3 Nephi Chapter 27
3 Nephi 27:8 How be it my church save it be called in my name?
3 Nephi 27:13-16 The Savior said, Behold, I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you-that I came into the world to do the will of my Father because my Father sent me, and my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross. And after that I had been lifted upon the cross that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.
3 Nephi 27:20 The Savior said: Now this is the commandment-repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
3 Nephi 27:27 The Savior to his twelve Nephite disciples: And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.
3 Nephi 27:28-29 The Savior to his twelve Nephite disciples: Whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.
3 Nephi 27:33 Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it; but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death, and many there be that travel therein.
It would appear that throughout this chapter the Lord is instructing his twelve disciples, or apostles, and not the multitude in general.
1 And it came to pass that as the disciples of Jesus were journeying and were preaching the things which they had both heard and seen, and were baptizing in the name of Jesus, it came to pass that the disciples were gathered together and were united in mighty prayer and fasting.
verse 1 "the disciples were gathered together and were united in mighty prayer and fasting" In the Book of Mormon, fasting is mentioned in various circumstances and apparently was used for a few different purposes (see the commentary for Mosiah 27:22) including fasting to mourn the death of an important figure, fasting to petition the Lord for certain blessings (petitionary fasting), fasting in preparation for obtaining certain blessings from God, and fasting as a religious rite or a devotional exercise-as in this verse. Fasting as a rite or exercise is the practice of fasting as an offering to the Lord. This type of fasting is uncommon in the Book of Mormon before the appearance to the Nephites of the resurrected Christ (see Omni 1:26; Helaman 3:35). Following his appearance, fasting is mentioned only as a devotional practice (see also 4 Nephi 1:12; Moroni 6:5). It is interesting to note that fasting as a devotional exercise is not found in the Old Testament before the Babylonian exile, but it bursts into full bloom during the early pre-Christian centuries and is also frequently mentioned in the New Testament (an example is Luke 2:36-38).
2 And Jesus again showed himself unto them, for they were praying unto the Father in his name; and Jesus came and stood in the midst of them, and said unto them: What will ye that I shall give unto you?
3 And they said unto him: Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter.
verse 3 It is unclear why disputations arose concerning the name of the church. The church organization had been first formally established among the Nephites in the days of the senior Alma. Since that time it appears that the church had been called the "Church of Christ" or the "Church of God" (Mosiah 18:17; Mosiah 25:18; Mosiah 25:23; Alma 4:5; 3 Nephi 26:21). However, this was a new day. The Mosaic dispensation had ended, and the Messianic dispensation or the dispensation of the meridian of time had begun. Even though the Nephites had held the priesthood in its fulness and had enjoyed the blessings of the gospel from the days of Lehi and Nephi, they had continued to observe the Law of Moses. They had offered sacrifices, and they had conformed to the Mosaic law's "myriad moral principles and its endless ethical restrictions" (McConkie, The Promised Messiah, 427). In this new dispensation covenants and faith had replaced the old law. The law had become "dead" unto them. Perhaps it is for these reasons the people had begun to wonder if the church was to be called by a new name in this new dispensation.
4 And the Lord said unto them: Verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing?
5 Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;
verses 4-5 The Lord seems a bit surprised that there is any disputation over this question. Apparently there were some among the people who felt that the church should be called by a name other than that of the Savior. Mormon had already stated that the church was already called by his name (see 3 Nephi 26:21).
verses 6-11 Brother Robert L. Millet has provided a provocative introduction to these verses:
The church or body of Christ is a true and living thing only to the degree that it is imbued and animated by Christ. Like an individual, the church must take upon it the name of Christ-meaning his divine influence, attributes, and nature-in order to enjoy his transforming powers. Those who are noble in character, kindly in deed and manner, considerate, and compassionate-what the bulk of the Western world would call "Christian" in nature-but who refuse to take upon themselves the name of Christ (and all that such a commitment entails), are not fully Christ's nor are they Christians in the total and complete sense. They remain in a lost and fallen state yielding to the enticings of the spirit of the evil one and to the nature of things in a fallen world and are without God in the world (Alma 41:11) and, as such, are without tie to the family of God. They are spiritual orphans, nameless and family-less, in a lone and dreary world. And what of the church? It is made up of people, and to the degree that those congregants are as yet unredeemed and unregenerated, the church cannot be the light that is so desperately needed in a darkened world, cannot make available that life and that energy that flow from its great Head ("This is My Gospel," The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9-30, This is My Gospel, 3-4).
6 And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.
verse 6 When we are baptized into the Church we enter into a covenant with God. We take upon ourselves his name and announce our candidacy and our desire to be exalted in the celestial kingdom. At the time of our baptism, however, we are not guaranteed that exaltation. If, over our lifetime, we diligently persist in our efforts to become like the Savior, then we may eventually qualify for that highest of all eternal rewards. At that time we shall have the name of Christ sealed upon us forever. Recall that King Benjamin pleaded with his people: "I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life" (Mosiah 5:15).
7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
verse 7 Robert L. Millet has written:
From the days of Adam, the divine decree has gone forth: 'Thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the son forevermore' (Moses 5:8). All things are to be done in his holy name. All things. We are to speak, act, preach, and prophesy in the name of the Son. We are to heal the sick and raise the dead in the name of the Son. We are to conduct the business of the Church and perform the ordinances of salvation in the name of the Son. We are to do what we do in the name of Jesus Christ and speak and act the way our blessed Master would under similar circumstances ("This is My Gospel," The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9-30, This is My Gospel, 3-4).
Everything redemptive is accomplished in the name of Christ, who mediates all transactions between God and man.
8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses' name then it be Moses' church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.
verse 8 Notice in this verse that it is not sufficient for a church to be called after the name of Jesus Christ. Anyone can form a church and place the Savior's name upon it. The Lord states here "it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel."
What is the purpose of the Lord's church which bears his name? It administers his gospel by teaching his doctrine and by making available his ordinances (covenants) with the proper authority to perform those ordinances.
9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;
verse 9 Brother Millet also wrote:
We ever pray for the growth and proliferation of the Church of Jesus Christ, which is the kingdom of God on earth. We plead mightily for the expansion of the work of the Lord in all nations, and among all kindreds, tongues, and people. We petition the Father in the name of the Son, and, when our prayers meet the divine standard, they are offered under the direction of the Holy Ghost. We pray for the church that bears the name of his Son, and we pray for special outpourings of light and power "for Christ's sake," meaning because of or on account of what Christ has done for the church and, more particularly, we pray for those who constitute the sheep of his fold. We ask sincerely that the judgments of God may be turned away, and the mercies of heaven extended, all because of the mediation and intercession of the Holy One of Israel (Ibid., 5-6).
10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.
verse 10 From other scriptures we learn that some of the Father's works include spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8-14; D&C 46:10-26), living prophets, service, and his sustaining love.
11 But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return.
verse 11 "built upon the works of men" C. S. Lewis observed:
Many people seek to invent some sort of happiness for themselves without God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history-money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, slavery-the long terrible story of people trying to find something other than God which will make them happy. The reason why it can never succeed is this. God made us-invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing (Mere Christianity, 53-54).
The "works of the devil" are what the apostle Paul called "the works of the flesh"-such sins as adultery, fornication, idolatry, hatred, strife, and heresy (Galatians 5:19-21).
The Lord often allows the designs and creations of men to bring temporary pleasure, "joy," and satisfaction. It is a profound truth that creations of men and of the world cannot produce lasting happiness and a fulness of joy. They cannot produce an inheritance in the celestial kingdom.
"hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return" Perhaps this phrase refers to the fate of those cast into outer darkness.
12 For their works do follow them, for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.
verse 12 "For their works do follow them" This phrase is an apt succinct definition of the law of restoration.
verses 13-22 In these following verses the Lord defines his gospel. The reader is referred to the introductory discussion for 2 Nephi 31 which contains a discussion of the "doctrine of Christ" which is the gospel of Christ. The reader is also reminded that the gospel is fundamentally the "good news" of the Savior's atonement with all its implications-that man can now be forgiven of his sins and return to his celestial home. All other aspects of the gospel are mere appendages to his atonement. Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote: "Nothing in the entire plan of salvation compares in any way in importance with . . . the atoning sacrifice of our Lord. . . . It is the rock foundation upon which the gospel and all other things rest. . . . Indeed, the atonement is the gospel" (Mormon Doctrine, 60).
13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you-that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
verse 13 "and this is the gospel . . . that I came into the world to do the will of my Father" So essential is the atonement of Christ to a meaningful mortal existence for mankind that on occasion it is referred to as "the gospel." This same doctrine was audibly declared from the heavens to the Prophet Joseph: "This is the gospel, the glad tidings . . . that he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world" (D&C 76:40-41). The LDS Bible Dictionary defines the gospel as "good news" and then adds, "The good news is that Jesus Christ has made a perfect atonement."
In a more expansive sense, the gospel is referred to as all those principles and ordinances that comprise the plan of salvation (see D&C 39:6). Even when used in this latter sense, however, we must remember that those principles and ordinances have life and efficacy only because of the Savior's atoning sacrifice. That is exactly what Enoch taught: "This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten" (Moses 6:62).
"that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me" A concept fundamental and indispensable to the gospel is that Jesus is literally divine. He was commissioned by his Father, and by some unfathomable but actual process his body was the literal offspring of his Heavenly Father and his earthly mother. Not only do we listen to and obey him, we worship him. He is our Lord and our God. There is a growing tendency in the world today among those who identify themselves as Christians to focus mainly on his moral teachings and downplay his divine sonship. The flawed logic of this view is colorfully articulated by C. S. Lewis as he warns against saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Jesus:
"I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic-on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to (Mere Christianity. New York: Macmillan, 1952, 55-56).
Increasingly in the world, Christianity is becoming defined as a system of social ethics, and Christ is coming to be regarded as a great moral teacher, the originator of a great social gospel. This view ignores the essence of Christianity which is the doctrine of Christ. We may succinctly define the doctrine of Christ as follows: Jesus Christ is the literal and divine son of God the Father. He came to earth to suffer in Gethsemane and on the cross, to atone for our sins, enabling us to one day to live forever with him in the kingdom of our God. Our purpose on earth is to become more like Jesus-to begin to acquire his attributes. The purpose of his Church and gospel is to help us in that endeavor. As we strive to become like him, the Spirit of God blesses our lives with spiritual gifts which are the incremental elements of the attributes of the Savior. The Spirit also extends to us repeatedly the blessings of Christ's atonement that our sins may be forgiven. As we receive these gifts and become like him, we will be inclined to think as he thinks and act as he acts. We will certainly embrace all that today is called "ethical Christian behavior," but we will embrace it not out of a sense of duty. Rather, it will be a part of us and completely natural for us to do so. We will hardly be able to do otherwise. We will joy without tiring in serving our fellow men purely out of a sense of love, even the pure love of Christ.
14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil-
verse 14 This verse begins the Savior's final declaration to the Nephite people.
"that I might draw all men unto me" The Savior's atonement provided the means whereby he may allow men who repent and accept his gospel to return to him in the celestial heaven.
"as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works" Because the Son has been crucified by men, all men will be "lifted up" or resurrected. This, of course, is the unconditional blessing of the atonement. Like so many other scriptural verses, this particular verse again suggests that the sequence is first resurrection, and then the judgment. We have commented previously that a man's resurrection is his judgment since he is resurrected with that eternal body which betrays his eternal abode-celestial, terrestrial, telestial, or outer darkness. It seems likely that the judgment which follows the resurrection is the formal ceremonial pronouncement and sealing of the eternal fate of all of the family of Adam.
15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
verse 15 Presumably the Lord's being "lifted up" refers here to his being lifted up on a cross as in the previous verse. This verse states that if there had been no atonement, a man could not be judged according to his works. And why not? Because his righteous works would have to go unrewarded. Because of the Savior's atoning sacrifice, the righteous works of a man are counted for his spiritual credit, and he receives the spiritual gifts contingent upon his obedience. Had Jesus not atoned for our sins, we could not receive spiritual gifts in return for our obedience to the Lord's commandments. The law of justice would not allow it. And why would the law of justice not allow it? Because it is simply not fair that we receive magnificent gifts of the Spirit in return for our relatively puny efforts to obey.
verses 16-22 In these following verses, the Savior reiterates those principles and ordinances with which a man must comply in order to fully embrace the blessings of his atonement. The reader may wish to review Justification and Sanctification in Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 1, chapter 17.
16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.
17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.
verse 17 "cast into the fire from whence they can no more return" Perhaps we ought to be cautious about taking this verse too literally. Some hyperbole is likely is being employed here. Throughout the Book of Mormon, the doctrine taught regarding the post mortal life is incomplete and simplistic. Please see the commentary for 2 Nephi 31:14.
18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.
19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.
verse 19 "no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom" A reminder that justification, or sinlessness, as well as sanctification are necessary for exaltation.
"nothing entereth into his rest" For a discussion of the concept of the "rest of the Lord," please review the commentary for 2 Nephi 21:10. See further discussion of this important spiritual gift in "Two Little-Appreciated Gifts of the Spirit" in Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 1, chapter 10, Deliberate Faith and Revealed Faith and in "The Fruits of Faith" in Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 1, chapter 11, Other Notes on Faith. Still further discussion of this topic is found in "The Rest of the Lord-the Gift of Hope" in the same volume, chapter 17, Justification and Sanctification.
Here the phrase "entereth his rest" seems to refer to exaltation in the celestial kingdom.
"who have washed their garments in my blood" To be extended or offered the blessings of the atonement and be forgiven of one's sins is to wash one's garments in the blood of the Savior.
20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
verse 20 "sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost" The Holy Ghost, in one of his many roles, is the Sanctifier. The meaning of this verse should be abundantly clear to the reader who has studied Justification and Sanctification in Ye Shall Know of the Doctrine, volume 1, chapter 17.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
verses 19-21 "this is my gospel" Again, the reader should have reviewed the introductory commentary for 2 Nephi 31. The Lord Jesus is the ultimate exemplar, the perfect standard of living the gospel. We must think as he thinks, say what he says, feel as he feels, and do what he does.
"for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do" We must become pro-active in learning of his matchless character and striving to emulate him.
22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
verse 22 In this verse, the phrase "lifted up" seems to mean more than resurrected. It means exalted. The phrase "lifted up" has come to have three distinct meanings: Christ's crucifixion, man's resurrection, and man's exaltation.
23 Write the things which ye have seen and heard, save it be those which are forbidden.
24 Write the works of this people, which shall be, even as hath been written, of that which hath been.
verses 23-24 Again, keep in mind that the Lord is speaking to his twelve disciples.
25 For behold, out of the books which have been written, and which shall be written, shall this people be judged, for by them shall their works be known unto men.
verses 23-25 One book of scripture out of which man will be judged is the Book of Mormon.
26 And behold, all things are written by the Father; therefore out of the books which shall be written shall the world be judged.
verse 26 "all things are written by the Father" Mankind is judged out of the books that the Father has caused to be written-both on earth and in heaven. What books are these? Perhaps the final record is kept in our own souls. Will we not be judged by a perfectly perceptive Lord according to what we have become? President John Taylor said: "My understanding of the thing, is that God has made each man a register within himself." President Taylor went on to describe this "record." "Man cannot kill it; there is no decay associated with it. . . . It would be in vain for a man to say then, I did not do so-and-so; the command would be, 'Unravel and read the record which he has made of himself, and let it testify in relation to these things, and all could gaze upon it.' . . . When we get into the eternal world, into the presence of God our Heavenly Father, his eye can penetrate every one of us" (JD, 11:77-79).
27 And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people, according to the judgment which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.
verse 27 In some way, that has not been revealed to us the Nephite twelve and Christ's apostles in the Old World will be involved in the judgment of the righteous of the house of Israel. The Lord himself will issue the decrees of damnation to the wicked.
"even as I am" Perhaps here is the criterion by which we will be judged. How much have we progressed to become like him? Joseph Smith referred to the Savior as the prototype of a saved being (Lectures on Faith, 7:16).
28 And now I go unto the Father. And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.
29 Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
verses 28-29 Evidently these disciples had reached the point in their worthiness that they would not ask for anything that was inappropriate or unrighteous. Here Jesus places no conditions on his offer to the disciples. Thus, whatever they asked would be granted. This magnificent gift is probably the essence of the sealing power (see the commentary for Helaman 10:7).
30 And now, behold, my joy is great, even unto fulness, because of you, and also this generation; yea, and even the Father rejoiceth, and also all the holy angels, because of you and this generation; for none of them are lost.
verse 30 Isn't it exciting to see what can be accomplished among a people during this mortal life!
31 Behold, I would that ye should understand; for I mean them who are now alive of this generation; and none of them are lost; and in them I have fulness of joy.
verses 30-31 The Lord expresses his satisfaction with this group of Nephites who escaped destruction. Does the Lord here seal every one of them up to their exaltation? We know that all who were spared the great destruction in 3 Nephi 8 were righteous to a certain extent-though all were also urged to repent. We conclude that, while there were no wicked among them, there were likely those who would inherit terrestrial glory. These latter are not considered completely lost by the Lord.
32 But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal. And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.
verse 32 This spiritual deterioration of the people in the "fourth generation" from the time of Christ's manifesting himself to the Nephites had also been prophesied of previously by a few Book of Mormon prophets including Nephi (1 Nephi 12:12; 2 Nephi 26:9), Alma (Alma 45:12), and Samuel the Lamanite (Helaman 13:10). This fourth generation will live after the period of righteousness. They will emerge following the so-called mini-millennium, which will follow the Savior's visit to the Nephites.
"for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition" The "him" in this phrase is likely Satan himself. But, who, then, is the "son of perdition"? The setting of the verse calls to mind Judas Iscariot. Did Judas's despicable acts qualify him to become a son of perdition? It would seem that most of the brethren think he probably did not, as he did not possess sufficient light so as to qualify him to commit the unpardonable sin. These include President Joseph F. Smith (Gospel Doctrine, 20, 433) and Elder Bruce R. McConkie (Mortal Messiah, 4:112-13, 198, 202). Perhaps, then, the expression "son of perdition" refers to Satan, rendering the meaning of this phrase: "for they are led away captive by him even as he himself was led away captive."
33 And it came to pass that when Jesus had ended these sayings he said unto his disciples: Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it; but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death, and many there be that travel therein, until the night cometh, wherein no man can work.
verse 33 "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it; but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death, and many there be that travel therein" We have considered this phrase previously (see 3 Nephi 14:13-14; Matthew 7:13-14). For the meaning of the word strait, see the commentary for 1 Nephi 8:20.
For a discussion of why the word strait (rather than straight) is appropriate in this verse, see the supplemental article Strait and Straight in the Book of Mormon.
"until the night cometh" The "night" here is the same "night of darkness" referred to in Alma 34:33. It is not death, but rather resurrection to a lower kingdom. It is the point beyond which no repentance is possible.