "Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them" (Psalm 55:15). David believed and taught that hell is "down," and that the wicked "go down into hell."

Peter sheds a little light on hell and its location: "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them DOWN TO HELL, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment . . ." (II Pet. 2:4). Peter walked and talked with Jesus, and Jesus preached the hottest sermon on hell that you will ever read. It was Jesus (not some fanatical evangelist or pastor) who first used the words "HELL FIRE" in our precious Bible. Peter tells us that God cast the fallen angels down to hell, and they are in chains of darkness, waiting the great white throne judgment of God.

It seems to me that that is enough scripture to convince any person who wants to know the truth; and any person who denies these scriptures must face the fact recorded in the Bible and admit that "THEY WILLINGLY ARE IGNORANT . . ." (II Pet. 3:5). The Bible distinctly refers to hell as being "down" - deep down - and angels have been cast into hell. I wish our friends who believe and teach that the grave is hell, would read these verses and believe them - not because I pointed them out, but because the Holy Ghost put them in the Bible.The Bible refers to hell as a "pit": "And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from Heaven unto the earth, and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit; and he opened the bottomless pit and there arose a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit" (Rev. 9:1-2). To make it very clear that this scripture definitely refers to hell, I quote verse 11 in the same chapter: "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon." Those Greek words mean "The Destroyer," "The Deceiver," "The Murderer," none other than the devil. And the same Greek word is used in I Peter 5:8: "Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour."

There is no doubt in my mind that hell is in the center of this earth. There is a news article in my book THE TWO SIGNS, on the subject "Man plans to drill into hell." Many times God uses wicked men to point out the truth, even though they do not realize what they are doing. According to John the Beloved (to whom God dictated Revelation) hell is a bottomless pit. This earth is round, and I believe hell is in the center of this earth.Amos describes hell in these words: "Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to Heaven, thence will I bring them down" (Amos 9:2). Certainly when we think of digging, we think of going down in the earth - we do not dig UP, we dig DOWN: we do not dig in the air, we dig in the dirt. Amos tells us as the Holy Spirit leads him to write - "Though they dig into hell, thence shall my hand take them." Amos believed that hell is in the center of the earth.

On one occasion the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign, and Jesus said, in essence, "I will give you one sign, and ONLY one: As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matt. 12:38-40). In Acts 2:25-27 we find the Holy Spirit quoting what was prophesied in Psalms: "Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul IN HELL, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." The Holy Spirit here quotes the prophecy in Psalm 16:8-11.I am sure some of you are saying, "Mr. Greene, would you suggest that Jesus went to hell?" No, I would not suggest that - I have just read it to you from the Bible! But now wait a minute - He did not go to the torments of hell. In the Old Testament era, hell had two compartments one, Paradise; the other, fire. In Luke 16, the account of the rich man and Lazarus tells us that between the two "there was a great gulf." Lazarus was in Abraham's bosom, the rich man was in a flame of fire; they were both in the heart of the earth. When Jesus died, His soul - the part of man that loves and reasons - descended into Paradise and announced to the spirits there that the Lamb had been slain, redemption had been purchased and completed. Jesus then "Led captivity captive," and ascended "FAR ABOVE ALL HEAVENS."

Paul says, "Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first, into the lower parts of the earth?" Read Ephesians 4:7-11. Jesus died on the cross; He literally passed His Spirit back to God. They placed His body in the garden tomb in Jerusalem; His soul descended into Paradise. (The love of God descended into Paradise and announced to the spirits in prison that the sin-debt had been paid.) This announcement was not made to souls in the fire, but to the people of the Old Testament era who had died and gone into Paradise - the place where Abraham was, with Lazarus resting on his bosom. Without a shadow of a doubt, hell is in the center of this earth. It is the "bottomless pit."The Bible refers to hell as a "prison." Revelation 20:7: "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison." In the first few verses of Revelation 20, we find an angel arresting Satan, binding him with a chain, casting him into the bottomless pit (hell), and setting a seal on him. He is to remain there for one thousand years, during which we will have the Millennium here on earth. Then will come the time politicians have talked about, but have done very little to bring about: We will have that glorious "peace on earth, good will to men" that can never happen as long as Satan is out of jail; but when the angel who has the key to hell and death (read Rev. 1:18) descends; when Jesus descends and sits on the throne of His father, David, and the devil is in the pit on the "chain gang," we will have peace on earth, good will toward men.

The Bible teaches that hell is a place of sorrow - a place of desperate sorrow: "The SORROWS OF HELL compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me" (Psalm 18:5). I am so glad that I am not going to hell, because I do not enjoy being around people who are filled with sorrow. As believers, we are to weep with those who weep, mourn with those who mourn, and rejoice with those who rejoice; but I am glad all of that will cease for the believers when we depart this life and go to be with Jesus. We are going to a place where there is no sorrow, no heartache, no disappointment, thank God! We are not going to the place of eternal sorrow, eternal weeping, eternal mourning, where "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." No wonder David referred to hell as a place of sorrow!

Hell is without a doubt a very large place. Isaiah tells us that "Hell hath enlarged herself" (Isaiah 5:14). In Proverbs 27:20 we read, "HELL AND DESTRUCTION ARE NEVER FULL." Something to think about, sinner friend. HELL IS NEVER FULL - and people are pouring into it like water pours over Niagara Falls!Let us bring Jesus to the witness stand and ask Him to give us a little light on hell. In that marvelous masterpiece, The Sermon on the Mount, (three great chapters that liberals and modernists like to refer to and talk about), Jesus gives some light on hell: "But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matthew 5:22). The term "hell" (and in most places the word "fire" is connected with it) is used by Jesus in Matthew 5:22, 5:29, and 5:30. Also in Matthew 10:28, Matthew 18:9, Matthew 23:15, 23:33. Also in Mark 9:43, 9:45, 9:47, in Luke 12:5 and in James 3:6. Every time Jesus uses the term, He is sounding out a solemn warning concerning the consequences of sin.

So you see, beloved, that terrible, horrible, "old fogy" term "hell-fire" was not coined or manufactured by some crackpot in the pulpit. Those words were uttered by none other than the tender, compassionate, loving, longsuffering, gentle, meek Lamb of God! He put no frills on it, He did not sugar-coat it. The words are understandable, rough and rugged: "Hell-Fire!" I think we can afford to believe what Jesus said about hell, and as for me and my house, WE WILL believe it. We will stand on it, live by it, preach it, and die by it! If you choose to take the fires OUT of hell, then one day, my friend, you will be convinced when you drop into the fires of hell. Did I hear you say, "Mr. Greene, I do not believe in hell"? Is that what you said? Friend, that does not matter; what you believe about hell is not important. This Old Book got here before you did, and it will be here when you are gone. You had better believe it and receive it - you will wake up in hell if you do not! Jesus taught hell; He taught a hell of fire - and we will see more about it later in this message.Jesus delivered a sermon one day, and He used some of the most scorching words ever to fall from the lips of any man. If you will read the 23rd chapter of Matthew, you will read a "scorcher!" The Son of God could take off more hide per square inch than any preacher who ever lived. There has never been a rougher, tougher preacher of the Truth. He was as meek as a lamb - but He was a consuming fire. He could say, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not." He could also say, "Bind them, and take them away and cast them into hell-fire!" Oh, yes, He is a Lamb - He is Love; but He is also a consuming fire. LET'S BELIEVE IT ALL!

In Matthew 23:33, Jesus closes His message by saying, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape THE DAMNATION OF HELL?" That is kind of rough. Let one of these modern, lovey-dovey, scissor-tailored coat-wearing, stepladder-collar-parading, back-scratching, ear-tickling, compromising, Gospel-dodging, easy going, "Channel Number 5," seminary-manufactured preachers step into a pulpit on Sunday morning, raise his voice and refer to a gang of liquor-heads, dope fiends, home wreckers, heart breakers and blasphemers, using the words of Jesus - "Ye serpents, you generation of snakes! How do you hope to escape Hell!" Let him try that just one time and see what happens. No, I am not sarcastic, I am not trying to be funny: I am heart-sick! God pity spineless jellyfish preachers who do not have nerve enough to look a gang of hypocrites in the face - a gang who for six days in the week drink liquor, cuss, lie and steal, and then are right "sanctimonious" on Sunday morning - and tell them what they are! The preacher who lets that crowd slip through his fingers and wake up in hell, will nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-times out of ten thousand, drop into the same hell they drop into! If, by chance, he IS a saved man, he will certainly stand before God with bloody hands. The dirtiest thief this side of hell is a man who will stand in the pulpit knowing the truth but afraid to preach it to a crowd that NEEDS the truth. Jesus put no frills on his ministry. He stated clearly that the wages of sin is death and hypocrisy brings damnation. These folks who profess to be sheep, He pronounced in no uncertain terms to be SNAKES. God help us to wake up! HELL IS A PLACE OF DAMNATION!

Jesus tells us another very interesting thing about hell in Matthew 16:18: "And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT." Jesus taught that hell has gates. I know there is a deeper meaning here concerning the church and the gates of hell but I am not going into that. That is another sermon. What I am pointing out here is what the Bible teaches about hell. According to Jesus, hell has gates and that leads me to my last point here:We have learned that hell is DOWN; hell is A PIT; hell is a PRISON; hell is a PLACE OF SORROWS; hell is a place that is NEVER FULL; hell is a place that burns with FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: hell is a PLACE OF DAMNATION; it is a place that has gates. But I have news for you, hallelujah! Hear this: "I AM HE THAT LIVETH, AND WAS DEAD: AND, BEHOLD, I AM ALIVE FOREVER MORE, AMEN! AND HAVE THE KEYS OF HELL AND OF DEATH!" (Revelation 1:18).

That is good news to me, hallelujah! Jesus lives in my heart, and Jesus has two keys: He has the key to death - so I am not afraid to die. He has the key to hell - so I am not worried about hell, because my Saviour has the key!Jesus came to earth in a body; He lived in that body for thirty-three and a half years, tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. He tasted life in every respect as we taste life; He was put through every test that we are, yet He did not falter. He challenged His enemies to bring one accusation against Him - but they could not. They hired liars and false witnesses to testify against Him. He is the One Who died, of His own free will - He said, "No man taketh my life ... I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father" (John 10:18). Paul tells us in Hebrews 2:9 that Jesus came to die, He came to taste death for every man. He died, descended into the Paradise side of hell, then He led captivity captive and ascended far above all Heavens. "When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3). That is where He sits today. And as He sits on the right hand of God the Father, He holds the keys to death and hell. Hallelujah! What a Saviour! Do you know Him? If you do not, receive Him now.

So far, I have named some of the varied and sundry ideas about hell. I have pointed out some of the doctrines set forth by "religions" concerning hell. Then, I asked the question, "Who is right, and who is wrong?" I answered that question by quoting Romans 3:4, "Let God be true, but every man a liar." We then studied ten definite things said about hell in the Bible. We completed this by declaring that hell has a gate, and Jesus has the key. Oh, yes, I forgot - this sermon is on the subject "Where the Worm dieth Not." What is the worm that will never die? (I got so wrapped up in what the Bible said about hell that I forgot all about my subject!).

Read carefully the following words - words that fell from the tender lips and came from the tender heart of the Lamb of God. The hottest sermon on hell that you will ever read is here - there are more blazes and flames in these few verses than in any passage of scripture from Genesis to Revelation and Jesus is the preacher: "If thy hand offend thee cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: There their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, that having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:43-48).I have quoted from God's Word a very understandable sermon on hell. Anyone who wants to know and accept the truth can clearly see in these words what Jesus thought and taught about hell. I would like to outline these verses for you, break them down, so that we can see clearly exactly what they contain:In verse 43, Jesus preaches that if a person cannot serve God with two hands, then it is much better to cut off one of them, be a cripple and serve God with one hand, rather than have two good hands, serve the devil and go to hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.

According to this verse, Jesus preached hell as a place where there is fire. Maybe someone is saying, "Mr. Greene, that is not really fire." God have mercy on such stupid, uncalled-for ignorance! We read about the streets of gold - "Oh, yes, THAT is gold!" We read about the gates of pearl - "Oh, yes, they are PEARLS all right - real pearls.") We read about hell fire - and "that is not FIRE." How calloused can a heart become? Dear friend, do not let any one tell you that is not "fire." If the word "f-i-r-e" is a symbol, then just keep in mind that the real product is worse than the symbol! In other words, if this is not fire as we know fire, whatever it is it is HOTTER than our fire. (Fire is the only word Jesus could use that we could understand.) I believe Jesus said what He meant, and meant what He said. He knew what He said, and He said what He knew because, you see, He was present when God Almighty created hell. Hell is a place of fire ... it makes no difference what your preacher, your religion, or your book of doctrine says! If you cannot serve God with two hands, you would be better off with one hand, or with NO hands, than to have hands, serve the devil, and be lost in hell, "Where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched."In verse 45, Jesus announces His second point: "If thy foot offend thee, cut it off." If Jesus stood on my platform and preached to a group of people in the twentieth century, He would say something like this: "Ladies and men, if you cannot walk for Jesus, if your feet carry you to the places of the devil; if you are using your feet to serve sin, if you cannot serve God with two feet - then go out to the chopping block and let somebody take an axe and cut off one of them! It would be far better for you to go through life with one foot, than to have two feet and serve the devil, ending up in hell in a fire that never shall be quenched!" Does Jesus need to say anything two times to make it so? John 3:16 is only in the Bible one time, but we BELIEVE John 3:16. Oh, yes "God is love;" we believe that. God so loved the loved the world - yes, we believe that! But it is mighty hard for some people to believe that it is better to chop off a foot and go to Heaven, than it is to have two feet, go to hell, and drop into a lake of fire that burns with brimstone. They want to make something else out of the fire. They want to believe that God is love, that Jesus has gone to prepare a beautiful place with golden streets and gates of pure pearls - but hell? No! That just could not be fire! They refuse to accept the fact that God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29) and angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11).My friend, if you are reading these lines and you deny hell fire, I will perhaps never be able to convince you, ministers may never be able to convince you, the Word of God may not convince you - but it will take only three seconds of hell fire to make you believe! It will be too late then - entirely too late: I beg you to believe now! No, you cannot be saved and deny the Bible. You must believe that Jesus is the Christ and if you believe that He is the Christ, you believe He is One who "cannot lie" (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). If there is no fire in hell, Jesus lied because He said "A man that calls his brother a fool is in danger of hell fire." He said, "It is better to lose your hand than to be cast into hell fire; and it is better to lose your foot than to be cast into hell fire." So, if there is not fire in hell, then Jesus lied; and if He lied about hell, then He might have lied about the cross and we have no hope, no salvation. We might just as well eat, drink and be merry - tomorrow we may die! Let me repeat: - You may never believe this side of the grave, but YOU WILL BELIEVE ON THE OTHER SIDE; "Where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched."In verse 47, Jesus announced His third point. (Almost every sermon Jesus preached was a three-point sermon; study them.) "If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."

I personally had much rather lose one of my hands than to lose one of my feet; I had rather have two feet than to have two hands. It would be far easier to have one hand, because a person with one hand can do almost anything a person with two hands can do; but if we lose a foot, that is a very painful, handicapping experience.

Jesus first mentions, losing the hand; He then moves from the hand to the foot - to lose a foot is bad; but third, to lose an eye is worse. Eyes are among the most important members of our body, and I would hate to lose one of my eyes.God bless the dear, precious blind friends who listen to my programs; there are hundreds of them across the country. One day they will see Jesus, if they are saved, and they will have two good eyes just like His perfect eyes.In essence, Jesus said "If you cannot look at the right things, if your eyes do not lead you to the right places, if you cannot use your eyes to glorify God - then the thing to do is pluck one of them out! You had better have one eye and go to Heaven, than have two eyes and go to hell; because hell is a place where the fire is never quenched."

What about your eyes? Are you using them to glorify God, or are you using them to serve the devil? May God help you, if you are lost, to say this moment: "Lord, here are my heart, my hands, my feet, my eyes; save me. Save the members of my body, and help me whether I eat, drink, or whatsoever I do to do it all to the glory of God. When I walk; when I work; when I look-help me to do it to the glory of God!"If you cannot do that, you would be better off without any feet, without any hands, without any eyes. It would be much better to be severely handicapped and serve God, than to have a good, sound, perfect body and go to hell "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

NOW WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?Verse 43: Hell is a place of fire - a place where the fire will never be quenched. Verse 45: hell is a, place of fire - a place where the fire will never be quenched. Verse 47: Hell is a place that burns with fire.Jesus believed in a fiery hell. He was convinced that hell is an awful place. What do you think?Oh! I was going to tell you what the "WORM" is, wasn't I? The "worm" is mentioned more than once in our scripture: In verse 44: "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." In verse 46: "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." In verse 48: "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."WHAT IS THE WORM? That is one of the easiest questions in the word of God: The "worm" is the part of the sinner that will never burn up, never cease to exist, but will be tormented forever and forever! But you say, "Oh, Mr. Greene! I thought you were going to tell us what the worm IS!" I have just told you: The worm is that part of man that is indestructible; it cannot cease to exist. The worm cannot burn up. The worm will be tormented forever and ever and ever."But Mr. Greene - what IS the worm?" What difference does that make? The shape, the size, the length, the breadth - whether it is flesh, bone, or spirit; whether it has eyes, feet, hands, ears - it makes no difference. THE WORM IS THAT PART OF MAN THAT IS ABSOLUTELY INDESTRUCTIBLE - IT CANNOT BE DESTROYED! Sinner, if you die in your sin and wake up in hell, YOU will never cease to burn. YOU will never cease to exist. YOU are the worm!!! Whatever body you will have in hell will be determined by God Almighty - that is none of my business, nor is it any of yours. The worm is the part of the sinner that will never die!I see no reason why anyone should doubt that hell is everlasting, and that the sinner never burns up and will be conscious forever. The verses I have just quoted tell us that the worm never dies, the fire never goes out. Three times - God did not say it one time and stop; He did not say it two times and stop; He said it three times. God Almighty does not need to say anything but one time to make it true, but the Son, as the Father spoke, uttered these identical words three times. The worm will never die; the fire will never be quenched. God have mercy on any person who butchers the word of God to fit some crazy religion! God pity any preacher who will stand before an audience of people and tell them that this is not literal fire, and that the worm will not exist forever but that the wicked will be cremated (burned up), and cease to exist. God pity the man who preaches such error!

Sinner friend, since God Almighty created hell for the devil and his angels and not for you, why in the name of common sense do you want to go there? Jesus came to "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Jesus is looking for you; He is searching for you now, this very moment. He is speaking to you through this message and He wants to save you. It matters not who you are nor where you are; It matters not what you have done; it matters not how wicked you may be. If you will bow your head this moment, and with a sincere heart confess to the Lord Jesus that you are lost and ask Him to save you, HE WILL! He will forgive your sins and write your name in the Lamb's Book of Life, and praise God, when you die you will not drop into hell, but the angels will carry you to Paradise. Jesus said to the dying thief on the cross, "Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise!" (Luke 23:42-43).

In Luke 16, the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom - the place of rest. If you will bow your head, confess your sins and receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, when you depart this Life you too will go to Paradise - the place of rest. It is not God's will that you perish - it is God's will that you repent and be saved. Will you not bow your head just now, sinner friend, and ask the Lord Jesus to save you? He will. Read Romans 10:9-10, and then read Romans 10:13. Turn to Ephesians and read chapter 2, verse 8, then read John's Gospel 1:12-13. Read John 3:18, and Acts 16:31. Then look up and say, "Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Christ, the Saviour of sinners. I here and now receive you as my Saviour. Come into my heart and save me." And He will!Christians, get this message into the hands of the unsaved. Pass it on to some unsaved person. I close this message with a sincere prayer that God will honor His Word to the saving of many poor sinners. Amen!

The New Birth

" For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." I Peter 3:18

"Except a Man Be Born Again"

Did our Lord Jesus Christ come into the world to make men moral, or did He come into the world to do more than make us moral ? In this message we shall answer that question according to the Word of God.

Peter speaks to us in these inspired words: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (I Pet. 3 :18) .

Inspired of God, Paul penned down these words: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (I Cor. 15 :1-4).

"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (Il Cor. 5:21).

"Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me" ( Heb. 10: 5) .

". . . Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9 :22). In John 3:36 we read, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

Again I ask, Did our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ come into the world, suffer as He suffered, endure the torture and shame of the cross, just to make men moral? Or did He come to do more than that?

According to modern preaching, liberal theology, and today's anemic religion, the average person thinks that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to do good, to live a good life, to set a good example, to heal the sick, to comfort the sorrowing, to set up a standard of righteousness and live a life of thoughtful reverence and sincere devotion to the unseen God. But let me remind you that Jesus Christ was God Almighty in flesh ! He did not come into the world to set standards or to be an example. He came to bring salvation to hell-deserving sinners!

Today, liberal, modernistic preachers are proclaiming that people should go about as Christ did, doing good, visiting the sick, taking care of the poor and the needy, being kind, gentle of manner, spreading sunshine in a dark world. These things are all commendable, to be sure, but beloved, such religion is not taught in the Word of God. Jesus Christ came into this world to do more than make men moral or spread sunshine in the darkness of man's day.

There are thousands of people on earth today who do not belong to any church, nor do they profess to be religious but they are kind, benevolent, helpful, more or less cultured and refined, educated, living clean moral lives. These dear souls are respected and honored by their fellow man. Many of them are more generous than some church members are they contribute large sums of money to good organizations. If we measure Christianity by these things then some folk who make no pretense of Christianity go much further than some who DO profess to be Christians.

But Christianity is NOT just clean living, liberal giving, good morals, or kindness toward our fellow man. It is much, much more than these. Salvation amounts to a great deal more than living a good life and doing good to others.

I am sure you want the Word of God on this subject, so we will use the Bible as our only textbook in this study of the new birth the study of immortality, not morality; redemption, not clean living. We will look into the perfect law of liberty "that is able to make us wise unto salvation."

The Word of God is a lamp to our feet, a light to our pathway. The Word of God is not bound . . . the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.

The Gospel is "the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth" (Rom. 1:16). To his converts James declares, "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures" (James 1:18). Peter cries out, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (I Pet. 1:23). In Ephesians 2:8, 9 we read, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."And Romans 10:17 tells us, ". . . Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

My dear friend, the only way any person can be saved is through the power of the Word of God. The only way any person can become clean yea, clean and fit to enter the Pearly White City is through the Word. In John 15 :3 Jesus makes this statement: "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."

In II Timothy 1:9, 10 we read, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel."

"Who hath saved us . . ." This refers to God. God saves us, and He saves us for only one reason, as clearly set forth in Ephesians 4:32: ". . . Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you !"

In this marvelous verse of Scripture the Holy Spirit clearly says that God saves us FOR CHRIST'S SAKE. God did not save me because I was worthy of salvation, nor because I was fit to be saved--I was not worth saving! But Jesus purchased my redemption with His own precious blood, and because He died on the cross for sinners, God forgives for Christ's sake and ONLY for Christ's sake. Apart from the shed blood of the Lord Jesus we cannot be saved, we cannot please God nor become His child.

"Who hath saved us, and called us with an hol~ calling, not according to our works . . ." According to God's Word we are not saved according to our works, we are not saved BY works "not of works, lest any man should boast." All of the good works that we might do in a lifetime would not and could not atone for the least of our sins !

". . . But according to His own purpose and grace, whqch was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began . . ." We are not saved by works, but by the marvelous grace of God grace that was provided before God laid the foundation of the world.

. . . But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ . . ." This marvelous grace, this glorious salvation, though not revealed in the Old Testament era, is revealed yea, has been brought down to man by none other than the only begotten of the Father, very God in flesh ! Jesus was salvation brought down to man.

And not only did Christ manifest salvation and light, but He "abolished death and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel." The devil hates the Word of God; he despises the pure Gospel because it is through the Word and by the power of the Gospel that men are saved. It is utterly and absolutely impossible for any person to be saved until he hears the Word of God, believes the Word of God, and receives the Christ who WAS the Word in flesh.

In I Corinthians 15 :1-4 Paul gives a clear outline of the Gospel the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus "according to the Scriptures." Paul did not preach salvation according to Judaism, Romanism, or any denominational belief. He preached the death, the burial, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and he preached according to the Scriptures.

It makes no difference what you think about the Word of God, nor what I think about it. It makes no difference what any minister says about it. The Word of God is forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119 :89) and cannot be broken. The Word of God will face us when we stand to receive our just and due reward!

God saves us fo~ Christ's sake- not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace. He saves us through the finished work of Christ on Calvary the work that was blueprinted by the Godhead before the foundation of this world.

Redemption was planned, provided, and perfected before this earth was created by Almighty God: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you" (I Pet. 1:18-25).

In these verses we note that Peter and Paul agree one hundred percent concerning redemption. Peter declares, ". . . Ye know that we were not redeemed with corruptible things." Man has corrupted everything he has touched. All that is necessary for ruin to develop in a child, a family, a community, or a nation is simply for that child, that family, community, or nation to completely ignore God and His Word, make their own laws and run their own lives independent of God. In a few short years corruption will develop. Without God, man is helpless, hopeless, and hell bound. Man can no more cleanse himself from sin and from his sinful nature than the leopard can change his spots.

I praise God for the comforting words of Peter. We are not redeemed with corruptible things! We have a redemption that is incorruptible and that will never fade away, because our redemption is IN God, BY God, and THROUGH God. Salvation does not come through anything that man's hands have provided or that man's wisdom has blueprinted.

We are redeemed 'with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." Jesus was the Lamb of God, and in Him there was no sin. He was the spotless One - pure, undefiled, untouched by sin. He who knew no sin was made sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus took upon Himself a body of flesh, a body like unto sinful man; and in that body He conquered every temptation hell hurled at Him. He overcame the world, the flesh, and the devil. He carried our sins to the cross and nailed them there! Hallelujah ! We can shout the victory if we are covered by the precious blood of the Lamb !

Before God ever laid the foundation of the world, before He created this universe, the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit held a conference and agreed that the Lamb would come into the world at the appointed time and pay the sin-debt. (Yes, I am a Trinitarian I believe in one God manifest in three Persons. I could not believe the Bible and not believe in the Triune God.) All of this was planned and perfected before God created man, yea, in the eternity behind us before the foundation of the world!

This tremendous truth of salvation has been made manifest to us in these last days. We have been living in the last days ever since Jesus came to this earth to pay the sin-debt. These ARE the last days. In this day of grace, God is making His last loving, compassionate attempt to get men to serve HIM, live for Him, and honor Him as the only true God. These are the closing days of God's dealing with mankind. When the Church (the body of Christ) is completed, we will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air and this marvelous day of grace will come to a close.

God will then deal with earth's masses in terrible judgment. There will be souls saved during that time, but they will be saved by "enduring to the end" that is, if they refuse to receive the mark of the beast, and instead of receiving his mark they surrender their lives to martyrdom, they will be saved by enduring to the end. And although a great multitude will be saved, they will not enjoy the marvelous salvation by grace as we enjoy it today.

The Bible clearly declares that when the Church is raptured, the Holy Spirit will be called out with the Church. Then it is that the 144,000 sealed ones, of the twelve tribes of Israel, will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. These 144,000 missionaries will declare the coming of the King, and those who accept the message and refuse the mark of the beast will enter the kingdom. Those who reject the message and follow the beast will be eternally damned. They cannot be forgiven after receiving the mark of the beast.

We are living in the most glorious days this world (and mankind) has ever known. Never has there been an age like this glorious age of grace salvation by grace, through faith, the gift of God. Before God created man, salvation was planned and perfected; and in the fulness of time, Jesus brought salvation down to man. He paid sin's debt with His own precious blood, and today He extends His nail-scarred hand to all who will come unto God by Him.

"Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God." Peter is preaching salvation by believing in God who raised up Jesus. Paul declared, ". . . If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:9, 10).

In our present verse, Peter preaches salvation by faith, in order that our faith and our hope might be in God--not in our works, our religion, or anything else that man can provide. We are not saved by joining a church, we are not saved by baptism, we are not saved by good works. We are saved when we exercise faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth . . ." Beloved, what IS truth? In John 14:6 Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." In John 8 :32 he said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Jesus is truth, the Word is truth, and the Word and Jesus are inseparable because the Word of God is Christ, and Christ is the Word:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:1, 14 in part). Notice that the Word tells us we purify our souls in obeying the truth not in joining the church, not by being baptized in water, nor by daily living the best we know how. The Scripture does not tell us that we purify our souls by attending church, giving our money, or saying prayers. We purify our souls in obeying the truth and the truth is the living Word of God ! I repeat for emphasis, it is absolutely impossible for one to be born again apart from the Word of God.

I do not believe there is a verse in all of the Word of God that is any clearer or more easily understood than I Peter 1:23. We are born again--not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible--and the incorruptible seed is the Word of God, "which liveth and abideth for ever." Peter here is preaching the "must" of the new birth, the "how" of the new birth, the result of the new birth--and as Jesus taught Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

I have repeatedly made the statement that apart from the Word of God it is impossible for one to be saved. The book of Acts gives us some very enlightening Scriptures along that line:

Just after Pentecost, five thousand were saved through the preaching of the Gospel (Acts 4 :4) .

The pure Gospel preached by Philip brought great revival in Samaria (Acts 8 :5-8) .

God called Philip to leave the revival in Samaria and journey south. On his journey he encountered the Ethiopian eunuch, and through expounding unto him the Word of God, he led the eunuch into salvation (Acts 8 :26-39) .

The jailer at Philippi cried out, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Paul and Silas replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house" (Acts 16 :25-34) .

When Paul preached the Word of God in Ephesus, the Word proved to be the expeller of evil, and a mighty revival broke out (Acts 19 :11-20) .


The Word of God is the answer for every need of every heart. The Word is alive, quick, powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. It wounds to heal, and kills to make alive. The sure word of promise is a light to gladden our hearts and guide our footsteps. It harmonizes with all of man's needs, whether great or small.

In verses 24 and 25 of our passage from Peter, he tells us that all flesh is as grass, the glory of man is like the flower of the grass, which soon withers and the flowers fall away. And then by contrast he assures us that "the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which BY THE GOSPEL is preached unto you." Peter preached nothing but the Word the pure Gospel because, like John, he had seen, touched, and bore witness to the Living Word (I John 1: 1-3). He knew the risen, living Saviour . . . Peter preached the blood, he preached the new birth through faith in the finished work of Christ our Lord. Redemption comes through the blood, and apart from the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin. The new birth comes through the power of the Gospel, and apart from the Gospel there IS no new birth.

Writing to Titus, his son n the ministry, Paul says, "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Tie. 3 :3-7) .

Paul clearly teaches that all unbelievers are disobedient to God, deceived, serving all kinds of lusts and worldly pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating each other. You will note that he says, " WE ourselves," thus putting himself in the same category. (He is, of course, referring to the time before his conversion.)

He paints a hideous word-picture of the unbeliever and then "After that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared . . ." Beloved, God loved us while we were yet unlovely! We were not fit to be loved, we were not worthy of His love; but He loved us even before He made the world. He loved us so much that He agreed to the death of Jesus on the cross, that we, through faith in His finished work, might escape eternity in hell and make no mistake, my friend, there IS a hell ! The hottest sermon ever delivered on the subject of hell wa~ preached by none other than the tender Lamb of God, who died on the cross to save us FROM hell. Read Mark 9 :42-48.

In Titus 3 :5 Paul gives a beautiful outline of salvation --clear and concise; and you will note that he does not say one word about moral living. He does say, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done." All of the good works we could do and all of the right living we could live would only add up to "filthy rags" in the sight of God (Isa. 64 :6).

"But according to HIS MERCY He saved us . . ." Note, first of all, His mercy. Beloved, never rush into God's presence and demand justice. If I had justice I would be in hell today! I live, I enjoy the abundance of God's blessings and the favor of His grace not because I deserve it, but because He has been exceedingly merciful to me and I know He has been merciful to YOU. I am what I am by the grace of God. I am saved today because of His shed blood. God saved me for Jesus' sake the night I put my trust in the finish work of Jesus Christ.

. . . By the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost." Paul did not say, "by the washing of the baptistry," nor did he say "by the merit of good, clean, moral living." He said, "By the washing of regeneration" and regeneration comes through the Word of God. We are clean through the Word. The Holy Spirit convicts us, draws us, and baptizes us into the body of Christ when we are born of the Spirit and washed in the blood.

In the book of Genesis, the blood began to flow. Adam and Eve deliberately disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit. Then they immediately set about to prepare a covering for the shame of their nakedness--they sewed fig leaves together and made aprons for themselves.

Everything was fine until "they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden."

God called out, "Adam . . . where art thou ?" Adam cried out in fear from his hiding place among the trees; and when God asked him what he had done, he of course laid all the blame on Eve, and Eve in turn blamed the serpent. But God did not accept their excuses nor did He accept their coverings.

God slew innocent animals, and at the price of the blood of those animals He made coats for Adam and Eve. Thus we have the first blood covering, and since that day when God covered Adam and Eve at the price of the shed blood of the innocent animals, there has been no covering apart from the blood of the innocent sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

Rivers of blood flowed from Genesis to Malachi. Tens of thousands of animals, doves, and pigeons were slain and their blood was offered on the altar. But in Hebrews 10 :1-6 Paul declares:

"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers there unto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered ? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body thou hast prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure."

Beloved, every innocent animal slain in the Old Testament era pointed to the blood of the Lamb of God, foreordained before the foundation of the world. His blood, shed on Calvary, made good the offerings of those in the Old Testament who, in faith, offered blood on the altar. Had not Jesus died on the cross, the blood shed throughout the Old Testament era would have been shed in vain, and those who offered it would have died without hope and their spirits would be tormented in the pits of the damned!

The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses from ALL sin. The Old Testament Christian looked forward to Calvary, the New Testament Christian looks back to Calvary, where Jesus, on the cross, settled the sin-debt for ALL, forever. He offered His blood once, to be offered no more. Therefore there remains no sacrifice for sin. We must either put our faith in the shed blood of Jesus, or suffer the eternal torment of a devil's hell. Apart from the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no covering, no remission, no forgiveness for sin.

". . . A body thou hast prepared me." What the law could not do because of the weakness of the flesh, God accomplished when He gave His only begotten Son in a body like unto sinful flesh, and in that body He condemned sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:1-4).

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man" (Heb. 2 :9) .

This verse gives a very clear statement concerning Jesus--how and why He came into the world. Notice that He was made "a little lower" than the angels. He did not take a body like unto the angels, but like unto sinful man, in order that He might suffer, and die. He DID suffer death, and He is now crowned with glory and honor.

Jesus came into the world "that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." Had it not been for God's grace, He would never have allowed Jesus to suffer the terrible death of the cross. Christ did not come into the world to make men moral, or to make men good, nor to clean up lives and cities. He came into this world, took a body like unto the body of sinful flesh, that He might suffer and die, that He might taste the bitter dregs of death, for every man.

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" ( I Pet. 3:18). Beloved, do you see the sinless Son of God as He suffers He who knew no sin, but was made to be sin for us? Can you imagine the agony of His Suffering ? Is it possible for the finite mind to even think of His suffering? Consider that the sinner's place is in hell; and since Jesus took the sinner's place He suffered all the agony, all the woe, all the torment and sorrow of an everlasting hell the Just suffering for the unjust, that he might bring us to God !

He did not suffer that He might make us moral, or that He might make us good, or that He might make us religious. He suffered that He might bring us to God and it took all the pain and agony He endured to keep you and me out of hell ! By like token, those who refuse to receive Him, those who refuse to trust in His finished work, will suffer in hell all that HE suffered to keep them OUT of hell !

I want us to hear the testimony of the Holy Spirit as the Word of God gives it to us in the Gospels. First, let us hear Matthew:

"Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And He took with Him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: Tarry ye here, and watch with me" (Matt. 26:36-68).

The Garden of Gethsemane was a place where Jesus often went to pray. Matthew tells us that on this occasion the Saviour cried out, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death !" In other words, He said, "My soul is about to die!" Jesus was literally pouring out His soul for sin. Beloved, get this: JESUS TOOK THE SINNER'S PLACE and the sinner's place is in an eternal hell. That is what God declares in His word: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die . . ." (Ezek. 18:20). "The wages of sin is death . . ." (Rom. 6:23). ". . . Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1 :15 ) . Sin and death are synonymous.

Is it possible for us to imagine the agony of that hour when Jesus cried out, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" ? And yet, that hour was imperative, as we will see a bit later in our study. It was absolutely necessary that Jesus suffer the agony He described in that prayer!

Now let us hear Mark's testimony as the Holy Spirit speaks through Him: "And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and He saith to His disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And He taketh with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; and saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch" (Mark 14 :32-34).

What do we find in Mark's account that Matthew did not tell us? Mark declares that Jesus "began to be sore AMAZED." Scholars tell us that the Greek world used here is the same as that used in Mark 16:5 where the Spirit describes the women as being affrighted (or terrified).

According to God's Word, Jesus was present when God the Father threw Satan out of heaven and cast down the disobedient angels with him. He witnessed the flood in Noah's day, when every living creature (save Noah and his family) was destroyed. He witnessed the ground opening and swallowing up "all the men that appertained unto Korah . . . they went down alive into the pit" (Num. 16 :32, 33). He sat in heaven's glory and saw the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Beloved, I ask you, in the name of all that is high and holy, if Jesus saw all of these sights of torture and torment without amazement or fright, then what did He see in the Garden of Gethsemane that sorely amazed and terrified Him? Surely there are not enough words in all the languages of all the world to describe the agony through which He passed in that hour!

Personally, I believe He saw the devil and all hell marshalled against Him to stop Him. Satan knew that the shed blood of Christ on the cross meant sure defeat for him; and if you will make a careful study of the Old Testament you will discover that from Genesis to Malachi a river of blood flowed as the devil attempted to stop the seed of the woman whom God Almighty informed him would bruise his head. I believe that Jesus saw all the emissaries of hell, the powers of spiritual wickedness, marshalled in all their strength against Him. He saw the cup that contained all the bitter dregs of sin and He saw these things in the flesh as He had never seen them before. The scene was so much more horrible, so much more terrifying, when He saw it through the eyes of the flesh, that the sight amazed and terrified Him. Beloved, the sinless Son of God suffered all this~nd more that ?Jou and I might be saved!

Now let us hear the testimony of Luke concerning the suffering of our Lord: 'And He came out, and went, as He was wont, to the mount of Olives; and His disciples also followed Him. And when He was at the place, He said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation" (Luke 22:39-46).

What does Luke point out that Matthew and Mark did not tell us? He tells us that in this terrible agony, Jesus prayed so earnestly that His sweat he came "as it were great drops of blood!" I am sure that all who read these lines know that Luke was a physician and who would detect bloody perspiration more quickly than a doctor; Luke points out that as Jesus knelt and prayed, His suffering was so terrible that the arteries in His body, the veins in His face yea, the smallest vessels in His hands, were so energized in agony that they began to shed forth His atoning blood!

But beloved, Jesus did not come into this world to spill His blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was imperative that His blood be shed on the cross. Satan's struggle against the sacrifice of the Lamb of God was so great that he attempted to shed His precious blood before He reached Calvary as He lay prostrate on the ground in the agony of prayer! But God sent an angel from heaven to lift up and strengthen the Saviour.

We have considered the testimony of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Now let us listen to John the Beloved as he records the words of Jesus:

"Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered:others said, An angel spake to Him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This He said, signifying what death He should die" (John 12 :27-33) .

Nowhere does John refer to the Lord's perspiration being stained with blood, nor to the fact that Jesus was sorely amazed, nor that He was exceeding heavy and sorrowful. But he gives us the words of Jesus as He faces the hour when He will taste death for every man.

Jesus cried out, "What shall I say? Shall I say, Father, save me from this hour?" Then He answers, "No, I dare not say, Father, save me from this hour, because I came into the world for this very hour, this hour when I shall taste death for every man, this hour when I shall battle and conquer all hell for allwhowill accept my finished work!"

Now beloved, is it to be supposed that Jesus left the glories of heaven, stepped from the bosom of the Father to the manger in a stable, gave up the riches of glory for the poverty of His earthly ministry, just for the sake of setting an example? Did He suffer all of the agony of Gethsemane, plus the humiliation of His trial, the scourging, the plucking out of his beard by the roots, the piercing of His brow with the crown of thorns, the buffeting and the mocking of the crowds, just to make men moral? In the words of Isaiah, was He wounded, bruised, chastened, smitten, and crucified on a Roman cross just to make sober men out of drunkards, ladies out of harlots, and honest men out of thieves? Did He suffer the shame of the cross that we might become respectable citizens and clean-living people?

The Word of God gives the answer. Christ did NOT endure all of the agony, sorrow, heartbreak and humiliation that was heaped upon Him simply that we might become moral beings and make this world a better place to live in. Until the very moment when He said, "It is finished !" and passed His spirit back to God, all that He did, all that He said, all that He suffered was in order that you and I might be born again and have within our bosom the Spirit of the living God!

Through the miracle of the new birth we poor, finite creatures have the divine nature of the eternal God and that miracle is made possible ONLY as we believe in the shed blood, the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, according to the Scriptures.

We do not hear much about the suffering of Jesus in this age of anemic, "sissy" religion. Too many sermons today are bloodless, void of the message of suffering. Today we hear a gospel that detours around the cross, a gospel that is without suffering, without blood, and without repentance.

It is not surprising that some preachers preach only once a week--and only a twenty-minute sermonette, at that! When a minister detours around the virgin birth, the blood atonement, the sufferings of Christ at Calvary, repentance for sin, and the verbal inspiration of the Bible, and confines his sermon to "the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man," it is understandable that it takes him six days of the week to prepare his sermonette for Sunday morning! It would take me many long hours, I am sure, to prepare a sermon from a social Gospel--but beloved, by the grace of God and as much as in me is, I will preach the Gospel of the cross the "bloody" Gospel, if you please until the Lord Jesus calls me home!

My Bible tells me that without the shedding of bloodis no remission for sin. It tells me that we are redeemed --not with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of the Lamb of God. It tells me that the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses from all sin. And as it was in the land of Egypt the night the death angel passed through, so it is today. God is still saying, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you !"

I am convinced that this side of heaven we will never know the power of the Word of God. Please turn to the eighteenth chapter of John's Gospel, and read the first eleven verses. You will note that a band of men and soldiers, led by Judas, came to the garden to arrest the Lord. They came with lanterns, and torches, and weapons. Jesus, knowing all things, asked them, "Whom seek ye?" They replied, "Jesus of Nazareth.'' Jesus then said unto them, "I AM HE"- and they "went backward, and fell to the ground!" What I want to point out here is the power of the Word. Jesus very calmly spoke three words "I am He" and the power of those words flattened His enemies to the ground.

But I can assure you that if you will receive the Word, it is the power of God unto salvation. If you reject the Word, you will be judged by the Word in the last day. Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the WORD that I have spoken, ~he same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12 :48) . If you will receive the Word, it is the power of God unto the salvation of your soul; but if you hear and reject the Word, woe be unto you when the power of that Word falls upon you in judgment !

30 I am aware that the minister who dares preach the blood today is branded "a slaughterhouse preacher," but I must preach the whole truth of the Gospel, and I know that the blood i.~ what will determine a soul's eternal destiny. If you are covered by the blood, you will hear God say, "Enter thou into the joys of thy Lord." If you are NOT covered by the blood, you will hear Him say, "Take him away bind him and cast him into everlasting darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth !"

Before going further in the message, let me ask you- Are YOU saved? Do you KNOW that you are born again? Do you know that you are covered with the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ? Can you sing, "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine ! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine"? When a minister asks you, "Are you saved?" do you reply, "I am a church member . . . I have been baptized . . . I live the very best I know how"?

If that is the way you answer the all-important salvation question, then I beg you to get on your knees NOW and call on God. Ask Him to save you for Christ's sake. Putyour faith in the shed blood of His cross. If you are hoping in church membership, good works, good living, or morality,you HAVE no hope you are lost! The Bible clearly declares, "Ye MUST be born again . . . Except ye repent, ye shall perish." If you are not born again, bow your head, receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will save you thisvery moment.