Although some details of the 2014 Rethinking Hell Conference have been in place for over a year, we have only recently finalized the rest of our conference schedule, including breakout session speakers and other details, which we are excited to share with you all now. If you haven’t registered yet, visit our registration website here!
Friday, July 11
Our conference begins on Friday evening; doors and registration open at 6:00 p.m. Registration will take place in the Lanier Library dining hall, where we will have book tables from Wipf & Stock, as well as titles from various conditionalist authors for purchase. We will also have a visual exhibit on the work of Edward Fudge, including Edward’s correspondence with such notable thinkers as F.F. Bruce, John Stott, and Michael Green, as well as various important manuscripts and papers from Edward’s study on hell. We will also have an exhibit featuring information and memorabilia from the various authors whose writings are included in our forthcoming book, Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism.
The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Stone Chapel with a welcome and introduction from the most public face of Rethinking Hell, our principal blogger and podcaster, Chris Date. John Stackhouse will open up the conference at 7:15 p.m. with a plenary talk on the legacy of Edward Fudge, and we will follow this with an open mic time at 8:30 p.m. where conference participants may share thoughts and blessings with Edward. We will end Friday evening on an appropriate note with a screening of the film based on Edward’s life, Hell and Mr. Fudge, beginning at 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 12
Doors will open again Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m., giving attendees an hour to settle in before a short introduction to the Rethinking Hell project at 9:00 a.m. from founder Peter Grice, coming all the way from Brisbane, Australia. Peter will explain a bit about the aims and strategies of Rethinking Hell, and he will also share about a statement on evangelical conditionalism that we’d like to use as a way of self-identifying the theological tenets of our movement and building momentum with like-minded evangelical conditionalists.
This will be followed by a brief presentation from Logos Bible Software, who will be selling their product at a significant discount at the conference, and demonstrating how we as conditionalists can use their software to argue our case exegetically!
Next, Chris Date will host a live interview with Edward Fudge at 9:30 a.m., recorded for the Rethinking Hell podcast, where Edward will share interesting experiences and anecdotes from his ministry as one of the leading proponents of conditionalism. This will also include a time for him to answer questions from conference attendees. Following a half-hour break, we will head to our first round of breakout sessions at 11:00 a.m., which will feature a variety of papers on topics related to conditional immortality and the final judgment.
Breakout Session #1
- Roger Harper: “Hades in Revelation.”
- This paper will outline Harper’s view of Hades as being distinct from Gehenna in nature and purpose through close examination of Jesus’ words in –18 and , particularly focusing on the strong implications that he has found for postmortem repentance prior to final judgment.
The Reverend Harper is an Anglican vicar who studied at the University of Cambridge (French and Russian) and St. John’s College, Nottingham (Theology). He is also the author of The Lie of Hell, which Edward Fudge has called “a stimulating and nuanced form of conditional immortality likely to invigorate Bible students of all persuasions.”
- Douglas Jacoby: “Doctrinal, Biblical, and Psychological Obstacles to Accepting Conditionalism.”
- This study will consider three clusters of impediments to the acceptance of conditionalism: doctrinal, biblical, and psychological. Jacoby will also discuss the potential for large-scale doctrinal change through influencing smaller, independent Christian movements by way of an example from his own church affiliation.
Dr. Jacoby is a graduate of Duke University (History), Harvard Divinity School (New Testament), and Drew University (Ministry). After twenty years of full-time preaching, Douglas launched an independent Bible teaching ministry in 2003 as well as serving as an adjunct professor in the MA program in Bible and Theology at Lincoln Christian University. He has written two dozen books, including What’s the Truth About Heaven and Hell? Sorting Out the Confusion About the Afterlife.
- Rob McRay: “Moses, Jesus, and Fudge: How Edward Fudge (and Biblical Theology) Changed What I Preach about Hell.”
- This presentation will discuss the impact of Edward Fudge on a minister’s treatment of the subject of hell in preaching and teaching ministry in churches and among the unchurched. It will make the case that the most important aspect of Fudge’s work is the correlation of conditionalism with important themes in biblical theology (as a discipline distinct from systematic theology), especially God’s love (chesed) and justice. The paper will also argue that the traditional view of hell is incompatible with God’s self-revelation in Scripture.
Rob McRay is a graduate of Abilene Christian University (Biblical Studies) and Wheaton College (Biblical Studies) and has done graduate study in New Testament backgrounds at the University of Chicago. He is the founding minister of Reunion Christian Community in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as an adjunct instructor in Bible at Lipscomb University.
- Nick Quient: “Paul and the Annihilation of Death.”
- This paper will work to establish a clear sense of the apostle Paul’s view of immortality, the nature of the human body and soul, and final judgement, paying particular attention to .
Nick Quient is graduate of Biola University (Film) and is currently pursuing an MA in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, as well serving as a contributing team member of the Rethinking Hell project.
At 12:00 p.m. we’ll take a break for lunch (off-site). Third Circle conference sponsors will join Edward and Sara Faye Fudge, John Stackhouse, and the Rethinking Hell leadership, for a special lunch out. (There’s still time to sponsor the conference! Go to the conference website for details.) We’ll reconvene at 1:30 p.m. for our second set of breakout sessions.
Breakout Session #2
- Shawn Bawulski: “The Annihilationist’s Theological Problem.”
- This paper will raise a difficulty for annihiliationism/conditionalism that Bawulski feels has not been adequately addressed. First, it will argue that Christ’s death was essentially like ours, providing exegetical and theological support for this conclusion. Second, it will consider the major theories for the atonement, showing how each entails the idea that Christ’s death was like ours. Finally, it will argue that this leads to unacceptable consequences for Christology for annihilationism.
Dr. Bawulski is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute (Bible and Theology), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Divinity), and the University of St. Andrews (Systematic and Philosophical Theology). He currently serves as an assistant professor of Theology at LCC International University in Lithuania and is the coauthor of Christian Theology: The Classics.
- Ralph Bowles: “The Offer of Life: Conditional Immortality in the Practice of Evangelism.”
- This presentation will give new clarity and force to the communication of the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, including practical demonstration of how conditionalism can inform an evangelistic presentation.
The Reverend Dr. Ralph Bowles trained for Anglican ministry at Moore College Sydney, serving as a rector in the Diocese of Sydney, Australia, before being called to serve as rector (priest in charge) in an evangelical parish in Brisbane in 1990. Since 2009 he has worked as a church development officer, applying Natural Church Development for improving the health in 44 percent of parishes of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland.
- Ronnie Demler: “Persuasive or Evasive? Subtle and Not-So-Subtle Shifts in Traditionalist Dialectics.”
- This paper is a polemic against the traditional view of final punishment as it has been presented by church leaders, theologians, apologists, pastors, and preachers throughout history. An exposé of sorts, much of the paper will be devoted to setting simple, straightforward, biblical affirmations in stark contrast to statements made by traditionalists over the years, up to and including the present day, including whether or not the impenitent die, whether or not the impenitent live forever, whether or not the impenitent are immortal, whether or not the impenitent are destroyed, and whether or not the impenitent are consumed. This paper will show that a comparison of Scripture to the frank affirmations of traditionalists leaves traditionalism in an unenviable position and that contemporary attempts to reconcile the apparent disconnect are not successful.
Ronnie Demler is a graduate of Biola University (Philosophy). He has been a guest contributor to the Rethinking Hell podcast and blog, as well as the principal blogger at Conditionalism.net.
- Sam Griffith: “Men Have Forgotten God.”
- This presentation will look at examples of “hell on earth” through the presenter’s experiences in Iraq, Sudan, Rwanda, and Guatemala, putting in context the justification for God’s judgment against sinners in hell.
Justice Sam Griffith is a judge in the Twelfth Court of Appeals in Texas, and he received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, as well as his Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s School of Law. Justice Griffith has taught US Constitutional Law at Yunnan University School of Law in Kunming, the People’s Republic of China, and during the first of his three mission trips to Iraq, he taught US Constitutional Law at Koya University in Koya, Iraq. He has also written, delivered, or published articles on topics ranging from law to social psychology, from farming to devotionals. In 2011, he received a Global Encourager award from the Global Evangelistic Relations Committee for the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention for his mission work in Iraq.
We’ll end the second breakout session after just shy of an hour to give everyone a few minutes to switch rooms if necessary to attend the third breakout session of their choice, which begins at 2:30 p.m.
Breakout Session #3
- David Cramer: “How to Talk About the Afterlife (If You Must): Ten Theses to Guide Debates Among Traditionalists, Conditionalists, and Universalists.”
- This paper proposes and defends ten theses that Cramer believes should guide debates about the afterlife, especially debates among evangelical traditionalists, conditionalists, and universalists. Instead of defending any one particular viewpoint, this paper offers a road map for debates on these issues among evangelicals.
David Cramer is currently a PhD student in Religion at Baylor University. He earned degrees at Bethel College (Biblical Studies and Philosophy) and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Cross-Cultural Ministry and Philosophy of Religion). He is the editor-in-chief of the journal, Reflections: A Publication of the Missionary Church Historical Society and the coeditor of The Activist Impulse: Essays on the Intersection of Evangelicalism and Anabaptism, as well as the author of numerous articles in publications such as the journal of Christians for Biblical Equality, Christian Scholars Review, and Philosophia Christi.
- Peter Grice: “Tempest Theophany, Cosmic Cataclysm, and the Vanished Vanquished.”
- This paper derives a biblical framework for conditional immortality which is independent of views about human constitution and an intermediate state and is thus streamlined for adoption within evangelicalism. Numerous biblical texts and motifs are interrogated and distilled into unifying themes which herald a certain logic of time, place, and divine prescription, out of which individual annihilation necessarily emerges. In particular, a hebraic this-worldly, shalom-based, two-age scheme will be explored with respect to life itself and the doctrine of resurrection, along with the elemental nature of final judgment (whether taken literally or figuratively), to show that themes of slaughter and burning coincide with the liberation of the cosmos via the obliteration of evil. Special attention will be given to the biblical roots of the Gehenna and Lake of Fire symbols, as well as passages from –34, , , and and 21. The presentation concludes with a discussion of the ultimately positive eschatological vision that is entailed and how this overall scheme helps to frame our gospel message in ways which address specific contemporary concerns.
Peter Grice is a founder of the Rethinking Hell project, a global network of evangelical scholars, teachers, and laypeople who are exploring the doctrine of conditional immortality. He serves as president of Think Christianity, which promotes Christian thought in contemporary life, and as director of the TELOS Program, a unique course in Christian worldview and apologetics. He recently contributed a chapter on reason and the Christian faith to the book, True Reason: Confronting the Irrationality of the New Atheism.
- Tim Jennings: “The Neuroscience of Belief: How Your View of Hell Impacts Your Brain.”
- This presentation will explore the neuroscience of fear-based beliefs and present evidence that a belief in eternal torment is damaging to the brain and body.
Timothy R. Jennings, MD, is a board-certified Christian psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, lecturer, international speaker, and author. Dr. Jennings was voted one of America’s Top Psychiatrists by the Consumer’s Research Counsel of America in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Dr. Jennings is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, president elect of the Tennessee Psychiatric Association, vice president of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. He is in private practice in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His latest book, The God-Shaped Brain: How Changing Your View of God Transforms Your Life, was released by InterVarsity Press in April 2013.
- Jim Wood: “Taking Conditionalism to the People: A Documentary from the Producers of Hell and Mr. Fudge.”
- This presentation will explore the challenge conditionalists face as to how best to communicate our message to the widest possible audience. While the topic of conditionalism is a familiar one for many theologians, it is a rare novelty at the popular level. As media producers, we had to address both how and what to do in order to effectively reach a mass audience. Hell and Mr. Fudge is our initial effort in that direction. While the response to the movie has been generally positive, there has also been some negative reaction—from apathy to opposition. Distribution of Hell and Mr. Fudge has been hampered due to its doctrinal content. We want to learn from our experience so far and continue seeking innovative ways to circumvent professional traditionalist “gatekeepers” in order to bring the movie and a subsequent documentary (from which interview clips will be shown) to the attention of the laity. This will mean thinking outside the box—and we are eager to hear from fellow conditionalists who may have advice and ideas that we have not considered.
Jim Wood is a graduate of Pacific Union College (Theology) and has been serving in media ministry since 1985. He is writer and associate producer of The Seventh Day: Revelations from the Lost Pages of History, a five-part documentary series hosted by Hal Holbrook. He is coproducer of Hell and Mr. Fudge and is currently working on a documentary on conditionalism.
After these breakout sessions, we will come back together at 3:30 p.m. in the chapel for a plenary talk on the future of conditionalism from Rethinking Hell’s very own Glenn Peoples. Following Glenn’s talk, we’ll break at 5:00 p.m. for dinner (off-site).
When we return from dinner at 6:30 p.m., Glenn will introduce the participants in and moderate our final and perhaps most highly anticipated event, an evening panel that will treat conference attendees to a dialogue between advocates of all the major views on final punishment. Joining conditionalists Edward Fudge and Dr. John Stackhouse will be Dr. Shawn Bawulski (Assistant Professor of Theology, LCC International University), representing a variation of the traditional view of hell known as reconciliationism, Dr. J. Lanier Burns (Senior Professor of Systematic Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary), representing a more mainstream traditional view, and Dr. Thomas Talbott (Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Willamette University), representing universalism.
After a rousing two hours of discussion, we’ll end the conference with some closing remarks at 8:30 p.m. and bid conference attendees a warm farewell.
Sunday, July 13
Though this event is not officially part of the Rethinking Hell Conference, John Stackhouse will be speaking at Edward Fudge’s church, Bering Drive Church of Christ, at their worship service, which begins at 10:15 a.m.
Special Hotel Package
We also wanted to let you know about a discounted hotel package we have secured for conference attendees at the Hilton Garden Inn in Northwest Houston. This is one of the closest hotels to the Lanier Theological Library, and their shuttle can take you to our conference venue (potentially saving you the cost of a rental car).
The special room rate for the weekend of our conference, which also includes a full made-to-order breakfast, is 2 queen size beds for US$89.00/night, or 1 king deluxe with a queen sofa bed for US$89.00/night. The cost for these rooms would regularly be $119 per night with $11.95 for breakfast, so that’s a savings of over $80 for a two-night stay. (Note: the breakfast will not appear on your receipt, but it is included in this package.)
If you would like to book your room, you can do so either by clicking here, or by calling the hotel reservation line at 414-935-5952 (7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST).
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,
16:1 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.
18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
30:1 “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord,
“who carry out a plan, but not mine,
and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit,
that they may add sin to sin;
2 who set out to go down to Egypt,
without asking for my direction,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
3 Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
4 For though his officials are at Zoan
and his envoys reach Hanes,
5 everyone comes to shame
through a people that cannot profit them,
that brings neither help nor profit,
but shame and disgrace.”
6 An oracle on the beasts of the Negeb.
Through a land of trouble and anguish,
from where come the lioness and the lion,
the adder and the flying fiery serpent,
they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,
and their treasures on the humps of camels,
to a people that cannot profit them.
7 Egypt’s help is worthless and empty;
therefore I have called her
“Rahab who sits still.”
8 And now, go, write it before them on a tablet
and inscribe it in a book,
that it may be for the time to come
as a witness forever.
9 For they are a rebellious people,
children unwilling to hear
the instruction of the Lord;
10 who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
11 leave the way, turn aside from the path,
let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
“Because you despise this word
and trust in oppression and perverseness
and rely on them,
13 therefore this iniquity shall be to you
like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse,
whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;
14 and its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel
that is smashed so ruthlessly
that among its fragments not a shard is found
with which to take fire from the hearth,
or to dip up water out of the cistern.”
15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling, 16 and you said,
“No! We will flee upon horses”;
therefore you shall flee away;
and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”;
therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one;
at the threat of five you shall flee,
till you are left
like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
like a signal on a hill.
18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.
19 For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 22 Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”
23 And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, 24 and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.
27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;
his lips are full of fury,
and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
28 his breath is like an overflowing stream
that reaches up to the neck;
to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray.
29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. 31 The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, when he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the appointed staff that the Lord lays on them will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. 33 For a burning place has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.
2:1 In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? 4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, 5 according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. 6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. 7 And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. 9 The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”
10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, 11 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Ask the priests about the law: 12 ‘If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?’” The priests answered and said, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?” The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.” 14 Then Haggai answered and said, “So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the Lord, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean. 15 Now then, consider from this day onward. Before stone was placed upon stone in the temple of the Lord, 16 how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty. 17 I struck you and all the products of your toil with blight and with mildew and with hail, yet you did not turn to me, declares the Lord. 18 Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid, consider: 19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you.”
20 The word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, 22 and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother. 23 On that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the Lord, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts.”
12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
14:1 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.
6 Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7 And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
8 Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”
9 And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.
17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.