Lake of Fire and Brimstone. The place of eternal punishment and torment for humans originally prepared for the devil and his angels. The designation "lake of fire" occurs six times, only in the Book of Revelation. It occurs once each in Rev. 19:20; 20:10; 20:15; 21:8. It occurs twice in Rev. 20:14. In the first five instances in Revelation it is mentioned with the same words, literally, "the lake of the fire" (tÍn limnÍn tou puros). In the last instance (Rev. 21:8) it is designated literally as "the lake, the one burning with fire and sulfur" (tÍ limnÍ tÍ kaiomenÍ puri kai theiō). "Lake" is from limnÍ (3041), "burning" is from kaiō (2545), "fire" is from pur (4442), and sulfur is is from theion (2303). Theion is always translated "brimstone" in the NASB, but brimstone is burning sulfur. Fire and sulfur are mentioned together in Rev. 14:10 as the torment in store for those who worship the beast or take his mark (Rev. 14:9). The word "lake" is not mentioned there. But "lake" and "fire" and "sulfur" all three are used together in Rev. 19:20; 20:10; 21:8. Though there are some within Christendom who deplore the idea of a God who would subject anyone to such excruciating torment eternally, there is no reason not to understand the dire predictions literally. Jesus had no problem doing so (Matt. 25:41, 46).
Though the Book of Revelation is the only Bible book to use the designation, the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, other passages no doubt also refer to it. Jesus once spoke of the dire consequences of calling someone a fool (moros, 3474). The name-caller will be worthy of "fiery hell" (Matt. 5:22). "Fiery" comes from pur (4442), and "hell" is geenna (1067). At the judgment of Gentiles who survive the Tribulation, Jesus will speak to the "goats", those on His left, the awful words, "Depart from me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41). He described this destiny as "eternal punishment" (Matt. 25:46). He said it was better to cut off one's hand or foot or eye than to retain all and enter "into hell, into the unquenchable fire" (Mark 9:43, 45, 47). "Hell" is geenna (1067), and "fire" is pur (4442). He also described geenna as a place "where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48; see also Matt. 3:12 and Jude 1:7).
For a fuller discussion, see "The Sentence and Disposition of the Defendants who Appear before the Throne -- Hell, which is the Lake of Fire, which is the Second Death" (Rev. 20:14-15).
Law of Moses. The designation frequently given in the OT (e.g., Josh. 8:31, 32; 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chron. 23:18; Ezra 3:2; Neh. 8:1; Dan. 9:11; Mal. 4:4), and less frequently in the NT (Luke 2:22; 24:44; John 7:23; Acts 13:39; 15:5; 28:23; 1 Cor. 9:9; Heb. 10:28), for the conditional covenant between God and the nation of Israel. It is more frequently designated simply "the Law." The Greek nomenclature for "Law" is nomos (3551); the Hebrew is torah (8451). See also Mosaic Covenant.
Levirate Marriage. An OT custom and later Law commanding a brother to marry the childless wife of a deceased brother to raise up a male heir to the deceased brother. The term "levirate" is taken from the Latin word levir which means "husband's brother." There are several examples in Scripture. Judah's son Er married a woman named Tamar. But Er was evil in God's sight, and so God killed him. Judah instructed his second son Onan to marry Tamar and fulfill his duty as a brother-in-law, raising up offspring for his brother Er (Gen. 38:6-11). Onan refused to do his duty as a brother-in-law, so God killed him also. The account continues, but that is beyond the scope of this glossary entry. In another instance Boaz, at Ruth's request (Ruth 3:9), exercised the function of a brother-in-law to raise up a son for Ruth's deceased husband Mahlon (Ruth 4:1-15). The process involved purchasing land to keep it in the family. The legal code regarding Levirate marriage is found in Deut. 25:5-10. Trying to ensnare Jesus, certain Sadducees asked Jesus a trick question about Levirate marriage (Matt. 22:23-33). Jesus told them their question was irrelevant because there will be no marriage among resurrected people. For a further discussion of Levirate Marriage, see the off-site article, "What is a levirate marriage?"
Liddell and Scott. A well-known Greek-English Lexicon. There follows here the first paragraph of the overview of the product as found on the website of Logos.
The Liddell and Scott Greek–English Lexicon (9th edition, 1940), is the central reference work for all scholars of ancient Greek authors and texts discovered up to 1940, from the 11th century BC to the Byzantine Period. The early Greek of authors such as Homer and Hesiod, Classical Greek, and the Greek Old and New Testaments are included. Each entry lists not only the definition of a word, but also its irregular inflections, and quotations from a full range of authors and sources to demonstrate usage.
WordExplain uses an abbreviated version of Liddell and Scott as found in Bibloi 8.0, produced by Silver Mountain Software.
Limited Atonement. The view of Reformed Theology that Christ died only for the elect. Over the years, an acronym summarizing five salient points of Reformed Theology was developed. The acronym is TULIP. In the acronym, T stands for Total Depravity; U stands for Unconditional Election; L stands for Limited Atonement; I stands for Irresistible Grace; and P stands for Perseverance of the Saints. WordExplain agrees with all five except for Limited Atonement. More in a moment.
Limited Atonement, if not explicitly stated, is at least apparent in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Here are two quotes:
Chapter XI, "Of Justification": IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit does, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.
Chapter XXIX, "Of the Lord's Supper": II. In this sacrament, Christ is not offered up to His Father; nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sins of the quick or dead; but only a commemoration of that one offering up of Himself, by Himself, upon the cross, once for all: and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God, for the same: so that the popish sacrifice of the mass (as they call it) is most abominably injurious to Christ's one, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of His elect.
It is the view of WordExplain that Limited Atonement cannot, in fact, be supported from Scripture. John the Immerser identified Jesus as the Lamb of God whose sacrifice would be sufficient to take away the sins of the world (not merely those of the elect) (John 1:29). Scripture states that God loved the world, and sent His Son not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17). God did not love merely the world of the elect, or send His Son to die for the world of the elect, but the entire world. Jesus' death is the legal satisfaction for the sins of the entire world (not merely those of the elect) (1 John 2:2). Moreover, Peter warned of false teachers who would arise among his readers, introducing destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them (2 Peter 2:1). Here, Christ's death is seen as so valuable it paid for the sins even of false teachers, not merely the sins of the elect. Having stated the supreme value of Christ's death - valuable enough to pay for the sins of the entire world, the Scriptures are clear that only faith in the Messiah secures that available forgiveness for the individual person (John 3:16-18, 3:36). A gift (forgiveness) spurned, is judgment earned. Christ's atonement is available to all; it is effective only to those who believe.
Literal Interpretation of Scripture. The method of interpreting Scripture that interprets the Bible in the same manner and with the same meaning that the original writer intended. A literal interpretation takes into account the grammar, the vocabulary, the style of writing and the intent of the original writer to his audience. A literal interpretation does not force a pre-conceived theological agenda on Scripture and make it say what the interpreter wants it to say, not what God meant for it to say.
Three areas stand out specifically. (1) In matters that fall under the dogma of Evolution, many interpreters have circumvented the clear teaching of the Bible in the Creation Account (Gen. 1) and the two genealogical tables (Gen. 5; 11:10-32) to argue for some form of evolution and for an Old Earth. Neither can be supported from Scripture. Non-literalists feel compelled to build time into the book of Genesis in order to accommodate evolutionary hypothesis. Conservative Bible scholars interpret these passages literally, as God intended them to be taken.
(2) Another issue is the realm of History. With an anti-supernatural bias, some Bible interpreters deny a literal interpretation of the Universal Flood in the days of Noah (Gen. 6:1-8:22). Likewise they deny a literal interpretation of the multiplication of languages in Gen. 11:1-9). But the Flood account reads like sober history. And the NT presupposes the existence of a Flood that destroyed the entire previously created earth (2 Pet. 3:3-6).
(3) A third area is that of Biblical Prophecy. God made certain promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that included specific descendants (the nation of Israel), specific land (the land of Israel) and great blessing that would extend even to Gentiles. Tragically, a great many churches and denominations spiritualize or allegorize these predictions. They reinterpret them to mean a metaphorical or spiritual reference to the Church and the Kingdom (which they say is occurring today). A literal interpretation of Scriptures that deal with prophecy ensures that we understand that the conditions and events promised for the people of Israel will inevitably yet occur just as God predicted they would. We cannot and do not subscribe to the Gentile hubris of Replacement Theology, which holds that the promises God made with Israel must necessarily and only be fulfilled in the Church in a non-literal way. If God cannot be trusted to keep the promises He made to Israel in the way that He made them, how do we Gentile believers have the gall to believe He will keep His promises to us?
LORD of Hosts. A compound name of God emphasizing His warlike attributes. See Yahweh of Troops.
Lordship Salvation. The belief that, in order to be saved, one must accept Christ as Lord of his life. "The doctrine of lordship salvation teaches that submitting to Christ as Lord goes hand-in-hand with trusting in Christ as Savior. Lordship salvation is the opposite of what is sometimes called easy-believism or the teaching that salvation comes through an acknowledgment of a certain set of facts." (Incidentally, that is a false representation of the opposing position. I know of no one who claims that saving faith is merely faith in a set of facts. Saving faith is faith in Jesus, the Messiah, not merely a set of facts.)
The difficulty with Lordship Salvation, in my estimation, is that it attempts to put more requirements on saving faith than the Scripture does. Moreover, in its zeal for a purified church, it tends to paint salvation with brush strokes that are too broad. If you are not a dedicated Christian, you are not a Christian at all, is the idea the proponents of this theology claim. I have heard the statement, "If Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all." I'm sorry, but that is too simplistic, and it does not square with the data of Scripture. If Lordship Salvation is as accurate as its proponents make it out to be, then perhaps we had better toss out Romans 12:1-2, where Christians who already believe in Jesus are challenged to lay their bodies on the altar as living sacrifices. Why would Paul ever have to write that if Lordship salvation were completely accurate? It wouldn't be necessary.
The picture we see in Scripture is that the Christian life is a life of growth. Sanctification is a process. Sometimes people make good progress, and sometimes they regress. At one time Paul gave up on John Mark (Acts 13:13; 15:36-41). Perhaps John MacArthur would have given up on him also? Fortunately a cooler head (Barnabas) did not give up on John Mark. Later, Paul would ask for Timothy to bring John Mark along, for Paul found him useful (2 Tim. 4:11).
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" was the emotional question of the Philippian jailer. Paul and Silas did not give him a doctrinal study of the sanctified Christian life. They simply replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:30-31). Without denying the importance of repentance, we must also acknowledge that the most overtly evangelistic gospel of all, the Gospel of John (John 20:30-31), uses some form of the word "believe" 98 times, and it never once uses the word "repent" or "repentance." Apparently it is permissible to present the plan of salvation without ever using the word "repent" or "repentance."
Proponents of Lordship Salvation appear to me to be loathe to accept the reality of carnal or fleshly Christians. Paul certainly applied that term to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 3:1-4). I am not comfortable with carnal or fleshly Christians, either. But it is not my job to stand in judgment over them and tell them they are not saved. That is not my business, but the Lord's. I am reminded of Jesus' parable of the Tares among the Wheat (Matt. 13:24-30). A man sowed good seed in his field. But while he was asleep, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. After this became evident the land-owner's slaves wanted to tear out the tares. But the land-owner refused. "If you do that, you will rip up some wheat also!" was his rejoinder. His advice? "Wait for the harvest. Then my reapers will gather up the tares and burn them, and they will gather my wheat into my barn."
The lesson is transparent. If we dedicated believers were to stand in judgment on other Christians, and to send to hell those whom we were convinced were not Christians, unfortunately, we would send some genuine believers to hell! That is not our business. It is the Lord's. He will stand in judgment and will know which are His own and which are not (John 5:25-29).
Please don't mistake me. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone (Eph. 2:8-9). But we are saved in order to produce good works, which God has beforehand ordained that we should walk (Eph. 2:10). A saving faith will produce works (James 2:14-26). But Christians are not always as obedient as they ought to be. I fully expect to see Ananias and Saphira in heaven. I do not believe their hypocrisy proves they were not Christians. It did prove that sometimes God goes to great lengths to keep His Church pure (Acts 5:1-11; Heb. 12:4-13).
Lord’s Supper. The ordinance which Christians are commanded to observe to memorialize Christ’s death (Matt 26:26-29). The Lord’s Supper includes bread, which memorializes Christ’s broken body, and the cup, which memorializes His shed blood. For the Church, the Lord’s Supper is officially linked with the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34; Luke 17:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:25).
Lot. The son of Haran and nephew of Abraham (Gen. 11:27-32). After the death of his father (Gen. 11:28) and grandfather (Gen. 11:32), Lot accompanied his uncle Abraham into Canaan (Gen. 12:4-5). After a time, their flocks and herds were so great they could no longer live together (Gen. 13:2-7). Given the opportunity to choose first (Gen. 13:8-9), Lot chose the well-watered valley of the Southern Jordan and moved close to the city of Sodom (Gen. 13:10-12). Ultimately he moved within the city of Sodom (Gen. 14:12). Unfortunately, this was not a wise choice, for the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked, and sinners against the Lord (Gen. 13:13; 18:22-33; 19:1-11). Though he aligned himself solidly with an evil city, Lot was daily tormented by their lawless deeds (2 Pet. 2:7-8).
While living in Sodom, Lot and his family fell victim to a wholesale abduction by a four-king Persian confederation (Gen. 14:1-12) (see the author's Analysis of Genesis at the appropriate reference). Abraham, with the aid of some nearby allies, successfully executed a daring rescue of Lot and other Sodomite who had also been kidnapped (Gen. 14:13-16). God had heard about the great evil of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:16-20). He prepared to send two men who had joined Him in His visit with Abraham down to Sodom in the Jordan valley to see if the evil was as great as the report which had ascended to Him up in heaven (Gen. 18:21). Sensing what Yahweh was about to do, Abraham successfully bargained with the Lord on behalf of his nephew, Lot, to spare the city of Sodom if ten righteous could be found (Gen. 18:23-33). The sordid behavior of the men of Sodom towards Lot's newly-arrived, angelic house guests quickly dispelled any doubt as to their great evil (Gen. 19:1-11). Judgment was now inevitable.
The two men attempted, urgently, to jolt Lot, his wife, and his two daughters to flee quickly from the city they were about to destroy (Gen. 19:12-15). But Lot hesitated (Gen. 19:16a). But the men were resolute. They seized the hands of Lot, his wife, and his two daughters, and forcibly almost dragged them from the city. Lot sought solace in the town of Zoar (Gen. 19:16-22). Scarcely had Lot and his family reached Zoar, when the Lord rained down from heaven sulfur mixed with fire upon the corrupt citizens of the towns of the valley. The entire area became an acrid inferno (Gen. 19:23-25). Tragically, Lot's wife's heart remained in Sodom. When she heard the explosions behind her, she could not bear it. She disobeyed specific orders and looked back. In judgment, God turned her into a pillar of salt (Gen. 19:26). But out of deference to Abraham, God had saved Lot (Gen. 19:27-29).
Having escaped the destruction of the evil city of Sodom, Lot evidently sensed he and his daughters were not safe in Zoar, so he led his daughters up into a cave in the mountains to live. Presumably, his daughters concluded there were no normal, heterosexual men left anywhere upon the earth. They plotted to preserve their family line through their family. On successive nights they got their father so drunk that each of them slept incestuously with him. Both daughters conceived (Gen. 19:30-36). The firstborn born a son and shamelessly named him Moab ("From the Father"). He became father of the Moabites (Gen. 19:37). The younger daughter also bore a son and shamelessly named him Ben-ammi ("Son of My People", i.e. his mother and father were from the same family [Ryrie Study Bible note]). This son was the father of the sons of Ammon (Gen. 19:38).
What a tragic ending to a wasted life. Yet God's Word calls Lot a righteous (2 Pet. 2:8), godly (2 Pet. 2:9) man. Peter uses this shameful historical narrative to illustrate graphically two eternal truths: (1) "... [T]he Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation ..." (2 Peter 2:9). (2) The Lord knows how "... to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority" (2 Pet. 2:9-10).
Louw and Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. Editors are Johannes P. Louw and Eugene A. NIda. Product Details: This is a two-volume work that arranges the NT lexical material into 93 semantic domains (such as Plants, Animals, Foods and Condiments, Learn, Agriculture, Value, Time, Contests and Play, etc.). This enables the user to see words that are different lexically, but are similar semantically, much more easily. The advantage of this approach is that it gives an indication of the relationships which exist between words which are similar in meaning.
Generally speaking, quotations of Louw-Nida in WordExplain are gleaned from the Louw-Nida Lexicon found in Bibloi 8.0.
LXX. The Septuagint, the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The word is taken from a Latin phrase which means "translation of the seventy interpreters." This phrase is found in the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas, which states that seventy-two Jewish scholars translated the Hebrew Bible into Koine Greek in Alexandria, Egypt at the request of Ptolemy II about 250 BC. Philo of Alexandria states that the seventy-two translators were kept in separate chambers and that they produced identical versions in seventy-two days! (See Wikipedia's entry on the Septuagint.) That, of course, sounds more like legend than sober history. Nevertheless, the term "Septuagint" has stuck with the translation. The Septuagint included the complete Tanakh, meaning the Hebrew Bible, including the Torah (Law), the Prophets, and the Writings. A significant value of the Septuagint lies in its assistance in the translation of rare Hebrew words. By 100 BC the Apocryphal books, along with a few other works (such as Odes), were incorporated into the Septuagint, including 1 Esdras, Judith, Tobit, 1, 2, 3, 4 Maccabees, Sirach (Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus), Psalms of Solomon, Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch, Epistle of Jeremiah, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon. (This list of Apocryphal books is obtained from Bibloi 8.02 [Bible software], published by Silver Mountain Software copyrighted May 27, 2007.) Jesus Christ did not include the Apocryphal books in His canon of Scripture as revealed in Matt. 23:35 and Luke 11:51. Historically, the early church understood that these Apocryphal books did not have the status of Scripture. There are several on-line renderings of the Septuagint. One of them is the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS).