What Actually Happened On The Cross?


Chapter One


Let me ask you another question! That age old question, “What must I do to be saved?” Peter was asked by the Jewish people this question in Acts 2:38 and he replied, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”


He said this to the Jews because they had forty some days ago cried out to Pilot, “Crucify Him!” Jesus also had commanded the disciples in Matt. 28:19, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” 


The nations that Jesus was talking about were the Nations of Judah, Benjamin and Levi, who were the Jewish Nations, and also the Ten Tribes of Israel who were known as the House of Israel. John says in Jn. 1:11, “He came unto His own, and His own received him not.”  Jesus was a Jew and He came to His own people under the Law to fulfill that Law and bring it to completion. All that Jesus said and did was under that Law and that Law was in effect until He died on the cross doing away with it.


When Jesus sent out the twelve in Matt. 10:5 He commanded them, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 


We know from history that the twelve apostles went to the nations of Israel, however, Jesus selected Saul of Tarsus to go to the Gentile Nations and said in Acts 9:15, “He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:”


Paul later said in Gal. 2:7-8,

"When they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (Gentiles) was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision (Twelve Tribes) was unto Peter; (For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)” 


There is a difference between the Gospel that Peter taught and the Gospel that Paul taught. If you want to see a detailed article on this difference go to my website, http://www.rejoicinglifeministries.com/, and click on the article, The Gospel That Paul Taught.


Since most of us consider ourselves as Gentiles what did Paul have to say about what we must do to be saved? He said in Eph. 2:8, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”


Paul said that it is by grace operating through faith that we are saved. He also said that this faith even was not of our own doing but was given to us by God so that none of us could boast and say that we saved ourselves by how successful we were in keeping the commandments of Jesus. The very faith that you have to believe the word of God was given to you by our Father.


Jesus said in Jn. 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” 


I have heard preachers all my life telling me that I must be a soul winner. I can’t save anyone and neither can you. One can only be saved if our Father draws them to Himself. Of course, He will use you and me to tell them of His saving grace but only His Spirit can convict them of the truth.


Salvation is really simple. The Spirit said in Rev. 22:17,


And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” 


Jesus said in Matt. 11:28-30,


“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


My prayer is that these questions will get you to taking a closer look at what you have been taught.


I know that for every one question that I ask you about our salvation you can ask me ten more because of the things we have been taught and have accepted as the proper understanding about what the Bible is saying.


I want to shock you by saying we have been taught wrong about Hell. So my question is, “What the hell is hell?” You will answer that it is the lake of fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels and if we fail to serve the Lord in the proper way we will spend an eternity in this place of ungodly torment without end. Well, that is what we have been taught and if we don’t understand what the scriptures are saying that is what we will believe. You need to open your mind to be able to hear and receive what I am about to say. Your mind has been trained all these years to believe that God is going to cast all who sin into an eternal fire of hell. This doctrine of an eternal hell of fire is based primarily on the parable of Lazarus and the rich man as told in Luke 16:19-31.


We have been told that the rich man and beggar were real bona fide people that our Savior knew, and all that is said of them did actually and literally happened. This story begins by saying,


"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day."


This is all the knowledge we can obtain of the character, circumstances and condition of the rich man.  Jesus says nothing more of his character and we can find no account of him in any other part of the Bible.  From this we learn that he was rich and lived very luxuriously every day, as thousands now do.  He is not said to be an evil, dishonest, unmerciful or unjust person.  Jesus does not even indicate that he was an immoral man. If Jesus would have been talking about a time of endless misery to those who do evil, He would have mentioned what this man was guilty of!


You see, men have assumed that this man was doomed to suffer endless misery and consequently must have been deserving of it. It is not a sin to be wealthy and to live luxuriously.  There is nothing in this story to indicate that this mans wealth was obtained dishonestly.  We can just as easily assume that this man was honest, moral, and as good and virtuous as any church member in the land! 


Let's look now at what Jesus said about the beggar,


"At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table."


This is all the information we have respecting the character, condition, and circumstances of the beggar.  Jesus did not say or even indicate that the beggar was a good man or that he loved and served God or that he walked humbly, loved mercy or dealt justly.  He simply says that Lazarus was a beggar full of sores.  There are thousands of people who have reduced themselves to poverty, nakedness and starvation by their own laziness and brought upon themselves painful diseases and afflictions. We are justified in supposing that the beggar was reduced to his miserable condition by his own folly and idleness. 


We might even proceed further and prove by the strongest circumstantial evidence that the rich man was a good man, and the beggar a wicked man. Because throughout the Old Testament scriptures, wealth, riches and earthly enjoyment is promised to those who are pure in heart, who love God and keep his commandments.  While poverty, disease and disgrace is threatened to those who do wickedly.


The story goes on to say, 


"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side."


Jesus said that Lazarus was carried into Abraham's bosom and there is not another place in the Bible where mention is made of any one being carried into Abraham's bosom at death.  And yet we have been taught that Abraham's bosom means heaven, which is a place of absolute happiness.  Why is Abraham's bosom more than the bosom of any other saint in glory?


The story goes on to say,


"The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side."


If Jesus intended to introduce the doctrine of endless punishment, doesn't it seem that he would have chosen someone that was a fit subject for such a place?  Especially, when this is the only place in the whole Bible where any indication is given of suffering after death?


The story goes on to say,


"So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'"


We have been taught that the damned were filled with cursing and blasphemy. Yet, here is one supposed to be in the prison-house of woe, praying, and that most earnestly and fervently.  And it should be observed that his prayer is offered to Abraham instead of God, which makes the common exposition of the passage still more difficult. For supposing that what we have been taught is true, then, why would this man be praying to Abraham instead of God?  Did he suppose that the patriarch had authority and power to mitigate his sufferings and alleviate his distress? Now, notice what a strange request he made,


"'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'"  


Just suppose that the rich man was actually in a flame of fire in the spirit world, what possible good could he have expected from a drop of water?  If both he and the beggar were in the spirit world, why should the one be represented as having eyes and a tongue, and the other fingers?  And where were they going to find a drop of water?  And what authority did Abraham have to send Lazarus to the rich man? Have we not been taught to believe that in the kingdom of immortal blessedness, all are free and equal?  Or are we to suppose that the relations of master and servant exists there as the request of the rich man would seem to imply?  And then again, why should the rich man have requested Lazarus to be sent to him? Did he suppose the beggar to be indebted to him for the crumbs which he had permitted him to be fed?  No satisfactory answer ever has or ever can be given to these questions on the ground that this is a statement of literal facts.


Now, let us notice the answer of Abraham to the prayer of the rich man,


"'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'


Notice that Abraham does not even hint that the torment of the rich man was a punishment for sins committed while on earth and neither does he reprove the rich man for offering his prayer to him instead of God. He simply tells him that in his lifetime he had received good things, and Lazarus evil things. And then as a further excuse for not complying with his request, he tells him that between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.


Now if the hell here spoken of were such a place as it is generally supposed to be, and Abraham's bosom is the place of immortal blessedness, is it not rather a novel idea, to suppose that in order to keep the saints out of hell, it was necessary to confine them in heaven, by fixing a great gulf between the two places?   It is obvious that the purpose of this great gulf was to prevent the inhabitants of what is supposed to be the celestial world, from emigrating to what is supposed to be the world of woe!  And is it not surprising also that those who suppose this parable to be literal facts, that a gulf however wide and deep would be no sort of hindrance to a disembodied spirit upon which the laws of matter could have no power or control? (Think about it!!)


Let me leave you with this question to ponder. If what we have been told about God’s intention to punish billions of people forever in the most horrendous torturing fire then He would be worse than Hitler ever thought of being. This would not be the God that Jesus taught us about. He said that we were to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us and yet He is not going to practice what He expects us to do? Think about it.


If you want to read this whole article then just click on Have We Misinterpreted The Parable of Lazarus and The Rich Man?