Rob MacDormand

Readers like Rob MacDormand’s articles because they express a great love of the Lord and are written in such a way as to be easily understood. Perhaps he gained a great insight from his mother who for years was a contributing writer to The Prophetic Expositor, the former magazine of British-Israel-World Federation. He writes a great deal about blessings and curses, how both have affected our Israel nations, and he emphasizes the great need to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom whenever the opportunity arises. He does so in his personal ministry.

Rob is a graduate of the University of Alberta, was engaged in the oil industry for many years and now is involved in city planning. He is a third generation believer in the Israel message and has a great interest in what is going to happen spiritually to our brethren as the end of the age draws closer.

There are two words in the New Testament which have been translated into the English word hell. The first is Hades which is the temporary abode of the dead and the same as Sheol in the Old Testament. The second is the word Gehenna which was used by Jesus Christ to warn people about the dangers of hell. I believe Gehenna is the final or eternal hell.

In the twelfth chapter of the book of Luke, Jesus was speaking to a multitude and said, “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell (Gehenna); yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Luke 12:4-5. This is the beginning of wisdom, when a person starts to fear God. That person has started on the path to eternal life. In another part of the Gospels Jesus spoke stronger words to warn people about the final hell. “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell (Gehenna), into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Mark 9:43-48. Jesus was speaking in symbolic language. Anyone who actually cuts off his hand or plucks out his eye is mentally sick. I heard about one such person and he was mentally and spiritually confused. A parallel scripture to Jesus’ description of hell is given in the Old Testament in the book of Isaiah. “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” Isaiah 66: 23-24.

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At different times in history God’s people were told to come out of a sinful place. Lot was told to come out of Sodom (Genesis 19:12). The Israelites were told to come out of Egypt (Exodus 3:17), and later, members of the House of Judah were told to come out of Babylon, which had become part of the Persian empire (Ezra 1:5). Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon were symbolic of the sins of the flesh, the world, and the devil, which were the three types of temptation that Jesus was subjected to. (Matthew 4:1-11)

Sodom was the city where it was not safe to sleep outside of a house. The angels that visited the city were invited by Lot to spend the night in his house. Men of the city came later to demand the right to sexually abuse the angels. Lot tried to appease them by giving them his daughters, but they would have none of that. The angels then blinded those wicked men and brought Lot and his family out of the city, bringing down fire from heaven on Sodom. It became a smoldering heap. How many church people in our day refuse to give up their sexual lusts, even abandoning their marriages to go to some other sexual partner? This is a huge problem in our society, is affecting even church leaders, and threatens to destroy our Israel nations.

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Jesus Christ began his ministry by preaching about the Kingdom of Heaven and filled the Gospels with parables about that Kingdom. He came bringing promises about the future glory of the Kingdom of Heaven and told us how we can have our citizenship there, by believing in Him. However, He also mentioned hell and gave us warnings about punishment after death.

There are two words in the New Testament which have been translated hell; I will deal with them in two monthly articles. The first is the Greek word Hades, which is equivalent to the Hebrew word Sheol in the Old Testament. Jesus used this word to describe where the rich man went after death in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” Luke 16:22-23. One example of where the word Sheol is used in the Old Testament is Psalm 16:10, in which David prophesied about Jesus Christ. “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (Sheol); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” In the New Testament, the apostle Peter commented on that Psalm. “For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (Hades), neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Acts 2:25-27. Peter went on to say that Jesus Christ came out of hell (Hades) at the Resurrection. “He seeing this before spake of the Resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (Hades), neither his flesh did see corruption.” Acts 2:31.

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The Church of Jesus Christ is the temple of God in our world today. The foundation of this temple is described in the Bible, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22. I believe the reference to prophets is the prophets of the Old Testament. We are not built upon the writings of the prophets, but upon the prophets themselves. This means that they are part of the temple of God. Therefore the Church was in existence in the Old Testament. However, it was not called the Church. It was the body of faithful ones, the true worshippers of the Old Testament. God said to Elijah, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” I Kings 19:18. These were the faithful ones of Elijah’s generation, but there have been faithful ones in every generation since Adam. They are not all Israelites. The prophet Job was more righteous than most Israelites, but he was an Uzite, probably of the family of Uz (grandson of Shem), but not from Abraham. One person who sat with Job and spoke to him was Elihu, a Buzite, descended from Abraham’s brother Nahor. Therefore, there were people who worshipped God that were not Israelites.

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