Sunday, June 28, 2009

Truth About Life and Death are Plain to SEE

I have come to believe that "DEATH" means "DEATH" .....
Why try and change the literal meaning of words to mean its "OPPOSITE" ???

I visited a Grace Church that believes as I do on most doctrines
in Dayton, Ohio this summer. I really liked the brethren.......
but when I questioned burning in hell forever, they acted if
I was not reading the Bible correctly......because I guess
I could not see how the word "DEATH" somehow comes
out to mean immortal life BURNING AND SUFFERING

I am happy Jesus is my savior and judge. I still love them,
even if we don't see eye to eye on hell. Too bad they won't
accept a brother who is just as saved as they are.......
but instead believes the literal Bible says what it says and.....

Here is a wonderful poem to illustrate a similar rejection
of another brother:

WELCOME to BrotherBird.Com. We invite you to read the poem below to begin your visit. The numbers to each verse correspond with the notes on the right, which can be accessed by clicking on the number of each verse. Links are provided throughout the notes, or you can search an index by pressing the "Articles" tab above. Thank you for visiting, tell your friends, and please come back as often as you can!

Peculiar Brother Bird

1 In the foothills of the Blue Ridge.
A peculiar Brother Bird
Started teaching a new doctrine
That no one had ever heard.

2 For he held that John the Baptist,
Who had warned of coming wrath,
Said the Lord His wheat would gather,
But would “burn up” all the chaff.

3 And he emphasized the “burn up”:
“Yes sir, burn up I have read!”
And he said it was just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

4 Then he turned in his old Bible
To the book of Malachi,
And he read, “The Day is comin’-
Yes, a comin’ by and by.”

5 “And The Day that is a-comin’
Like an oven it’ll burn,
And’ll ‘burn up’ all the wicked-
Thus from Malachi we learn.”

6 And he emphasized the “burn up”:
“Yes sir, burn up I have read!”
And he said it was just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

7 Then he turned to Jude and Peter,
Where “eternal fire” had burned
In ol’ Sodom and Gomorrah-
Yet to “ashes” they were turned.

8 And he said that Jude and Peter
An “example” did proclaim
Of how ashes was the endin’
Of that dread eternal flame.

9 And he emphasized the “ashes”:
“Yes sir, ashes I have read!”
And he said it was just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

10 And some folks got sorta bothered
At the words of Brother Bird,
And a “heretic” they called ‘im,
And they said he was absurd.

11 And they championed endless torment
In a hell the lost to scare,
And they wondered if without it
Why would anybody care?

12 Then he took ‘em to a passage,
One of which they were so fond-
In the sixteenth verse, third chapter
Of the gospel of St. John.

13 “For it says, and says so clearly
Life, and everlasting too,
Or it’s perish- don’t you see it-
That word perish is a clue!”

14 And he emphasized the “perish”:
“Yes sir, perish I have read!”
And he said it was just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

15 “And that final Day of Judgment,
And that lake of fire,” he saith
Is destruction everlasting,
And is called “the Second Death.”

16 “For the punishment eternal
Is an everlasting thing;
But it’s punish-ment, please notice-
And it’s not a punish-ing.”

17 “And the punishment’s ‘destruction’-
It’s an everlasting death-
It’s destruc-tion, not destroy-ing-
That’s exactly what it saith.”

18 And he emphasized “destruction”:
Yes, destruction I have read,
And he said it was just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

19 Then they shook their dusty Bibles
As they murmured and they cried,
“He’s a-tamperin’ with the Scripture,
And the truth he has denied!”

20 And they said that hell was endless
As recorded in the Word,
And they told folks not to listen
To that “lib’ral” Brother Bird.

21 Then he said, “We’ve all been brought up
To believe the endless way,
And it’s all we’ve ever thought of
Right up to the present day.”

22 And he told ‘em he was certain
That the Bible was inspired,
And preserved both pure and perfect,
And was all that he desired.

23 “But we thought we knew the meanin’
Long before we ever read
Just to find out and be certain
What it really, truly said.”

24 “And it says that sin has wages,
And the wages, yes, is death,
But the gift is life eternal-
That’s exactly what it saith!”

25 And he emphasized those “wages”:
“Yes sir, death is what I’ve read!”
And he said it was just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

26 And this caused some folks to wonder,
And this made some folks to squirm,
And some argued ‘bout the rich man,
And the never-dying worm.

27 Then he showed ‘em that the sayin’
Of the worms and fire so hot
Was an excerpt from Isaiah,
Yes, Isaiah, was it not?

28 And he showed them in the passage
Of “the carcases of men”-
The consuming of the wicked-
And they looked at it again.

29 “And our blessed Lord and Master
Would not quote a temporal end
Out of context as eternal
And confuse the minds of men.”

30 “For it speaks there of dead bodies,
Of the wicked’s certain doom,
And how fire and worms undyin’
Will their carcases consume.”

31 And he answered all their questions
Of the rich man who did die,
And he showed ‘em he was buried
E’er he made his painful cry.

32 And he showed ‘em how a spirit
Does not have a tongue or eyes,
Or a bosom or a finger,
Then he caught ‘em by surprise:

33 “For it was a buried body,
Not a disembodied soul-
And for Pharisees who scorned Him
‘Twas a piercing par-a-ble.”

34 Well, sir, that word fanned their anger
From a flicker to a flame:
“It’s no par-a-ble- No, never!
For He used a proper name.”

35 Then he showed ‘em how “a certain”
Was the way the Lord began
Oft to tell a pointed story:
“And there was a certain man.”

36 “And they could not serve their mammon
And be servants of the Lord,
Or call Abraham their father
If ol’ Moses they ignored.”

37 “And the name He said was Laz’rus,
And he meant just what He said
For they all knew it was Laz’rus
Who had risen from the dead.”

38 “For ‘a certain man named Laz’rus’
From a poorer family,
Had been sick and on his deathbed
In the town of Bethany.”

39 “And though Laz’rus had arisen,
And had come back from the dead,
Those same fellers weren’t a-listenin’
Just as Abraham had said.”

40 “And the story of the rich man
Never says that hell’s for aye
For it’s not the final Judgment
And it’s not the final Day.”

41 And he showed ‘em how that Hades
Is the Greek word for Sheol,
And can mean a grave or gravedom,
And denote a hole or whole.

42 And that “Sheol in the Scripture
Is the Gravedom of the Dead,
Of the righteous and the wicked”-
And he proved just what he said:

43 “In that precious psalm of David,
Of God’s presence he did tell,
How the Lord would still be with him,
Though he made his bed in hell.”

44 “And, ‘what man is he that liveth,
And shall not see death’ said he;
For the Sheol of a grave hole
Is our common destiny. (89:48)

45 “In the belly of the great fish
In the belly of a whale-
Is where Jonah cried in anguish
From the belly of a… hell.”

46 “And it’s perfect in the King James,
Just the way they worded it-
It is hell if it’s the gravedom;
Otherwise it’s grave or pit.”

47 “And of all the Sheol’s mentioned,
There’s not one in sixty-five
That e’er speaks of endless torment,
Or of souls that are alive.”

48 “Nor do any of the prophets
Though of dearth and death do tell,
Ever mention any torments
In a never-ending hell.”

49 “In the Acts of the Apostles-
There in sermons quite a few
You will find the gospel message
Doesn’t give a single clue.”

50 “In the words and in the writings
Of the dear apostle Paul,
Though he speaks of wrath and judgment
Never mentions hell at all.”

51 “Don’t it seem a bit abnormal,
That in all the Word of God,
That the sum of these is zero?
Don’t that seem a little odd?”

52 “For if hell is really endless,
And eternal torment’s true,
It should be a couple hundred,
Or at least a one or two.”

53 “And the words that God has chosen
And the pictures He has drawn
Were not used to be confusin’
But to make it clearly known.”

54 “For they’re clear words like destruction
That describe the sinner’s doom,
Such as end and death and perish,
And devour and consume.”

55 “With a plain word such as perish,
Could somebody tell me why
We have turned it inside outward
Til’ it means to never die?”

56 “And we know just what a fire is,
And we know what it will do-
And we understand it clearly,
And should need no other clue.”

57 “When the fire of God has fallen
From the God of fire in wrath,
It destroyed its prey completely,
And consumed all in its path.”

58 “And the pictures of the judgment
Well, I’d say they’re clear enough-
For the chaff and tares and stubble
And the briars will burn up!”

59 “Now if God had really meant it
To be endless, I inquire,
Would he picture only items
That’ll burn up in the fire?”

60 “As the fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So the tares cast in the furnace
Will be burned in final wrath.”

As therefore the tares are gathered
and burned in the fire;
so shall it be in the end of this world.
Matthew 13:40

61 “And if firemen were not able
To put out a fire, let’s say-
Do you think the thing a-burnin’
Would burn on and on for aye?”

62 “Thus the quenchless flames of Hades,
And the fire you can’t put out
Will not keep these things a-burnin’-
They’ll burn up without a doubt.”

63 And he emphasized the “burn up”:
“Yes sir, burn up I have read!”
And he said it was just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

64 In the foothills of the Blue Ridge
This peculiar Brother Bird
Got some fire and brimstone preachers
Not a little bit disturbed.

65 And although he’d try to answer
Just whatever they would ask,
It was clear they weren’t as willing
To perform a sim’lar task.

66 But they harped on Revelation
Of the “torment day and night,”
And for ever cried “forever!”
As they made an “endless” fight.

67 And they called the theologians,
And they checked the hist’ry book,
And they even searched the Hebrew
And the Greek to take a look.

68 And they thought they finally had ‘im,
When with glee they did extol
How “the Scripture clearly teaches
Immortal’ty of the soul.”

69 And they waited for his answer-
Ah! They knew they had him there-
When he opened up his Bible,
And he asked them, “Show me… where.”

70 Then they were a good bit puzzled
E’er they even took a look,
Yet they said that they were certain
It was written in the Book.

71 Then they checked in their concordance,
But they couldn’t help but squirm,
For the best that they could muster
Was the never-dying worm.

72 Then he asked them to consider
Chapter six of Timothy,
How’s there’s one, and just one “only
Who hath immortality.”

73 And he emphasized the “only”:
“Yes sir, only I have read!”
And he said it was just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

74 And he turned to many verses
With that wiggly little term,
And he showed ‘em from the Bible
That a worm is… well… a worm.

75 “And our hope’s in resurrection-
‘In the twinklin’ of an eye’-
And in bodies made immortal,
Not in souls that never die.”

76 And he showed them “life eternal
Is a gift that we receive,
And the gift is in the Giver,
Just for those who do believe.”

77 “And His sheep will ‘never perish,’
For they know and follow Him,
And He gives them life eternal-
Yes, He gives it unto them.”

78 “For the wicked surely perish,
While the saved know endless joy-
Thus we fear naught but the God who
Soul and body can destroy.”

79 And he emphasized “destroy”:
“Can destroy the soul,” I’ve read,
And he said it was just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

80 Then he scolded torment peddlers
With this gravest of concern:
“Are folks truly trusting Jesus,
Or just tryin’ not to burn?”

81 “And your view on Revelation (14:10,11)
Is a little bit bizarre,
For it places hell in heaven
Where the Lamb and angels are.”

82 And he showed ‘em what the “weepin’
And the wailin’ was about:
“When ye see” the righteous gathered
And “yourselves” have been “thrust out.”

83 “And thrust out in ‘outer darkness’
And ‘the mist of darkness,’ well-
Are not words of endless torment
In a blazin’, fiery hell.”

84 “You can talk of cruelest torture
In the hottest flames of black,
But the mist of darkness surely
Means they’re never comin’ back.”

85 “And that wicked city Bab’lon
In an hour will be gone,
Yet the smoke of their great torment
Will ascend up on and on.”

86 “And the smoke tells of consumption-
Somethin’s burnin’ up for sure-
And bears witness to destruction,
Not more torments to endure.”

87 “And forever in my Bible
Is two words: for ever, see
And it’s not always eternal,
As in Deuteronomy. (15:17)

88 “It’s a phrase of preposition,
As in for a time so long.
And then ever is indefinite,
As in for… and on and on.”

89 “And the Bible clearly tells us
What the wicked have in store-
How their thoughts will even perish,
And that they will be ‘no more.’”

90 And he emphasized the “no more”:
”Yes sir, no more I have read!”
And he said it was just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

91 And some folks said he was lyin’
And a twistin’ up the Word,
But some folks began to listen
To peculiar Brother Bird.

92 And the ones who were not Christians
Really hoped that it was so,
‘Cause they didn’t want to risk it,
And they didn’t want to go.

93 But the ones who were real Christians,
Also hoped it could be true,
For they loved their Lord no matter,
And they had compassion, too.

94 And they could not say for certain
Whether Brother Bird was wrong,
For he raised some valid questions,
And his faith in God was strong.

95 And they would not be like Jonah,
And be mad it wasn’t so,
But they sorta thought like Spurgeon,
And were hopin’ none would go.

96 And at least they weren’t offended
At peculiar Brother Bird,
But they thought the subject worthy
Of more study in the Word.

97 But the preachers and the teachers
With a thing or two to sell,
And the great big kingdom builders
All defended their own hell.

98 And they said it was the gospel!
And were sure that they were right,
But they didn’t even bother
But a verse or two to cite.

99 And they took no time to study,
For I reckon they preferred
Just to cast a doubtful slander
On the name of Brother Bird.

100 And they shared each other’s pulpits,
And they shook each other’s hand,
And were thankful for the faithful
Who would firmly take a stand.

101 And with hell they’d sell their tickets
To a mansion up above,
But they did not know what manner
Of a spirit they were of.

102 For they’d burn their wood or garbage
And they’d feel the heat and say,
With a calloused air of surety,
“Folks will have some hell to pay!”

103 And they reasoned of its justice
As if adding up the math-
How a God of love and mercy
Was a holy God of wrath.

104 (As if love could not be holy,
Or that holy could not love-
Was He Hyde or was He Jeckyl?
How much pain would be enough?

105 In the blood stains of the nail scars
We His wondrous love may learn,
But for those who fail to learn it,
Well, forever they will burn???)

106 Though they’d give God all the credit
They’d absolve Him of the guilt,
And they’d blame it on the Devil
For why Hell was ever built.

107 And some “Hard Shells” said God chose it
And had picked some folks to go,
While some “Free Wills” said He’d close it
If we’d just say yes or no.

108 But there’s been some noble Christians
Through the heretics of time
Who have questioned “endless” reason
And have doubted “endless” rhyme.

109 And though some were sentimental,
And a few perhaps absurd,
There have been some valiant rebels
Who stood firmly on the Word!

110 But the Endless Hell Defenders
Were ascendant in the land-
For ol’ Plato in their Credo
Always had the upper hand.

111 And with Augustine and Calvin
There to tell ‘em what to say
They could just be good ol’ parrots
And repeat it all for ‘aye.

112 But the truth is not the treasure
Of the great majority,
And the truth you cannot measure
By its popularity.

113 When a monk named Martin Luther
Nailed his theses to the door,
They were written in the Latin,
And were easy to ignore.

114 In a time we call “Dark Ages”
When the clerics hid the Word,
The prevailin’ way of thinkin’
Thought that Luther was absurd.

115 So now who’s to say it’s doubtless
That the parrots will prevail
And the creeds still go unchallenged
On the endlessness of Hell?

116 For perhaps a thoughtful poem
Could inspire some hearts to search,
And begin a transformation
Of this doctrine in the church.

117 In the foothills of the Blue Ridge
Someone’s hopin’ to be heard
In this story of the teachin’
Of peculiar Brother Bird.

118 And to emphasize the “burn up”:
“Yes sir, burn up I have read!”
And to say it is just simply
What the Bible clearly said.

The End

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