I got separated from the religious environment I had been raised in soon after Jesus manifested Himself to me. Though my dad, his brothers and my grandpa were pastors, only a couple of days passed and, having decided I must read the Bible, which I'd never done, I discovered Jesus (in Mt 6) promised to bless us if we prayed, fasted or gave. I knew Jesus keeps His promises so here was something I could do. My idea had been something like at The Pool of Bethesda. Whatever, whenever God moved was not mine to affect. Fasting also was not something taught anywhere I'd heard of.
Then I thought I should be able to quote the Bible for whatever I explained to people concerning the Lord. Whatever doctrine is in the Bible can be stated with the actual words of Scripture or it is NOT in the Bible. Simple . If the words for a doctrine are not Bible words, you have another authority than the Bible. Whoever you get those other words from is your authority, not God! Look up the key words or phrases in a concordance. If they aren't there, then you shouldn't believe them. I didn't clearly understand this for years yet. In the beginning I had voluntarily decided to not read anything but the Bible, which I did for 4 1/2 years. I couldn't yet trust the idea that I couldn't find something. "No evidence" is a thing hard to believe in.
I just wanted to know where it said we were going to disappear before the Great Tribulation. (Now I would ask for Scripture that says the racially gentile believers would suddenly disappear.) Well, as that "near at hand" eschatology unraveled I discovered even questioning them, wanting their direct quote that said what they were saying, caused me to be rejected or they even called the police (something "authorities," specially in Institutional Christianity seem to like to do, pushing their destruction of me as far as they think they can get away with, which makes me believe they would've had me burned at the stake in earlier times.)
Though I had even stayed up all night arguing against the salvation of all a friend was trying to convince me of, it was almost 10 years later when I studied "The Eons of the Bible" or a similarly titled booklet by Gelesnov and believed for the first time, "Faithful is the saying and worthy of all welcome (for for this are we toiling and being reproached), that we rely on the living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind, especially of believers." (1 Tim 4:9-10, CLT) I looked at my watch. It was 3 am, July 18th, 1981. I noted the time because I knew I had no more hope of acceptance by what is popularly considered "the mainstream" or "orthodox" Church.
I was less than five years old when I understood the difference between "finite" and "infinite" from a sermon my dad preached. When I was going to sleep that night I thought, "How can a finite man deserve an infinite reward?" It didn't make any sense to me; but, they taught that if your sins weren't forgiven you'd have to pay what you owed, you'd deserve ceaseless torture for ever. Even though that infinity was a contradition to being finite, I remember turning over and thinking, "I guess it's just something you have to believe" before I went to sleep. I don't see any way out of it yet today. Yet for years, because that was what I was taught and the people around me believed it, I believed in a hell of screaming torture for ever for most people. But, if anyone can think about it for a little while, I don't see how they can think it makes any sense. We humans can't ever do enough evil to deserve that. It would make God unjust. I've known God and His gifts when believing in eternal torture, so I must grant that to others; but, if you've been born again and, even more so, if you've been filled with the Holy Spirit, I don't believe you can say that the experience of Jesus that the Holy Spirit has given you is that He is a Master Torturer, torturing countless victims without cease and no hope of escape all the while telling them, "I love you." I don't believe you can in good conscience expect God to make you into that image, that kind of being either.
Several major changes were yet to come. I discovered that the one thing Paul was pressing forward into attaining was the transformation of the physical body into an immortal incorruptible body. I had never quite integrated my resurrection into the goal of my walk with the Lord. I am to expect I can actually arrive at physical immortality as an outcome of my developing relationship with God. Much could be written of this that I only mention. Friends spurned me because of this also.
Then about 15 years ago, what I consider to be perhaps the most important change to my understanding happened, most of it in a very short time. I was shown some things about Eclessia, God's bride, and the kingdom of God, which is just God. Unlike other kingdoms, there are no mediators (except Jesus.) It always functions by direct intimacy with the Ruler Who is also the Realm. The Church (Eclessia) is not leaving. It is the center of God purposes: the bride for Him to be intimately known and the house for His rest. God's people are not determined racially. God proves who His "chosen people" are by giving them the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Church (Eclessia) is going to manifest in power rather than disappear. The Church (Eclessia) will take over, ruling with Christ rather than th devil taking over which will never happen and is not only not in the Bible, but is a belief resulting from a carnal mind's Satanic deception.
Being only an enabling audience for a professional with titles of honor from other men is not being the Church of the living God. That is the tradition of other mediators usurping the place of Jesus. How long since you gathered with other members of the body of Christ without human headship (honoring the presence of Christ Jesus the Lord and only head of His own body) in order to honor the working of the Holy Spirit in every member? Most places calling themselves "the Church" don't even allow the Church to freely minister one to another as commanded by our Lord. There is something other than you or me or other individual believers and other than God. That is her, God's girlfriend, the bride. I went to church, but the Church wasn't even on the program. How many have ever even experienced the corporate body of Christ, His bride?
I was and am slandered and lied about by people who've never bothered to even meet me. Over the years I have lost friends, family, churches, jobs, homes, belongings, reputation for the Lord Jesus. Paul said he counted it all dung by comparison, "...that I may win Christ." When I asked the Lord what I should think about the lies by some around here that don't know me at all He immediately answered me, "That's how they know Me." I've been attacked and several times I've been shot at. A couple years ago a preacher at a Church near here called the police on me though I did nothing out of line. I only spoke to him after the "service," telling him what the English actually said, and also what the Greek said about a passage in the New Testament he'd used to say something the Bible nowhere says.
Early on, for years, my manner of life agreed with Origen's advice to not share Universalism with the world or beginning Christians. I sought to get along with other Christians and tried to not "rock the boat." At 61 I now believe that to be really stupid and I very much regret my lack of love for God. I was intimidated by their carnal antagonisms and covered my lack of courage with "As much as lieth within you, be at peace with all men." We still should have our, "feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." But I've grown more concerned that my life would make a difference to the rest of mankind, all of them, because I was here and spoke out for the Truth. This means I can also expect God to show up and show off, which He likes to do. We are to be, "...speaking the truth in love, [so we] may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ" (Ephesians 4:15, AV)
God's people were in serious trouble with Him because of "the mixed multitude." Though many Egyptians came out with the Israelites Egypt didn't come out of their hearts. You're better off with the little "two or more in His name" than a crowd of abortions and centaurs, half man and half beast. If you want your life to count for something, ya' gotta' ROCK THE BOAT!!! God will reward you if you are crazy in love with Him and tell everybody you can about the truth as it is in Jesus! Judgment eonian is only basic baby talk. (cf., Hebrews 6:1-6) The reason almost none of these E.T. evangelicals can get beyond a certain notch and are stuck in immaturity is they do not have the foundation. God is not the Eternal Torturer! Speak the truth in love. You'll be surprised at who He gives you. If nobody else, you'll fellowship with angels!!! I promise!!! God's got a time when the lid is going to blow off this thing and we may live to see it! Take that as sure prophetic word. He will build His Church.
"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." (Philippians 3:8-11, AV)