Search
Book Reviews
The Day of the Lord
Prophecy
Purpose Of This Website
Copyright Law
Contributions
What Does It Mean To Be Saved

 

A Comprehensive Teaching On The "Outer Darkness"

I. The Law of the First Fruits And The Barley Overcomers
Dr. Allen M. Barber
March 30, 2008

The Holy Spirit first taught me the meaning of the “First Fruits Barley Overcomers” when I was pastoring in Houston, Texas in the 1980's and I taught it to the saints.  It was controversial then and still is, not from the standpoint of the Bible, but from the position of traditional denominational theology.  However, some in the Church did grasp the revelation and understood it, as they were willing to think outside the box of traditional religion.  What is desperately needed today in the body of Christ is the willingness to "think" and question the areas where traditional religion is not in accordance with Sola Scriptura. 

The denominations have much of the revelation of God, particularly prophecy, boxed in within their narrow-minded traditions, and the saints know very little of the truth of the Word.  This will prove to be very costly and unfortunate as we move closer to and into the days of tribulation. For when that time period begins, all man-made traditions will go out the window, and like the Book of Amos says, the saints will be searching for someone who has the truth of the Word. 

There is coming a time when all denominations who have majored on man’s opinions instead of Holy Spirit revelation will fall like rocks and crumple in the maze of ignorance!

THE LAW OF THE FIRST FRUITS

In the economy of ancient Israel there were two primary harvests - barley and wheat. Barley was the first harvest and took place in the spring followed by the wheat harvest in late summer. However, both harvests involved a "first fruits" gathering, that is, the first ripened grain that matured before the general harvest. The workers in the harvests would go out into the field and gather the first fruits and bring them to the temple priest who waved them as an offering before God. This is seen in the "Feast of First Fruits" during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (March - April) and the Feast of Pentecost (May - June). The full Wheat harvest did not mature until late summer as mentioned (August - September):

The Feast of First Fruits (Christ fulfilled this feast when He was raised from the dead - I Cor. 15: 20). This is the Barley Harvest (Note: Barley is more durable than wheat and matures first).

Leviticus 23:9-14 ESV

9 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the LORD with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Notice, there is no leaven in these first fruits (leaven is a type of sin).

The Feast of Pentecost (This feast was fulfilled with coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of the second Pentecost). This is the Wheat Harvest, that is, the first ripen grain.

Leviticus 23:15-22 ESV

"You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the LORD. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. 21 And you shall make proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. 22 "And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God."

These first fruits contained two loaves of bread baked with leaven (the two loaves represent the saved - the redeemed of both Jews and Gentiles, who though saved, have the sin nature, which leaven typifies. Therefore, these two grain harvests, barley and wheat, symbolize two groups of the redeemed -  the overcomers and the non-overcomers. The third harvest, which we will not cover in this article, is the grape harvest that symbolizes the wicked and unbelieving humanity (See Rev. 14:9).


        All of the following point to the fact that the barley company is the first to be raised of all of God’s creatures. James 1:18 says,

18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures [“creation”].

In the book of Revelation, we are told of the 144,000 who sing a new song before the throne of God. In Rev. 14:4 these are called “the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.” First fruits imply that a greater harvest is yet to come. Even as Jesus was “the First fruits of them that slept” (1 Cor. 15:20), so also are the overcomers of the first resurrection (the “144,000” of Rev. 14), the first fruits of others yet to come. The first fruits offering always signaled the beginning (not the end) of the harvest.

Paul alluded to the law of first fruits again in Rom. 11:16 (KJV), saying,

16 For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

The first fruits always sanctified the harvest. When the first fruits of a crop, whether barley or wheat, were offered to God, then the people could go home and harvest the rest of that crop. For this reason, James tells us that the Church is the first fruits of creation. When the Church is “harvested” and brought into God’s house, it is not the end of the world, but the beginning of a greater harvest.

Likewise, the overcomers are the first fruits of the Church. They are the “first of the first fruits” (Ex. 23:19), that is, the barley first fruits that were offered shortly after the feast of Passover. These are the ones who inherit the first resurrection. Rev. 20:6 says,

6 . . . they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

The rest of the dead, both unbelievers and the rest of the believers, will not be raised until the thousand years is finished. Then all of the dead, small and great, will be raised. At that time, the non-overcoming believers will receive LIFE, while the unbelievers will received JUDGMENT, as Jesus said in John 5:28, 29,

28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which ALL who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, 29 and come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of LIFE, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of JUDGMENT.

It is apparent from Jesus’ statement that the resurrection at the Great White Throne will include believers that will be given life, or immortality, as well as the unbelievers that will be judged. This is why we ought to strive to attain “a better resurrection” (Heb. 11:35). The first resurrection is the better resurrection. Those who attain the better resurrection are those who will rule and reign with Christ during the thousand years of the Tabernacles Age.

Notice what it says in the last paragraph, “we should strive to attain a better resurrection” – the First Resurrection.  This is what I have been trying to teach the body of Christ for several years

– THE OUT RESURRECTION FROM AMONG THE DEAD AND/OR THE OVERCOMERS RESURRECTION – THE FIRST RESURRECTION:

11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Phil 3:11 KJV).

The literal Greek is:  Exanastasin (resurrection) ek (out) nekroon (dead).

The literal Greek phrase - "out resurrection from among the dead" implies more than one resurrection with one being better than the other. Paul said he wanted to be included in the better resurrection - the First Resurrection of the overcomers. If there were no believers taking part in the second resurrection (Rev. 20: 11-15), there would have been no need for Paul to state that he was striving to attain the better resurrection as only unbelievers would be raised to stand the second resurrection. He certainly would not expect believers taking part in a resurrection for the damned only!

May the Holy Spirit open the eyes of your spirit to reveal this important truth as the vast majority of saints are not going to attain unto the First Resurrection for they have no understanding of the OVERCOMERS and do not live and walk in the Spirit, which is necessary to overcome the natural man and the body of flesh.   

 II. THE BARLEY OVERCOMERS – THE FIRST FRUITS

(Lev. 23:11; 27:16; Ex. 9:31,32; 23:19; Rev. 14:1-5)

In Revelation 14 we are told about a special group of believers who are in the presence of the Lamb (Jesus) on the Heavenly Mount Zion (The Throne of God). The number 144,000 is a representative number here and not a literal number as in chapter 7 because in chapter 7 we are told that 12,000 are sealed for each of the 12 tribes of Israel.  The 144,000 in chapter 14 are redeemed and purchased from among men (The human race in general). 

Bullinger in his excellent book, Numbers In Scripture, says the number 12 and multiples thereof (12 x 12 = 144) always has to do with RULE

Look at Revelation 14 and compare it with Ephesians 5:17-32 and you will see that the 144,000 are none other than the "Overcomers" who are always in the presence of the Lord and follow him wherever He goes. They also rule and reign with him - something promised only to the overcomers in the 7 Churches of Revelation 2 and 3:

Revelation 14:1-5 NLT

1 Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.

2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roaring of a great waterfall or the rolling of mighty thunder. It was like the sound of many harpists playing together.

3 This great choir [There will be a choir in heaven - thank God for that] sang a wonderful new song in front of the throne of God and before the four living beings and the twenty-four elders. And no one could learn this song except those 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.

4 For they are spiritually undefiled, pure as virgins, following the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been purchased from among the people on the earth as a special offering [First Fruits] to God and to the Lamb.

5 No falsehood can be charged against them; they are blameless.

Comparing this passage with Ephesians 5:17-32, notice the similar language of purity, holiness, blamelessness, etc.

Ephesians 5:17-32 KJV

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Now look at I Corinthians 3 where Paul makes a distinction between the spiritual and carnal believers:

1 Corinthians 3:1-17 NLT

1 Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn't talk to you as I would to mature Christians. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.  

2 I had to feed you with milk and not with solid food, because you couldn't handle anything stronger. And you still aren't ready,

3 for you are still controlled by your own sinful desires. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled by your own desires? You are acting like people who don't belong to the Lord.

4 When one of you says, "I am a follower of Paul," and another says, "I prefer Apollos," aren't you acting like those who are not Christians?  

5 Who is Apollos, and who is Paul, that we should be the cause of such quarrels? Why, we're only servants. Through us God caused you to believe. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.

6 My job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God, not we, who made it grow.

7 The ones who do the planting or watering aren't important, but God is important because he is the one who makes the seed grow.

8 The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose. Yet they will be rewarded individually, according to their own hard work. 9 We work together as partners who belong to God. You are God's field, God's building--not ours.

10 Because of God's special favor to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.

11 For no one can lay any other foundation than the one we already have--Jesus Christ.

12 Now anyone who builds on that foundation may use gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw.

13 But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone's work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value.

14 If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward.

15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames.

16 Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?

17 God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple. For God's temple is holy, and you Christians are that temple.

Clearly, not all believers are Spirit-filled and anointed with the Holy Spirit nor are many blameless without sinful habits - not chaste virgins (spiritually speaking) as the 144,000 are in Revelation 14.  Therefore, they are not in the company of the overcomers when Christ returns and in my studied opinion, the great loss they suffer is not being allowed to reign with Jesus in His millennial reign.  Though saved, they will be assigned the outer darkness which stands for spiritual blindness.

Note: The Greek word for outer is “exoteros”  which means literally or figuratively – “outside the door.”  Jesus said that He was the door to the kingdom as well as eternal life; the Greek word for darkness is “skotos,”  which means obscurity and blindness – spiritual blindness. Taken together they mean outside the kingdom and in the place of spiritual darkness.

Evangelicals have the misconception that when Jesus returns the Kingdom of God will immediately cover the whole earth, but that is not what the Bible teaches. It will take the whole thousand years of the millennial reign for the nations to be taught the Law of God (The law is both righteous and spiritual – see Romans 7).

The Bride of Christ (overcomers) will not just sit on a throne in the millennium, but we are going to be teaching the nations the law of God including the message of salvation. The children born to the nations during the millennium will still have unregenerate souls and need to be born anew just like the present age. The outer darkness is about having no revelation of the Spirit and Word of God.  The carnal believer did not seek nor pay the price for revelation knowledge. Therefore, they are not fit for the millennial Kingdom nor do they have the capacity to teach the nations.

It is obvious the nations are outside the Kingdom realm and in spiritual darkness (Their survival of the tribulation and Day of the Lord does not mean they are allowed into the internal Kingdom. It just means they are allowed to remain in the nation states (geographical locations), but must come to Jerusalem three times a year to pay homage to Jesus as the King of the earth.  The nations that do not pay the Lord homage during His reign will receive no rain (Note: rain is a type of the Holy Spirit and blessing of the Lord - See Joel 2:23).  

It is also my opinion that by the time of the posttribulation Second Coming, all of the carnal believers will have died and only the overcomers, both the dead and the living, will be raised and raptured to join the Lord in the air and descend with Him to the Mount of Olives outside old Jerusalem, which shall be lying in ruins. 

Read Revelation carefully, many people are going to die during the first 3 1/2 years from the plagues of that tribulation, and I believe the carnal believers will be part of that company. For if they do not have Great Faith when the Great Tribulation begins, they could not survive the Mark of the Beast. 

Revelation 3:10 does not mean as you may have been taught by Pre-Trib that via the Rapture, believers will escape the tribulation, but the Greek word for "kept from" is "ek tereo" with the primary meaning of guarding through and/or protection. "Ek tereo" is not to escape out of by a so-called secret rapture, but of a guarding and protection from something.  

You say, but what about the overcomers who are martyred by the Antichrist during the tribulation?  They had Great Faith unlike the carnal believers and overcame the Mark of the Beast by the Word of their testimony and the blood of the Lamb - overcoming meaning they had dying faith to resist the Mark.

God in His wonderful mercy knows the carnal believer (His erring and disobedient children that He loves, but is disappointed in them) do not have dying Mark resisting faith and if he did not allow them to die in the plagues of the tribulation, they would take the Mark.

Remember what God said in the book of Genesis after Adam and Eve sinned:

Genesis 3:22-24 NLT:

22 Then the LORD God said, "The people have become as we are, knowing everything, both good and evil. What if they eat the fruit of the tree of life? Then they will live forever!" 23 So the LORD God banished Adam and his wife from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 24 After banishing them from the garden, the LORD God stationed mighty angelic beings to the east of Eden. And a flaming sword flashed back and forth, guarding the way to the tree of life.

If God in His infinite mercy had not banished Adam and Eve from the Garden and the Tree of life, and they partook of it, they would have lived throughout eternity in their sinful nature without any hope of redemption. 

In similar fashion, God is not going to allow the carnal believers to take the Mark; they will die in the plagues of the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation, and only the overcomers will go through the last 3 1/2 years; however, many will be martyred, but some will survive and be raptured when Christ returns.

The next question that must be addressed is where is the outer darkness for the carnal believer. I cannot tell you with absolute certainty the location of the outer darkness for the dead non-overcoming believer who must wait until the millennial reign is over to receive his glorified  body.  In the Old Testament era and before the cross, when anyone died they went to Sheol or Hades – both the believing and unbelieving dead, but were separated by a great chasm or division.  In story of the rich man and Lazarus, Abraham told the rich man that he could not come over to where he and Lazarus were because of the “great chasm” separating them. 

We know that in the second and inferior resurrection, both the unbelieving and carnal believing dead are raised to the Great White Throne. Therefore, they are perhaps in a similar situation as the Old Testament days. The book of Revelation – the 5th Seal - says the martyred dead are UNDER THE ALTAR in heaven because they have not yet received their glorified bodies, but I believe these are overcomers.

Now understand this:  The carnal believer who dies in the plagues of the tribulation are not the same as the overcomers who walk with God and have revelation of the Spirit and Word, but are killed by the Antichrist. Jesus said “the unprofitable servants are cast into the outer darkness where the hypocrites are.” He did not say they were cast into hell. There is another Scripture where the outer darkness is associated with hell, but its use is determined by the context as is all Scripture. The exact location of the spiritual outer darkness is an unknown, but it is not purgatory.  Dr. Stephen Jones believes it is the grave, but I reject that as I do not believe in "soul sleep." 

The nations that survive the tribulation and the Day of the Lord that are allowed into the kingdom are outside the parameters of the kingdom throne - they are in essence outside in the area of the outer darkness, that is, the physical outer darkness and must be taught the Law of God during the millennium. This is not to be confused with the spiritual outer darkness reserved for the carnal believer.

I realize that for believers who are bound-up in traditional religion, this is new ground that may be hard to accept, but If you study this carefully you will see that it makes sense. Because something may be difficult to understand at first (remember Peter said the things Paul wrote were hard to understand for those who twisted the Scriptures) does not mean it is wrong or heretical. I tell you this, the pretrib rapture theory is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated upon the Church, yet millions believe it.

The following article was taught to a group of believers who were attending a Bible study in our home during 2004-5. It will challenge traditional denominational doctrine and I doubt you will ever hear any teaching on the subject. The Holy Spirit led me to study the concept of the outer darkness when I was pastoring a Southern Baptist Church (I am an ordained and licensed minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ) near Houston from 1979-1983. In addition, I read Watchman Nee's commentary on Matthew (a highly anointed man of God who died for his faith in Mao Tse Tung's labor camps for Christian leaders) in which he takes the same position on the "outer darkness." Dr. Stephen Jones has excellent articles on the outer darkness (www.gods-kingdom.org), which support this article. The Word of God says a matter is confirmed by two or more witnesses. God is giving his prophets revelation that you will not hear in traditional religion because they are not open to the whole council of God, but are bound-up in their man-made doctrines.

It is interesting that God seems to be placing his prophets (those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit, not man, is saying) in a 10-year wilderness. The Holy Spirit took Dr. Jones out of the pastorate and placed him in a spiritual wilderness from 1982-1992. Rebecca Brown, M.D. (author of Becoming a Vessel of Honor), says God placed her in a 10-year spiritual wilderness before she began her writing ministry. In 1992, the Holy Spirit placed me in a spiritual wilderness that lasted also for 10 years. At the end of that period (1992-2002) I wrote my first book on eschatology (prophecy), which exposes the errors of pretribulationism. Satan greatly opposed and delayed the publication, but in God's timing it was published and released by Tate Publishing on August 1, 2011.

In Luke 4 Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil before He began his earthly ministry. For some reason, God seems to prepare his servants in the "wilderness" (while Jesus' experienced a literal physical wilderness, ours is more a spiritual wilderness) before He sends them forth into the world to engage in spiritual warfare with the enemy. Moses's wilderness experience lasted 40 years on the backside of the desert. The point is God has to place His servants in a place where He can speak to them and they can hear His voice. After pastoring for 10 years and caught-up in denominational life, the Lord had to separate me from that environment in order to teach me the truth about the end-time as well as many other areas of His Word. During that experience, my wife and I went through some severe testings in our finances, marriage, and you name, it as Satan tried everything he could to destroy our faith. We look back at that experience and wonder how we got through it - only by the grace of God!

Read and study this article carefully and do not throw the baby out with the bath water simply because it is new ground or something you may not first understand. Our God did not start one denomination - they are all the work of man cooperating with Satan to divide the Body of Christ into many sects - something the Apostle Paul warned about in I Corinthians 3:

 

THE OVERCOMERS AND THE OUTER DARKNESS

(An Introduction)

Dr. Allen M. Barber

October 24, 2004

 

Ephesians  4:11-15 KJV

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

The idea of the Greek text in the above Scripture is that the “saints” grow up (mature spirtually) into Christ so as not to be deceived by the lies of false doctrine and cleverness of men skilled in the ways of the world and manipulations of the truth. 

I. Only believers are given the privilege to know the mysteries of the kingdom, but we can know them and are to know them:

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. (Matt 13:10-13 KJV).

Mystery is “mysterion” in Greek and means that which is concealed or hidden, but it does not carry the connotation of not being able to know and understand. The spiritual alone can understand spiritual things – I Corinthians 2: 12-14:

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit, which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

II. The Prerequisite For Knowing the Truth and Having Spiritual Discernment:

CONTINUING IN THE WORD OF GOD.

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32 KJV)

God is under no obligation to give the believer His truth that does not continue in the Word of God during his entire Christian life on earth.  The Greek word for continue is “meno” which means to stay under, immovable and fixed upon.   It does not mean a lazy slothful indifferent or careless attitude.

III. The Overcomers, A Review From the Last Study:

From Revelation 2 and 3 we looked at the 7 Churches and saw that Jesus promised the “overcomers” only would rule and reign with Him in His kingdom on earth when He comes again. To each church, He cautioned them to come out of sin, dead works, and repent and become overcomers.

Caleb and Joshua are examples of Old Testament Overcomers. They believed God and were the only two people of the old generation who came out of Egypt (A type of the world) that were allowed to enter the Promise Land.  The future Promise Land is the millennial Kingdom of Christ on earth.  Only Overcomers will be allowed to enter that Kingdom not ALL THE SAINTS.

 - The Resurrections – proof that only ovecomers will reign with Christ in His earthly Kingdom:

The apostle Paul said that he strived to achieve the “out resurrection from the death.”

10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Phil 3:10-11 KJV).

The Greek text implies the “out resurrection” from among the dead, the dead being those who died in unbelief and await the General Resurrection after the millennium.  Therefore, it implies that some believers will also take part in the General Resurrection and not the First Resurrection, which is the resurrection of believers only, and the only one called a BLESSING.

Luke 12:46 supports this:

45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. KJV.

Notice this is a servant of the Lord and not a lost person. He is lazy and unprepared for the Lord’s coming and lives a carnal careless life.  When the Lord comes, he is appointed his portion (lot) with the unbelievers meaning he will not take part in the First Resurrection nor enter the Kingdom of God on earth.  The Greek phrase for “cut him in sunder” means “to scourge severely or to punish as to deny him entry into the millennial Kingdom.” Thus, the punishment is severe.

Revelation 20: 4-6, 11-15 teaches two resurrections separated by 1000 years:

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Notice again as we saw last time, that this text does not teach that no one was found written in the book of life, only that those who were not found in it were cast into the Lake of Fire – this is the second death, not the second resurrection.

The Second Resurrection is the General Resurrection of all the dead who did not take part in the First Resurrection, including believers who were not spiritually mature at the First Resurrection and were given their portion with the unbelievers.  This is the Second Resurrection, but not the second death otherwise; believers would be assigned the Lake of Fire also. The second death is the Lake of Fire. 

This is also the carnal believers who were denied the privilege of reigning with Christ in His Kingdom on earth and were cast into THE OUTER DARKNESS.

IV. THE OUTER DARKNESS (WE LOOKED AT THIS LAST TIME):

1. Those who did not have GREAT FAITH were cast into outer darkness:

Matthew 8:5-12 KJV

5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

10 When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

11 And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into “ outer darkness:” there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. KJV.

Notice these are children of the kingdom, not lost people and no mention is made of casting them into hell, but the outer darkness.  We must learn to interpret the Word of God in the proper context.  This is not a Jewish only text, but Jesus is teaching a principle – THAT GREAT FAITH IS NECESSARY TO ENTER HIS KINGDOM ON EARTH.

The term Kingdom of Heaven means the Kingdom of God coming to earth with Jesus ruling and reigning as King over it. It does not mean the Heaven above the earth. 

The Greek Word for “outer” is exoterosliterally meaning outside the door and/or forbidden entrance.

The Greek Word for “darkness”is Skotosmeaning obscurity and darkness of error or spiritual blindness.

2. Those who did not have on the proper wedding garment were cast into the outer darkness.:

Matthew 22:8-14 KJV

8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment:

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how came you in here not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

The Greek word for “weeping” is klauthmos meaning to wail or cry loudly.   The Greek word for gnashing is brugmos meaning to grate the teeth as one in anguish, pain and great grief.

The implication is that when those believers realize they did not pay the price to live godly, holy, dedicated, committed lives while the Bridegroom tarried and will be denied entrance into the earthly Kingdom of the Lord and cannot reign with him there is going to be great sorrow and anguish of spirit.

Please notice verse 14 – Many are called to the Wedding, but few are chosen to enter the Kingdom. This verse has nothing to do with Calvinism even the Calvinist use it to support their position. The CONTEXT determines how any word or phrase is used.

Their crying will not move the Lord to allow them in His Kingdom.

3. The UNPREPARED SERVANT will be cast into the outer darkness:

Matthew 24:45-51 KJV

45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Notice in this parable the Lord calls the unprepared slothful servant who is not looking for his Lord to return an EVIL SERVANT.  The Lord expects His Church to be looking for His return and to be prepared when He does return. 

4. The servant who DOES NOT USE THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS the Lord has given him to build-up the household of God on earth (The Church and/or body of Christ) will be cast into the outer darkness:

Matthew 25:24-30 KJV

24 "And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, "Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 

25 "And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.'

26 "But his master answered and said to him, "You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 

27 "Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.

28 "Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.'

29 "For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.

30 "Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. NASU.


Notice that those who are fearful of bearing public witness to Jesus in their lives and have no regard for the privilege of having the Holy Spirit and spirtual gifts in order to build-up the church will not be part of the earthly Kingdom of God.  Believers must get rid of “fear” and use their spiritual gifts for the glory of God and for the benefit of the saints.

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

V. THE MISSING QUALITIES IN THE CHURCH OF LAODICEA (Laodicea is the type of the carnal worldly end time church; Note: this is a real church, but has become completely void of true spiritual life):

Revelation 3:14-22 KJV.

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

This passage has been used to stress evangelism, but it has nothing to do with that rather it is Christ rebuking a lazy, slothful, carnal, materialistic spiritually blind Church without genuine faith. It is just going through the motions like many are today.

THE MISSING QUALITIES IN THIS CHURCH ARE:

1. They lacked “gold tried in fire” which is symbolic of GREAT FAITH.

1 Peter 1:6-7 KJV.

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Faith that is genuine is tried in the furnace of affliction and passes the test or trial and is compared to gold that is refined in a furnace of hot fire.  The fire removes all the impurities from the gold and it becomes a valuable commodity. 

Many believers do not allow the Lord to test them in the furnace of affliction, but instead seek to get out from the pain and discomfort.  Therefore, their faith never matures. 

As one writer said of this text:  “If believers are alive when the Great Tribulation begins and have not great faith by allowing it to be tested, it will fail during the fire of tribulation and they will be cast into outer darkness.” (Jeff Forrester - The Tribulation Institute).

Up until the present time, it has not been hard to live the Christian life in America because we have been protected from persecution, but the day will soon come when our faith is going to be tested in the fires of severe persecution and we will need to have Great Faith.

2. They lacked having on WHITE RAIMENT – the proper clothing of righteousness or wedding garment and/or the ability to attend the Marriage of the Lamb.

The “White Raiment” stands for PURITY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS.

1 Corinthians 15:34 KJV.

34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Ephesians 5:17-27 KJV

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. KJV.

Verse 27 must be understood in the context of the whole passage beginning with verse 17 where we are told to be wise in understanding the will of the Lord and that will is that we BE FILLED CONTINUALLY WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE ACTION IN GREEK IS CONTINUOUS.

The Church whom Christ comes for and the one who will reign with Him in His Kingdom on earth is the one that is Spirit-filled, holy, pure, and righteous in manner of life and testimony for the Lord.

Paul was using the analogy of a marriage between a husband and a wife to teach the spiritual principle of submission to the Lordship of Jesus.  Just as a godly Spirit-filled woman and wife submits to a godly Spirit-filled man and husband, so all believers who are Spirit-filled naturally submit to the Lordship of Jesus in their lives and are part of the glorious church without spot or wrinkle.  Carnal, lazy, sinful believers who are not Spirit-filled will not be part of the Bride that will reign with Jesus in His coming Kingdom on earth.

The church of Laodicea lacked PURITY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THEIR MANNER OF LIVING.

The Parable of the Wedding Garment that we saw in Matthew 22 in which the man did not have on the proper clothes is the same as Laodicea – he lacked Holiness and Purity of Righteousness.

The righteousness here is not the righteousness of salvation, but the righteousness of holy living and godly works.

3. The Church of Laodicea lacked the ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:

“Anoint the eyes with eyesalve.

The Greek meaning of anoint is to rub in oil which is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

The Greek meaning of eyes means to have the eyes wide open and/or to be spiritually alert not blind or deceived.

To anoint the eyes with eyesalve is a figure of speech that literally means to be awake to the spiritual truths of the Word of God particularly as it pertains to the approaching Kingdom.

The church of Laodicea had no spiritual anointing and no discernment and therefore was living in total deception of their true spiritual condition.

ONLY THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ABLE TO GIVE THE BELIEVER THE ANOINTING, WHICH IS NECESSARY FOR THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO FUNCTION IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM. 

 1 John 2:27-28 KJV

27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS CAN USED INCORRECTLY IN THE ENERGY OF THE CARNAL FLESH AND PRODUCE NOTHING BUT WOOD, HAY, AND STUBBLE.

The anointing upon “flesh” is necessary for the spiritual gifts to work properly in the body of Christ or they will be misused for the glory of the flesh.  The spirituals [charismata –grace gifts] were never meant to function in the flesh of the natural man. 

VI. THE PARABLE OF THE 10 VIRGINS:

Matthew 25:1-12 KJV

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

6 And at midnight, there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

This is not teaching a Pre-Trib Rapture as all are virgins. The text tells us it is speaking of the Marriage and Wedding of the Lamb of God – Jesus when He returns to earth in His Kingdom.

The 5 foolish virgins had no extra oil or anointing of the Holy Spirit.  The Bible says the lamp of God is the spirit of man where God deposits His Spirit and truth.  All 10 virgins were born of the Spirit – had the new born spirit of the new birth, but the 5 foolish were not filled and anointed with the Spirit. Therefore, they were not permitted to attend the Marriage of the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus.

The Greek really helps us out here in understanding who the 5 foolish virgins are.  Notice in verse 12 that the bridegroom (Jesus) tells them that He does not know them.  The Greek word for “know” is oida and is in the PREFECT TENSE IN GREEK.  The English language has no equivalent of the Prefect tense.

The Perfect tense in Greek expresses 3 ideas:

1. An action in progress.
2. Coming to a point of culmination.
3. Existing as a completed result.

The three ideas taken together imply a process, but looks upon the process as having reached a consummation and existing as a completed state.  “Oida” to know is also in the PASSIVE VOICE IN GREEK AND MEANS SOMETHING IS ACTING UPON THE SUBJECT.

Therefore, what the Greek text is saying is that Jesus was looking at the 5 foolish virgins to see if they had progressed in spiritual maturity (The Holy Spirit allowed to act upon them with His anointing and power) and when they should have exhibited a completed action of possessing much spiritual fruit, they had none – no anointing of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus did not say He never knew them, only that He did not recognize any spiritual maturity or anointing upon their lives. Therefore, they were not permitted to attend the wedding. 

This is the same teaching Jesus gave in John 15 about the branches:

John 15:1-8 KJV.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

All of the branches are IN CHRIST, but some bear fruit even much fruit and some do not bear any – their works are cast cast into the fire and burned, not that they are cast into the fire.  The fruit is the spiritual works of the Spirit-filled anointed Christian while the non-bearing fruitless Christians are the carnal, slothful and lazy believers who will be cast into the OUTER DARKNESS and not be allowed to have any part of the Lord’s Kingdom on earth.

They will be raised in the General Resurrection with the unbelieving dead. They will not be cast into the Lake of Fire with the lost, but will join the whole family of God in the New Jerusalem at the beginning of the 8th Day or the eternal state. However, it will be a great loss not to be permitted to reign with Jesus in His Kingdom on earth when he comes back.

VII. TWO MISUNDERSTOOD PRINCIPLES:

1. The casting out of demons is evidence of the Kingdom of God at work on the earth.

Matthew 12:28-29 KJV.

28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

Does this imply that believers who do not believe in demons and/or that believers can have demonic invasion and that do not deal with them by casting them out will not be permitted to enter the Kingdom of Christ on earth?  Think about this, will there be demons in the earthly Kingdom of Christ?  NO!  They will be bound along with the Prince of demons.

Dr. Joe Allbright, perhaps the leading authority on demonic invasion in believers, has written in his book, Liberating the Bruised, that the Church has the responsibility to set the captives free of demonic bondage. Unfortunately, many believers are bound by demons in the soul area having given ground either voluntary through willful sin or involuntary through the generational bloodline. Simply because denominations do not believe that demons exist or can invade demons does not relieve them of the responsibility before God. 

There will be no demon-oppressed believers in the Kingdom of God on earth!

2. The healing of the sick is evidence of the Kingdom of God at work on the earth.

Luke 10:8-12 KJV

8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

There are some who try to make this a strictly Jewish text since the disciples are given instructions to only go to the lost sheep of Israel. However, the disciples represent the “ekklesia” – called out ones from the nation of Israel to become the first new converts and leaders of the Church.  Therefore, the Lord is teaching a principle in this text that healing was part of the Old Covenant and also part of the New Covenant.

The gospel in the Old Testament, Isaiah 53, proves that healing continued in the New Covenant and even more so because at the cross Jesus dealt not only with sin, but sickness and disease.

Isaiah 53:4-5 KJV

4 Surely he hath borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

The Hebrew word for grief’s means sickness and disease and the Hebrew word for sorrow means pains.

Likewise the Hebrew word for healing means to mend by stitching clearly a reference to physical healing.

Whether or not we seek physicians and modern medicine for healing or strictly faith in the Blood Covenant of Jesus, all healing comes from the Lord and He should be sought first in regard to healing of the body. 

The greatest and best healing that brings the most glory to God is healing that comes solely by FAITH. However, if you do not have a revelation of this by the Holy Spirit, by all means seek a doctor. Sometimes the Lord uses the medical profession to add to spiritual healing.  Believers who do not understand the covenants and who do not live by faith have only one alternative to healing – modern medicine.

The apostles understood that healing was in the New Covenant:

Matthew 8:17 KJV.

17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah  the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.

1 Peter 2:24 KJV

24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Does this imply that sick believers who do not believe and walk in the Blood Covenant will not be permitted to enter the Kingdom of God on earth – Yes and No.  This is a much involved teaching and there are many reasons believers get sick and do not get healed.  It all depends upon the “light or revelation” given to the believer.  One day I will teach on healing in the covenants.

I will say this that since 1992 when the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see that healing is in the New Covenant, Deb and I have not been seriously ill nor injured requiring medical care.  We have been attacked by sickness, but we do not allow it to remain on or destroy the Holy Spirit’s temple, which is our body. 

THERE WILL BE NO SICK PEOPLE IN THE KINGDOM AS THE CURSE WILL BE REMOVED IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST ON EARTH.

Today the curse remains on the earth, but the Church is like Israel in the land of Goshen during the plagues of Egypt (A type of the world) – they were protected.  Those of us who walk by faith in the Covenants are protected from sickness and disease, but we also must take care of our physical bodies by having the proper attitude toward food and drink.  We cannot be gluttons and expect to walk in the healing of the covenant.  For many believers their god is their stomachs.

I realize what I have taught you in this article is a controversial teaching in that it does not line-up with traditional religious doctrine, but I challenge you to take all of this material and study it in theWord of God – that is test it and see if it is not the truth.

When Jesus taught that to enter into the fellowship of His sacrifice, it was the same as eating his flesh and drinking His blood, many of the disciples left Him as they could not handle the controversial teaching. Actually, He was stressing the importance of the spiritual union with Him through the offering of His body upon the cross and the shedding of His blood, and unless one came into that union via the suffering of the cross, they could not be His disciples.   Jesus turned to the remaining disciples and said, “Will you leave Me also?”  Peter answered by saying, “Lord, where will we go, you have the words of eternal life?”

Because something sounds controversial, it doesn’t mean it is incorrect. We must study the Word in full dependence upon the Holy Spirit who will always guide us into all truth. The problem is very few actually study the Word, but rely exclusively on what someone else says for their revelation.  Unless we ourselves KNOW what the Word says because we have paid the price to study it, then we will always be at the mercy of someone else’s revelation.  God wants each of us to know His Word so the Holy Spirit can guide US INTO ALL TRUTH.  

My prayer is that you will study the material of this teaching and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of it to your spirit and mind.  This did not come out of some commentary, but by revelation of the Holy Spirit comparing Scripture with Scripture. 

The Outer Darkness - Part 1
Dr. Allen M. Barber
February 1, 2009

Introduction

Before reading this article, please read the two articles in the Biblical Topical Articles page - "The Law of First Fruits and the Barley Harvest" and "The Overcomers and the Outer Darkness" for the background to this article.

Having studied this issue for many years,  I was never satisfied with the articles I read as being the true revelation of God including my own attempts to explain this little understood topic. For the most part it is ignored by the majority of ministers and biblical scholars; perhaps for two reasons: (1) It is not understood so it is best to leave it alone. (2) Once it is understood, the revelation is too controversial for traditional religion to accept; therefore, why rock the boat and upset the apple cart. There may be other reasons, but I think these two are primary.

May I say before I begin the article that I owe much to Jeff Forrester for his insights into the Outer Darkness. Of the many articles I read on this subject, his work is the "only" one in which I sensed any revelation of the Holy Spirit (See I Corinthians 2: 12-16). Jeff's website, The Tribulation Institute, is no longer online and I have not been able to locate his whereabouts. He also had excellent articles on other prophetic topics.  If anyone knows what happened to Jeff,  I would appreciate your feedback.

When God gives his end time prophets or for that matter the Church any revelation of the Word it is to be shared with the body of Christ, not hoarded as if it is that person's sole revelation. All of the apostles and writers of the New Covenant were given individual revelation; for example, Peter, Paul, and John, whose works constitute a large segment of the New Covenant, all wrote about specific doctrines peculiar to their own revelation yet became part of the canon for the Church. It is the same today or should be. What I mean by revelation is Holy Spirit illumination of the biblical text not a "new" revelation apart from or outside the Sacred text.  There is no such thing today as "new" revelation outside the Bible.  Some argue that other non-canon writings such as the etc. should have been included in the New Testament Canon as well as the Gospel of Thomas, The Epistle of Clement, The Epistle of Barnabas,book of Jasher in the Old Testament, which is mentioned in Joshua and 2 Samuel. Having read and studied these works, I see no reasons to include them in the final Canon given to us by the early Church Fathers, even though the information is excellent historical data. The book of Jasher sheds great light on the history of Nimrod and Shem who is the Melchizedek of the book of Hebrews not Jesus. Shem as Melchizedek was a type of Christ and was the King of Salem - the forerunner to city of Jerusalem, whose king is the Lord, that is, the New Jerusalem.

Jeff describes revelation as follows:

...as another dear brother in Yeshua reminded me, this just affirms the Scripture that says the body of Yeshua (Jesus) is made-up of many parts each having their own function and part of that function is that different believers get different revelations on certain subject matters even though each of them may study with reverence and ask for personal revelation concerning the same verse or verses.

I believe that this way the Lord does things concerning the revelation of truth may have something to do with keeping one from getting puffed up. Yeshua will however give you revelation to build upon the revelation that you received from another. In other words when the Holy Spirit who is the Teacher, reveals the truth to you of someone else's revelation, he can teach you more about the same revelation that was not included in the other person's revelation.

Jeff's point is well taken and is supported by II Peter 1:20-21.

Well, that is a brief background on the subject of revelation as all true local Churches are established by Holy Spirit revelation. If there is no revelation of the body of Christ, there is no true Church, just a shell. All of the denominations are nothing but shells even though there may be genuine Christians residing in them. They have not heard or answered the call to come out of Babylon. Babylon in the Bible always represents false religion and is the reason the warning is given in Revelation 18:4 for Christians to come out of her for she is laden with leaven - false doctrine. The chaste virgins of Revelation 14 are those who did not defile themselves with apostate religion.  I received an email from a high school classmate about a year ago whom I had not heard from in many years and my heart was saddened to read of her active involvement in one of the mainline apostate denominations, yet it was obvious she has no revelation of the truth. Many who profess Christ today will end up in the Outer Darkness because they choose to unite with a false Babylon Church. My heart is grieved to have to say that, but it is the truth.

What is the Outer Darkness and who will end up there? Does it involve living or dead believers?  These questions will be discussed and answered in this study. 

The Outer Darkness

The best way to approach a study of this subject is to define the words "Outer" and "Darkness." Then taken together we can discover the truth of this important end time truth.  The word "outer" is used only four times in the Bible as follows:

Ezekiel 10:3-5 KJV

3 Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court.
4 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD's glory.
5 And the sound of the cherubims' wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.

Matthew 8:10-12 KJV

10 When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 22:11-14 KJV

11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Matthew 25:29-30 KJV

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Strong's Dictionary of New Testament words says the word "utter" is also a synonym of "outer" and means that which is the exterior or the outside.

In the Ezekiel passage, the setting is the temple in Jerusalem, which is the meaning of the word "house."  Ezekiel was a contemporary of Daniel and was deported to Babylon in about 600 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar invaded the Southern Kingdom of Judah with its capital at Jerusalem where Solomon's temple stood. The temple was a three dimension structure: (1) the outer court consisted of the areas outside the temple proper and was called the courtyard of the Gentiles and the courtyard of the women. It was marked off by a large stone wall that ran the perimeter of the temple compound (I have been to Israel and walked upon the temple mount and prayed at the Wailing Wall).  The Wailing or Western Wall is what is left of Herod's temple that was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.  Since the Jews are not allowed on the temple mount. the Wailing Wall has become their most sacred place of worship. They cling to this piece of real estate as their legal right to exist and as a connection to their ancestry and history. Since they reject the New Covenant, they have no revelation of the coming Antichrist who will control the temple mount and prohibit them from worshiping at the Wailing Wall (See Daniel 11:31).  Since the Antichrist and False Prophet will be Jews, the Jews will accept both and be deceived along with all the other apostates.  The Fig Tree of Matthew 24 in no way predicts a spiritual awakening of the Jews to Messiah Jesus; on the contrary, the Fig Tree symbolizes the final destruction of the nation Israel and its religion - Kabbalistic Judaism.  For any Jew to come out of the Fig Tree and be grafted into the Olive Tree - the Israel of God, they must accept the Lord Jesus Christ.  There is no other way for a Jew to be saved today.  They cannot be saved by attempting to keep their Old Covenant as descendants of Abraham. The blessings of Abraham are fulfilled in Yeshua Jesus and the Israel of God - the Church.

The Gentiles were allowed to walk upon the outer court as well as the Jewish women (no Jewish woman was allowed in the temple proper - the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies). In Revelation 11, John is told to measure the temple area, but to leave out the outer court for it was given to the Gentiles to trample upon for 42 months. The outer court (outside courtyard) was subjected to the elements - night and day; the cold of winter and the heat of the summer. It was also the place of the brazen altar for slaying the sacrifices and the laver for washing and cleansing.  Only the Levitical Priests could offer the blood sacrifices and worship God in the temple proper - the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. In addition, only one man, the high priest, could enter the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement to atone for the sins of the nation.

(2) Holy Place - the second part of the temple was located behind the first veil in the temple edifice. When the priest entered the Holy Place from the outer court, they encountered a veil separating the Holy Place from the  Outer Court. Inside the Holy Place were the Table of Showbread, the Menorah, and the Altar of Incense (placed before the second Veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies - it was this second veil [a very large heavy curtain] that was torn from top to bottom when Jesus was crucified).

(3) The Holy of Holies (the "Holiest of all"), which contained the Ark of the Covenant upon which was the mercy seat. Inside the Ark of the Covenant were the two tables of stone - the 10 commandments and Aaron's rod that budded (Note: there was no Ark of the Covenant in Herod's temple). The reason the Holy of Holies was the Most Holy Place was that God's presence hovered above the mercy seat; when Aaron, the high priest and the high priests who succeeded him entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, they carried with them the blood of the Passover Lamb and sprinkled the blood upon the mercy seat mixed with incense from the the Altar of incense. When God saw the blood upon the mercy seat and smelled the sweet fragrance of the incense, He forgave the sins of the nation for that year, which carried over to the next year.  In this way, the forgiveness was temporary and not efficacious  in putting away permanently the sins of the people. In essence, this religious system was only a type and a shadow of the substance to come - the Lord Jesus Christ who by His death upon the cross and shedding of His blood to be later presented to the Father in Heaven in the heavenly temple, put away forever man's sin against holy God. The pathway into this "new way" of entrance and acceptance by God was by faith in the Christ's finished work upon the cross and resurrection. Had Jesus not been resurrected, even on the third day, then the cross would have had no power to forgive sin. The sin bearer had to defeat both sin and the grave (death) in order for the sacrifice of Jesus to be efficacious for all mankind.  Thank God Jesus did and now He is at the Right Hand of the Father fulfilling all righteousness until it is time for Him to return and claim His Bride and setup His kingdom on this earth. That day is not too far off even closer than we think.

The Outer Court stands for the "Flesh of man" and carnality.  Just as the Outer Courtyard of the temple was subject to the elements, man's flesh (the soul and heart of man) is subject to Satan's attacks as well as false doctrine.  Why? Because just as the light of God's presence was only in the Holy of Holies, the light of  God's revelation is only in the reborn spirit of man. The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord - the place where the Holy Spirit resides and the area where the Word of God germinates - is planted to bear the good seed of a faithful life.  The outer court then stands for "spiritual darkness" for God does not place His Spirit or His Word upon the flesh of man. Millions and even billions are in the outer court where no revelation of God exists. Just as the Gentiles mingled in the outer courtyard of the Temple area in the earthly temples, they had no understanding of the God of heaven for God is a Spirit and He must be worshiped in Spirit and truth. While billions worship in physical edifices, they remain outside the veil in the outer court and have no knowledge or relationship with the true God. This extends to many denominations today who are as blind to the truth as those who founded these worldly organizations.

Matthew's Account of the Outer Darkness.

The other three passages dealing with the Outer Darkness are found only in Matthew and there is a reason for that.  The theme of Matthew's gospel is the "kingdom of God;" however, it is not a Jewish kingdom, but a spiritual kingdom typified by the Sermon on the Mount. This does not mean the coming kingdom is not a literal kingdom, but that the subjects of the kingdom must be spiritual people to gain access into it. Matthew presents the King Jesus, as the one establishing His kingdom on the earth.  Since the religious leaders of Israel and the Jewish nation thought they would inherit the kingdom because they were natural descendants of Abraham, Jesus gave them some shocking news that only spiritual people would enter His kingdom. Many "professors" will be cast into the outer darkness. At first glance it appears Jesus is addressing only the Pharisees, but a closer examination of the three texts in Matthew reveals it includes those who profess faith in Jesus and are in fact believers.


The principle reason Jesus did not intend for His discourse in Matthew 8 to be inclusive only of the unbelieving Jews is because the context involves a dialogue Jesus had with a Roman Centurion (a Gentile and not under the Covenant of Abraham). When Jesus said this lowly Roman soldier (the Jews not only despised the Romans, but believed they were lower than cattle) had more faith than anyone in all of Israel, He was not only condemning the self-righteous Pharisees who prided themselves in being above sin, but the nation as a whole who should be following in the footsteps of Abraham, the father of faith (Romans 4). The reason the sons or children of the kingdom would be cast into the outer darkness is not because they were Jews, but because they lacked true faith in the God of Israel, which just happened to be Jesus; therefore, the focus of the dialogue is on FAITH - the door or entrance into the kingdom. The greater principle then is that the true sons of the kingdom are those who actually have the spiritual fruit of genuine faith.  The truth is that Jesus cursed the whole nation of Israel and said it would never bear any fruit worthy of the kingdom of God (See Mathew 21:18-22) and will not, not even the modern nation of Israel. Likewise, there will be Christians who will not bear any fruit worthy of the kingdom and will not be allowed to enter because their works lacked true faith.  You need to understand that the millennial Kingdom of God will be on this earth, not in a heavenly sphere. When the Kingdom of God comes to this earth, it will never be anywhere else. The right to enter the Kingdom and reign with Christ is more about the works of righteousness than the condition of righteousness. This is one reason many do not understand the teaching of these parables. They think the Kingdom of God is in the heavenly realms, but it is not. Jesus is coming to this earth to setup His Kingdom and rule from His throne in the New Jerusalem.

Finally and perhaps more importantly, the Gospels were written by Christians to Christians not to unbelieving Jews. The eleven disciples came out of Judaism to become the true spiritual tribe of Judah and the Israel of God. Once a person becomes a believer in Jesus Christ, he or she is no longer a Jew or a Gentile, but the One New Man - the body of Christ and in the future, the Bride of Christ. You need to keep this in mind as you study this article on the Outer Darkness.

In Matthew 22, the setting is the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Remember the import of Parables is to hide truth from the unbelievers while giving specific revelation to the saints). In this Parable, a man who is invited but does not have on the proper clothes (a wedding garment) is discovered and asked how he was able to get into the wedding ceremony. Now the man does not represent a non-believer; otherwise, he could not have been invited. Upon disclosure of his condition, he is expelled from the wedding and cast into the outer darkness. Notice in this parable Jesus says many are called but few are chosen. This one statement by our Lord lends strong credibility to the "overcomers only" inheriting the kingdom regardless of our opinions or preferences. This is something we had better pay attention to lest we end-up like those who weep and gnash the teeth when they are not allowed in the kingdom of God although they were very religious during the Church Age (See Matthew 7:21 and following).

The third passage in Matthew 25 concerns the Parable of the Ten Virgins - five were wise and five were foolish, but all were virgins representing believers. In the extended narrative, the Lord adds the Parable of the Talents and pronounces judgment upon the unprofitable servant who buries his talent in the ground, and in addition, fails to give his household meat in due season. He is cast into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I have learned one thing about the meaning of some doctrine or phrase repeated three times. It is to emphasize finality and certainty of fulfillment. The Outer Darkness is a true doctrine as well as the condition of those ending up there - there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth. The Greek meaning of Matt 8:12 - hoi dé huioí teés basileías ekbleetheésontai eis tó skótos tó exoóteron Ekeí éstai ho klauthmós kaí ho brugmós toón odóntoon where exooteron skotos is the outer darkness and klauthmos brugmos odontoon is weeping and gnashing of teeth has the connotation of loud wailing and anguish of spirit. These people are anything but happy; on the contrary they are in extreme emotional pain brought about by a deep sense of loss.  Their loss is not being allowed in the Lord's kingdom. Have you ever done something only to learn later that it costs you great loss when it could have been avoided;  I once suffered a great loss in my life, which caused deep regret and days of weeping, but all to no avail as I realized there could no reversing of my actions. I had to live with the consequences and still do to this day. Well, this is something of what the Outer Darkness will be for the millions of believers who find that is their fate.

Cost of Discipleship

Jesus told us what it would take to be His disciple and I'm afraid many do not meet the requirements even though on the surface they think they are okay in their smug lifestyle .  We like to glaze over or hurry past those Scriptures that are more black and White and not at all gray, especially if they make us uncomfortable.  I had rather be uncomfortable today than in that day when the Lord consigns many to the Outer Darkness.

The following Scriptures concern true discipleship:

Matthew 12:48-50 NKJV

48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?"  49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers!  50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." 

Luke 14:25-27, 33 NKJV

25...Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.  27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

John 8:32  NKJV

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 

Matthew 13:18-23 NKJV

18 "Therefore hear the parable of the sower:  19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.  20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;  21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.  22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.  23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." 

These Scriptures take us out of our comfort zones and bring us back down to earth where the rubber meets the road, that is, where truth dispels lies that we can profess a bland Christianity that does not call for sacrifice and commitment to the Lordship of Jesus yet think we will still make it heaven when we die or be accepted into the Lord's kingdom when He comes. Notice the several times the Lord says we cannot be His disciple unless we are committed to Him - put Him first in our daily lives. Let's be honest, many never think of the Lord, pray to Him or open a Bible until Sunday when they don their religious hats. As soon as the so-called worship service is over, they are right back in the mindset of the world. The scene is repeated every 7 days.  What folly.

Notice in the Matthew 13 passage in the Parable of the Sower the number of references to the Word of God.  Jesus said the Parable of the Sower is the key to all the Parables. The Sower is Jesus and the seed is the Word of God. The ground is the heart of man.  Only one of the 4 grounds received the Word and acted upon it.  God said that He has elevated His Word equal to His name and Jesus said only those who continue in His Word are His true disciples. This may shock some folks, but if you are one who claims to be a disciple of the Lord, yet you have little regard for the Word (You seldom read or study it) you have not been born-again of the Holy Spirit and are still lost in your sins. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Word of God and it is His desire that all true believers love and grow in the knowledge of the Word. You had better check-up on your Word level as well as your hunger for the spiritual manna.  I can usually tell if someone's salvation is real by the value that attach to the Word of God.  The Church is full of false Christians who don't know the Word of God and take it lightly.  When I was saved 38 years ago this coming April, I was given an appetite for the Word of God and it has never let up.  I can honestly say that I had rather eat the Word of God than physical food and I do enjoy eating, especially chocolate.

Jesus said those cast into the Outer Darkness would join the hypocrites! What is a hypocrite? Someone who professes to be something he or she is not. There was a program on TV back in the 1950's called, "I led Two Lives."  That is what hypocrites are - they live double lives - one life around their co-workers and friends Monday through Saturday and another life on Sunday around their Church friends. That is what Jesus called the Pharisees - hypocrites because of their religious hypocrisy.  

Before I deal in more detail with what is the Outer Darkness and the location, we need to look at who are those cast into the outer darkness (I have already hinted at this).

The Ones Cast Into the Outer Darkness

The apostle Paul wrote several controversial things, that is, from the perspective of the human mind. One is in his first letter to the Corinthians Chapter 3 in which he describes two kings of Christian - the spiritual and the carnal. The carnal believer is one whose spirit is saved, but he lives for the flesh. His works are wood, hay and stubble that will not stand the fire of the Bema Judgment (Romans 14:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:10). Their works shall be burned-up yet their soul shall be saved. Their robes will not be endowed with the good works of righteousness. They shall not take part in the kingdom of our Lord but shall be outside the door in the court of the Gentiles - the Outer Darkness. 

Paul also told us in I Corinthians 15:22-23 that "all" IN CHRIST (the redeemed) shall be made alive (resurrected) but each man IN HIS OWN ORDER. Taken in the context of the chapter, which is about the resurrection of dead saints, it is obvious the reference is to more than one resurrection.  We know from the book of Hebrews and the Revelation there are two resurrections - the First Resurrection in which only the overcoming saints participate and a second resurrection (the General Resurrection) in which both believers and unbelievers take part. Who are the believers who take part in the second inferior resurrection?  The carnal believers who would not pay the price to overcome their own flesh, the world and the powers of the devil.

Look again at Matthew 8: 12 - "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Who are the children of the kingdom?  When a person becomes a believer in Christ, they are the children of God (It is unbiblical to refer to all people as children of God as some politicians and religious people are doing today)"

Matthew 13:38 KJV

The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one. (Only Satan is referred to in the Bible as the wicked one).

I have already shown that the person cast out of the wedding feast in Matthew 22 because he did not have on the proper garment was not an unbeliever, but a believer. There will not be any unbelievers invited to the wedding feast.  We must remember that Matthew 22 is a Parable and such are for the purpose of hiding spiritual truth from unbelievers. The Parable is to illustrate a spiritual truth hidden from both unbelievers and the carnal Christian. The Holy Spirit does not impart spiritual truth to carnal believers for a carnal believer is ruled by his soul and not by his spirit.  Jesus gives the order to bind this person hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness, which implies he does not want to go there. It also implies cognitive knowledge of his situation.

Now  the third and last passage in Matthew 25 in which an unprofitable servant of the Lord (notice he is a servant of the Lord) is cast into the outer darkness is most certainly not an unbeliever, but a Christian:

For it will be like a man going on a long journey who called his servants and entrusted to them his property - Matthew 25: 14 ESV.

And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth - Matthew 25: 39 ESV

All three servants in the Parable of the Talents are believers (Christians), but one is cast into the outer darkness.  The evidence from Matthew  is that those cast into the Outer Darkness are believers.  There is only one place where Jesus associates weeping and gnashing of teeth with hell:

Matthew 13:38-42 KJV

38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Everything must be taken in the biblical context to discern the meaning. In this passage the context is the end time harvest and the wicked are gathered to be burned with the fire of hell; therefore, the weeping and gnashing of teeth in this passage has to do with unbelievers in contrast to the other three passages in Matthew where the weeping and gnashing are associated with believers.

The truth is that many believers will be cast into the Outer Darkness and not be allowed to serve with Lord in His millennial kingdom. This is sobering truth that may be scorned and mocked and even rejected as heresy, but will be proven to be the truth when Jesus comes; however, it will be too late for the mockers to do anything about it.

The next article will deal with why these Christians are cast into the Outer Darkness, What is the meaning of Skotos (darkness) and where the Outer Darkness is located. Read the article, "The Overcomers and the Outer Darkness" in the Biblical Topical Section before the next article - Part 2.

Do not be mislead by denominational or Charismatic ministers who reject this teaching as they have no revelation of this truth. 

The Outer Darkness - Part 2
Dr. Allen M. Barber
February 17, 2009

In the previous article, we learned that those who are cast into the Outer Darkness are believers; they are not Jewish unbelievers as some teach. The gospel of Matthew was written by a Christian to Christians not to unbelieving Jews. Because certain passages in Matthew have Jewish terminology, some theologians, particularly the Pretribbers, stress they are "Jewish only passages." One example is the Olivet Discourse - Matthew 24. That is like saying that because Jews who are being saved and added to the Church makes the Church a Jewish body (the first disciples were all Jews, but they came out of the Old Covenant of Judaism and became part of the new Israel of God and the Judah Church).

When the Lord was giving His discourses, He was addressing His disciples who would later become the foundation of the New Covenant Church. Paul said the doctrine of the Church was built upon the foundation of the New Covenant Apostles and Prophets and Jesus Christ, the cornerstone. The New Covenant is a Christian canon, not a Jewish document. To try to make certain prophetic passages a Jewish text is to render harm to the intent of the Holy Spirit who is the inspiration for the New Covenant. Why would the Lord establish the New Covenant in His blood and then have the apostles and prophets write it to unbelieving Israel. Because the Lord addressed the unbelieving Jews and rebuked them for their blindness does not mean those passages should be interpreted to imply they were for Israel and not the Church. This is the real replacement theology -  the teaching that is trying to make Christians revert back to the Old Covenant by mixing Judaism with Christianity. Those who do that are blasphemers and in strong disobedience to the will of God. They need to read Paul's letters to the Galatians and to the Hebrews and repent. In fact, Paul said that Christian Jews who were trying to incorporate Jewish rituals and laws such as circumcision, Sabbath keeping, and ceremonial cleansing were falling from grace. He even said he wished those Jews who were trying to make the Gentile Christians observe circumcision, would mutilate themselves. If Paul were alive today, he would rebuke the so-called Messianic Congregations that are trying to make Gentile and Jewish Christians worship the Law. My wife and I attended one such fellowship in Dallas and it was pathetic - the Jews were parading the Law (scrolls) up and down the aisle, kissing and bowing down to them. This was idolatry and I strongly rebuked the Congregational leader for his hypocrisy and apostasy. He politely told me to kiss off and do not come back to his whatever you call it.  He didn't have to worry as we had not intention of going back there.  Some who attended the meetings also were part of our home Bible study and I discouraged them from attending; however, they did not heed my advice and left the Bible study.

The reason I shared this is to have you understand to whom Jesus was addressing when he warned about the Outer Darkness.  It will help your further understanding of why some believers will not be allowed in the Kingdom by looking at a problematic passage in Matthew 7:21-23:

Matthew 7:21-29 NASB

21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'

24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. 25 "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. 26 "And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. 27 "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall."

28 The result was that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

At first glance, it appears Jesus is speaking of unbelievers because He tells them that He never knew them. The Greek text helps here as the word for knew is egnoon, which is derived from the root word ginosko. Ginosko has several meanings depending on the immediate context. In the Matthew 7 passage, the word conveys the idea of not understanding or not recognizing rather than not knowing. What is it that Jesus does not understand or recognize? Obviously, it is their works - they claimed to have cast out demons; prophesied (preached) and performed many miracles - ALL IN THE NAME OF JESUS; no doubt they did, but all their works (not their persons), Jesus rejected. I can think of many so-called preachers and prophets today who appear to be doing many mighty works in the name of Jesus, but how much is what they do to bring attention to themselves and to take large sums of money from the saints. Many of these carnal ministers will be told their works were all wood, hay and stubble and thrown into the Outer Darkness - to their shock and surprise I might add! 

Watchman Nee has excellent commentary on Matthew 7:21 and following:

Verse 21 tells us positively that in calling Jesus Christ Lord we shall enter the kingdom of heaven, though not everyone who so calls will enter in. The emphasis is laid on the words - "not every one" - "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord," says Paul in Romans 10:9, "You will be saved." thus indicating the first condition for entering the kingdom of heaven (on the earth - emphasis mine) is being saved; however, not everyone who is saved enters the kingdom automatically; for not all Christians have part in the kingdom. (I remember first time I read Watchman Nee's books back in 1977-78, I thought he was off his rocker, but later the Holy Spirit showed that he was correct and I was wrong).

There is a second condition; namely "that he that does the will of My Father who is in heaven shall enter in." Consequently, the general conditions for entering the kingdom of heaven (the kingdom is not going to be in the heaven of the heavens, but on this earth; the term kingdom of heaven simply means that it is not of this earth, but it comes to this earth; that is why Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world and it was not and is not; it originates from the throne of God in heaven and came to earth the first time in the body of Jesus; today it is in the body of Christ - the Church, but in the coming kingdom Age it will be literally on this earth for Jesus will be here along with His Bride - the overcomers of His Church - emphasis mine) are (1) being saved and (2) doing the will of God.

7:21 lays down the general conditions for entering the kingdom of heaven. 7:22 illustrates the special exclusion from the kingdom and 7:23 tells of the special consequence thereof for such people.

The word "knew" in Verse 23 is the past tense for the same Greek word translated "know" in Romans 7:15. In the original it means to recognize or to understand. "I never knew you" may therefore be translated as "I never recognized you" - which means "I never recognized what you did as right." (this is supported by both Thayer and Vines Greek Word Studies - emphasis mine). 

Now the people in question here are definitely Christians for the following reasons:

(1) The context in which these words of Jesus are found is the so-called Sermon on the Mount (I once preached from that place in Israel - the Mount of Beatitudes; it was a beautiful sight with golden wheat fields in the background; the shepherds tending their sheep and the Sea of Galilee in the foreground; I consider myself extremely fortunate to have stood and preached the Word of God in the same place as the Lord Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount - emphasis mine), which as we have continually seen, is primarily spoken to believers.

(2) The teaching of the mount from the beginning to end never instructs us as how we can be saved since it is obviously addressed to those who are already saved.

(3) This small section from Verse 21 to Verse 23 does not deal with the question of faith; rather it treats of the matter of conduct. We know we are saved through faith and not by works. Hence what is said here has nothing to do with eternal perdition of the unsaved.

(4) "In that day" (V. 22) - What day is "that day?" These words refer to the day of judgment at the judgment seat of Christ before which the saved alone will appear (we know from I Corinthians 15: 23 there will be more than one appearance before the judgment seat of Christ because not every believer will appear at the same time - emphasis mine). This is not the judgment of the Great White Throne (It is my belief and that of some others, carnal believers who missed the millennial reign will appear at this judgment - I will discuss this in more detail when I address where the Outer Darkness is located - emphasis mine). Technically, the Great White Throne is also a Judgment Seat of Christ because it will be the Lord Jesus who is the JUDGE.

(5) The people in question here have called on the name of the Lord; therefore they are the Lord's (I Corinthians 12:3 - "No one can call Jesus Lord except by the Holy Spirit" - emphasis mine).

(6) Notice the works they perform: they prophesy by the name of the Lord, and by the same Name they cast out demons and do many mighty works.

"That day" is a specific term in the Bible. As today is the day of man (see I Cor. 4:3: "or of man's judgment," which in the original is "of man's day") when man judges, so "that day" is the day of the judgment-seat of Christ when all the saved -and no one but the saved -shall be judged (see 2 Tim. 1:12, 18; 4:8). Having done an intensive study on the Day of the Lord in which "that day" is a parallel term, the Day of the Lord is both a judgment for believers (actually an examination for rewards) as well as judgment upon Satan, the Antichrist, the False Prophet and all those who took the Mark of the Beast - emphasis mine.

V. 22 "Many" shall not enter the Kingdom of heaven. "Lord, Lord..." They call on His name once again.

"Prophesy by Your name and by Your name cast out demons, and by Your name do many mighty works" - All these are considered to be great gifts in the Church: to prophesy is to do the work of a prophet; to cast out demons is to bring in the kingdom of heaven; and to do mighty works is to exercise the power of the age to come. Those who perform such acts specifically cite these things because they think by these things they are most qualified to enter the Kingdom.

V. 23 The word "confess" in Matthew 10:32-33 points to the saved ones. If we do not confess the Lord before men now we will be denied the glory of the Kingdom of heaven. Similarly, the passage here rendered as "then I will profess unto them, I never knew you" is better translated as "I never recognized or approved of you;" and the reason for the disapproval is given in the words "You that work iniquity" - wherein "iniquity in Greek actually means "lawlessness" - not working according to the rules of the kingdom of heaven.

"Depart from Me" simply denotes that they have no part in the glory, a glory which is very different from what is mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 1:9.

Hence the general conditions for entering the Kingdom of Heaven are a being saved plus doing the will of God.

The Holy Spirit who dwells in man is the Person of the Holy Spirit (He is a personal being not an "it" - emphasis mine) and therefore, He is to rule over man. But the Holy Spirit that falls upon man is without personality (He is not seen outwardly - emphasis mine) and therefore HE also obeys man: "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets" (I Corinthians 14:32). Did you catch that: The Holy Spirit is given to us to indwell and fill us causing us to submit to the higher will of God and not our own will or the will of man, but He also will obey us meaning that if we choose to follow our own will, then the Holy Spirit will not interfere with our decisions. Few in the body of Christ understand this.  I once asked the Church I pastored in the Southshore area between Houston and Galveston, Texas, if they could see the body of Christ or did they have a revelation of the body of Christ. They had no clue to what I meant because they had not seen the body of Christ in the Spirit. All they knew was the external body and all their worship was outward in the flesh. That was the time during my first year; afterward a few came to see the body of Christ with their spiritual eyes and it did not come by mealy-mouth preaching of the Word or watered down compromise but by bold strong preaching and teaching (I was not very popular with those people, but then again God did not call me to be popular, but to be His mouthpiece) Emphasis all mine. 

It is possible to be lawless even in prophesying, in casting out demons, and in doing mighty works. There is the danger of not doing the will of God in all these things. We need to ask the Lord to deliver us from the iniquity of the sanctuary (see Numbers 18:1). Let us realize that in the last days these same things shall be greatly increased. (Excerpts taken from the King and the Kingdom of Heaven by Watchman Nee, pages 74-76).

The "workers of iniquity" in Matthew 7: 21-23 are believers who will not be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven and while it does not say so, they will be cast outside the Kingdom into the Outer Darkness. If you will learn to see the Bible as several parts of one whole, that is, a book of books and apply the immediate context to the context of the whole book and the book to the whole Bible, you will learn not to take Scripture out of context; however, in order to do that, you must be acquainted with the whole Bible. Many, perhaps most believers think the study of the Word of God is for the preachers and the theologians, but that is a false assumption.  We are all commanded to Study the Word of God as a workman (Yes, studying the Bible is work) not to be ashamed, but rightly dividing the Word of Truth. I had a conversation this week with a man who came to install a breaker for a new heating and AC unit; he is a Christian and we talked at length about the Word of God. It was obvious he had spent many hours studying the Word and could quote it from memory, yet he was an electrician and not a theologian or minister. We have far too many adult babies in the Church who have never growth one inch in their spiritual development - forgive me for saying so but the Baptists and the Charismatics seem to have many such babies. The mainline denominations are worse than baby Christians as many of them are not even saved including the ministers.

The reason these believers are not allowed into the Kingdom of God, which will come to this earth when the Lord returns is because they were lawless meaning they did not allow the Holy Spirit to use the Law of God to crucify the flesh (old man) and to tame the soul (the mind, the emotions and the will); instead of using the spiritual gifts by the power of the Holy Spirit, they used their soul gifts to do the works of God, which He must reject. Anything a believer does that is not of the Holy Spirit is wood, hay, and stubble. Their works shall be burned-up by the fire of God's judgment and their nakedness evident - void of any works of the Spirit; they shall depart from the Lord and be consigned to the Outer Darkness.

Religious emotion, commotion and intellectual prowess are not evidence of the spiritual gifts. The "spirituals" are manifested in a contrite and humble spirit and one that trembles at the Word of God (see Isaiah 66:2).

In the article entitled, "The Overcomers and the Outer Darkness," we saw the missing qualities in the Church of Laodicea - overcoming faith or faith tested in the fire; purity of life; and Holy Spirit anointing. The Laodiceans were haughty, prideful, materialistic, boastful, independent, intellectual, and spiritually impoverished, so much so that Jesus literally said in the Greek language that He wanted to vomit them out his mouth.  Laodicea is the condition of a large number of professing Christians in the last days for it is the 7th and last Church the Lord addresses. The Greek root word for Laodicea is an interesting word that means in our English language to radiant brilliantly. The light of the Church of Laodicea was of their own doing, that is, their perceived brilliance. They were all dressed-up in religious clothes (works) and looked good in their own eyes and to the world for it was a compromising Church - it was not built-up on the doctrine of the apostles and prophets but in their own man-made substitutes for Sola Scriptura.  This Church Jesus vomited out His mouth. Where would they end-up - in the Outer Darkness? Christ appealed to anyone inside that Church who was willing to leave it and become an overcomer.

Those who are cast into the Outer Darkness are carnal disobedient Christians who considered the Law of God of no account and thereby would not allow the Holy Spirit to use it to break down their own old man and all his good intentions. They did not live the crucified life of denying self, taking up their cross, which means keeping the old man with all his soulical abilities nailed to the cross where Jesus put him and following the Lord (submitting to His absolute Lordship).  Do you want to be an overcomer and serve with the Lord in His Kingdom, then you must daily deny your old corrupt self and allow the discipline of the Holy Spirit to bring your spirit, soul, and body under His influence and power. Remember, He will obey you, that is, not interfere if you choose to do your own thing. 

The next article, Part 3, will deal with the location and timing of the Outer Darkness.

The Outer Darkness - Part 3
Dr. Allen M. Barber
March 1, 2009

Scriptures (ESV)

Matthew 8:5-13

When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly." 7 And he said to him, "I will come and heal him." 8 But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; let it be done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment.

Matthew 22:1-14

And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.' 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.' 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 For many are called, but few are chosen."

Matthew 25:14-30

"For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' 21 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' 23 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' 26 But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Matthew 13:36-43

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." 37 He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear...47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24:45-51

45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed,' 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know 51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Luke 13:22-30

He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them, 24 "Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us,' then he will answer you, 'I do not know where you come from.' 26 Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.' 27 But he will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!' 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."

Hetaire and Filoi

In the interim time between Part 2 and Part 3, I mentioned that I had encountered a problem with the meaning of the word, "friend," in the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14) concerning whether the man who showed-up at the event without the proper attire was either a saved carnal believer or a lost person. This came about as I was reading a well written article on the Outer Darkness in which the author made the case for the man being lost since Jesus used the Greek word hetaire instead of filoi - both meaning friend, but hetaire implies an acquaintance not a close intimate friend.  Since He used hetaire in reference to the man and not filoi, then the logical meaning is the man was lost and the Outer Darkness must be hell. That is the conclusion of the author who addressed the issue in the Parable of the Wedding Feast. In addition, the Lord referred to Judas as hetaire and the other disciples as filoi and we know that Judas never believed in Jesus as the Son of God. When Judas betrayed the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane, he called him, Rabbi, a title meaning "Master Teacher" and the same title the Scribes and Pharisees liked to be called. In Matthew 23:8, Jesus told the disciples not to call themselves by that title for they had "One" teacher and that was God (more specifically the Holy Spirit - See John 16:13).  Judas never referred to Jesus as Lord. He again referred to the Lord as Rabbi on the night the Lord observed the Passover Meal with the disciples (the Last Supper of the Lord's Supper). In the case of Judas, hetaire without question refers to a lost person.

The problem then is the use of hetaire in Matthew 22:1-14. Does it mean the other passages dealing with the Outer Darkness must be understood as the place of torment (hell)? As I restudied the previous articles I wrote on the Outer Darkness as well as re-examined the original Greek texts where the term Outer Darkness is mentioned or implied, the overall context was the answer to my dilemma as is usually the case. Before I get into the "meat" of Part 3, it would be worthwhile to review what we have learned to date.

Review

In the article on the Overcomers and the Outer Darkness, I endeavored to prove that that the ones cast into the Outer Darkness were believers and not the lost. The reasons for their fate we observed from the condition of the Church of Laodicea (Laodicea was a Church for it was one of the seven golden lampstands that Jesus said He held in His right hand): 1) They lacked great faith (2) they did not have on the proper garment - purity and righteousness (works of righteousness) and (3) they lacked Holy Spirit anointing. In essence, they were carnal and lived their lives under the power of the soul and did not submit to the Lordship of Jesus.

In addition, in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we gave one example of the meaning of the Greek word, exooteron, (outer) from the outer courtyard (courtyard of the Gentiles) of the temple in Jerusalem. The temple proper (Gk. hieron or the sanctuary) was composed of three sections: The first section was the outer courtyard. The second section was the inner room behind the first veil known as the Holy Place, which contained the menorah (natural light) and the third section behind the second veil, which was the Holy of Holies or the most Holy Place (Gk. naos). The third section contained the Ark of the Covenant with the mercy seat, the tables of stone (10 commandments) and Aaron's rod that budded (the second temple or Herod's temple, which was actually a refurbishing of Solomon and Zerubabel's temple did not contain the Ark of the Covenant, the 10 commandments and Aaron's rod that budded). Jewish history contends that Nehemiah hid the Ark in a cave in the land of Moab before the Babylonians invaded Israel. There are many rumors and speculations that either Israel has the Ark or the Vatican has it. No doubt it will probably be discovered and made merchandise of by the Antichrist when he takes control of Jerusalem. The main point for this discussion is that the Holy of Holies was the place of God's presence in the tabernacle and the first temple; therefore, it contained the light of God (the uncreated eternal light that God is as opposed to the natural light, which the menorah represents).

The outer court where the common people of Israel and the Gentiles had access was subject to the elements - the sun, the moon, and the stars (natural light) as well as the darkness, the cold of winter and the heat of summer. The inner rooms (the naos) were protected from the elements or natural environment, but the light of the Holy Place (second section of the temple) had to be re-supplied every day with fresh oil (olive oil) in order to keep the menorah lit. The light of the third room - the inner sanctuary or the Holy of Holies (naos) contained the light of God (the presence of God). Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement.

What does this have to do with the doctrine of the Outer Darkness?  The outer courtyard represents the unbelievers (lost man) - those who dwell in spiritual darkness and have no knowledge of God, even though they pass by the temple of God and give it no thought just as many Jews and Gentiles did during the Age of Law. The lost, though physically alive, are spiritually dead and are Satan's subjects for they belong to his kingdom. When they hear the Word of God or the gospel message, they are indifferent to it, that is, unless the Holy Spirit brings them under conviction of sin leading to repentance. It also represents the carnal believer (flesh man) who though saved has little light (spiritual knowledge). This serves as a clue to what Jesus meant when He said some believers would be thrown into the Outer Darkness with the hypocrites. What is a hypocrite?  A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be something he is not (See Matt. 7:21-23).

Concerning the other two sections of the temple; the first inner room of the hieron (sanctuary proper), the Holy Place, represents the believer who has been saved and has the oil (light) of the Holy Spirit, but must have continual fillings to maintain a life lived under the control of the Holy Spirit. It is not automatic, which the Parable of the Ten Virgins portrays. It also represents the Pentecostal Age (the present age). Just as the light in the Holy Place was natural light (of this world), the believer though indwell by the Holy Spirit still has his natural life inherited from Adam and is not yet perfected. He must, as all believers, constantly yield to the Holy Spirit in order to walk continually in His power and presence (anointing). The majority of the saints live either in the Holy Place behind the first veil and are sometimes filled with the Spirit, but live primarily according to the strength of the natural man, which can do many things, even great and mighty things; however, it derives from the soul (soul power) and is rejected by God or they live entirely in the outer court. They got saved, but did nothing with their spiritual gifts. They are carnal saints who seldom venture behind the first veil and seek a deeper walk in the Holy Spirit. Tragically, they never go behind the second veil (the Holy of Holies) and live in the presence of God daily. Those in the Pentecostal Age who go behind the second veil (remember this second veil was the one torn from top to bottom when Jesus was crucified symbolizing that man now had full access to the presence of God via the shed blood of Jesus) and live continually in the presence of God are the overcomers of the Church.  They in essence are already living in the Tabernacle Age when they will receive their glorified bodies As one commentator correctly said, "They are the chosen from those who are the called." (See Matthew 22:14 above). They will rule and reign with Christ in his millennial kingdom, while the carnal believer is cast outside in the Outer Darkness. Will believers who live sometimes behind the first veil (the Holy Place) and sometimes in the outer court be cast into the Outer Darkness? It is my opinion they will for not maintaining a consistent walk.  We are commanded to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit. The Greek meaning of "filled" in Ephesians 5:18 is to be constantly filled by the Holy Spirit. The filling simply means that the Holy Spirit is the power and authority of the believer. The Spirit-filled believer does nothing by his own power, but yields his life permanently to the Holy Spirit's control. This does not imply he is an automaton or that he has no choice or free will. On the contrary, the Spirit-filled believer willingly gives his will to the Holy Spirit. The truth is the Holy Spirit will never act against the believer's free will except in cases where the believer may be under an attack by demonic spirits and may have lapsed into a state of passivity. To protect the believer, the Holy Spirit may take His own initiative to circumvent the believer's actions if his will has been taken captive to obey Satan. (See II Tim. 2:26).

Whether it is the Old Testament or New Testament era, the overcomers have always been a minority. They make-up the David Church (spiritual) while the majority of the Church is the Saul Church (those ruled by their flesh and invaded by demons). Now, there is no use writing me that believers cannot have demons, for I have counseled many believers who have had demons and who were MPD.  I am convinced countless saints are beaten-up and tormented by demonic spirits via generational bloodlines or some traumatic experience usually in early childhood such as molestation, etc. but are not aware of it. They need an anointed Word-based counselor to get free. Sometimes, but rarely, a believer can free themselves of demonic oppression via the Word and prayer or reading good sources on deliverance. I know of one young lady who wanted to be free from lesbianism and without the aid of a Christian counselor, she came out of that lifestyle and recently celebrated her two year anniversary.  While I had a small part in her deliverance, she got free by yielding her life completely to the Holy Spirit and obeying the Word of God. As I said, her case is rare, but she wanted a complete break with that lifestyle, and though she had to make some tough choices including separating from her partner, she was willing to obey God and achieved victory in her life.

The point is no believer that has demons is going to be allowed in the kingdom (See Matt. 12:28). I mentioned this in one of the other articles on the Outer Darkness. Dr. Joe Allbright, who has an international deliverance ministry, says the Lord holds the Church responsible for dealing with believers who have demonic spirits.

A Bible study group once sent a young Baptist lady to me who had been in and out of psych wards several times yet was almost a zombie. In fact, when she came to me, she was in a catatonic state. After three sessions, she was making improvement, but some Baptist ladies (her friends) were afraid I was going to inflict further mental harm to her because they did not understand the demonic realm or how deliverance works. They convinced her not to return for counseling. The last I heard she had been back in the psych wards. Secular psychologists do not understand the supernatural and how both God and Satan work in that realm.  While Satan is not a spiritual being, he is a fallen angel with supernatural power. Only God is a spiritual being, that is, the eternal uncreated Spirit. That is why Satan is not a spirit, but a fallen angel for he was created by God. When we are saved, we receive God's uncreated life in our reborn spirit (Watchman Nee has great articles on this subject). This is how the Holy Spirit can dwell in our spirit because it possesses the uncreated life of God (eternal life). Now, that does not mean we are a god for we shall always be the physical and spiritual creation of God. We did not begin our life by being a god. We were created by God. The core of New Age teaching is that man is really a god and only needs to get in touch with his inner self to reach nirvana - state of heavenly bliss.

Believers who have demonic spirits living and occupying the soul area (principally the mind) and have not dealt with them, shall not be allowed in the Kingdom of heaven (earthly realm). What did Jesus say about this: "Where demons are cast out, there is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 12:28). Many leaders in the Church are going to suffer lost of rewards for not having the spiritual knowledge and desire to deal with demonic spirits in the saints. The Christian life is not about playing religious games on Sunday while Mr. or Mrs. Feelgood bring a shallow speech that does not teach the saints how to die to self and bear their cross daily. Sorry, but that is the truth! The Church is supposed to be a spiritual hospital where lost people get well. There are undoubtedly many Christians who are sick not only in their bodies, but also in their souls. They need help, but secular psychologists cannot help them. They need spiritual deliverance.

How Others Have Dealt With the Outer Darkness

In my study and research of the Outer Darkness, I read many articles by serious seekers of truth that were interesting and informative. It may help to understand this complicated subject by sharing their contrasting views. I will give excerpts from one lengthy article. The author in this particular article, took the position the Outer Darkness must be understood within the context of the passages dealing with the weeping and gnashing of teeth. While there are six passages that mention weeping and gnashing of teeth, only three deal with the Outer Darkness as we have seen in our study - Matthew 8:12; 22:13; and 25:30. The other three are Matthew13: 42, 50; Matthew 24:51 and Luke 13: 28 (see above), but do not mention the Outer Darkness. He says these verses must be understood along with Matthew 13:42 and 50 where gnashing of teeth is associated with hell:

Matthew 13:36-43; 47-50 NKJV

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field."

37 He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!...47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48 which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50 and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

In addition, Matthew 24:51 was given as a reference to hell because of the phrase, cut him in two (NKJV) or cut him asunder (KJV).

I suppose if there was anything I learned in seminary earning my Masters and Doctor's degrees were the courses on "biblical hermeneutics," which is the study of the methods used in interpreting the Scriptures. The Word of God is sacred text (all of it) and must not be treated as some hodge-podge assortment of stories that can be taken anyway one desires. On the contrary, there is a principle for correctly interpreting the Scriptures that must be followed if anyone desires to have the revelation of the Holy Spirit, as He alone shines the light of understanding upon the Word of God. The one method for interpreting the Scriptures that has proven to be the best method down through the centuries and millenniums of the Church Age is the literal grammatical and historical approach. The texts of Scripture are to be taken literally within the immediate and overall context of any passage. By literal, I mean the Bible means what it says, even the figurative language is to be taken literally when interpreted by other passages and individual words within a context. For a doctrine to be accurate, it must be a consistent application in both Old and New Testaments. Some doctrines are developed within several verses of one book while others have a consistent theme in both the Old and New Testaments. The Day of the Lord is an example of a doctrine that is consistent in both Old and New Testaments. Many Christians who are seeking personal counseling or simply want motivational texts miss what the Holy Spirit intended when He inspired the Bible to be written in several books that comprise a composite revelation. Because they have not been trained in biblical hermeneutics, they fail to apply the contextual approach for a proper interpretation and oftentimes arrive at a position that is more their opinion than Holy Spirit revelation. This is the way false teachings originate; taking Scripture out of context and adding human opinion to it.  God has warned us not to add to or take from His Word; He meant that by the way.

Applying the principles of proper hermeneutics to this author's commentary on the Outer Darkness (several others took the same position), his position is weak because only two Scriptures out of six mention hell (the furnace of fire). The overall context for weeping and gnashing of teeth does not reference hell. His contention is that if only one Scripture mentions hell, then that binds all the others to that concept, that is, the weeping and gnashing of teeth must be associated with hell in all the references to that phraseology. As they say in Texas, that won't hold water. In the Matthew 13 passage above, Jesus was explaining the Parable of the Tares and identified the tares as the sons of the wicked ones. The timing for their judgment is the end of the age or the final harvest. Jesus never calls these bad seed anything but the sons of the wicked one - Satan. He does not refer to them as servants or sons of the kingdom as he does in the three passages that deal with the Outer Darkness. Notice that He refers to the good seed as sons of the kingdom. Compare Matthew 13:37 with Matthew 8:12 where the sons or children of the kingdom are cast into the outer darkness.  Would Jesus refer to the sons of the kingdom in one passage as the good seed and in another passage consign them to an Outer Darkness that is the furnace of fire (hell)?  Absolutely not!  The tares are not Christians who lost their salvation. No, they were lost souls who never repented. They were born lost and died lost.  The context determines that the tares in Matthew 13 in no way relate to the servants who are cast into the Outer Darkness in Matthew 8, 22 and 25.

His position on Matthew 24: 51 as a reference to hell is interpreting the Scriptures by the principle of assumption, which means he assumes the phrase cut him in two or cut asunder must mean hell because of the severity of the wording. The Greek word for "cut asunder" is dichotomeesei from where we get the English word "dichotomy." It means two opposing parts. The extension of dichotomeesai means "to beat severely; punitive or punishment."  To understand what Jesus meant we must consult the broader context in the Parable of the Householder:

Matthew 24:45-51 NKJV

"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Notice that both are servants in charge of the master's household. One is wise and gives the household meat in due season. The other is evil and believes his master's return is a long way off, so he beats his fellow servants and eats and drinks with the drunkards. This is a parable and like all parables, the purpose is to hide truth from unbelievers. Well, what is the truth or message the parable is conveying? The house is the Church or the saints (Peter calls the Church the household of God in I Peter 4:17). The meat or food is the Word of God (Heb. 5:12; I Cor. 3:2), but it is specific meat (the meat of due season). It is the message that the King and the Kingdom are near at hand. In other words, it is the preaching and teaching of end time prophecy. Since we know that Jesus is not going to literally sever one of His servants, we must look beyond the figurative language for the application of the word, which is to injure the conscience. How did this evil servant injure or wound the conscience of his fellow servants? In two ways: (1) Teaching the Lord's return was not imminent (it won't be until the Abomination of Desolation) (2) Having fellowship with the world. The Apostle Paul explains the danger of wounding the conscience of a fellow believer in the following passage:

1 Corinthians 8:7-13 ESV

7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

By living in the world and teaching the Lord would not return for an indefinite period, the evil servant was wounding the conscience of his fellow believers; therefore, when Jesus returns, He will oppose this evil servant and do to him what he was doing to his fellow servants; beat him severely by consigning him to the Outer Darkness with the hypocrites. The Lord shall make a dichotomy between the good and evil householders; one shall be allowed into the Kingdom and made a ruler over many things while the other one is cast out into the Outer Darkness; outside the New Jerusalem, the HQ of the Lord's Kingdom. The Lord's Kingdom is spiritual, meaning that it is ruled by spiritual people who have received their glorified bodies and become spiritual flesh. Jesus  received His spiritual flesh on the day of His resurrection. In that sense, He is the first fruits of the first resurrection. The overcomers will receive their glorified bodies (spiritual flesh) on the posttrib Day of the Lord. Those who did not pay the price to go behind the second veil and live daily in the Lord's presence shall not be allowed in the inner sphere of the Kingdom. They shall live outside in spiritual darkness.

To help you grasp this truth, think about how the ancient kings built their cities and palaces in which no one had access to the king unless he or she was granted that privilege or was part of the kings court. Do you remember how Queen Esther was not allowed in the King's presence unless she was summoned to appear before him. Believers who are cast out into the Outer Darkness (outside the kingdom throne or HQ) will not be allowed inside the Kingdom reign where Jesus and His Bride reside; therefore, Matthew 24:51 has nothing to do with hell. The servant is not a lost soul, but disobedient and is beaten (disciplined) with many stripes  When the Bridegroom came for His bride in Matthew 25, the carnal lazy believer had no extra oil in His lamp (spirit) meaning he was not Spirit-filled and had not matured spiritually. In both the Barley and Wheat harvest, the first ripe grain (the first to mature) is harvested first. This is the antitype to the overcomers who are the first to produce a 100-fold. 

The second position the author takes is the three parables in Matthew 8, 22 and 25 that mention the Outer Darkness are for the Jews and not the Church or Christians. He does what all traditional dispensationalist do in interpreting the book of Matthew, particularly in relation to eschatology; that it concerns the restored Israeli monarchy during the millennium; therefore, the recipients are Jews and not Christians. They might as well relegate the four gospels to the Old Covenant. Some theologians promote that idea; that the four gospels really belong in the Old Testament. Just as the Old Testament is divided into three sections; the law, the writings, and the prophets, the New Testament also has three sections; the four gospels, the book of Acts, and the apostolic letters including the apocalypse. The four gospels are the link between the Old and the New Covenants, for they give the earthly history of Jesus who by his death, burial and resurrection laid the foundation for the New Covenant. While the four gospels contain Jewish history and terminology, they were written to Church Age saints by Church Age apostles. The early Church Fathers all believed the four gospels were written to the first century Christians with an application for all succeeding generations.

When I was working on my Ph.D in theology, one of the courses I took was, Ancient Christian Gospels, and the chosen textbook was by Helmet Koester, professor of New Testament theology at Harvard Divinity School. Koester is a liberal theologian and there are some parts of his book that make his Christianity suspect; however, no one can criticize his effort in investigating the authenticity of the gospel records. The book is 448 pages of very detailed analysis (you have to keep a dictionary handy in trying to understand Koester's broad vocabulary; no doubt he is a brilliant man). He gives credit for the book of Matthew to the Lord's disciple - the tax collector. The logical question is; why would Matthew, a chosen disciple of Jesus and an eye witness to the resurrection, write his gospel to the Jews instead of to the Church?  Some say it was because the temple in Jerusalem had not yet been destroyed, so as a Jew, he was writing his treatise to his Jewish brethren (his gospel is dated about 60 A.D.). I believe during the 40 days the Lord was with His disciples after the resurrection, He gave them their orders for "His Church," and I do not believe it was to spend anymore time with the old obsolete economy of Judaism or the nation of Israel as the Lord had cursed the nation as a whole and told them He was taking the kingdom from them and giving it to a nation that would bear spiritual fruit (Matthew 21:18-20, 43). Since Matthew recorded these statements by Jesus, it is doubtful his intent was to write a gospel to the unbelieving Jews rather, he wrote it to the first century Church in order to give them an historical record of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. 

Unfortunately many evangelicals, particularly those in the pretribulation camp, focus more on the Old Covenant than the New. In fact, they do not seem willing to admit the New Covenant has replaced the old one (read the book of Hebrews). Because they do not believe the revelation of God is progressive, never regressive (God is not going to restore the Old economy of the Law during the tribulation; while the Jews may attempt to do so, it will not be of God), they have developed a dual covenant theology;  one for Israel and one for the Church. The New Covenant refutes that false doctrine. There is only one Covenant in existence and that is the blood covenant of Jesus Christ; old things have passed away and all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17); therefore, believing in a dual covenant theology, the author of the article assumes the sons of the kingdom in Matthew 8: 12 are lost Jews; the friend at the wedding feast in Matthew 22 is also a lost Jew; and the servants in Matthew 25 (Parable of the Talents) are lost Jews who are all assigned to the Outer Darkness (hell). Even if it were true the characters in all three passages are Jews, there is no contextual evidence they were consigned to hell. The easy road to take in trying to understand the Outer Darkness is those who end up there are lost people. If that is true, then case closed, look no further; the Outer Darkness is hell.

I would not have a problem with Matthew 8:12 as a reference to unbelieving Jews as the sons of the kingdom if Jesus had not said in Matthew 13: 38 in the Parable of the Tares that the sons (children) of the kingdom were the good seed. They cannot be both good and bad seed; they are either one or the other. Since Matthew was a New Covenant apostle, he was writing to the Church and was giving an account of the Lord's discourses to His disciples with no doubt the Pharisees among the crowd. That is why He spoke in Parables. In each of the parables, Jesus gave the reasons why the sons of the kingdom; the friend who appeared at the wedding banquet; and the servant who misused his talent were rejected from entering the kingdom. It was a lack of righteous works (conduct), not the lack of righteousness. No doubt the disciples understood the parable applied to anyone; Jew or Gentile who thought he or she was worthy of entering the kingdom. They would not fully understand what that meant until they received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The apostle Paul would later receive the revelation that not all Jews were Jews or all Israel the true Israel of God. This is why it is paramount to understand that for every Scripture there is a primary and secondary application, and even a third application; however, it is the overall context that determines the interpretation.

The third position the author takes, and is the one I mentioned in the beginning of this article that gave me some problems, is the use of the word, friend, in Matthew 22:12. He says it is always a bad omen and indicative of a lost person. He further says the word friend, is never a good term in Matthew. He cites Matthew 20:13 and 26:50 as examples. Let's examine those passages to see if his statement is true:

Matthew 20:1-16 ESV

1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and to them he said, 'You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' 5 So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?' 7 They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You go into the vineyard too.' 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.' 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' 13 But he replied to one of them, 'Friend,' I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?' 16 So the last will be first, and the first last."

This is the Parable of the Laborers that is about workers in the kingdom of God. Today in the Church we are all laborers in the Lord's vineyard. Jesus said, "The fields are white unto harvest, but the laborers are few. Pray the Lord of the harvest will send laborers into His field." (Luke 10:2). What is the parable teaching? It is obvious the Lord was teaching His disciples that there are no superstars in His kingdom. We are all on the same level whether or not we were the builders (founders) or the ones in the very last days of the present age. We all like to think the prominent men and women of the Church Age will receive the most rewards when Jesus returns, but I tell you there will be a faithful housewife who took care of her husband and children and who was devoted to her Lord that will receive just as great a reward; there will be the man who worked hard all his life to put food on the table and rear his family as God-fearing people who will receive great rewards. There will be many unknown saints whom the Lord shall give the highest of rewards.

This parable is not teaching the one Jesus referred to as friend was a lost person. That is about as bad an interpretation as I have read regarding this parable. It is obvious the author is biased toward the texts in Matthew as pertaining to the Jewish nation and not to Christians. To prove his position those cast into the Outer Darkness were lost Jews, he used a parallel parable to prove the word friend is meant to imply a lost person. The Master in the this parable represents the Lord and the laborers are His disciples throughout the Church Age. In that context, they are not lost Jews.

Reconciling Hetaire and Filoi

Now here is where I was able to reconcile hetaire with filoi. While the Lord uses the word, hetaire and not filoi, to refer to the laborer who protested His generosity in treating all the laborers the same, the context determines the meaning of hetaire.  The Master represents the Lord, who would not hire infidels to be laborers in His vineyard (notice it is "His" vineyard, not Satan's), which is His Church on earth during the Pentecostal Age. While hetarie connotes someone who is not an intimate friend, nevertheless, it  does not necessarily imply the person is unregenerate. For example, when I was a pastor, I was the pastor of all the people; however, I had a more intimate relationship with some than others. There were those I preferred being with primarily because of their spiritual maturity. They were the ones who hungered for the spiritual manna and had a teachable spirit. In addition, they were always encouraging and supportive of my ministry. I thoroughly enjoyed being in their presence. Some of the others who were obviously carnal and loved the things of world, I did not have as close a friendship; however, when they needed me, whether for sickness; to listen to their problems; to bury their dead and to perform a marriage ceremony, etc, I gave them my undivided attention. While they were more hetaire than filoi, yet I loved them all the same. Sometimes I had to be stern with them, and on a couple of occasions, we had to break fellowship with a few because of habitual sin. I remember one man who cursed me to my face one night during the service because his wife told him that I did not speak to her in the morning service. About a month later, he fell on the job and broke his back. He was in traction and had to lay on his stomach. I would go to the hospital and read the Bible and pray with him. One morning, he asked me how I could be so kind to him when he had cursed me in front of the Church members. I told him that I had forgiven him and loved him in the Lord. He began to weep and I cried with him. When he was well, he became one of my most avid supporters. The Lord Jesus is no different.  Did not the Lord have 12 disciples, yet only three were more filoi in their relationship to Him than the others; Peter, James, and John; the Lord's inner circle. 

I think this is the situation with those who are cast into the Outer Darkness. They did not choose to go behind the second veil and live continually in the Lord's presence (the Holy of Holies). They were roller-coaster lazy saints and did not mature spiritually.   In addition, there are two fruits essential for overcomers: They are not bound by fear, that is, they are not afraid to take a bold stand for the truth, even at the lost of their own lives, and they are forgivers; they love their enemies and bless those who despitefully use them and say all manner of evil against them. They are the manchild, which is the manifest presence of Christ on earth. That is what the manchild is; the sons of God in whom Christ is revealed.

The State And Location Of The Outer Darkness

Based on my study of this subject, it is my opinion those cast into the Outer Darkness in Matthew 8, 22 and 25 are not the lost, but believers, and as I have shown, the overall context determines the proper meaning of how the phrase is used in any given passage. Where hell is implied, Jesus used that terminology (See Matthew 13:42). While the phrase, weeping and gnashing of teeth  is used in the three passages with the Other Darkness, other passages omit Outer Darkness; therefore, contrary to this author's  article, weeping and gnashing of teeth does not imply it is to be associated with hell in every passage any more than does the phrase Outer Darkness.

The 64,000 question is what is the state and locale of the Outer Darkness?  I will endeavor to answer those questions as I understand the revelation. First, let's consider the state or condition of what constitutes the darkness. While I covered this briefly in other articles, it will perhaps provide a foundation for the locale of the Outer Darkness if we know what exactly is this darkness. We know it has nothing to do with natural darkness, but implies a spiritual condition.

There are 9 Hebrew words that define darkness with one being the most prominent - choshek. It is first used in Genesis 1:2 where it says darkness covered the earth (I have an article on this in the Daily Bread Archives entitled God Separated the Light From the Darkness). The literal meaning of the word is darkness as opposed to light, but since in Genesis 1:2 natural light had not yet been created (see the fourth day), something else is implied. Figuratively, the word has a bad connotation and means misery, sorrow, death, destruction, wickedness and ignorance. The use of choshek in Genesis 1:2 is what led me to understand the revelation that caused the earth to be without form and void and why God separated Himself from the darkness. It was the fall of Satan, as the original earth was his domain (Read Isaiah 14 with Ezekiel 28 to get the whole picture of Satan's pre-history before Adam was created). Choshek as used in Genesis 1:2 implies spiritual wickedness more than natural darkness. This is why the Bible defines Satan's kingdom as the kingdom of darkness.  The present world system is the kingdom of darkness that opposes the kingdom of heaven (spiritual illumination).  Paul's letters compare the kingdom of God with the day (light) and the kingdom of Satan with the night (wickedness). This is why Paul says believers are of the day and not the night.

A variation of choshek is seen in Genesis 15:12 where God places Abraham in a deep sleep and a great choshek comes upon him implying a foreboding vision or consternation of spirit. It does not have the idea of a pleasant experience.

In Exodus 20: 21, Moses enters a cloud of thick darkness where God concealed Himself so as to protect Moses from certain death by being exposed to the light of His glory. This is the same darkness that will begin the posttrib Day of the Lord. The Lord will leave the Fathers throne to come to the atmosphere above the earth and at that time raise the dead saints and rapture the living ones. The earthlings won't have a clue as to what is taking place except there is a foreboding thick darkness covering the entire planet. At the end of that day, the darkness is penetrated by the brilliant glory of the Lord Jesus, which shines from the East to the West announcing His Second Coming to the horror of all those who did not believe He even existed; they will cry for the rocks and the mountains to fall upon them. (Rev. 6:16).

In Exodus 10: 21-23, the land of Egypt was covered in thick choshek, but the land of Goshen where the Israelites camped, there was the light of day. This passage is perhaps a good illustration of the Outer Darkness during the millennial kingdom. The center of the kingdom is where the Lord's throne will be in the New Jerusalem (the old one having been destroyed) accompanied by the Zadok Priesthood, who are the overcomers (manchild) that have new glorified bodies (spiritual flesh) and who serve the Lord. They have the mind of Christ as well as the full measure of the Holy Spirit. Outside the camp is where those reside in their natural bodies and who are in spiritual darkness (the law of God is not written upon their hearts). These will comprise the Gentile nations that survived the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord and remain on the earth, but not allowed inside the "inner kingdom." It is also the location of carnal believers who lived their lives in the outer courtyard or in the Holy Place and never went behind the second veil (holy of holies) to live daily in the presence of the Lord. They did not heed the command of Ephesians 5:18 to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit rather than to be drunk on the world's spirit ruled by Satan.

Proverbs 2:13 says those who leave the paths of righteousness walk in darkness (choshek) - spiritual darkness.

Proverbs 4:19 says the way of the wicked is darkness (choshek) and they know not what makes them stumble. Stumble is kashal and means to waver or be double-minded. The Greek word for double-minded is two-souled. This is what happened to the human soul at the fall. The soul was split off by the inherent sin nature and brought confusion to the mind thereby capturing the will and imprisoning the spirit. This is why no one can be saved apart from the work of the Holy Spirit who alone gives the revelation of the cross. That is why I teach that many in the organized Churches are still lost in their sins because their soul (mind) has never been acted upon by the Holy Spirit to bring conviction and repentance of sin.

Isaiah 9:2 says the people who walked in darkness (unsaved Jews and Gentiles) have seen a great light (the Messiah, Jesus the Christ); they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death upon them the light has shined. Some interpret that verse as applying only to the lost Gentiles; however, the land of Israel was also in great spiritual darkness when Jesus came to earth the first time.  Jesus told His disciples that He was the light of the world. Again the word for darkness is choshek meaning spiritual darkness.

Isaiah 50:10 uses a derivative of choshek that means "that which withholds the light (spiritual knowledge) - "Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of his servant, that walks in darkness, and has no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God."  This person has no knowledge (light) of God. Paul said in Ephesians 1:18 "that the eyes of our hearts (mind or spirit) have been enlightened so we can know the hope of our calling..."

Another Scripture that portrays the Outer Darkness is Isaiah 59:9: "Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness." The word for darkness figuratively means misfortune.

These Scriptures describe choshek (darkness) as spiritual ignorance or lacking in spiritual understanding as a state of mind and heart. Many have a wrong understanding of the kingdom of God that will come to earth when Jesus returns. The Kingdom is Jesus and His Bride, the manchild, which is the company of overcomers. It will have a geographical location in the Middle East that will be the HQ or point of operation. The nations living in Outer Darkness (those outside the perimeter of the inner kingdom) will have to be taught the law of God. Included in this group will be the carnal Christians who never grew in the knowledge of the Word or the statute of Christ. The overcomers will take off their linen clothes (spiritual flesh) when they go outside the inner kingdom and don the woolen clothing (the appearance of the natural man). To the carnal believer still in his natural body, the overcomers will appear to be "flesh" much like Jesus looked to His disciples after His resurrection. Christ was spiritual flesh (flesh and bone, no blood) and could move in a nano-second from the spiritual dimension to the physical realm. That is why He could walk through walls as spiritual flesh is not subject to physical law. (See Ezekiel 44 for the Zadok Priesthood changing from their spiritual clothing [linens] to their physical clothing [wool] when they minister outside of the inner temple).

This is what the prophet Joel meant when he said in that day the Spirit of God would be poured out on "all flesh" (Joel 2:28 - that day is the time of the Lord's kingdom on earth, but it will take 1000 years before all people will know the Lord). If you can receive it, the primary purpose of the present Pentecostal Age is to take a Bride for the Lord from among the Jews and Gentiles to serve Him in the Kingdom Age (Tabernacle Age).

Now that we have some understanding of how the word "darkness" is used in the Old Testament, what does the New Testament teach about the state of the Outer darkness?  There are five Greek words that define "darkness."  The predominant word is what we have said previously; skotos, and it means obscurity or a lack of illumination; without spiritual understanding.

In Matthew 6:22-24 Jesus said something few understand, yet it touches on the condition of those cast into the Outer Darkness:

22 "The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness (skotos) . If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
NASB.

We know from Proverbs 20:27 that the spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord - the place where we receive the revelation of the Word. Obviously, it is not referring to unregenerate people for their spirit is dead in trespasses and sins and cannot contain the Word of God for the Word is living and the source is the Holy Spirit. Paul said in I Corinthians 2:10-16 the revelation of God is spiritual and must be understood by spiritually enlightened people as the natural man (unregenerate man) cannot comprehend the things of God. In the Matthew passages, Jesus was using the metaphors of light and darkness to illustrate that if the mind's eye (the third eye in the occult world, but the spiritual eye to the reborn saint) is full of the revelation of God, that person is spiritually enlightened and understands the things of God; however, what He said next is the crucial point of the text, which is that if a person's mind is captivated by Satanic doctrine, what knowledge they have is of the dark kingdom (the wisdom of the world) and has snuffed out the true light of the knowledge of God. Because they think their knowledge is superior to the knowledge of God or they are satisfied with the status quo, they are actually spiritually blind, even thought they think they are right. In this way human knowledge has become a religion and has blinded them to the real truth - the knowledge of God. This is the meaning of how great is the darkness. If what you believe is a lie and you are not willing to listen to the truth, your soul is damned.

Many carnal Christians have a bad eye (without spiritual understanding) because they choose to believe what their parents or grandparents believed or what some theologian told them without checking it out by the Word of God in full dependene upon the Holy Spirit for the revelation. All their knowledge is external never internal (the inner voice of the Holy Spirit - See 1 John 2: 20, 27). The Word of God comes to the believer as personal revelation; what God the Holy Spirit reveals to the believer in the inner man. Now, this does not mean we do not need Bible teachers who themselves have the revelation of the Word (many do not), but we are not dependent "only" upon them to know the Word of God. When I teach revelation to Bible classes, many complain that they cannot understand the Bible without reading books and commentaries or sitting under teachers. I have learned in nearly 40 years of walking with God, what they really mean is; they are too lazy to spend the hours it takes to study the Word of God. They had rather be spoon-fed by someone else who has done all the studying. They will always rely on second-hand knowledge and never receive any personal revelation.

If you think you have the truth when in fact it may be false doctrine, then your deception is great, for what you believe to be the light (illumination) is actually darkness. Many carnal believers will end up in the Outer Darkness who thought they knew the truth, but it was nothing but the husks of religious dogma. It is very difficult to teach an old dog new tricks or someone already programmed to believe a certain theology. For example, it is very difficult to teach pretribbers the truth about end time prophecy because they have been fed a steady diet that the pretrib rapture is what the Scriptures teach, which they do not.  

By the way, all of the words for darkness in John's gospel are skotos - spiritual darkness. For example:

John 1:5 KJV

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 3:19 KJV

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 12:46-48 KJV

46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Notice what judges the carnal believer - the Word of God. The very thing they neglected will become their judge.

An overcomer is someone who has cast off the works of darkness (a lack of spiritual knowledge and truth) and has put on the armor of light (kingdom truth).

Romans 13:12-14 KJV

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Our marching orders are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, which is the same as going behind the second veil and living daily in the presence of the Lord. The carnal believer lives in the flesh and has many lustful desires (lust does not mean only sexual lust; lust is anything you crave). If a believer lives for his or her flesh, why would they expect to be allowed in the Lord's kingdom? They won't be regardless of what some teach with their easy believism.

Paul warns not to have intimate fellowship with unbelievers or the works of darkness:

2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 

Darkness is skotos - spiritual ignorance. If you have more worldly friends than believers, you need to check-up on your spiritual condition. The literal Greek says to be unequally yoked is to be unbalanced, that is, having more lost friends than Christians. If you spend an inordinate amount of your time with the world's crowd, you will soon speak and act like them for their worldly ways will rub off on you. In my Christian life, most of my friends are fellow believers. When I was saved and began to live for Jesus, all my lost friends took off, as they did not like what I had become; even family abandoned me.

The carnal believer who spends more time with the world's crowd than the Church will be cast into the Outer Darkness during the millennium and co-exist with many non-believers. The Outer Darkness will be very similar to the present age where believers and non-believers co-exist. Each time the carnal believer looks toward the heavenly kingdom and the New Jerusalem realizing what he missed, he will weep and gnash the teeth in anguish of spirit.

Since we have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of light, why would anyone want to end up in the Outer Darkness? We are positionally already living in the kingdom of light; therefore, the Outer Darkness is not intended to be the state of any believer. It is a discipline existence for failing to live the Spirit-filled life. None of us will have an excuse on that day, for we all have the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We can be what we choose to be:

Colossians 1:12-13 NASB

12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son...

I will share two more verses about the darkness, as I need to move on to the location of the Outer Darkness and end this dissertation.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-11 NASB

4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

1 John 1:5-10 NASB

5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

What I want to point out is that if it were not possible for believers to walk in spiritual darkness (skotos), then neither Paul nor John would have given the warning to the Church not to do so. The Lord is not coming as a thief to the overcoming Church, but to the world, as well as carnal believers who will not be expecting the Lord and be caught off-guard as the five foolish virgins were in Matthew 25.  John clearly says that if we say we have fellowship with the Lord and yet walk in spiritual darkness, we lie and do not tell the truth. This kind will be cast out into the Outer Darkness with the other hypocrites.

Last, we are not appointed "the wrath," which is not the tribulation period, but the wrath of the Lamb poured out upon the kingdom of the Antichrist on the posttrib Day of the Lord. We (overcomers) are also not appointed  to the discipline of the Outer Darkness. As mentioned, It is not God's will that any saint end up missing the glorification of the First Resurrection and have to wait 1000 years to receive their glorified bodies (spiritual flesh), but many will.

Location of the Outer Darkness

Where is the Outer Darkness? Scroll back to the top of the article and read the three passages from Matthew that deal with the Outer Darkness - Matthew 8, 22 and 25. All three are in the context of the Kingdom reign.

Matthew 8:11-12 ends with a reference to the kingdom with many coming from the East and West and sitting down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven that has come to the earth.  The kingdom of God will be on this earth not in outer space.

Matthew 22:1-14 is about the Wedding Feast, which takes place in the new kingdom of God on the earth.

Matthew 25:14-30 concerns the Parable of the Talents wherein the servants are rewarded by the Master (Jesus) when He returns from a long journey (lasted for 2000 years); therefore, it also has to do with the new kingdom.

Since the Outer Darkness is associated with the context of each passage, then it stands to reason it is some place outside the kingdom area (outside the gates and perimeter of the New Jerusalem). In the days of Solomon's temple, the most glorious of the temples, the temple area and the king's palace in Jerusalem was a walled city. There were gates on all sides of the city that led into the temple area. No one had access to Solomon except the kings court, as well as no one had access to the temple except the Levitical Priests. Outside the city and the temple were the common people (tribes) and the surrounding nations. Three times a year, the males had to go to Jerusalem at the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. It is interesting that Zechariah 14 says that during the millennial kingdom, the nations outside the kingdom in the Outer Darkness, will be required to come to Jerusalem once a year at the Feast of Tabernacles to worship the Lord, and if they refuse to come, they will be given no rain (rain is symbolic and means spiritual illumination). It is the Holy Spirit alone who gives the former and latter rain. Apparently, the overcomers (Zadok Priesthood), will be teaching the nations the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles. This does not mean the nations will have personal access to the Lord, but will be allowed to enter the outskirts of the city to celebrate the high feast. The carnal believers will also be included and come to be instructed in the law of the Lord.

Micah 4:2-3 NASB

2 And many nations will come and say,
"Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD
And to the house of the God of Jacob,
That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths."
For from Zion will go forth the law ,
Even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

3 And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they train for war.

The Outer Darkness is outside the inner kingdom of Christ and among the nations of the world where there is lacking spiritual understanding and the ways of God. The nations that survived the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord (sheep nations) will need to be taught the law of God (to be written on their hearts). Living among the nations will be carnal believers who made little or no progress spiritually during the Pentecostal Age. The center of spiritual knowledge and wisdom is the HQ of the Lord's kingdom. That is why those outside are referred to as living in Outer Darkness; Outer (outside) and Darkness (without spiritual maturity).  These believers will still possess the sin nature since they did not take part in the First Resurrection. Their existence will be very similar to today except the Lord will be on the earth ruling from His HQ in the New Jerusalem.

Think of it like this; Washington, D.C. is the center of our national government and represents what we are as a nation to the rest of the world. Just as only a few have access to the President of the United States, only the overcomers will have access to Jesus in His kingdom. It is a position of privilege earned by a Spirit-filled self-denying life during the Pentecostal Age. 

The Outer Darkness is not hell and the Lake of Fire, but it is a place of discipline for carnal believers who would not subdue their flesh during their earthly life.

This is the Outer Darkness as I understand it; a place outside the Kingdom HQ of the Lord during His 1000-year reign on earth. There will be many who will come to know the Lord during His reign. The first fruits of the Barley Harvest are the overcomers of all the ages who will receive their glorified bodies in the posttrib First Resurrection. The carnal believers who dwell outside the kingdom among the nations of the world will be part of the wheat harvest and the general resurrection.

All of the articles I have written on the Outer Darkness, I believe are sound doctrine, but I am not implying I have all the truth. More will be revealed on this subject as we near the end.

May God bless you and give you insight into this controversial and complex subject.

Dr. Allen M. Barber, a bond-servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.